Sunday, October 22, 2017
 

Archive for January, 2002

Potatoes & Bread, More Potatoes, and Pancakes

Yesterday Papa and I went on the little trip to the Amish store to get potatoes. Well, the potatoes were cheaper there but they didn’t look too good, so I didn’t get them. I got some other things, though, like corn meal, fresh eggs, and some spices I was out of. I bought some potato flakes, too. This will stretch the mashed potatoes next time I make them. I will just make mashed potatoes with the raw cooked potaotes that I have, then add the dried potatoes to them to stetch them out. I always make a lot of mashed potatoes when I make them, as I use them either to make potato bread or to put on the top of casseroles and bake to brown in the oven.

At the end of a meal, if I have like about a cup or less of mashed potatoes in the pan, I just add a couple cups of warm water and stir it up. Then I add some shortening, or maybe some meat fat from the meal I had just cooked. (I melt the fat if I need to.) Then when my mixture is cooled down to the temperature of spit, I add a couple tablespoons of yeast and some sugar and salt. If I have time and the flour is handy, I add a couple cups of that. I stir that up and it is the consistancy of pancake batter. And then I let all of this work and rise and bubble. I put a loose lid on the top, or just a dinner plate or a cloth. You want to keep it all tucked in and warm so the yeast can stay happy and warm, so it can bubble up. And if it doesn’t foam up in about 25 minutes, your yeast is old and your mixture is pretty worthless. I guess you would have to throw that out.

Then when I get around to it, I make bread with this. I just add some eggs and, well, whatever else out there in my kitchen that ain’t tied down. I add flour, of course, and maybe some oatmeal … maybe a cup. And, well, you just keep adding flour and kneading it until you come up with a a ball of bread that isn’t sticky. Then ya let it rise again in a nice warm place and neatly tucked away in a greased bowl. After it rises to double, put it in some greased loaf pans, let them rise and then bake it into bread.

Well, that is how a lot of the old time Mothers did it. One meal’s leftovers was the next meal’s ingredients.

If I have a lot of mashed potatoes left over I would maybe make potato soup. Just add milk and butter and add some parsley and salt and coarsely ground pepper.

Or if ya have alot of potatoes left over, just put them in a casserole bowl and bake them with butter on the top and maybe some parmesan cheese. Or you could add sour cream to them and mix it all up for a potato dish. Papa ain’t into sour cream, so I wouldn’t maybe do that.

Also, I have given Papa and the kids enough potato pancakes to make them want to strangle me … sooooo I won’t even mention them. Well, maybe just this once. You just add eggs to your mashed potatoes and stir them up with salt and pepper, then fry them in a greased frying pan. Make sure your skillet is hot before you add the potatoes. I have made a million of them in my day and Papa will tell you that for sure.

And, well, I just couldn’t live without my cast iron skillets. Oh, I just love them. When I make bread, I make mine in a round loaf and I bake it on my flat round cast iron griddle. I made cornbread last night for supper and I used my square black iron skillet for that.

When the children were all home, I would use my water bath canner to boil potatoes in. I would put in my pan about 5 pounds of raw spuds with the peelings on, cover them with water, and boil them until they were done. I did this early in the morning while I was doing my dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. None of this is a lot of work … you just have to be around home to do it. Well, after they were cooked, I would just leave them on the stove to cool. Then, when I needed them for a meal, I would just peel them and use them. Usually, I made fried potatoes with these. Or they were used for soup or breads. Or just cut up in quarters and put in a pan with butter over the top and parsley salt and pepper.

I didn’t use these potatoes for mashed potatoes, as they didn’t turn out for me. Maybe they would for you. But any time your mashed potatoes are watery or won’t mash up fluffy, just add the instant potatoes to them to thicken them. And, if they are chunky, just reboil them. My family would croak if I used only instant potatoes, but I use the instant to either repair my mashed potatoes or to stretch them. I hide the sack in the cupboard so Papa can’t see it, and I just bring them out for emergency first aid.

In my potato bin this morning, I have a lot of little potatoes. I think today I will just fry them with the skins on in some shortening mixed with margarine, in my big black skillet. This is the hint to get your potatoes to brown nicely. Use half oil or shortening and half margarine. You need the oil or shortening to keep your potatoes from sticking to the pan, but the margarine will brown them. The oil will lay at the bottom of the skillet and the margarine will float on the top. Also, the spuds that I will fry today will be chunky, as the potatoes I have are about the size of eggs. So I will brown them in my skillet and then I will put them in the oven and bake them until they are done. I will sprinkle them with onion powder, salt and pepper.

Another quick potato meal I would make in the old days was the following. I would take the big baking potatoes and scrub the skins. Then I would slice them in half length wise. Then I would lay the cut side down in my skillet and brown it in margarine and oil or shortening. Then I would put my skillet in the oven and bake the potatoes until they were done. We would eat these as a finger food with ketchup, like french fries. But, believe me, I made a million of them, too, and the family grew weary of them. But one dish they never grow weary of is the mashed potatoes. Mary will make mashed potatoes in the evening as a snack and, of course, Papa will beg for some, too.

I remember one time when we were low on groceries and I had all the kids to feed. Papa and I just went to the store and bought a big package of hamburger and a big sack of potatoes, and we were set for the week. Of course, I had baking supplies and milk and canned vegetables and fruits already at home. But the potatoes and hamburger can go a very looong ways in keeping a family fed.

My older children were hardy breakfast eaters, as they went to public school back in the 70s, so I would often feed them sliced fried potatoes and pancakes before they left for school. I never bought pancake mix. I just made mine myself. Johnny, who is now 26, and Christiane Joy, now 28, would eat an easy 10 pancakes for breakfast before they went to school.

I made pancakes in a big plastic salad bowl. Sometimes I would add brown sugar and cut up apples and cinnamon. Sometimes I ran out of pancake syrup and I would make my own. Usually, I would get up early and just boil brown sugar and water together until it thickened on the stove. Sometimes, at the end, after it was getting thick, I would add a small package of jello, like cherry or strawberry. The kids liked that. And sometimes if I had apple cider, I would save some back to make my syrup with just the cider and brown sugar and cinnamon and vanilla at the end. We were always running out of syrup and salad dressing.

I often made home made mayonnaise. I would mix it with store bought to always keep the family happy and in sandwiches. And, oh, the water I have prayed over and added to meals to keep the food flowing. Well, not now so much, but when the kids were all home.

The other night, Lynetta came to visit. We had coffee. I have an old time perculator. Well, Lynetta says “Connie, why do you keep adding water to that coffee?” We both admitted that it stayed as strong as it was and tasted the same. I think it is the Lord that keeps making coffee as I pour in the water. But I knew Mary would come in and want some coffee, and Jim, so I just kept adding water as we drank our coffee. I probably get at least 2 pots of coffee out of one pot of coffee. Like this morning, I have had about 3 cups of coffee. Pretty soon, the family will be up and I will add more water until I have a full pot. Then later on, Mary will add water again. Then Jim will need some for his supper thermos to take to work. If it gets too low, I start over. If it gets to the bottom of the pot and no one added any water, I give up and start over.

But I remember My friend Jill. She would buy soda pop for a treat on the weekend. She never allowed her children to have pop without water in it. Her daughter was way past a teenager before she ever had straight soda pop without water. She couldn’t drink it straight. It was too strong.

But …oh, I dont know … I guess as a homemaker, if you can keep a straight face, you can get away with just about anything. I have served many a humble meal around here by candle light and a prayer. The kids never went hungry. Papa always made sure of that.

I told Lynetta, as we drank our coffee, “Are you cold? I will turn on the kerosene burner. I dont have any kerosene, but it will be ok.” I turned it on and it stayed on for about two hours. I didn’t put any water in it. We have electricity, but sometimes I use the old kerosene lamps. And, if my lamp oil gets low, I add water. The water will settle at the bottom and the oil will float to the top and the wick will rest in it. It works until you can get more lamp oil.

Now you know why Lynetta says I make her laugh when she comes for a visit. Whoever heard of turning on a burner without any fuel and serving everlasting coffee in a pot that never quits making coffee. And the cream for her coffee is about 3 months old, but it’s still good. Right, Lynette?

Wisdom’s Fire

Dear Mothers,

That writing yesterday, Dear Rubie, just did me in to write it. See, I just write as the Lord gives me the words. And that writing came from deep in my soul. It was a teaching to me from the Lord.

Yesterday afternoon I wanted to write after the family had left the house, but I was afraid the anointing wouldn’t come back on me to write. I started to worry over the work I had to do. The front porch was a mess — I was worried about that. But the anointing came back upon me and the Holy Spirit took me back to the forest that I had been writing about. I felt caught up in His Spirit. All of a sudden, all I could do was write again. Sometimes the anointing comes so strong that my body wears out as I write. And yet the words won’t stop coming. I feel totally exhausted and yet more words flow in my heart.

This morning, I vowed I would stay in bed and not write. And the Lord got me up. Then I thought of some funny things to write about our Danny, age 19. But as I come to the email machine, I know it is to write Part 5. Again the anointing comes and instantly my eyes fill with tears.

I am again back at Wisdom’s cabin sitting beside Rubie’s fire. Again I am holding the baby and he is sleeping. Wisdom speaks. “Oh, daughters of Zion, Marys and Sarahs, Satan is after your wombs. It is just like when Mary had to protect baby Jesus. You, too, are called to have children for God. You are not the women of the world. Your children are not as other children. They are called and anointed to do a work for God. Your husbands are marked for His service.

“The devil has lied to you and told you that you were as the Egyptian women, the worldly women. That what you do doesn’t count. And you have left your little Samuels and little Jesuses in the hands of the world. The devil has used your own authority against you.

“Where would Elizabeth have been had she not known that her son would be the forerunner of Jesus Christ? If she had lost her vision and sent John out to the world. But she didn’t. She hid herself when she found out she was pregnant And she raised her son John in the wilderness. She taught him in secret. For one thing, she set him apart unto God. And also she raised him in secret to protect him from Satan’s men who would have killed him if they could have found him. Mary hid Jesus from the world. She taught Him the laws of God. But these women knew that God had called them to raise children for Jesus Christ.

“How has Satan gotten the women of today to think the fruit of their wombs is not blessed? Well, the worldly church has numbed you. Don’t you understand why we have 1.5 million abortions a year? Don’t you know why ungodly doctors are out there to tie your tubes and scoop your uterus out? Satan is still afraid of the Godly seeds. How many John the Baptists have been martyred and lie dead behind an abortion clinic today? How many Johns did the Lord send who were killed by Elisabeths? How many more will He send? How much longer will we murder the prophets and send them to their graves? How many Samuels, right now, are laying in unmarked graves, in piles of baby flesh? We mothers won’t know until we get to heaven, if we get there.

“A whole lot of repentance needs to begin in the temple of God. Among the women of God.”

Last night, Papa woke up and sat at the edge of the bed. I woke up. “What’s wrong, Papa?” “Oh, I thought I smelled a fire, but I guess it was nothing.” Well, Mama lit a spiritual fire last night and sent it to Jesus.

Our Danny, 19, has been out of hand. I got so upset with him and then began to chew on Jim. I asked the Lord to forgive me and asked Papa to forgive me. I knew I had stepped over the line. And that on my own, I was going to get in big trouble with the Lord and with Papa. Mama’s fear ain’t a good thing. So I went up to bed and Papa waited up for Dan. I prayed upstairs. I said, “God, I am at wits end with this kid. Do something to let me know that You are listening to my prayers.”

Well, earlier when Papa was awakened by the smell of fire, I asked him, “Well, Honey, did Dan get home?” “Yeah, he got home. The brakes went out of his car.”

The Holy Spirit spoke, “Well, Mama, there ya go. I know how to stop Dan.” Well, Mama was purrrrin then. Now Danny knows that Mama prayed for that one. When he gets up this morning, he will be watching me and knowing that God and Mama had something to do with the brakes going out of the car. Oh, Yeah. But I am going to keep a straight face. Well, I am gonna try.

But I know that Danny is a prophet of God. Not an obedient one. He is like Jonah. And right now Danny is supposedly sleeping but, actually, he is in the belly of the whale. When I got up early this morning, I heard him tossing and turning in his bed. God knows how to handle His young prophets. Lest any of you think that Danny is mild mannered and not a problem? He is covered in tattoos and earrings. And if I was a fearful mother, I would have committed Harry Karry by now. Papa says Danny will be OK, and I am in agreement with the priest of our home. “Danny will be OK.”

Mothers, we need to honor our men. If we are Sarahs and Marys, our husbands are Abrahams and Josephs. But Satan has again lied to us. “Well, your husband is so bad that you don’t have to submit to him” and “Your children are all bums because they are like your husband.” No, this is all a lie of Satan. Our husbands are Abrahams and we have Issacs in our wombs.

Well, I gotta get back home. I hear Papa calling me, and I must greet him and give him his coffee.

Love,
Connie

Baby is Sleeping

Dear Mothers,

It’s early in the morning and my heart spills forth with many words.

Last night, before I went to sleep, I could see myself alone in the forest with my little baby. I had gone there to pray and to be alone with Jesus. It was the summertime and I camped down deep in the forest. I could hear nothing except the flap of birds’ wings and the sounds of the night creatures and the wind. It was as though God had stood up in the forest and put His finger to His lips and said to the world, “Hush, baby is sleeping.” And it was as though a hush was dominating the forest. I brought my little baby with me, the baby that somehow I had gotten from the Lord. It was dusk and I had a small campfire and I tended it all night long. As I sat holding my little one, I had homemade quilts to rest upon. And I rested the whole night in Jesus’s arms. I was alone and solitary, listening for His voice and waiting upon Him.

When I woke up this morning, I just have so much longing to get back to my place deep in the quiet forest.

Mary Elizabeth, our daughter age 16, made me the most deeply spiritual picture. I am looking at it right now. She took a picture from a calendar and put it on cardboard. She sewed cloth around it to make a frame, no glue. The picture is of little girl angels. They are probably 5 years old and 7. The picture is very set apart unto God. The colors are just shades of brown and pale gold and ivory. She made a dotted brown cloth frame and she sewed it on there with white thread and used cross stitches. She made a braided cloth hanger for me to put it on a nail. The picture reminds me of a picture you would find in an antique store for a hundred dollars. The sewing on it is purposely primitive, the stitches hand sewn and uneven. The cloth she used was old. I have it hung in my window with dried herbs, rosemary and rose hips, hung above it.

When I look at Mary’s creation, the spirit of it reminds me of the older Titus woman of long ago. She was holy and set apart unto God. As I sit by my fire from last night’s vision, I see the younger Titus older woman with her baby. And when I look at Mary’s spirit upon her picture, I see the older mother deep in the forest.

Come with me this morning and let’s walk to her house. Bring the baby — wrap her up warm. I am bringing mine. But, hush, baby is sleeping.

Rubie’s Cabin

As we walk through the woods holding our little ones, I can see Rubie’s cabin just over the hill. Better make sure the baby’s head is covered. It’s sort of cold out here. Oh, Rubie is up. Oh, good! I can see her light in the window. But we will have to be quiet as we go up on her porch. She may be talking with the Lord.

We knock softly at her door and we hear her coming. “My land, what are you girls doing out here in the early morning, and with your little babies. Come in. Come in. Get yourselves in by the fire and get those babies out of that night air.”

Mother Rubie, we have risen early to seek you. Please let us come and sit by your firelight. Let us glean what we can before we have to use every bit of wisdom you can give us. We are so hungry for the spiritual food that will tell us HOW to be Mothers of the light in the blackness of the sin around us. We seek wisdom as silver. We call her our sister, and understanding our kinswoman. Please, don’t be mad at us for coming so early. But we must get back home soon and take care of our families. They will be awake soon.

An enemy is in our house and we can’t seem to get her out. Her name is Jezebel. All day long, she taunts us. She is the sister to selfishness and pride and her voice penetrates our hearts and she wounds us. We have wounds now, and they just seem to lay wide open and won’t heal. All day long, as we do our dishes and bake our bread, she continues to shove us and scrape our hearts.

And Rubie speaks. She says, “Well, if you read your Bibles, you will find out through Proverbs that Wisdom was with God when He made the foundations of the earth. She is the foundation of all of the things God makes. With wisdom a house is built. Every wise woman builds her house but the foolish tear it down with their own hands. Jezebel tears at your minds and tries to get you two leave the home, because Gods word says that the wicked woman’s feet abide not in her own home. She runs from house to house tattling, and speaking of things she shouldn’t speak of.

“Solomon needed her to build his temple and you need her to build your home. Solomon didn’t ask for riches. He asked for wisdom to build a temple for God. And you mothers need to build a temple for God with wisdom, not earthly treasures of gold and silver. For Solomon’s temple was first wisdom and then it was an earthly temple for God.

“You mothers are the spiritual home. Keep your hearts for out of it are the issues of life. You ARE the temple of the Holy Spirit. And your hands will react to what is in your heart. What is in your heart? Look at your homes. This is what first started in your hearts. Your hearts must be pure and holy if you want your homes to be pure and holy.

“You were trained wrong, some of you were. By unholy mothers of Jezebel. But don’t look at that — receive now the spirit of the virtuous woman. Cast down the spirit of Christian homosexuality. Quit trying to be like Christian men. Lay down that unholy covering and be shielded by the spirit of Mary and Elizabeth and Sarah. These are your examples, not the men in the Bible. The women, the women in the word. You are called Sarah’s daughters.

“Be obedient daughters of faith and of Sarah. Give your wombs to God. He can give you supernatural births. It doesn’t matter that your tubes are tied.”

Dear Rubie

Oh, I am sorry, dear wisdom, I heard Papa calling me and I had to run to him. Please don’t turn me away but let me back by your fire to hear your words of wisdom again. I had heard Papa calling. He was seeking me. In the mornings, he feels my spirit leave him, as I rise so early. So when he gets up hours later he longs for me, and I must go to him and comfort him. He searches my face and looks for a Good Morning smile, and he searches my eyes as a compass for his day. He wonders, “What is Mama writing on the email and why is her eyes filled with tears? Are they tears of joy or sadness?” And I must comfort my darling and let him know that all is well and that I have only been deep in the forest praying and seeking wisdom.

I comfort my darling Jim and let him know that all is well. And now, Mothers, I am back and it is late in the day. Papa is at work and the children are all off for their day, and Wisdom welcomes me back to her fire, and she speaks and picks up where we left off.

“Connie, you must not weep because a doctor tore your womb. God’s word is so clear on that. He wants you to multiply and replenish the earth. This command is to the believers. These doctors of death who stop life from happening with their swords will someday bow their knees to Jesus. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord. Not the almighty doctors.”

They are not Lord over Sarah’s womb. And we are her daughters.

Touch not God’s anointed, Satan, and do her no harm. We are as daughters of Mary. We also carry the word of God. We carry the sons of God in our wombs and they will replenish the earth. We mothers have a job to do. We must produce sons for Jesus and handmaidens to be their wives. We are as Hannahs with Samuels to birth. We are as Marys who will birth the word, too.

We are full of supernatural births. Fear has deceived us, but faith will save us. How many supernatural births were there in the word? Most of the mothers God used in the word were barren. Well, many of us are barren. Many because of Satan’s sword. But the word tells us that we can all be fruitful and multiply. Sarah was old, and Elizabeth. But God gave them wombs supernatural. Mary conceived a seed from God and she knew not a man. Rebekah and Rachel were barren. Solomon’s mother was barren. Many were cursed with barrenness. But God gave them supernatural births.

Oh, sing, oh daughters of Zion, and leap and dance for Joy. Put away your grieving and mourning and receive your baby boy. The world has given you suffering and guilt for the doctor’s sword. But leap, oh daughters of Zion! Oh, cry out, oh daughters of Zion! Oh, dance, oh Daughters of Zion, and give Him your womb again. Give Him your womb of faith and curse the demon of sin.

Oh, dance dear daughters, or leap, dear daughters! Come into joy again. Satan has tried to mark you with a curse of fear and sin. But cry out, dear daughters of Zion, and receive the Lord again. Repent, oh daughters of Zion, and give Him your wombs again.

Love,
Connie

Baby Dollies and Tea Sets

When our daughter Mary was a little three-year-old slip of a girl, we had tea parties just about every morning. I had her little table and chairs right out here in the dining room where I could watch her play. But I had gotten some little tea pots from garage sales. I would put warm water from the kitchen faucet in her teapot with a tea bag. Then I would put a wee sugar bowl on her table and a cream pitcher with a bit of milk in it. And I taught her to politely and slowly pour her tea. She never spilled it. Her older brothers by a few years would come up to her table and she would pour tea for them, too. But mostly it was just Mama and Mary for tea.

We made David and Dan, her brothers, be quiet when Mary’s baby dolls were taking an afternoon nap. The boys would tip toe around the house. But one day David, who was eight, said “Why are we having to be quiet for Marys old dolls?” Oh, I loved playing dolls with Mary. She would rock her dollie in her little rocking chair, and I had a dollie that I would rock in my big rocking chair.

In the afternoon, the boys would go out to play and Mary and I would stay inside and bake bread. Sometimes I would have her do the dishes, or we called it “playing in the water.” I didnt care if she got water all over the kitchen. When I went to wipe it up, I just sort of cleaned the floor while I was down there on the wet floor, anyway. I had a little rolling pin that I let Mary roll her cookies out with. She would get out ALL of my cookie cutters, so our cookies for Valentines day were not cut out hearts only. Often they were Christmas trees, stars and bells. And that was ok; they tasted the same and Mary was learning to bake like Mama.

When I went to the Salvation Army, I would look for cute little cups and baking pans and dishes that Mary could play with. Oh, she had a collection of little china tea sets. But they were too little to really work with. We just put them up on a shelf to look at and enjoy. I still have them out on a shelf in the living room.

As Mary got older, she accidently made a pie crust with bread flour. Oh, it was flakey and good. So that was Mary’s secret ingredient when she made a pie crust. She ended up being a much better pie maker than her Mama.

And Mary is 16 now and has wanted to marry Brandon ever since she was 14. Mary has a hope chest and loves gathering items to put in it. Papa and I trust Brandon, as he always brings Mary home when we ask him to, and he respects our wishes. As Papa and I go, Mary and Brandon go. There is a sweet harmony between us all.

But we must begin as “Daughters of a new Revolution” to raise our daughters to be homemakers. To love God and His word and to want to be mothers and keepers at home. I am such a little speck on the earth, but I am out here writing my heart out. Hopefully, I can see some turn around before I lay down for the last time.

Oh, sweet Mamas, take heart. There is a new day a comin’. A truth is being unleashed in the earth. The Father is calling His daughters home. He is making a place for the children. He calls first to the children of the light and second to the world. We mothers are the salt of the earth. Our homes are like cities of lights up on brilliantly lit mountains. The world will see us and say, “These daughters of God are strong. They are Daughters of a NEW Revolution.

No, Mothers, please don’t blame yourselves for the feminist hype you were born into. But see it as it is. See the truth and renew your minds with the word of God. Read Proverbs and Titus 2. And once you are set free, you can be used of God to set your husband free. See, your faith will beget faith to your husband’s mind and heart. Fill yourselves with homemaking. Your husbands will never learn domestication from anyone but you. He won’t learn it through the church or from another man. He will learn it through your good works as a homemaker. As you walk with God and become the silent example, your husband will pick up on it.

Go to the library and get as many cookbooks as you can haul home. And sit and read them and spend time with them. Read the Little House on the Praire series to your children. The home making spirit is so strong on those books.

There are good newsletters out there like “Common Sense at Home” from Cindy Miller on our list. She will teach you to be a stay at home mom, if anyone could, with her little newsletter. Also Peggy on our list has a good group called “Lives of Simplicity.” And the Above Rubies group, too, is good. And Patsy on our list has a newsletter … it’s good, too.

Get out from under the unholy coverings and get hooked up with mothers who believe that the mother’s place is in the home.

“Above Rubies” has a magazine and my testimony was in it in the number 53 issue. If ya wanna hear how to come up the hard way, read that.

But, well, I gotta go. Papa said to wake him up at 8:00 and he will take me to the store.

Now after you read this, go fry some hamburger … put some onions in it. After it is done, put some raw vegetables in it, and bake it with some soup diluted over the top. Just a suggestion to some of you who are just learning to cook. This way, you will have your family meal started and then you can do the dishes, and then vacuum. And don’t worry, the Lord understands and He is with you. Just put 15 minutes a day into your messy bedroom and it will be clean by the end of the week.

The Domestic Arts

When I was a young mother first married, I didn’t know anything about canning or cooking. Papa looked in my kitchen and asked me where my spatula was. I didn’t even know what one was. I was 19 and did my best at setting my kitchen up. My mother was so efficient as a cook and house keeper and really didn’t need my help. So I really never learned to cook at home.

After our second child was born I finally learned to cook. I used to go to the library in our town and get cook books and I learned how to cook, just from reading cook books. I especially loved some of the old cook books I later found at garage sales. But always, I surrounded myself with homemaking books. I love reading my Bible and often you would find a pile of books next to my chair … cook books and my Bibles all stacked together.

As a young mother, I wanted to can and store things for the winter. Jesus would just say “Connie, just learn to make jams and jellies and pickles first.” And so I did. He taught me to make yeast breads from scratch. I threw a lot of bread away to the birds before I really learned to make a decent loaf of bread. Papa had to smile and eat a lot of hard flat baking powder biscuits in the beginning. But some of the old garage sale cook books showed me what I was doing wrong when I made biscuits. The old cook books have a lot of diagrams to show you why things don’t turn out. I am meaning the OLD old cook books, like the ones written in the early 1940s. Back then, if Mama didn’t make it, then you weren’t gonna get any.

I remember reading a story about a husband buying store bought bread and it was sliced. The mother replied, “Sliced bread … what will they think of next?” It used to be that Mama made the bread and sliced it herself. But as a young Mama, the Lord had me to just start out and to learn how to bake cookies and breads, both quick breads and yeast breads. So for a long time I was learning the basics. I learned to make good meals and the breads. And in the summertime, I learned to make jams and pickles. I didn’t try to can beans or use a pressure canner until later on.

See, I was the first child of young parents. Mother was a modern Millie. We were the first to own a tv on our block. My parents were living the American dream after the Depression. I was a typical baby boomer born right after Dad got home form the war. Dad had a motor boat and always the newest cars. We lived in the ranch style house. Mother was the typical housewife of the 1950s. Most women at that time didn’t have a garden as their mothers had. They were too modern to do such things. So when I got married, I had never held a seed for planting in my hands. I didn’t have the slightest idea how to put a seed in the ground out in your yard and have it grow.

Papa, on the other hand, was the 12th child of a big old fashioned family of 13. He grew up topping onions for the neighbors and picking bushels of apples for his family. Mama Hultquist made everything from scratch. And, of course, they had a huge garden. They had chickens and raised a couple hogs each year for meat for the family. The boys fished and hunted for wild game for the table. I was lost in that family. I couldn’t figure any of that out. But I learned as I went … just as you can.

It’s not hard to learn to run a house and make everything from scratch.

So. I had a lot of learning to do in the kitchen. One of the best cook books I used in order to keep up with Papa was a Better Homes and Gardens cook book. Papa was always wanting some bread pudding and I had never had it before. A lot of the things he would ask me about, I had never heard of. But that book sure helped me along.

In the evenings, when Papa would watch TV, I would read cook books. I had a little notebook and I would write things down. I didn’t know it at the time but the Lord was preparing me to have a large family and to cook a lot of big meals from scratch. Had I not learned how to cook when I had the time to with just two children, I don’t think I could have learned it later on. I wouldn’t have had the time.

Carla Emery’s Old Fashioned Recipe Book took me miles ahead. She really inspired me to learn to cook by inspiration.

Later on, as my family grew, I made pancakes every morning from scratch. With the left over pancake mix, I would start my yeast bread for the day. I learned to cook from what I had. One meal led to another meal … led to another meal. Had I not learned to cook on a shoe string, I couldn’t have homeschooled four children. I couldn’t have afforded to feed them.

I finally did learn to cook from scratch. I would take a small piece of ham and fry it. Then I would fry potatoes in the same pan and put the ham over the top, sort of shred it. Then I would put the fried potatoes in a bowl for the table and make gravy from the left over scrapings in the pan. Then I would make biscuits, then a canned vegetable.

I got a lot of my ideas, too, from reading about the Depression and the things the mothers fixed back then. And when I cook, I make plenty of it, even if it is just cheap food. Often we had guests at our table, and I fed a lot of folks biscuits and gravy. They loved it, and we enjoyed the hospitality. But we couldn’t have had guests if I hadn’t known how to cook.

My kids never went hungry. None of us did. If the kids brought a friend home, I would just add more water and flavorings to the soup. A hot bowl of soup and homemade bread with jelly. A cup of coffee or tea and homemade cookies for dessert. Homemade bread and butter pickles were always on my table in the old days. It was cheap food but fed many happily.

I never turned anyone away from my table. Never had to. Now days, since Papa has known the Lord for the past 21 yrs, he prays for everyone who sits at our table. But no matter who is here, he always starts out his prayer, “Lord, bless my darling wife Connie” And then he prays for the children, and then our guests and their families.

Well, even though I didn’t start out well, and didn’t even know what a spatula was, I did end up to be a decent wife and cook for Papa. He loves to brag on me at work as he gets out his homemade lunch and eats it in front of the guys. Lately, I made homemade summer sausage. I slice it up and Papa takes it to work for his supper hour. I put extra slices in, as I know he will want to brag about it.

My bread still turns out hard sometimes, but Papa eats it anyway. If it isn’t perfect, I give it away or throw it to the birds. Papa will say “Where is that bread you made?” I gave it to the birds. “Well, why did you do that … it was good.” Well, it was hard, Honey, I didn’t think you liked it.

Oh, being Papa’s helper has been an adventure. Having his babies and learning to be a mother and housewife. Learning to keep company with Papa. Learning to watch old cowboy shows. Just to be his helpmate. Just to be in the room to keep him company. Papa has taken his children through many of the old movies, such as Meet Me In St. Louis, Holiday Inn, The Sound of Music, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life. Well, all the old, good classical family movies. Mary grew up watching the Shirley Temple movies. Now, at 16, she thinks everyone knows who Judy Garland is or Shirley Temple. But being a helper to Papa meant watching old movies and, of course, reading old cookbooks while I sat beside him.

This morning, as I lit the kerosene burner that Papa had filled last night before he went to bed, I thought to myself “Oh, Papa. You were worth all the prayers and heartache. I am so glad I never gave up on you.” And I am glad Papa never gave up on me, either.

Hopefully, I have learned to be Papa’s comfort and help mate. We have loved each other through many things. I still love Papa as I ever did. Plus I love him more as we get older.

I see how he tries to please me, and how I test his patience at times. Like when I throw his bread to the birds right when he has the butter out and ready to eat some. Or he tries to smile when I am dilly dallying around when he is trying to get me out to the car to go to the store. I say, “Honey, when you hurry me I cant think.” I always run out the door and leave the oven on. Then I have to call from the grocery store and tell Mary to shut the oven off.

“I will call her,” Papa will tell me as I get the grocery cart at the store. He knows that he hurried me again.

Papa turned out to be a class act, and now I wouldn’t trade him for anything. He is my Million Dollar Baby.

Cooking By Inspiration

It’s early morning. Yesterday, I had fixed pancakes from scratch. Then later on, potato soup for lunch. So last night before I went to bed, I threw the pancake mix into the leftover potato soup and left it all out on the stove. I wasn’t going to throw it out. Now this morning, I have heated the mixture up and added yeast to it. Once it works up really good … foams up … I will make potato bread. Basically, I will just add flour to it and probably some melted shortening or oil. The potato soup had potatoes and some of the cream I had gotten on the mark down sale. No meat, of course, is in it, or I couldn’t be making bread with it after I left it out all night. It would be spoiled. The pancake mix I had made with buttermilk (from the sale) and eggs, sugar and salt will be good in the bread. If Papa says “Hey, this is good bread.. What kind is it?” I will just pretend I didn’t hear him.

But most of my cooking now days is done by inspiration. Sometimes, while I am cooking from inspiration, I think of names for what I am serving. If the family catches me making something they can’t explain, having a good name for it gets me out of hot water. Like in the early days, once Christian (now 28) had invited her friend, just a boy she knew, “unexpected” for dinner. She snuck up behind me in the kitchen as I was frying one pound of hamburger to serve 8 people for supper. “I hope this is going somewhere, Mom.” Well, I added a bunch of potatoes and a few onions to the prefried meat and cooked it all. Then added a can of mushroom soup and stirred it up. I have a big frying pan and we even had left overs. I fixed a few cans of vegetables in another pan. Then with homemade bread we had a nice meal.

But when raising a large family, it’s almost impossibe to try to cook from mixes at the store. You better have another plan in mind.

Lynetta, my friend, always kids me about just tossing things into what I make and not reading directions. A few nights ago, she and another friend Karen came to visit. I had them try my summer sausage. They asked me how I made it and, oh, the kidding began. “We want to know what the real recipe is for this.” Well, I have long forgotten it. I used to use recipes when I first learned to cook. Some of the recipes I memorized and then stuck my own ideas in and memorized it all as I had changed it. So where the REAL recipe for sausage is, I dont know. I will just have the ladies over some evening and show them how I make it and they can write it all down. Well, sausage is sausage, isn’t it? Sort of a spice it as ya like it, anyway?

Papa says he hates mushrooms. But actually, he really loves them. I think I have served Papa mushroom soup on meals once or twice a week for 30 years. I just don’t tell him. Well, I did tell him once but he forgot.

When our oldest son was a teenager he gave me a cookbook for Christmas. “Now, Mom, you won’t have to use your imagination.”

Mercy, the old time Mothers cooked by inspiration, imagination and determination. And “Confidence.” They knew what they were doing was important and they were thankful for the food the Lord gave them to cook with.

When my children were all home and we hardly had food to put on the table, you would have had to tear my tongue out of my mouth before I would have confessed lack to them. Or said “Now, don’t eat too much — we are poor and we hardly have any food.” To me, that is horrible to tell hungry children such a thing.

I always made sure I had potatoes and hamburger, eggs and flour and canned vegetables. Sure, there are mothers in our country, sadly, that haven’t even what I had. But I am a Christian mother and God always fed my babies. Yes, He did. And they never went without.

I used to come pretty close to having nothing to feed them. But I would pray and say “Lord? It’s Connie again. You gave me these children and now You will have to take care of them.”

The Lord would say, “Connie, you just make out a grocery list and tell me what you need.” Well, I would get out my paper and pen and start making menus and writing things down. Then the Lord would say, “Now take the money you have and buy from this list as much as you can and I will get the rest for you.” And He did. Potatoes and eggs came from everywhere. Oranges and fresh fruits … I always felt I had to have citrus fruits for the children to eat each day.

So many times, demons came to me and said, “Well, you are going under. No money and Jim is sick.” I would not answer him. No, I wouldn’t. I just figured, Hey, God gave me these children and He was going to care for them. And he did and still does.

Papa, after he got saved wouldn’t allow me to get free food from the government. So I obeyed him on that, and God showed me other ways to feed my children. Papa worked, oh yes, and once he was saved was a good and faithful Daddy. He would bring his paycheck home and give me what he could for groceries, and he still does. But the children are mostly grown now. I would receive it reverently and I would thank him and tell him how much it meant to me to receive it. He had worked hard for it. He had, out of love, put his back to the plow, sort of speak, and I appreciated what he gave me. And I still do.

But often mittens, hats, and socks and shoes came out of the grocery money. In the old days, and it was hard making ends meet, I always set a nice table and had something warm for the family to eat. Sometimes if I ran out of milk, I got out my best crystal glass pitcher and served fancy water. This was simply ice water with ice cubes in it. It looked pretty in crystal on the table, served in my nicest glasses. The children thought we were rich. Well, we were rich because we had and have Jesus to sit as a guest at our table.

The old time Mothers were content to have any food to put on the table. And we must be content, too, with what the Lord has given us. We must seek peace in our homes. And, having food and clothes, we must be content. We must arise as precious daughters of Christ and be honest with Him. We must remain obedient in Him if we expect to see His glory. We must obey Him in the place He has called us. We must put a guard upon our lips that we do not sin against Him or our husbands or children. But to trust in Him.

Ya know, years ago I used to watch that show on tv that Larry Jones was on called Feed the Children. I loved that show, as so many mothers got on there who were poor and told how they were making it. Up in the Appalachain mountains, this one dear mama got on there and told with digntiy how she had taken an old iron barrel she had found and somehow cut a hole in the side of it with a big knife. Then she used it to heat her house with. She built a fire in it and kept her children warm. Larry, of course, felt sorry for her, but I didn’t. I thought she was pretty ingenious. I will never forget her getting on tv like that and giving instructions on how to make a stove out of an old barrel. I thought “Well you go girl. Sock it to ’em.” This woman and her spirit of self sufficiency is what will give the Appalachain families back their dignity. While I love it that Larry Jones helped these people with free food, this is a short term answer for a long time problem.

Then they interviewed a family that the Daddy had been out of work. He had to leave his home, but he built a small one room house for his family. Larry had camera men come in and take pictures. It was clean and well kept. The mother had a pretty wreath on the door. But it was small, probably 15 by 15 feet. They had 2 children and had bunk beds against the wall. They didn’t have any running water in the house, but the daddy dug a well for the water supply. The mother did her dishes as she heated the water on the stove. And, of course, she heated water for their baths. The mother hid her face from the camera, as she was embarrassed, and they were being exploited. I wondered how they got talked into that one. Probably, they were in a pinch.

But I didn’t feel sorry for those folks. They were rich. They knew how to make it. The daddy was poor but a good carpenter, and the mother was willing to haul water and make do. No one will get the best of that family. By gum, they will make it come hell or high water. They didn’t give up when Satan ordered them to. Larry should feel sorry for the slaves bound in credit cards. People who only know how to make money and will even leave their families for the almighty buck. Now these folks are the ones who need the free oatmeal and packages of cake mix and Hamburger Helper.

Well, Papa is up and duty calls, and just when I was getting heated up. Well, maybe I won’t get in so much trouble if I quit now.

Domestic Pleasures

Dear Kitchen Saints,

Oh Glory. Lately I am having so much fun in my kitchen making sour dough. You basically are making your own homemade yeast to put in your bread in place of the regular yeast. I don’t use a bread machine of course, although I guess it would be nice for a small family that just eats a loaf every few days.

Ya know, back in the old days with my six children? One day it dawned upon me, “Hey, guess what Connie. You can’t feed these kids like other folks feed their kids from the grocery store. You had better have some major tricks up your sleeve.” So I learned to make my kitchen to be like the old time mothers used to have theirs.

I had a special place in my kitchen where I made yogurt over a hot air register. I put a little stand over the top of the register. I used the yogurt for sour cream in cooking and for buttermilk. I used it to make salad dressings and vegetable dips. Of course, the old time mothers would have used the coolest part of their woodstove to make yogurt, but the idea is the same.

The mothers were like scientists figuring out where the best cultures would grow where. When the ladies come to my house they ask me, “So Connie, whatcha got growing here in this jar?” Well, I have Kumbacha tea in one jar and various other things growing in other jars. You don’t want to know. Usually these jars are in obscure places out of sight, usually in warm dark places, but the ladies love looking in corners and finding things they wish they hadn’t found.

But lately I am having a ball making sour dough starter. All the books would say to make your starter with something boring like a cup of water and a cup of flour and a little bread yeast, and a bit of sugar … Put it in a quart jar… Well, the quart jar idea was what was stunting my creative growth.

Now I have out a big gallon jar and I am having a good time with this. I am happily throwing all sorts of things in this jar that I know will make the yeast grow. I mean, that poor yeast needs more than flour and water to grow. Lately I threw in potato water and that will make it grow.

I grew up in my homemaking by reading Carla Emery’s Old Fashioned Recipe Book. She really taught me to be free in my cooking and how to make things from what you have on hand. I will say, though, that I am maybe a more free spirit than she was concerning sour dough. Carla Emery WAS a Christian, and her book is good. But now, trust me, she has backslidden. So if you look up this book on the internet you will see that she has gotten into new age and all sorts of devilry. But she was a wonderful wife and mother when she wrote her recipe book back in the 1970s. I do recommend this book to you. Maybe you could ask for it for Christmas. This is how I got mine one year.

When Mothers tell me that they can’t get their bread to rise, I always tell them ‘Well, ya didn’t love it enough.” Our bread will take on the atmosphere around it. It does grow from live yeasts in the air and, especially, when you are growing your own yeast in making sour dough. So make sure the air is full of love and domestic joy when you make bread.

A happy home will make a light and joyful loaf of bread.

Daughters of a New Revolution

I don’t know about you, but I am sick of this society trying to order me about through fear. George Carver encouraged the Negro slaves to act independently, to make their own nests and to own property. Some of you pay such high rent that is keeping you bound. Pride keeps you in a house that takes two incomes. Wouldn’t it be better to buy an old house and fix it up? That way you would own something. But if all you can afford is an apartment, that is good.

Just begin to build your temple where you are. Basically you need a place to cook and make your own food. You need a quiet place to comfort the children so that they are safe and can sleep well in a warm and private place.

The door to housewifery is a very little door and we have to sweep low to enter it.

I am a poor woman. I decided to be poor for Christ’s sake. When Jim finally got saved and released from prison for the last time, I said to God, “God, I am ready to do whatever you want.” I decided to let my hair grow and to just put it under a covering and to forget it. I had so much work to do. Jim got saved in 1979, and by 1985 I had 3 more children to add to our other 3. I was busy. But I planned on making it work. I put my life into it. For years, I never had a decent pair of shoes. I wore sandals in the warm months and snow boots in the cold months.

Going through the hell I did with Papa and I always separated, I had had enough hell to last me a lifetime. Jim got saved, and I just felt ok. I am going to buckle down and make a home. I just felt that, because Jim was obedient and I was, too, God would meet our needs, and He did.

But we had to thumb our nose at society. Folks tried to get me to run out and get a job to help Jim support the family. But I knew I was needed here. Our enemies tried to crush us. A man who had a prison ministry told the church world in our town that Jim would never stay out of prison. Well, he has been out of prison now for 22 years. He paid off a house and suppoted 6 children and a wife.

There were times when we had nothing. I would just lay down and go to sleep. I had no food to fix the family. I would say “Lord, you sent me here so now you can feed this bunch.” And He had sent me and He did care for the family. Miracles happened all the time. They had to, or I wouldn’t be here writing this now.

But I had had enough teaching under my belt that once Jim got saved, I figured that God would keep me, one way or the other, as Keeper at Home. I never babysat or made any money. Oh, maybe once in a blue moon I would make a few bucks, but nothing worth mentioning. Mary, on our list, knows me and she would tell you in a heartbeat that if Jim and Connie are still standing with family intact, then there is hope for every family.

I suffered to be able to write as I do. Don’t ask to be like me unless you are willing to walk in my shoes. And most of the time, I have worn no shoes.

Hopefully, I am a daughter of a new revolution. A daughter who will continue to break out of slavery and speak her own mind in God. I call poor women who will not bow their knees to the Almighty Buck but will serve God at all cost.

Will you be Daughters of a New Revolution or remain slaves of an ungodly society, sacrificing your familes out of fear?

Meek and Quiet Spirit

I just looked up the word puttering in the dictionary and it wasn’t in there. But I have used that word for years. I know my dad used to go out to his workshop in the garage to putter. If I went out to visit with him out there, I would say “Hi, Dad whatcha doin?” He would reply with “Oh, nothin’. Just foolin’ around.” I called it puttering.

He was always working with his tools, inventing things or fixing something. Dad was a genius. He had a brilliant mind; he could fix anything. He had a gift. We all knew that. He came over one day to fix my kitchen stove. We, Mom and I and Dad, all stood there looking at the stove. Dad said “Oh, that thing can’t be fixed.” Mom and I knew to just leave him alone in the kitchen and he would fix it. We knew he had a gift, and we just sort of knew that if we left him alone he would figure it out. So Mom would catch my eye and I knew that meant “Just leave him alone” and we would just walk away and do something in the living room. Pretty soon … “Well, its fixed,” Dad would tell us. “Well, what did you do, Dad?” “Oh, I was just foolin’ around with it and it started to work.” He really never took much credit for fixing things. He would just say he was messing with it and it started to work.

Puttering is underrated. It is important. Sometimes, if we had a problem with our car, Dad would say “Well, I will look at it tomarrow.” After he would sleep on it, he would know what the problem was.

How do we as homemakers use the gifts of wisdom and inventions in our homes? Well, sometimes it’s just through puttering in the kitchen, just going out ot the kitchen to fool aorund. We may start with washing the dishes and putting them away. Then maybe we get to thinking about what to have for supper. We happen to notice that we stil have some yeast in the cupboard that needs to be used up, so we start some bread. As we ponder it in our hearts we think about, “Well it’s a cold winter day. Stew would be good for supper. And, oh, the bread with it sounds good.”

The oldtime mothers knew how valuable their work was to their families. When a crisis in the family would come, they would often run to the kitchen and do some dishes left in the sink or fix a little snack of homemade bread and butter for the little ones. Usually she would put the tea kettle on a for cup of camomile tea to sooth her nerves. She knew busy hands were happy hands. “What’s Mom doin’ out in the kitchen?” Oh, she is just out there puttering around.

Mary pondered things in her heart. We need to do that. My frend Collen used to iron when she got upset. Many oldtime mothers used to love to kneed bread when they were anxious or upset and needed to work off steam.

True puttering is the fooling around that comes just before a sure act of righteousness. When I get up in the morning, I fool around and putter. I pray and write on a blank piece of paper. I clean off the table and maybe light a candle. I read my Bible. If the Lord tells me to write on the email, I do that. As my puttering escalates I think of dinner for the family. Now making a meal triggers me in my homemaking. I get a meal started on the stove and then I begin to clean the kitchen. So I begin with puttering and end up with some hard work.

Ya know, sometimes if I have gotten out in the world too much, I cant settle in my home. I get a running and worldly spirit. The more I have run, the more I want to run here and there. I cant putter or sit still long enough to have any solid thoughts on anything. For me, this is a dangerous place to get. Because once the homemaking inspirations begin to die and the world takes over, it’s like chasing a runaway horse to catch your homemaking place again.

And we moms are like that. We are the weaker vessels. We are as fine tuned violins. We can either play sweet harmonious melodies, or we can lose the flow of our music and get severely out of tune. Our music becomes confused and loud and obnoxious. Our music begins to nag our families and they hate being in our presence.

The meek and quiet spirit. It has to be cultivated. It has to be kept from the world. She needs to be fed quietness. To be honest, if I get too far out, I have to just sit in stillness and not do anything. After Jim goes to work and the kids are settled, after my homemking duties are underway, I just sit and be quiet until I can hear the voice of the Lord again. I ain’t going anywhere without it. I may as well sit there until I get it again.

This is why the Lord calls the mother and wife to be at home. She is to learn in silence and submission to her husband. Her meek and quiet spirit creates peace and harmony in the home.

Some women have been so blasted with the world. Divorce has happened to them. They can’t come to grips with it. They have been abused and mentally tormented. They have lost the meek and quiet spirit altogether. They run to stay away from the torment in their hearts, and yet the running produces more running. They know something is wrong, and yet they can’t understand what it is.

See, the homemaking spirit is hard to get and hard to hang onto. The world hates it because it produces so much. Puttering and quietness causes this spirit to grow.

Some of you mothers have been so hurt. Your meek and quiet spirit has been killed so many times that you have given up cultivating it anymore. It’s easier to forget it. And yet it is your answer. It is your gift, your blessing, your anointing.

Out of the inner court comes the miracles. Esther came to the inner court after much prayer, holiness and fasting. She made her requests known and she saved the Jewish race.

We mothers are secret gardens. Much fruit flows from us as we cultivate the meek and quiet spirit.

Supper’s Ready

When the chidren were all home, except for Jimmy in the Navy, it was hard keeping food on the table. Jimmy was home often on leave, and so I always had a full table. We have a large wood table in our dining room that seats eight. Our money supply was very low, so I spent alot of time asking the Lord what to feed the family.

I would go to the store and get the leftover fruit and vegetables for a couple bucks a box. The store called it their garbage. But a lot of the produce was still good. The really rotten stuff, I threw on my garden for compost. I froze the grapes. The seedless ones I made alot of grape pie with.

Sometimes, after getting the produce, I would take my big turkey roaster and do the following. At the far left, I would put a head of cabbage, washed and cut in half. Next to it, I would pile some carrots. Then a pile of green beans. Then a pile of potatoes. Maybe at the end, a pile of onions, depending on what I had gotten in my boxes. Over all of this, I would pour a can of very diluted tomato soup. And over that, I would sprinkle a pound of cooked hamburger. Then, of course, salt and pepper, and sometimes herbs from my garden. Then I would just bake it all in my oven.

A lot of times, I would get something like three boxes of lettuce. You had to buy all that they had, so I maybe would end up with ten boxes of produce. So I often had fresh salad on the table. Our Johnny would eat dinner plates of salad, along with the main dish.

The fruits, I would peel my way through and make a mixture of stewed fruit. I would put this in a big pan on the stove and cook it with sugar. Then I would serve this up in little bowls for each family member. I would put a candle on the table and our meals looked like a banquet. Often, Jim would take the few lemons and few stray oranges and grapefruit from our boxes and squeeze them over the old fashioned glass juicer and he made a wonderful juice drink. We added about a half cup of sugar. It was so good.

I got the store’s garbage every other week. And Papa gave me money for groceries every other week, too, as that was when he got paid. So, basically we ate pretty plain the first week, and often the second week, just fruits and vegetables or whatever I had gotten in my boxes. I did freeze some of the stuff, like cauliflower, brocolli, grapes and a few bananas.

Then, of course, I had my garden, but it didnt put out near the food I needed, especially in the winter. The winter was hard for me to keep food on the table. We homeschooled the youngest four, so they were home all day for three meals.

I made a lot of bread when the children were growing up and I still do. Danny still loves cornbread and will eat it as a snack. But especially if we were eating mainly fresh vegetables and fruits, I made a lot of yeast breads because it went well with the fresh produce and was filling. I made alot of bread sticks. The children loved them and I made plenty. Yesterday, with leftover cornbread, I made croutons, seasoned and baked in the oven in oil and margarine. We ate these with our chili. Often, I made baking powder biscuits when the children were all home.

I would make hamburger gravy, mashed potatoes, then fix a vegetable, and then the biscuits. Papa still would croak without his gravy.

Still, I shop for bargains early in the mornings at the stores. Yesterday at the store, I found cream the pint size marked down and outdated for three for a buck. I got six and some plain yogurt. Last night I started some homemade yogurt. I make it with the cream and some milk. It ends up like a cross between a sour cream and a yogurt, so I use it for both. I made a bean crock of yogurt. Our David especially loved the homemade yogurt when he lived at home. It was good over the fresh strawberries, and sugar on the top.

Also at the store yesterday, I bought two quarts of buttermilk for 39

 
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