Posts from the ‘Homemaking’ Category

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)


1/08 We heard baby #8’s heartbeat today! That’s right – we’re expecting again! Guess we could also list this under “Celebrations.” 🙂 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!


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)


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! 🙂 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! 🙂


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. 😉 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. 😉


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.


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,

Tamara’s Cranbanana Bread (GF)

We had a wonderful breakfast the other day! Since going gluten-free (an update I haven’t mentioned here until now. 😉 ), we haven’t had much in the way of bread type products. Mostly corn tortillas which got old fast but I was too busy and too new (in the hands on dept.) to this way of feeding my family to change it as soon as I wanted.

I had made some biscuits and rolls from scratch and a cake. I also had made bread from a mix a couple of times. Oh, and of course, pancakes. But that’s not much considering we’ve been “in transition” seriously since August (?). (We had half-heartedly attempted it a few times before this as I’ve known my father is (officially) celiac for several years now and suspected it for me and a few of the children. The symptoms were just finally too overwhelming to ignore any more. 😦 )

Anyhow, I’m getting more and more familiar with using “alternative” flours and the bread I made this morning was so yummy that it just made the whole meal. It pretty much was the whole meal as we just had that and fruit salad (apples, oranges, pears, grapes and plums) and Kombucha – but it turned out to be just the change we need and was declared the “best breakfast” we’ve had in a while. I like our breakfast burritos…but, like I said above, tortillas had gotten kinda old. 😉

Tamara’s Cranbanana Bread (GF)

1 stick butter
½ C shortening (organic, non-hydrogenated such as Spectrum) *
6 medium very ripe bananas
2 C rice flour
2 C millet flour
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
4 eggs
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
½ C shredded coconut
½ C cranberries (wildcrafted from my parents homestead, also known as low bush cranberries or Lingonberries.)

1) Cream butter, shortening and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
2) Beat in eggs, vanilla and bananas.
3) In a separate bowl, mix flours and baking powder together.
4) Combine dry ingredients with wet and beat until dry ingredients are moist.
5) Gently fold in coconut and cranberries.
6) Grease two 5 x 9 in. loaf pans and divide batter between them. (Or, use a muffin pan! We made one loaf of bread and the rest of the batter into muffins.)
7) Bake bread in a 325°F oven for 1 hr. 20 min. or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not under bake! Muffins will take approx. ½ the time – sorry, I didn’t time it exactly. Just keep watch for a nice golden color on top and that each muffin is pulling away from the side of the cup.

* Note: So as not to be redundant, all ingredients are natural, raw, free range, pastured, and/or organic, gluten-free, etc. In other words, the best most healthful choice available for that product. Azure is my “store” of choice.

© 2008 Tamara Hunt

I may tweak this recipe in the future…I’m always tweaking things. May add nuts next time, may reduce it by one banana, may add orange peel, may reduce the sugar and/or leave out the brown sugar, etc. I love experimenting in the kitchen! 😀

Be sure to come back and tell me how they turned out for you! Enjoy!

This recipe was inspired by the one found here.

October in Review

(Officially typed 01/08/10)


10/22 Oldest DD 14th birthday!! 🙂 Continually amazed at how fast the years are flying… 😦

10/31 Happy Reformation Day!


10/30 L.’s 12th tooth (Approx. – within a day or two.) (right lateral incisor bottom) I think after this I’m going to stop tracking except to look in her mouth occasionally and say, “Yup, there’s another.” She now has most of them with no problems, etc.


See workout blog. Link in the sidebar.


10/02 Everyone sick except B. and Mama. Rest and movie day for the invalids.

10/03 – 08 Me sick too.

10/16 Finally feeling better – sickness as well as other “problems.”

10/18 Feeling more “normal.”


10/15 1rst Kombucha started!

10/20 First Kombucha finished – it is wonderful! We all love it! Too bad it seems to ferment slowly in our house. Probably because it’s always on the “cool” side – anything above 65°F and I start to feel uncomfortable – especially if I’m doing heavy housekeeping! Anyhow, 2nd Kombucha started and we’re really looking forward to drinking more of it! (A special thanks to Wardeh for hooking me up with her friend Jamie who shared a scoby with me! 🙂 )

10/29 3rd Kombucha started. Double batch this time as we can’t get enough of it and our scoby already had a baby. Wow, that was fast. 😉

Also, I’ve done the sourdough thang, the milling/soaking thang, the kefir thang, the sprout thang and (above) the kombucha thang. Well, lately I’ve been getting more into this thang…

Yup, the fermenting thang. A la <a href="Nourishing Traditions. We’ve just done a few batches of sauerkraut so far. I think this is our third batch above done with cabbage, onions and carrots. Yummy! We love it!! I’ll be branching out with other veggies as soon as I can get some more containers…


10/18 Bonfire @ Grace’s house. (Forgot my camera – no pics. 😦 )

10/21 Me and my older girls traveled out to Nelchina (pronounced Nel-chee-na) with some other ladies from our church for a ladies prayer meeting at a member’s house. While it may be more than “recreation”, it certainly was a wonderful break from our everyday routine! Encouraging and refreshing – I love the ladies of our church!


10/05 Snow = 2″

10/06 Snow = 3″

10/09 – 10/10 We had an incredible wind storm in the night! Took down 5 trees around our property. One was a huge spruce right next to the house on the west side. God’s wonderful providence prevented it from crashing down on our daughters room or the neighbor’s boat! Really, it was amazing that it came down exactly in the only clear path it had! We’re really thanking God for that! One tree did come down on our Suburban but it was smallish and hit only the right back corner. A small dent and no windows broken. Again, thanking God! Two trees near the garage were left leaning over it – one almost touching – that we had to cut down. Sadly the last tree the storm took was our beloved crabapple tree. 😦 It was always so pretty in the spring with it’s profusion of blooms and we so enjoyed the hundreds of apples it gave us in the fall. Broke it right in half. Luckily, there were two sucker branches near the break so husband cleaned it up/trimmed it and we shall see what next spring/summer bring. Hoping it’s saved!

10/10 Temp. reaches 60°F in sun, snow all gone in p.m.

10/12 Snow = 3″

10/14 Snow = 2″

(Did you notice the snow came back in the exact reverse amounts?! 🙂 )

Now some pics from this month…

First snow of the year! (What the backyard looked like in about 20 minutes.)

Our poor ‘lil apple tree. 😦 And, see those spruce trees in the background? They didn’t used to lean like that… (No, the wind wasn’t still blowing either!)

Look at all the apples still left on the tree! Now, imagine all the windfalls! Hundreds of them! We are devastated at the loss. Not of these – we salvaged these – the future potential loss. 😦

A ‘lil girl pickin’ apples.

A young boy pickin’ apples.

Sisters pickin’ apples. ♥♥

And a wild visitor gets what’s left!

(As you can see, the storm got rid of the first snow fall but it was back in a couple of days in the pic with the moose.)

That wraps up this rather lengthy post. Thanks for sticking with me. 🙂

‘Til next time,

Today (Simple Woman’s Daybook)

Courtesy of The Simple Woman

Outside My Window…3″ of new snow, blue sky, bright sunshine. Clouds are supposed to be gathering soon though.

I am thinking…how nice it would be to get back into some sort of a routine…to find a happy balance in housework, homeschool, home business and fun time.

I am thankful for…a warm strong house. Last week’s storm is still fresh in my mind. That although we lost our crabapple tree (for the most part), the other trees that fell didn’t damage the house and the damage to the Suburban is minimal!

From the kitchen…we had a yummy brunch of kefir soaked gluten-free oats with fresh homemade crabapplesauce drizzled with honey and Cheesy Potato Spinach Bake. More crabapplesauce is being processed today. Dinner is still being decided. I’m looking forward to making my first batch of kombucha sometime this week too – as soon as my scoby gets here! I’m excited!

I am wearing…a black and white plaid flannel skirt, white tshirt, black apron and dark multi-colored Sketchers. My hair is in a bun.

I am creating…no sewing/craft projects right now. I’m working on cleaning out my craft closet and rediscovering a bunch of goodies that are inspiring me to start crafting again soon!

I am going…to stay at home today where it’s cozy and I’m content!

I am reading…lots! Reference my sidebar to the right. 😉

I am hoping…to make some progress again soon on our remodeling projects. Our flooring is a disaster and nice flooring would be such a blessing before the holidays! There’s so much more to it than what’s stated… It would make our home so much more liveable and comfortable for our own family and it would open my heart and mind to being more hospitable to others. Things I’ve been desiring for some time…

I am hearing…the radio in the garage and my dh working out there with our two sons because he has the door propped open.

Around the house…things are in disarray throughout the house because we’ve all been extremely sick for more than a week and are still recovering. However, today we are attempting to get back into a routine and slowly but surely getting certain areas in order again. Desperately seeking order again!

One of my favorite things…the big bear hugs my 18 month little girl loves to lavish on me! *melt* 🙂

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Continuing to bring order to my home, mailing out a business order that’s been on hold since we’ve been sick, getting lesson plans caught up and more planned out, visiting with my parents after my mom’s surgery (if we are all well)…goodness knows there’s much I’m not thinking of at the moment…

Here is picture thought I am sharing…

Success! Homemade naturally fermented sauerkraut with homegrown veggies. The children can’t get enough! 😀

FF – May Freebies & Tip

I got on the freebie band wagon this past month. Thought I’d share what came in the mail for us.

In this large family, trial sizes aren’t going to go very far but I had an idea that prompted me to start this craziness. 😉 We have a “car box” as we call it. It is a small plastic tote in which we keep emergency supplies but it can also double as an impromptu snack/picnicing/camping box in a pinch. A few items it contains: flashlight and batteries (although I’m going to eventually replace these with a wind up flashlight – which we all have anyway but keep in our own various packbacks/purses/bags), matches, soap, sanitary hand cleaner, small pouch first aid kit, ½ gal. of H2O, plastic cups and utensils, etc. It also had quick emergency food type items that had gotten used up and I hadn’t replaced yet. My bright idea? Start filling it with food and other types of samples that could come in handy in pinch! One type of cereal freebie will not satisfy 7 children…but 7 samples will. 😉 Shampoo samples, handy wipe samples, pain reliever samples, etc….all small and fit great and you don’t need much as they are for “emergencies.” Perfect! So, with a handful of exceptions, most of what is shown above has made it’s way into our car box. Now the children can’t wait to go on a road trip and dig into the surprises! 😉

That’s my frugal tip for this week! Do you keep a car emergency box? What do you have in yours?

♥ oxoxox ♥

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