Updates from the Homestead


My week has been kind of busy. We did take one day that was Tobin’s day off and just did nothing all day. It has been forever since we did that and it was nice. The kids did do a little school work and we did a few chores but there was nothing else on the agenda except spending time together as a family. 


The rest of the week seemed full however. We spent lots of time on the school work and housework and projects. The kids are all doing a study on Australia right now so each of them had a report to write this week and work on their presentation which they will be giving to me and dad in a few days.


I actually FINALLY finished my basket weave afghan! I love it and it looks great in my living room… but I just can’t believe how long it took me to finally get it done. I started almost a year ago. I was half way or more done with it by spring but it got put up on a shelf as I dealt with lots of details and lots of other things to do.  I took it off the shelf about a month ago and started working on it. I just picked it up whenever I went into the living room to sit and visit with the kids or Tobin. And finally, row by row, I made it to the end. Now I need to finish my quilt I started last year and I will really be on top of my game.   I use to sew like crazy but it seems hard for some reason to find the time nowadays. I keep thinking as the kids grow up I will have more time… but I don’t seem to, I actually seem to have less!   Here is the final picture…



This morning I woke up quite early and before my hubby even got home from work I got 30#’s of soap made! I have a lot soap to make on my to-do list and I needed to get moving on it. They were all soap scents that I like and I finished the last batch of soap with ‘pumpkin spice” just to leave the house with a festive smell. 


The weather here has been beautiful.  Lots of sunshine and 55 to 60 degree days. I just love this time of year (not as much as summer..  but it is my second favorite!). The mornings are cool enough that I need to get a fire started and it feels good to sit with a hot cup of coffee warming my hands and a fire warming the house. 


Another favorite way to warm up the house is baking. Sierra and I did some baking today. She made some gingerbread spice cookies that were delicious but need a bit of work (we are still perfecting the recipe so I will post it after we try it again to make sure the recipe works well), then pumpkin bread and finally a sour cream apple pie.  Between this mornings soap making and this afternoons baking my house smells delightful!  


Here is a picture of today’s baking:




For dinner I put a pot of navy bean soup on to cook before I started my baking and Sierra made the salad after we were done. She is now at her friend’s house to spend the night. Emily worked all day and Leanne went with her to help with the twins and the two of them also baked cookies. Our house is full of goodies  


Here are some of the recipes from today’s baking…


Sour Cream Apple Pie

2T whole wheat pastry flour

¼ t salt

¾ cup cane juice crystals

¼ t nutmeg

1 egg

1 cup sour cream

1 t vanilla

3 cups peeled and chopped apples

1 9-inch single crust unbaked pie shell



1/3 cup cane juice crystals

1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 t cinnamon

2 T butter


In a medium size bowl combine flour, salt, cane juice crystals and nutmeg. In a separate small bowl combine egg, sour cream and vanilla. Add this to the flour mixture. Add apples and stir well. 


Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 30 minutes. Remove pie from oven and increase temperature to 400. Sprinkle topping over pie and bake for another 10 minutes. Cool before serving.



Combine cane juice crystals, flour and cinnamon in a bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.




I finally think I have a pie crust that I like. I tried something new and made up a batch of pie crusts in my Bosch. I used butter and coconut oil and was quite pleased with how it turned out. The dough was easy to work with and not sticky. I am going to freeze the other 3 crusts for use later on. 


Whole Wheat Pie Crust in the Bosch

4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (make sure to pack the cup tightly with flour if you are using freshly ground flour)

1 tsp salt

½ cup + 2T coconut oil

½ cup + 2T butter

1 egg

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

½ cup cold water


Begin by using the wire whips and combine the flour, salt, coconut oil and butter until mixture is crumbly looking. In a small bowl combine egg, vinegar and water, set aside.


Switch to the Bosch dough hook and add the egg, vinegar and water mixture to the flour mixtures. Mix on low speed until the dough has cleaned up the sides of the bowl. It takes about 3 or so minutes for this to happen. 


Divide the dough into 4 pieces. You can make 2 double crust pies or 4 single crust pies. You can refrigerate this dough for a couple of weeks as long as you have it wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. The dough can be frozen too. 


If you don’t have a Bosch mixer this recipe could just as easily be done in a Kitchen Aid mixer.


The pumpkin bread recipe is on my site here: http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/pumpkinbread.htm


The cookie recipe will come when I have it perfected.. which won’t be until after we eat up all the goodies in the house. I am letting the kids and Tobin enjoy those goodies as I work on my self control.. don’t need to gain back any of what I have worked to loose LOL…  


Hope you all have a blessed Sunday on your homesteads..  




  1. I love the afghan!!!! The color and pattern are so beautiful!

    I can only imagine how wonderful the house smells after all that soap making and baking!!!! And thank you so much for the recipe.

    God's Blessings,

    Amy Jo

  2. I love your afghan, what type of yarn did you use for it?

  3. Thanks so much for this recipes involving coconuts, particularly coconut oil. Ever since I became health conscious, I found it difficult to eat dessert without the guilt. With your help, I should be able to overcome this.

    Thanks a lot!




    Your Drugstore in a Bottle


Post a Comment

All messages are moderated. After approval your message will be posted. Thank you for your comments!! Crystal :)

Popular posts from this blog

Canning Cabbage

Canning Chicken Noodle-less Soup

Canning White Bean Chicken Chili