Monday, July 26, 2021

"In Due Season" Garden Cookbook ~ Free Printable

"The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season."
~ Psalm 145:15

One of my favorite homemaking hobbies is to collect simple recipes for the individual vegetables that we grow. Once I find one we all love, I add it to my gardening cookbook and it becomes a part of our seasonal eating rhythm.

For instance, I made individual section tabs for each vegetable that we grow (i.e., beets, broccoli, cucumber and tomatoes). Once we harvest that certain crop, I can go to the tab of that particular vegetable and prepare a meal accordingly. It is very convenient to have your tried and true recipes in one place for each garden variety.

The compilation process is simple. When I find a cookbook recipe that I like for a certain vegetable, I photocopy it and add it to the proper section of my notebook (the recipe above is from "Betty Crocker's" Cookbook and is a perfect use of our bell-peppers). If I find one online or in an Ebook, I print it up and add it in there also (the recipe below is Barefoot Contessa Online and is tasty for our broccoli harvest). If there is a family favorite, I handwrite it on recipe paper and include it in the binder as well. There is no rhyme or reason where they come from, just so that everyone in the family loves it and that it uses up what we are growing. 

For example, with our eggplant harvest the family favorites are eggplant parmigiana, eekra (a Persian eggplant and tomato spread passed down from my husband’s grandmother) and a tasty Italian-inspired eggplant and rice dish. I'll list some of our other favorite recipes (with links) in each category in another post in case you'd like to try some.

What about you, do you have a garden style cookbook which rotates gently through the seasons? If not, perhaps you would like to prepare one?

List of recommended supplies (affiliate links):

Obviously you can customize this to meet the needs of your family. This is just a simple suggestion to get you started. I have a few "clip arts" which I cut out of old cookbooks and I have pasted some of these pictures onto my black and white printouts to make it a bit prettier (my color printer no longer works). 

For the homeschooling mother, you can have the children draw the individual section pages of each vegetable and have them write out the individual names per page as copywork. The young ladies of the family can help to find recipes to try and add into your cookbook. Or they can dig through all your family favorite recipes and sort them in accordingly. 

This is a fun and useful little project for anyone who grows their own food or any of you who make it a point to eat seasonally. I hope you enjoy this little FREE PRINTABLE! Happy homemaking! Love,♡JES

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold,
it would be a merrier world.”
~ J. R. R. Tolkien

Thursday, July 22, 2021

May/June 2021 Newsletter

"We often take our homes for granted. But when we steep ourselves in our home, a deep sense of place begins to emerge. Life becomes more meaningful. We begin to have a greater spiritual awareness of what our home is and should be. Perhaps our most inspiring thought is that our homes, if we are to live well in them, require and deserve a lifetime of the most careful attention. A home absorbs caretaking like a sponge. All the hours we spend tending to it are never in vain, for everything we give to our home, is in turn, given back to us. Our homes will be only as generous and nurturing as the effort we invest in them."

by Miriam Lukken

I can't believe two months have passed since I've done this newsletter! I remember my grandfather saying that as you age, it feels like time moves faster and faster. I find this to be sadly true and try to live in each moment and enjoy the blessings of today. So here we find ourselves with another monthly update in which we chat about books read, things watched, homemaking projects and any other ponderings which really don't fit into its own post! It is simply some old-fashioned, womanly chit-chat. Would you like to join me?

***But before we begin... THIS WILL BE THE LAST POST YOU RECEIVE VIA EMAIL... Recently, the Feedburner team released a system update, that the email subscription service will be discontinued in July 2021. After July 2021, the automated emails to our subscribers will no longer be supported. If you’d like to continue getting updates on our blog, please consider switching to Bloglovin (link on sidebar) or some other system. Thank you for understanding and subscribing! Love, JES***

So what have I been doing? Simply baking, making, and awakening the senses to the glorious fruits and flavors of (spring and now) summer. Investing in the time to create memories in the home… for that is what life is made up of… tiny increments of time called memories. A homemaker’s purpose is love-giving, life-giving and nourishing… creating an intentional home… she is a glorious memory-maker.

What career or life calling has more impact than that?

Pictured is a vanilla cake I made that will soon be slathered in freshly whipped cream and farm fresh strawberries 🍓. I found the baking tin at a Goodwill thrift store and fell in love with the shape!

I’ve also updated my little baking basics jar set this month. My original set just had salt, baking soda and baking powder. I now added five other baking friends called cinnamon, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, cocoa and cream of tartar.

These are ingredients that often require me to scoop out teaspoons and tablespoons at a time (and not just a sprinkle). The convenience of a wide jar opening is wonderful. I do have a print out of the basic three on my blog from years ago HERE or you can customize them with round labels as I have HERE. I collected a set of matching recycled jars for this little project so it is a fun and frugal endeavor!

Note: The cottage-style labels are from our Etsy Shop.

I also enjoyed repurposing cookbooks into “Little House” homemaking notecards… Do you recall I spoke about this concept in the last newsletter?

This is my first set of notecards repurposed from the thrifted cookbooks which didn’t end up being useful to our household. As I was cutting out the pictures from this particular book, they reminded me of a dear old pioneering friend and I couldn’t resist making this first set “Little House-inspired”. Each card features some sweet and simple quote by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’ve kept this batch rather plain as I think it matches the primitive style better. Bundle the set of cards with some calico ribbon or twine and you have a darling gift. Or, write down some encouraging words of your own inside and mail them out to a few fellow homemakers who could use a little old fashioned love. This was such a fun and easy project! 

Our garden is doing quite well and I've been busy preserving and making various meals with all of our produce. We are growing the basic herbs as well as tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, bell-peppers and eggplant. 

"Spring is the season for new growth -- of aromatic mint, broad-leaved sorrel and tender spikes of chives picked in their infancy to garnish young salad leaves or to pack in among baby vegetables freshly plucked from the garden and bottled for enjoying during the winter months. Is is a time for flavored butters drizzled over grilled vegetables and fish, for scented oils and vinegars and delicate flower cordials. It is the season of youth; all is green and yellow, and there is a crisp, fresh fragrance in the air. It is a time of renewal, when we clean our homes as unveiled windows reveal dusty corners, and we gently nourish our tender, winter-dried skin before we bare it in the warming sun."

~ Stephanie Donaldson, The Country Store

I even did a batch of infused vinegars with a variety of purposes. I prepared garlic chive vinegar for salad dressings, mint vinegar for housecleaning solutions, lemon peel vinegar for a rinse-aid and fabric softener, orange infused vinegar for home-keeping projects and lavender infused vinegar for any of the above! 

I have also been preparing numerous "cupcake squash" stir fry's and tons of quiches (with and without crusts) and we've been grilling these round zucchini by the dozens!

The tomatoes have come to call and I have been using them up and dehydrating trays upon trays. I don't bother with de-seeding them as it would be overwhelming work. I sprinkle them first with my dry Italian dressing mix and they actually can be eaten like a snack! I am also planning to place some in a jar of olive oil and use upon pizza and breads come winter. 

Here is a quick garden meal to use what you grow: mini garden pita pizzas with pizza sauce, cheese, homegrown sautéed zucchini, freshly sliced tomatoes, basil and snipped garlic chives. Broil til cheese is bubbling. Drizzle the top with olive oil and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

Is your countertop brimming with baskets right now? Mine is and I couldn't help thinking...

The changing landscape of the kitchen sink is like the changing landscape of our lives. Sometimes it is bright and beautiful. Sometimes it is a horrible mess. Either way, we continue to do our best and create a home that is always in the stages of loving, praying and working through whatever is thrown our way. We will make the best of it. We will take ripening fruit and make sweet jam from it. We will wipe those spills and all will be shinier than before. With God's help, we will bring order back to brighten our home sweet home. But no matter how exhausting, heartbreaking or hard, we must never give up.

🍅 🧺 ♥️

"God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn."
~ Psalm 46:5

And finally, I splurged on a new cookbook and I absolutely love it! It is one of the most down to earth one's I have seen with recipes that would be agreeable for all of our family! Have you ever heard of "Hope's Table"? The best part is that each recipe has an inspiring picture which makes you want to cook the dinner immediately! 

With that being said, what about you dear reader? What wholesome and lovely things have you been reading, watching and/or working on? As always, recommendations are much appreciated as hearing about your homemaking endeavors always inspires me!

Happily homemaking,

“The thought that, insignificant as she was, she yet might do some good, made her very careful of her acts and words, and so anxious to keep head contented and face happy, that she forgot her clothes, and made others do the same. She did not know it, but that good old fashion of simplicity made the plain gowns pretty, and the grace of unconsciousness beautified their little wearer with the charm that makes girlhood sweetest to those who truly love and reverence it.”

~ Louisa May Alcott, An Old-Fashioned Girl

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”

~ 1 Peter 3-4

(Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which help support this blog. Thank you!)

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

One Thrifted Twin Sheet Repurposed into 4 Different Items

 “Industry, perseverance, and frugality make fortune yield.”

~ Benjamin Franklin

One of the things I love to look for in thrift stores are lovely floral sheets (but of course you know that if you are a reader of this little blog ♥️). However, these repurposed projects can be prepared with any style pattern you love and is a fun and frugal way to add to your household linen supply. I shared a project with this twin sheet awhile back and now I'd like to share what was done with the remaining scraps of fabric.

First off, I'm thrilled with how I was able to make 12 new napkins without the use of a sewing machine! I’m in love with this “snip and rip” process. I call them “prairie” napkins ♥️ A step-by step tutorial is shared HERE if you are interested! 

I was also able to make up some "prairie style" tea-towels!

I know these projects may seem unnecessary when you can purchase and use the plain flour sack towels... But I believe in the benefits of cultivating beauty in the home on the smallest scale and using the brain endowed by the Almighty for creative pursuits (even of the simplest kind). There must be something therapeutic when you mimic the master Creator and become a designer as well. It is also quite rewarding to do these types of projects with frugality in mind — using the scraps of what you have around you to transform and renew.

To make the set of 12 dinner napkins, it was necessary to tear off all four corners of my thrifted sheet. I then used those edges to embellish the hem of these flour sack towels. Being the edges of the sheet were hemmed on one side, all I had to do was hem the ripped edge and sew onto the border of the flour sack towel for an easy cottage style tea-towel. 


“The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul
than their simplicity might suggest."
~ Thomas Moore

The third project is repurposing the leftover strips of the sheet into cottage-style ribbon.

This is such an easy and fun way to use up the last of your scraps of anything really. Simply snip the fabric and tear it into strips. Pull off any stray pieces of thread and iron it nice and pretty before folding it up or storing it on a spool. This sweet ribbon will decorate gifts, tie up bundles around the house or be used in any way you can dream up! 

Obviously you make these to taste. A calico fabric or sheet would make homespun ribbon. A geometric sheet or fabric would make a modern ribbon. A larger floral print would make a romantic one.

I'll also admit to splurging on some wooden spools to give this project a little special boost (and make them a bit more gift-able). 

This is the last project made with this sweet thrifted twin sheet. Jar covers! All you need are some squares and/or circles cut to the proper size of the jar and you have a darling final use of all that fabric! These can be used for home-canned foods or fermenting projects such as kombucha, sourdough starter, etc.

“I just try to look on the bright side of things; that helps one amazingly. Why, you’ve no idea how much goodness and sunshine you can get out of the most unpromising things, if you make the best of them.” 
~ Louisa May Alcott, An Old-Fashioned Girl


It kind of amazes me at how much goodness was created from one twin sheet! Imagine what you can do with a larger size. To make a dozen dinner napkins, embellished tea towels, homemade ribbon and jar covers from one piece of fabric (which all cost less than a few dollars) makes me quite happy! Do any of these ideas interest you? Do tell!