Thanksgiving Dinner and Preparing for Christmas!

Hey Everyone!

Wednesday I had helped my mom start preparing for Thanksgiving Dinner. I had made the Pumpkin Pies and mixed up the rolls.

I had made myself a Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie for thanksgiving, and made two regular pumpkin pies for the rest of the family.

This year we had kept Thanksgiving dinner simpler than we have in years past. Now that it is down to just my immediate family, as my grandparents and great – aunt who used to join us for holiday dinners have all passed away, it is a lot simpler.

After we had had dinner and before I had to take a nap before going to work Friday morning, I put up and decorated my little artificial Christmas Tree.

Over the past couple weeks I have been ordering Christmas gifts for those in my life, to make sure I get them in, in time for Christmas.

As I am getting older, what I want for Christmas, is less about just things, or getting the latest and greatest electronics. I have what I need and some of what I wanted in that department. I don’t need the latest and greatest. I have a smartphone, that is a bit older, but still works great and has everything I need. This past year, I have been learning how to be content with what I have.

This year for Christmas and my Birthday I know I am getting some practical things. Well practical to me things. They wouldn’t be practical for everyone.

That is how I am trying to live my life, is more practically, and be more frugal. That is part of the focus of this blog, is Homemaking made simpler. Those who know me, know I love history, especially the era of westward expansion / frontier life / pioneer life / Homesteading as well as the 1950’s. I also have been interested in learning about and diving into Women’s History. While these are two very different periods in history,

In the years since my food intolerances really began manifesting themselves, learning where my food comes from, and the concept of being self sufficient and eventually living on one income, has been something I have been researching. At least with where I am from, living the more traditional lifestyle where the husband works and the wife is a homemaker and raises the kids is all but a memory.

I have always preferred being able to go outside and work on the land, like having a garden, some fruit trees, and maybe some chickens, pigs and goats. I also enjoy cooking and baking, as well as knitting.

I am one of those who wants a home of my own, but I don’t want anything fancy. I want a home to keep, and hopefully one day raise kids in. I also have realized that I am more of a country girl than a city girl. I would also make memories than have a bunch of things that I don’t need and will not use often enough to justify buying them.

As I get have gotten older, having frivolous things is less and less appealing. Which is why when I am asked what I want for Christmas and my birthday (they are less than a week a part), it is getting harder.

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Eating Venison

Hey Everyone!

To some, eating venison is adventurous. (If you can’t find it in the grocery store than it’s exotic).

Today I had some Venison for the second time that I can remember, as an adult. I may have had some at some point when I was a kid, but I just don’t remember it.

I definitely love trying different meats. I eat so much chicken, and don’t care for beef.

Venison is texturally similar to beef, but isn’t as heavy and has a totally different flavor. I actually like the more gamey flavor of Venison.

Not counting Beef, Chicken, Pork, Shrimp and Salmon from the Grocery Store, I have had fresh caught salmon from the Pacific Ocean, as well as fresh caught trout. I have also had crab, clams, tilapia, cod, lingcod, tuna, bear jerky and wild boar sausage. I have also likely eaten Elk, and other types of seafood that I can’t think of at the moment. The best chicken I have ever had was one that my my cousin had raised on his property. That chicken was definitely cage free, and allowed to roam in a large pen.

Part of my whole goal and desire with simple homemaking is to be more self sufficient and self sustaining in how I live my life. With that, while still in the process of learning about how to live the life I want is trying new things.

While I don’t want to live completely off grid, I am definitely tired of living a completely on grid life style in the city.

I don’t fault anyone who lives in the city, and / or enjoys and prefers city life, that is their right and choice to do so.

I do make some foods Vegan, because I am dairy intolerant, and egg sensitive, but I am by no means actually vegan. If it weren’t for my food intolerances and sensitivities I would still be eating eggs and dairy products (dairy free yogurts and cheese alternatives are not the same as the real thing, and I definitely miss eating Tillamook Cheese and Yogurt).

I am all for ethical hunting and fishing. I also love being out in the Garden, and I would love to raise chickens and maybe some goats.

When you want some chocolate chip cookies

Hey Everyone!

Sunday afternoon I was really wanting some chocolate chip cookies, but didn’t have chocolate chips. I made a run to the grocery store to get chocolate chips so I could bake a batch of cookies.

That is one of the few things I like about living in the city, the fact that the grocery store is still open at 6 pm on a Sunday evening.

When I got back from the grocery store I made a batch of gluten free vegan chocolate chip cookies.

Making a quick trip to the grocery store because I needed one thing, and the fact that the grocery store is just the road, makes life easy. It got me thinking about living in a small town or out in the country, where making a quick trip to the grocery store in the evening isn’t an option, making sure I have Baking basics, including chocolate chips on hand for those times I feel like baking cookies one evening. It’s always nice to have ingredients on hand to make some staples on a whim.

It’s time for Pumpkin

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Yesterday after I got home from work I felt like baking. Beings that I didn’t have to work today, I had the time to bake.

Now that autumn is finally here, as well as the fact that I love pumpkin food, and the weather is cool enough to actually warrant baking, I am back in my element. I love cooking and baking.

A couple weekends ago I made split pea soup, and this past weekend I made Chili.

Fall is definitely my favorite season. I love the cooler weather, pumpkin scents, pumpkin food, hot tea, the changing colors of leaves, I love the fall colors anyway.

I am actually excited that summer is over, and on to cooler weather.

Baking Brownies

Hey Everyone!

I have wanted brownies for the past couple of days, so I finally made some today. I had today off so it was a perfect time to bake brownies.

While I love baking all year round, I love it even more when the weather is cooler, and now that Autumn is here and today has been in the low 60’s, it was a perfect day to do some baking.

I used a package of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie mix and a stick of earth balance vegan butter alternative. I did use eggs this time because I wanted the brownies to turn out right.

Fall Has to Be Coming

Hey Everyone!

Saturday, I had gone to Bob’s Red Mill and picked up some more flours to make up the brown rice flour mix I use for gluten free baking. I also got a package of the gluten free Shortbread Cookie mix.

Yesterday I had baked my Shortbread cookies, for being gluten free & vegan they turned out amazing. I had used my Scottish Thistle cookie stamp on them prior to baking them.

I had also cooked up some chicken yesterday, but I needed that for dinner. Cooking for dinner isn’t always the most interesting.

This summer, the wildfire smoke has been so bad. It hasn’t been just one wildfire that has been causing our air to be at an unhealthy level quite a bit, and our skies to look like the photo above. It has also been a very hot summer, the hottest since at least 2009.

While I was out and about for my job interviews today, I noticed that quite a few trees were turning already. I have been over this heat all summer, and I am so ready for cooler weather. The stores and nature (despite the heat and wildfire smoke), is leading me to believe that autumn is coming, and soon.

When Homemaking is a Passion

Hey Everyone! 

As a child, I was my dad’s little buddy when he would be working out in the yard, and I was my mom’s (and grandma’s) little buddy when they were out in the kitchen. As a kid I can remember my dad taking my brother and I fishing, and as I got a little older, I was the only one he took. Seeing a fish be cleaned always fascinated me. 

Growing up, I also enjoyed cooking and baking. Once I had to go Dairy Free and Gluten Free (and now egg free as well), cooking and baking have taken on new meanings. 

From the time I was young I would help my mom make Sunday dinners when she would make them, as well as holiday dinners once my Dad’s mom passed away. I also grew up helping my mom can and make jam in the summers. 

My later high school years were when I really began to enjoy learning about what women’s roles were during the 1800’s, especially those who lived on the frontier, as well as between the 1920’s – early 1960’s. More specifically what life was life for women who didn’t come from money or marry into money – women like my grandmothers and great grandmothers. Women who cooked, baked, gardened, kept a house and even went to work if they needed to. 

Now that I am older, I have heard stories that my grandmother had told my mom of her youth and young adult life, as well as stories that my mom has told from when she was around. 

Part of my love of Homemaking and the history of it, is that at one time many women gardened, or if not, the food they had available was all local and ethnically raised. Knowing where my food comes and how it’s raised / grown is important to me. Just from my own experience, with the young women I have known here where I live, I am one of the few (like that I can count on one hand) who know how to can food, as well and knowing how to make a meal from scratch. 

This past week I have been home on my own, which means that checking the raspberries and other plants in the backyard as well as watering everything. I have also been doing my fair share of cooking, baking and cleaning, so those I live with could come home to a clean house. 

In college, when I had my own apartment, I found a love / tolerate relationship with cleaning. While I could find things I would rather do than clean, I don’t hate it either. I also found that cleaning is a good stress reliever. If I just needed a break from studying/ homework and needed to clear my head and destress (and it was too late to go far a walk), I would clean my apartment. I came to kind of enjoy cleaning, and I always enjoyed having a clean apartment. 

While in college I also found a love for decorating the space I live in, and make it smell good. Over the years I have been working in building up my fall decorations and winter decorations stashes. 

I am all for women being able to do what they want with their lives, and follow their dreams and pursue their career goals. I am by no means advocating doing away with the all the work that women (and men) before me and have done to give me the opportunity to pursue my own dreams and find out what I am passionate about. There are so many things I love doing that 2 or 3 generations ago, I would not have been able to do. 

I definitely want to help preserve and share the history of my grandmother’s and great grandmother’s generations as well as the history of their mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers.