Simple Strawberry Jam

Day one of our Summer Produce Series is “filled to the brim” with fruits! Or within ¼ inch of the brim, actually. 😀

Last week we went to visit both of our families for a week; half with each family. While we were at the Gerszewski’s place, we picked pounds and pounds of strawberries and we also jammed some cherries from their early summer crop. Dave’s family has their own farm up in the mountains. They have an abundant variety and thanks to his dad and youngest brother, that variety is constantly growing! My in-loves are pros at processing and preserving their crops to enjoy all year. Their cherries were pitted, bagged and frozen. While frozen cherries are a pretty amazing treat all on their own, they also make a tasty jam for toast or cookies. 
This is our go to jam recipe for fruits that we pull from our yard or receive from the Gerszewski side up in the sierra foothills. All in all we ended up with almost 2 gallons of jam to enjoy even when the winter weather hits. Continue reading “Simple Strawberry Jam”

Summer Produce Series Coming Soon…

Produce season is upon us! It is one of those times during the year where farmers’ markets get fuller and if you are fortunate enough to have your own trees and vines in your yard or homestead…you probably have fruit coming out of every drawer and bin in your fridge!

Produce season is upon us. It is a relatively short season, even in some parts of California. Some farmers’ markets in the mountains are just now seeing the first fruits of all their hard work.

It is one of those times during the year where farmers’ markets fill up with vendors and if you are fortunate enough to have your own trees and vines in your yard or homestead…you probably have fruit coming out of every drawer and bin in your fridge! At one point last week, our entire dining room table was covered with strawberries and plums.
This leads to our first series on the blog; a week of daily recipes to help you preserve and cook your way through all that produce! Continue reading “Summer Produce Series Coming Soon…”

Never Board…

Games for the whole family that will capture your attention and make you fall in love!

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Okay, that’s a cheesy title, but it’s true! As big time board game enthusiasts, we are never “bored” when it comes to unplugged fun with friends or our two year old!

Definition: any game played on a board, especially one that involves the movement of pieces on the board, such as chess or checkers.

Growing up, this term had a very different meaning for me than it does now, some twenty years later.

Back then we would play the “classics”: Chess, Checkers, Monopoly, Life, Sorry, Clue, Risk, Stratego, Battleship and the board/card game Sequence. Continue reading “Never Board…”

10 Essential Tools for the Kitchen

10 Essential Tools for the kitchen. These tools will help any home chef cook successfully.

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“es·sen·tial.  adj.  ‘Of the utmost importance: basic, indispensable or necessary” ~ Websters Dictionary

For me, I’d sum it up with, I just can’t live without it!

There are things in life that are essential: water, shelter (a.k.a. home) and food. Without these we would cease to survive; 3 days without water; 40 days without food; and not even an hour, in the dead of winter, in North Dakota at -40 without shelter. Thankfully, here on the central coast in California we don’t have to deal with the latter, but life (and the kitchen) are still full of essentials.IMG_9918-1

In my line of work, (I am a chef at a local artisan bakery) there are those essential tools that I need in order to do my job and do it well. I have had to use some very primitive means at certain points in my life. I was still able to get the job done and the meal on the table (and in some cases, in my belly) but it wasn’t easy or fun. While those times were an adventure, these tools will make cooking enjoyable and quick. The kitchen should be a fun and exciting environment! Continue reading “10 Essential Tools for the Kitchen”

Harmony…population: 18

The hills are green…”top o’ the morn’ to you” green.  There are wildflowers I have never seen before.  They are blooming full of splendor and beauty.  Their colors are so striking against those green hills; and they dance, waving in the ocean breeze.  Oh yes, that ocean is just over those hills of green.  If you listen quietly you will hear the soft rush of water crashing on shore.

This scene is not from some far away land or out of a book.  It is the backdrop for one of the cutest little pit stops along the iconic Highway 1 between San Luis Obispo and Big Sur.  Or as we have the pleasure of calling it…our backyard.

This is the town of Harmony; population: 18. Continue reading “Harmony…population: 18”

7 Reasons Homesteading is Great for the Modern Family

We believe there are certain lessons to be learned from this lifestyle and we’ve rounded up 7 reasons homesteading is great for the modern family.

This post may contain affiliate/referral links. It is a way for this site to earn advertising fees by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services. There is no additional cost to you, while we receive a small amount from purchases made through the links. We only link to products we personally love!

Defining the modern family is often difficult and complicated.  Schedules, sizes, passions and the like, all vary greatly.  While our differences can be great, our goals are often similar in purpose.  We seek a nurturing atmosphere and loving company;  strong and devoted marriages alongside well rounded and developed kiddos.  For me and my husband, having a homesteading mindset is bringing us so much happiness as we build our life together. We believe there are certain lessons to be learned from this lifestyle and we’ve rounded up 7 reasons homesteading is great for the modern family. Continue reading “7 Reasons Homesteading is Great for the Modern Family”

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Enter in a combination of classic chicken noodle soup and some of our favorite Asian flavors.

Last night was one of those nights where it was just chilly enough for a light sweater in the evening.  Not quite cold enough for blankets and a fire but it definitely had the feeling that early spring was here and winter was waving goodbye.

I had a whirlwind day of bible study, lunch with Dave at the bakery, grocery shopping with a toddler and then back home before dinner.  While getting the groceries unpacked and put away I decided to check on our dog who was running free in the yard we sometimes share with our friends and landlords.  It was the perfect time to take some produce scraps to the compost pile.  No sooner had I dumped the scraps than I heard the squawk of our neighbors’ duck in distress.  Our dog does just fine around ducks and poultry until one decides to waddle away…rapidly!  There were feathers and mud all over, mostly on me.  Dog by the collar in one hand and duck nestled back under a tree with the other, I marched our dog back up to our house.

Thankfully we have the best landlords on planet earth.  They are our friends and part of our central coast family.  We love them dearly and on a day like yesterday, I am so relieved that they love us equally.IMG_9982-1

The duck is doing okay. Still shocked and trying to heal but thankfully, alive. Clancie, our pooch, will probably never look in her direction again! Continue reading “Asian Chicken Noodle Soup”