The start of the season

The weather has been glorious. Warm, yet cool air, with soft breezes, sun shining!  There is something magical about the sun and its beams. It changes everything in a day. Here are some of the things that happened on the homestead this week-

  1.  First and foremost, I tried something new. My favorite lard biscuits…..but I added semi sweet mini chocolate chips!!!  They were a mix between a scone and a chocolate pastry. Delicious!  Here’s the recipe

2 cups flour

2.5 tsp baking powder

.5 tsp salt

1/3 cup lard or shortening

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup mini semisweet chips

Add all dry ingredients including chips. Cut in your fat, add milk and mix until just combined.  Transfer dough to a floured surface, pat it out, fold it over.  Repeat 4 or 5 times  Lastly pat it out to about an inch thick, use a floured glass to cut the biscuits    .  Put them in a 475 oven for 13-15 minutes Don’t open the oven door until they have been in for at least 10 minutes!

2.  The vanilla extract I made, has been a huge saving and also tastes so much better than the store bought version.  I cook from the pantry, which means, pantry ingredients are kept in a good stock, so I am able to whip up whatever meal is necessary.  This keeps our grocery budget around $230.00 every month, less at the end of summer when the larder will be full.  So a way of keeping that bill low, is what I call, “from scratch cooking from the pantry. “.  Therefore, a lot of vanilla is used, and it can be costly.  I buy almost all of my groceries from Aldi, and the vanilla extract was a great deal there.  By making my own though, I’ve saved 8.00.  That may not seem like much, but when your budget is $230.00, every dollar counts!  I want to take every dollar my husband works hard for and use it as wisely as possible!  I recommend homemade vanilla extract to all!  Super easy, get 6-8 vanilla beans, slice open, throw in a quart jar.  Add 3-4 cups of vodka and let sit for 4-6 weeks.  I started using mine at 4 weeks and it was ok.  We’re at week 8 or 9 now and the flavor is wonderful!

3.  The garden fence was put up.  No more chickens and dogs in it.  Once the rain stops and the ground dries, I’ll be able to get my rows ready.  I love how God directs my days. If I think it is time to prepare rows, He says “No, I’m going to make the ground wet, because there are other things to be done today.”  The soil is wonderful!  I don’t even need a shovel, just the hoe.  Once the onion sets and seed potatoes arrive, they’ll be the first in.


4.  Bethel is dry now.  I decided to make the trip down to Kankakee to get Kilgus milk.  This is milk from Bethels relatives.  🙂  Its a low pasteurization and non-homogenized.  I went down Friday, on pay day.  I stood near the milk, checking dates, and an employee came over with a price gun and starting knocking down the price of the milk to 2.00 a gallon!!!  It still had 2 days left before going out of code!  The cream went from 10.00 to 5.00!!!  Oh how I love cream!!!!  And then I found a milk that went out 6 days prior.  I asked if I could have it.  She said yes- for free.  I got it home and that milk was still sweet and lovely.  It became yogurt.  What a blessing!  What a gift!  Every moment, every day, He’s there, showing Himself in so many things .

5.  Regina will be acquiring bees this year.  I’ll be her assistant, spending the year learning, and maybe next year we’ll have our own two hives!

I pray you have a beautiful week.  Storms will be rolling in tomorrow, the first of the year for us.

Love,  Jen







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