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 πŸ“. 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 sautΓ©ed 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.

πŸ… 🧺 ♥️

"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,
♡ JES


“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!)


18 comments:

  1. Dearest Jes,
    I feel always so blessed when I have the time to visit you, to read your posts always lift my heartt and make me feel as if I were living in a past time when home was our Nest, thank you.
    We are lucky and proud to say that thanks to our mothers and grand-mothers ours is still so, isn't it!?!
    Sending blessings of Joy
    Xx Daniela at ~ My little old world ~ (Dany)

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to visit here today Dany! You are always so kind ♥️

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  2. Lovely post, as usual. Unfortunately, my garden isn't being as accommodating as yours. I moved the raised beds to outside my kitchen window, off the back porch, so it would be easier to keep an eye on it and work it. So I was basically starting over from scratch. Once the beds were moved, the rain hit for a couple of weeks, so that kept me from being able to work. I was woefully behind my schedule, so my plants aren't as far along as they should be. Plus, the grasshoppers are horrible this year, and I think the only thing the garlic spray I made has done is SEASON the plants for the grasshoppers to enjoy! Ah well, I persevere in my planting--something will come up.

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    1. Oh how I understand! Things do always go according to plan but we do our best... hopefully this next batch will take my friend ♥️

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  3. This was a wonderful newsletter! I love spending nap time reading things that uplift me and this blog does that. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. awww πŸ₯° thank you so very much πŸ€—

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  4. Thanks again for inspiring us in our homemaking. I still dearly love those notecards and want to get about making some after I finish 17 other projects. :) I'm also planning on splurging on a new cookbook, filled primarily with sourdough recipes: https://aroundthefamilytableblog.com/product/around-the-family-table-cookbook/ I had given one to my daughter and now think that I need one, too.

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    1. I am with you on the projects! I have so many I desire to do... it's just a matter of time... and of course, you can never have enough cookbooks ♥️πŸ€—

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  5. Look at that bounty! Ours are still green. We're waiting~ Also, love your cards.

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    1. It'll come πŸ˜‚ and you will be as busy as ever ♥️.

      Thank you!

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  6. JES, I invested a goodly amount of time admiring the twisty pastry (?) in the photo above your vanilla cake. Is the recipe on your blog, by chance? They look like they are begging to be enjoyed with a steaming mug of coffee! Nancy

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    1. Thank you Nancy ♥️ I don't have that one up! It was a quickly written down recipe years ago that doesn't even have bake times and degree... I'll see if I can pretty it up a bit to share it πŸ€—

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  7. Lovely post! I have been busy keeping up with the many eggs my hens give me. Lemon curd and many egg dishes accomplish that. Also we are enjoying cucumbers and tomatoes fresh from the garden. Today I spent a bit of time chatting with a friend while we picked blackberries together in a local park. Sweet fellowship plus sweet harvest. Tomorrow those berries will made into jam and shared.
    Blessings to all!

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    1. That sounds like a wonderful day! I wish we had berries nearby to pick. I would be in heaven ♥️ We used to have a local strawberry farm but they didn't plant this year... It broke my heart... but there is always so much to do in summer besides... Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Those cinnamon twisty pastries look so yummy!

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    1. Thank you! I will have to get a recipe up soon! My husband loves them as they are not too sweet and are perfect with coffee ♥️

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  9. Thank you JES for this lovely update. As always, you are so inspiring. Hope's Kitchen looks like a wonderful cookbook. I've requested my library get it in, and I hope they do! Also, I would love the recipe for those cinnamon twists - my mom used to make something just like that when I was a child.

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    1. Excellent! I hope they get a copy in!!! Also, I will work on putting that recipe together :)

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