Saturday, March 31, 2012

About reposts...

I'm in the process (very slow process, I might add) of moving posts over to this blog from my original blog on Homestead Blogger.  So if it's an old post, I'll just put repost in parenthesis next to the title.  If you haven't seen the other blog, you are welcome to see it on

I started it a few years ago to chronicle our homestead adventures, so there is mostly homesteading and recipe posts.  I started this blog later to have one spot for all of my homeschooling resources.  And now, I'm just trying to put it all together to make it easier on myself now that life seems to be so busy with 3 kids to teach, a toddler running about, goats kidding and needing to be milked, attempting to not eat foods I'm allergic to, etc, etc, etc...I'll spare you the whole boring list.

Mrs. P

Cinnamon Scones (a repost from my other blog)

This morning we woke to find the temperature had been dropping all night and by 7:30 we were seeing big, fat flakes of snow with stinging bits of sleet all swirled together.  Coming back from doing the barn chores, Miss A requested scones for breakfast.  We haven't had scones in quite some time so I decided to make them and have them with tea this morning as a mid morning snack. 

I found this particular scone recipe when I was reading the Anne of Green Gables series of books.  I loved the images I conjured in my mind as I read of Anne learning to cook, hosting the preacher's wife for tea, and the best was when she had to explode into an afternoon tea and confess she'd thrown a dead mouse out of the preserves that were about to be consumed, but had neglected to also throw out the preserves.  So in the spirit of Anne, we started having tea at least once a week (minus the mice) and these scones are our family favorite. I mean what's not to love with honey, butter and flour???

Truly scones are lovely to see and eat and the best part is how easy they are to make.  You can follow the recipe and make picture perfect scones at your house.  And maybe when you have a bite you will think of Ann of Green Gables and all of your friends that are kindred spirits.  Even better would be to make the scones and tea and have a kindred spirit over for a visit.  And don't forget the preserves or honey, but make sure there aren't any dead mice in it first.

Cinnamon Scones
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium bowl, stir together:
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
Cut in 1/2 c. of cold, sliced butter and set aside.
In a 1 cup glass measuring cup mix together:
1/3 c. buttermilk (may need more later)
3 T. honey
1 egg, beaten
In a small bowl, stir together 2 T. sugar and 1/4 t. cinnamon
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients in the medium bowl.  Stir until blended, adding more buttermilk if needed.  Pat the dough on a floured counter and knead 3-5 times.  Shape dough into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Put dough circle onto a baking stone. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top of the dough circle.  With a sharp knife, cut the circle into 8 wedges.  Gently separate wedges and bake at 400* for 10-12 minutes or until browned.  Serve warm with butter and preserves.
Mrs. P

Spring Cleaning Fun!

I have found the most awesome FREE resource for those with a bent toward spring cleaning.  Please go to this link to find out more about Clean Heart Clean House.  You can find the complete 85 page pdf document here. May God bless Amy for providing such a professional resource for free.  It really is great, with step by step directions and forms to get your house Martha clean while also developing a Mary heart.  If you would like to declutter and clean out that chaotic home and heart with others, you can join the ladies on Making The Home Yahoo Group.  That group will begin the challenge with the devotional tomorrow and cleaning begins on Monday.  If you start then, you will be completed with the challenge on May 22 as it's a 52 day challenge. So there ya go.  No more excuses.  You have either the written pdf or an entire yahoo group to hold your hand as you spring clean.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Meet George Jetson! Houses in the future

For a unique learning experience, watch this video of the future of glass and technology.  There are a variety of writing projects that this lends itself too. I think this is most suited for the logic stage of development (ages 12 and up).  However, with my grammar age children (ages 8 & 10) there was some very good discussion about the video, whereas the older student can develop those thoughts into a complete essay.  I found the video fascinating, especially from a Charlotte Mason mom point of view.  I was so sad to see the technology in the forest, however my children thought it just enhanced that nature study.  Call me old fashioned, but I could write a whole thesis on how that could detract from the nature study, rather than enhance it.   Speaking of which, if you have older students in a co-op, this could lend itself to a great debate assignment.  Assign each team to one of the two viewpoints - 1.  technology enhances nature study  2. technology distracts from nature study.  Or better yet, have them prepare for BOTH viewpoints and then draw which viewpoint they will debate. 

Here are some ideas for writing prompts.

How does the technology of the future enhance nature study?  Or does it inhibit nature study?  

Which of the features would be the most valuable to society?

What do anticipate will happen to real life books in this future?  Will people still have books?  Is this good or bad?

Do you see any dangers or negative aspects to this house of the future?  Why?

What do you think of the house of the future?

Mrs. P

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stocking the Pantry #1- Taco Soup

Don't you wish your pantry looked like this one?!?!  Click this link to see this photo and more at Design Sponge because really all the photos are just as inspiring

Stocking the Pantry for Taco Soup

So my pantry is in need of being tended to.  Somehow, it keeps getting moved to the bottom of the to do list.  And now it screams my name when I walk by saying, "Fill me. Clean me. Organize me."  So rather than actually clean it, fill it, or organize it, I will WRITE about it.    

Part of Miss A's home economics lesson is the plan the menu and do the shopping.  So I decided to start with an additional lesson on stocking the pantry.  While I tend to vary our meals, certain recipes hit the menu more frequently than others.  So my plan is to stock the panty once or twice a month with all the ingredients (at least shelf stable ingredients) for one recipe for a year's worth of eating.  Wow, that made total sense when I thought it, but looks really "wordy" all typed out.  To make that simple, this month I will stock my pantry with all the ingredients for a family favorite.  I'll stock enough to last a year.  I figure that if I plan for a year, then one recipe at a time is an attainable goal. 

So Taco Soup is my first recipe to stock up.  I figure we eat it once a month.  Of course, we don't eat it in the 100+ degree temps of July and August, but we might eat it twice, say in January or December.  I'm hoping it all evens out in the end.  And of course buying 12 cans of beans would be too easy, so I'm planning on canning my own beans.  ;-)

So here goes.  My plan to stock up with 1 year's worth of ingredients for Taco Soup.
12 pints of pinto or black beans. (Purchase 6-7 pounds of dry beans, if you plan to can your own)
12 cans of corn
12 cans of diced green chilis
12 cans of Ro-tel Tomatoes
12 cans petite diced tomatoes
12 packages of taco seasoning (I actually make my own)
If you have your own dairy cow, then you might want to also add your sour cream culture to have on hand.  I like this brand of sour cream culture. 
You can also find rennet and other cultures at New England Cheesemaking, however I have yet to master making my own cheddar cheese, but with the Jersey due at the end of the month, and my Skipper the Nubian diary goat due any minute, I dare say I shall have ample opportunity to practice this spring.

I almost always have ground beef, cheddar cheese, corn chips and sour cream on hand, so having these things in my pantry will mean that I will always have the ingredients for this simple crock pot supper.  If you decide to keep the taco seasoning on hand, then you will want to keep it in a glass jar to help it last longer and keep pesky grain beetles from finding their way into it.  You could also keep it in the freezer to keep it the freshest.I keep all my cheese cultures in the freezer for that very reason.

I listed this as Stocking the Pantry #1 because I plan to add a post about it each month.  Ideally, I will end up with a pantry well stocked for at least a dozen easy to put together meals.  The next pantry recipe to stock will be Chicken Enchiladas with home canned chicken...or turkey, depending on which you prefer to raise.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chewy Granola Bars (gluten free)

We have been enjoying this granola bar for many years.  I make huge amounts of it up and freeze the bars for snacks throughout the month.  I found the recipe on the website.  I have found many, many, many tried and true delicious recipes that are freezer friendly there.  I'll list them below.  But first the link to the granola bars.

image from

The ingredients are: rolled oats, crushed corn flakes, rice krispies, etc.  Now that you can find gluten free oats and rice krispies, this is a very good recipe that can be gluten free as well.  I can't remember if regular corn flakes are gluten free, but I have purchased corn flake type cereals that ARE gluten free and they would be a good substitute in this recipe.  I found this recipe is very, very similar to the Quaker chewy granola bars we were buying.  I have made the recipe as it is stated and also with sucanat instead of brown sugar.  Both ways are nice, with the brown sugar version being a little more like the store bought bars.  I know they freeze well, because I usually make the largest batch for 180 bars.  

Here are other recipes that I love to have on hand from 30 Day Gourmet.

  1. Loaded Baked Potato Soup
  2. "Soup"erior Meatloaf
  3. Twice Baked Potatoes
  4. Pretty as Pink Frozen Salad
  5. Salisbury Patties
  6. Time to Spare Spuds