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.
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.
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.
Sending love, and holiday greetings from our homestead to yours.
– Abby Jo
We tend to bake on the weekends and we like to make it special. Pastries and fancy cakes are amazing tea time treats. Any one who knows me, knows I love some tea time 🙂 But alas, I have never made macarons, until now. I always thought they might be a bit too fancy for me to make. Simply not true! With this great tutorial, Angela the ParisienneFarmgirl made the whole process easy and explained everything very well. The picture above is my first batch ever, I think they turned out pretty good! I need to work on size control :)
If you ever get the hankering to make some yummy French cookies, check out this great tutorial!
I know a lot of you have been around for awhile, but I have been getting a lot of new readers. I think there is a little confusion over where we live and what we are doing. So, I’m going to clarify a few things again for all the new readers 🙂 We live in a small town setting on a small lot. Town homesteading, if you will, we purchased this property as an investment. We have lived here for just over a year and plan on fixing and improving our property for the next 2-4 years. Our BIG goal, is to buy ten to twenty acres and homestead full time. We are working on putting things into place now, that will pay off later. We also have a goal to learn as much as we can, right now while we have the time. Because we know how much work it is to start a homestead from scratch, how do we know? Well, for five years we lived off-grid building up our five-acre homestead. We sold our five-acre homestead a year ago, to regroup, reinvest, and plan for our future.
I know a lot of you like the Off-Grid info, and part of you would like more on town homesteading. I plan on giving a little of both worlds. We will revisit our old homestead, and show you how we apply what we learned from homesteading those five years. We are working on permaculture design on our town lot and it’s really changing how we look at gardening. Like I said before, “I really believe you can homestead anywhere, it’s a mindset more than anything”.
Daniel made it out of pallet wood, and I love it.
Happy almost Spring!
– Abby Jo
Add the meat of choice to a zip lock bag, pour in olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a three to one ratio (vinegar 1 and balsamic 3), next you are going to add lots of minced garlic (to each his own taste), salt & pepper, and a Mediterranean herb mix. Let sit over night. When you take it out, let it sit at room temp. for a least an hour before cooking. This makes for a quick and super easy marinade.
This weekend was one of those perfect weekends. We cooked together, worked side by side, and had fits of laughter. Every bit of food you see posted today, are pics of what we made this weekend. We connected and recharged.
We decided the last evening to forgo dinner, and have a high tea instead.
– Abby Jo
One thing I love about old sewing machines is how they were built like cars. Who thought of making all those knobs look like they came off a vintage car radio? It adds so much character and glamour.
I’m hoping to make many more things like it, this summer and I’ll keep you posted.
We needed some fencing, and fast. So, hubby and the kids got to work building some wattle fencing for the duck yard.
Now the dream has finally become a reality.
WARNING: Do not get ducks if you are not prepared to watch their adorable antics, every time you walk by. I’m Serious!
Why Ducks? I love my Chickens, but wanted a second source for eggs. They are amazing at putting out the eggs! Secretly though, I just love those cute little ducks.
The French say that baked goods are superior when duck eggs are used. I can’t wait to get some of those beautiful eggs!
½ C. Butter
2 C. Milk
2 teaspoons. Vanilla Extract
2 C. Flour
5 Tablespoons. Sugar
This fills two Cast Iron pans (8-9 inch skillets).
Divide the 1/2 C. of butter between each cast iron pan; place pans in a 425 degree oven until the butter is melted and bubbly (you want it melted, but don’t burn the butter).
Combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat well and slowly stir in flour and sugar. Beat until smooth. Pour the batter into the hot pans.
Bake for 20 minutes or until well-raised and slightly brown on top.
We love to drizzle lemon juice, berries, or maple syrup on top.