Updates from the Homestead


I had such a fun morning yesterday. I taught a group of Girl Scouts how to make soap! Yesterday morning Emily (my helper) and I packed up the soap making equipment and headed to my neighbors house. I had never taught a class like that before. But I laid out my supplies, talked about what was needed to make soap, answered lots of questions and together we made soap! Before I left one mom asked me if I would be willing to do it again?? LOL.. I told her it was the first time I had taught a soap making class and that I might be interested in doing it again.. so we will see if teaching soap making is in my future..  

Today the weather here in the PNW is wet and wet and wet some more! But after the winter we have had I will have to say that is better than snow! We did have a beautiful spring like day yesterday with highs in the 50’s .. temps we have not seen in some time. 


Yesterday when I got home from my class I put a ham in the oven to bake. Later on I made mashed potatoes and served that with my lacto fermented sauerkraut and a big salad. I also made a batch of mayo and Sierra made up salad dressing to go with the meal. I have been making my own mayonnaise regularly now since the beginning of the year. I took my typical recipe and tweaked it a bit. I am trying to get more coconut oil in our diet so I have found using half coconut oil and half olive oil to work well. The mayo needs to sit in the fridge after it is made to firm up some. Some times I add a little organic cold pressed sesame oil to the mix. Here is my updated recipe:


Homemade Mayonnaise

Crystal Miller


I realize this recipe uses raw eggs and there is a lot of information out about the dangers of this. So please use this recipe at your own discretion. I use my own fresh chicken eggs, raw, often and have not had problems. But you make this decision for you family.


2 eggs

2 T Lemon juice

1 t. salt

1 t dry mustard

1 cup plus 2T olive oil

1 cup plus 2T coconut oil****(see Note)


This is a very fast and easy recipe to make. In your blender add the eggs, lemon juice, salt and dry mustard. Mix on a low speed until everything is well combined.   Step up the blender speed just a bit and while it is still running pour the oil in very slowly. Keep it flowing in a small steady stream until all the oil has been added. By the time you have emptied about ¾ of the oil into the eggs it will begin to be thick and look like mayo. When all the oil has been added you are done. Store it in a container with a lid in the fridge.


This will keep about 2 weeks. You can add 1T whey to the recipe at it will keep about 2 months.


***Note on coconut oil:  you will need to measure out the coconut oil and let it sit in a measuring cup which is placed in a bowl of warm water until the coconut oil melts.  Or you can briefly put it in the microwave..  you don’t want the oil to get hot..  just melt.  If it is too hot it will cook the eggs! Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees.


Sesame Oil Option: 

½ cup olive oil

½ cup coconut oil

¼ cup cold pressed sesame oil (not toasted sesame oil like you would use in Chinese cooking)


Use this combination in the above recipe


I have been using this mayo recipe for salad dressing and my hubby’s sandwiches for work and have found it to be to our liking. 




This morning I also recultured another gallon of kefir. I am making smoothies from it daily and we going through about 4 gallons of it a week. I have been making about 4 gallons of kefir a week since January from my original starter packet of kefir cultures. One packet really goes a long way. The kefir is still thick and wonderful.


Here is my morning smoothie recipe:


Kefir Smoothie

1 ½ cups kefir

½ a banana

1 T maple syrup

1 to 2T coconut oil


Blend VERY well in a blender. You need to blend it for a few minutes in order to work the coconut oil in well. 


My daughter Emily prefers to use about ½ cup frozen strawberries instead of the banana for hers.


Sierra likes to add a tablespoon of orange juice concentrate instead of the maple syrup. 


So obviously it is a pretty easy recipe to play around with. 


On my Nourishing Traditions to-do list this next week I have:


Make a gallon of fermented salsa

Make a pot of chicken or beef stock

Make a few loaves of soaked whole wheat bread

Play around and tweak a few other bread recipes to be more NT friendly. 



That is all from my kitchen and from my homestead today!!


NOTE to Joanna…


You left me a comment and asked me a question..   you can email me and I will give you some thoughts.. crystal@thefamilyhomestead.com


Also for anyone who has asked me questions and I have not responded to them you can also email me! 


  1. I have been enjoying your blog posts pertaining to cooking with NT methods. I have had the book for a couple of years, but haven't begun using it. I am getting encouraged through your posts.

    I am a homeschooling mom of seven--ages 25-5 months with our second grandson due tomorrow. I blog at busyhandsbusyminds.blogspot.com. Drop by sometime!!


  2. What do you do with it? Serve it as a side dish? Put it on various types of sandwiches? I'd like to try this sometime!


  3. Hey Crystal! I just wanted to let you know that you have been such a blessing to me. God has used you as an instrument of encouragement and motivation in my life. About a year ago I was in a RUT! I came across your website and was so inspired. It began with making laundry soap and snowballed into a passion for homemaking and serving God through serving my family! I have found such contentment in that! Thank you for the work you are doing in His Kingdom! You have impacted a once weary stay at home farm wife. May God continue to bless you and yours!


  4. we make smoothies too and for added fiber I add ground flax meal, it adds some texture but when we add a couple of ice cubes at the end it all is fine. thanks for all of your great recipes Lisa

  5. I would love to have you teach a soap making class to my Girl Scout troop! I love your blog (and your soap!).


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