Filling the Pantry: With Quality

Filling the Pantry: With Quality

Filling the Pantry: With Quality

As a book lover who homeschools, I’ve been shoving favorite authors at my kids since the cradle.  They had a steady diet of Wilder, Burnett, Dahl, Nesbit… I have to stop, or this will begin to look like a required reading list.  I wasn’t trying to control my kids or push them.  I just wanted to share my amazing childhood adventures!  I wanted them to experience the magic of those stories.  The magic that still lives in my imagination half a lifetime later. Somewhere around age eight, my oldest son staged a literary rebellion.  He decided I was depriving him

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Fridays on the Funny Farm: There are Stupid Questions!

Fridays on the Funny Farm: There are Stupid Questions!

…someone asked a stupid question. I know some amazing teachers.  People who want to mold, guide and prepare future generations.  I have tremendous respect for those folks, and there are several to whom I owe a great debt.  However, we aren’t going to talk about them today. Today, we’re going to talk about Mrs. Wilcox.  Mrs. Wilcox taught me important lessons.  In the third grade, she taught that, not all teachers love their job, not all women love children, and that in 1979 not everyone had conquered their double-knit polyester addictions. Mrs. Wilcox looked like Dorothy Hamill’s over-worked discontent great-aunt

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Homemade Corn Tortillas

Homemade Corn Tortillas

The answer is: YES! The question, of course, is “Are homemade tortillas worth the time and effort?” I live in Texas, and we eat a lot of Mexican and Tex-Mex food.  Years ago, I decided to try making tortillas from scratch, because, they’re cheaper and it sounded fun.  I continue making them, because, you can’t beat the flavor or texture. Making tortillas does require a couple of things that might not be at your local grocery store.  The first is masa harina, also known as corn masa flour.  The brand I see most often is Maseca.  Maseca is available in

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Not-Very-Honduran Baleadas (Bean Tacos)

Not-Very-Honduran Baleadas (Bean Tacos)

It’s all about seizing opportunities! My thought process seventeen years ago: I’m going to homeschool.  I love to cook, and I really love to eat.  I  definitely need to seize this opportunity to work some food into homeschooling.  Hmmm…Food comes from different cultures.  History and Social Studies focus on cultures.  So, I should eat (I mean cook.) food from different cultures for those classes!  Then, if the historic or culturally significant food is tasty, I should seize the opportunity to coopt it into my repertoire.  While I’m at it, I should seize the opportunity to add bacon…and maybe more cheese…

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Filling The Pantry on the Cheap: Finding Balance

Filling The Pantry on the Cheap: Finding Balance

~Portions of Inverse Proportions~ Food costs are climbing like a toddler on Red Bull.  My own grocery costs have increased dramatically in the last few years.  We’re going to start this series with broad ideas to reign in grocery costs.  As we work our way through, we’ll narrow our focus and fine tune spending.  I hope there will be something helpful for everyone!

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Fridays on the Funny Farm: Farm Moms Say the Darnedest Things

Fridays on the Funny Farm: Farm Moms Say the Darnedest Things

 …I didn’t sound like a lunatic!  No, really. (Those of you who have known me since before kids: STOP LAUGHING!) Anyone who is a parent knows the job comes with some surprises. Once you’re a parent, you WILL find yourself saying things that no normal person ever expects to utter.  Let’s begin with the sane, but annoying.  I’ve cringed to hear things cross my lips that set my teeth on edge as a child. My mother’s voice intoning “Be aware of your surroundings” echoes irritatingly through my childhood memories.  Yet, I can’t count the times I’ve said the same words

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Does an Irishman like potatoes?

Does an Irishman like potatoes?

Ah, now, is the Pope Catholic? Every culture has stereotypes.  I find Irish stereotypes seriously flawed and strangely amusing.  For example, I’ve never seen an Irishman dressed as a leprechaun drinking green beer.  However, I’ve been wished “Top ‘o the mornin’” by a Texan dressed as a kilt-wearing leprechaun.  He was actually drinking Guinness, and I think he was trying to find the bottom of the keg.  (My family wishes me to specify that the kilt-wearing man was not related to me.  He was simply a fellow concert goer at the North Texas Irish Festival.  I feel compelled to mention,

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A Brief Moment of Tribute

A Brief Moment of Tribute

Husband, Christian, Artist, Singer, Musician, …and Daddy. To say I’m not close to my own father is, well,… the father of all understatements.  But, I was blessed to have a father-in-law who made sure I knew I was loved.  This week, with no warning, my loving gentle father-in-law passed away.  Our family is left in a state of pain and disbelief.  I want to share about the amazing man who, in many ways, was the backbone of our family. I met my father-in-law when I was twelve.  Actually, I met him the same day I met my husband.  When I

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Shepherd’s or Cottage Pies

Shepherd’s or Cottage Pies

Are you a Shepherd or a Cottager? Shepherds eat lamb and cottagers eat beef.  Well, at least those are the kinds of pies named after them.  We make this recipe with either lamb or beef, depending on what’s on hand.  The votes are split 50/50 as to which is best.  I am a beef kind of girl  (which is funny for a ‘sheep farmer’).  Liam loves anything made with lamb.  (Thus, the sheep on the farm.)   We had shepherd’s pie at a fantastic little pub in Ardmore, County Waterford.  Ardmore is a small town, but it has some breathtaking

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Irish Whiskey Pound Cake

Irish Whiskey Pound Cake

It isn’t St. Patrick’s Day without… This isn’t a recipe from one of our trips to Ireland.  I’ve been making this cake for almost thirty years.  I am not sure where I originally got it, but it predates the internet.  (Yes, I know that makes me old.)  I’ve tweaked and changed it in numerous small ways through the years, but the heart of it remains the same. Although I didn’t find this recipe in Ireland, we did have something similar in Donegal.  We were in Ireland the week of New Years.  It was wonderful!  Christmas decorations were still up and

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