Monday, July 27, 2009

Raspberry Freezer Jam~

Raspberries are a few of my favorite things~ 

Raspberry Freezer Jam Recipe

3 1/4 cups crushed raspberries 
5 cups granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon lemon juice 
3/4 cup water 
1 package of Sure Jell

Wash and drain your raspberries using a colander. You will need 4 cups of picked raspberries to equal 3 1/4 cups of crushed berries. After washing your berries, place them in a food processor or blender container. Process the berries until they are the consistency of a thick jam.

In a large bowl, combine crushed raspberries, granulated sugar and lemon juice. Stir ingredients together using a silicone spatula. Let this mixture sit for 20-25 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine water with 1 box of Sure Jell. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for exactly one minute. Remove from burner and pour Sure Jell mixture into the berries mixture. Stir with the silicone spatula until all ingredients are combined.

Use a ladle and spoon mixture into small freezer-safe containers, leaving 1/2" head space in the container. Seal containers and place into the freezer for 48 hours before using.

Storage: The jam will keep for up to 1 year in the freezer and up to 1 week in the refrigerator. When ready to use, remove 1 container at a time from your freezer and place into your refrigerator 2 hours before serving.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Homemade Pickling Spice~

  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons whole allspice
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 1 cinnamon stick (2 inches)

  1. Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight jar or container.
  2. Use in favorite pickle recipes.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Almost Homemade Oatmeal Soap~

Oatmeal has been known for many things besides for breakfast. A good oatmeal soap recipe that can help protect and nourish the skin and can be used to remove dead skin is available here for you to try.


1 bar of mild soap (a large Dove bar soap is recommended) 
3 to 4 tablespoons oatmeal 
4 to 5 tablespoons water


1. Finely grind the oatmeal in a blender or miller. It should be finely ground but not too powdery.

2. Using a cheese grater, grate the bar of mild soap in a microwavable bowl.

3. Add the 4 to 5 tablespoons of water to the grated mild soap.

4. Put the soap and water mixture in a microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on high temperature. The mixture will tend to rise due to the heat. Do not let it bubble over. When the mixture rises, stir the mixture before it bubbles over.

5. If the soap has dissolved, take out the bowl of mixture from the microwave.

6. Gradually add in 3 to 4 tablespoons of the finely ground oatmeal, mixing well after each addition. Add and mix the oatmeal until the consistency of the mixture and the proportion of the oatmeal to the soap are to your liking.

7. Pour the mixture into your molds. Suggested molds for oatmeal soap are muffin pans, small bowls or 1 inch height round tin cans (you can use taller ones but you will have to remove both ends and slice the soap into round bars once it is cooled).

8. When the oatmeal soap mixture has slightly solidified but still warm, remove it from the mold and let it stand to cool thoroughly.

9. When the oatmeal soaps have completely cooled, wrap or package as desired.

Oatmeal soap is a good exfoliant and can be used to relieve itchiness due to insect bites and dry skin. 

You may also add any of the following:

goats milk



cocoa butter

essential oils

Enjoy or wrap in cellophane with a bow and homemade tag and you have a wonderful gift for giving away!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pumpkin Bread or Muffins~

The Fall like temperatures have me looking forward to Autumn. I just love Fall. So I whipped up some of these pumpkin muffins. Sorry I did not get a picture fast enough before they disappeared~yum!

2 cups sugar 
2/3 cup oil 
1/3 cup buttermilk
1-2 T applesauce
3 large eggs
1 can solid pack pumpkin (16 ounce)
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional but good!)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans or muffins pans ~
Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend.
Mix in eggs and pumpkin.
Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl.
Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired.
Divide batter equally between prepared pans.
Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes or about 22 minutes for muffins.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Homemade Outdoor Window Cleaner~

3 Tbsp. dish washing soap
1  Tbsp. anti-spotting agent  (Jet Dry)

Put soap and anti-spotting agent into a spray bottle attachment for your garden hose. Spray upper windows and let them dry. This works for those windows high that you can only reach with a ladder.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Walking On Sunshine~

We had a fun summer day~

Our first cucumbers~

I am going to make another pot of new potatoes and fresh green beans.

Boys will be boys!

Our flag flying proudly on Farming On Faith.

The cattails seem to be taking over our pond. 
If anyone knows how to get rid of them we would love to hear from you! 

Our Front door.

Welcome to our front porch~pull up a chair and sip some raspberry tea!

My mouth is watering for some sweet corn~

My watermelon has little white worms on them~I hit them with 7's dust!

Okra~but I only have a couple ready. I hope I get more soon. I want to pickle them!

Our pumpkin seeds have sprouted~it will be fun to decorate this fall with our own pumpkins!

This just happens to be the first lettuce Christmas tree. 
We can't eat it fast enough. I am going to give some away!

I cleaned out my girl's coop and they enjoyed a nice treat of strawberry tops~their favorite!

It was a beautiful day at Farming On Faith. I loved having a full day home to work and play. Thought I would share it with!

The Ultimate French Fries~

 This is so good I just had to share!
Molly is a fictitious person who lives at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. It is a magazine for Homeschoolers that I worked for a brief time last Fall. I learned a crash course on Marketing to discover marketing is not my cup of tea~but the Magazine is really great. Hope you enjoy! Here is Molly's post for today~

Who does not love french fries? This is one of my weaknesses I must admit! I used to buy the frozen kind at the store because I could never get my french fries to taste good.

I must say that now…I NEVER buy frozen. I always make fresh. I ran across some good advice one day while watching the Food Network (yes, I admit. . . I am a FN junkie!) The ultimate secret to great french fries. . . is letting them soak in water after you cut them up. It’s that simple! Bobby Flay says that letting them soak anywhere from an hour to 8 hours is a good recommended time. I let mine soak for two hours. The reason for letting them soak removes the starch from them which causes them to turn brown and stick together. It also makes them be sure to soak them well!

The second secret is. . .Kosher salt. It is very inexpensive and makes your french fries taste oh so good! It does have a different taste than regular table salt and sea salt. It does measure the same as table salt so you can use it in many other dishes.

The third secret is peanut oil! It makes all the difference in how your french fries taste. Peanut oil can get pretty expensive, but if you only use it to fry certain things, it will go a long way. I also use it to cook my popcorn in (that is a whole other post in itself).

The fourth and final secret to wonderful french fries is using the right potato. Russett is the BEST way to go simply because of its sturdiness. Do not use Yukon golds or any other soft kind of potato as they will get mushy and not crisp up well.

Now that I have shared my tips with you that I learned, here is my french fry recipe!

Molly’s Famous French Fries


5 Russett Potatoes (russett make the best french fries)

Kosher Salt

Peanut Oil


Cut Potatoes into 1/2″ slices. Then take each slice and cut them into 1/4″ matchsticks. Put all potatoes in a bowl and cover with water and place in the refrigerator for an hour to 8 hours.

Heat peanut oil in a deep pot until it has reached 350 degrees. Take french fries out of the refrigerator and pat them dry with paper towels. Fry them a few at a time until they reach the golden brown consistency you are trying to achieve.

Lay them out on paper towel so that it can soak up all the remaining grease from french fries. Sprinkle them with Kosher salt and enjoy!

(Here is another tip: You can store your oil once it has cooled into a plastic container and reuse it a few more times before you have to replace it.)

Wonder how much money you save when making fresh cut french fries versus frozen? A frozen bag of french fries cost me $2.00 at Aldi’s. I can buy a 10lb bag of potatoes at Aldi’s for $3.00. There are roughly 60 or more potatoes in this bag. I use 5 potatoes per batch of french fries, so my cost per meal is .25 per meal! One bag of potatoes will make 12 servings of french fries. If you were to buy that many in frozen, you would spend $24.00. Doing fresh french fries, you will only spend $3.00!

Hope you enjoy those fries! Now I am off to go put mine in the refrigerator until this evening!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Farming On Faith's Beginning~

My Brian and I have dreamed of living in the country for many years. Brian would look every time land came up for sale. We didn't want to move to far from town. In the Fall of 2006 we purchased the land where Farming On Faith is now blossoming~about 8 miles out of town.

We met with builders but it was just so much more than our budget allowed~ so we decided to be our own Contractor. My husband has always been able to build, repair or fix anything. How he knows how to do everything~I just don't know. I really had blind trust because He has never let me down.  I should have had some fear~ For I had no idea what we really had got ourselves into! Never in my life was I prepared for the road that was to be ahead of us.
We had one great thing on our side~God. Looking back God taught us so many valuable lessons far greater in value than our new home. We broke ground in June 2007. What great joy that brought. We had been mowing and working on our land up until that time. I remember mowing this 10 acres and thinking~ our new home would never be completed.

We prayed and asked God for His wisdom in making all the thousand and one decisions that we had to make. We decided to go through our Homeschool group first. We had our neighbor and now friend Tim and Jill Marrow do our framing~what a fantastic job they did and it is so nice to have them as neighbors. We did all the jobs that we could do ourselves and we worked and worked and worked. Now I must say My Brian and I are hard workers but we had no idea just how hard the work would be. 
We dug footings in 102 degree heat. We built a retaining wall~which I say is still my least favorite job in the whole entire world. We worked all summer and by late fall the house was enclosed. Our children worked hard too! They learned many lessons that can't be found in any textbook. We worked all of Thanksgiving break and all of Christmas break.We insulated in the freezing cold weather. We had an ice storm and our power was out for 4 days in both houses~our old home and our half finished new home. I was thankful for the storm. We cuddled under blankets and rested. Now that is really bad~it was freezing!

As of early 2008~ our old home had not sold and the housing market was beginning to fall apart. I would love to tell you that we were the tower of faith~but our faith was really being put to the fire. We really did not for- see a big  problem~selling our old home! Our old home was an old historical Queen Ann that was sitting in a well sought after area in town. If we had not built our own home I would have never moved. It was completely restored with a brand new kitchen, wiring and well established yard and in- ground pool. We had people interested in it before we ever even wanted to sell. We finally got a contract and the people changed their minds. It was one crazy story after another.  By now we were terribly worried and money was getting stretched as tight as we were. We were trying too keep a picture perfect three story home in showable condition at all times, build a new home, homeschool and My Brian working full time. Talk about getting on our knees. We were way in over our heads.

The great thing is God taught us both that He is really all we need. We told God we would put both houses up for sale and we placed a For Sale sign in the ground at Farming On Faith. Someone else was going to live in my beautiful home that we had worked so hard to build. Our faith grew beyond measure. God is so good. He had a plan all a long and He was saving our old home for just the couple He wanted to have it! Boy~did we have to apologize to our Heavenly Father. He had it all taken care of and we did all that worrying for naught!

We closed on our other home on August 5, 2008 and moved into our new home~Farming On Faith. 
My Brian named it Farming On Faith~because it truly has been a journey of Faith and we have vowed that it always will be.



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