Updates from the Homestead


Finally this morning I have a chance to sit down with my cup of coffee in hand and write a blog post.  I can hear the rain coming down outside and I just started a fire to take the morning chill off the house.  I love the quiet early mornings.  Soon my daughter will be up getting ready to head out the door and then the rest of the kids will be waking up and it will be time to move on with the our day.  I find my days of late to just be busy with the basics of life.  I really enjoy that..  I enjoy taking care of my home and cooking meals, etc.. because it gives me such a great sense of productivity and accomplishment and I feel like I am doing the work the Lord desires for me to keep on doing.  I feel much pleasure and contentment with life.   

Spring is here!!  I love it when winter is officially over (I am not a big fan of winter).  I diligent keep watch for all the signs that spring has arrived.  The improved weather, bulbs coming up, ground cover plants are blooming, tree leaves emerging, and frogs croaking in my pond…  awww.. love this time of year!  (not as much as summer.. but it means to me that summer will be here soon!)  

This last week I finally got all of my seed orders in and I am so excited to start some planting.  Tobin made me a little green house shelf in his shop so I am going to attempt to plant some tomato starts.  I have not had great success with this in the past so I am a little apprehensive, but I think I have a better idea on what to do make this successful.  I will keep you updated on my progress!     My peas that I planted in late February have started coming up.. but not at a great success rate.  So this week I plan to plant some more and get some lettuce, spinach and swiss chard planted in the garden.  Tobin was able to rototill the garden for the 3rd time on Friday.. in between rain storms.. We just have to have about 2 or 3 dry days in a row to be able to rototill before another rain storm kicks in.   

We (the family) made a trip to Port Townsend last week to see my in laws.  We had a very nice visit and enjoyed the little road trip.  It was only 2 days..  but we all appreciated the break.  My mother in law does a great job in growing seed starts so I picked up some valuable information and the encouragement to come home and get my seeds going.   

What’s Been Cooking in My Kitchen? 

Last week I made a gallon of fermented salsa.  We had run out of salsa and that is just not a good thing in this house!!   

I made a double batch of granola too.  It was a request by my hubby.  He loves granola and I usually don’t make it in the winter time as my kids prefer to eat oatmeal.  But he requested it and I was happy to make him some.  The kids have been enjoying the change from oatmeal too.  You can find my granola recipe here:  http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/granola1.htm  

I was also blessed with an abundant amount of eggs from my mother in law so when I had some guests this last week (Emily and Leanne had some College Plus friends come by and stay with us) I made quiche for breakfast.  I made 3 of my bacon spinach quiches.  They were so yummy and got eaten up with no problems! I divided one pound of bacon between the 3 quiches and added extra spinach and onions to them.  Here is my recipe: 

Crystal’s Spinach Bacon Quiche
Crystal Miller

1lb bacon, cut into small pieces
1 onion, chopped
3 cups fresh spinach
3 cups grated cheese, your choice of type; my family likes cheddar
8 large eggs
2 cups half n half
2t salt
1t pepper
2- 9 inch pie shells, unbaked 

Cook bacon and onion in a frying pan until the bacon is browned and well cooked.  Drain.  While bacon is cooking wilt spinach.  You wilt spinach by putting a small amount of water in a frying pan and add spinach and cook on medium high until is starts to wilt. Remove from pan and drain excess moisture. 

In a blender combine eggs, half n half, salt and pepper.   

Layer spinach and bacon/onion mix between two pie shells.  Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top.  Pour egg mixture over this, dividing it between both pies.   

Bake at 375 for 40 to 45 minutes.  Allow to sit 10 to 15 minutes before serving.   

I also tried out a recipe for blueberry scones.  That was yummy as well… 

Blueberry Scones
Crystal Miller

2 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup cane juice crystals
1 T baking powder
¾ t salt
¼ t baking soda
1/3 cup butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup soured milk or buttermilk
½ cup frozen blueberries 

Combine dry ingredients.  Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal.  Add the egg and milk and mix together.  Add the blueberries.  If needed add more flour so the dough holds together.  Knead a couple of times and pat the dough out on the counter top.  I cut the dough out with a 2 inch biscuit cutter.  If you would rather you can divided the dough into two pieces.  Shape into a circle and cut it into wedges (like you would a pie).  Transfer to a baking pan (11x15 if you are cutting them with the biscuit cutter) or a cookie sheet (if you are baking them in wedges) that has been lightly sprayed with a non stick spray. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes.  Serve warm with a little extra butter.   

When I made the quiche I used my Bosch pie crust recipe.  It makes 4 pie crusts.  So I had one pie crust left over.  Last night Sierra was in a baking mood so she made us a chocolate cream pie.  She cut the recipe in half (the recipe makes 2 pies).  It was her first pie making experience and she did a great job.  You can find my recipe here:  http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/chococreampie.htm  

Plus there were the usual kitchen happenings like bread baking and dinner preps.   

That is all the updates from my homestead for now.  I hope you all have a blessed week on your homestead! 



  1. Thanks for the updates. I look forward to reading them. I have a question and a comment. First, is your granola recipe one that is nice and crisp, not "chewy" at all? And a suggestion. The blueberry scones are great drizzled with simple lemon and powdered sugar glaze. Also, a basic breakfast scone recipe with chocolate chips and orange zest (I like to add a little orange oil, too) is divine!

  2. donna www.merryheartcrafts.comMarch 23, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    Thanks for sharing the recipes. I love hearing about your garden. A little too early here yet but I get excited hearing about others. I too have not had much success with starting my own seeds. I keep trying though, maybe some day-success. Take care and God bless.

  3. Crystal,

    I too am new to starting seeds indoors this year. I have found a trick that is working for me. I can't afford to buy those nice heating mats that they sell to go underneith so I am using my heating pad. I have it set at the medium setting and things are going great. I have eight tomatoes come up out of twelve and I'm happy camper. I have also learned to moisten the soil first before putting into the cells. Today I will refill the bottom tray with warm water to keep the roots happy. Speaking of roots, there are plenty of them.

    Good luck


  4. I was wondering, you said to divide the ingredients and put into the pie shells. Are the pie shells baked before adding the ingredients, and then baked again like you would do for a pot pie? Everything you make sounds sooooo yummy!!!

    Thanks :)



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