Friday, November 16, 2018

Snow and Home

This morning we awoke to over a foot of snow. Generally we do not have this much snow in November, so it was a bit of a surprise!

With the shorter days and longer nights it helps to keep busy with fun projects. I thought I would share a couple of my recent projects today.
Over the past couple of years I have read several articles about the many health benefits of bone broth. Making bone broth has been on my "to do" list for just as long. Last month I felt like I was coming down with a cold, but after drinking hot bone broth throughout the day all symptoms subsided. At that point I decided I needed to learn how to make bone broth and stock up for the winter ahead!

Making bone broth in a crock pot is very simple. I took the carcass of a chicken that I had roasted for dinner the night before, and placed that in my crock pot with some celery, garlic and onion. I covered the carcass and vegetables with water, then add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. I cooked my broth on low for 24 hours. From what I have read you may cook the broth anywhere from 12-36 hours. I really enjoyed this article about making homemade bone broth.
Last month I made my first successful batch of soap! I was thrilled. I first attempted to make soap about eight years ago. Unfortunately each time I tried to make a batch of soap something would go wrong. Each batch was a failure for a different reason, so I would overcome one problem only to create a new problem. In great frustration I gave up. About two years ago while going through some totes in the attic we came across my tote of soap making equipment and supplies. Adam was intrigued and expressed an interest in making some soap. I explained my past experiences, and then told him he could use my supplies at his own risk! : ) He did, and much to my surprise he made a beautiful batch of lavender soap! After that Adam made several batches of lovely soap.

Witnessing Adam's success finally inspired me to give soap making a second try, and I am so glad I did! Adam guided me through how he made soap, and explained how I might have gone wrong in the past. Since then I have made three batches of soap: rose geranium/patchouli, bergamot/Earl Grey and lavender goat's milk (my favorite!). The soap to the left is the bergamot/Earl Grey, the black specks are pieces of Earl Grey tea, it smells so lovely! This is the recipe I used.
When the weather began to grow cooler this fall I began searching for a fall jacket to purchase for Jemimah. Much to my surprise it was difficult to find a simple, cozy jacket. All of the girls' jackets I found were too lightweight or a color I didn't care for. I considered sewing a jacket, but our nearest JoAnn's Fabric store is a bit of a drive and she needed a jacket sooner than later. 

The first cool autumn day that we went shopping I was considering where I might purchase material to sew a jacket, or a jacket, and decided to visit a Mennonite general store not far from where we live. I spotted this simple gray jacket, only to discover that it was a boys' jacket. All of the girls' jackets were very lightweight.
The price was right, and it was very warm. So I decided I could over look the fact that it was a boys' jacket. Jemimah on the other hand could not overlook the fact that it was a boys' jacket and refused to wear it. 

My mom then had the brilliant idea of adding floral ribbon, and I decided to add a little embroidery too. Jemimah now loves her jacket! It was such a quick and easy was to transform a simple "boys'" jacket into a darling little girls' jacket. It ended up costing less too, less even then sewing a jacket myself. It is so neat to see how the Lord provides!
Earlier this month I finally got around to making apple sauce. We had purchased a bushel of apples, and with so many apple on hand we have enjoyed eating a variety of apple dishes. I believe the unanimous favorite has been apple crisp. It is a snap to prepare, but absolutely delicious served warm from the oven with a glass of milk or cup of tea.

Apple Crisp
5 cups apples, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Spread apples in 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl, and rub in the butter with your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs. Spread evenly over the apples. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is browned. Serve with heavy cream.

I hope you are all enjoying the slower days of autumn. What projects are keeping you busy on these snowy days?

"The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad." Psalm 126:3


  1. What a great idea for the jacket, and it looks so girly now.

  2. I make chickenn stock with the carcass of the bird, then freeze it and use it as a base for soup. Very appetising!
    We call your Apple crisp a Crumble, so delicious.

  3. I enjoyed reading your warm and cozy post, Sarah.

    I also have learned to make chicken broth and find it a very satisfying process, especially knowing it is a healthy, useful item to keep on hand. I like to save up all the chicken bones/parts in the freezer and then make up a big batch in the crock-pot.

    Your soap looks good enough to eat! :-D How nice your husband tried out the process and then helped you to learn to successfully make some! I imagine it smells lovely.

    The pretty feminine touches you added to the gray jacket are great idea!

    As for projects, when the yarn arrives in the mail I will begin crocheting afghans for our two youngest toddler granddaughters. I am trying a new pattern out and using variegated yarn for the first time...hopefully they turn out well. Looking forward to working on them during the chilly days ahead!

    Have a warm, cozy weekend!
    ~ Lynne

  4. I've watched soap being made (when I was quite a bit younger) and the lady described lye. And I've been terrified ever since (rather afraid of chemicals and such and not a "mess" person; some of this has caused me to avoid dying too although I'd like to try that), although I think maybe now I'd like to try it in the future.

  5. I have been wanting to make a batch of soap too! It is such a cozy winter project! Have you been on the Majestic Mountain Sage website, We have always found them to be a very helpful. And be sure to try out their calculators! You can dream up any oil combination and it will tell you how much lye to use!

  6. Oh, so many wonderful things! I love making bone broth....and have some bones in my fridge to make some tomorrow in the crockpot while I'm off in town. I have dreamed of making soap. I have all that I need...but I'm nervous, to be honest. Perhaps I'll give it a try after reading about your amazing looking soap!
    I think those little delicate additions to her jacket make it ever so feminine. Apple crisp will always be my all time favourite crisp...even over strawberry rhubarb.
    Praying you have a lovely day!

  7. Dear Sarah, hello! Wow, so much snow! Bone broth sounds like a great natural remedy to relieve cold symptoms. That is so wonderful that Adam made soap and guided you through the process. Your batch of soap looks beautiful! How clever to decorate a boy's jacket with a ribbon and embroidery; it looks lovely! And your apple crisp looks and sounds as a wonderful comfort food for a cold winter day!
    Sending you hugs from California,