Posts from the ‘Homemaking’ Category

The Slanted Door (Review)

The Slanted Door: Modern Vietnamese Food

I can’t stop looking at this book! I love it!

Hardcover, solidly bound, pleasantly laid out, beautifully photographed!

If you like Asian food and cooking, you’ll want to have this book too.

I’ve only just begun to read the descriptive information which tells the history of this 2014 Outstanding Restaurant award winner. Although, I’ve already picked out several recipes to try! Recipes cover a full gamut – four or five course meals easily. Categories are: Starters, Cocktails, Raw Bar, Salads, Soups, Mains, Desserts and Basics.

I wasn’t the only one drooling over the pictures…

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and scanning the ingredients for things we might already have in the cupboard…

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(Our resident Chef!)

Seriously, every time I turned around, someone was grabbing my book to look at it!

We will substitute some of the ingredients (depending on the recipe) as we stick more to a whole foods diet and do our best to cut those that are highly refined, processed, etc. No corn syrup, white sugar, white flour, etc. Many of the recipes look like they have mostly good ingredients though.

Definitely a book about food and cooking that will stay on our shelves. You can be sure it won’t be one collecting dust!

Retail price is $40.00 A little spendy…but, with the above link, you can purchase it at Amazon for $23.40 hardcover and $18.99 Kindle version. Use the "Look Inside" feature to browse the book. I don't think you'll be disappointed if you appreciate Asian foods and well made books. A lovely gift for the cook in your life this holiday season!

Did you look through it? Let me know what you think…

‘Til next time,
Tamara

ps – I received this book free as a review copy. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links in which I will receive a small commission should you decide to purchase the product but will not incur additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Amazon Deals

Normally, I’m too busy to open the email notifications from Amazon on current deals. Today, I decided to take some time and cruise through some of the pages and see what I could find. Here’s what I found that interested me:

Babies/Toddlers

Happy Tot Organic Baby Food, Butternut Squash and Apple, 4.22-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 16)

Cast Iron Cookware

Lodge L9OG3 Pre-Seasoned Round Griddle, 10.5-inch

Lodge L10SK3 Pre-Seasoned Skillet, 12-Inch

Lodge L2SP3 Cast Iron Serving Pot, Black, 2-Quart

Lodge L17SK3 Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, 17-inch

Lodge Pro-Logic P7A3 Cast-Iron Aebleskiver Pan

Misc.

This 1.5 liter 1000-watt electric tea kettle with brushed stainless steel finish features an illuminated power indicator, automatic shut-off for dual protection when boiling or dry and an overheat shut-off.

Portable Canvas Heavy Duty Log Carrier Makes Moving Logs Easy

Elegant Garden Design 18-inch Rooster, Steel Silhouette with Rusty Patina

That’s all for now. Hopefully you found something to interest you too! (Remember, these are affiliate links.)

‘Til next time,
Tamara

Wooden Plates

The goal is to have one for each family member. Here is one of our daughters using one. I think she was eating fried potatoes and eggs with chopsticks. πŸ™‚

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Here is the plate by itself.

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So far, they are for our own personal use. Guess you could say we’re doing “quality control testing” for a possible future retail product. πŸ˜‰ The children are quite taken with them at the moment…harkens back to the wooden trenchers of the past that we’ve read about during history lessons.

What do you think? Would you use a wooden plate?

Latest “Experiment” in My Lab

…er, I mean, newest ferment going on in my kitchen. πŸ˜‰

KOMBUCH MUSTARD!

KOMBUCHA MUSTARD!

I can’t wait until it’s done and ready to use! It already smells wonderful and tastes great! (I dipped my pinky into the brew to test it..couldn’t resist… πŸ˜‰ )

It’s supposed to ferment 2 weeks minimum, 4 weeks maximum.

I’ll let it go as long as possible but I don’t think I’ll be able to wait the whole four weeks!

Only 1 week and 4 days to the minimum! 😎

‘Til next time,
Tamara

Weekly Contemplation

This is a “series” of blog posts I’ve been meaning to get back to for a while. In the past, on Sunday (rather inconsistently even then I’m afraid), I would post a meaningful quote from something I was currently reading as a little tid-bit to chew on throughout the week. Topics could be anything – religious, business, family, homemaking, etc. This one is a favorite and has been rather poignant over the last couple of years since our move. My husband and I have been separated quite a lot due to untidy loose ends with the business keeping him in our former city of residence. One I’ve worked hard to remember with all the pressures that entails…

“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” Martin Luther

A blessed Lord’s Day to you all,
Tamara

Off-grid Woodstove Cooking Tip

Homestead Potholders

Technically, we aren’t living completely off-grid. However, since moving to our new house a year and a half ago, we heat entirely with wood and use our woodstove for 95% of our cooking. We’ve really only turned the propane stove on to assist with holiday cooking.

Using the woodstove primarily means that our potholders were taking a beating – constantly grungy and developing burn marks, etc. – and therefore in the laundry quite often.

One day there wasn’t a potholder or kitchen towel to be found when I had to lift a pot off the stove. Viola’! My husband’s welding gloves to the rescue! They were supposed to be downstairs in the garage next to the big woodstove. That thing gets rip-roaring glowing hot and those gloves are crucial for me avoiding nasty burns trying to stoke it sometimes.

Anyhow, the gloves had somehow (read – older child who had stoked the downstairs stove forgetting they had them on) made their way upstairs and were (thankfully!) put behind the woodstove for safe keeping. How handy they were! Just grab any pot or pan (with or without a handle ;-)) and go! We heat water on our woodstove for many uses too and scalded hands from slopping water were now a thing of the past!

So there’s my tip! Welding Glove Potholders – the hottest thing in the homestead kitchen! (Well, besides your woodstove…or your pot…definitely NOT your hands though. πŸ˜‰ )

I think my husband with have to buy me a pretty pink pair if he wants these back in the future! πŸ˜€

‘Til next time,
Tamara

ps – This post is part of the Homestead Barn Hop!

Weekly Contemplation

“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” Martin Luther

Weekly Contemplation

“This method of brine preservation of pickles leads to a large loss or destruction of most of the nutrients present originally in the cucumbers. The water-soluble constituents are leached out into the vinegar brine and are largely discarded in a desalting operation prior to packing into jars. The sugars are fermented mostly to carbon dioxide and acids. In studies, such pickles lost 100 percent of their vitamin C, and from 75 to 85 percent of their vitamin B complex. For some puzzling and unexplained reason, the beta-carotene content was higher in the pickles than in the fresh cucumbers, but not high enough to be of nutritional significance. The role of such pickles is their contribution of variety and zest to the diet rather than nutrients, whereas the lacto-fermented pickles have health-promoting features similar to those of other fermented foods.”

pg. 130, Probiotic Foods for Good Health: Yogurt, Sauerkraut, and Other Beneficial Fermented Foods

January in Review

(Officially typed 3/11/10)

Children

1/08 We heard baby #8’s heartbeat today! That’s right – we’re expecting again! Guess we could also list this under “Celebrations.” πŸ™‚ I’ve suspected it for a couple of months but had some other troubles before hand that made us a little uncertain. Purposely waited to call the midwife so that when we went for our first appt. we could definitely confirm it with a heartbeat. We heard it so it’s definite! Yay! God continues to bless and grow our family and we’re thankful and humbled beyond belief! PTL!

Chickens

1/09 Haven’t written much about the chickens as they haven’t been laying and just doing what chickens do otherwise. Today though we found our last two chickens dead in their pen. I won’t go into details but we’re pretty sad. 😦 They had become more than egg layers…glorified pets is the term I used often. Nice chickens that liked our attention/petting, came when called (for the most part), etc. We’re going to miss them so much. 😦

Read more…

November in Review

(Officially typed 1/22/10)

Celebrations

11/1 Reformation Conference

11/27 Dinner @ home this year for Thanksgiving! It really felt good to be home although kinda different too. My parents joined us and it was nice and quiet and relaxing. Well, as quiet and relaxing as things can be with seven children! πŸ™‚ It was nice not to have to drive – especially on slippery roads. Plus, since I hadn’t been feeling well, it was more of a relief. Everything was yummy and the children were glad for an opportunity to finally use my good china again! πŸ™‚

Children

11/17 Potty training has begun for my baby!! L. used the potty for the first time today (#1)! She’s been interested for a while and we would put her on the big potty occasionally but, of course, there was the nervousness of being over that big opening. A few times we had success so I finally told one of the older girls to run out to the shed and find the little potty. We excitedly showed it to L. and showed her how to sit on it. A little while later when I took her to the bathroom she used it without much prompting at all. Her night-time diapers have been dry for quite a while so I definitely know she’s ready. 19mo and getting to be such a big girl! *sniff-sniff*

11/23 L. has been using the potty regularly but today she went all by herself and #2 even! I’d say potty training is complete – just like that. Exactly a week and pretty much trained herself! Of course, I’m sure I’ll have to remind every now and then. Like all children, she’ll probably get busy playing and forget, etc. Although it makes me a little sad, I’m glad it’s accomplished and so quickly!

11/25 No fluke. L. again used the potty by herself for #2 – twice in fact! It’s a little hard having one so young be so independent in this area as she doesn’t quite understand that it’s important to also wipe. πŸ˜‰ And, her motor skills have to catch up to do it well. Getting her to call to us to help is a challenge…as I said, she’s an independent sort. πŸ˜‰

Homemaking

11/3 Can’t believe I’m starting our 4th Kombucha batch already! We have two jars going now. It brews a little more slowly in our cool house I think than I’ve read others write but once it’s ready it’s gone! After this month, I won’t be recording any more. I just want to get a sense of how long it was taking and just how much we’d be needing, etc.

11/5 5th started.

11/8 6th.

11/11 Co-op order arrived.

11/14 7th. Peeled off and started a new “baby.”

11/16 8th. The original switched.

11/23 9th.

11/25 10th.

Weather

11/11 Snow = 3″ (approx.)

11/22 Snow = 3″ (approx.)

11/26 Snow = 2″

11/29 – 30 12″ over two days!!

Total Snow = 20″

And, a couple of pics:


During this month’s heavy snowfall.


One of our lovely winter sunsets.

‘Til next time,

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