Category Archives: Blogging

MOVED OUR BLOG – FOLLOW THE UPDATED VERSION

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We moved our blog a while ago but still are getting some followers on this one. We have two blogs active. Sure would love to see you follow us on them. Here they are, links and all:

Amanda’s Bequest

Bygone Basics

We will not be posting from this blog again.

Please, Stop on over and check it all out!

And…THANK YOU for following us. ūüôā

Better than Wedding Cake.

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Gather ingredients and tools. It is such a disappointing feeling to get part-way through a recipe only to discover you don’t have everything you need.

I think I may have a serious addiction. Pumpkins. They really do capture my attention as they are the source of the pure goodness known as: Pumpkin Pie.Welcome to the second part of the pumkin series.

I love pumpkin pie.¬† I could eat it morning, noon, and evening meals….and the occassional 1 a.m. kitchen raid.¬† In fact, when we married, I didn’t want a fluffy, fancy wedding cake.¬† I wanted pie.¬† ūüôā¬† The bridal cake was a pumkin pie, in case you wondered.

“Pumpkin pie, if rightly made, is a thing of beauty and a joy – while it lasts…..Pies that cut a little less firm than a pine board, and those that run round your plate are alike to be avoided. Two inches deep is better than the thin plasters one sometimes sees, that look for all he world like pumpkin flap-jacks. The expressive phrase, ‘too thin’, must have come from these lean parodies on pumpkin pie. With pastry light, tender, and not too rich, and a generous filling of smooth spiced sweetness – a little ‘trembly’ as to consistency, and delicately brown on top – a perfect pumpkin pie, eaten before the life has gone out of it, is one of the real additions made by American cookery to the good things of the world. For the first pumpkin pie of the season, flanked by a liberal cut of creamy cheeses, we prefer to sit down, as the French gourmand said about his turkey: ‘with just two of us; myself and the turkey.'” –‚ÄėThe House Mother‚Äô

So this blog post is a follow-up to the last one.¬† If you remember, we baked pumpkins and saw how easy it is to get to the point of making a pie.¬† (I’m sure you rushed right out and cooked up pumpkins yourself!)

Pretty nice ingredients. Our free range hen eggs, milk from a local dairy, pumpkin from our garden…mmmmmmm

As I type this, I probably should have done a post on the pastry, but oh well, forward motion.

Pumpkin pie is pretty easy too.

Find your recipe.¬† I hope you’ll consider sharing your favorite one with me in the comments!¬† I use one that has become my favorite.¬† It requires simple ingredients….(no milk product from a can).¬† Now, gather your ingredients.

Two basic rules that will really help you enjoy your time in the kitchen is to prepare (premeasure, make sure you have everything) and clean as you go.

One pie pastry. Line the tin, forming the pastry to the pan. Flute the top.

Line your tin with the pie pastry.¬† In these photos, I’m making a smaller pie that will be gifted to a friend so it is in¬†tin that she doesn’t have to get back to me.

Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.  This such a great recipe for requiring very few tools and bowls.

Now is time for the wet ingredients.¬† But first…Did you preheat that oven?¬† I frequently forget so thought you might like a reminder too.¬† A couple of comments on how I do things.¬† You might do them differently, but am sharing them anyway.¬† I bake my pies on a foil lined cookie sheet to catch drippings.¬† I also bake my pies in the lower part of the oven to direct the heat right onto the bottom pastry so it bakes before getting too soggy.

Add the wet ingredients.  With Pumpkin Pie, the usual suspects will be milk, pumpkin, eggs, extract.  But your recipe may differ.  It is really important to get the eggs thoroughly whisked into the filling.  If they are not incorporated well, you will have bits of egg white visible in your baked pie.

I whisk the eggs and pumkin in first. Taking care to get a good blend.

Place your pastry lined pie tin on the cookie sheet now if you are going that route.

Now, pour into the pastry lined tin and pop into the oven!  Be sure to double check your recipe for baking time.

I line my crust with foil to prevent overbrowning and to help support the pastry until it bakes some. It is so sad to discover your crust gave way and the filling poured out!

VOILA!

The recipe:

3/4 cup Brown Sugar             1/2 tsp Salt

1 TBSP Flour                            3/4 tsp Ginger

1 tsp Cinnamon                       1/2 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 tsp Cloves                          1 1/2 cups mashed cooked Pumpkin

3 Eggs                                       1 1/2 cups whole Milk

1 pie tin lined with pastry

Bake at 400 F for 50 minutes

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PUMPKIN PIE RECIPE?  Does it have a family history?

Holy Cow

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Holy cow, it has been a very eventful summer.  My apologies to you for a prolonged absence.

We have had twin grandaughters and a grandson born.

We have also learned of another grandchild on the way, and were saddened by the loss of a grandbaby-in-womb.

Our garden has been prolific lately, but as a result of much tending and watering due to the extreme high temps this summer and drought.

Our bed & breakfast, Amanda’s Bequest Bed & Breakfast, in here in Montague, Michigan¬† www.amandasbequest.com ¬†has been busy.¬† Certainly for its opening year!¬† We operate as a farmstay and guests are immersed in a real working farm-stle home.¬† They collect eggs and can help churn butter or gather food from the gardens for breakfast¬†if they wish.¬† We have enjoyed many wonderful and diverse guests from all over the world now!!¬† (How cool is that?!)¬† One guest, who was a world traveler, rated us as top two B&B’s in all his travels.¬† Turns out I’m I’m an ok cook.¬† He couldn’t decide who was better, a B&B in Scotland, or us.¬† I have to tell you, I was so dumb-struck at the remark.¬† After all…we are just..us.

Also busy for us has been our Bygone Basics culinary experiences. ¬†www.bygonebasics.com¬†¬†People are really wanting to know how to go back to the healthy nutritious foods that were on our predescessor’s tables.¬† I teach them how to use what tools they already have to get that heritage “kitchen is the heart and soul of the home” healthy foods back into their lives and in their “today” lifestyle.

We have had kitchen guests from 7 countries and 44 USA States now.

To top it all off, I’m now a licensed kitchen and am baking and selling heritage recipe and artisan foods.¬† All made to order and by hand from natural foods and basic ingredients (nothing you can’t spell or say!).

We have grown our little flock of hens from 6 to 12…plus a duck…but don’t tell Daisy, she thinks she’s a chicken.

My loving husband has been amazing as our journey has brought us to this kind of activity.¬† He just smiles and builds what I need.¬† ūüôā¬† I wish this kind of a husband on all of our daughters.

Anyway….

My niece Jade is now “apprenticing.”¬† Leaving me with a few hours at the end of the week to blog and do other things that I’ve been too swamped to do.¬† I taught her how to hoe the other day.¬† I told her she was going to be a great hoe-er someday.¬† She laughed.¬† I realized what I said.¬† Too funny.¬† She’s been learning to bake, make pies, artisan breads, hoe, can, make soap…she’s been a treasure of help to me too!

I will “talk” with you soon.¬† Just needed to catch you up on my busy-bee “holy cow, what changes!”¬†summer.

Yours,

Valerie Hanson

NEATO!

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How neato is this?  kalamitykelli nominated me (icanatbygonebasics) for the Versatile Blog Award.  It sure added a thrill to my day as I was over focused and drenched in paint doing a project (hand-painting a sign for our B&B).

Thank you kalamitykelli.¬† ūüôā¬†¬† (http://kellisretrokitchenarts.wordpress.com/)

As a VBA recipient, I should tell you 7 things about myself:

  1.  I have 8 children (6 daughters and 2 sons), 2 grandsons, 1 baby grand son due in August, and TWIN baby grandgirls expected next month!
  2. I can move my eyes independent of each other (makes me look rather loopy!)
  3. I just opened a heritage farm-stay Bed & Breakfast (www.amandasbequest.com)
  4. I garden every open square inch possible….vertical and horizontal (I have peppers and tomatoes stuck everywhere in the summer)

    This is what I've been doing. Hand painting a sign for our Bed & Breakfast. I covered in paint and am told by my husband that I must roll in paint like a horse in sand. http://www.amandasbequest.com

  5. I am a crazy chicken lady (love my free range ‚Äúgirls‚ÄĚ) and they follow me about like ducklings
  6. I teach heritage culinary and farm kitchen skills (soap making, pressure canning, gardening, baking breads and pies old-style…etc) in a 140 year old kitchen (www.bygonebasics.com)
  7. I have a novel pacing across my brain and back, rattling its cage, wanting to get out….

Here are 15 versatile blogs I enjoy (no particular order):

1.  The Soulsby Farm (http://soulsbyfarm.wordpress.com/) who believe in the same lifestyle I do of self- sustainable living and are random bloggers so you get a wonderful view of their lives.

2.¬† Jen Maan in Amman (http://jenmaaninamman.com/) an ex-patriot from Southern California who is currently in Amman with her husband.¬† Her blogs are humourous and cultural diverse…and have some interesting recipes too!

3.¬† Kath Usitalo (http://kathusitalo.com/) has a couple of blogs and a great writing style…and she’s continuously visiting interesting places and sharing them in her blog with great photography too.¬† You never know what she’s going to share next.

4.  In Toads Garden (http://toads.wordpress.com/) is a wonderful gardener in Denmark with a very natural earthy style that I enjoy.

5.¬† Yes You Can (http://yes-you-can-can.com/) is a wonderful country girl’s guide and covers sewing, cooking, gardening…lots of basic “how to’s”

6.  thesolitarycook (http://thesolitarycook.wordpress.com/) is all about FOOD!  She knows her stuff and clearly loves the enormous variety of foods she writes about.

7.¬† wallopingteaspoon (http://wallopingteaspoon.wordpress.com/) is also culinary pro in my book.¬† Her blogs are thorough and well written.¬† She blogs about food from tuxedo cupcakes to a good “sammich” to Red Snapper

8.  Rosey Dow Blog (http://roseydow.wordpress.com/) I like her old house blogs and feel an affinity.

9.  hippie itch (http://hippieitch.wordpress.com/) covers a lot of topics from healthy lifestyles to food to animals.  I love her passion for animals.

10.¬† The Domestically Impaired Guide to Retro Kitchen Arts (http://kellisretrokitchenarts.wordpress.com/) is a great blog on home canning…a KINDRED SPIRIT.

11.¬† Aquaponic Family (http://aquaponicfamily.wordpress.com/) is a fun blog about aquaponic gardening.¬† I live vicariously through them as I would like to do what they are….

12.¬† Farm Country Crafts (http://farmcountrycrafts.wordpress.com/) Pretty well described in the title but goes much further!¬† A fun blog and you’ll love her Five Reasons to Do Yard Work in the Shade.

13.¬† domesticateddilettante (http://domesticateddilettante.wordpress.com/¬†is a well-written and well-rounded blog about family, food, gardening… I love that she is determined to garden.

14.¬† The Cosy Creative (http://thecosycreative.wordpress.com/) is about a lot of things.¬† I really like her motto “feel happy, make something”

15.  Linda Stone (http://lindastone.net/) is a thinker and able to transmit those thoughts with good clear writing.  What can I say, I like thinkers!

Keep up the great posts!  And thank you for sharing parts of your lives with me.

Valerie Hanson