Thursday, October 8, 2015

How to Can Green Beans. Yes You Can!

A few years back, my mother gifted to me her old (aka missing pieces) pressure canner. After purchasing a few parts we had that bad boy back up and ready to go. I can honestly say I love that old piece of metal. It allows us to preserve so much wonderful food for the winter months, without having to worry about things like, “what if we lose power,” which I might add happens from time to time around here. No one wants to lose a freezer full of yummy goodness due to a power outage. Plus, I think canned green beans taste so much better then frozen ones.

Canning green beans is not a hard thing to do either! Even if you don’t grow your own green beans you can pick up a nice mess of them at a farmers’ market. With a pressure canner and some jars, you are on your way to the most amazing meals in the winter months. Nothing beats fresh, but canned comes a close second, locking in all that yummy goodness.

Monday, October 5, 2015

(mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop #39

Welcome to another week of the (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop!  I really enjoy seeing what you all have been up to! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity with us!

This party is a 
Rules Free Party!!!

We are family friendly, so do keep that in mind. *wink* Share anything you want!!! We love seeing what you are up to! Be it recipes, DIY, giveaways, hops, crafts, funny stories... they're all welcome here!

Each week, I will have a feature(s), which will also be pinned to our (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop Board over on Pinterest!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos September 27th - October 3

Brrrrrr!! That's right, I said it, brrrrr. I am so not ready for these 40 degree mornings we have had this week. Cleaning a duck pool is no fun, but having your fingers go numb too is just too much! But there have been plenty of things this week to make me smile and forget the cold winds that are a blowin. Halloween is one of our family's favorite holidays and we are all getting revved up for our annual Halloween camping trip. So what was so wonderful about this week?

The oldest country kid and I got to see the
eclipse through the breaks in the clouds.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop October 3

simple saturdays blog hop gardening
Welcome to Simple Saturdays Blog Hop!

This blog hop is brought to you by a group of wonderful co-hosts committed to the Simple way of Life and learning to be Self Reliant in all they do.  Simple Saturdays Blog Hop is a way for each of us to share the various ways we are learning to be more Self Reliant in our homes and on our land. This is all about building community, learning new skills and growing more self-sufficient!

Please join us, submit YOUR Self-Reliant post (maybe even 2 or 3), browse around, visit a site or two and learn some new Simple tips or Self Reliant How'To's!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Homemade Apple Fritters

I love a GOOD doughnut, pastry, or fritter now and then. I mean, who doesn't? And it's not like I NEED to have one, but come on, we all WANT one, right? But no one want a treat filled with preservatives or that has been sitting in a gas station doughnut case who knows how long. And not all of us live near a bakery. Well fear not my fine friends, I have a homemade apple fritter recipe, with simple ingredient, that will make your taste buds sit up and thank you!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos September 20th - 26th

Another week has come and gone in a blur of activity. Fall is upon us, with cooler temps, homeschooling is consuming the majority of our days, and the panic that winter will be here all too soon is lingering in the back of my thoughts. Of course there are always moments during the week that bring a smile to my face and this week, these are the moments......

The egg drought is over!!!! Buffy has started laying again! It is so nice to have fresh eggs again.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What Tators Taught Me

The potato is an important staple food in many peoples' diets. Potatoes are rich in vitamins B and C, potassium, protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Talk about a lot of wonderful packed in a small thing! Since potatoes can be prepared so many ways, you can eat them year round and not grow tired of them. Boiled, baked, mashed or fried, there are endless ways to utilize potatoes. Knowing all of this, I of course wanted to grow my own. I was delighted when my aunt gave me some money for my birthday, because I knew exactly what I was going to use it for.... Seed tator!! 

Since I learned many useful things this year in my little potato patch,  I thought I would share them with you. From the comical to the practical, here is what tators taught me.....

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos September 7th - 19th

This week seemed like everything was in motion.... like fast forward. I swear it was a blur! And some of the pictures prove that! So much to do, everyone and everything going in different directions. I need a week's worth of naps to catch up! Though it was a busy, crazy week, it still made me smile. I hope it makes you smile too....

Bright and early, the oldest country kid on duty at the 4H bake sale booth.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Haystack Treats

Country life means the end of summer is haying season. It's a time when you put up food for the winter months for your critters. But what about your human critters? My country kids love Haystack Treats, and no, they are not made out of the same stuff hay bales are! These yummy treats are just four ingredients of delectable goodness!

So put down the sickle, park the baler, and get to the kitchen, because it is time to whip up some human Haystack Treats!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Finding Your Voice in Life

Why do we do what we do? How SHOULD we do what we do? Recently I hit a snag, a frump, a "why am I doing this phase" that really made me step back and take time to examine my blog, its contents and why I do what I do. You may have noticed the lack of post and the tumbleweeds blowing through, but I had to do it, heck, even if you don't blog, you should do it...... FIND YOUR VOICE in life people! And I am here to help you..... No I am not some amazing self-helper, just someone who took a step back and did some serious thinking, aka I hide from my kids in the bathroom, with the door locked, looking for the meaning of life.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos September 6th - 12th

Fall is here.... The sandhill cranes are migrating through and the morning temps are in the 40s and 50s. Homeschooling has started again, with the oldest country kid in 4th grade and the littlest doing preK work. We are canning every last thing we can in preparation for winter. Here is what brought a smile to my face this week....

The fall molting season. We are in an egg drought, but
there are enough feathers everywhere to make a pillow! LOL

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Muffin Liner Owls

When I think of fall, I think of things like colorful leaves, pumpkins, corn stalks and owls. Maybe I am odd with the whole owl thing, but around my neck of the woods, that is when I notice them calling. Here is a neat little craft I did with the oldest country kid that is really easy to do, but oh so cute! And, I bet you have everything to do it in your house right now. Well, if you have kids or like to bake, you probably have everything!

A Week of Homestead Photos August 30th - September 5th

I feel Summer slipping away quickly and Fall knocking on the door. Homeschooling is getting ready to start again, the last harvests from our garden are approaching, and I feel a little sense of urgency. I think the country kids feel it too and they behavior is all over the place.... *sigh* Time to take a deep breath and remember what makes me smile because it is better to focus on the good in life!

The beauty of the harvest... my tators!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Easy Amish Style Cinnamon Bread

Who doesn't love some good Amish baked goods? I know I for one LOVE Amish baked goods! But a lot of the Amish baked goods call for a lot of prep work or special starters that I just do not have the time nor patience for. Thus my dilemma.... Either commit to doing the time, keep buying from the Amish when I could, or come up with a easy knock of version of one of my favorites to tide me over. Obviously, I came up with an easy knock off or why else would I be writing this!

This is a quick to whip up knock off of Amish cinnamon bread and let me tell you.... you might want to make two loaves... one fore you and one for the rest of your family, or they might just inhale it before you get a piece!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos August 23rd - 29th

It has been another busy week here as you can feel Fall in the air! Time to start harvesting the last of the summer garden.... Other changes are in the air as well as Betty's ducklings head to their new home. Our yard feels so empty. While it is sad to see them go, it was such an amazing adventure for our family. I was in an emotional funk this week as we celebrated our first son's 11th birthday. He was born silently into this world and no matter how many years pass, it is always hard. I worked extra hard this week to find beauty in the simple things in life..... because sometimes all you have are the simple things. So enjoy these simple moments and remember to always slow down and find beauty in life.....

Beautiful peppers almost ready to pick.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos August 16th - 22nd

Many blogs out there only show you the "glamours" side of life. Well, this ain't one of those! I keep it real, from the beautiful to the "OMG" moments of life.... This week we were canning, camping, going to the fair, and dealing with the REAL moments of life. There is no photo shopping, accent lighting, or fair godmothers here.... Just our daily life in full color! I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did living them.....

We kicked off the week by making and canning tomato sauce.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Simple String Art

String art is a type of design that was popular in the 1960s. Sting art is made by using nails or pins and colored strings to form interesting geometric patterns and shapes. Simple to do and fun to make, string art is an art form open to all skill levels!

How do I know? Well because this year for the county fair, the oldest country kid, who is 9, decided to give it a try and I think he did a wonderful job with his "howling wolf."

So how does one get started in this folkie art medium?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos August 9nd - 15th

It has been another busy week here at our little homestead with the oldest country kid finishing up projects for the county fair. The critters are just as nuts as ever and projects keep finding their way on my to do list. I can feel summer starting to wind down and while it is a little sad, I look forward to the crisp air and colors of fall soon. So what made me smile around the homestead this week?

Heidi the Homestead Hound and her new stuffed chicken toy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Homemade Butterfinger Bars

Nobody better lay a finger on my homemade butterfinger! Seriously, they might lose a finger or two if they do!

Now I'll admit, these are not EXACTLY like a real butterfinger, well because trade secrets and all, but these homemade copycat candy bars come pretty dang close! And these bars are super simple to make with just three ingredients!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos August 2nd - 8th

Welcome back for another week of homestead photos. Just a little glimpse of our lives and the things that make us smile. Thank you for joining us on our journey and I hope these images bring you as much joy as they do us!

Betty's ducklings are now one month old and getting their adult feathers.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Why Urban Farms Matter

Recently the oldest country kid brought home a flyer from 4H for a free event at an urban farm that is located within driving distance from us. We are lucky enough to live in a tiny village (population less than 1,200) and have our own garden, but not everyone is so lucky. I thought it would be a great way for my country kids to get a glimpse at how farming can be done anywhere there is land available. So on the appointed day and time, we hopped in our truck and headed out to Bright Star Farm.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Blueberry Buckle Coffeecake

Tis the season for blueberries in my neck of the woods and recently we went picking, so my blueberry supply runneth over! After whipping up jam I still had plenty left, so I decided to start baking. After reviewing many recipes and variations of buckles, cakes and crumbles, I came up with a recipe I am proud of and the family LOVES!!! This Blueberry Buckle Coffeecake recipe is sure to be a family tradition. Dense yet airy, sweet but not too, just the right amount of crumble on top….. I promise, you are gonna love it as much as we do!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos July 26th - August 1st

Buffy enjoying an early morning stroll.

This week we are kicking off a new weekly segment call "A Week of Homestead Photos," where I will share with you some of the images that have made me smile this past week. While there may be a lot of work to do, piles of critter poo to clean, and weeds to be pulled from the garden, there are moments of pure joy as well. I hope you enjoy this week's photos as much as I do and that they bring a smile to your face!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Homemade Brownie Mix

I love brownies. There is just something about a soft, chocolaty treat that makes the world right. But, I hate store bought brownie mix, they just never truly capture what I think a brownie should be. So I decided to get off my lazy rear and come up with a homemade brownie mix that rocked, and I think have. And I would bet money, you already have all the ingredients!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Homemade Skunk Odor Remover

I was driving down the road the other day and that "wonderful" aroma of skunk filled my nose. A 1/4 mile down the road, there it lay on the shoulder..... Obviously it was "fresh," but it got me thinking about how the odor of skunk can linger for weeks!

And then I started thinking, god forbid, what if Heidi the Homestead Hound got nailed with the unpleasant odor?!?! While there are many products out there that help with the smell, as my Grandmother in-law found out, that faint odor can linger on a dog's fur and any article they rub on! But why does the smell hang around?!?! Because skunk spray has OIL in it and water, tomato juice, and other products don't break down the OIL.

So how do you remove skunk odor?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Easy Fabric Flower Pot

I like terra cotta pots as much as the next farm girl, but they can tend to be a little on the boring side some times. And sure, there are a million and one ways to paint a pot to give it some pizzazz, but why not think "outside the box" when it comes to you pots?!?! Check out the Fabric Flower Pot! These are so easy to make, that you could turn out a ton of them in just one afternoon!!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Betty's Babies Are Growing Up!

I have watched baby ducks grow up before.... when we got our original two ducks a few years ago. Ducks grow FAST. But as with every new birth, you forget just how fast they grow. One day they are breaking out of their egg and the next they are taking on the world, or at least turning it upside down a little!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Make Your Own Sourdough Bread

Do you like sourdough bread but don't like paying for it? Then stop buying it and make your own! Here is the recipe I use and my sourdough loving hubby loves it, so it has to be sort of good right!?!?!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

We have Babies on Board *Warning* Cuteness overload!!

If you have been following us lately, you will know our female duck, Betty, pulled a quick one on us and hid a nest of eggs. I THOUGHT they were due to hatch around today.... I was wrong! The babies started hatching on July 7th! Good thing I already had some duckling food on hand and was prepared to play my part as a duck midwife, because things got a little rocky over the next three days.

Friday, July 10, 2015

S'mores Milkshake

Its summer and that means the country kids want to have a fire every night and make s'mores. While I do love the smell of a campfire, I am not letting them stay up late every night just to make s'mores, because for some odd reason, they feel it has to be dark to have a fire! So what is a mama to do? Come up with an awesome, anytime milkshake that will knock their socks off!

This is a sweet and easy to make treat that has all the s'mores elements.... chocolate, toasted marshmallows, and graham crackers! So go get some ice cream and your blender because I am going to tell you how to whip these bad boys up!