"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."
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!
“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
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