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~

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Homemade Cake Flour ~ Serviceberry Drop Cookies

To make homemade cake flour, simply remove 2 Tbsp. from each cup needed, and  then add 2 Tbsp. of organic non-gmo corn starch.   Sift many times before using.

You can buy organic powdered sugar from health stores.  You need powdered sugar for this recipe.

Serviceberry Drop Cookies
(recipe adapted form "How to Prepare Common Wild Foods" by Darcy Williamson)

1/2 cup organic butter, softened
1 1/3 cups organic powdered sugar
2 farm fresh eggs
1/2 tsp. homemade vanilla
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. cake flour (see instructions at top)
1/2 cup dried serviceberries

Soak dried serviceberries in 1/2 cup boiling water for about 10 minutes.  Drain.

Beat butter until creamy.  Slowly add sugar until it's fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla.  Gently add flour, and don't over mix.  Stir in serviceberries.  Drop onto cold cookie sheet, about 4 inches apart (about 1 tsp. size drops).  Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.  Remove from hot trays and cool on a rack.  Sprinkle with organic powdered sugar.

Serviceberries contain iron, vitamin B2, maganese, copper, biotin and other good stuff.

Note:  Make cookies small.  They spread out and are thin.

Mom picked the berries in the rain, so I took some over to her too.  They are very good.  The season for them is very short, so next year I'll have to raid her berries so I can make a few more new recipes.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Rain ~ Substitute for homemade cream of mushroom soup

The rain that was predicted at 11am, was pushed back to noon.  Then it was pushed to 1pm, and again to 3pm.  I was starting to wonder if we'd even get any (again).  Later I checked it again, and it was once again pushed back to 4pm.   

Our oldest daughter stopped out for a visit, and it sprinkled long enough for her to run from the porch to her car to roll up her windows.  

Mother Nature is really making me work my bum off this season.  Hi-ho-Hi-ho, it's off to water I go.....

While putting my roast in the crocky yesterday morning, I realized I has zero mushroom soup in the freezer.  I tend to have a few cans of organic store bought soup, but there was none to be had.  In desperation (or you could call it creativity), I had one can of organic crimini mushrooms and onions (no shallots either).  I whipped up a batch and it was just as fantastic on our roast as the original mushroom soup recipe I use.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Happy Homemaker Monday

I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom today.  Sunday we fried.  It was 92°F with a heat index of 99°F.  We literally didn't go outside much at all.  Hubby and I hit the garden work first, but it was too hot and humid to be outside.  We even said no to a motorcycle ride to get ice cream.  It was that hot. 

Today, rain is once again in the forecast, and we may actually get some this time.  It's to rain all day, so first on the to-do list is work on the green beans in the garden.  If I can resurrect the second row, we plan to mow down the last two and replant.

On the breakfast plate. . .
Eggs, toast with home canned jam, coffee

The weather outside is . . .
It's hot and humid, and we are praying we finally get rain.

On my reading pile . . .
Herbal books from the library.

On the TV . . .
McCleod's Daughters

On the menu . . .
-organic roast, carrots, potatoes and onion
-stuffed shells, steamed broccoli
-chicken with home canned hot pepper mustard sauce, wild rice and beets
-egg salad sandwiches

On the weekly to-do list . . .
-work in the green beans in the garden
-shampoo half of the hallway carpet
-hang the last new curtain in the front room
-wash the front door curtain and wash down window and door
-dinner prep
-make a batch of homemade baking mix
-make homemade taco mix
-work on purging more books

What I am crocheting, knitting, sewing or creating. . .
Two lapghans, another set crocheted ice pop holders, and a knitted dishcloth

New recipe I tried . . .
Whiskey Balls.  They are pretty good too.  I adjusted a recipe from my Maker's Mark cookbook.  I used non-gmo organic chocolate crisp rice cereal, and organic ingredients.  You can't find a non-gmo, organic marshmallow whip, but you can make it homemade.  I found a recipe online at Attainable Sustainable.

Whiskey Balls

1 cup organic non-gmo chocolate chips
7 oz. marshmallow fluff (see recipe link above)
2-3 Tbsp. whiskey
3 cups organic crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup organic coconut
3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Melt chocolate, let cool but not harden.  Mix in the marshmallow and whiskey.  Add remaining ingredients.  Form into 1 inch balls and chill.  I used my large cooking scoop and it worked great.  They were larger, so next time for a larger Christmas crowd, I'll use the smaller and probably get about 5 dozen.

Next on the try it list are some serviceberry recipes.

From the camera . . .
I think my auracanas think it's Christmas in July.  I have gotten one of their eggs since last Christmas.

We had 3 visits in one day from this hummingbird.  It has a red chest.

In one day, a chickadee built a nest in one of my hanging pots.  He paid me a visit this morning too.  

Looking forward to. . .

Sunday, July 15, 2018


It's either too hot or too wet, and this is our reality.  This is a small side of the front porch flower bed.  I have trees growing in it, ha ha ha ha!

The mailbox flower bed.  Trees are growing there too, ha ha!

If you look close enough, you'll see my roses in that weed field next to the house, and in front of that, across the sidewalk my weed packed herb garden.  I wasn't kidding when I said the weeds were so tall, I could see them out my windows.

Another view of the herb garden.  Even the grass can't be caught up with, nor the trimming.  You should see my vegetable garden.  It looks like we are growing hay out here.

On a good note.  I tried something new this year.  I took 5 geraniums inside over winter, and 3 survived.  Check out this one. . .

The plants I kept out in the living room, near the wood stove over winter, did the best.  Sure saved money on buying annuals.

This my friends is a row of beets.  A very long row, and that is a row of carrots to the left and the horribly looking peas to the right.

Two and a half hours later, I found the beets.  Some are looking really good, while others are a bit small.  I didn't finish the row in that photo either.  

The tomatoes have been resurrected, but are pretty small.  The cut grass has fried up in the sun and sort of made a mulch for them though.

My carrot row.  It's about 40-some feet long.  

After a few feet of weeding, I had to stop and water it.  There was no way the weed were coming out in that dried up dirt.
So yeah, the reality of gardening this year hit our homestead hard.  So hard, there is no way to keep up with it all.  The garlic needs pulled, and everything needs weeded out.  Well, the garlic isn't coming up until we get rain next.

Somewhere in there are 4 rows of green beans that go all the way to the left.  Yeah, I'm about to mow it all down and just buy it this year.  

Just like all the rest of the garden - half didn't make it, some are nice and big with blossoms, and some are dinky.  Some simply fell over after I pulled the weeds.

Here is all that wood from my younger brother.  It was not all unloaded when I took those photos either.  It's stacked 6 feet tall in the first photo too, and I'm starting a second row.  

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Pre-Weekend Update ~ Finished

The weeding continues daily.  I have to make decisions on which is more important, and sooooo mucchhhhhh needs weeded.  It's a battle of water one day, weed the next, because it's been getting fried here on a constant basis.   

If you've ever weeded carrots, you feel my pain.  Pictures to come soon.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Dry Days ~ Heat Wave to Return

The rain, that was in the forecast kept getting pushed back and back, until we got about a 5 minute sprinkle.  Unfortunately, that meant a full blown morning of watering everything here.  I had to drag 200 feet of hose from the garden to the flower beds and herb garden, which wasn't fun, nor easy.

The grass went from can't-keep-up-with-mowing, to it dead and crunching under our feet.  Watering everything meant no weeding time either.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Midweek Tidbits

Youngest is finally home, after a 5 day camping, roller coaster riding, swimming and what not summer vacation.  I'm glad she got to go.  Tiger (her cat) has been so happy to have her back home.

I got the third load of wood unloaded and stacked.  One more truck load to pick up.  I think between the battle of the weeds everywhere (especially the  condition of the garden), the heat and working with wood, I've been a bit crabby.  I made a nice nettle tea infusion for both Hubby and I (for exhaustion).

The only thing getting cooked or baked here (besides meals) is a big batch of whole wheat blueberry pancakes.  Now we don't have to make breakfast the rest of the week too.  It's been hot again - heat index of 95°F.