Friday, June 29, 2012

Garlic, Chive & Cheddar Biscuits...


In my daily quest to answer the dreaded age old question, "What's for supper?", I finally decided on grilled boneless pork chops, grilled potatoes with chives and onions, corn, and biscuits. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures.

Anyway, I was thinking that regular biscuits would be kind of boring, so why not use what I have on hand to enhance them a bit. Since I have so many chives in our garden I knew I had to add them, and I also have a lot garlic. That goes goes really well with chives. The cheese was a last minute thought, but I'm glad I had that thought. They were SO DELICIOUS!

Garlic, Chive & Cheddar Biscuits...

4 cups of flour
4 tsp. Bakewell Cream
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1/4 cups of chopped chives
2 tsp. chopped garlic
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix your dry ingredients together. Add the sour cream and mix with a pastry blender until well incorporated. Add the chives and  cheese. Add milk all at once and stir quickly with a fork. Then add the garlic. Place your dough on a floured surface and roll out to 1/2" to 3/4" thickness. Cut with biscuit cutter.
Bake in a 475* oven for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and leave in oven for 8-10 minutes more.

These are the fluffiest and yummiest biscuits ever! I hope you try them and really enjoy them.

Blessings,
Julie


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rain, Rain go away...

...Come back another day! While our ducks are enjoying this rainy weather, I am not. I know there are some places that are needing it right now, but I think we have all had enough. This summer is beginning to look like a repeat of last summer.



Enough complaining! While the rain falls on the outside, I find much to do on the inside. I am reading a new book. It's called Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House. It is a practical book on how a home works, not how it looks. Ex: what different fabrics are for, pantry and refrigeration storage, laundering and ironing, cleaning and dusting, household records, books, laws, germs, allergies, and safety. I know, I know. It sounds like a lot of work, but growing up, I learned early on how to make a bed, do the dishes, wash the windows, how to feed and care for the animals. It was a good old fashioned domestic education! Today I thank my mom for it, because back then I'm not so sure I had an attitude of thanks. LOL!


I love being the "Keeper of our Home". Next to being a mother and wife, it's the greatest job I have ever loved. Everyone has a different idea of what it means. Some hire out, some ignore it all together, some keep their homes so sterile and cold, you can't really feel comfortable, while others make it so homey you don't want to leave. My sister is definitely the latter!

Housekeeping for me brings so much satisfaction. The end result is always one of order, freshness, restorativeness, and peace. I love what the book says about it...
"Housekeeping requires knowledge and intelligence as well, the kind that is complex, not simple and combines intellect, intuition and feelings." I'm feeling smarter already!
Another excerpt...
"You have to be able to decipher insurance policies, contracts, and warranties, manage a budget, and master the technical language of instruction manuals for appliances and computers. The ability to split your attention in several ways and stay calm is essential." I love that last part!

I have a friend that calls herself a "Domestic Goddess". Yes Janice, I'm talking about you! I'm thinking I prefer being called a "Domestic Engineer". It makes it sound like I had a complete college education on everything home.

My mother always said, "A job worth doing, is a job worth doing well." I carry those words with me in everything I do. All in all, you are the keeper of your home, the manager of all that is home...from sheets to underwear. How you choose to run it makes a diffence in everyone who lives in your home, and just imagine what ethics you are passing along to your children. Being a keeper of your home is honorable work, so do it well and do it proudly! 

Blessings,
Julie




Friday, June 22, 2012

Another Beautiful Day...



What a beautiful day it is today! I thought I would snap a few pictures of some of the things growing in our yard. The above picture is of our honeysuckle and an old ladder that I use as a trellis. I just love it! It's the first thing we see when we look out our living room window.




This is a little solar fountain that I bought for my husband a couple years ago. It sits just under the down spout, so it can catch the rain water. My husband loves sitting on the front porch and hearing the water trickling. Hollie thinks it's the perfect spot to quench your thirst on a hot summer day.


My neices, nephew and grandchildren claim the area under our Cortland apple tree as their summer fort. I can remember playing in places like this when I was young. Did you have a favorite fort/hideout when you were a child?


The ducks are enjoying a refreshing swim on a hot day.


 Time to dry off!


The chives are so beautiful!


An early morning visitor.


Summer flowers in bloom.


"Remember to always make room in your garden for angels to dance." I read this on a sign in a beautiful flower garden that I visited recently. Such a beautiful saying.

May God bless you and keep you on this beautiful summer day!

Blessings,
Julie

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Day Well Spent...

What a lovely Father's Day we had. I woke up early and made some homemade Honey Oatmeal Bread for the week. I have been trying to make all of our bread...just another way to save a little money. Every little bit helps, right? The bread is delicious! Each week I pick a different kind to make. Last week was Potato Bread, which I have to say makes GREAT toast!

Once my sweet husband got up for the day, we went out to our rhubarb patch and cut enough to make 7 quart jars of Strawberry/Rhubarb Pie Filling.  It's so easy to make and what a wonderful treat in the middle of winter! I need to get more strawberries, so I can make even more filling, since our youngest son likes to "borrow" a jar or two to make his own pies. Yes, he cooks, too! He'll make someone very happy someday! As soon as the peaches and apples are ready we will be canning pie filling with those, as well.


Our youngest son, Andrew. (A great cook!)

Our two grandchildren spent the night, so we had a lovely day together. Aren't grandchildren fun! 




My husband took his GTO out of storage and got it all washed up. Our oldest son, Matthew took his little girl out for her first ride in it.


Piper enjoyed puddle jumping in the puddles made from washing off the car. Just look at that hair!



Dillyn tried to catch butterflies for his sister. He's such a good big brother!

Our three son's came over for a barbeque around 5 p.m. We had steak and lobster. My husband's favorite!


Piper had her first taste of lobster and LOVED it!


What a fabulous day we had. I hope your day was just as enjoyable.

Blessings,
Julie




Friday, June 15, 2012

Our June Keeper's Meeting


We had our June, Keeper's of the Home meeting last night. It was a great success. We focused on herbs and different things you could do with them. Janice showed everyone how to make rosemary bread and we talked about ways to switch it up by adding other herbs of your choice.




I brought some homemade sundried tomato and basil bread to share. Yum!


We also made some lavendar/chamomile melt and pour soap.




It smells soooo good!



Then we gathered around and shared stories from our journals. One lovely lady brought an old scrapbook to share that she bought at a yard sale many years ago. She shared it with us and told us of how it must have been someone's dreamhouse scrabbook from the 1940's, and how she continued adding to it by pasting her own dreamhouse pictures in it. Something wonderful she will be passing on to her grandchildren, I'm sure!

We ended the evening with a field trip out to Janice's chicken coop. She has the friendliest chickens! One lovely lady even found some eggs! So much fun!




Janice's turkeys.


...and Fancy was her name. Just look at that wig!


I'll leave you with a few more pictures from our wonderful evening with some great ladies.





Blessings,
Julie

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bartering


Today I thought I would write about "Bartering". This is a method of exchange, using goods instead of money. This system has been used for centuries, since before the invention of money. During the days of Colonial America, people used to barter things like furs, muskets, perfumes and silks. Today the barter system is still used in many countries all around the world.

 Much like it was during the depression times, today people are struggling to make ends meet financially, so bartering only makes sense. For some folks it may be for agricultural items, while for others it may be for services such as dental or eyecare. It really is becoming quite popular.


A couple of weeks ago I bartered with a friend. I gave her some rhubarb and she gave me a jar of relish and a jar of blueberry jam. THANKS JANICE!  My sister and I have been bartering for a while now. She has chickens, and I always need eggs, so we barter with each other. I make lots of jams, jellies, pie fillings, pickles, relishes, breads and such, but my sister doesn't, so we barter. It works for both of us. It's a win, win situation.

I really love this idea, and I think you're going to see a lot more people using the barter system. What do you have that you could barter with someone? Maybe it's just some much needed time or a skill? Everyone has something and everyone needs something, so try it out. You'll be hooked!

Blessings,
Julie

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Step Back in Time...

My husband and I just love visiting the Kings Landing Historical 
Settlement each summer. It evokes the lifestyle we both love so much. The moment you walk into the village, you immediatly feel like you've been taken back in time.


We always said that we could easily live here. I think we were both born in the wrong era. There is something so simplistic about life in the 1800's. It was a hard life...



...but so gratifying.




I just love all the beautiful colors. It's like bringing fall into your pantry.


A really cool way to create a fence.




Raising chickens and pigs.


Stringing fruits and vegetables for drying.


Something I always wanted to learn.

There are so many things that I love about this lifestyle, I could go on about it all day, but I won't. Instead I will leave you with a few more pictures of a simpler time...








Blessings,
Julie