Your own fresh butter? I am going to give butter making a try in the next few days and was wondering if anyone has any great tips for me. I don't have a butter churn but I do have a kitchenaid mixer that I will be using for this process. Why have I decided to do this when we have a market right around the corner? Because I want to have fresh butter for fresh homemade bread. If it's as easy as the recipe implies I will be making it on a regular basis!
Do you make your own butter? Has it proved to be easy and does it taste fresher? Do tell!
Is my husband's favorite Cinnamon Bread! I had every intention of tidying up the garden today, but I got a bit sidetracked and found myself in one of my favorite places...the kitchen! Here is the recipe, it's easy and oh so good! I double the batch and freeze one for later, as I usually do with everything I bake.
Ingredients: 1/4 cup butter, softened (as always, I used "I can't believe it's not butter") 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided 1 egg 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup buttermilk (If you've none on hand make your own! See my archives) 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Directions: In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, 1 cup sugar and egg until blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk.
In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and remaining sugar.
Pour a third of the batter into a greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pan; sprinkle with a third of the cinnamon sugar. Repeat layers twice. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Is the main point of entry to your home and it is particularly important in keeping out bad elements, spiritual or human. If you choose to hang a horseshoe above your entrance way, make sure to hang it with points facing upwards to stop the luck from running out. A horseshoe hung in your bedroom is said to keep nightmares away.
Did you realize that it is unlucky to enter your house for the first time by using the back door? This entrance is not protected against evil spirits. Also, encourage your visitors to leave by the same door they came in to avoid taking your luck with them.
The opening of a door of its own accord indicates that a visitor is on the way, whilst a slamming door may damage the spirit of your house and should be avoided.
Leave a door open when a child is being born or someone is dying, so that the entry or exit may take place without hindrance.
The Romans would leave a servant on duty to stop someone entering the home left foot first(the forerunner of the modern footman) as it was bad luck.
In Ireland, it's said that if one magpie comes chattering at your door it's a sign of death, but if two come chattering it's a sign of prosperity.
Lastly, beware of sweeping trash out your door after dark, as it will bring a stranger to visit.
I love to use herbs in my cooking and sauces. The problem with purchasing herbs is that they don't last long in the refrigerator. Stock up on your herbs for the fall and winter by finely chopping your herbs of choice and freezing them with a small amount of water in ice cube trays. Measure them out in 1 or 2 tablespoon portions and it will be very convenient. When they are frozen, toss them out in a ziploc freezer bag and label them (don't forget to write the amount..1 tbsp in each cube etc)! When you need them all you need do is toss your ice cube in to your recipe! You will have your fresh herbs for the colder months ahead.
I thought this mix recipe was perfect to post for the upcoming 4th of July weekend! Not only is it a wonderful snack, but the meaning behind it is so special and patriotic. Enjoy!
Mix: 2 cups of bugles 2 cups of pretzels 1 cup of raisins 1 cup of candy corn 1 cup of peanuts 1 cup of m&m's chocolate kisses
The meaning of the mix: Bugles-shaped like horn of plenty, a symbol of our nations abundance. Pretzels-arms folded in prayer, a freedom sought by those who founded our country. Candy corn-the sacrifices of the pilgrims first winter. Food was so scarce that settlers survived on just a few kernals of corn. Peanuts-promise of a future harvest, one we will reap only if seeds are planted and tended with diligence. Raisins-harvest gifts from our bountiful land. M&M's-memories of those who came before us to lead us into a blessed future. Hershey's kiss-the love of family and friends that sweetens our lives.
Mix all but the kisses and put into bags and attach this note. Put the kiss on top of each bag. Use as a place setting at the table or make with your children and they can give everyone a bag when they walk into your home.
The lemon. It is my favorite item to have on hand in the larder of Our Scented Cottage. I know what you're thinking... a citrus product is your favorite item when there are so many others? Let me tell you the many ways you can use your lemons, or my favorite product, Real Lemon juice in the bottle. It lasts much longer than having the actual fruit, although I would be the first to admit it is much less attractive than a display of lovely yellow fruits nestled in a beautiful wicker basket.
Lemons are very rich in vitamin C, and many other valuable nutrients, and this gives lemons a unique position in beauty applications. Because of their versatility, they have been used since ancient times for beauty products. They originally come from Asia but it is believed by many that India is their birthplace.
I love making as many of my own products as possible. That includes not only foods and cleaners but beauty products as well. The lemon is one item I can count on for any occasion. It exfoliates my skin, lightens my freckles, bleaches my nails when the need arises (the lovely vintage red crimson nail color presents issues on the occasions when I wish to be free of polish), it removes product residue from your hair and more.
It also cleans like nothing else (well maybe vinegar but lemon works wonders too). Put lemon on your sponge and apply to your glass shower doors. Let it sit a minute or two and then wipe with your sponge and rinse. If there is any soap residue left you can apply a little baking soda with some more lemon and scrub and then rinse again. It will sparkle with the likes of a new one and make your powder room smell fresh and clean. Lemon and baking soda remove soap scum from tubs, showers, sinks etc as well.
Now, on to the kitchen where you can fill your scented cottage with the aroma of lemon cakes or cookies, or gingerbread with a wonderful lemon sauce, cream or frosting. Yes! All from the mighty bottle of lemon juice tucked inconspicuously away in your refrigerator.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes for you..
For Beauty.. Hand and feet exfoliant
Mix lemon and brown sugar or salt and apply with a rubbing effect over hands and/or feet especially in rough areas. Rinse with water, dry and apply lotion. Notice how fresh and soft the skin feels. You may want to do this once a week if your hands and feet are in need of tender care. Remember the saying, "A lady has soft hands".
To Consume.. Homemade Lemon Sugar
Great to use for teas or to sprinkle over cookies and use in baking instead of regular white sugar. Also try as toppings for fancy breads. Store the lemon sugar in an airtight container and refrigerate. This can be used for several months. For Gifts place lemon sugar in decorative glass jars. Include a tag with ideas for use as well as the recipe itself if you like.
Recipe #1 3 Lemons 2 Cups Sugar
Remove the zest from the lemons using a citrus zester. Roughly chop lemon zest. In a food processor, add 1 cup of the sugar and all the lemon zest. Pulse for a few minutes until the zest has been finely ground. Add the rest of the sugar and toss until well mixed. Spread the lemon sugar in a large pan and let sit until dry, approximately 1 hour. Store in a sealed, airtight container and use as needed. Refrigerate until used.
In a blender add 1/2 cup of the sugar and all the lemon rind. Blend for a few seconds until the peel is finely blended. Add the rest of the sugar and mix well. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until needed.
For Cleaning.. All Purpose Cleaner 2 tablespoons borax, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 cups hot water. Combine the borax and lemon juice with the water in a spray bottle. Use as you would any commercial all-purpose cleaner.
It will be an exciting few days here at Our Scented Cottage as we are having a visit from family! I will be baking and cooking for grandsons with an appetite, and I hope to be able to keep them full and happy! After all, what is a visit to granny's without alot of good food?
Here is an apple pie filling recipe you can have at the ready in your freezer any time you get surprise visits. This recipe is enough for five 9 inch pies.
18 cups baking apples, peeled and sliced (about 6 lbs.) 3 tablespoons lemon juice 4-1/2 cups sugar 1 cup cornstarch 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon salt 10 cups water
In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice; set aside. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add water; bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add apples; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until the apples are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.
Cool at room temperature no longer than 1-1/2 hours. Ladle into freezer containers (leaving 1/2 inch headspace) or freezer bags. Seal and freeze; store for up to 12 months.
When you'd like to bake a pie or apple turnovers, just thaw out your filling, pour into crust and bake!
That when slicing pineapples the knife used for peeling the pineapple should not be used for slicing it? The rind contains an acid that is apt to cause a swollen mouth and sore lips. If you find your mouth has suffered from this, use salt as an antidote for the ill effects of the peel.
If you find your iron is sticking, try running it over a piece of paper sprinkled with salt.
When ironing, always iron the fabrics that require a cool temperature first as the iron heats up and there will be less of a chance for scorching. If you do happen to scorch an item, try removing it with cloth that has been dampened with vinegar. Only use a warm iron, not to hot. If you have scorched a cotton item, the scorch mark responds better to peroxide.
I was out gazing at my lavender plants yesterday and they are starting their new growth for the season. I'm excited since I love it so! I will use some sprigs to scent the rooms in our cottage, and I will use some for baking. If you have not used lavender in your baking, you must give it a try. Make sure that you have pesticide free plants to use but if you don't, you can order culinary lavender online. Remember that when substituting dried lavender where fresh is called for in a recipe, use half the amount of dried.
Ingredients: • 1 cup heavy cream or buttermilk • 2 teaspoons fresh lavender buds • 8 slices white bread, crusts trimmed • 1/4 cup butter (room temperature...you can use I can't believe it's not butter) • 1/4 cup apricot jam or marmalade (try the sugarfree versions) • 1/4 cup seedless raisins • 2 eggs • 1/2 cup sugar • 1/2 cup milk • 2 teaspoons vanilla • 1/4 cup powdered sugar • 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender buds, crushed to a powder
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream until bubbles form around the outside of the pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the lavender; set aside to cool.
2. Grease an 8 x 12 inch baking dish and preheat the oven to 350°F.
3. Butter the bread slices and spread with jam. Arrange four slices in the dish with butter and jam side up. Sprinkle raisins over the bread and top with the remaining bread slices.
4. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and creamy. Whisk in the milk and vanilla; strain the cooled cream into the egg mixture and whisk to combine.
5. Pour the egg mixture over the bread; let stand for about 15 minutes.
6. Bake the pudding for 40 to 50 minutes, until set and browned on top.
7. In a small bowl, combine the crushed lavender buds and sugar; dust over the pudding. Serve pudding warm.
Here I go again with some great ways to use your teabags other than using them for your afternoon tea. If you have a flavor that you're not quite fond of then recycle them for a great new use!
Cool sunburned skin What can you do when you forget to use sunscreen and have to pay the price with a painful burn? A few wet tea bags applied to the affected skin will take out the sting. This works well for other types of minor burns too. If the sunburn is too widespread to treat this way, put some tea bags in your bathwater and soak your whole body in the tub.
Relieve your tired eyes Revitalize tired, achy, or puffy eyes. Soak two tea bags in warm water and place them over your closed eyes for 20 minutes. The tannins in the tea act to reduce puffiness and soothe tired eyes. I like to use chamomile teabags for this.
Reduce razor burn To soothe razor burn and relieve painful nicks and cuts, apply a wet tea bag to the affected area. And don't forget to replace the blade before your next shave.
Get the gray out Turn gray hair dark again without an expensive trip to the salon or the use of chemical hair dyes. Make your own natural dye using brewed tea and herbs: Steep 3 tea bags in 1 cup boiling water. Add 1 tablespoon each of rosemary and sage (either fresh or dried) and let it stand overnight before straining. To use, shampoo as usual and then rinse with this tea. It may take several treatments to achieve desired results but it will leave your hair with a wonderful shine. I have strawberry blonde hair so I use chamomile tea but you can experiment and if you have dark hair and want red highlights try some raspberry or blackberry tea.
Tan your skin with tea Give pale skin a healthy tan appearance without exposure to dangerous ultraviolet rays. Brew 2 cups strong black tea, let it cool, and pour into a plastic spray bottle. Make sure your skin is clean and dry. Then spray the tea directly onto your skin and let it air-dry. Repeat as desired for a healthy-looking glowing tan. This will also work to give a man's face a more natural look after shaving off a beard.
Drain a boil I know this sounds disturbing but it will be helpful if you suffer from this issue. Drain a boil with a boiled tea bag! Cover a boil with a wet tea bag overnight and the boil should drain without pain by the time you wake up next morning.
Soothe nipples sore from nursing When breast-feeding the baby leaves your nipples sore, treat them to an ice-cold bag of tea. Just brew a cup of tea, remove the bag, and place it in a cup of ice for about a minute. Then place the wet tea bag on the sore nipple and cover it with a nursing pad under your bra for several minutes while you enjoy a cup of tea. The tannic acid in the wet tea leaves will soothe and help heal the sore nipple.
Soothe those bleeding gums The child may be all smiles later when the tooth fairy arrives, but right now those bleeding gums are no fun whatsoever. To stop the bleeding and soothe the pain from a lost or recently pulled tooth, wet a tea bag with cool water and press it directly onto the site. This helped me when I had wisdom teeth extracted and had issues with bleeding afterwards.
Relieve baby's pain from injection Is your baby still crying from that recent injection? Try wetting a tea bag and placing it over the site of the shot. Hold it gently in place until the crying stops. The tannic acid in the tea will soothe the soreness. You might try it on yourself the next time an injection leaves your arm sore.
Dry poison ivy rash Dry a weepy poison ivy rash with strongly brewed tea. Simply dip a cotton ball into the tea, dab it on the affected area, and let it air-dry. Repeat as needed.
Stop foot odor Put an end to smelly feet by giving them a daily tea bath. Just soak your feet in strongly brewed tea for 20 minutes a day and rid yourself of the offensive odors.
Make a soothing mouthwash To ease toothache or other mouth pain, rinse your mouth with a cup of hot peppermint tea mixed with a pinch or two of salt. Peppermint is an antiseptic and contains menthol, which alleviates pain on contact with skin surfaces. To make peppermint tea, boil 1 tablespoon fresh peppermint leaves in 1 cup water and steep for several minutes or purchase peppermint tea bags to have on hand for their many uses.
Clean wood furniture and floors Freshly brewed tea is great for cleaning wood furniture and floors. Just boil a couple of tea bags in a quart (liter) of water and let it cool. Dip a soft cloth in the tea, wring out the excess, and use it to wipe away dirt and grime. Buff dry with a clean, soft cloth.
Create "antique" fashions Soak white lace or garments in a tea bath to create an antique beige, ecru, or ivory look. Use 3 tea bags for every 2 cups of boiling water and steep for 20 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes before soaking the material for 10 minutes or more. The longer you let it soak, the darker the shade you will get.
Shine your mirrors To make mirrors sparkle and shine, brew a pot of strong tea, let it cool, and then use it to clean the mirrors. Dampen a soft cloth in the tea and wipe it all over the surface of the mirrors. Then buff with a soft, dry cloth for a sparkly, streak-free shine.
Perfume a sachet The next time you make a sachet, try perfuming it with the fragrant aroma of your favorite herbal tea. Just open a few used herbal tea bags and spread the wet tea on some old newspaper to dry. Then use the dry tea as stuffing for the sachet. There are some great rose teas, mint teas and fruit teas that are wonderful for this.
Give your roses a boost Sprinkle new or used tea leaves (loose or in tea bags) around your rosebushes and cover with mulch to give them a midsummer boost. When you water the plants, the nutrients from the tea will be released into the soil, spurring growth. Roses love the tannic acid that occurs naturally in tea. I put used teabags over the holes in pots when I am replanting my acid loving plants and flowers. They love it!
Feed your ferns Schedule an occasional teatime for your ferns and other acid-loving houseplants. Substitute brewed tea when watering the plants every now and then and watch them thrive.
Enhance your compost pile To speed up the decomposition process and enrich your compost, pour a few cups of strongly brewed tea into the heap. The liquid tea will hasten decomposition and draw acid-producing bacteria, creating desirable acid-rich compost.
You need a village, if only for the pleasure of leaving it. A village means that you are not alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the earth, there is something that belongs to you, waiting for you when you are not there. ~Casare Pavese
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Welcome! Please pour yourself a cup of tea and settle in and relax with me awhile. As you'll notice, I am captivated by ancient times, a soul misplaced in this modern day. I have a love for my ancestry and I believe people who grow up without a sense of how yesterday has affected today, are unlikely to have a strong sense of how today affects tomorrow.