Monday, 16 September 2019

Homemaking Mondays: Blessing of Family and Being Together


Hello!
The past few days I've truly enjoyed the blessing of family.
My parents were able to visit with us for almost three weeks.
When you don't see each other for long periods of time...each day is precious! 


They came for the time of year that we could pick cranberries. 
We went for a drive to see the scenery...
then got caught up when we found an amazing cranberry patch. 
First we started picking using our hats to hold the berries..
then my dad found a clean pail that we almost filled up with berries!  
We made some lovely cranberry sauce and juice with them. 
My mom has a steamer/juicer and wow...it's so handy!  
Then we put the berries through her strainer and it was great to see the 
pulp come out one end and the peels out the other.  
Saved so much time... and quickly we had jars of jam with lids pinging.


I love this picture of my kids with their grandparents on one of our stops. 


It was so nice to be able to do odd jobs and preserving together.
Working together makes things more fun.
 We moved my greenhouse to a new location and they helped us put some new plastic on the roof. 
They helped us waterproof the roof of our woodshed...that was an important job. 
We had some new wires run for our phone line...in a trench and we got that all filled in 
once the line was in place. 
Then we had found some wonderful orchard run apples and made some delicious applesauce. 
Some with a touch of sugar and others with just some cinnamon. 

Today I opened up our first quart of applesauce to make an apple crisp. 
Yes....we had whipped cream on top. :) 

Of course our time wasn't all work.  
We had some lovely visits, canoe paddles, bike rides, walks and games around the kitchen table. 
Tea times and many many laughs.  
Great memories!


Earlier I shared some of these lovely flowers with you...as it's been in the window 
the flowers have exploded and they are so cheerful!  
I'm so very thankful my mom prompted me to bring them inside.


I also bought this lovely windchime for 75% off from a store that was closing out. 
I used some of my birthday money from my parents. 
So thanks Mom and Dad for the sweet wind-chime music we get to hear now.


Thanks for dropping by! 

Love and Prayers,
Jennifer

Monday, 9 September 2019

Homemaking Mondays: Sourdough Bread and Ice Flowers


 Hello!
I'd love to share with you some amazing sourdough bread. 
I found this recipe off the internet ages ago and I'm not sure where from. 
It's just 2 cups sourdough starter, 2 cups warm water, & 2 liters of flower. 
Mix up well and knead until smooth and elastic.
Bake 320F for 50-60 minutes. 

I was given this amazing new dutch oven for my birthday, 
and I thought sourdough bread was a great way to kick off it's life in our family.
The bread was so nice and soft with a chewy crust.


I also have been enjoying these amazing ice flowers inside. 
I had them planted in a pot outside, but sadly the cold weather had them 
thinking they shouldn't grow anymore.  

My mom said to bring them in, so I did. 
The very next day the buds started to come out and then wow....
these amazing blossoms burst forth! 
They just keep coming and coming and the burst of colour is 
so cheerful! 


One treasure from our summer garden was these teenie tiny  melons. 
The larger of the two was only about 4 inches across.
I sliced it up thin and we all got to enjoy a little slice. 
The taste was so very delicious...too bad we couldn't grow them bigger.


There have also been some wonderful peaceful mornings here at our home.
The sun just coming up and the mist on the lake gently wafting upwards.
The ducks diving or going bottoms up to find their breakfast.
My Bible on my lap as I read from God's precious word. 
Food for my soul. 


It has been a fantastic week.  
Cranberry picking....outings at our community centre. 
Stacking wood in preparation for winter. 
I have been blessed to have my parents visiting for the past couple weeks.
Soon they will be going back to their home and we'll miss them terribly. 

The Lord is good in all the details.
In all the time he gives us with those we love.
May your day be blessed.

Love and Prayers,
Jennifer
 

Monday, 2 September 2019

Homemaking Mondays: A Taste of History


Hello!
Do you like things with a bit of history behind them? 
Above is a rocking chair that I was just given by my parents.  
It's had five generations sit and rock in it. 
It's not pristine...but well loved and it tells stories of 
those that have taken the time to use it.  

It now sits in my living room where I can sit and rock wrapped in my woolen blanket.
More stories to come in that sweet old rocking chair.


These are some sweet little flowers that cheer me when I go outside.  
Not sure what they're called, but they never cease to make me smile. 
It's colder outside but they still seem to keep flowering.


This past week my parents have been visiting with us.
They brought the fixings to make green tomato mincemeat.
It's my grandmother's recipe and it tastes oh so good! 
Our favourite way to eat this is in cookies! 
You can find the recipe HERE!


This week there was a little birdie that flew into one of our windows.  
Then it flew over and sat on the railing until it was feeling well enough
to fly off.  
Sweet little thing.


Thanks for dropping by! 
What homemaking have you been doing this week? 

Love and Prayers,
Jennifer

Monday, 26 August 2019

Homemaking Mondays: Fresh Food


Hi!  Do you like fresh food? 
Over the years I have leaned more on enjoying fresh food 
rather then store-bought  packaged food.

I know it's healthier but I find 
it's also tastier to. 

I have discovered that some in my family really like swiss chard,
especially my son who ate about half of it from the frying pan above himself. 
It was fried up with bacon and onions. 

I always just had greens in salads...but I'm starting 
to branch out more and try them in things.


The season for tomatoes has come to an end. 
There are still a few holding on in the window.
I shall miss their cheerful colour.


We were gifted this HUGE zucchini! 
It is now all chopped up and in the freezer for soups and stews this winter. 


We also found a great deal on bananas at the store. 
Just 32 cents/pound! 
So now we should have enough bananas for a few months of 
making bread and smoothies. 
Do you ever freeze bananas?  

I've started to freezer things in the smaller bags and then once they're frozen 
they are easy to arrange in the freezer.   
I used to have it all hap hazard, but I like now that I can find things easily.

How do you store things in your freezer?


zucchini, squash, tomatoes, corn and summer squash.


Meats all in meal portions.


Green beans (I found that the french style beans from the grocery store are great when no local ones are available).  Banana bread ready to go.


Herbs, garlic, and onions


I made some salsa for the family this week. 
I used the recipe from the Bernardin canning book.
It took a bit longer then I expected since I used the wood cookstove.
I'll have to remember to budget more time when I do it again. 


I also discovered a great way to let my buns rise over the wood cook stove. 
I set my bread pans on the top ledge, and now I use this. 
It's just a simple freezer rack. 
In the pic I have my frying pan sitting there to finish drying after it was washed.


I also enjoyed a lovely cup of earl grey vanilla tea gifted me by my friend Judith! 
The little tea strainer she gave me is perfect for a cup of tea!


Thanks for dropping by!  
I hope that you are enjoying the end of summer and perhaps putting some foods by.
It's so nice to have that fresh food taste in the middle of the winter! 

Love and Prayers,
Jennifer

Monday, 19 August 2019

Homemaking Mondays: It's In The Little Things


Hello!
I'd love to share with you some of the little things 
that have brought me joy this week.

The weather here has changed.  
We got a couple days of heavy rain, and when the clouds lifted...
there was snow on the high mountain tops.  
It was 5C in the morning...and yes we started our wood stove up
to take the chill off.  

That was followed by gale force winds!
It was incredible to have to really lean against the wind 
while doing chores outside. 
There were a few trees falling. 
Thankfully not in an area that needed to be cleaned up...
at our place at least. 

On one afternoon, while the winds had quieted a little bit.
I snuck out with my camera to take pictures of the flowers...
just because who knows what might happen to them. 

Thankfully they are all mostly intact at this time. 
I do cover them at night as the temps do drop down to or below freezing at night.


I have found some new favourites to hopefully add to the flower garden next year. 


As well as old favourites that always make me smile! :) 


These are called nemophelia "Baby Blue Eyes".  
They are so lovely and my children introduced them to me 
through the gardening program that they worked at this summer at our local community center.  
They seeded the flowers, watered, and cared for them. 
I bought some of their starter plants for our home. 


With having the wood stove on for heat...we might as well 
cook on it and save electricity right?  
I thought so...but with a newly started fire it doesn't give off enough heat to cook well.
With a hungry family...I got to thinking.
 I found that one of my skillets fit perfectly in the "hole" 
when I took the burner lid off to fill the stove with wood. 
Yup....cooks much better that way while the stove 
is getting itself going. No need to wait. :) 
Also my new favourite pancake is made with
unbleached flour and fresh ground oat flour. 
I told my family it was just like having oatmeal and toast for breakfast 
but in a different form.


While the stove was pipping hot, we decided that we needed some bread.  
I ground some spelt flour for the first time in awhile.
Oh does it taste delicious!  
I mix in some of the fresh flour with unbleached as we like fluffy bread.  
I make a pan of buns with three loaves of bread at a time.


Doesn't this look delicious? 
Yes, my son and I just had to try one before setting them aside to cool for supper. 
You know...quality control!


These are some of the little things that the Lord has blessed my home with. 
The things that give me pause to thank Him.  
Some people think that mundane lives are boring...but I think they are beautiful! 

Thanks for dropping by!

Love and Prayers,
Jennifer

Monday, 12 August 2019

Homemaking Mondays: Winter's Coming


Hello!
Welcome to Homemaking Monday! 
Sorry I'm a touch late today.  

I have been busy this week stashing food for the winter. 
I feel like a squirrel sometimes...for winter is coming! 
We've had a good frost already, and the mornings are so chilly 
that I wait a long time in the morning before uncovering my plants outside. 
The wood stove is lit to take the chill out of the air in the house.
The extra lap blankets are pulled out of their basket and snuggled under. 

I have been freezing a lot of things. 
I like to do this with most of my veggies at this time. 
Some day I'll learn to pressure can some of them, but for now frozen is great!
I learned to use a carrot peeler to peal butternut squash and then I cubed it and froze it
along with zucchini.  Then there were more herbs from the garden 
that got cleaned, chopped, and bagged. 
I had bought a large amount of bananas on sale last week. 
Some have gone into banana bread (some of which is in the freezer) and then the extra
bananas are frozen in portion sizes for making more bread with them. 

I have also been puttering about the yard picking up the odd pieces of wood for kindling.
Sawing up smaller branches/ sticks for the stove.
Then there is the spending time outdoors....while it's still nice! 
While indoors I've been crocheting more on that blanket I shared that I'd started.
It's coming along nicely...but I admit it's very warm to have it on my lap as it gets bigger. 

I'm working to use up all the sourdough starter discard that has been in the kitchen. 
I'm getting better at making bread with it.  

Last week our children began their school lessons again.  
It's hard to start so early...but we did end early last year and it's good to 
get back into the swing of things again.  
I was able to also go to a class on backyard remedies
held just up the road from me.  
It was a great class on making tinctures and salves, and 
looking for plants around us. 
Through the whole class, I couldn't help but think on how
God has put them there for our use. 

Genesis 1:29
 “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” 
 Genesis 9:3
 “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”

I thank the Lord for all that He brings into our lives and all that He teaches us. 

Oh, and the cake in the first picture was my youngest son's birthday cake.  
He requested a cheesecake...it was a chocolate orange swirl.
To make that, just add a touch of orange extract to the chocolate portion. 
My son picked the flowers from the garden for the top.
Then he asked for shepherd's pie for supper. 
I forgot to cook the corn to put in it....so it was served on the side.
Still very good. :) 
Homemaking can be wonderful...but there are times it just isn't picture perfect.


Thanks so much for dropping by!  
Praying you have a beautiful day!

Love and Prayers,
Jennifer

Monday, 5 August 2019

Homemaking Monday: Flowers to Cheer You!


Hello!  Do flowers cheer you? 
I find that I cannot help but smile when I see flowers.
What a gift from the Lord flowers are! 

This week flowers seem to be just bursting in my home.
I was given a few slips of geranium recently. 
One of them has brought a beautiful treasure to the dinning room window.
My snake skin plant has a few flower stems emerging. 
I've never seen it do this before.


There are tiny droplets of dew on them.


Then my sunflower in my greenhouse has brought a huge burst of colour!
It's the only one, but it has made fast friends with the bees. :) 


Then there are the violets. 
They are my ultimate favourite indoor flowering plant. 
I have a few different ones, and they are all starting to bloom.






Flowers seem to cheer my day as I putter about the home doing 
necessary things.  
Fresh flowers are wonderful and sometimes you can find them at a reasonable price. 
With potted flowers it's so nice that they are free. 
A special touch to add to your home if you like indoor plants.

Also this week we've been enjoying an abundance of blueberries!  
I found a great deal on them and it has been nice to share 
and to put some away for the winter needs. 





Then also bananas were a good price so we bought some extra to dehydrate.
They won't last long unless I hide them. Yum!


Then all the abundance of rhubarb, red raspberry leaves, and chamomile 
have been steadily been added to the pantry.  

It is so good to work in the gentleness of our homes. 
With little things like flowers to cheer us! 

Praying you have a blessed day!

Jennifer