Thursday, September 28, 2006

It's Almost Time!

We are about to pull the plug on the 21st century around here.

I have my pantry all ready to go. Flour, sugar, oatmeal, cornmeal, dried beans, etc.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The potatoes, onions, carrots, apples and squash were freshly picked this morning. ;0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

My sister and I set up a little parlor this afternoon. It will be a nice cozy place to relax in after everyone has been tucked into bed. We are having company for a Prairie Lunch on Saturday so the extra furniture will come in handy.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is our antique washboard. This morning I called my favorite antique store to ask if they had one. She said she did for $129.00! Way out of my price range!! I told her about our weekend project and she was so excited she walked all through the store until she found one for $20.00. And she gave me 20% off!! :0)

Grace and Emily haven't seen it yet. They will be SO suprised in the morning.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I will be back Sunday with lots of pictures of our adventure. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Big Adventure

On September 29 and 30 I will be joining a few other ladies on an adventure. Little House on the Praire style living for two days. To live without any modern convienences, just like the Pioneer familes did long ago.

Two books that I have been reading through for ideas are "Little House in the Classroom" and "The Little House Cookbook."

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Grace and Emily are VERY excited. They would like to start
tomorrow. :0) These two little dolls were made for my sister and I, by my Great Grandmother. Grace and Emily will be allowed to play with them for the two days.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

They come with a complete wardrobe and quilts to keep them warm.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is a list of possible things to give up or do differently. I will be modifying the list for my city house! I do plan on using my camera to take lots of picture to share with you all.

I put a * beside the ones I plan on giving up.

*-No Electricity
*-No TV
*-No radio
*-No lights
*-No phones (unless it is an emergency)
*-No driving anyplace
-No running water
*-No plastic stuff
*-No microwave
*-No instant, junk or fast food. No sodas
*-No showers
-No deodorants
*-No air conditioning or fans
-No liquid dish soaps
*-No makeup, lotions, etc.
*-No paper products (I'm giving everything up but toliet paper!)
*-No washing machines or dishwashers
*-No shampoo

Here are some fun things we will be doing for the two days:
-Writing with our ink pens
-Wear dresses or skirts
-Wear our hair up
-Walk to the store for any food we may need but limiting it to produce and dairy
-Make homemade butter
-We will do our schoolwork on black slates
-Use a bucket to bring water in from the outside faucet. We will be flushing toliets!

Here is our makeshift bowl and pitcher for washing our faces in the morning.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I have also been researching about the Food for our "Little House."


-Fried potatoes

Lunches and Dinners:

-Baked Beans and Cornbread
-Fried Potatoes
-Creamed Carrots
-Stuffed Roasted Chicken
-Potato Cakes
-Hasty Pudding


-Apple Turnovers
-Pound Cake
-Custard Pie

-Cambric Tea
-Coffee sweetened with molasses

Please let me know if you have any other ideas to make our adventure more authentic and especially if you would like to join us!

It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.-Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bread Making Day

Today, my sister Melissa decided to make some bread. She used my friend Patty's recipe. I have made it many times and it is always good!

Melissa adds the yeast to the hot water.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Her little boy, Jacob helps her mix in the flour.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Time to knead. This is always the fun part!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The dough is ready to rise.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

An hour later it has more than doubled in size!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Two loaves ready for the oven.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here they are, nice and hot!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Sliced and ready for dinner.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I'll take mine with butter please. :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is the recipe if you'd like to try it. It is really good toasted for breakfast. That is, if there's any left! ;0)

Amish White Bread Recipe

2 cups warm water (110F)
2/3 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups white flour

1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water, add yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam, about 10 minutes.

2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Work in 6 cups of flour. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in well oiled bowl, and turn once to coat the entire surface of the dough with oil. Cover with a clean damp cotton cloth. Allow dough to rise until double in size. (Mine took about an hour).

3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves and place into well oiled 9x5 loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

4. Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes. When you thump the top of the bread it should sound hollow.

For a buttery crust, brush hot loaves with butter. Cool on a rack and enjoy!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Fall Open House

My friend, Susan is having a wonderful Fall Open House today.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Be sure to visit her at A Place Called Home. She has her beautiful home decorated for fall and you can sample some of her autumn treats too! :0)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Welcome Autumn!

It is overcast here at our house and we are hoping for some rain on this first day of fall. Either that or some cooler weather. It is 81 and humid right now!

I have all of my fall decorations up and wanted to show you a few of them.
Here is my fall wreath. I left my garden spade doorknocker up until Christmas. I found the leaf garlands, sunflowers and ribbon all at the dollar store. :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

A fall garden flag greets you near our front door.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

It is our tradition to watch Anne of Green Gables and Avonlea on the first day of fall so that is what we will be doing today. Since we don't get the dramatic change of seasons where we live, it is always nice to watch this movie, which was mostly filmed in Ontario, Canada where I grew up. There are alot of fall scenes in it. :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

We are also going to make sugar cookies and use our fall leaf cutters and fall sprinkles to decorate them. We will drink warmed apple cider flavored with some wonderful mulling spices that my friend Revee gave me yesterday. :0)

Cookie cutters
Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I hope you all have a wonderful first day of fall!

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Smocking Update

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is how my sister's smocking project is coming along. I just love it! It is so delicate and soft. Do you think she would notice if I traded mine with hers? ;0)

Pumpkin Gingerbread

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

This recipe combines two of my favorite flavors and is perfect for a crisp autumn day.

Pumpkin Gingerbread

2 1/2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup molasses
16 ounces canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two large loaf pans or 6 mini loaf pans. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs. Beat until smooth. Add milk, molasses and vanilla and beat until well-blended. Beat in pumpkin and spices.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until all ingredients are incorporated. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake about 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Smaller loaves will take less time to bake.)

It is especially good topped with whipped cream!

Our New Craft

My sister is teaching Grace and I how to smock! I have always wanted to learn and so far we are really enjoying it. My sister enjoys "old-fashioned" things like me, so we are having some handiwork afternoons and evenings around here! Here is a picture of her smocking sampler. Isn't it pretty?!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The first thing we did was punch little holes into each section of graph paper. Then you lay it down and make pen marks through the holes onto the fabric. We are going to look at Michael's for a tool that already has the holes since it was so time comsuming.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here are our semi-neat rows of stitches. ;0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Then you pull on the side strings and all the material gathers up into pleats! Knots keep the stitches in place while we do the embroidery on top.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

For our first project we are making doll aprons. I chose a burgundy fabric with cream colored stitches on top. I need to get busy this afternoon!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Grace is catching on even quicker than I am. She is a pro!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Grace chose the same fabric as her pinafore apron. She has already learned several stitches.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I will be sure to share photos when we are all finished! I hope our dolls will be happy with their new aprons. ;0)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Garlic Monkey Bread

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Garlic Monkey Bread

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cans buttermilk biscuits

Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, combine butter, cheese and garlic powder. Cut biscuits into quarters, dip in butter mixture and layer in a bundt pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cover with foil if necessary to prevent overbrowning.

To eat: Pull apart with your fingers. You can also make monkey sounds if you wish. ;0)

This is a fun recipe for young children to help with! We enjoyed our monkey bread with a plate of hot spaghetti!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

"This and That" in the Kitchen

Last Friday we had a get-together with church friends. 14 people RSVP'ed. I made food for 20 and 7 actually came!! I made a big pot of white chili, cornbread and various munchies. 5 of our guests were guys and this spinning candy tray was very popular. :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

My family arrived Saturday afternoon. My sister, who lives several hours away called to say she was having contractions. Later that evening, my parents headed down to her place. Of course her contractions had stopped by the time
they arrived! ;0)

Sunday came around and we still had a ton of food left over from Friday night. Phillip called me from church and said "How many people can I invite over for lunch?" I am so thankful my sister is visiting with me. We put another leaf in the table, set it with the good china, made some fresh cornbread, warmed up the chili and squeezed 9 of us around the table! It was so fun and we had a wonderful afternoon visiting.

Here is a picture of all the dishes we washed afterwards. It really didn't take that long....maybe 40 minutes. Now I can't promise you that they are all clean. ;0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I did a little rearranging in the kitchen. I had various tea dishes on the counter of my piesafe hutch. It wasn't getting much use so I changed it into a "baking center" for the girls and Benjamin. I set out their cookbooks, along with a mixing bowl, and baking utensils. They love it! Grace made Garlic and Cheese Monkey Bread for our dinner last night. Recipe coming soon!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Monday, September 18, 2006

~September Pleasures~

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Sarah Ban Breathnach has some wonderful ideas in many of her books for celebrating the seasons.

~Celebrate the first day of fall with a festive dinner of homestyle cooking. Bring home a small pot of mums for your dining table. Light the candles and enjoy the simple pleasures of comfort food.

~Pack away your swimsuit and bring out your woolen sweaters and shawls. Do you have a favorite sweater?!

~Start making your Christmas list this month so that you won't be frantic in December.

~Take a walk under the harvest moon.

~Look at the farmers' markets for dried flowers to create your own bouquet. Creating your own bouquet on a September Sunday afternoon is a relaxing project that reminds you all winter long that spring will eventually return.

Do you have a favorite autumn treat? Perhaps roasted pumpkin seeds, candy corn, popcorn balls or caramel apples. Why not pick up the ingredients the next time you are at the store, and spend an afternoon baking.

~Heat up a pot of apple cider for an autumn cup of cheer, especially delightful after raking leaves!

~Make a list of "10 things I want to do this fall." I'm going to be working on my list this week so be sure to share any of your Autumn Pleasures with me!

Photo can be found at

Sunday, September 17, 2006


The 8th virtue from my calendar is....

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Be calm in spite of uncertainty, aggravation, difficulty, and plain boredom.

~Be peaceful and sensible.
~Control anger.
~Ride out the storm.
~Wait and see.
~Enjoy simple pleasures.

Patience in Action

~Read poetry.
~Save up for something special.
~Listen quietly while others are talking.

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.
Colossians 1:11

Photo can be found at

Friday, September 15, 2006

Autumn Decorations

I may not have gotten everything checked off my to-do list but I did manage to put up a few fall decorations. :0) I was inspired by several of Mrs. Wilt's ideas!
Here is our entryway. The wreath on the mirror is covered with moss and hangs from a ribbon. My guest book is waiting to be signed. I think the last entry is from 3 years ago. I really need to do better with that!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I decorated the mantle with a simple berry garland, my tart burner and pinecone candles.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I added a little pumpkin ribbon to my topiaries.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is what my kitchen table looks like right now. (Tina, I put my fall lantern and leaves on the china hutch!) The little pumpkins on the table are salt and pepper shakers. :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

These candles are filled with popcorn. So far we haven't had any popped corn from the heat of the flame. ;0)
I used green and orange raffia for the bows.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.
-Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Gabriel Paul Godfrey

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Please continue to keep the Godfrey Family in your prayers.

Wednesday, September 13, 06

Good Morning! I took several things off my to-do list and plan to spend the rest of the week sewing, cooking/baking and visiting with friends. Oh, and laundry, but there is always laundry! :0)

I hope I'm not the only one with a linen closet that looks like this alot of the time. The blankets get used for forts and picnics and it's hard to keep track of them. I'm just happy when I don't pull one out all covered with dried grass! I did find one with alot of scotch tape on it though..hmmmm....

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

It only took about 20 minutes to tidy things up. I have a trick about those obnoxious fitted sheets with the elastic. Roll them into a ball and hide them under the flat sheet. Works every time!! ;0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is a photo of my favorite fall thing. It is a picture my mom painted for me in 1991. Can you see my dream barn in the distance. The 100 year old farmhouse with the wrap around porch is right behind it. :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I was looking for the perfect spot for it last night. I moved our fake tree to the other side of the china hutch and hung the picture on the left. Moving the tree over made the room feel and look so much more spacious!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary....

The wonderful rain we had last week made our flowers perk right up, but unfortunately the weeds did too!! This box is supposed to be for compost but it ends up storing weeds. I pulled eight grocery bag fulls today!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

This is my least favorite place in our yard. In our neighborhood, the garages are in the back and we use an alley to get to them. Along our fence grows Jasmine. A few years ago, a large part of it died and I've been trying to get it to grow back ever since. I spent quite a bit of time this morning getting rid of the weeds.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is what it looks like now. A little better. :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I harvested my rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon balm, and oregano this afternoon and hung it in the kitchen. It smells really good in there. Grace said it made her hungry!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I'm glad to be back inside where it is cooler. Now to get all the dirt from under my fingernails!