Monday, June 29, 2009

Freezing Vegetables~


Oh how my garden grows~here is how to not waste any of your harvest!

Here are the steps that you need to take so you can freeze your own vegetables.

1. Choose vegetables that are at their peak of flavor and texture. Avoid any over-mature vegetables or ones that have any type of damage.

2. Wash your vegetables under cold running water. If desired, you can purchase and use a fresh produce rinse to remove dirt, bacteria and pesticide residue that might be on your vegetables. Pat dry.

3. Peel, remove seeds and slice vegetables to the desired size.

4. Blanche vegetables in a large covered stockpot of boiling water. Different vegetables require a different length of blanching time.

Water Blanching Times

Cabbage 3 minutes 
Green Peas 2 minutes 
Asparagus 2-3 minutes 
Beans 2 minutes 
Broccoli 2 minutes 
Carrots 2-4 minutes 
Cauliflower 2 minutes 
Celery 2 minutes 
Summer Squash 2 minutes 
Sweet Peppers 2 minutes 
Corn 4 minutes 
Eggplant 4 minutes

5. As soon as blanching is complete, cool the vegetables quickly to stop the cooking process. To cool, drain the vegetables in a strainer, and then plunge into a container of ice water. Cool them for the same amount of time as they were blanched. Drain thoroughly, pat dry and freeze up to 9 months in re-useable plastic containers that are made for freezer use.

Amish Friendship Bread~



 This was a recipe I made a long time back and I was inspired on my vacation to start it up again. When I visit the Amish I always get recharged to be a Keeper of the Home. They are the finest Keepers of the Home I know. We can always learn something from everyone!

If you are starting the bread yourself combine 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup sugar in a zip-top bag and squeeze it together until mixed in. This is day 1. Continue with the rest of normal instructions.
Note: Do not refrigerate the starter. Keep it at room temperature.

Amish Friendship Bread


Day 1: Receive starter from a friend.
Day 2-5: Mush closed bag twice a day.
Day 6: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Mush bag.
Day 7-9: Mush bag and release air twice a day.
Day 10: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. This is the day you make your bread.

First measure three 1 cup starters and put them in three separate bags. Save one for yourself and give the other two to friends.

Pour remaining batter into a large bowl and add the following ingredients:
1 cup oil
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 large box instant vanilla pudding

Mix ingredients well. In a bowl, mix together 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar. Grease two loaf pans. Pour batter into loaf pans, and sprinkle top with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake at 35o degrees for 40-50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. This does really well in the freezer.


Friday, June 26, 2009

There Is No Place Like Home~


Our Emma went on vacation too~she even got her own snacks!
The buggies in Shipshewana are everywhere. You are asked to drive slow in case a horse decides to be unpredictable. I love hearing the sounds of the hooves on the street. 
For wanting to be a people who stay separated from the world~
their ways sure attract people~ like me~ to them!  It was so blistering hot. I really believe I could live Amish~but giving up A/C would be really hard for me!
This is a real pile of poo! Yep~you heard me! This is an Amish horse and buggy riding little place that for a fee you can have a buggy ride. Thus~here is the pile for free. You laugh~but I was trying to figure out a way to get this home to my compost pile. One of the  questions the Amish get asked is why are you such good farmers~well my friend here is the answer! 

This was a fun store. They were having a quilting festival and had someone famous only I don't know who she was!  It would be so fun to live among the Amish. I truly wanted to stay!
My Caleb with an Amish horse. He does not have any desire to stay and join the Amish!
I really tried to convince them all~RATS!!!!!!


Our trip to Michigan took 13 hours. Praise the Lord for A/C. We stopped at a wonderful Christian ran restaurant with almost as good as Amish food. It is in Lincoln, Illinois! Homemade rolls and picked beets~with fried chicken and Texas sheet cake. It really is amazing good food. It plays Christian music and it is decorated like Grandma's house. Give it a try if you live close by~ 1121 Hickox ~Lincoln, IL 62656. It is a Bonanza but really it is not! YUM!
Here is Devon and Irene's Homestead~where we shared a meal.
 It will be a forever etched in memory kind of day!

Everything on her homestead was so well cared for! The house was sparkling clean.
 Her flower beds and gardens were perfectly manicured. If we all stayed home as much as the Amish I wonder if we too could get more done. My only concern is how would 
we share the saving gospel of salvation to the many lost and dying world? 
This is my greatest concern with this lifestyle!



We went to the Dollar General. The manager was a nice Amish lady and the employees were a mix of the Amish and the English together. The store was amazingly organized and clean. All of the businesses have a place for the Amish to tie their buggies and horses. Some ~like the Medical Buildings even have covered shelters that look like garages. Those are so nice for the animals. Some of those poor horses get tied up in the heat for too long!
The Indiana Amish are more progressive than her in Missouri. 
They have trailers and carts to carry behind as you can see here in this picture.

Shipshewana is known for the Flea Market. It has been years since we have been here. The town is way to busy for my taste during these days~Tuesday and Wednesday. But~ you can find some really good deals. It would be a great place to Christmas shop! I want to go back when the temps are not 100 degrees. You will find purses, shoes, clothing home decor, antiques, produce, fruit, and just about anything in between. It really is a shoppers dream come true! 




They also hold auctions. I tried to stay clear form here ~for I had no way to get it home!

This is a little store off the beaten path~my favorite kind! Katie makes oodles of noodles here. Her little shop was spotless and you can watch her make her homemade noodles through a glass. I bought some to bring home and cook myself. I love how the Amish take the gift of their hands and make a living. I was inspired~i just don't know what to do with it! I have been wanting to get my little candle business moving~hummmm! I am thinking on it! I also bought a homemade loaf of cinnamon bread and some raspberry jam. I love Amish raspberry jam.
Here is my favorite bakery in the whole world.  Here we ate homemade donuts that melted in your mouth! They were out of this world. Last time I was here 3 years ago I made friends with an Amish lady who sent me a year subscription to Keepers At Home Magazine. It is an Amish Magazine. We wrote several times but ~they are not allowed to stay in contact with the English world so they letters stopped coming. It was so much fun to get the magazine. 
I need to resubscribe now that I am moved and settled!



Here is my father-in-law's little shop where he sells bird houses.
 You can drive anywhere in Michigan and some in Indiana and see his birdhouses in many yards. Thank you for praying for him~He is recovering well! 
I need to place an order for your Fall trip her~Tom!
This is Grandma Shindorf~she just turned 90. I had to take a picture and capture a memory. She is a delight to visit with. It is fun to hear about history in her stories!

We had a wonderful time on vacation~ and we made it  home safe and sound! 

Here is a site I have been following for some time. She is living my dream. They went off grid and bought an Amish farm in Michigan. I have been watching and waiting for her to announce they were joining the Amish and yesterday when I got home~ sure enough they have decided to join the Amish church. You can visit her~but hurry she will not be blogging anymore. I am so sad about not getting to read her blog anymore but I am going to subscribe to her newsletter.
You really must grad a cup of tea and visit her site~you will be glad you did.
Visit Homemaker Anghere!

And here is a blog I follow with the opposite story. 
This blogger grew up Amish and just left the Amish chuch.  Visit A Joyful Chaos here!

A peek at Hannah's Sr pictures taken by her Aunt Novenda~

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Amish Meal~



Good Morning~
Now I know you probably really don't care about my ramblings this morning........wink!
 Most of you ~ Mary @Neat and Tidy~ want to know about the meal! 
Well let me tell you it was wonderful! We had a slaw like salad with fresh bacon and a wonderful homemade dressings~yummy. We were served tender roast beef with homemade gravy over it, some kind of homemade sausage~it had no grease at all, homemade mashed potatoes w/ gravy, homemade butter noodles, green beans, homemade bread and Chocolate crunch pie. I wish I could eat it all over again!  It was served family style of course and we were offered seconds and more. We were all stuffed beyond the point of sinning! The chocolate pie was out of this world! I will post pictures when I get  back home. ( I forgot my chord to download) Sure wish I could have a piece of that pie this morning!

Our host were Devon and Irene Slabach. Their beautiful daughter~ Joann served us who was in the third grade. She attends public school which I found unusual ~rather than an Amish school. She was wearing a light blue immaculate Amish dress with a cute little white islet apron.  She was a delightful child. The family built a small out building behind their house. It reminded me of maybe a church kitchen. It was decorated simply with light blue swags over the windows. The building was trimmed in beautiful oak woodwork and the place shined. You could have eaten off her bright gleaming floors. They were a young couple and so very friendly. We shared our meal with two other couples who had grown children. 
I took pictures of their beautiful farm and simple home~ I will post them soon. Irene had a beautiful garden and flowers. Everything was picture perfect. I could have stayed there forever. 


I will file this away as a Memory Never To Forget!

The economy has slowed their business so~if you are close they can serve large crowds also!
I highly recommend this experience~what a fun Wedding Reception or Family Reunion!
Countryroad  Homestyle Banquets
0600 N 900 W
Shipshewana, IN
260-785-7905

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shipshewana, Indiana


My father-in-law is recovery fine and the lab report came back as negative for cancer. We are thanking the Lord for such great news! Thank you all for your prayers. We know that prayer changes things~mostly it changes us! 
We spent the day in Shipshewana, Indiania at the Flea Market. You have never seen so many junk shops in one location. We love to go junking! We found a new American Flag and I bought an antique picture frame. My Hannah found several treasures. There was only one slight problem~it is scorching hot!  Wish I could get my Christmas shopping done now~hummmm! The prices are so cheap!
We are staying in a little motel right in the middle of the town. A nice Amish lady cleaned our room for us. Such a delight. I am always reminded that as a Christian we should do all that we do unto the Lord. She sure exemplified that by how nice and clean our little motel room appeared. What a delight she was to chat with!
Just wait until you hear this...........I just made reservations to have supper with an Amish family. Now~I know they are just people who I pray have accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour the same as me but I can't wait to share supper with them! My Brian is still sleeping so he does not not know yet......wink! But before he went to sleep he told me to make the decisions he was tired. SO~ I did. It will cost $15.00 a person which is more than I wanted to pay for supper but I could not resist. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity~right. Crystal and Nora ~I know you are both wishing you could be here. I will share my experience with you all later~I promise! It is about 4:30 and our reservation is at 6:00~I am so excited I am trying to keep my little ol' self busy until then! 
There is an Amish family across the street who have a Bakery~think I will head over there!
Hope you all have a great evening!  Stay cool!
Thoughts & Prayers~




Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Monday~





Thank you for your prayers. My father-in-law came through surgery wonderfully! The surgeon believes that the polyp is not cancer but if it is ~ it is very early stages. Everything else looks perfect! We are praising the Lord~God is good!. Please pray for his recovery. They had to remove part of his colon so the next week the days will be a little rough going!

My Hannah is getting ready to get Sr. Pictures taken by her Aunt who has a photography business. I can't believe she is going to be a Senior!

Michigan weather is beautiful!  I love the weather here. We are home for a little break before we head back to the Hospital.  

It is amazing to see all the homes for sale. Michigan's economy has been hit hard and you can see the effects all around!

I will post more when I get another minute! Hope you are having a great day.









Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Father's Day~



I love my Father but he left our family when I was a small child. Therefore ~I never knew what it felt like to have the constant feeling of being safe. I pray for my father daily and pray that he will accept my Saviour! It was very difficult to grow up without a father but the Lord certainly is a father to the fatherless~and He was to me. God is so good~He is my Heavenly Father!

Until I watched My Brian with our children I really never knew what I had missed. Watching him teach them to walk, ride their bike or just having fun. I am so thankful that My Children have such a wonderful father.  I am so thankful he has raised them to love God and follow Him! I love you~My Brian. You are the best Dad in the whole wide world. I am so thankful that we walk this life together~you are the love of my life! Happy Father's Day~

You see My Brian had a father who taught him everything he knows! He taught him how to be a real man. He taught him to be a faithful husband. He taught him how to walk the walk and be a man of character. He taught him how to put his family first and always do the right thing! He also taught him how to build anything from chicken coops to a new house in the country. And now he is building our little farm~Farming On Faith!  He taught him how to fix anything and everything. I can honestly say I never have anything that is broken! 

Tom ~for all the love you invested in your son~ You should be proud today! I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this wonderful man I spend my life with! Happy Father's Day~I love you!

Happy Friday~



Oh my stars~  my day is packed full. We are leaving for vacation in the morning. I am trying to get the house and laundry done. Animals taken care of with food , water and needs while we are gone. I am thankful for those who are helping us out while we are away. I am not sure how often I will blog~but I will have much to share when I return. 
Please pray for my father-in-law who will be having colon surgery Monday~we would really covet your prayers. We will be in Michigan for the surgery and spending time with family. You just never know what a day will hold. We were planning on camping with them in the UP~but a Doctor's report can change everything. We had hoped to take him to dinner for Father's Day~but we are so sorry he can't have anything to eat for two days before surgery. Poor thing!
I know God is in control of all things~we are very glad we will be there for this time. 
Then we are headed to Shipshewana, Indiana to vistit the Amish. It is my favorite place in all the world. I will share pictures when I return!
For now I am off and running. I pray you have a good and Godly day!

1 Corinthians 1:4

 I thank my God always on your behalf, 

for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Homemade Salad Dressings~



The summer season is upon us. I am so excited to see how my garden grows. My lettuce is ready for picking. So we are going to have a lot of fresh veggies If you don't have a garden the farmer's markets will be cheap for everything is in season~now is  the time to buy fresh produce. 
Here are some wonderful Homemade Dressing Recipes: Enjoy!

 Try one of these recipes and you won't go back to store bought salad dressings again!

Creamy Garlic & Dill Dressing

1 cup milk 
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped 
3 cloves of garlic, minced 
1 cup mayonnaise 
1 tbsp. dried dill weed 
Salt and pepper

Blend milk, parsley, and garlic in a blender until smooth. Pour milk mixture into a bowl and add mayonnaise, dill weed, salt, and pepper. Whisk until blended.

Fresh Basil Dressing

1 3/4 cups olive oil 
1 handful fresh basil leaves, chopped 
Juice of 1 lemon 
Salt and pepper

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Oriental Dressing

1/4 cup vegetable oil 
1 tbsp. oriental sesame oil 
1 tbsp. rice vinegar 
1 tbsp. soy sauce 
1/2 tsp. ground ginger 
1/2 tsp. sugar

Combine oils. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup olive oil 
1 tsp. sugar 
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 
1 garlic clove, minced 
Salt and pepper

Blend ingredients, mixing well.

Ranch Dressing

2 tsp. onion minced 
1/8 tsp. garlic powder 
1 tbsp. dried parsley 
1 cup mayonnaise 
1 cup buttermilk

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together mayonnaise and buttermilk. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Cucumber Dressing

3 medium cucumbers 
2 small onions 
1/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup lemon juice 
1/4 tsp. garlic powder 
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 
1 quart mayonnaise

Process cucumbers and onions in a food processor. Stir in sugar, lemon juice, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. In a medium-sized bowl, combine cucumber mixture and mayonnaise


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Homemade Shower Cleaner~




Fill your spray bottle almost full with HOT water, then add:
  • 1 teaspoon borax
  • 1 teaspoon washing soda
  • 1 tablespoon liquid Castile soap (Dr. Bronners)
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (kills mold/mildew)
Shake well before using.
If you put the other ingredients in before the water it will foam up a lot when you add the water.

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