Thursday, March 27, 2014

March 2014

March 2014

Well, I’m back…it’s been a long while since I’ve written on my blog. When I first began I didn’t even know what a blog was, and had never read one! I just wrote a letter to an “empty” cyber space for the shareholders of our CSA. Now, this will be linked to our website at for our shareholders and readers alike.

 Unlike when I first began my blog I now read a few blogs when needful topics arise. I am keenly aware of the ABUNDANCE of information now available to families. It is OVERWHELMING! The knowledge being passed around isn’t new, only the flashy way it’s being shared to make money is new.

Many CAUTIONS arise in my spirit as blogs, “pins”, instant stream videos, and advertisements flood my inbox. How many of these skills and truths are really being lived out? Or does the “new idea” become just another pin on a Pintrest board? I know the impulse to pin an idea with the thought that, “maybe someday I’ll get around to trying that recipe”, “upscale my living room”, or “buy that dress”.  It seems EMPTY…the Bible calls it, “vanity”.

Don’t get me wrong, like I said, I read a few blogs when real life allows me. I’ve been inspired to decorate my home with common everyday articles given new purpose…I’m taught further how to use herbal remedies to strengthen my family’s bodies, and I pin many inspiring ideas for possible future projects… But will all the time spent reading these blogs, and pinning the pins really truly matter in my life or yours for eternity? Or will it be part of what the Lord Burns away when I stand before Him one day SOON?

I’ve been a wife for 32 years, and a mother for 30. Back in the “old days” (early 80’s) if I wanted to learn something I often watched an older woman do the needed skill.  If there was no help at hand to learn, I drove a half an hour to the nearest town and checked out a book on the subject from the library! At the time I was blessed with a few older women on the mountain where we live who really lived life…they cooked from scratch, they sewed, canned, gardened, simply put,“they used it up, wore it out or did without” using what the Lord blessed them with in a quiet, simple way.

 These true southern mountain women chuckled at me. I was the scrawny lil’ northerner that was funny to listen to. They knew I didn't know anything practical outside of my college education. Thankfully I had married into this southern mountain culture where the older “Titus 2 type woman” still believed in teaching the younger woman to “be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.” And alllll that entails. (Titus 2:4-5) I believe that is God’s plan still today.

   So, here I am back to writing my blog. God has given me a burden for the younger women of this busy “internet age”.  I pray that I can pick up the “dropped baton” of my precious deceased “Titus 2 women”, and pass on a few REAL life lessons…before they become just another “pin on your board”.
In The Farmhouse This Week:
We’re all gearing up for another growing season…PRAYERFULLY a better one than 2013! The boys raised a batch of tomatoes in their bedroom since it has been so cold. Now they are potted up (in bigger plug flats) and in the greenhouse. Now ginger is growing in their room. We've picked out our flower seeds as Faith Anne and I are trying our hand at flower farming this year for the markets. Seed catalogs keep coming to our mailbox…could spring REALLY be a few weeks away?!? I pray so!

We’re in our last month of school, so the final push on academics is on. Some of the children are finishing up their SECOND math book of the year! I’m so proud of them and could sing the praises of "Teaching Textbooks" ALL DAY! Schooling looks a bit different when you are a farming family…more like the schools of the 1800s where school was let out for planting or harvest. We’ll be working as a family starting in April, so we switch gears and enjoy real life-hands on education until next fall.

March means sewing season. We’re planning our spring/summer wardrobes and are beginning to sew. We wear a lot of aprons, so we’re starting there. This season Faith Anne (13) will sew much of her own wardrobe for the first time. Between her big sister Hope (who, with her family lives nearby here on the farm) and me; we’ll coach her through her newbie season. She’s warming up by making kerchiefs for her hair. With all the baking and outdoor work she does, she likes to keep her hair back with a coordinating kerchief.   


Our first batch of Black Australorp chickens begin to hatch out of our incubator right in our school room!

                                                                                                                                        Spring is just around the corner (it will be here by the time I FINALLY get this out!). At the beginning of the month we had over 100 chicks hatch out. We chose 80 of the best hens to raise for our farm. I love to working with the chicks and chickens! They are peaceable, and their laying of eggs daily for us to sell is like a private daily miracle. I love to count the eggs as I empty each nest! Sharing their lives from egg, to chick, to young chicken, and finally productive mature hens is one of my favorite things on our farm.

In the kitchen we’re all having fun trying new recipes. During the spring/summer/fall months the men are all too busy in the field to cook much. Faith Anne and I do the cooking, baking, and canning. We experiment mainly with vegetable dishes as we don’t have fresh vegetables to “play” with during the winter. But during the winter everyone has an assigned cooking day. I make all breakfasts as everyone works on their chores. We plan lunch and supper together…either old family favorites or something new and exciting! Our newest family discovery has been these Buffalo Chicken Rolls! If you love Buffalo Wings; you’ll love this twist!

Buffalo Chicken Rolls

12 egg roll wrappers, 4 X 4” square
1 cup cooked and shredded chicken
½ cup buffalo wing sauce (any brand)
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup broccoli slaw, dry coleslaw, or thinly sliced cabbage
blue cheese dressing for serving (optional)

You can either bake these at 400 degrees, or like us deep fry them. Preheat your oven or get your coconut (or other) oil heating in a walk or deep pan.

*In a small bowl, stir hot sauce into your chicken until chicken is moist with the sauce.
*Mix a small amount (one tablespoon) of flour with about ½ cup of water in a mug. Put your pastry brush (looks like a small paint brush) in it.
*Lay out your wraps on the counter in front of you placed like a “diamond”. Work with two or three at a time to prevent them from drying out.
*First put a one tablespoon of the coleslaw in the bottom portion of your wrap.
*Next, spoon 2 tablespoon of the blue cheese crumbles over the chicken. Be careful to not overload the wrap.
*To make the roll, pull the bottom point up over the filling. Next, fold over each side.
*Brush the flour and water mixture around the left and right edges.
*Place each roll on a cooling rack to dry a bit.
*If you are baking the rolls, spray them with a bit of olive oil baking spray, and bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
*If you are deep frying your rolls, place one or two at a time in deep hot oil. Fry until golden brown. Drain vertically.
*Optional: Serve with blue cheese dressing

Meet Our Cooks!

Charity (6) and Faith Anne (13)

Sunday – Caleb (21) and Adam (23) make Sunday dinner to be eaten as soon as possible after we come in from church. The family tradition of cooking a venison or pork roasts in the roaster oven, rice in the rice cooker, and 3 quarts of our canned green beans or frozen greens waiting to be cooked on the stove is what they specialize in. As the vegetable cooks and gravy is made, the family sets the table with the traditional Sunday plates and cups that make the day special. Within 20 minutes of getting home we’re sitting down to an old fashioned traditional Sunday meal.

Monday- Momma’s day in the kitchen! I clean out the refrigerator for
lunch, eating all the leftovers that have accumulated. This way we start the week out with an organized refrigerator. I sometimes invite someone to cook with me…or if I’m in a quiet mood I enjoy watching the UNO or Dutch Blitz games going on at the table as I cook alone.. I like to make artisan bread, do my weekly bread baking, and serve comfy winter foods.

Tuesday –
 Today is Adam (23) and Titus’ (17) turn to cook. These guys can cook! Put a recipe in front of them and they’re off. Titus is on a quick bread kick (we all love it!) and he made zucchini bread to with their meal.

Wednesday – Isaac (19)
 is on today alone. We have our big family meal at noon (dinner) since we’ll be going to church this evening. His specialties are Italian and Mexican. He says he likes to cook out of sheer hunger. Boys are sure motivated different than us gals! He is a blessing though as he will have a big meal on the table as we finish our school day around 1 p.m.! 

Thursday- Noah (15–) and Luke (11)
are the Jr. Master Chefs today. They are learning  new recipes this year and are more independent than ever! That's why it’s IMPORTANT to make out the weekly menu that must be stuck with unless permission for deviation is given!

Friday- Faith Anne (13 Her picture is up at the “Meet the Cooks” heading.) and a parent make the Family Fun Night dishes for today. Every other week we often have up to 30 people here on Friday nights for fellowship and fun.
We made 16 pizzas one night from scratch, finger foods on another night, and a Chinese night too with LOTS of egg rolls. Faith is learning a lot about entertaining. When we do have a quiet Friday evening with “just” family, she has fun experimenting with “pins” from my Pintrest board labeled,” Family Fun Night Cooking”.

   Saturday- Caleb (21) and Charity
make a great team today. Caleb prefers to make cakes…so this is the day we have a sweet treat. Charity is getting good at breaking eggs, sifting flour and is a whiz at making bread from flour she sweeps up from inside the grain mill when we bake together once a week. Having fun with her big brother is the most important part of their cooking time. Time will flee much too quickly and he’ll be gone and she’ll not be a little girl anymore…heart strings are being tied now.

Before long warm winds will blow…the men and boys will be busy in the fields, school books will be put up until a rainy day pulls everyone inside. Soon the kitchen will be considerably quieter, and the seasons will change. As the last frosty dark evenings of late winter and early spring linger, I’m enjoying my inside days with my children closer to my side.  Anyone for a game of Bananagrams or UNO?

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
Ephesians 3:20,21

Abundant Blessings,
The Farmer's Wife