Indian Pudding

Indian Corn Pudding Pic A family favorite for many years, Indian Pudding dates back to Colonial America.

Indian pudding is a baked custard made from corn meal and milk, eggs and spices, and is sweetened by dark, rich molasses. According to “America’s Founding Food” authors Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald, colonists used the word “Indian” when referring to corn or corn meal, not the indigenous peoples. This corn pudding became popular among colonial cooks around the time of this country’s independence. Culinary Institute of America


New England Boston Baked Beans Sharon Style

Baked Beans Pic One bite of Boston Baked Beans at Boston’s historic Durgin Park (their slogan: Established Before You Were Born), I realized my bean recipe needed some improvement. Everything I’d ever heard about Yankees making the best pot of beans was true. I knew part of their flavor was due to molasses (gets the nutrition nod from Weston Price Foundation, as long as it is unsulphured) and brown sugar, onions, and pork. But Durgin Park’s Boston Baked Beans had something else, a “warmth” and flavor that gave it a more complex “wow” factor.

Several baked bean batches and journeys back to the restaurant, to figure out what my recipe was missing – none of the batches I’d made had that certain special “wow” factor – one of the waitresses finally took pity on me, suggesting, “Why don’t you buy our recipe book?”


Green Enchiladas

Cilantro Enchilada Pic It’s really a good thing everyone in my family shares my love for cilantro. If they didn’t, they’d miss out on some tasty meals.

I made a variety of salsas last summer, with cilantro as a foundation. Mango and blueberry salsa graced freshly grilled fish, pineapple salsa spiced up roasted pork, peach salsa gave a Moroccan twist to lamb chops, and a favorite of my children, watermelon salsa cooled down spicy chipotle fish tacos.

Many of our favorite Thai, Caribbean and Mexican foods depend on cilantro, but our “Favorite Cilantro Recpes” would be my Green Enchiladas. The original was a reduction of cilantro, onions, garlic in chicken broth, simmered until it reached the stage of a medium dry paste that was then spread over stuffed and rolled tortillas. Although tasty, all the goodness and living vitality was simmered to death. I have reworked the recipe, turning into a fresher, richer, more nutritional version, retaining cilantro’s color and flavor.


Van Til - "Why I Believe In God"

Tree of Life

Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish. Psalm 1

I cherish this Psalm for its life-giving wisdom as well as its lack of relativism. There’s a deep sense of peace knowing that millions of Christians, all of whom had their own challenges within the days and borders assigned to their existence, (Acts 17:26) over hundreds of decades, have felt sustained and encouraged by it as well.


Wise Women Build Their House

Dairy Maid The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. Prov 14:1

I’ve invested the last seven years, building new floors on my house. My tools are not a hammer, saw or blueprints, but instead, Mason glass “canning” jars, dehydrators, and studying traditional food preparation and preservation techniques.

Foolish women began tearing down their houses in the late 1800’s, and have continued up to this day, placing careers over children, processed foods over cooking, giving up gardens and traditional food preservation methods – smoking, fermenting, drying – for that of industrial-produced dead-nutrient substances euphemistically called “food”.


Quark By Any Other Name.....Is Still A Curd

…and because of the abundance of the milk produced he will eat curds, for everyone that is left within the land will eat curds and honey… Isaiah 7:22

Raw Dairy Poster What do you get when you combine three half-gallons of fresh, raw, grass-fed milk, with an extended power outage?

Curds!

And whey!

Every once in awhile, some good comes from New England’s downed power lines!

Whey, in the mind of most moderns, is a by-product of cheesemaking, dumped as waste, or fed to livestock. But, when it is made with real, raw milk – the kind cows make from eating grass – whey is wonderfully healthy and has a wide variety of uses.


Surviving Minnesota

Winter Hat Today’s Minnesota winter weather cycle is downright balmy compared to the brutal multi-week sub-zero days of my youth. We knew adverse weather was good for us, because that’s what the adults told us. “Hey! No complaining. It’s good for you. Keeps you strong. Builds character!”

We were strong. And we somehow survived without the evolved “science” of meteorology. Looking through photo albums, I see we were not only strong, but also, scrawny, no doubt from wearing an extra 50-pounds of clothing in order to survive the trek to school.


"Meteorknowledgist" or Fear Monger?

Winter LabelSay “Minnesota”, and I think “weather”. And even though I haven’t lived there for almost 20 years, weather is still the filter through which memories flow. The Minnesota Historical Society’s homage, Weather Permitting sounds like it would be an interesting exhibit, documenting Minnesota’s weather challenges over the years.

Minnesotans tend to be obsessed about the weather forecasts …insatiable need to stay on top of weather conditions. Viewers have remained glued to their screens as the science of forecasting has evolved…backed by the science of Doppler radar. Minnesota Historical Society

Then again, “obsessed about weather forecasts”? That’s not the Minnesota I knew.


Cold is Relative

When we first moved to New England, I felt overwhelmed by the “locals” fascination toward all-things-weather. Within minutes of arriving at our new home, on a beautiful New England fall day, neighbors who greeted us didn’t waste time noticing our California license plates.

Skipping the usual niceties, the husband chortled, going for the jugular – the weather vein, “Whoa! Hey! California! Oh, you are SO going to freeze this winter.” Ha ha ha hahaha. Ha.

My attempts to ally their concerns, “Well, you know, we both grew up in Minnesota….”, were ignored. Misery loves company, and they were determined to make me as miserable as they were. The temptation to fall back into weather-fatalism – dreading every day, because it meant winter-was-one-step-closer – was not how I wanted to live my life.

I can understand confusion on their part, that Californians would swap ideal weather conditions, moving to New England, something I also found confusing. I decided, though, to view the joking as just a good-natured, socially-odd way to get to know someone.


Best Internet Homeschool Sites

I’ve been collecting favorite educational support internet sites. While none of our core daily work relies on this, it is wonderful to take breaks, letting Sarah play online math games, dissect frogs, or watch science demonstrations. I’ll constantly be adding new information to this site. Sections include art, charts, lesson plans, math, science, geography, history, nature lessons, composition, lateral thinking, typing, and more, more, more…