One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One mother making ends meet and surviving today's recession by writing. One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunrise ~ Pumpkin Farm ~ The Harley Rides Alone

The sunrise was just plain gorgeous yesterday morning.  Hubby was called into work, although we planned a family day with the girls.

Grab your coffee - this post is a "rambler." There's not much on homesteading packed into this post either (strangely).   Sort of a "play" day for us that ended on a not-so-good note.

 With my treadmill out of commission, and Hubby off to work (yeah, I could have done squats, push-ups etc), I went to the porch and watched the sunrise in peace.  Although a teensy chilly, it may be the last good weather weekend we have.

 Good morning sunshine!  

By that time it was still too early to head to the garden.  The dew was pretty thick.

So I debated.

And waited.

And made breakfast to kill some time.

A totally self-sufficient breakfast - garden potatoes, onion, jalapeno, one dinky bell pepper, a bit of kale and eggs. 

Then Hubby announced he'd make it home in time for the "family" day out. The problem was, the girls were still in bed and had no desire to get up, ha ha!  Our birthday girl daughter, who showed up for a surprise night over, had to leave for various reasons (birthday dinner will be delayed - she turned 21 today).

We visited a pumpkin farm - hay rides, field mazes, tons of pumpkins and squash for sale, good food (homemade donuts), cider etc.  You could feed goats and chickens for $.25.  This farm gave me a lot of ideas for easy profit making (but looks like a lot of work too). The only problem?  It was packed with people.  Too many.  The bees were horrible too, and one landed right in one of the cups of cider.  Otherwise, on a good day, this place would be fun.  It was super busy because it was another "work" sponsored event.  We were given free donuts and cider, and a $10.00 gift certificate to buy a pumpkin.

Back home, the girls had more plans, and we were invited to ride.  So we did.  With 4 other bikers.  We were to be back home by 5pm, so we could bake and take our fixin's to a Halloween/double birthday party with family and friends.

But then on the way home, at the last 30 minute stretch of our 1 hour ride, this happened. . .

 Just before the sun completely went down, one of our biker friends rode on home, and came back with a truck and trailer.  Another biker we rode with, took the car keys I accidentally had in my purse (and Daughter needed them to get to work), and dropped them off to her on his way home.

First, let me say that we broke down at a stop sign in a small town.  It could not have been a better place.  We had so many people stop and offer tools, a jump start (which failed), and one store owner offered the back room for us to hang out.  Very nice people.  Second, it's a huge bonus to belong to a group of bikers.  All who watch out for each other.  Not one of us "freaked out" during this all.  Every one of us remained calm, relaxed, and once in a while cracked a joke.

Hubby couldn't let his bike out of his sight, so we walked to the nearest store, got a bottle of water, and went back to sit on a street bench by the bike.  It was sort of relaxing to hang out there on Sweetest Day (of all days to break down).

We'll try and see if it's just the battery (no part stores in that town), and pray it's just that.  Hubby woke up awfully stressed about it.  Maybe a good hard working morning in the garden will take his mind off of it?  Nope.  He's heading to the parts store as soon as the open.

Me?  Heading straight to the garden.  I have to work double time for taking yesterday (too gorgeous of an October day not to ride) off.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

From Pile to File Recipes (a keeper) ~ Carrot and Taragon Tart with Sherry

Conversation while taking the laundry off the clothesline.

Me:  "Honey have you seen what I've gotten done in the garden lately?" (which is a small start)

Hubby: "Yeah." (looking out at the garden)

Hubby: "Do we really have to take all that out?"

Me:  "Well we can't very well till it in."

Hubby: (after a long pause and sigh) "I guess we can't" (lowers head)

Lots of hard work in the garden, and I imagine over the weekend.  We'll see what gets done I guess.  Potatoes have to cure for about 10 days before going in our potato bin.  This puts me in a bind for space.  

No less, I dug the remaining Kennebec and more sweet potatoes on Friday, and brought in another 30#.  My kitchen will be a mess for another 10 days plus.  I guess I can live with that.  I just hope the food sharks (dogs) don't run off with any during the process. 

The one thing I did not thing about - where am I storing the sweet potatoes?  Yikes!  I better whip up a plan while they cure.

More to dig yet this weekend.  Some crazy lady planted a boat load of them this year.  Only about 3/4 of the garden yet to weed and yank.  "Only" makes it sound much easier.

A bit of broccoli and collards made their way to the overstuffed freezer.  I am keeping up with keeping up so far.

In the process of cleaning out old magazines (I'm sure I'll find another stash somewhere), I found a recipe that I totally forgot about.  It uses carrots, farm fresh eggs, tarragon from the herb garden, homemade plain yogurt, and has an all Einkorn flour crust.

Carrot and Tarragon Tart with Sherry.  The recipe is from Eating Well.  They have it online, and I just used my garden goodies and switched the flour choice.  I do not have a "tart" baking dish, so I used my quiche dish.  Oh, and I did not use "reduced fat" cheese.  I used organic cheddar shreds.

The taste test was completed.   Delicious!  I also tested to see how this reheated, using the oven.  

I have been looking for recipes to take veggie dishes up a notch at gatherings. We are plum tired of green bean casserole.

It's a "keeper" recipe.

I told "Grad" daughter that I needed a photo of King and Zuri to update my blog header.  She responded with a long, hysterical laugh.  Hyper King and lazy Zuri.  "I may have to photo shop them together," she says laughing more.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday Finish ~ A Molasses Cookie Experiment ~ Goat Treats

I took the advice of so many thoughtful folks, and took the day off from the garden Thursday.  Totally felt guilty after seeing the weather forecast too.  Winter will roll in quick and I am far from ready.  I still took the day off.  I donned the apron instead.  And I did a little handiwork. And downed a tincture while I baked (for my swollen glands, slight sore throat).  I had my tea afterwards.

I finished a project and I never thought I would.  Especially this time of season.

I started this back before the 4th of July, and well, it's done!
I'll link up with Jill for "Friday Finish" once she has posted.

As for the cookie experiment. . .

Calling all of those who love a crispy, crunchy molasses cookies!  Do you have a tried and true recipe?

I do not.   

So I tried one (Sally's Baking Addition online - Crisp Molasses Cookies).  Only I used 1 cup Einkorn flour, and 1 cup regular (organic) all-purpose, and local sorghum molasses. The dough is refrigerated for 1 hour before you roll it.

The dough can be frozen ahead of time, or refrigerated for 2-3 days prior to making them.  You can also freeze the baked cookie of course.  These are all bonuses as we approach the holiday baking season too.

The first cookie taste test?  Crunchy on the outside, chewy in the middle, however delicious.  I wanted a fully crispy cookie for another recipe.

So I baked the last sheet of cookies one minute longer.   I cooled them exactly as the recipe called for as well.

Now for a cookie story.  Back when we had our dairy goats, we treated them each one gingersnap after milking was over.  We didn't put their heads in those contraptions they have on milking stands.  We simply used a long coffee table we re-purposed, put a cement block on one end and attached a feed dish.  We had them jump up on the table, hooked a thick animal leash to their collar and hand milked.  

Each goat was different.  One goat you could lean in on, the other didn't like that.  Anyway, after milking, and a full bucket, they'd get a treat - gingersnap cookie.  Often times we ran out of cookies, which we bought at the store.  I now wish I had found this recipe so many years back.  I'm not sure we could train the goats to do this in the future, but this recipe is a keeper.  Oh, and when the wethers were here, they knew where the cookies were kept, and they would jump the stall and eat them all (until we built up the stall, ha ha!)

I bet some ice cream in between two would be absolutely naughty.  Yum.  It's hard to eat just one.  Next batch, I'll use the full 2 cups of Einkorn flour and see how that compares. 

There will be a "next" batch, so I can get them in the freezer for Christmas.  I'm totally excited to find this recipe, but please share if you have one that is good and crispy.  Once I put these cookies into an airtight container they softened up again (although the family still loved them).  I guess if you need to use the crunchy type in another recipe, do it the same day.  If there are any left today, I'll freeze some for a few weeks to see how they do.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Random Tidbits

First off, I just want to say that I don't write my blog to brag, boast, nor compete with any person.  I simply share my experiences we go through in maintaining a self-sufficient life, processed food free, healthy, using natural remedies, and sometimes funny homesteading life.  I consider myself unique, one-of-a-kind, and love to learn from others. I am inspired by others, and I hope I myself, create inspiration to others.  

This morning's sunrise.  Another beautiful start to my day.

The weather is cold.  Brr.  Not cold enough to turn on the heat, burn wood or get out the carhartts, but it's cold.  

Garden work resumed, but with less hours, and no digging.  Hubby promised he'd help after work a few nights to ease the strain on my back.  He is always so tired when he gets home. I am trying to get it pulled for a few hours every day this week.

Meatballs were restocked.  They'll last a lot longer now that we are down to 3 meat eating folks living here.   I now have 72 meatballs for future meals.   I just need to be reminded to do this when my freezer isn't so full (ha ha ha!). Whew!  Getting things done this week is reminding to slow down in the afternoons.

Sauerkraut was started. Hubby and I eat this more than the kids, but I'm putting more effort on getting fermented foods in my body.  First thing he said yesterday was, "how long until it's done?"

. . . the start of a nettle tea infusion.  I haven't made one in a few weeks.  I drink this as an iced tea, so I can still enjoy a hot cup of whatever tea I like in the afternoon.

I enjoyed a late, but cool, afternoon tea on the porch.  Ginger-mullein was my choice.  I had a sore throat (slight), runny nose, and I coughed a few times.  Hm. Gotta nip this "bug" in the bum and shoo it away.

Last night we encountered sickness with one kiddo.  She is still not feeling well today. I'm using my thieves oil spray to keep the germs away, and praying she recovers quickly.

My treadmill has died.  Literally.  The parts to repair it will cost more than to buy a new one and we can't afford a new one.  I am looking at used ones, but for now it will be early mornings at the gym I think.  So sad and frustrated about this, but things like this don't last forever, and I have put many miles on it.  This morning I am really missing my workout.  I will have to convince Hubby to join me, or I may be driving to the gym myself.  It's just that we'll have to get up much earlier to do this now.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

This and That ~ Pumpkin Pasta Dish

As soon as daylight hit, I noticed these ladies were out wandering.  And later a 4th.  Hm.  Daughter didn't do a head count, but they are all there.  Whew!

The new handicraft adventure I wrote about (several months ago) is still on the list, but delayed.  It may be a winter project.  

 Puffed pear pancake was enjoyed for an after school snack vs. breakfast.   Again, I used 2 pears. Apples would be delicious in this too.  Although I only have one kiddo in school, it's the perfect time of day to make a sweet treat, and double it as a dinner dessert.  And utilize our homegrown pears.  Right now, organic apples are $5.99/bag (3 lb.), so I am patiently waiting on a sale.  I am hoping our apple trees produce next year.

 The herbs are getting full attention this week.  Sage was dehydrated.

Rosemary was also dehydrated.  More to do this week yet.

I spent yesterday digging up potatoes, and I have to say the sweet potatoes did great this year.  I brought in 16.5# total of Kennebec, Red Norland and sweet potatoes.  Of course this meant pulling weeds, and that was very time consuming.  And I'm not done digging.  That alone took 3 hours.

I brought in a handful of Russian Kale too.  Dang it all, I just keep finding things that need done.  

However, meals need prepared for this family, so after a very welcomed shower, dough was started for English muffins, my garden clothes washed and out on the line ready for another long day.

"Grad" Daughter did some mowing, but has been helping me muck the chicken coop on her days off work.

Dinner was a new recipe - Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce.  It's online. If you google it, I used the one by Budget Bytes.  As I sat down on the porch to eat, I realized it just needs a sprinkle of fresh herbs - thyme or basil perhaps.  It was good and filling.  It just needed something to add color to the dish (and flavor).  It contains garden garlic, pumpkin, broth, seasonings and pastas (all organic).  I bet this sauce would taste good using cooked millet too.

I woke up to a slight sore throat.  Grad Daughter spent the night with a friend, so I'm also on dog duty.  I am debating to stay out of the garden today and take a rest day from it, but I have so much to pull out of it before the ground freezes.  First, I think I'll enjoy a cup of miso soup to help stay healthy.

Enjoy your Wednesday. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dry Sherry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds ~ Garden Goodies

The last pumpkin seeds I roasted, I did a bit differently.  I made dry sherry roasted pumpkin seeds.  I used the whiskey-bacon recipe, but swapped out the whiskey for dry sherry.  I took them out of the oven about 10 minutes earlier, and they are better than the whiskey roasted ones.  Crispier too.  Hubby loves them over all the ones we have tried this season. By the way, all of the roasted pumpkin seeds have been eaten.  Hubby wants more, ha ha!  I hate to tell him, the pumpkins are all roasted, and I would have to buy them (and it's a bit late to find them anywhere now).

The garden still provides.  However, the hot peppers plants need pulled.  We enjoyed these raspberries for a snack and over waffles.

It's a busy week, so posts may be short (or packed with updates or sporadic). I'll do my best to keep up with reading your blogs too.  It was too wet to work in the garden yesterday, and very well may be the same situation today.  It was too cold to enjoy the porch, however we are warming up just a bit this week.  

Glady bulbs were all dug up and brought in for the winter, and I brought in three geraniums.  I took down the hanging pots, but need to put them in storage. I got three herbs re-potted (two outside, and one inside), and ready to bring inside soon.  I'm getting them acclimated to a pot before bringing indoors for winter.  The mucking of the coop is being delegated today.  I'm glad to have the help.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

I'm joining Sandra for Happy Homemaker Monday at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  Hubby and I had a very productive weekend, had some fun, and some rest time.  He even made cookies yesterday (what a man!).  It's back to work this week, and I hope the wind dries up that veggie garden.  It's soaked to the rims today.

On the breakfast plate. . .

Freshly picked red raspberries and. . .
 Leftovers from Sunday - pumpkin waffles (homegrown pumpkin), homemade sausage patties, fried homegrown potatoes with green onions.

Right now I am. . .
 - writing out a grocery list, brewing a quart of tea infusion

The weather outside . . .
  Much colder than yesterday.  Yesterday, we enjoyed breakfast on the porch, then simply relaxed most of the afternoon.  A few home repairs were completed too.  After the rain stopped on Sunday, cold air moved in and the wind picked up.  Today the wind is down, but cold, cold, cold.  Woke up to a chilly 43°F.

Looking around the house . . .

 Hubby attemped to pick pears, but the rain fell again, and he only brought in 6.  However, they are huge!

Currently reading . . .
 going through old magazines, purging them

On the TV today. . . 
 netflix, anything we stumble upon at bedtime

The menu this week . . .
Monday: Michigan Salmon patties, veggie

Breakfast meals:  Pear Pancake, Pumpkin waffles, egg/greens scramble, burritos

Meal ideas are cabbage/sausage/potato soup, stuffed shells, more hummus for snacking, possibly meatballs and potatoes, bluegill for sure,  maybe a pasta dish of some sort

On the to-do list . . . the all-week list

-vacuum carpets
-crack walnuts(we were gifted a new bag this fall again)
-muck chicken coop
-drain and flip all rain barrels
-dump porch pots and put away hanging baskets
-herb garden work
-dig potatoes, pull garden
-repot two herbs 
-dig glady bulbs
-put more porch furniture in storage
-work on barn wood, remove nails, saw and stack
-split wood for winter
-bake cookies 
-bake English muffins
-start fermenting sauerkraut
-sort bills
-pick up printer ink 
-check library return dates/pick ups
-make some calls
-computer work, get some things printed
-file a few more newly tried recipes
-pick more pears
-continue deep clean 
-wash winter gloves/mittens/hats/scarves and spider proof the drawer they are in 
(crossing off as I complete and as the week goes by)

If I have a few minutes to myelf today I will . . .
 Crochet, and check supplies for a handmade Christmas gift idea.

New recipe I tired or want to try. . .
  Carrot tart, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin stuffed shells, millet stuffed peppers 

One of my simple pleasures. . .
 Send a positive text to Hubby while he is hard at work.

What I am creating, crocheting, sewing, or knitting . . .
 This week it's a sewing project.  The longer, antique patterned fabric has left the closet and will be made into a tablecloth.

From my camera . . .
This morning's sunrise

And!  Yesterday's rainbow's.  Now one but two of them in the same day.

Something I found interesting. . .
. . . that swapping dry sherry for whiskey in a recipe I use, made it taste even better.

Bible verse, Devotional . . . 

Proverbs 17:7(NIV)

Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool—
    how much worse lying lips to a ruler!