Monday, January 31, 2011

*Empty Jars*

There is something very satisfying about seeing empty jars accumulating on the cupboard waiting to be taken to the basement.

Each time that a jar is emptied it was one less item that we had to buy from the store and
I know how the food was grown and processed.

Saturday for the first time I made buttermilk.

Now that I have a source for fresh cows milk I am able to try a few things.
The buttermilk was so easy to make.  I did buy cultured buttermilk for my starter, but saved out a cup from 
my butter milk for the next batch.  All I did was put a cup of the cultured buttermilk into a sterilized quart
mason jar and fill up the jar with the fresh milk.  Set it on the counter for 24 hours.  So Simple!
Next I plan on making sour cream.
Which will be very good in my Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe.
Made one this morning to use up the sour cream that I had from the store.  Wasn't quite a cupful left so I added some buttermilk.  Turned out fine.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
This cake has been submitted to: Sweets for a Saturday at Sweet as Sugar Cookies

2 c. Flour
1~1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. salt.
  • Sift these ingredients together and set aside.
1/2 c. Butter
1 c. Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 c. Sour Cream
  1. Beat butter until fluffy
  2. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy
  3. Add eggs one at a time and beat
  4. Add vanilla
  5. Alternately add flour and sour cream to wet ingredients and beat until mixed.
1/3 c. Brown Sugar
1/4 c. White Sugar
1 c. Chopped Walnuts
1 tsp. Cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Put half the cake batter in a 9 inch greased pan
  3. Add half the topping over batter.
  4. Add rest of the batter and sprinkle on rest of the topping.
  5. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

When my dh gets home from work we will enjoy a piece of coffee cake  together. He has an early lunch break so he is hungry after work.  I look forward to this time together each day!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Thoughts

It's In the Valleys I Grow

Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe.
It's then I remember
That it's in the valleys I grow.

If I always stayed on the mountain top,
And never experienced pain,
I would never appreciate God's love
And would be living in vain.

I have so much to learn
And my growth is very slow.
Sometimes I need the mountain tops,
But it's in the valleys I grow.

I do not always understand
Why things happen as they do,
But I am very sure of one thing.
My Lord will see me through.

My little valleys are nothing
When I picture Christ on the cross.
He went through the valley of death;
His victory was Satan's loss.

Forgive me, Lord, for complaining
When I'm feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
That it's in the valleys I grow.

Continue to strengthen me, Lord,
And use my life each day
To share your love with others
And help them find their way.

Thank you for the valleys, Lord,
For this one thing I know,
The mountain tops are glorious,
But it's in the valleys I grow!

—Jane Eggleston

Saturday, January 15, 2011

{Snow Pancakes}

We had a couple of inches of snow last night, so for breakfast we had snow pancakes.  A couple of days ago I saw a post and they had made snow pancakes.  First time I had ever heard of them.  So this morning with  a fresh snow thought it would be the perfect time to try them with our grandsons.  They thought it sounded interesting to have pancakes with snow in them.  My DH found a recipe for Granny Miller's Snow Pancakes. 

They like M&M's in their pancakes.  One likes butter and sugar the other syrup.
The pancakes were so light and fluffy and very good!
We will now be having snow pancakes when the boys are here, if we have had a fresh snow fall.  Now that I can get fresh milk will have to save some cream and try snow ice cream....yum!

Granny Miller Snow Pancakes

2 c. flour
1 T. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. white sugar
2 eggs...well beaten
1~1/2 c. milk

In a large bowl sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together.
Combine eggs and milk together.
Slowly add milk and egg mixture to dry ingredients.
Stir well and set aside.
The batter will be thick.
Get griddle ready, grease lightly.
When griddle is hot fold the snow into the above batter, mix well.
Pour pancake mix onto the griddle, when they start to bubble all over on top, flip over.
Serve with your favorite toppings.


Friday, January 14, 2011

{Sewing Fun}

The last couple of days I have had so much fun doing some sewing for my little great niece.

Here she is with the dolly and its clothes that I made for Christmas for her.

My niece asked if I would be interested in making her some dresses for school.  She attends a Christian pre-school and it is so hard to find dresses that are appropriate.  Lets say it didn't take much to get me to say YES!

 I looked through my material and found a couple of pieces that would get me started.

  I enjoy making little girls dresses, don't get to do much little girl sewing with having two grandsons.

A couple of my patterns that I plan on using.  The pink pinafore is the pattern that I used for the dress above. Planning on making the pinafore with the dress also.

This was a fun little print that I had so I made her a little sun dress for summer.

Monday the plans are to shop for some material for these two patterns that my niece sent to me, along with material for a couple of my patterns. 
It is going to be SEW much fun!

Our grandsons are spending tonight and tomorrow night with us.  They want to watch the Packers with grandpa tomorrow night.  We always love it when they can spend time here, they are such a blessing to us.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

{Vintage Machine}

This summer my dad gave me my mom's sewing machine and cabinet.  It had not been used at all for at least seventeen years and very little for years before that.  

The machine is a Coronado, that was bought from the local Gambles Store in town back in the 60's.
Was so excited to get mom's machine and to see if it would work after sitting so long.  A few weeks ago when I was in town shopping my DH worked on the machine.  First it need a very good cleaning my dad is a smoker so you can guess what this machine looked like after sitting in the house closed up all of those years.  My DH used oven cleaner on it.  Not something I would have dared do, but it worked great.  Next he had to put a new cord on the machine, the old one was so brittle it was breaking apart (with an electrician in the house there was no way that could get plugged in).  Also had to replace the belt.  

My husband had me thread the machine and give it a try.  It worked!!!  At first it didn't sound the best but after getting the manual out (which I was shocked to find in the cabinet yet) and checked where it needed to be oiled.  After oiling the machine he ran it with out thread or material for a little bit to work the oil through.

It now works beautifully, I could hardly believe it!  I have done a lot of sewing on this machine over the years.  During high school I made all of my dresses, sewed for mom, and two nieces.  The machine stopped getting used when we got married and my husband bought me a machine.  Mom did use it occasionally if she needed to mend something. I think Mom would be happy to know that the old machine is working.

What a change from that machine to the ones that I use now.

My Husqyarna Viking Rose

White Surger

How machines have changed over the years.  I look at machines even now since we purchased my Rose about fourteen years ago and the things that the new machines can do now.   Maybe I can get my machine serviced, now I have a back up machine.

Waiting for some snow today, not a lot, and doing some sewing.  Have a wonderful day!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

It may be cold......

It may be cold and look like this out side my windows....

But it makes me feel a little warmer looking at these and doing some planning for this spring.

It's that time of year again when the seed catalogs start showing up in the mail.  I have been going through them and picking out seeds for the garden.  This year I would like to try and save some of my seeds, this will be something new for me.  Doing some research and trying to figure out if it will work for us.  The garden space here is small so I know some of the plants it won't work for them because of cross pollination.
I have been gardening for many years.  The first gardens were planted at my parents farm when we were first married.  Then eventually we were able to move into the country and have the garden at our place.  The gardens were always planted in rows far enough apart to till between them.  This is how I grew up gardening with my mom.  As time has went by and we are now gardening in a smaller yard the gardening style has had to change.  I am learning more about gardening in small places.  It is amazing how much you can get into a smaller garden.  With the rising costs of food I am looking to get even more out of our available space.   I am planning on putting some of the garden plants in with the flower beds this year.  

Gardening with clay soil has also been a real challenge.  The ideal would be to have raised beds, but that is not in the budget again this year.  After reading about Lasagna gardening this is something that we will be trying in part of the garden, along with adding more compost in other areas.

Even with the smaller garden we are able to raise most of our own vegetables and can for the winter months. There is not room to plant corn, squash, or pumpkins.  We have been able to get these from local farmers.   

Over the next few weeks my plan is to decide what we will plant and where.  It won't be long and it will be time to start some seeds.

On Tuesday we got a turkey from an Amish family, that I decided to can.  My first time in canning turkey.  First I cut up the turkey so it would fit in my big soup pot, then cooked it about medium done.  Decided to put the meat in pint jars for us.  The turkey wasn't overly large so I got 6 pints.  

Also took the carcass along with onions, celery, carrots, thyme, parsley and garlic and made some soup stock that I canned today.  Ended up with 6 quarts of stock with meat pieces in it.  

We are expecting a cold weekend with wind chills down to 15 below.  Good time to stay inside and do some baking and sewing along with more garden planning.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

We had a wonderful Christmas!  Was able to spend time with family and friends.  On Christmas Eve we went to my brothers home to spend time with my nieces and nephews and my great niece and nephew and my dad.  Our kids and grandsons were also there.  We were able to get back in time to go to the Christmas Eve service at our grandson's church.  It was a very special time.

The grandsons had to frost their ginger bread cookie again this year.  Even as they get older they still enjoy frosting and decorating their cookie.

Keiven getting the cookie frosted so he can eat it.

Jonathan likes a lot of frosting and sprinkles.  The one time he gets to do the cookie any way he wants!
The best part is eating them!

Opening gifts!

So thankful for the time we were able to celebrate with family and friends.

(Sorry I can't make it flip)
These two little girls have been with our grandson's family for the past five months.  They have become
part of our family.  They will be going to live with family next weekend.  It will be hard to see them go.
They will be far from us, but they will stay in our hearts and prayers.
This will be the hard part of them having foster children. 
Today was spent taking down the tree and getting the house back in order.  Of course we have to watch the Rose Bowl.........GO WISCONSIN.........