Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vintage Hankie Baby Quilt



I ran across this tutorial and just had to give it a try. I think it's so sweet! It is a small blanket for a new baby made with vintage sheets and vintage hankies. I just happened to have those items on hand. It only took a few hours.

Here is a closer view of one of the 4 blocks:



I tied in the center of each hankie square with embroidery cotton, and the "batting" used between the layers of the blanket is a scrap of white terry cloth I had laying around.



I love it when I can make something almost "free."

This post is linked to Simple Lives Thursday #76!

Homemade "breakfast cereal"



Move over, puffed wheat! Here is a wholesome and delicious breakfast cereal. We love it!

Popcorn and Milk

Per serving...

1 Tablespoon popcorn kernels
2 teaspoons extra-virgin coconut oil
milk
real maple syrup

Put the oil in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt on stove top over medium heat and add the popcorn. Cover the pan.

Turn up the heat to medium/high and continually move the pan back and forth over the burner to prevent burning. When the popping has nearly stopped, take the pan off the stove.

Pour popped corn into a cereal bowl and top with nice cold milk and real maple syrup.

Very very yummy. You can make the popped corn a bit ahead of time, if you like.

This post is linked to "Make Your Own Monday!"

Monday, December 26, 2011

Indian Fry Bread - my way



Fry Bread is economical, versatile and delicious! Here is a simple way to also make it good for you.

Ingredients for 4 Fry Breads

1 cup freshly ground spelt flour (or whole wheat)
1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
2 teaspoons Sucanat
1/2 cup sourdough starter
raw milk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Kettle-rendered lard for frying

2 Tablespoons Sucanat mixed with 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon and pulverized for a moment or two in an electric blender. This will be more than you need, but the extra can be stored in a small lidded jar to use later.

Instructions:

The night before you want to make the Fry Bread (or up to 12 hours before) combine the flour, salt, and Sucanat in a small glass mixing bowl.

Add the sourdough starter and stir.

Add milk, a little at a time, until a stiff, kneadable dough forms.

Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature overnight or up to 12 hours.

Turn dough out onto floured work surface and sprinkle with baking soda. I use unbleached flour for working the dough to prevent sticking.



Knead vigorously for 2 minutes.

Begin heating 1/2 inch of kettle-rendered lard in a cast iron skillet on medium/low heat.



Divide the dough into 4 pieces, make them into little rounds, and roll them out, to about 7 inches in diameter. Use unbleached flour to prevent sticking.





Carefully place one of the rounds into the pan. Let it fry until it is bubbly on top and browning on the bottom, then carefully turn it over with metal tongs and fry the top until it is browning.



Remove the fry bread with tongs and drain on paper toweling.



Sprinkle with the "cinnamon-Sucanat" - (optional)

Serve while warm! These may be topped with many other things as well. You can use them in a similar way as tortillas. Some people like to make a dish like a taco or tosdada using fry bread.



You may also add other things to the dough, like sauteed mushrooms, cooked chopped meats, cooked fresh vegetables, and suitable seasonings for whatever you like.

This recipe may be doubled or made even bigger, depending on how many Fry Breads you need.

You may substitute whole wheat flour for the spelt flour, if you wish. Spelt makes a more tender product.

The history behind Fry Bread is very sad. If you would like to find out more about it, please go HERE to read it.

This post is linked to the Homestead Barn Hop #42

Sunday, December 25, 2011

"Carl" the sourdough



If you visit Carl Griffith 1847 Oregon Trail Sourdough website, you can order, free of charge, (although they welcome contributions) some of the dried sourdough starter. It is extremely easy to get going, and what they send is more than enough for at least 3 "starts" if you have bad luck and kill your sourdough (don't ask me how I know... )

You can download a brochure there that explains what to do and how to use the starter. I've had mine for quite a while now - I can't remember how long. Most of that time, it has lived in my refrigerator, and I've gotten it out and fed it once a week or so, occasionally washing out the container.

For the last few weeks, it has been living out on the counter. I keep it in a little glass bowl, covered with a saucer and some plastic wrap. The plastic wrap is to keep fruit flies out. I feed it twice a day now. I just take a small handful of whole wheat flour, add a little warm water and stir it up with a fork.

I used to use the formula of 1 part water and 1 part flour, but now I don't measure, and I keep it a little more thick than how I would want pancake batter to be. That way, if I want to make pancakes for me and my husband, here is what I do:

Scoop out 1 cup of starter.
Stir into it 1 egg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 Tablespoon sweetener and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
In the mean time, I'm heating my griddle and then I can just go ahead and bake the pancakes.

It is so quick and easy and convenient! I serve them with butter and real maple syrup. Yum.

If I need to go away for a few days, Carl just takes a rest in the refrigerator. :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Musings on Christmas Eve 2011


Dear Friends,

What a beautiful year 2011 has been for us here, and I am grateful for my online "family," YOU... my readers for how you have enriched my life.

Certainly, life is rarely without challenges. Everyone I have ever known has experienced as my dear mother used to say, "Into each life, some rain must fall." But the hard times make us grateful for the good times, and help us grow stronger. When the dust settles, and we find ourselves still trodding the straight and narrow path, still loving, still loved... the hard things don't matter.

If I were to die today, all I really care about is two things. First, that everyone here know that I love them. Secondly, that I have tried my best to live life to please my Heavenly Father.

When the children still lived with us, I read stories to them every night, and I always tucked them in bed. I tried so hard (not always succeeding) to never put them to bed sad. What if they, or I didn't wake up the next day? I tried to never leave them thinking I was mad at them. I guess that is a reflection of my desire that they know they are loved.

Jim and I have been so fortunate in our marriage. When we met, we knew that was it. We've had our ups and downs like anyone else, but we stuck it out, made it work and stayed committed to each other. 40 years. It only seems, looking back, like a few. Now that he's retired, we finally really have time to spend together, and it is wonderful. I always loved it when we had a little while to sit and really talk... now that is nearly every day. It's heaven. On earth.

I am very proud of our children. They are good people. Hardworking, honest, true and good. Kind to me and their father. Good to each other. I know that when I am gone, they will have a built in network of close friends, and that is a good feeling. Sometimes, it's hard watching life happen to them, if you know what I mean, but then I see the hand of the Lord in their lives, and I know I can relax and trust Him.

This evening, a few of our loved ones will come over for Grandma's Christmas Eve donuts. Tomorrow morning will be choir practice, for me, and then Church. Then we'll come home and me and my beloved will open a few gifts. Later, some family, including my dear sister, will come for lunch and we'll sit around and reminisce.

In the words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us, every one!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fresh Juice

I don't think drinking bottled juices from the store is a very healthy choice. I've read too much scary stuff about it. I am lucky to have one of these:



It is easy to use, quick to clean up and I love it! Juicing is not my passion, understand, but sometimes I just want some fresh juice and particularly in the colder months of the year, because we have the unheated greenhouse and a supply of fresh greens all winter long.

I went out there this morning and brought in some things to use for a salad for dinner, and I also picked a handful of kale leaves and made a small amount of juice for me and my husband. It was so delicious, I have to share the "recipe" !

2 small carrots, peeled
a small handful of fresh kale
1 whole sweet apple (do not core)
1 whole lemon

I was worried the lemon might be too sour, but oh, my! It was like the best lemonade ever!

I think you would like it too. :)

This post is linked at Real Food Wednesday ! ... and Simple Lives Thursday #75.
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