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Showing posts from May, 2018

My Cookbook Cupboard and Vintage Betty Crocker

It's been 9 months since we bought our vintage house and I'm enjoying fixing up all its nooks and crannies, including this built-in cookbook cupboard located next to the kitchen.  I think these shelves truly were originally intended for cookbooks, as it seems the perfect spot for them.  My collection of cookbooks fits perfectly on its shelves with room to spare. Sometimes I come in here, open the cupboard doors, and spend an hour or more just looking through the books.  The vintage Betty Crocker cookbooks are my favorites. I cook mostly from the white and blue Betty Crocker there on the top of the pile. My daughter knows this book, too, as I sometimes tell her to go get me Betty and she bring the white and blue one out.

Vegetable Garden Design Planner

I used a free garden planner from Mother Earth News to draw a layout of my vegetable garden. I was pleased with the results and found the free online tool super-easy to use.  Below is the diagram I made: Click to see larger version A friend came by the other day and commented that it looks like I'd put in a commercial garden.  We did kind of go overboard with it this year.  It's our first spring here at Vintage Home and Farm, and I guess the dream of fully living a farm lifestyle kind of inspired us. Now that the garden has started to grow, there are a few things that I would have done differently.  I purchased bare-root berries and trees by mail order, and unfortunately some of them are still not growing after being in the ground several weeks.  I'll have to replace them, and this time around I'm not going to start with bare root.  A few of the vegetable seeds also didn't germinate (those are the gaps near the Kale), and so I'll have to consider what e

Deep Bed Gardening - Victory Garden Style

We decided to put in a deep bed garden this year, similar to what was very likely here on our property back in the 1940s when families grew Victory Gardens. In deep bed gardening, the soil along the pathways between rows is shoveled up onto the garden beds on either side.  This involves quite a bit more manual labor to achieve than a standard garden, but the benefits of gardening this way should be well worth the effort. Deep bed gardening has many benefits: the paths between beds stay relatively weed-free; it's much harder for slugs and snails to travel between the garden beds; the soil around the vegetables stays looser, providing for better drainage and allowing roots to grow more easily; and root plants like carrots grow better in deeper soil, where they have more room to grow longer and deeper into the earth. I covered the pathways with whatever mulching material I could find here on the property.  This year, that meant leftover unused pine bedding from when we brough

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

I made two batches of these overnight cinnamon rolls for my colleagues at work the other day and was impressed with how quickly the rolls disappeared.  Several of my coworkers mentioned that they'd always wanted to make cinnamon rolls but thought it would be too hard.  It did take me a while to learn the secrets of making really good cinnamon rolls; however, once I finally understood a few of the most critical steps, it's really not as hard as it seems -- and choosing to do overnight cinnamon rolls ensures that these buns are ready in the morning when you want them.  The three most important tips I've learned for buns that rise nicely and are not dry when baked are: Don't add too much flour to the dough when mixing. The dough should have a soft elasticity toward the end of kneading. If the dough seems super thick and firm, there's too much flour. I've actually added a tiny bit more water or shortening when this has happened and the rolls still came out fine.