March 31, 2017 Lauren Dibble

Where we live right now is not my idea of a homestead. We’re in the suburbs, next to a major highway on 1/3 of an acre of compacted clay. We’ve had to truck in top soil to even grow grass. But one of the beautiful things about our current home is the carpet of weeds that great us every Spring. wild lawn The carpet of purple dead nettle, henbit and grape hyacinth are a welcome, refreshing sight after a long, cold Winter. They’re also a tasty buffet for hungry bees and other pollinators, so we try…

March 17, 2017 Lauren Dibble 2Comment

Switchel has been on my radar for years. In fact, I have four (FOUR!) bottles of molasses in my pantry because it’s a main ingredient and I have had plans to make switchel for years. Touted as the old-school Gatorade, switchel is the electrolyte-filled energy drink of early American farmers. (more…)

March 3, 2017 Lauren Dibble

Sweet potatoes are heroes in my household. Mashed, smashed, baked, scalloped, fried…I could Bubba from Forrest Gump all day long with sweet potatoes. They’re amazing sources of Vitamin A (214% of your daily recommended allowance in one cup of baked sweet potato), C (52%) and manganese (50%). Regular potatoes can’t hold a candle to them. Add to that my husband’s penchant for fries and you’ve got a winner! Hubby’s obsession with fries borders on the unhealthy. It’s the one food he could eat every day for the rest of his life and never tire of. While the recipe below is…

February 17, 2017 Lauren Dibble 1Comment

This is one of those recipes that feels like cheating. Five minutes worth of prep (maybe even less – I should time myself) and you get a beautiful, foolproof, succulent Sunday dinner. Buying a whole chicken is cheaper than buying the individual pieces at the store because it saves the companies butchering costs. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have your own home-grown meat chickens, this recipe cooks the chicken long and low all day, so they end up juicy and tender. (more…)

February 3, 2017 Lauren Dibble

Here in Virginia, the Spring has been very generous with us. A few weeks of rain, and very mild temperatures. I absolutely love growing Kale, and grow it from seed every year. It is very easy to grow, and hardy and can withstand freezes and heat. This fantastic weather has ensured my Kale crop has exploded. We’ve been eating it daily and giving it away in bag-fulls. And I’m still drowning in it! (more…)

January 23, 2017 Lauren Dibble

homemade hot chocolate mix Guys! Guys! Guys! I have to tell you about this recipe I just found! It’s amazing. It’s a recipe for instant hot chocolate that’s way better than store-bought. Hot Chocolate. The sound of it invokes images of cold, blustery snow days, intimate Winter nights in front of the fire and just down right coziness. When my step-daughter visits during the summer, I pour myself a cup of coffee, pour her a cup of hot chocolate and we start the day out on the front porch together. I treasure our early morning conversations together over…

January 20, 2017 Lauren Dibble

dark stout brownies For some reason, in the cold and dreary Winter, I start craving calorie-laden not-so-good-for-you food. I like to blame it on my ancestors needing to pack on the pounds to hibernate through the Winter, but let’s be real. I’m bored and baking is a warm distraction that has brownies at the end of it! (more…)

January 2, 2017 Lauren Dibble 8Comment

Homemade Chocolate Syrup For Canning Homesteading is often about making or creating what you could otherwise buy in a store. Why do we put in this extra effort when it would be much simpler to drive to the store and pick up a bottle? Because there’s a pride in accomplishment, because we can control exactly what goes into our food, because by making it ourselves, we’re proclaiming to the world, I CAN! (more…)

September 5, 2016 Lauren Dibble

crockpot applesauce for canning This easy, two-part recipe for applesauce is one of my favorites for Fall. Apples are incredibly abundant in the Fall and can be collected at a Pick-Your-Own, a local farmer’s market, or, if you’re lucky, your own backyard tree. In fact, I used this recipe, minus the sugar and cinnamon, to baby a large batch of applesauce/homemade baby food for the little one and froze it into ice cubes. You can make your applesauce following the same recipe in a saucepan on the stove if you’re short on time. However using the crockpot…

September 5, 2016 Lauren Dibble

homemade dandelion wine While it might be fall, the dandelion wine I made in the spring is now mature enough to drink. It’s a tradition in my family, as the first frost is creeping in, and the leaves are falling, and we’re bracing ourselves for a long, cold winter, to break out our dandelion wine and enjoy a glass in front of the fire. It’s a lovely way to remind us of the hot, humid summer days, and to officially close the summer season. I love this wine. I love that it’s homemade, it’s painfully simple,…