Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Honey Buns

   We do quite a bit of baking around here. Usually I try to make Monday our baking day. This is when we make bread, sweets and snacks for the week. But, I still find myself baking here and there throughout the week. I have a recipe that makes burger buns that can also be used for cinnamon rolls which are really good. I decided to make a few small changes and try to make honey buns with it. Yum! I hope you give this simple recipe a try. If you do, let me know what you think!

Hamburger Bun/Cinnamon Roll/ Honey Bun Recipe

• 4 to 5 cups of Flour
• 2 tablespoons of Yeast
• 1 cup of Milk
• 3/4 cup of Water
• 1/2 cup of Oil
• 3 tablespoons of Honey
• 1 teaspoon of Salt
Mix 2 cups of flour with 2 tablespoons of yeast. Heat the water, oil, milk, honey, and salt until very warm but not hot. Pour into flour mixture and beat well. Start adding the rest of the flour until dough is soft. Knead briefly then let rest for 10 minutes. For Hamburger buns roll out to 1/2 inch thickness on well floured surface. Cut out buns with large mason jar ring and let rise for half an hour on greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. For cinnamon rolls, roll dough out flat and brush on brown sugar/melted butter mixture which is 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of brown sugar. (For honey buns I used 1/2 cup of raw sugar and 1/2 a stick of butter.)  Sprinkle with cinnamon, roll dough to make a long "log" and slice. Place on a cookie sheet. Let rise for half an hour then bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. For cinnamon rolls top with a powdered sugar glaze or cream cheese icing. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. For honey buns drizzle generously with honey and dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Kneading dough is a great stress reliever for a housewife. Much better than choking your husband.

Using a string to slice your rolls/buns works very well and doesn't flatten your rolls/buns like a knife can. Just wrap the string around, cross the string, and pull.

The finished product. Yum! 

 Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healing for the body. 
Proverbs 16:24


Monday, March 25, 2013

The Wisdom of Grandmas

   Grandma always said not to plant your garden until after Easter. Here we are the week before Easter and this evening I get word that we are under a freeze warning. This past week we transplanted most of our plants from the greenhouse planters to the garden.  If Gandma was here I'd be getting a big "I told you so" right about now. After supper we rushed out and covered the plants with hay and put a sheet over my herb bed. Hopefully we don't get a lot of wind. So, from now on we'll follow Grandma's planting until after Easter.

With the aged is wisdom, and with length of days comes understanding. But only with God are perfect wisdom and might; He alone has true counsel and understanding.            Job 12:12-13

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Apron Evangelism

   I came across this neat little article on a website a while back. I enjoyed it and it really stuck with me. I'm an apron wearer myself and so are my girls, but this article really opened up the idea of wearing aprons in a whole new way. I copied the post here for you all to enjoy and to encourage all the other homemakers out there. It has encouraged and motivated me. We do have an incredible responsibility and we shouldn't take our job as homemakers lightly. It is something to be proud of! Blessings and happy homemaking! 

    "One day not too long ago I was struggling with the boys over some minor details which come up when a lot of people live in a small shack in the woods. Details like the value of picking one’s dirty clothes up off of the living room floor when company has been spotted driving up the mountain. The boys were unusually stubborn that particular day. Rather than fight with them over their household responsibilities I picked up the dirty clothes myself and crammed them into the washing machine. I ran some soapy water in the sink to get a start on the dishes before the company arrived. Now usually I am not one to hold a grudge over small disagreements like laundry on the living room floor. This one settled in my brain though, and I felt compelled to mull over it for several days. It was the outright insubordination which offended me the most. After I figured that out I went of solutions. About the same time I was in the process of Spring Cleaning. I was having a great deal of trouble motivating myself to wash the walls in the kitchen and mop the back porch where the cats live (blessedly with a doggie door so they don’t need litter boxes). Well, the more I worried about these twin dilemmas the more I felt the need to discuss them with the queen of solutions, my momma Darthulia. As I suspected she had the perfect solution. Darthulia told me I needed a uniform or costume which would reassure myself and others of my intention and status in the home. She claimed it would remind me of my duties, inspire me to greater levels of cleanliness (which as a hillbilly I sorely need), and reaffirm my authority in the home. Darthulia then went on to describe the homemaker’s uniform to me in detail. “Imagine the modern archetype of the housewife.” She began. “Think Donna Reed, or Beaver Cleaver’s mom. They wore full skirts, and stockings, and heels when they vacuumed. But you knew they were doing housework because they had their aprons on. A string of beads graced the necks of their classic shirtwaist dresses, and a lacy bibbed apron proclaimed their role as matriarch in charge of household management.” I only have a fleeting memory of Donna Reed. I sort of wish she came on television regularly so I could take notes but she doesn’t in my area so I am stuck looking for other heroines-of-the-home to model myself after. Most of what momma said made sense to me though. That very day, I put on a full skirt, stockings, sensibly low high heeled shoes, and a string of pearly white beads. Then I sat down at my sewing machine and ran up a couple of bibbed aprons, decorated with lace and ribbons. I made up the pattern as I went along using a small rectangle for the first bib and a heart shape for the second bib. Then I stitched lace around the edges of the bib and attached it to a simple tie with a full apron skirt gathered to the waist. I made them short waisted so they would fit my maternal figure a bit better, and voila, I was set. I put the first apron on, a creamy white or ecru, and looked in the mirror to admire my handiwork. I expected to see myself staring back at me, probably looking a little silly in this frilly piece of confection designed to protect my clothing. Boy howdy, was I in for a surprise. In the mirror I saw a vision of the homemaker I have always strived to become staring back at me. Her cheery face glistened in the sunshine. Her hair tied up neatly in bun looked authoritative, and compassionate all at the same time. The apron covered several figure flaws and accentuated the fertile curves of the woman I saw in the mirror. This woman had purpose. She had status. She had clout. I stood there, contemplating the wonder of the homemaker that shone through my image in the mirror. “This is who I want to be” I told myself. “This is the Keeper of the home, with a capital ‘K’. ” I wear my aprons every day now. I have made more, in different colors and configurations so as to be pleasing to my senses. I have come to believe they are a like lacy bits of lingerie, only worn on the outside, and a quite a bit more respectable. When I put on my aprons the children mind me better, wandering visitors immediately know my role as a stay at home mom. Door to door religious missionaries assume I am a virtuous woman and cheerfully move on to the next house. Fred thinks I look cute as a button, and neighbor children hug me more often. I like my aprons. They have changed my life, raising my standards, inspiring me to greater feats of home making skill, and making me more effective as a parent. Whoever thought that a dollars worth of fabric and lace could effect so many changes on one woman and one family? Since my success with aprons I have become a true believer. I am now called to spread the word among my fellow housewives. Join the crusade by sharing your love of aprons with friends, family and internet buddies around the world. Together we will change the face of the House Wife, the world over.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pasture chickens...the new coop

   We're raising another batch of pasture chickens and Joe had an idea for a new portable chicken coop using PVC pipe. I think it's going to work well. It's light weight and easy to slide across the ground from one place to another. It's a 10x15 with 5x10 being covered. It can easily house 50 birds and we plan to move them daily. It didn't take long to put together. Only a few hours. We will be adding some roofing to the sides of the covered area to provide more shade. We noticed some sun shining through the side in the evening. The chicks seem to enjoy their new home.

Getting started.

Just about finished.

Wire is on and putting the last screw in the roofing material.


Happy chickens make healthy meals!



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Home, home on the range....

    After spending a great week with our family at the Houston Livestock Show we are finally home. Even if you are having a much needed time away from home, there's nothing like pulling in your drive after all that time away.

    For a while now I have been having a problem with looking over the fence at greener pastures. Dreaming of all we could do with a little more land. Not being satisfied. All though I feel that there is nothing wrong with wanting to move forward and making your dreams a reality, I'm finding that you can let these things consume you. Then you become somewhat ungrateful for the things God has blessed you with. This being said I feel like God has slapped me on the hand recently and I've been learning a lesson in contentment. We may not have acres and acres of land but we can do much with the little bit we have. We can live out our dreams right here on a smaller scale. And if the Lord decides to bless us with more down the road....wonderful. If not, I'm thankful for what we have and am determined to be successful right here. We will bloom where we're planted. In Matthew we're told that if we're faithful with little we'll be entrusted with much. That "much" isn't necessarily a lot of land or our dream home/farm but may be all the many things this little 3 acres provides for us. Produce, meat, eggs, milk...much. And even more than that...happiness. I love to sit and watch my children run through the yard and climb our many shade trees. I enjoy sitting out on my front porch on a nice day and listen to the millions of birds who have made a home on our peaceful little homestead. We have much love and happiness right here and for that I am forever grateful.

"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard."   - Dorothy