Friday, June 23, 2017
 

Archive for November, 2003

You Are Her

My vision yesterday was of a country home, set off by itself among the whispering pine trees. I kept asking the Lord who lived there and found out that I did.

This was such a lesson to me. See, in my vision, I wanted to see a homemaker in this home I had invisioned. I wanted to see her and be inspired by her. And yet, the home was there but no one lived there. When I entered there, then someone lived there, and the spirit of wisdom could then have a voice.

This is the same thing with you ladies and your homes. Your homes are empty without you there, and the amount of wisdom that will come into your home is the amount that you fill yourselves up with. You are the wisdom God speaks of in Proverbs.

Wisdom needs a voice and you are her.

Whatever you need or that is lacking in your home — fill yourself with the word of God concerning His wisdom or His wife, the virtuous woman. If you are full of the wisdom from the word of God, then this will be the voice of wisdom in your home. You become her voice and the family’s treasure. You become this woman spoken of in Proverbs.

The word says that with Wisdom a house is built, with understanding it is established, and with knowlege it is filled with fine things.

Every wise woman builds her home. So you are the wisdom that dwells in your home.

We as wise women must seek the wisdom of God with our whole hearts and souls, and not worry about our own reputations or what the rest of the world thinks about us. We must forsake the foolishness of this world.

The wild women are out there and the word says that they are tearing their own homes down with their own hands. And their own children.

Minding our Business

Out of our place of duty, the Lord will call us to give meat to our households and a portion to our maidens. We give to the poor out of the leftover main dish that we serve our families.

Now, some dear wives and mothers are called to be missioneries’ or pastors’ wives, and their husbands call them to give their all to the poor, and they should do this as unto the Lord. But, see, most of us are not called as missioneries’ wives. Our duty is to our own families, and we are to serve them as unto the Lord. We still have a place of duty to the poor and we do our good works, but only under the guidance of our husbands. And our duties as Christian wives are so important.

Again, I say that we will only be rewarded for the duties we are called by God to do. We won’t be rewarded for doing another woman’s duties. Just because you do good works, that doesn’t please the Lord. What we do out of our calling in our hearts from God will please the Lord. But just because your duty looks too hard, then you can’t jump the fence and go do as the other women do and call it good works. It’s not good works and it’s not everlasting, and these works are the works that God says will burn like sticks and stubble. But the good works you do out of your calling from God will be everlasting and will count in heaven. They are works of duty and power.

In the first place, our homes are our husbands’. They pay the rent or house payment. They own the house and we are the keepers of the home. And if that statement made you mad, then, well, I dunno. But we mothers should pay attention to our own duties.

My point is that I see women who have their homes a mess and no supper preparations, and, around supper time, they are just out running about. They do what they call good works. They may run a friend to the dentist or some other good work to keep them on the road all day. Well, Lady, that ain’t a good work; that is an excuse not to do the duty the Lord has called you to. I mean, maybe you have discussed this with your husband and he has given you the ok. Well, that is a different story, and you are taking a friend to the dentist under obedience and the covering of your husband.

Still, your own duty to your man comes first. Maybe you could fix a crock pot meal for him to eat when he gets home from work and you are gone. But your house should be in order and things done so he doesn’t come home to a lot of work after working all day at his job. Oh, he may say it don’t matter, because he is a good and patient Christian man. But you alone, dear wife, should have enough Christian compassion to take care of your husband, whether he demands that you do or not.

Our true submission is to the Lord and to the word of God that calls us to be Keepers at Home. Just because we can get away with shirking our duties, then should we?

The thing of it is, these kind of women never get their prayers answered. They won’t do the small duties of life which God uses to call them to victory.

God is the same yesterday, today and forever. You ain’t gonna con Him into going your way. Important people never repeat themselves. And God … He is important?

Boy, the Lord knows I am writing out of my own mistakes, believe me. The Lord will call me to some humble duty. Then I get all wired up and, out of fear, run the other way. Then I come back to Him and I want another message from Him, an easier one. I want Him tell me something I like — somthing fun to do. But, ya know, His message never changes. He will wait for us for years on end with the same message. I mean, we ain’t God and we can’t make up our own rules.

God has called me to things years ago that I still haven’t accomplished 30 years later. But now, I feel like I have another chance with helping with the grand babies. He is using another generation of children to teach me the lessons He has been teaching me for years, and it all has to do with my duties as Keeper at Home. And if I don’t learn it all pretty soon, He will probably try to teach me through my great grand babies.

Generally, we, as wives and mothers, must learn our places as Keepers at Home. Our homes are our universities of knowlege and wisdom. Our homes are where we learn our callings of obedience. These callings lead us to our miracles. We learn patience and kindness and meekness through caring for our children and being obedient to God thru serving our husbands. You don’t need a Bible class; you need to learn how to keep your own home. The older Titus woman teachings is all, the Bible says, that women are to be taught. Because under this covering is a world of teachings.

Go home, dear mothers, and learn the true and valuable teachings from God. Obey the Lord and he will trust you with His kingdom. If you want a valuable place in God, then pay attention to the small duties He has called you to. He is watching you and wanting to answer your prayers, but you must listen to His voice of sacrifice and obedience. He ain’t gonna change His mind. His calling is the same and, until you get the small lessons down pat, you can’t go to the next level.

I mean, there are certain spiritual laws and we have to follow the rules. We can’t make up our own rules for electricity or gravity … or for God’s laws.

Old Time Mothers

The old time Mothers were like scientists. They learned from their own mothers how to set up a kitchen and how each brew, like their pots of vinegars or cheese, would attract certain yeasts out of the air.

My own home, for some reason, is just full of certain yeasts in the air. I could make a glass of water turn into wine … just kidding. (I wonder if it’s because Jesus lives here.)

We all know that yogurt starter is a different yeast than bread yeast, or that cottage cheese needs a dfferent starter than a bread yeast. You can use bread yeast to start your wine or vinegar.

These old time mothers made their own starters because they didn’t go to the store, except maybe twice a year. Their own kitchens were like little factories and these women had knowledge and wisdom. To them, it was a common knowledge to know how to make a sour dough starter for their breads and how to keep them going for many years. They guarded their own starters and passed them on to their daughters.

Sour dough starters are just water and flour and maybe a bit of salt, and some sugar, and maye a pinch of store bought yeast. As you set this on your kitchen counter and it gets warm, the pinch of yeast begins to grow. And if you protect your starter, then you will never have to buy store bought yeast again.

But the old time mothers knew how to attract the yeast out of the air, and how to attract the right kind for what she wanted it for. Their families’ lives and wellness laid in the hands of Mother and how skilled she was in the kitchen.

In the summer, I have made a grape wine that only consists of grapes and sugar and water. I leave the grapes whole and the skins have a yeast on them that ferments the wine. I have nothing in there except water and grapes and sugar … no starters. This is why you need fresh fruits to make wines or vinegars. So often at the store, they spray the fruit with harmful sprays that will kill the natural yeasts in your fruits. But, see, I could take two cups of my wine I have brewin’ now and make two loaves of bread and not have to use any bread yeast. Like you have heard of beer bread? Well it would be like that.

You have to know how to control the yeast, too. When my wine is done bubbling, I will put a tight lid on it so it won’t gather any more yeast from the air and get so strong, it will knock a buffalo down at a dead run. But I will cap this and put it in a cool place on my screened in porch. The cool air will retard the spread of the yeast and keep the wine sweet and light. One time, my wine got too strong, so I used it to clean out my coffee pot. I guess it turned to vinegar. But if you want to keep wine from doing this, you have to stop the yeast action. Yeast loves warm places (not hot), and the cold stops it from growing.

Ya know, to make cottage cheese, you can just let your raw milk sit in a warm place and the yeast from the air will curdle it. Or you can add vinegar to help it along to the curdling stage.

Annie, bless her little stinkin’ heart, laughs at me for the way I make one meal as a starter for the next one and on and on and on. But this is how the old-time mothers did it. They would make potato soup from the leftover mashed potatoes from one meal. And then, when the soup was down to about two cups, she grabbed it from the table to start her potato bread for the next day. She knew she would use the potatoes for three things, so when she peeled them, she would peel enough for the mashed potatoes, the potato soup for the next day, and then for the bread starter.

She would start her bread the night before and let the yeast grow in a warm place beside the stove. Now, this wouldn’t be a sour dough starter. She would add a pinch of yeast to her two cups of leftover potato soup, and it would ferment overnight, and she would begin baking early the next morning. Of course, she saved her potato water to make bread, too. Potatoes have a lot of something that yeast loves. Potato bread isn’t made just for the taste of the potatoes, but for how it makes the yeast grow and the texture of it.

Yeast loves sugar, and if you have any yeast that you think is old but you ain’t quite sure, just set your yeast in some warm water and put some sugar in it. If it doesn’t bubble, then your yeast is old and won’t be good for making bread. I test my yeast each time I bake to make sure it is fresh.

Back in the old days, when I was raising my chidren, I would get so nervous and cry to the Lord. I had so much anxiety about not being able to feed my children good meals. I wasn’t about to scream “Uncle” and go get a job. But, oh boy, I would get so scared, and yet I didn’t want to let on to my family that we had so little groceries, at times. The Lord always gave me something to feed the family. But it was close, believe me! Papa was just saved and doing his best to work and support us, the best he could. I wasn’t about to whine to him that we didn’t have enough money for groceries. This was my place of duty and I had determined that, with the Lord’s help, I would not fail in this area.

So, finally, I would get mad at God and say, “Lord? Now you gave me these children and they need to be fed. I don’t have hardly nothin’ to feed them, and this is your problem and not mine.”

And the Lord would tell me, “Connie, you have a lot more than the women during the Depression had, and they fed their families.” And the Lord would encourage me to read about the women during the Depression and learn how they made a kitchen that was worth something. So I got to lookin’ in my kitchen and decided where the warmest place was to let my bread rise and to make my sour dough, or yogurt … whatever I needed. I used the yogurt in place of sour cream and made creamed cheese with the yogurt, too. I put a little shelf over my hot air register and this was my place, like the old time mothers had on the back of their stoves.

I took courage from the books I read of the old time mothers. And I thought, “If they could do it, I could, too.”

And, ya know, I learned how to make wine quite by accident. I decided to make root beer, as we couldn’t afford this except once in a while. Well, after I made it with the yeast and sugar and extract, Papa says, “My mother used to let this all set for a few weeks.” Well, my recipe was for Sunday School Rootbeer, and you were supposed to drink it right away, and you weren’t supposed to let it set and ferment. I was shocked when I found out I was giving my Christian friends real beer. They were shocked, too. I told everyone that it was Sunday School Rootbeer and I was sure it wasn’t fermented.

Finally, an old moonshiner told me, “Connie, it fermented. Anytime you let yeast and sugar alone for a few weeks, it will ferment and turn into alcohol.”

Oh, the Christian men laughed and teased Jim and elbowed him in the ribs and started laughing again and again. The wives looked at me like, “Only Connie would be makin’ her own brew at home, all alone by herself and by accident.” Oh, their husbands laughed until the tears just squirted from their eyes. Then the stories began with the men about thier lives before they got saved and how they used to drink, and then Papa would tell about the potato mash and apple jack they made in prison.

And, to my surprise, the world of fementation opened up to me. I brought my very Baptist friend some rhubarb wine for her husband. He laughed and said, “This stuff ain’t for kids.” One day, he brought me over a big tub of grapes and told me not tell him what I planned to do with it. He said, for all he knew, I was gonna make jelly. I mean, I have kept folks laughin’ with this stuff for miles around. It was really funny because everyone knew that Jim and I didn’t drink.

HERBS

Around that time, too, I started growing my own herbs. I had grown this valerian? But I wasn’t sure if it was valerian or feverfew. Well, it didn’t matter at first because I was just experimenting with this stuff, and if ya let it grow tall enough, you figure out the difference. It looks the same in the beginning, but the feverfew has flowers like daisies on it once it matures.

Well, when it was just beginning to grow, a friend wanted to trade me some herbs. I said I wasn’t sure if I had valerian or feverfew. So I made some tea with the valerian to see if it calmed me down, as then I would know it was, indeed, valerian. (Folks take valerian to calm their nerves.) So I drank some and I didn’t get calmed down, but I liked the taste and drank it all afternoon. I thought it was feverfew. Well, it was valerian and I was calmed down, alright — it finally hit me like a Mack truck. My eyes would close while I was just walking around. I thought, “Oh, dear Lord God, what am I gonna do?”

When Jim got home from work, I tried to hide this from him. I was sitting talking to him and my eyes would just close on their own. Jim kept looking at me and I kept trying to hide my face. Finally, Jim says, “What on earth is the matter with you?” I finally told him what I had done. Supper wasn’t fixed or anything, and I had to go to bed and sleep it off. Well, who could fix supper with their eyes closed? I mean, it was hard enough fixin’ it with my eyes open, with no groceries.

I am sorry … I am trying to be serious, but it just ain’t workin’ out. I better stop before I go any further with this.

Later, Papa did go out and dig up the valerian and told me not to be growin’ things like this.

Where’s the Beef????

I wanted to tell you about how I save money on hamburger. The beef in our stores lately has gone up, not a quarter or so, but dollars. How folks can feed a big family, I dont know. Well, this is what I do to stretch the hamburger.

Yesterday, I bought two pounds of fresh ground beef and two pounds of ground turkey. Now, the ground turkey is cheap and good, about a buck a pound. It’s really better for ya than hamburger, but my family is used to the hamburger. Well, anyway, I will take the thawed out turkey and the fresh hamburger and put it in a bowl and just squish it all together with your hands. Get the turkey and beef well mixed so it isn’t a chunk of pink turkey all on one side. If the kids have to eat a hamburger that is half brown and half pink, they won’t eat it, but be sneaky and mix it up good so they wont know the difference. Then just package this however you want it and freeze it. I will package mine in pound packages.

Also, you can get a really spicy pork sausage and mix this with a pound of ground turkey, as to cut down on the pork. The spices will spice up the turkey and will be good. But pick a sausage that is too spicy and let it go for two pounds of meat instead of one. (I am a little leary about eating pork.)

If you are a sneaky enough mother, you can pull this stuff off without a hitch and save a lot on groceries, and this mixture is better healthwise, anyway. The turkey is sort of bland and it takes on the taste of the beef. I use hamburger for soups and stews and speghetti sauce, for Sloppy Joes and Papa’s gravy, and many casseroles, etc.

We couldn’t live without hamburger. My Mother always said, “When Connie was raising her six children, she started off every meal with a pound of hamburger.” And this was true. Well, not every meal, but almost. If I had a pound of hamburger and some potatoes and some canned or fresh vegetables, I could make a meal.

Wow! Turkey is on special in our area for only 58

Granola

I make granola almost every fall. I made about two gallons of it on Wednesday and gave each of the kids in town some.

Jim and I had gone to this warehouse in an Amish community and I made off like a bandit, buying nuts for my granola. I had some walnuts here at home, and coconut. But, at the warehouse, I bought hazel nuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, and almonds. They were small packages for 25

Happy Busy Hands

For many years, we had a milkman. For probably 25 years … I had him come when Chrissy and John were babies … anyway, he was still delivering here when he was almost 80. So he used to give me old time recipes that his family had made. He said to take a pumpkin and slice it up in really thin slices, like apples. And then make it just like an apple pie with the brown sugar and cinnamon. I have made this with zuchinni and it is good. But I think pumpkin would be better. I haven’t tried that but I am going to. That has to be good.

I have been a full time cook here at home for 37 years and, I tell you, I use my blender a lot … more than any other cooking gadget. And I use my crock pot a lot. But if I had to give up one, I would give up the crock pot and never give up my blender.

Other cooking things I love are my big enamel spoons and large crocks to mix my baking up in. Also I love my big roasters and my little ones. I have some really big dish pans that are nice for canning.

Also, I got this nice big wash tub at the Dollar Store a few years back. Now, I would have really used that when the kids were all home! I will use that for washing garden produce next summer.

Jim’s Mom used her wash tub about every day. She used it for cooking and canning in the summer. And on Saturday nights, she gave the kids baths, whether they needed it or not. And, of course, she used it for her washing.

I have my wash tub out on a small table in the kitchen. I put baking stuff in it and cover it with an old cotton tablecloth. But this coming summer I will use it more.

Winter Soups and Breads

I am up early, makin’ coffee and writing. Today Mary is coming for lunch, and maybe Tiffany and Baby Rose. (David is at work.) So I am up thinking of what to have for lunch. I may have chili and fresh vegetable salads.

We went to the grocery store yesterday early, and there were many marked down vegetables like for 29

 
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