Saturday, September 24, 2011

..A wise woman builds her home

Even though the season of motherhood does not end, it does bring seasons of change. Seasonal changes that can be joyful, worrisome and challenging. The recent seasonal changes in our home have caused me to reflect on my heart as a mother. With 2 teenagers and a preteen growing up together under the same roof, we have our fair share of dramatic moments. I came across a site recently that spoke to and encouraged my heart. And I simply wanted to share this poem with you in hopes that if you're in need of some motherly encouragement, that it will find you and speak to you in whatever season you're in.

If I talk to my children about what is right and what is wrong, but I have not love, I am like a ringing doorbell or pots banging in the kitchen. And though I know what stages they will go through, and understanding their growing pains, and can answer all their questions about life, and believe myself to be a devoted mother, but I have not love, I have nothing.

If I give up the fulfillment of a career to make my children's lives better, and stay up all night sewing costumes or baking cookies at short notice, but grumble about lack of sleep, I have not love and accomplish nothing.

A loving mother is patient with her children's immaturity and kind even when they are not; a loving mother is not jealous of their youth nor does she hold it over their heads whenever she has sacrificed for them.

A loving mother believes in her children; she hopes in each one's individual ability to stand out as a light in a dark world; she endures every backache and heartache to accomplish that.

A loving mother never really dies. As for home-baked bread, it will be consumed and forgotten: as for spotless floors, they will soon gather dust and heel marks. As for children, right now toys, friends and food are all-important to them. But when they grow up, it will be their mother's love that they will remember and pass on to others. In that way, she will live on.

So care, training and a loving mother reside in a home, these three but the greatest of these is a loving mother.

For more inspirational chapters of a mother's heart, check out this lovely site A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Friday, September 16, 2011

Apple Harvest

Canned Apple Pie Filling
The end of the canning season is officially upon me..the apples are falling from the trees and it's time for the last of my harvesting. Each year, I can and freeze a little bit and a lot of everything. Apples are the one thing, I can a lot of. Applesauce and apple pie filling are a must have. Once I got used to having them on hand, it's been impossible to go without! I like to use firm, tart apples for filling but have and will use any apple I can get my hands on.

Here's my apple pie filling canning process:

1/4 cup lemon juice (or use cream instead for a caramel like filling)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
cinnamon to taste
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 pint box of apples that have been cored/peeled and sliced

Combine juice (or cream) and cornstarch in kettle, turn up the heat and whisk until smooth and thick, then add the remaining ingredients in the order as listed above. Mix well and turn off heat. Your filling is now ready for the canning jar. If you're freezing your filling instead of canning it, leave the apples on the heat for a bit longer until the apples start to soften - then freeze. 

Makes 1 pint of filling - You can double, triple and quadruple it until get you get your hot water bath filled.

Hot water bath method - 20 min for pints and quarts. 

Ball Blue Book Apple Pie Filling:
6lbs of apples
2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tablespoons lemon juice 

Now that you've canned some pie's a recipe where you can use it!

Caramel Apple Empanadas:
Shells: Combine
4 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Cut in:
1/2 c butter

1 1/8 c milk
2 tsp sugar
1 egg

Divide dough into walnut sized balls and roll into 4/5" circles - fill half circle with filling - Fold half and seal into half moon - deep fry! Makes approx 30 turnovers

Caramel Apple Empanadas
 For a tasty dinner you can also fill these empanadas with seasoned, browned beef and serve with pico or salsa. If I'm filling them with fruit, I glaze them after wards with some homemade icing.!

Giving credit where credit's due: The Empanada recipe was given to me by my honorary sista and dear friend Holly Hammond, she's incredible in so many ways - the kitchen being just one of them!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Going, going...granola!

a little bit of goodness
 So let's make granola ~ be as creative with your ingredients as you'd like! After all there's no bad granola. Here's what I put in mine today:

6 cups Oats
1 1/2 cups Walnuts (chopped)
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds (raw)
3 cups Bran (and/or Wheat) Flakes
Mix in a large bowl then start your syrup coating in another bowl.

Syrup Coating:
3/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 Honey
1/2 cup Butter (melted)
2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
Add to your dry mixture and coat well - pop in your oven at 250degrees for 1 hr. Stir granola every 20 min or so for an even crunch and to prevent burning. 

Delicious alternatives: Shredded Wheat, Rice Crisps, Pecans, Cashews, Almonds, Raisins, Dried Cherries - Blueberries - Strawberries - Bananas - Dates - Apricots & Apples, Coconut, Wheat Germ, Flax Seed and Mini Marshmallows for the kid in you :)


Keeping that breakfast cupboard stocked is an on-going's another pancake/waffle mix recipe that fills up that large piece of Tupperware I never thought I'd use!

10 cups Flour                                    1/4 cup Sugar
3 cups Whole Wheat Flour                5 tablespoons Baking Powder
2 cups Oats                                       1 tablespoon Salt
3 cups Cornflakes (crushed)
Mix well - store airtight and when ready to make pancakes...add 1 cup of Milk, 1 Egg and 1 tablespoon of Oil to every cup of Mix.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Merry Mitts

With my hands always exposed, lending, mending and nurturing...they often get neglected and are in need of some extra care. After taking an in depth look at some of the balms and salves on the market, I thought to myself - there has to be a better way! So many chemicals and ingredients even google's never heard of. So I sat down and did some research...and came up with a natural, healing antiseptic salve. Using some of my favorite organic oils which include Myrrh, Tea Tree & Jojoba. My mitts are now merry and my mind is at ease! And because I love to share, Merry Mitts is now available in trial size tins at all our Market locations!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mad science..

After investing in a lab kit and a small microscope recently, I find myself anticipating quiet evening hours...when the homework and dinner dishes are done and I can sit down with some fecal samples and float to my heart's content. Who knew looking at poo would become such a fascination for me!?! I had no idea! But this way of tracking and identifying the parasite levels in our livestock has been very beneficial and I must confess, addicting. Another season for this Shepherdess and who knows what I will throw under the microscope next!

Here are a few helpful links if you're looking into floating fecals for your farm because we know, where there are goats & sheep...there are parasites!

Fecal Test Kit

Ruminant Parasite Egg Chart