A Few Cantaloupe Recipes

I’ve tried all of these recipes and the one we really like is Cantaloup in Lemon or Pineapple. Cantaloupe gets a bit mushy sometimes so use not-quite-ripe melons for canning. We like canned cantaloupe but some don’t so try it and see if your bunch likes it!


Canned Cantaloupe

Fill hot quart jars with diced cantaloupe. To each jar add

1/2 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons vinegar.
Fill with water. Some prefer to add one
stick of cinnamon to each jar.

Seal jars and water bath for 1 hour or
pressure can for 12 minutes at 5
pounds pressure.


Cantaloupe Jelly

• 1 pound cantaloupe
• 1 pound sugar
• 1 lemon

Chop up the cantaloupe and combine
in a large kettle with the sugar and
lemon. Cook until thick.

Seal in 1/2 pint jars and water bath for

30 minutes.

Cantaloupe in Lemon

• 1 pound cantaloupe
• 1 pound sugar
• 1 lemon

In a quart jar place the juice of 1
lemon, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water.
Fill with cubed cantaloupe.

Boil in water bath canner for 15
minutes.

Instead of lemon juice try using 6
chunks of pineapple and a little
pineapple juice.

Cantaloupe With Cinnamon

• 1 pound cantaloupe
• 1 pound sugar
• Cinnamon stick for every jar, cut to fit the jar
• Lemon juice

In a quart jar place the cinnamon stick, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 cup water.
Fill with cubed cantaloupe.

Boil in water bath canner for 15
minutes.

Posted in Canning-Dehydrating-Prepping | Comments Off on A Few Cantaloupe Recipes

Priorities Matter

This has been on my mind a long time so I will share it with you. I am concerned about how many bloggers promote a lazy lifestyle for homekeepers these days.

There is certainly merit in the idea that relationships and raising children in a godly way is more important than a clean and organized home. I mean, who would say that relationships are of less importance than homemaking? No one in their right mind.

But many bloggers have gone to the extreme and openly brag and boast about how sloppy, messy unorganized they and their housekeeping are. Maybe that’s their way of trying to make women who are struggling feel a little better about themselves, I don’t know. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt.

But you’re not going to find that method at CHK. If you struggle, let me assure you that you are in good company here. I want to encourage you, even if you struggle, to aim higher in all areas of your life but not be ruled or tied to any amount of perfectionism.

What I hope you will find here is encouragement to do better in all areas. Relationships, budgeting, cleaning, organizing, Bible study … none of us can do it all perfectly and that’s not the goal. The goal is to do *our* best for our families and for our LORD.

When we do our best, and try to make our homes and relationships better, we honor the LORD. When we sit down and put up our feet, figuratively, and refuse to push on to excellence, we are dropping out of the journey God has given us.

I am not telling you that you’re failing if you’re not perfect in your homemaking or relationship efforts. I am telling you that where ever you are in life, you can aim higher. Don’t sit back and be lazy. You only fail if you stop moving forward.

Posted in Titus 2 | 1 Comment

A Few 1860s Recipes

ft defiance picnic

Each year I participate in an 1860s picnic by making all the food for the re-enactors and interpreters.  This year the menu was:

Roast Chicken
Pork Pies
Various Pickled Vegetables
Cheeses
Fresh Fruit
Homemade Bread
Butter
Washington Pie, which is a cake!

I usually roast some of the meat over a fire, but this year it rained so much that set up inside the interpretive center. I roasted the meat at home and brought it already cut up and ready to eat.

Roast chicken 1860s style its not much different from 21st century style. I washed and patted dry the chicken, filled the cavity with an onion studded with 3 cloves and added some salt and pepper. I rubbed the chicken with butter and sprinkled mixed herbs. Just use what you like I used thyme, rosemary, basil and oregano.
Roast in an oven or over a fire on a spit til done. Oven roasting takes about 3 hours in a 350*F oven, depending on the size of the chicken. When you grab the thigh portion and twist it gently, it should fall off the bone, that’s how you know when the whole chicken is done.Cooking a whole chicken on a pit over a fire is a bit different, but the doneness test is the same.

Pork Pie is a very old recipe and still very popular in the UK. The ones I make are simple and tasty. Most pork pies were made as a large pie that was cut into serving pieces. Sometimes smaller pies were made for travel or lunch at work. I made the smaller pies for the picnic so that no one would need a fork.

A traditional pork pie consists of three components: The crust, the filling and the jelly. I will give the measurements for the dough in grams and you’ll need to weigh the ingredients out on a scale set to grams. If you want to convert the measurements to ounces and cups you can.

I used standard muffin tins to bake my pies, you can research how to make a hand-risen crust if you prefer.

First you make the filling. Use minced pork shoulder, pork belly and bacon. In total you will need about 2 pounds of meat to make one large pie or a couple dozen hand pies. These pies can be seasoned however you like. This year I used a different recipe than I used last year. This year I used only 2 teaspoons of dry mustard. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and some black pepper. Last year I used 1 tbsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (leaves only), 1/4 tsp ground allspice, 1/4 tsp of fresh grated nutmeg,1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Any of these herbs and spices can be increased or decreased according to taste.

Mince the meat well, I used a food processor and mix in the seasonings well. Set aside.

Next make the crust. It is a hot water crust and must be worked while it is hot because as it cools, it becomes very difficult to work with. I cheated a little this year and re-heated some of the dough in the microwave in between making all the little circles for the small pies. I wrapped the dough in paper towels before microwaving it.

The dough consists of:
120g lard
450g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp milk
150ml water
1 egg yolk, beaten for wash

The Jelly is made to fill the pies after baking. The savory jelly fills all the nooks and crannies. The pork mixture will shrink on baking and then rattle around inside the pastry. The jelly keeps that from happening.

The Jelly consists of:
32 ounces chicken broth
3 rounded tablespoons plain gelatin
1 bay leaf
fresh thyme, 2 sprigs
salt
black pepper

Put the broth in a medium sauce pan, add the gelatin and let it soften. stir in the gelatin then add the seasonings, Bring to a boil, stirring. The gelatin should completely dissolve. I use a squirt top bottle to add the jelly to the pies, but you can simply spoon it in.

Assemble the pies:

Grease your muffin tins well, heat the oven to 350*F

I used a food processor to combine the dough ingredients, you could use a stand mixer or do it by hand but its a very stiff dough and will wear your arms out if you’re not used to it.

In a medium saucepan heat the lard, water and milk to boiling. Sift your flour and salt into the bowl of the food processor and cover the processor for mixing. Turn on the processor and slowly pour the lard mixture into the flour mixture. Let it run til you have a smooth dough that balls up on the blades.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out circles that will fit inside your muffin tins. Place one circle in each section of the tin, gently press it down into the tin but it doesn’t have to be completely touching the bottom of the tin.

Cut out all the tops for the pies.

Fill each shell with about 2 tablespoons of pork mixture, Just fill up the shell without overfilling. Brush a little egg wash on the edges and top with a pastry circle, pressing it down to attach to the shell.

Poke a hole in the top of each unbaked pie, I use a straw. Brush with egg wash. Bake at 350*F for about 50 minutes, until the pies are golden brown.

Cool the pies for a few minutes and then take them out of the tin to cool. While they are still hot add the jelly a little at a time til you fill each pie.

Let cool completely. These pies can be frozen and reheated or just defrosted and served cold. The shells are sturdy but very tasty.

Washington Pie
Washington Pie was made as early as the late 18th century for celebrations commemorating George Washington’s birthday. Traditionally made using cherries and kirsch, I made this one using raspberry jam. If you will click on the picture above and then enlarge it a bit you will see the Washington Pie at the very top of the picture.

For each cake, I made two:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1 2/3 cups unbleached flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350*F Cut waxed paper to fit your pans, I use 9×13 pans but you could use 2 8 inch round pans for each recipe. I use one recipe for a 9×13 pan.

After greasing the pan, place the waxed paper in the pan then grease and flour it over the waxed paper.

In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix until very light. Sift in the flour and baking powder, alternating with the milk. Beat this mixture til its light and fluffy.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pans and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until they are done using a straw or sharp knife inserted in to the middle. When you bring out the knife or straw it should not have any wet batter on it, which indicates that the cake is done.

Once its done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then invert the cake on a cooling rack and peel off the waxed paper. Let the cake cool completely.

As I mentioned, I make two 9×13 cakes using one recipe for each cake. I usually leave one cake in its pan long enough to use it to top the other cake after spreading jam over it.

Dust some powdered sugar over the assembled cake and its ready to go!

Posted in Cooking | Comments Off on A Few 1860s Recipes

Life

 

house 2011

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve had a blog or website for 21 years now. WOW. That’s a long time.  When I started I had a nursing baby and was educating a passel of children at home.  We’ve had a bakery, moved a couple of times and are now back in the house we started in when I first started a website.

reading_sam_lydia_medium

These days I think more about grandchildren, Church and gardening than curriculum and weekly menus.  Life has certainly slowed down. There are ups and downs to this. I’ve also been thinking about the changes in our life from when we had children at home and now that we’re just the two of us.

My house stays clean longer.  I have to admit I don’t miss the daily scrub and clean that I felt compelled to do when all the children were here nor do I miss the loads and loads of daily laundry. I don’t miss the marathon room cleanings. I do miss having people to talk to all day.  This is a conundrum. I am very comfortable by myself in my own company but I got used to having someone to talk to all day. So being alone all day has been a new thing.

children

My children are marvelous adults. We have 5 and the youngest one just got engaged.  I am really blessed to see them all as adults.  They come to see us regularly and if you have adult children you know how welcome this is. They call, text, visit, and they do things around the house and yard that we’re not able to do any more. They share their children and just come hang out sometimes. they take me for coffee and come chat with their dad. Now this is one of the perks of raising children who like you and whom you like and enjoy being around. They keep coming back and they bring others with them. And I mean that in a great way!

elenore and Leo

So life is taking a new turn and I’m along for the ride.  Its mostly changing for me because my husband still works. I’m thankful for his education and his job. At our age, we’re blessed to have an income and not need much to live and live well.

I am able to spend more time in prayer and Bible study these days and I like that too. We’re still very busy at Church, serving here and there and enjoying it. I take an active roll in the ladies group and that is very enriching for me. I still lead worship, its been 20 years in this particular Church.  I am teaching a young person how to do it, so hopefully I will have someone to hand it to one day.

We haven’t had a garden in a couple of years, mostly because my husband isn’t able to work outside like he once was. But this year I plan to put out a small one.  I was thinking of putting out tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, onions, green beans and okra. Maybe some squash. I’ve got a fellow coming to break a 10×20 foot space in May. This is a far cry from growing and canning 150 quarts of tomatoes and another 150 quarts of green beans every year!

garden

Life is so slow these days.  I do like it but its just so different!  I have my family around me and I have purpose in life. But its way different than it once was. I guess the whole point of this rambling are these things: Raise your children with love and care, be sure you are good to them and be sure you figuratively and literally let them go so that they want to come see you when they’re out of the house. Find something or somethings that you really enjoy doing and do it. Be at peace with your spouse and family. Have a strong bond with your Church family.

Use my life as described here to help you sort of look into the future. You can change things now.

Posted in Titus 2 | 2 Comments

In Which I Bite Off More Than I Can Chew

window cleaning

Oh Spring Cleaning how I love thee and how I loathe thee. But I’m doing it anyway and though it may be more than I can chew at one time, I can spread it out over a few months.

I have officially been cleaning this little house since the first of January. Not not really the first, the second. I am not superstitious but my Mother was apparently, or maybe she was just wily.  She said her mother told her that if you sweep or vacuum or clean on the first of January you’ll sweep all your money away for the year.  Its a good way to get the day off I guess.

Anyway. So I’ve been cleaning like crazy. One reason, and I admit it, is because the Ladies Group at Church was coming over to my house for dinner and Bible study and fellowship. They came, it was wonderful. I love those ladies. And my house was clean.

The other reason is that I read this article.  Oh my, yes that article.  About Death Decluttering. Just Google it. And seriously taking into consideration the real stress and trouble my husband’s late Mother’s estate has been,  I felt determined to get rid of this STUFF.

Death Decluttering is an unfortunate name.  Its sounds worse than it is. Its a rough translation from Swedish. Don’t think cut-throat murder, think a gentle saying goodbye. I think that’s much better than nastying away.

And its better than leaving all this STUFF that no one wants for my children to have to deal with. So I have been going through ALL of it now and giving away anything that doesn’t give me joy, bring happiness or pay for its self in use.  That’s hard for me because I already haven’t bought anything for years that doesn’t bring me happiness or is useful.

But I am doing it and I have made great headway.  Its a leeeeedle more difficult for my husband. We won’t go into that here.

But my junk and stuff?  Its fading fast.  And I LIKE IT.

So, take a look at all my Spring Cleaning articles, look at the room by room decluttering  and the Room Cleaning Systems too and see if any of it is of use.

You might want the Spring Cleaning eBook.    Its $3.00    14 pages of help, 13 extra pages of printable lists

Posted in Homekeeping | 2 Comments

Decluttering Help

clean-floor

These are links to articles within the Christian Homekeeper site. You’re welcome to print them out and use them in your home.

If you are Chronically Ill or Disabled, you may want to check out my FREE eBook called Homekeeping Lists For the Chronically Ill or Disabled. They’ve helped hundreds of women get control of their homes.

The Living Room

The Dining Room

The Kitchen

The Bedroom

Be Clutter Free

The Master Bedroom

The Bathroom

Basic Cleaning 101

 

Posted in Homekeeping | 2 Comments

Winter Time Warmth And Beauty

Now that Christmas is over, what do you do about decorations?  What do you do to make your home inviting and warm?

My friend Linda asked about that over in the CHK Facebook Group the other day.  She got lots of ideas from our members!   Here are few of those ideas and some of my own.

candle bath

I think its important to create warmth and beauty in our homes. It makes us happy to come home and happy to dwell there, especially when the weather outside is cold and dreary. The best way to do that is to declutter. Get rid of stuff and organize your belongings.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how great this will make you feel!

There are lots of articles here at CHK about decluttering every room of your house, just do a quick search of declutter and you’ll see what I mean.

It helps to give your home a change after the busy holiday season by putting away at least some of the Christmas clutter.  The newly found open space gives a clean, fresh feel to a home.

Stick with white and one other color for the winter months if you can. It will help maintain that clean, open look and feel. Winter tends to feel cluttery and crowded anyway what with everyone stuck indoors and blankets and coats and boots hanging around. Its pretty easy to use greenery this time of year and leftover green from Christmas decor works nicely.

Place an arrangement of candles on your dining table and other other clean, cleared off surfaces to bring cheer and warmth. A well-placed blanket or afghan looks nice and offers warmth too.

Consider having meals in front of the fire place if you have one. Even if you don’t, you can set the coffee table like a dining table with candles and a cloth and have a cozy family meal.

Another quick thing you can do to give new life to your home is to rearrange the furniture. You’d be surprised how fresh and new a room feels after some of the furniture is moved around.If you have lots of energy, consider painting your family room a fresh new color.

A simple bowl of greenery and pinecones is lovely on a table. And if you have silver or white ornaments from Christmas, they are very pretty in a glass bowl for the winter.

greenery

What are some ways you bring warmth and beauty to your home in the winter time?

Posted in Homekeeping | 6 Comments

A Purpose

Sylvia curls

 

Have you ever wondered what your purpose was?  Or is?  I certainly have and I think a lot of us have thought about that from time to time.

I arrived online and started CHK when the internet was young and everything online was new and amazing. I started it with the purpose of teaching and learning and blessing women who wanted to know how to do things at home with whatever I had to give which was usually hands on experience and knowledge of doing all kinds of old fashioned things.

That’s still my purpose here.  Although I have not been doing much teaching of late.  I have sort of lost my way as far as CHK goes. Life has gotten busy and sometimes complicated and I haven’t always known if I should keep on working on CHK.

But I have been praying about it and I intend to push on with teaching and sharing here.  It is where my heart lies, and where I know I have been serving God faithfully. So I want to keep on doing that. I’m sorry I haven’t been sharing or teaching here like I was at one time. I’m praying for a new breath of life and renewed purpose and joy.

I know what my purpose isn’t.  I don’t want to create some artificial need in you to do what I do. I don’t want to make you feel like you’re not doing things right or that you don’t have something that I have and you should go get it. I don’t want to make you envious of things or feed any thoughts you have that are not godly. My only desire is to please God by helping you.

My house is ordinary. My life is ordinary. And I have ordinary but interesting and important skills to share with you. And I want to share my faith with you too because its been so important to me.

So if you have read all this, thank you.  I may not be fancy and have a cool website but I will try my best to give you every ounce of what God has given me.  I love doing this and I pray every day that you’re blessed here.

Posted in Titus 2 | 17 Comments