Updates from the Homestead

(this pic of my homestead shows some snow.. but it is an older pic, so far this year, despite what is going on in the rest of the country we have not had any snow yet! I keep wondering what happened to winter! :)  )

This week has been a busy week for me. I continue to plug away at my basement project, a little at a time and find I’m making great progress. As soon as I get my pictures resized I’ll give you my latest update. I’m almost done…. and now plotting next month’s project.

My daughter Leanne went to New York City this week to visit a friend. It was a short trip but she enjoyed it. She went to see a friend she had made while in S. Korea who is now working in NYC. She saw a few sites and had a great time visiting. I have a niece who also lives in NYC and she was able to spend an evening visiting with her cousin. She navigated the NYC subway system all by herself and I was in awe of her courage to do so!! But as she reminded me she learned to navigate the Seoul subway system with no English signs and no one who spoke English if she had a question. She said the NYC subway was a piece of cake in comparison!

A picture of Leanne and her friend in Times Square…

This week was also our first “back to school” week after the holidays. It was hit and miss as far as how well we stayed on track. I honestly have to say that in many ways homeschooling several children (6 in my zenith) at one time is a little easier than homeschooling one. I know that may sound strange, but when you have several children to teach, that need your attention, that becomes your entire purpose in a day. When you have one student, that needs minimal supervision and needs your attention periodically.. it is easy to let things slip because you become involved in other things in life. So, I was reminded this week that my dear son needs accountability more than he needs his questions answered or be shown how to do things… something I will strive for more in the next week and the weeks beyond. ~smile~

Leanne acquired a taste for kimchi while in Korea and misses it something terrible. We have bought it here and she likes it but said it was just missing “something”.. so she attempted to make it herself. However she learned, after the fact, that she used the wrong red chili peppers (she used what is commonly sold here in the US) and the kimchi is BEYOND HOT!!! I love hot food and it was way, way too hot for me. So, now she is back to the drawing board when it comes to searching for ingredients and will try again. In the meantime we are figuring out what to do with this hot kimchi.. she has a couple soup recipes that call for kimchi so we may see if that is a good use for it as well as just adding it small portions to other soups for the “bite”. 

While I was in the Asian grocery store with Leanne (she was purchasing her ingredients for kimchi) I found a 25 pound bag of Jasmine Brown Rice. Jasmine brown rice is my favorite brown rice. I was paying well over $1 a pound (I think it was $1.35lb) for it in a store that sells bulk items. I was so happy to find a 25lb bag of it for $22.95 today (about .92 cents a pound). That should keep us well supplied with rice for time!

I spent a lovely afternoon with my daughter Hannah and her babies yesterday. My little grandson Will is growing up way to fast.. but I love his little smile and laugh, just warms my heart. I truly believe there is nothing so sweet as hearing, “Grandma, Grandma” from my grandgirlies when they walk in the door and getting super sweet hugs from them.

This weekend I have plans to work on next week’s menu as well as spending some time in the kitchen doing a few meal preps to help make next week go smooth.

Hope you have a super weekend in your home!!



  1. I used to live in the gatehouse of the mansion at Cape Horn. I miss the area terribly and enjoy when you post pictures of the most beautiful area in the world: The Columbia River Gorge. God Bless you and your family.

    1. Anon.. how interesting! Are you aware that the mansion at Cape Horn was demolished in 2008? There is now a scenic trail that leads to that area...

      It is a beautiful area for sure!

  2. Crystal, thanks for all your updates. So happy that Leanne is back and I can't wait to hear what she plans to do next.

    I agree with you on homeschooling several compared to homeschooling one or two! I think our day just goes so much more smoothly when I am focused on one thing at a time rather than going back and forth from one thing to another. When I only have one homeschooler, I tend to try to multi-task too much!

    I am making your Cranberry Chicken tomorrow night for Sunday Supper, then I will do the Chicken Enchiladas for Tuesday night and the Jambalaya for Thursday night! Love the recipes for One Meat - Multiple Dinners! Thank you so much!!

    1. Hope you enjoy all the meals Maureen!

    2. We loved the Cranberry Chicken on Sunday night! It was fabulous.

      I am excited to try the next dish, the Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas. But I wondered, since you said you use the leftover from the Cranberry Chicken, do you include the cranberries? Or do you just use the chicken? And is that the same for the Jambalaya?


    3. I removed the chicken from the cranberries but still had some of the cranberries mixed in with both the enchiladas and the jambalaya.. Glad you liked it!! Hope you enjoy the enchiladas as well! :)

    4. The Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas were terrific!! I made 8 big enchiladas, 4 per 9x13 baker, they were enormous! We still have one pan left, so lunch for over the weekend! I also chopped up some green onions and black olives for garnish.

      One of my daughters said, "Wow! Now I am really excited for the Jambalaya!"

      I am sharing these recipes with my friends at church who also have large families. We are always looking for ways to feed our families that are healthy and delicious, without breaking the bank or chaining ourselves to the stove!

    5. Oh yeah!! So glad you and your family liked it!!

  3. Whenever my mother-in-law (who is Korean) has made or purchased Kim-chee that is too hot and spicy she will rinse it under the tap before eating. If you do that, you will still get the flavor but not all of the heat.

    1. Great advise!! Thank you! I'll let her know and we will try that... The wrong hot peppers make a big difference.. or so she has learned! She plans to try again with the right Korean peppers! :D ..


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