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Showing posts from March, 2018

Saucepan Brownies Recipe from Grandma Elizabeth

This saucepan brownies recipe had gone missing for a while and was sorely missed. The other day when my sister and her family were visiting, we pulled out my mom's recipe card file and I was so delighted to discover another copy of it there. Lest it get lost again, I'm posting it here. Saucepan brownies are easier on the tummy because they use shortening instead of butter. They also have a wonderful and unique texture thanks to the extra eggs. It makes a larger batch than most other brownie recipes as well. Saucepan Brownies Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat in a large saucepan on the stove: 2/3 cup shortening 2/3 cup cocoa powder When shortening is melted, add: 2 cups sugar 1/2 cup milk Bring to a boil, and then remove from stove. Whisk together in a separate bowl: 1 cup flour 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking powder Stir the flour mixture into the saucepan ingredients.  Then add and mix well: 4 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 cup nuts Spread into a 9x

Farm Projects for Spring and Summer 2018

Farm projects for this spring and summer are no longer just wish-list tasks written down on yellow lined paper. There's a visible reminder now of work to be done.  The material for the pole barn has been delivered and sits along the driveway, waiting for us to get started.  In the meantime, we decided to get the garden plot tilled and composted, so it can rest a couple months before it's time to plant. Newbies that we are, we each had to take a turn tilling up the soil. This was, of course, after we spent about two hours trying to figure out how to get the tiller onto the tractor.  Once the soil was tilled, we brought over several tractor buckets full of compost from the pile by the barn and tilled that in, too. The soil will now sit for several weeks at least, until it's time to get started sowing seeds. Next we attached the auger and experimented with drilling holes.  A deer fence will need to go up around the garden.  The auger will be handy for th

Spring Flowers by the Barn

Spring has arrived in full force here in our neck of the woods!  One of the earliest signs of spring here is the row of daffodils that our neighbors planted along the fence by the community barn. The flowers run along the entire east side of the pasture, between the road and the fence. The flowers can be enjoyed by all, as anyone who calls this place home or comes to visit our little community drives past them when entering or leaving the neighborhood.  Plum trees are in bloom, too -- I always try to take notice of the early buds on the trees and when the flowers are just starting to open. The air has a lovely floral scent from pollen as the flower petals on this tree are just starting to fall. I'm looking forward to picking a large barrel of plums for making jam later this fall. Along my walk today, I also stopped a moment to admire my neighbor's two male bull calves. They've grown quite a lot in the past year.  My family enjoys being near the f

Brewing a Magical Elixir Called Kombucha

I recently decided to brew my own Kombucha after coming across this magical elixir in a health food store and realizing how expensive a habit it could become. In most stores, it can cost $3.99 for a small bottle.  If you were to drink several bottles of this brew each week, the cost would really add up.  Brewing Kombucha is incredibly easy and affordable, as it requires only a few simple steps and relatively inexpensive supplies. It's the unusual aspects of Kombucha that shrouds it in mystery, giving the impression of it being difficult. The greatest mystery involving this unusual brew is the scoby.  Scoby is an acronym for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.  A scoby grows on top of the brew and is what causes it to ferment. Take a look at the scoby that is currently growing on top of my latest batch. Now, I realize you're probably thinking, Eeeeuuuwwww!  A scoby is indeed an odd looking creature growing on top.  Some people might hesitate to drink the tea underne

Welcome Home, Baby Chicks!

Peep, peep, peep...peep, peep, peep... six tiny voices are chirping up a storm in our sun room. We picked up the new chicks on Saturday and they are now happily scratching around and getting comfortable in their new home. One of the chicks was an orphan from an earlier one had purchased her.  So I took her in.  She's rather large then, compared to the rest.  Big Bird seems an appropriate name for her. We haven't named the others yet. We'll have to observe them as they grow to see what names fit. It's been fun to observe their antics. At first very timid, the little chicks cowered against the side of their new home.  That didn't last long, thanks especially to Big Bird's presence. A couple weeks older and wiser, Big Bird showed the way and encouraged the littlest ones past their shyness. My sister, Cathy, gave me a tip last year when we raised our first three chicks: a galvanized stock feeding tank works perfectly for raising chicks