Thursday, July 31, 2014

Why, You Could Just Go To The Store And Buy That!

   For the past 20 some years, I have been making home made soap from scratch. The first time I ever made soap, my toddler (who is now almost 25) put her hand into the raw soap and put the soap in her mouth. Fortunately, it only got on her lips, but unfortunately, her lips were burned and hurt all night long, and would have continued to hurt, but God had mercy on her, and touched her lips as some people were praying for her the next morning.

   Soap making must be therapeutic for me because I find myself enjoying the process of making it. But the main reason I make it now, is because homemade soap is, what I consider, a 'safe' product, meaning that it is a product that isn't made in a factory, and doesn't contain all the additives and chemicals of store bought soap.

I have made homemade laundry soap, root beer, deodorant, toothpaste, yogurt, buttermilk, cultured butter, cream cheese, bread, pasta, and a host of other things. Why do I do this? Am I so bored that I have to come up with things to do?

  We are living in a unique time, which mankind has never lived in before. Technology is developing so quickly and we have so many modern conveniences at our fingertips. Science is developing ways to change the genetic structure of food in order to make it prettier and to taste good. Biotechnology is developing ways to make food stretch. Industrialized farms use fillers in their feed, so that all the animals can have food. Factories have been built which put pollution in the air and water. Cars and trucks are becoming more and more efficient, yet, even with all the filtering, the air is still becoming tainted. Grocery stores came about in 1946, providing an easier means for people to get their groceries. Because of the ease of using processed foods, farmer's markets have lost business. It's a lot easier making something from a box or jar than it is to get the ingredients yourself and make the meal. (An example of this is Spaghetti sauce. It is already premade and sold in jars in the grocery store). People aren't thinking that it is possible to make your own spaghetti sauce at home anymore. Our great grandparents didn't have that luxury, and the only way they would have made spaghetti sauce was to get the ingredients together and make it.

   One of the most dangerous disadvantages in our day is eating food that has been sprayed with insecticides. I saw a show on TV many years ago, depicting people spraying fields of wheat. Whenever I buy flour (unless it is organic) I remember that it probably has been sprayed and it is not good for us to eat anything made from this flour. But I always wondered, what are the options? Any alternatives?

     It is true, that we could go to the store and buy a bar or bundle of soap. We can buy boxed pizza mixes, and jars of pasta sauce along with boxed pasta. I am not writing this to place condemnation on anyone, nor am I trying to set up a legalistic standard by which we can so easily fall from, but, I am explaining why I make as many things as I can, at home, using my own selected ingredients.

   For all the niceties we have available to us today, there are (what I call) trade offs. That simply means that we have a lot of conveniences that were never available in the past, but there is a cost (or will be a cost at some time in the future).

     Years ago, as food items were being evaluated, whatever the name of the group was at that time, probably did a fair job at deciding whether a food item was actually safe for a person or not. This judgment is not exclusively about food either. Today we have the FDA, which stands for the Food and Drug Administration, to evaluate food items, as well as drugs, to determine if the food or drug is safe enough to eat. The problem is, whatever standard the FDA is using, it is way too lenient. I believe, in part, this has to do with the fact that most people who work for the government (as well as for any company or organization today) are not believers in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This simply means that the decisions they make will not be based from people's minds who have the wisdom of God. The decisions that are being made are made from minds of people who are unregenerate (not born again) and their minds are carnal, at best. They are not people who look to the future to find what will be best in the long run. They are only looking at what they see today, and what will bring money into them today. And as long as people support them by buying processed food and junk food item, they will continue to make their products.

      I have lived through watching many of these changes take place. But my grandmother saw even a bigger amount of change than I did. My grandmother spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I am sorry to say that I missed out on eating whatever she made because I was too distracted with everything around. My grandmother was homemaking even before grocery stores were available. When she was growing up, there were no factories that made soap that would be sold at stores. As my mom was growing up, they grew a lot of their own food, even chickens to eat! Not many do that today. Although my grandmother claimed to be sick, she never went to a doctor for anything (except to have a baby!). She lived to be 92 years old. Her memory was very good up until the end of her life.

   I once watched, or rather listened to, a show on TV depicting two women who were going to trade places in their homes. One was a Christian and the other was very modern and worldly. At first, the Christian lady seemed to make a lot of sense, but I didn't understand some things she incorporated into her home. For example, her family made a decision to move into a home suited for them, and they would live primitive lives. They had no electricity in their home. I am not sure of what the reason for this was though. Were they trying to make their lives as hard as possible, or was there a logical reason for not having electricity?

   I am not saying that we should be doing hard things just for the sake of doing hard things! We live in a generation that seeks pleasure, entertainment, convenience and comfort. We have these things because they are available to us, and we think they are normal for us to have!

   A question that some people have asked me is, 'Do you cook meals for your family?'. At first, I thought this was a no brainer. Of course. Everyone cooks for their family. Somebody does the cooking. But as I study this, probably not. You see, cooking is too hard for some people to do. I use myself as an example of this as well.

   When I got married, we didn't have bridal registrations at Target or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Plus, I didn't know many of the people in our church, or, for some reason, had not met them yet. I got many presents from people, mostly my mom's friends and these unknown church people. I had no idea how to use much of the stuff I got. It was a shame because people bought me nice things, but they were too hard for me to figure out how to use. The reason for this, I believe, is that I was a product of our culture. Reading an instruction booklet was like reading a Chinese comic book! Too hard!

   By God's grace, things have changed for me. Necessity provided the reason for taking the time to learn how to serve my family, and how to read instruction booklets in order to use items that were necessary for me to help my family with.

  No, I'm not just going to go to a store and buy an item I need to use, if I can help it. But it is a long, long process and I am no where near the end of it. It is a journey and it is a good one.

   Along these lines, there is a book written by Alex and Brett Harris called, 'Doing Hard Things'. It is addressed to teenagers, but, this book is not only for teenagers, I believe people in this generation need to read this book as well! There are also pdf files on the internet, related to this book and its study guide.

So Much To Do - It's All Good Too!

   All those little tasks are hard to remember, so I started to write them down. So far, today, I have accomplished a few of them that needed to get done. There's still quite a few tasks that will have to wait until tomorrow.
   My accomplishments for today include, cleaning 2 litter boxes out, starting a 'ginger bug' which is a culture made with ginger that is used in making root beer, writing a couple of blogs, making sunflower seed butter, and making a long awaited trip to Trader Joe's. Did I mention that I am completely finished with making a graphic to put onto T-Shirts for us to wear in the Christmas Parade?
   Anyway, Trader Joe's seems to be a really cool store. Lots of organic stuff there. Very crowded though. Kind of reminds me of a Whole Foods store. Every time I go to Whole Foods, it is too crowded to make my way through the aisles!
   I have always like hot dogs, in spite of the fact that my biology teacher in ninth grade told us that he went to a factory that made hot dogs, and he said that if you knew how hot dogs were made, you would never eat another one. I always pray over my food and have never researched how hot dogs are made, but recently I have learned more and more of the dangers of nitrates and nitrites. I also heard that children who eat a lot of hot dogs were at risk for cancer. Kind of takes the fun out of eating hot dogs with news like that.
   Trader Joe's and Whole Foods have come to the rescue though. They both sell Nitrate free hot dogs, and the hot dogs actually taste pretty good. I have tried other brands that don't have nitrates, but they don't taste good. Now we can all return to our hot dog eating again.
   I get to drink the root beer I made last week. It tastes just as good as the first batch. I am always amazed at how a 'ginger bug' can ferment the root beer enough to make it super carbonated. I have a short video showing what it looks like when you open a bottle up.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Play Games For Family Fun And Creating Memories

   I have some pretty strange memories of when I was growing up, but some of them were pretty cool. My family, on my mom's side, tend to be night owls. We also were one of the first families out of all my relatives, to move down to Florida from New Jersey.

   When relatives wanted to go on vacation, guess where they visited? Our house, of course. Florida was known as the 'Sunshine State' but every time my aunt and uncle came down, it rained every day that they were with us. But we had fun anyway.

   Because we are all night owls on that side of the family, we would be playing cards during the night when most people were sleeping. We played Crazy Eights. We had a lot of fun, while others were making night sounds!

   But everyone moved down to Florida, so we don't have any more card games during the night. But, I still have decks of cards and I bring them when we go on vacation. My husband can take the kids hiking, but I can get out the cards and we can play cards as long as we want to. We do go swimming together though, most of the time, weather permitting.

  There are different card games that families can play, but one I like a lot is Uno. They look a little different than regular cards but they are just as fun to play.

   In a day when Apple has taken over our minds, we can still stop what we are doing on our computers and I-Pads, and get out a deck of cards! What games do you play with your families?

My New Business Name

    I know the saying is true, that we shouldn't count our chickens before they hatch, but, I am making plans for something that I think will be really cool.

   I have always wanted to do organic gardening, and have started gardens many times, only to be interrupted by home school activities, having babies and toddlers, and just trying to keep up with everyday life, so, I would start a garden, or plant some seeds, but then they would be left unattended. I never had a period of time where I could accomplish any gardening goals, until now.

   Gardening at my house has always had problems though, and it usually costs too much to remedy them, so, I tend to not stick with things when they get too difficult. But now, I have faced the problems head on, and am working through each one as they come. And I have stuck with the gardening for several months now, so I know I can actually do it.

   If everything grows right, and I continue to buy fabric pots and soil mixtures, I will have a lot of fruit and vegetable plants growing in my yard. I plan to use a lot of the food I grow, for different things like tomato sauces, pastes, condiments, etc. I can also use an extra to bring to the homeless outreach we attend once a month.

   But, if I grow a lot of food, I also can sell it. If it looks as pretty as it does in the pictures, the tomatoes will be beautiful. So will the lettuce. There might even be some fruit!

   I think I will call my new business, 'Oma's Mini Acres'.

Proverbs 31

An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.


Friday, July 25, 2014

If You Come To My House To Dine...

  If you come to my house to dine, you may be surprised at what you will be served! But don't be afraid. Whatever I make has had considerable thought put into it, and almost everything I make I consider to be a 'safe food'. (I will have to list the standard I have for what I consider to be a 'safe food' item.).

   One time, we had some guests over, and the man was commenting that he had never had goat's milk before. Should I tell him? We were eating pudding made with goat's milk! Well, pudding made with goat's milk doesn't really taste any different than pudding made with cow's milk, but it is udderly rich! Most of the time, the goat's milk comes raw, from a local farm. Despite what some might think, it doesn't smell like excrement from an animal!

   Yes, I also make my own pasta, usually. Did you know that many who suffer from gluten intolerance can handle eating bread products in Italy? If I make my own pasta, I make it with pure semolina. If I use pasta from the store, I make sure it is imported. No more cheap pasta for us or our friends who visit!

  I also make my own spaghetti sauce. Now, instead of using canned tomatoes, I use organic tomatoes to make the sauce with. I still use tomato paste from the can though, but am working on growing paste tomatoes and making them into a paste.

   I have posted on another blog, the results of the root beer making. It ended up tasting good, except it wasn't very sweet, so I added Stevia to the finished product.

Here is a basic recipe for pudding made with goat's milk:


* 2 cups goat's milk (or coconut milk)
* 1/3 cup sugar (I use liquid Stevia or xylitol, to taste)
* 2 egg yolks
* 2 TBS. cornstarch or thickening agent
* Melted Butter (maybe about 2 TBS.)
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  Combine milk, egg yolks, sweeteners, and cornstarch in a blender or use a mixer. Pour into a medium sized saucepan and cook on medium heat until the mixture starts to boil. When it does start to boil, let it slowly boil for about a minute, then remove the pot from the stove and add melted butter and vanilla extract. Pour into pudding dishes or a glass bowl. Serves 4 or 5. Original recipe comes from the Betty Crocker cookbook.
  If you want to make chocolate pudding, increase sugar to 1/2 cup and add 1/3 cup of powdered chocolate to the blender. Adding the melted butter at the end is not necessary.
  I personally like the skin on top of the pudding, and I like to eat the pudding warm, but you can either place waxed paper over the top or just remove the skin after it cools. Refrigerate pudding if it is going to be served later on.
  Also, I have recently used the Vitamix to blend the ingredients, and I have noticed that there is no skin on the tops of the puddings when I make it this way. You can also just use a whisk to blend the ingredients, but using a whisk could leave some lumps in the pudding.
  The butter doesn't have to be melted, but it will incorporate more easily if it is.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hospitality - Good Times With Other People

  The Bible talks about our being given to hospitality. But just what is hospitality? My original thoughts were that hospitality is making a nice dinner, putting out the best dishes, serving a fancy dessert and then having a cup of coffee to tea with the guest. Hospitality might include those things, but it certainly is not limited to them.
    Years ago, we invited a couple over for dinner. We were young and they were younger. I had the nice dishes on the table and the cloth napkins were folded up in a decorative way. The young woman who was our guest felt intimidated by all this. I guess, you never really know what a person thinks about your service unless they tell you!

   We learned something from a book on hospitality, that I will never forget. The phrase went something like this, or had this effect; Put out your everyday dishes for guests, and put out your china dishes for your family. I think the principle is cool. You want your guests to feel like family, and you also want your family to feel special. Of course, do not do this at the same meal! That would look strange to have your family's china dishes on the table along with the everyday dishes. That would be very confusing to everyone!

   Doing hospitality doesn't have to center around food though. Hospitality involves taking time to get to know someone, and to know them better. Sometimes, the food can get in the way. I have had people over and had not had the time I wanted to spend with them because I spend a lot of the time washing dishes and putting food away. Obviously, some of that has to be done, but, if a person is clever, they can do a lot of work ahead of time. So, a goal I am working on is to not spend too much time in the kitchen once the meal is over.

  One of my friends told me that she has a friend who has company over at times. The woman and her husband prepare everything ahead of time, and clean up all the cookware and kitchen, so they don't have to do that later. Another great idea to embrace.

   Even better though, is getting away from all the food, and zeroing in on a person, giving the guest as much attention as possible. That is what hospitality is about. Think of Mary and Martha. Their story is a good example of what hospitality consists of. There are so many details that have to be tended to, when cooking, and they take away from the intention of hospitality. Jesus was more impressed with Mary, than Martha, even though Martha did so much more work than Mary did. Mary was the one who was being hospitable though. She was the one who was learning and paying attention to their Guest.

  So, while we want to nourish people with good, wholesome food, which takes a lot of preparation, hospitality is the priority here. Spending quality time with people, learning from one another, encouraging others, helping those who struggle with their sins, helping people to be free from their bondages, praying for our guests, and other ways we minister to people in person, is what makes hospitality work.

   We can be hospitable on Facebook and other social networking media, however it doesn't have the same depth as it does when we are in person.

   I started to write this blog telling of my adventure in making homemade root beer, and it morphed into an article on hospitality. The making of the root beer ties in with hospitality because I was thinking of serving it to some guests we are going to have over soon. I love root beer and I know many other people do too. I want to get away from store bought soda, so I will make my own, with my own safe ingredients.

  I opened some of the bottles this morning and was surprised that the carbonation was powerful. I had root beer everywhere. On the second bottle, I put it in the sink and opened it up. Some ended up in the sink, but most went all over the counter. Definitely do not ever leave a drink that is fermenting, closed for several days! You might end up with soda everywhere if the bottles explode!

Homemade Root Beer. Watch out when your open the bottles!

  I want to serve the best, nourishing food I can, for my family. I am also leaning towards creating the best food for my guests, but I have to be careful to balance the time I use to prepare the food, and the time it takes to serve someone in conversation and relationship. So, I conclude that true hospitality can take a lot of time, but it is not a burden, because we love people. God puts it into our hearts to love others, and to serve them. The best way to serve them, is to get to know them. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, we will be able to grow in our relationships with others in the body of Christ.

   So, if you come to my house for dinner or dessert, you might get a really tasty pudding, made without sugar. Or you might get homemade root beer. I could serve you the best, most healthful meal you will have ever had. But if I fail to get to know you better, I have failed on being hospitable to you. While I want your body to be well nourished (and I will see to that), what I really want is for your soul to be nourished and cared for. That is what hospitality is all about. And that is my goal for 'doing hospitality'!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Life is Hard, But It Is Worth All The Work!

   A couple of years ago, the television set was left on and I came into the kitchen to start working. I left the program on, although I didn't have time to sit down and watch it. It was a program where wives were being swapped.

 I wouldn't normally watch a program like that, but since it was on, I listened to it and learned a few things. The two families involved in this show were about as opposite as you could find. One family was (from what I could tell) 'Christian', and the other family was very worldly. The wives got swapped and tried their best to fit into each other's mold.

  The Christian family was one that was trying to live as if they were survivors. They had no electricity, and none of the luxuries that modern day families have. While I appreciate their point of view, I think it is a little extreme to have to live as barebones as that. They had some good points though, that we would appreciate.

 The other family was typical modern day American. The couple only had one child, and they did not know how to control him. They had a lot of 'toys' and lived with a lot of nice things. Everyone in this family was selfish and there was not a lot of sacrifice for better things.

  The thing I noticed though, as much as there were valuable things going on in the Christian home, they lacked humility. They did a lot of things right, and were impressive in some areas, but, in the end, they were not kind to the other family.

  At the very end, the lady who was the wife in the secular family, was very impressed by the Christian family. She actually seemed to want to know more, but, sadly, the Christian lady treated her harshly for the things she wasn't doing right. For example, she openly rebuked the woman for wearing provocative clothing. The whole thing just wasn't done right. At the end, the worldly lady was frustrated with the Christian lady and openly admitted that she had learned a lot about family life by being in that home for that period of time, yet the Christian lady wasn't very accommodating. After the program was over, it was said that the Christian lady apologized for being harsh.

  Some of the things that the Christian lady did, that were right, were to teach her children how to do hard work. There was no option for her kids to watch television or play video games. But they learned how to do life together as a family. They learned how to prepare food from scratch. They made everything they needed, instead of running to a store when they needed to get something.
 Although I think going without electricity is a stretch, there is a point there, that we could learn from. What if the day ever came, when electricity isn't available to us? How would we respond to that? Would our children know how to be resourceful in coming up with an alternative to electricity? What if grocery stores weren't available to us? Would we know how to grow our own food, just in case? Or would that be so foreign to us, that we would just starve?

  Our society is so dependent upon other things to survive. What steps could we take to prepare for survival, if we needed to take those steps?

  I am not old enough to know what it was like to live during the Great Depression, but those who went before us can tell us what it was like. Everyone on the block would get together and bring an item and put it into a pot. Then it was heated and soup was made! That was how some lived during the Depression. All they had was soup that was made by everyone chipping something in to make a big soup bowl with, in order to feed the people on that block.

  In Early American days, people used to barter. That means, one person would bring her eggs to a place called a 'Mercantile' and she would trade her eggs for another item like milk. That was how people lived back then, along with many people having their own little farms.

   Today, farming is scoffed at and looked at as 'primitive'. Now we have the big, agricultural farms, which produce tons of meat and milk, but at a cost to us. Not in money, but in health. Food that is produced on these farms is unsanitary, full of antibiotics and growth hormones, and the animals are not even fed the right kind of food for them to digest. These big, agricultural farms are replacing local farms and we are losing a lot of our nourishment as a result.

  In 1946, the first grocery store came into being. People became less dependent on their farms and more dependent on the grocery store. Today, the thought of living off the land is almost unheard of in America.

  All it takes to get back to what we had, is to be willing to do the hard work. People in our society avoid hard work like the Plague. But, God intended us to work hard, and in doing so, we would be blessed in the results.

  We don't do hard things, just for the sake of doing hard things. We do them, because we know the trade-off for our convenience is our well being. Our society has been duped into thinking that we should do whatever is easiest and most convenient, not what is best for us, whatever the cost.

    We have to do the hard work in front of us, but we also need to go back and recover what we have lost as a people. We are not animals that go from one pleasure to another. We are human beings created in God's image, designed to carry out His will. If we live for convenience, we will never be able to do that. May God help us to do the hard work He has called us to do.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Create Good Memories For Your Children and Grandchildren

  I happen to have a good memory, and I can remember all kinds of things when I was little, some good, as well as some bad. I will take those memories with me the rest of my earthly life.

  What my memories have shown me is the evidence of God's grace in my life. I was raised in a morally good home, but we did not know the Lord yet. But God was there, preparing us for when we would come to know Him.

   We grew up when things were considered primitive. Technology was still a long way away. Our first TV was black and white, with a hard to turn dial. We rode our bikes to our friend's houses and played softball in the street. We went to drive in theaters and we climbed trees. We played in the woods and we built our own forts. Fortunately, I don't remember the hard things, the things that could have kept me in bondage or in bad relationships with people.
   One of the memories I have is of Bosco. Many years ago, there was a chocolate milk syrup called, 'Bosco' and, of course to a child's tongue, it tastes great. We also had 'pink milk' which was strawberry flavored Nestle Quik. We also had Mr. Softee, which was an ice cream truck that delivered orange flavored ice cream treats. The Good Humor man also came around. I remember the blue colored raspberry popsicles I picked out when I got to stand in line to get my ice cream treat.

   Today, Mr. Softee is long gone. The Good Humor man comes around occasionally. No more Bosco though. We can still get 'pink milk' from the grocery store. But, better yet, we can make our own pink milk! Here's how.

Pink Milk

1 cup milk
5 fresh strawberries (unless they are organic, they have been sprayed so wash thoroughly)
*Sweetener to taste (Stevia, coconut sugar, xylitol)

Take the green part of the strawberries off and put the strawberries, sweetener, and milk in a blender or food processor. Blend until everything is fully incorporated together.

Pink Milk in the blender

Now, for learning how to make Farina Dumplings!  
When I find a copy-cat recipe for Bosco, I will post it.
* Be careful about sugar substitutes. Sugar is bad for you, but the artificial sweeteners are just as bad. Some bad artificial sweeteners are Splenda, Sweet & Low, Equal. Sugar substitutes that are fine to use would include; honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, date palm sugar, xylitol, stevia, agave.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Women Managing Their Households

   I am old enough to remember when it was normal to see moms staying at home, dads going to work, and children going to school. Almost every household had this pattern, but today it is different. Many moms and wives have excellent careers, and I've seen dads that were unable to work, raise the children. I think, personally, this is commendable. Everyone does their part and it all works together.
  With the breakdown of the family unit, life is more difficult somehow. Trying to land a job, is almost impossible for many people. But we all have to do whatever we have to do, to make it work.
   But in all this, God has designed women to manage the home. I don't know about you, but when I hear the words that have to do with managing a home, I think about just the mundane tasks like washing dishes and mopping the floors. There's got to be more to life than that! And there is.
   Married women are to be help-mates to their husbands. Some people don't like that, because it makes it sound as if women are second class citizens, but, if you think about this, you can turn it around and it has a different spin to it. Husbands cannot do it on their own. They were never intended to. They need help. So, God made the woman for the man to be his help-mate, because they need help.
  Every woman was designed to be a homemaker. Managing a household doesn't mean that a woman can't have a career though. It is kind of like having two careers.
  So, we are going to investigate what it means to 'manage a household'. What does it look like? What is involved in managing a home?
  There are some household chores that are so basic, we don't even categorize them. We just do them. And single guys do them too. We all do things like cooking and cleaning, as well as basic household chores. What we don't realize is that the tasks that are involved in homemaking take a long time, and we don't necessarily appreciate the results (unless the housework doesn't get done!).
  There are two basic problems that keep us from keeping our homes properly. One is, like I just stated, housework is just assumed and it is boring sometimes. The other problem is, there are things that can be done in relation to housework, that can be done differently. What I mean by that, is that today, we live in an artificial world, where we use things that are 1. convenient, 2. pretty, and 3. tasty.
  The first supermarket came into existence in 1946, and many homemakers began using the processed foods now available to them. That was about 68 years ago, a couple of generations ago. My grandmother made her own soap, but after soap became factory made, less and less people made their own soap. Over time, less cooking was involved in homemaking. When I got married, our dinner came in a box. Chef Boyardee  put out a pizza mix which came in a box, along with the sauce and dried cheese.
   Making clothes, soap, and dinner now comes from a factory. This makes it easier for us to do other things. But what do you think the trade-off is?
   Our families need nurturing. Children need one-on-one with mom. Husbands need a wife who will serve and love him. Elderly parents need constant care. Our homes should be open to serve other people with, as well.
   So, you can see that homemaking is not sitting on your living room couch, watching soap box operas every day (although I have seen this!). God has so much more in store for homemaking than this!

Our food can still be in our homes, gardens, local fields,
forests, pantries, cellars and backyards. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I Tasted A Delicious Coffee Creamer That I Will Attempt To Make

  We stopped into a friend's house a couple of nights ago, and I was served a decaffeinated coffee with my choice of two different coffee creamers. I chose the one that had a picture of a Thin Mint cookie, like the ones that the Girl Scouts sell.

  Of course, it tasted great. It's hard to find a commercial food that doesn't. So, with my creative, healthful mind, I contemplated ways I can make this creamer from scratch. So, here is what I came up with:

  The ingredients are raw, light cream (from grass-fed cows), a couple of drops of peppermint oil (the pure, expensive stuff), and a couple of drops of chocolate extract (I found organic). Although the ingredients are a little pricey at first, I think they will go a long way.

  This is not a tested recipe yet. I might make it and it might not taste good, but I won't know until I try it. If it turns out like I think it will, I will post the recipe for it.

  Both the peppermint oil and chocolate extract are sold on

Friday, July 11, 2014

Homemade Marshmallows Without Using Sugar - Yum!

  I did it. I made marshmallows for the first time last night. Instead of using sugar, I used honey. I don't like the taste of honey, but the marshmallows did turn out well. The marshmallows stay fresh for about a week. I wonder why you are supposed to do with them after the week is over, if you have any leftover?
Cut up marshmallow fluff spread in pan

I had a hankering for chocolate covered marshmallows, so, I took some chocolate chips, (Ghiradelli 60% cacao bittersweet) and melted them on my warmer burner, then dipped the cut up marshmallows into the melted chocolate chips. They needed to go into the fridge to harden, and the marshmallows did start to melt in the chocolate. 

I would like to say the whole thing is sugar free, but most of it is, just not the chocolate chips. But this is a whole lot better to eat than store bought, factory made candy. 

Yum! Homemade chocolate covered marshmallows
made with honey instead of sugar. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Attempt At Making Sugarless Marshmallows

  Last night, I made cream cheese. Actually, it is an all day process, but it is worth it when it turns out. Mine didn't turn out right this time, and I don't know why. I'm sure it's edible, and I will make sure it gets eaten or incorporated into other food items because it is expensive to make and I don't like to waste expensive food.

  Tonight I made sugarless marshmallows. I have never made marshmallows before, so I didn't know what to expect. My cooking thermometer only goes up to 220 degrees, and the directions said to let the mixture come to 240 degrees before pouring into the gelatin mixture. Hmmm.

  It took what seemed like forever to get the honey mixture to come to 240 degrees. I assumed that as the temperature rose, the dial would just go around the circle again, and it did that. I needed only 20 more degrees and I guessed at where it would be on the temperature gauge face.

   It really did look like marshmallow fluff after I mixed it for several minutes. I poured it in a cookie sheet pan and it appears to have turned out. I have to leave it out, uncovered for 4 - 12 hours now. That presents a problem because we have fruit flies in the house. I found a fruit fly walking on top of the just poured marshmallow mixture, but I got him off. Nothing would be worse than having maggots on your marshmallows!

   I put the marshmallow mixture inside an oven for protection from the fruit flies. Hopefully, the marshmallows will fare better than the cream cheese did.

I want to make marshmallows and
coat them in chocolate for the
grandchildren. Whatever they
don't eat, I will.

Grieving Again

Ok this is not really a homemaking tip, but a reminder of a truth, that life is like a vapor. It goes by really fast, and sometimes we fail to appreciate the gifts God has given us for a season.

  A Christmas song by the Carpenters came to my mind. I was thinking of what it reminded me of. There was a time when I had two little girls and was looking forward to having more, or whatever God was going to do in our lives, in our family. All the excitement in the eyes of our little girls.

  For a brief moment, my life went into History, in my memories. The trips to the mountains before Christmas. The preparations we made during Christmas Eve to prepare for all the activities that were to come later on in the day and the next day.

  The little girls are grown up now, but the memories of those Christmases are still there. Kind of sad, but I am thankful for all the blessings.

  I have lots of special Christmas memories. Each one has songs to go with them. The songs are very sad when I hear them. But they are very happy memories and I have to enjoy them. I have songs that remind me of being pregnant with some of my children. I have songs that remind me of all the band concerts I took my son to, that he was part of during his school years. That season of my life is over, but new life and memories are being made.

  So the tip for today is that no matter how difficult raising children is, no matter how many difficulties there are with our families, and challenges, remember that children grow up and one day we will be left with just the memories. Enjoy the moment. Our little boys and girls will soon be adults having their own families and creating their own memories, and that is a good thing.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Homemaking Tipz

  This is a new blog, created by me, so that I can learn homemaking skills from others, and pass them onto other women who are interesting in managing their homes.
  Managing a home is not an easy task, and it takes time and planning. Meals do not suddenly appear on the table, and, while we try to simplify our lives, there are always trade offs for doing that.
  We want to learn how to feed our husbands and children, and, learn the best ways to do the mundane things that make a household operate. It may soon become a lost art.