About 5 years ago this was my first DIY Kicksled attempt at trying to quite 5 excited children with scrap wood from our clothes drying rack business and a broken chair. They all helped me build it in the living room, handing me screws and much needed guidance on where what should go.
Two Thumbs Up!
In the same spirit of building with what I have on hand, I repurposed the head board from a daybed made from oak. The kids bought me a pair of cross country skis last year, in hopes that I could again make a homemade Kicksled for them. The old one didn't make it past two seasons of heavy use. I beefed this one up, and am really happy with it.
It was on a Sunday around 6pm that the inspiration hit me, so my second oldest helped me until 9:30pm. Some of the children where in bed already, but as news spread that Dad had made a new Kicksled, they all came out for a peek. What was supposed to be a peek turned into an all out sledding party until 11:00pm, we went to bed with our faces hurting from smiling.
Don't brake this one.
What have you all been up to? Busy, I am sure :)
The Holidays are lots of fun with a big family like ours.
We focus on enjoying each other, and the lovely season.
Every year I seem to get better at just letting go, keeping things simple. This Christmas was the best, we enjoyed great fellowship with family, friends, and had lots of good food!
I made a ton of rolls! I'll have to share the recipe, it's awesome. I get requests for these all the time.
Our dear friends gave us a prime rib as a gift, and believe it or not... I have never cooked a prime rib! After I checked in with Pioneer Women (thru her cookbook...hehe) I cooked that pretty piece of meat. I then realized that when someone gives you a Prime Rib, they LOVE you! It was the best thing ever, and I nailed the medium rare cook that we like :)
Pies, yes we made pies! Three to be exact. You should try our Pumpkin Honey Cream Pie
It's neat to see your kids starting to cook all sorts of things as they get older, and it really helps out during the Holidays!
My middle daughter is becoming our little artist, and changes the scenes on our huge six foot chalk board all the time.
My geranium is living, and looking quite healthy. This is the first time I've overwintered a geranium. I'm getting the itch to start plants soon, but I shall be patient and wait.
The long winter is upon us, and now it's time to dream and plan. I actually like this time of year. I like all the seasons as I get older, I feel it's important not to rush things, but enjoy each season and time for they all have a purpose. Winter is reflection, resting, and planning for the new year.
We didn't take a family photo this year. So, I made a collage of sorts. We wish you all a Happy New Year from our Homestead to yours!
- Abby Jo
After watching a few youtube videos showing how to make a metal rose, I decided to make an improved version.
Using the help of one of my sons, we did some brainstorming to improve the design. For one, we added more petals and used copper wire for the stem. Texturing each petal was the fun part, we traded the texturing job, one for you, one for me, one for you, and one for me.
Abby loves flowers, and now she has a forever rose. Her reaction was priceless," I don't even know how you made this" then raising the rose to her nose she added, "I need my rose perfume."
It has found a good home on the computer desk, in a slender vase where we can enjoy it all day.
The Christmas Hamper, a perfect old fashioned gift.
When Daniel and I started this homesteading journey long ago, I fell in love with the Christmas hamper basket. We started out on our land building a homestead from scratch, we sure didn’t have a lot of money, but I loved giving gifts. Reading old books got me seriously curious about the old fashioned idea of Hamper baskets. It seemed the perfect answer, I grew my own food, made my own soaps, candles, and herbal teas.
And, to me homesteading has always been about the food! What a perfect way to showcase your bounty from your homestead, along with seasonal favorites.
The tradition of giving hampers really started during the Victorian times, when wealthy families put together hamper baskets of food and drink for their staff, and the poor. There was often a enough food for a week. The food, usually seasonal produce, would be enough for families to have a Christmas feast of their own.
What is really interesting is that giving of hampers was often a charitable gesture, until a London department store caught on to the idea of sending hampers as gifts to family and loved ones.
What a delightful tradition. Simple, frugal, and you don’t have to worry about your gift going into a yard sale pile next year ;) And really, I couldn’t think of a better way to share your own handmade delicacies.
I collect unique hamper and picnic style baskets all year long, I often find my best ones at thrift stores. I also keep on the lookout for vintage mugs, tea cups, and cool jars.
Here are a few ideas to fill your baskets brimming full with all kinds of Christmas goodness!
Start out with a beautiful basket, jars, bags, tissue paper, twine and labels.
Fill your basket full, brimming is best. You want someone to feel blessed, loved and fed.
Here is a list of things you might want to put in your Hamper Basket:
Jams and Jellies
Smoked or Dried Meats
Coffee, Tea, Cocoa
Homemade Candies and Confections
You get the idea! Food, lots and lots of food.
I also like to add Mugs, soaps, lip balm, candles, hand towels, heirloom seeds, and anything that adds a cozy charm to the hamper.
Christmas hamper - "In primarily British usage, it refers to a wicker basket, usually large, that is used for the transport of items, often food."
Think about how everyone lives in different areas and climates and how unique and individual everyone’s hamper baskets could be. I hope you all revive this wonderful tradition on your homestead.
Sending love, and holiday greetings from our homestead to yours.
- Abby Jo
Roasted Squash Soup
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 of a large onion
8 C. Roasted Squash
4 C. Chicken Broth
1 C. parmesan
pint of cream
Salt and pepper
1/2 C. Butter
In a large pot, sauté minced garlic and diced onion together in a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
Add the roasted squash, chicken broth, and stir into the sautéed mixture. Simmer together for ten minutes. After ten minutes of simmering, add the parmesan cheese and cream. For seasoning, a dash of nutmeg and salt & pepper to your taste. Heat thoroughly, on a LOW simmer. Now, add the butter and blend together in batches in your blender or use an immersion blender until creamy and smooth. Garnish with slivers of parmesan and enjoy!
Here it is, you all have been wondering when I would do another video. I'll tell you, I'm still not sure if I even like doing videos? You kinda have to not care that you are being filmed. I try to just chill and talk like you are in my kitchen. If you like this video, share it on social media or make a comment so I know it's worth my time doing these videos :)
I do have another fun one for the Holidays ready to go, so will be uploading that soon.
- Abby Jo
Shared on Farmgirl Fridays
When I switched my blog a few years ago, I didn't do it right and lost most of my posts. Sad, but true. I have them on my computer and can repost them. So, I might repost pictures from our past!
Below, is the old wood cookstove my husband Daniel refurbished from my friend's cabin. We used it in our home to cook on, during the fall and winter months. When we moved, it went back to my friend's home.
As you can see, it was a rusty mess and had some holes all the way thru in some spots. After Daniel had some time with a grinder and some metal he salvaged from an old fridge (he riveted the metal to a really bad spot in the back), the stove started to come back to life. We cleaned it really good, and then tried our first fire in it! You know these stoves were made really good in their day, I couldn't believe how well the little beauty cooked. I believe this model was built around the forties?
I guess you could call this post a show and tell, I've always loved wood cookstoves and cooking on this stove was something I always wanted to do. Plus, I have a thing for black and white enamel. As you can see, my teapot below matched the wood cookstove and many other black and white enamel dishes I have.
My children have grown up so much, I think I'm going to cry. My daughter below still loves to flip the pancakes for me :)
I hope you enjoyed this quick blast from the past post!
Do any of you cook on a wood cookstove, or have a desire to try your hand at it someday?
- Abby Jo
It's that time of year again! Thought I would repost this video. We will be releasing some new videos in time for the Holidays, keep a watch out :)
I don't know about you, but I have to have a real tree every year. That smell, and those lights bring me back to the farm house I was raised in, and those early years that are always so dear to my heart.
Everywhere you look in my house right now, it seems to be stuffed with food in all the crannies and nooks, a lot of it from our garden. It makes me feel like a squirrel and so blessed to have good nutritious food. I just wanted to show you what it looks like the day before Thanksgiving at our house, in all it's domestic glory.
You know my favorite pictures online are pictures of pantries and root cellars, does that say anything about me?
Kneading bread and smelling all the delicious smells around me, make my tummy a little rumbly!
Two pumpkin pies in the oven, or should I call them Blue Hubbard pies?
My sweet girl, cooking with my daughter is half the fun :)
First real snow yesterday, and the little man's first time playing in the snow! He was so happy to go sledding, that look below kills me. So stinking cute. Sorry, momma heart speaking.
We cooked all day, and we are having scrambled eggs and sourdough english muffins for dinner, enough said! Just keeping it real ;)
Did anyone cook all day today? Or do you do all your cooking on the day of?
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
- Abby Jo
This is such a simple salad to mix up for the holidays, the honey, mayo, and vinegar dressing adds a nice tang to all the lovely ingredients. I grew up eating this salad at all our holiday gatherings, and it's a favorite of ours. Hope you give it a try, I know you will love it!
Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Bacon Salad
1 head of cauliflower,
2 lb. Broccoli,
1 med. Red Onion,
1 lb. Bacon, crisply fried and chopped small
1/2 C. Sunflower seeds,
1 C. Raisins, or dried cranberries (I went all crazy and put both in)
Chop the Cauliflower and Broccoli into medium sized chunks, dice the Red Onion finely and add the Bacon, Sunflower seeds, and Raisins combining in a large bowl. Add dressing and combine.
If preparing in advance, you will want to add the dressing the day of serving to avoid sogginess.
1/2 C. Mayonnaise (homemade tastes best)
1/4 C. Honey,
2 T. Apple cider vinegar,
Whisk all above ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
And now to finish Thanksgiving preparations. Happy Thanksgiving folks :)
- Abby Jo
Hello everyone! It's Jo here. I was looking back through the archives and saw this scone recipe and as today is a cozy snow day, I thought it'd be a perfect time to indulge with scones for tea time. This a variation of the original, I added fresh Cranberries and Pecans for a more festive taste.
To top it all off, I also whipped up a batch of mock Devonshire cream. Yummy! However, I would like to find a good recipe for REAL Devonshire cream. Any suggestions?
Cranberry Pecan Scones
2 C. Flour,
1/3 C. Sugar,
1 tsp. Baking Powder,
¼ tsp. Baking Soda,
1/4 tsp. Salt,
½ C. Butter or one stick,
2/3 C. Buttermilk,
3/4 C. Fresh Cranberries,
1/2 C. Chopped Pecans,
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Combine the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Then cut the butter in to the flour mixture just as you would with biscuits.
Add the cranberries and pecans to that mixture.
Stir in the buttermilk and gently mix everything together until it's completely combined.
Gently pat in to a circle on a greased baking sheet and cut into wedges.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 min. or until it's baked though the middle.
And for the mock Devonshire Cream...
8 oz. Cream Cheese,
1/4 C. Sour Cream,
6 T. Powdered Sugar
Whip the cream cheese and sour cream until thoroughly combined.
Then mix in the powdered sugar until smooth.
Enjoy on your freshly baked scones!
Do you have scones and tea time regularly?
Daniel & Abby Jo
We are passionate about the forgotten arts, homesteading, whole foods, and simple living.
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