14th Week Of 2017

Another harrowing week of spring rain. The ducks enjoyed swimming in the yard, while I tried to find joy in mopping the floors everyday. Jasmine and Bethel remained indoors for the bulk of the week. Not because the rain is bad for them, but because the pasture would have been mud by today. It’s been a tough balance. Our entire homesteading lives are dictated by the weather, therefore dictated by our God. He uses the weather in such a clear way to direct our homesteading steps and days. When to plant, when to weed, when to stay indoors and read. (Smiley).

The Yarrow is coming up beautifully  I am hoping for a bountiful harvest this year.

From the bookshelf- I am currently reading Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott, and also picking apart Adorned by Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth.

The ducklings have been banished from their brooding box because they can’t keep their messes under control. Twice a day, giving them new dry bedding was not a necessary chore any longer. They have a special spot in the barn with dry bedding and their heat lamp now. The food and water area is just a little bit away, and now they can get the concrete wet and nasty, not their bed.

On Mondays, Tori and I volunteer at River Valley Animal Rescue. The boys go Tuesday and Thursday after school. If you can open your home to a pet, please go through this organization. They are truly the best I have seen and take such good care of the animals.

Two HUGE breakthroughs in the kitchen. One, Tori found the BEST brownie recipe ever created. EVER!!!!! Here it is

Pantry Brownies

Makes 16
Cooking spray
2/3 cup canola or any flavorless oil
2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3 large eggs
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 325°F. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray, dust with flour, tapping out the excess, and set aside.

Place the oil into a microwave-safe medium bowl and heat on low power in 4 to 6 (5-second) bursts until it is warm but not hot. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until completely smooth and combined. Let sit for 4 or 5 minutes so the cocoa can bloom. Meanwhile, prepare the dry and wet ingredients.

Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.

Place the eggs, powdered sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl. (Alternatively, place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.) Beat on medium speed until fluffy and lighter in color, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla until just combined.

Add 1/2 of the cocoa mixture to the egg mixture and mix at medium-high speed until it is shiny and fully combined, about 5 minutes.

Add the flour mixture to the egg and cocoa mixture and mix at low speed until fully combined. Add the remaining cocoa mixture and and mix at medium-high speed until the batter is shiny and fully combined, about 1 minute. Transfer to the baking pan.

Bake for 20 to 24 minutes (you can allow it to bake for up to 30 minutes if you like a firmer brownie with some crisp edges). The brownies will pull away from the edges of the pan, but a cake tester or knife inserted in the middle will not come out clean. Let cool before cutting into 16 small squares.

We had to cook ours for 45 minutes, and another batch went longer. The inside is supposed to be gooey, but not raw. It’s a tough place to get to, just be patient, give them time and test them.

Another special treat was a recipe I found in the Farm Journal book. The book was published in the 1950’s and this recipe came from a lady’s grandmother, so you know we’re getting close to the 1800’s with this one!! When you hit that decade, the recipes will sometimes call for sweet cream. I love it!!! Because I actually have the sweet cream in my fridge that they are talking about. ❤️❤️❤️

It was called Amber Pie, and featured my new favorite- meringue. Delicious!

Amber Pie

1 baked pie shell (I made my own and added a little sugar to it)

1/2 cup strawberry jam

1/2 cup sweet cream

1/4 t salt

3 egg yolks

1 1/2 T butter

3 egg whites

1/3 cup sugar

Combine jam, cream and salt. Then add butter. Pour into pie crust and bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Make meringue by beating egg whites until foamy. Gradually add sugar until stiff peaks form. Pile this on the pie and bake at 350 for 10 mins

Homesteading can be financially challenging. You have so many dreams and ideas, and they’re all expensive. We have done what we can with what we have had, and yet the frustrations of finances haunt us. This week though, I watched a webinar by Jill Wagner about how Doterra helped them on their homestead. Her story was astonishing. I could place us at all of her beginnings. The business is so different than any other MLM company I have experienced. And her team! They are amazing!

I can compare it to the following scenario- I open up a gift shop. It has wonderful products, but I need employees for management of specific areas. From there, I need them to have employees under them to do assigned tasks and so on and so on. It’s the same business model with an MLM company. Yet, the difference I see with Doterra, is the brilliant management team above me, training me to not only be an employee, but the boss of the company some day!

Since we moved here 3 years ago, essential oils have been a necessity on the homestead. So I not only get to have my own business, but its a business of a product we use ALL the time, every day, in some form.

Next week, Doug and I will be trying the Slim and Sassy Blend. It’s a specialized blend of oils to regulate blood sugar levels, curb cravings and give your metabolism a boost. Doug will also be using the shakes with the blend and we can compare our results.

In the next month, I will be having a get together called Essential Oils On The Homestead. It will just be a time for visiting, and lemonade and iced tea and pie. I’m going to just share some ways I use the oils in the garden, on the animals and in the home. There will be nothing to buy. It’s just a visiting and learning time

Also, another very small and intimate gathering to make some products to take home. Again, there is nothing to buy. The gathering will be 25.00, and you will get to take home 5 family health products that we all make together from oils and other kitchen items. This event will only be open to 5 people, so if you would like more details, let me know before it fills up.

Happy homesteading! Have a great week!!

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