Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

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~

Friday, January 29, 2016

Fennel Tea ~ Lemongrass Tea ~ Tidbits

I used Hubby as the "guinea pig" for this tea - fennel tea.  I crushed organic fennel seeds, then made a tea with the crushed seeds.  I have read that is a natural antacid, so I did my research, and it was safe for him to take the tea.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

All things random. . .

I thought I had a plan yesterday, but when I went to do my laundry, I found this.

I scraped the barrel for one load of laundry.  And don't you hate it when you get all the laundry into the washing machine only to walk down the hall (or where ever) and find one long lost sock that fell out of the dirty clothes pile you were carrying?  Happens to me every time, ha ha!

I am lucky to have one batch of unscented goat's milk soap.  Our daughter made it just before we re-homed her goats last summer.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Organic Homemade Bubble Bath

My week started off in the opposite direction of happy, zippy, and oh so jolly.   My nerves needed a calm down time. I've wanted to try this recipe for so long - homemade bubble bath.

Guess what?  I made it but, never tried it last night.  Ha.  Jokes on me I guess for lack of brain memory space.  I was so involved with a crochet project, the night got away from me quickly. It goes to show folks though, how crocheting is a relaxing hobby too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Snowflake Dishcloth ~ Random Tidbits

Because I just can't stand having only one project going on at one time (and crocheting an umpteenth granny square can become monotonous), and to let the month go by without a "dishcloth of the month" would be a shame..... you have it.  A snowflake dishcloth for January.  Honestly, this should be the "icon" for our February here.  We get the most snow that month.

The comfrey poultice I made for my elbow (using dry comfrey and warm water), really helped.  However, I'll need to do it one more time, and that's all I have in the way of comfrey.  I will really save up more this coming summer.  I will just have to refrain from push-ups (oh darn) and anything unnecessary.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Making Homemade Ketchup with Home Canned Tomato Paste

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that the massive amounts of rain killed off our garden harvest.  I was able to can one batch of ketchup, which did not last long.

However, our previous garden year was absolutely wonderful, and I canned tomato paste for the first time.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Random Homestead Happenings

 Good Morning!  Rooster's Crow Farm is covered with sunshine after a wonderfully, beautiful sunrise this morning.

The ladies have been generous lately, so we had breakfast for dinner - egg/sausage burritos.  The vegetarians cooked up some extra firm tofu (organic/non-gmo), and added that to their burrito.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

from the handiwork journal. . .

. . . crocheted a few dozen or so more of these granny squares.   I've put it on the "back burner" so many times that I am pushing myself to get this blanket off the "unfinished" list.  I need 192 total granny squares.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Random Tidbits ~ Back to Work or Back to School?

Snow fell all day Wednesday.  It was still cold here as well.  the pups don't seem to mind.

I keep forgetting to share a tip:  Dump a 1/2-pint of home canned corn relish into some cooked green beans for a quick and nutritious side dish.  I have vegetarians here, so I don't always mix in bacon grease, and get bored with plain green beans.

The barn door froze shut and I could not get in to fetch eggs thaw water.  I had to pry open the other set of doors, use a small stick to flip up my inside latch and get in those doors. 

I spent the entire day at the computer.  Actually, almost two entire days.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Update on the Frozen Mashed White Potatoes

Quite pleased with the results of the frozen mashed sweet potatoes, we pulled some frozen mashed white potatoes from the freezer recently as well.  I froze these in 1 cup portions as well.  Our grocer only sells organic white so that's what I froze, but if they start selling organic red skin potatoes, I'll use them as well.  And if you are new to reading my blog, our garden was flooded out, so I had very little harvest, hence the buying of potatoes in 2015.

The results?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Update on the Frozen Mashed Sweet Potatoes

A few months ago, I baked organic sweet potatoes, mashed them, then froze them, bagged them separately, and then put those bags into one large bag.

I know it's only been four months, but I dug someone for dinner the other night to test them for the first time.  Even though they were bagged twice, I still had some ice on them.

They were delicious, and tasted as if they were baked.  They were thick and tasty.  It was like eating a baked sweet potato without the skins.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Update on the Cowls

In early November I crocheted myself two cowls - one short and one long.  The long was almost immediately given to my 19 year-old daughter.  

It was always in my way - housework, outdoor work, putting wood in the stove, baking and cooking etc.  It was not conducive to my lifestyle. Daughter uses it to keep warm on her long drive back and forth to college, and for driving anywhere really.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Winter Hazards and Random Homestead Happenings

I survived the weekend without making a trip to the ER after I hit a patch of ice, and did the chicken dance to keep myself upright.  My hip, to say the least, does not like that sort of dancing.

Driving out of the homestead on Saturday, I survived getting to the "big city" without sliding all the way out into the highway. I wasn't going very fast, but our drive is all ice right now.

It rained all night Friday, then froze, then snowed on Sunday.  Our one daughter drove back to college just before the majority of snow fell and blew with the wind.  She texted she wanted to be home right after she arrived back.  It was hard to go back after a long break.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Christmas Homemade ~ 2015

You finally get to see it.  We had our very last Christmas-family gathering yesterday.

Here is what I gifted this year for Christmas. 
1/2 pint jars of home canned sweet pickle relish
4 oz jars of home canned Queen Anne's Lace Jelly 

Mom received a set 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Random Tidbits

You were not graced with a talkative blog post yesterday because I was out beautifying myself.  I got a hair cut.  I had it layered, and I do love it!  Youngest did a "job shadow" day with the hair salon, so I thought I better get one while I had someone home to watch the pups.

Youngest learned a lot at her job shadow day.  First, she learned working a full-time job out side the home, is a long day.  She got to answer phones, sweep hair, help with rollers, clean combs and brushes, and more.  I'm glad she had the opportunity to experience the atmosphere of what she really wants to do when she gets older.  Unfortunately, the school makes this "mandatory" job shadow day when they are only 14 years-old.  I think it should be when they are approaching 16 years-old.  

Herbal News!  I ran out of lemongrass.  Sigh.  I had to buy a bag of organic online until spring arrives.  I love the tea.  It has so many benefits, and one being a "calming" tea.    I don't even add honey.  It's tough each day to decide what tea to drink anymore, they are all so good.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tahini Update ~ Homemade Wheat Thins

I let my homemade tahini sit about 9 days before using it to make hummus.  The oil did not separate.   It was also darker and smelled better than the jar of tahini from the store.

I should have taken another photo comparing the color of each, and it stayed softer too.  The jar of tahini from the store separates quickly and is difficult to stir again.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dark Rum Truffles ~ From pile but not quite to the file ~ Tidbits

This time of year I get to itchin' for that crazy, run-around, busyness I'm so acclimated to over the summer.  Sounds crazy in itself, right?

There are days where I just have to do something new.  What's new?  A recipe.  A recipe from the stash pile.

Dark Rum Truffles.  I have never, in my life, made a truffle.  Now I can say I have. However, I'm looking for a different recipe now.

Were they good? 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Chilly Temps ~ Get Well Soon Box ~ More snow

The school put out a 2 hour delay Sunday night, for Monday morning, but I couldn't figure out why they closed.  Not until I took the pups out the second time, did I realize why.

They were jumping and romping and loving the snow one minute, and holding up their back feet the next - our temperature was "feeling like -8 degrees" outside.  I didn't feel it of course.  Having had -26 over the past winters, I guess I was thinking it was somewhat decent out, ha ha!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Read a book? Ha!

I woke up to the downpour of rain yesterday morning, which as you saw in yesterday's post, quickly turned to snow.  I for once, was glad to see it. 

It was my excuse to hunker in for the entire day and do something I do not normally have the time to do - read a book. 

Our 16 year-old was up making us all omelets for breakfast, which started our day out great - potatoes, bacon, green peppers, etc.  Mmmm.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Garden Planning ~ Puppy Updates

I'm adding many new herbs to the gardens this year - feverfew, yarrow,  tarragon, valerian (did not grow this last year), white horehound and summer savory.  

My lavender plants died the winter we had temps at -22°F here, so I have new organic seeds ordered.  I did some research on hawthorn, and I am pretty sure I will find it growing wild along the edges of our property.  Stinging nettle, catnip and plantain are all wild here too.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Winter has arrived, and other homestead ramblings

It rained here again.  No big news, considering our monsoon year.  In with a bang, out with a bang.  Although it is a new year, so it can stop now.

I'll let you know of the weatherman was right.  We are to get an inch of snow tomorrow.  We haven't had any snow that has stayed this winter yet.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Random Tidbits

Last Saturday, after the library closed, I made a trip to return books.  I had to put them in the outside return, because I had so much going on until Thursday.

Keep in mind, I had 2 bags full, and two to three more good size piles of books to return.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Random Tidbits ~ Mustards ~ Homemade raspberry honey mustard ~ Extreme Clean Resumes

I'm still cracking English walnuts.  I've put 3 pounds (and counting) in the freezer so far.   I have more to crack.

This year, my herbal journey will be experimenting with mustard (s).  I'm looking into different ones for greens as well as one for the seeds (there isn't one plant that is good for both, that I have found yet).   In the past I have baked a honey mustard pretzel in the oven (store bought pretzel's with a mustard sauce baked on them).

This past Christmas,

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Spicy Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder

As promised, I am posting today the review on a recipe. I used organic ingredients, or home grown from the freezer, and home grown oregano.

Here is the recipe: 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Homemade Tahini

I've been wanting to try this recipe for a while now, and finally got the chance.  Organic/non-gmo tahini is very expensive anymore, and I already buy and use the organic/ non-gmo oils.

You heat a medium size skillet on medium heat and

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Reflections of 2015 ~ Part 2

Harvested our first shell peas.  Sadly, due to rain, we only had enough for a few meals.  

 Add four new herbs which all did well in pots - Lemongrass, Calendula, Peppermint, and mullein.  All organic, non-gmo.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Reflections of 2015 ~ Part 1

I started out 2015 by making a binder to start keeping herbal recipes in. I learned a lot last year, and hope to learn more this year, along with essential oils.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year's Day ~ Campfire Fire Starters ~ Homestead Plans 2016

Happy New Year's Day!  It's hard to believe January 1, of 2016 has arrived so quickly.  Seize the day folks.  Seize every day.  Life it too short.  Grab a cup of java and seize the day by starting with reading my first blogpost of 2016.

Hubby woke up seizing the day right off the bat.  He was mumbling something about me making tortillas and excited to scramble eggs and make some breakfast burritos.  Then he mentioned buying a pizza joint and something else.  I asked if he was smoking something.  He woke up fired up for some reason or another.

I know Son will seize the day, as he is due to leave for base tomorrow.  He's planning a day at the movies or something with his siblings.