Bone Broth Basics

Bone Broth

Bone broth is to the kitchen what a nice cashmere sweater is to your wardrobe: simple and unassuming, but a necessary asset. It is an element used frequently in traditional cuisine; kept on hand for making soup, sauces, and for cooking grains such as rice. If prepared with special attention and care it becomes a delicious concoction providing backbone to those simple dishes and an extra nourishing boost to those who enjoy them

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Live in Harmony with the Seasons

Live in Harmony with the Seasons

One of the unspoken goals I have had since moving to our homestead has been to synchronize our lifestyle to the rhythm of the seasons. To me, this is a concept that goes way beyond eating tomatoes in the summer. To me, it means bringing the outside indoors, duplicating the four season pattern of rest, renewal, growth, and reflection into our every day habits. Here are four suggestions for living in harmony with the seasons as suggested through The Homespun Seasonal Living Workbook by Kathie Lapcevik.

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Homemade DIY Hair Conditioner and Skin Care

Homemade DIY hair conditioner and skin care

One of the biggest adjustments I had to make to country living was the effect of harsh wind and hard water on my skin and my hair. Within a month of living here I had the scaly skin of a reptile and a head of hair that resembled a Brillo pad. It took me a while to make the connection to the water and climate; once I did I was at a loss as to what to do about it. Then a friend of mine recommended coconut oil both for my hair and for my skin and it has since become a part of my daily routine.

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Rustic Lamb Stew and A Few Words About Soaking Grains

lamb stew

This past week we saw some of the coldest days of the year. Those kind days where you crave something nice and hot, something that warms one from the inside out. Unfortunately, one of these days occurred when I had not planned for something nice and hot. We were nearing the end of our grocery cycle and there was little on hand to work with. At a loss, I scanned the freezer and the cupboard for inspiration and, at the last minute, threw together a concoction that, had I tried, could not have been any more delicious.

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Gear up for Spring Planting

Gear Up for Spring Planting

While spring is still a few months off, spring planting season (for me at least) is just around the corner: February 15 signals the start of the cool weather growing season for my area. I have spent the past few weeks taking inventory of my seed supply, perusing seed catalogs, and making a list of what I need to get our garden started. If you are as eager as I am to get started with your gardening, here are a few things you can be doing now in spite of it still being January.

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Cinnamon Coconut Hot Chocolate ~ and a giveaway!

cinnamon chocolate hot cooca

With one of the coldest winters we’ve had in ages cinnamon hot cocoa is a treat that we have enjoyed often. The recipe is simple and comes together quickly. The addition of coconut oil is a great way to get this good stuff into your diet. If this is something you would enjoy, we’re delighted to be able to offer a giveaway from Tropical Traditions for a gallon bucket of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!

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How to Grow your Own Transplants

sprout

When I was a new gardener home grown transplants intimidated me. It seemed be complicated and unnecessary, considering the fact I could just go out and buy them. But then I got more interested in heirloom varieties and organic practices, and found that starting my own plants gave more variety than anything I could find at the local nursery. Not to mention how I have complete control over using fertilizers and pest control — or not. Today I’m sharing my tips over at Gnowfglins. I’d love to have you drop by and share yours as well!

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Grocery Shopping when One Lives Miles from a Store

bulk groceries

Real home-grown food and our fondness of it: beautifully prepared is one of the primary reasons we homestead. However, while we do attempt to grow the majority of our meat and produce, the key word there is majority. We are not a completely self sustaining homestead and I don’t know if we ever will be. There are some things I feel are beneficial to our diet that our climate will not support, and there are also many things we enjoy eating for which I make special allowances. Add to that the fact that we include a lot of traditional, fermented, and cultured foods in our diet, and our grocery list consists of things one cannot find at the “local” store twenty miles north. Grocery shopping is no longer a simple, one afternoon affair. It takes some planning, strategizing, and sometimes compromise in order to pull it off.

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Joy! Comes in the Morning ~ Free Printable

bird's nest square

In keeping with the theme of contentment for this year I created this little reminder. This passage is one of my favorites, one that I think back to often when things don’t seem to be going quite right. I put joy in the same category as contentment. It is a frame of mind more than it is an emotion. When one is in that frame of mind, it doesn’t seem to matter whether or not things are going according to plan. I have this printed off and hanging above my desk where I can see it often while I’m working. If you would like to have one too you can download your copy here and print it off.

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Cultivating an Attitude of Contentment

snowy sunset

I know that a lot of people select words as the theme for an upcoming year and this year’s word, for me at least, is contentment. Merriam-Webster defines contentment simply as “the state of being happy and satisfied”. It seems that contentment has always been my struggle in one way or another: struggling to be content with the direction life is headed, struggling to be content with outcomes over which I have no control, struggling to be content with who I am and where I am at. Here are some practical ways in which I’m choosing to cultivate an attitude of contentment in 2014.

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Getting Started with Traditional Foods and Healthy Eating

vegetable basket

Happy New Year! I hope that you are anticipating a wonderful and most blessed 2014! This past week husbie and I have spent much time reflecting over this past year and all that it held for us, as well as looking forward to the new year and all that we hope to accomplish. One goal for 2014 is to continue to add more and more traditional and fermented foods to our diet. When I was introduced to traditional foods some years ago I was both fascinated and overwhelmed. Soaking, sprouting, fermenting, sourdough…..where does one start?? Today I am sharing my thoughts on breaking the concept of traditional foods down into smaller, bite sized pieces (pun intended) over at Gnowfglins. I hope you will drop by and share your thoughts as well.

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