Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Providing from Your Pantry.....Part 2

Dearest Readers,


I hope that you have had time to complete your "homework".  If not, do not fret, just catch up when you have the time.


In order to complete the next step, please take out any cookbooks, recipe boxes or binders where you store the recipes for the 31 Dinnertime Meals that you have selected.


I keep my recipes in a Recipe Binder that is divided into categories


Each recipe is in a protective sheet cover and the "dividers" are just cardstock with a pretty picture cut out of magazines that have been labeled with stick-on tabs.


Okay, now I want you to write down categories such as: Meat, Dairy, Grains & Pastas, etc.  Under each category begin listing the ingredients in your recipes....don't indicate amounts, just the item, i.e. cheese, pickles, pork chops, etc.  Don't list anything twice. You can do this with pencil and paper or create a document on your computer. 


Here is what my list looks like.....


I put a little _____space beside each listing.  I created mine in Word and just used the layout for 3 columns. 


When you have completed listing ingredients for the Dinnertime Meals, you will want to do the same thing for items you serve with your Dinner....your Breads/Rolls and your families favorite Veggies & Fruit (canned or frozen or fresh). 


Now to make sure you shop either at the Market or from your Pantry for everything you will need to feed your family you will want to also list Lunch items, Breakfast items, Snack items, Drink items and Dessert items, etc. that you serve in a typical month.  For instance, I make cookies each week so I will look at my favorite cookie recipes and make sure the ingredients for each are represented on this list.  Don't feel overwhelmed just do each section one at a time. This will go pretty fast, as so many things we make use the same ingredients!


After you have added all the food items, you will want to add Paper products, Cleaning supplies, Pet food, etc.  Keep making categories that make sense to you and the way you shop.


Finally, add a section for MISC and a few blank lines.  You will use these for those once in awhile items that you purchase/stock for special holidays, picnics, potlucks, etc.


Dear Reader, you look exhausted!  Please sit down and have a cup of tea....you've earned it.


I will be back on Friday and we will move forward to the next step.


 I remain kindredly yours,


Shan




Monday, April 27, 2009

Providing from Your Pantry.....

Dearest Readers,


I would like to introduce a new feature here at Honey Hill Farm.  A Series of helpful hints to help you "Provide Meals from your Pantry".


I have been a Wife and Mother for 26 years and would love to share some of the tried and true methods that have worked through blessedly bountiful and downright trying times as I endeavored to put a healthy, frugal and tasty meal on the table for our family of five.


There will be homework, but do not fret Dear Reader, I am a very gentle teacher and you are sure to receive an 'A'.  So, with that said your first homework assignment is:


Make a list of 31 Dinnertime Meals your family loves!


(These should be Family Favorites that you already know how to make)


Here is an example:


Crockpot Lasagna


1 hr. French Bread


Veggie/Fruit


You'll note that I do not list a specific Veggie or Fruit....I will explain this as we progress through the series...I promise that it will all make sense!


I will be back on Wednesday and we will continue to the next step.


You may copy the artwork above if you would like to announce this series on your blog.  I would love to bless any and all who would like to join us.


Yours so kindredly,


Shan


P.S. I have a Winter Menu and a Summer Menu, each with 31 meals.  We eat differently depending on the season, so do keep that in mind for your family.


 


Saturday, April 25, 2009

From the Sewing Basket...

Dearest Readers,


Here is a picture of my "Victorian-inspired" robe.  I actually used a coat pattern and adapted it to the fleece that I already had on hand. Here is the pattern....


You can make a long or short, lined coat/robe, I opted not to line the robe since fleece is so nice all by itself.  I used inexpensive trims so that I could machine wash the robe and keep the cost within reason.  Instead of the braided trim suggested, I used a decorative stitch with machine embroidery thread.  It was much less costly and was quite fun. This pattern is generously sized, as it is actually designed to be worn over clothing, so I did adjust the pattern accordingly. This pattern only went down to a 14 and I really needed a 12 so that it would fit better in the shoulders, so I will buy one in the smaller sizes the next time they have the $1.00 sale on patterns. I will certainly make this robe again in the future as it affords a nice bit of room for creativity.  Dearest says I look quite royal when I wear it, LOL!


Now I am working on a few summer tops out of these pretty breezy fabrics....



After looking at several top patterns online, I went over to PatternReview.com and looked at the critiques regarding each one.  This pattern received the highest marks out of the few I was considering and I went ahead and picked it up when JoAnn's was having their $1.00 pattern sale. 



Several of the ladies mentioned that the shirred bodice was a little low, but was easily remedied with a few additional inches added.  I am sure I will have to adjust the length too, as I am very short in my torso.  I think it will be a delight to make and I am quite desperate for summer clothes.  (Truthfully, I really am not enamored by anything in the stores and I never end up buying anything.)


If you haven't heard of PatternReview.com, you should pay them a visit.  I thought it was genuinely helpful, as you get a first hand account by seamstresses of all levels about the pitfalls and loveliness of a pattern.  I would have chosen a different pattern entirely for my summer tops, but after reading the review about the pattern, and the almost universal disappointment in fit, I was glad that I had not made that purchase....it certainly saved me time, money and frustration.


I do apologize for the dark photos, but today is quite drizzily and cloudy and would not offer even a ray of sunshine for a quick photograph! How terribly rude....don't you think?


I think I shall go in and sit with Dearest by the fire, before I start our supper of Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup.  The perfect meal for a quiet, dewdrop strewn Saturday


I hope you are having a wonderful, simple day Dear Friends.


Yours kindredly,


Shan



Saturday, April 18, 2009

Going to Town.....

Dearest  Readers,


After tucking-in to a hearty Breakfast Casserole, a few cups of coffee and a quick "tidy" of the front parlour, Dearest and I are headed into town. The storm has passed and we are just left with heavy wet snow and slushy roads. Our library books are due today, so we need to return them and pick out another set to bring home.


We buy our coffee, oatmeal and baking supplies in bulk and as our supply is dwindling we might as well make the trip worthwhile and restock our shelves.  Of course, when we return I will have to make a batch of cookies to reward us for our travels.


I am sure the roads and stores will be busy, so we won't linger too long....but it will be fun to get out and about with Dearest for a little while.


If you have time you will want to visit my friend, Aunt Ruthie, over at her site.  She has so many delightful ideas to share and today she has a darling post about chalkboards and the "chalk markers" that she uses....too adorable!  I have the chalkboard paint and I have been thinking about what I could make into a chalkboard...hhmmmmmm....


Have a simply lovely day Dear Reader!


Yours Kindredly,


Shan

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thundersnow!

Dearest Readers,


We are under a Winter Storm Warning here in the foothills of the Rockies, the National Weather Service has predicted quite a bit of snow for our area.  Imagine our delight to be hearing the rumble of thunder as we watch it snow!  We have had this happen before of course, but it is none the less enjoyable.  It is a very wet, heavy storm and we are keeping an eye on our trees, especially our fruit trees. 



Dearest, Darling Boy and I, just finished a rather late lunch of homemade Macaroni & Cheese with sliced Ham.  We have enjoyed our Easter Ham and the last bit has been sliced and divided into bags for the freezer.  The ham-hock is waiting its turn to be added to a tasty pot of Ham and Beans, just as soon as my beans have finished soaking.  (If we loose power from the storm it is best to have something that can simmer atop of one of our woodburning stoves...hence, a lovely pot of soup!)


Our youngest Darling Boy is staying on campus this weekend as he has quite a bit of work to do as the end of the term is near.  If the storm is as heavy as predicted then it is wiser to have him stay where he is, instead of having to drive on slick, icy roads.


We are praying that our Darling Girl continues to make a speedy recovery from her bout with back to back illnesses.  She stayed with us until yesterday, letting me take extra measures of care in aiding her recuperation. I helped her settle back in at her little place, and she was going to try and work at least a little while today. If she comes to mind would you say a little prayer for her?  Thank you.



I have a wee bit of mending to do, laundry to stash away into drawers and the last bit of scrubbing of the upstairs bathroom, then I am going to gather up my embroidery and work on my tea towels next to the fire....


I dearly hope you have a pleasant afternoon and evening and I will chat with you very soon.


Yours kindredly,


Shan


P.S. The pictures above are of a few of my favorite blue & white dishes....simple, but lovely.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wishing for Spring.....

Dearest Reader,


I always get quite anxious for Springtime right after we celebrate Easter.  I long for flowering blooms everywhere covered with butterflies......the sweet scent of geraniums and lilacs, the birds paying their daily house calls to us here at Honey Hill Farm......


Oh, Spring! What Joy!


Alas, here in the foothills we must wait until the middle of May to plant our flowers.  With that in mind, I decided that I would decorate my little blog so that I could enjoy Springtime a bit early.


I hope you don't mind Dear Reader!


Yours ever so kindredly,


Shan


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Eastertide Blessings To You.....

Dearest Reader.


I so hope that you will have a splendid Easter filled with family, faith and a surprise or two tucked inside your Easter Basket....


We will be staying closer to home than planned as our Darling Girl is recuperating from a second bout of illness.  I brought her home to recover last night after a trip to the Urgent Care facility...they are truly wonderful folks and she received excellent care.  She is completely worn-out and weak, so extra doses of TLC are planned for the next while.


As we were expecting to eat elsewhere for our Easter supper, I made a quick dash to the local market this morning and bought a few essentials. I will make a ham, cheddar mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, a relish tray and strawberry pie with whipped cream.


I will make a breakfast casserole of some sort in the morning....I just need to decide, as I have quite a few breakfast recipes in my binder.  I might also make these little darlings......




Aren't they cute?  I saw this last year in a magazine and had to make them (the photo is from last Easter).  Just use three biscuits, cutting one in half for the ears and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.


Well Dear Reader, I will leave you and wish you all the blessings of this beautiful Eastertide.


Yours kindredly,


Shan




 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Blessing of Comfort....

Dearest Readers,


I returned home this afternoon after spending the night at our Darling Girl's house last night.  She was not feeling well and I went to comfort and take care of her.  I spent the night, listening with "Mother's Ears", making sure I would hear her if she needed me.  No matter how old your babies are...they still need you...isn't that a blessing. She is on the mend...a prayer answered, to be sure.


I am just about ready to curl up in my chair and snuggle in.  A nice fire in the woodstove and a warm blanket....I suspect that I might succumb to a little nap.



Dearest stocked-up on groceries in my absence so dinner is taken care of.  I am blessed to not only be able to give comfort to others, but to find it waiting for me just inside my front door.


I hope you find yourself blessed today.


Yours kindredly,


Shan