Hello Blogosphere!

The mantle at our new house. (The grass is from our front yard.)

The mantle at our new house. (The grass is from our front yard.)

It’s been WAAAAYYYY to long since we’ve posted on here!  So, since we posted last a lot has happened to our family, one of which is our move from Texas to Oklahoma.  We are no longer in the suburbs, but in a more rural area.  So, Suburban Homestead Blog doesn’t fit too well now, although our brother, Joel, is still living in the suburbs, and is planning on growing a garden in his yard.  (We’ll see if we can get him to blog on here about his gardening adventures!)

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So, now that we are in a rural area, and have a larger yard, we’re planning on planting a large Back to Eden garden.  We haven’t been able to do it yet, but we do have a large pile of mulch sitting in our yard, waiting be used!  (We got it for free from a local tree service!)  One thing we have done since moving here (we moved at the end of July) is clearing the flower beds on three sides of our house.  They were filled with jasmine, a very invasive crawling vine, and rocks and other stuff that you would never expect to find in a flower bed!  (Yes, like wiffel balls, old work gloves, bottle caps and just plain trash…)  In those flower beds we put mulch to keep the weeds from growing, and some of them we hope to use for growing edible plants.

What else has been keeping us busy and keeping us from blogging?  Well, the main thing that has been keeping us is the fact that we don’t have ready internet access (as we had in Texas), so we have to go to the library or somewhere away from our home.  We’ve also been very busy with church activities (it was a new pastorate position for our Dad that brought us here to Oklahoma), school activities for those of our family still in school, and just settling in to a new home, town and state.

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One of the cleared flowers beds by our front porch.

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Swiss Cheese Ivy

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We still have plenty of herbs in pots and portable planters.

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Abby’s little succulents sit in a window sill by our back door.

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A cold frame in which we hope to grow lettuce.

Oooo, something that we have had the opportunity to learn since moving up here is canning.  An older lady in our church has taken the time on two or three occasions to let us help her can different things, including: homemade salsa, pickles, tomatoes, pears, pear honey, and muscadine jelly.  So, in addition to learning the actual process of canning, we’ve also learned how to make salsa, pear honey and jelly.  It’s been great fun and a good skill to have, plus you get to enjoy the yummy products!  🙂

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Dill pickles!

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Oh my! This salsa was THE BEST! (And, yes, we already ate it all!)

So, don’t expect too frequent posts up here, but I’ll try to post as often as I can.  Be sure to check out the Back to Eden film, if you haven’t already, and watch it.  It’ll be very helpful for your gardening adventures, I’m sure!

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Home Cookin’

While I’ve been out of town, I’ve had the opportunity to cook multiple meals for the family with I’ve been staying.  They’ve enjoyed all the different meals I’ve created, and keep saying that I’m spoiling them!  Well, that seems to be a good sign!  🙂

I thought I’d post a couple of the recipes, and photos to go along with it, that I’ve used.   Pinterest is a great place to find recipes.  In fact I found a couple of the ones I’m posting here on Pinterest.   (Yes, I know, that’s amazing isn’t it?!  I actually made a recipe from Pinterest, instead of just pinning a bunch!)

Stuffed Zucchini

Their picture is much better than mine!

My version of the stuffed zucchini recipe.

My version of the stuffed zucchini recipe.

This recipe is super easy, and really delicious!  I bet you could even get your kids to eat it.  😉

Sweet Potato Fries

Yum!

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Sweet potato fries – yeah!

These were not as crispy as I would’ve liked, but that probably could’ve been attained if I would have flipped them over one by one, as the recipe said.  Even so, they were delicious!

Avocado, Corn and Tomato Salad

DE-lish! (Not my image; unfortunately I wasn’t able to photograph my version.)

This was so refreshing, and amazingly delicious! (Well, maybe not that amazing, since there was corn AND avocados in it!)   It would go great with anything Mexican, and especially some corn tortilla chips.  Mmmm, it’s making me hungry just looking at it.

Banana Nut Cake

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Mother’s Day cake

Even though I wasn’t with my Mom on Mother’s Day, I still made a cake in her honor, as well as for my Aunt, who I am currently with.  The banana nut cake recipe I used turned out well, though not overly spectacular.  Plenty moist and sweet, and it hit home.

Cranberry-Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

The mixture of cranberries, walnuts and an oatmeal cookie is scrumptious.

The combination of cranberries, walnuts and an oatmeal cookie is scrumptious.

This recipe I got of the side of a Food Club® oatmeal container.  It turned out really well, especially if you like cranberries, and is as easy to make as any other cookie.  Delicious warm or cold, and especially yummy with a cool glass of milk!  In fact, I ate two or three of these for breakfast this morning.

A Garden Conversation~

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It’s amazing what things can happen when one gardens.  What conversations one can have when out in God’s beautiful creation, gardening!  Yesterday morning, my sister Abby and I were outside in the backyard checking out the garden; watering, weed pulling, etc.  We decided to harvest some of the lettuce that has gone crazy, before it bolts and turns bitter.  Well, our neighbor across the alley was out, and I said to Abby, “Hey, why don’t we go over to our neighbor and offer some of this lettuce to her?”  At that, we hopped the fence, and trekked up the alley, and over to Ms. Gale’s fence.  She was out tending to her own yard, which is full of beautiful flowers.  She gladly accepted some of our homegrown lettuce, and said she’d have a little salad with her lunch.  A conversation then ensued about her granddaughter and grandson-in-law who live just down the alley from her (and across the alley from us).  She said that she had been talking with her grandson-in-law a few days before, and asked him if he had seen “that garden over there” (referring to ours).  He said that “he sure did” see it.  Well, on Sunday we had seen him installing their own backyard garden.  So, maybe we inspired him to garden?  If so, that’s awesome!  We told her that she should send her grandson-in-law over and we’d love to talk with him about gardening.

So, you see, a simply act of sharing some garden produce turned into a wonderful conversation about gardening (oh, and also a bunch of her beautiful peonies), and hopefully, a new relationship with our neighbors.  Maybe something will turn of it – like a co-garden effort – or maybe not, but either way, passing along some of God’s blessings by way of garden produce is just great!  I’d highly recommend that you share any extra produce you may receive from your garden with your neighbors, friends and family.  It’s totally worth it.

Check out the video below if you want to hear the story ‘in person’, and get a short update on our garden.

Thanks for stopping by!!