Good morning my friends. This post has been a long time coming. I need to take a break. Life at the Old Homestead has become very busy with the arrival of spring.
Between working, taking classes and running the Old Homestead, I just do not have the energy to keep up the blog. It has become a chore rather than a joy.
So with that being said, I am taking a break until the colder weather returns. I will continue to visit you and see what you have been up to so I won't be totally disappearing!
May you all have a wonderful summer with family and friends. Enjoy the weather as winter will soon be upon us again.
I hope to return with many memories and posts of things we have done over the course of my break so until then.....remember to give your loved ones a hug!
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
Well those of you who follow along with us at Our Old Homestead knows how much we love homemade bread. I have had many posts with different bread recipes and will continue to do so. I hope you don't get sick of them!
This time ..... French bread ..... and wow is this stuff good!
I found this recipe on Pinterest again. I actually must have another 15 or so different bread recipes in queue to try.
Naomi over at Sugar and Spice is where this fabulous recipe originated. It is delicious and EASY.
Easy French Bread
Makes two large loaves
Prep time: 3 hours, start to finish, including rising times
1/2 c. lukewarm water
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. or one packet of dry active yeast
2 c. lukewarm water
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. oil
Approx. 5+ cups of all purpose flour
1 egg mixed with 1 tsp. cold water to glaze
In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 c. lukewarm water, 1/2 tsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. dry active yeast. Stir to combine and let this rest about 10 minutes, until risen and bubbly.
Warning: do NOT use hot water ..... it will kill the yeast.
While the yeast is rising, combine the rest of the water, sugar, salt, and oil in a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the risen yeast mixture and about 2 cups of flour. Stir to combine. If you are mixing the bread by hand (as I did), continue adding flour in small amounts until the mixture is difficult to combine by stirring.
Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a work surface generously dusted with flour and knead, adding flour, until the mixture forms a smooth soft dough. If using an electric mixer, add flour in small amounts, and scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl often. When the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl on its own, it should be ready. The consistency should be stiff, spongy, and slightly sticky.
Turn the dough into a greased mixing bowl and cover with plastic. Let this rise in a warm place for one hour or until doubled in bulk.
Note: you can test the dough by sticking your finger into it. If the indentation bounces back, it needs to rise some more -- if it remains, it is done.
Grease your hands with a little oil, punch the dough down and divide into two sections. Roll the dough into long loaves, folding the dough and pinching it underneath to make it smooth.
Using a sharp knife ( I used a serrated knife ), score three slits in the dough about 1/4 inch deep. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for another 35 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Beat one egg with 1 tsp cold water and brush on top of the loaves. You can sprinkle black pepper, poppy seeds or sesame seeds on the top at this point if you wish ( I made one plain and one with sesame seeds ). Let the loaves rise uncovered this time for another 10 minutes.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden bread and the loaves sound hollow when tapped. Cool on wire racks.
This bread is amazing. Spread some butter and homemade jam and oh la la, you are in for a treat! Happy baking and remember to give your loved ones a hug!
Thursday, May 9, 2013
It's time again for "Three Pin Thursday"! This is when I post three of my favorite pins from Pinterest ..... one of my favorite websites!
In honor of Mother's Day coming up ....
Happy pinning and remember to give your loved ones a hug!
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Digging through my recipe box the other day, I found an old one that I hadn't made for YEARS and funny thing is hubby loves shrimp and these are shrimp tarts!
If you enjoy the taste of shrimp, I can almost guarantee that you will love these. Such easy appetizers to whip up when you are expecting company or just for the family.
These make a large batch....24 tarts....if not more.
1 1/2 - 2 loaves of white or whole wheat bread
1 cup melted butter
Brush the bread with 1 cup of butter and push into the muffin tins. Bake for 5 minutes at 425F.
2 tablespoon of butter
1/4 cup of flour
1 1/2 cup of milk
Cook over low heat until thick.
2 cups broken shrimp
1 cup medium cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon of prepared mustard
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon onion flakes
3 drops of tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine the above with the flour/butter/milk mixture. Mix well and fill shells.
***at this point you can freeze some if you wish***
I sprinkle a little extra cheese on the top.
Then bake at 425F for 10 to 15 minutes.
Happy cooking and remember to give your loved ones a hug!
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Happy Tuesday and welcome to 'Chats on the Farmhouse Porch!' This is when I join Patrice and the other lovely ladies at Everyday Ruralty, have a cup of coffee and chat the morning away. Won't you join us? Remember, my questions are always a week behind the others!
1. When it's time to cut the grass (mow the lawn), who does it?
2. If someone gave you $500 dollars and you could not spend it on yourself, who would you spend it on?
3. Have you ever taken a blogging break or considered one?
4. Are you bothered by spring allergies or hay fever? If not spring, any other time of the year?
5. What's new with you?
1. We share the load.....we use a riding lawn mower so we all take turns.
2. I would spend it on my son and girlfriend....I would fill up their food pantry!
3. Yes, I have in the past and am thinking about it again. Summers are just too busy.
4. Not so far but I think they are starting. I have noticed symptoms this year that I have never had before and I don't think it is a cold.
5. Not much, just enjoying the warmer weather and sunshine!
Thanks for joining me today. Why not pop over and see what the other ladies have to say ..... make sure you say hi to Wendell too! Have a great Tuesday and remember to give your loved ones a hug!
Monday, May 6, 2013
I needed a lemon fix and we were out of eggs. What do I do? Head over to Pinterest where I found the recipe for Lemon Wacky Cake. Now the idea behind this cake is that the chocolate version was popular during the depression. Since eggs, milk and butter were in short supply and when a housewife could find some, they were usually too expensive to even think of using for a dessert.
Mary over at Sweet Little Bluebird not only mastered the original chocolate version but she also includes the lemon and spice version on her blog! Imagine that?! If only the housewives during the depression had Mary and the internet.
One pan, no bowl, no eggs, no butter, no milk and it is oh so perfect and moist.
1 1/2 cups of flour + 3 tablespoons
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup of water
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix the first 5 dry ingredients in an 8" square pan starting with the flour. Mix well. Make 3 depressions...2 small and one larger.
Pour the vinegar in one small depression, the vanilla and lemon extracts in the other small depression and the vegetable oil in the larger depression.
Pour the water over the whole thing. Mix until smooth.
Bake for 35 minutes.
That's it!!! I added a Key Lime icing on the top. Easy peasy and yummy!
Happy baking and remember to give your loved ones a hug!
Sunday, May 5, 2013
this week I loved the .....
smell of : our first rainfall of the season
taste of : fresh corn on the cob
sound of : water gushing through the creek
sight of : a cottontail in the yard
feel of : warm sunshine on the face
this week I am thankful for .....
- the snow melting
- sitting outside on the deck in the morning with my coffee
- wearing capris!
Have a Blessed Sunday and remember to give your loved ones a hug!
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
I needed new tea towels for the kitchen. Do you realize it is EXTREMELY difficult to find plain old cotton dishtowels nowadays?
Most of the ones I found were thick terrycloth fabric which are absorbent but I find that they leave lots of fuzz on the dishes when I dry them. Yep, I hand dry dishes ..... no dishwasher here folks. Had one once, will never have another one.
So in my hunt for tea towels that were absorbent, didn't leave a ton of fuzz on the dishes when I dried them and were pretty and old fashioned, I decided to make my own! Decorate my own that is.
Hunting in the kitchen section of our only large department store in town ..... I won't name the store ..... many people hate it, I found some plain white flour sacks. Yippee! Just what I needed and they were cheap too! $1.97 for two.
Having a few ideas in my head, I logged onto Pinterest to look at photos of what I wanted. Now I would love to have a weeks worth of pretty embroidered tea towels but that just isn't going to happen anytime soon and I needed them NOW.
So this is what I did. After giving the tea towels a quick iron ..... no, I normally don't iron my tea towels but I had to this one time so I could continue with the decorating ..... I applied two strips of painting tape. The space between was approximately one inch.
Finding some country red fabric paint in my craft supply stash, I dry brushed the paint in-between the strips of tape. Now I dry brushed the paint on as I wanted the paint to be uneven....faded in spots....as if they were old tea towels, to give them the grain sack look.
After letting the paint dry overnight, I carefully removed the tape and viola! I have new, "old" grain sack looking tea towels. Just perfect. Oh the possibilities of colors I could do and so quickly too! I now have a weeks worth of decorated tea towels that only took me about an hour!
Have a wonderful day and remember to give your loved ones a hug!