You know what they say—waste not, want not. And what more delicious application of this proverb is there than bread pudding?
This super-easy recipe, adapted from a Betty Crocker cookbook, is a family favorite and an excellent way to keep those bread heels and halves from going to waste. If you make your own homemade bread on a regular basis, it’s hearty, too.
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups bread cubes
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 2 eggs
- Place milk and butter in a 4-cup microwavable measuring cup. Microwave uncovered on high 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, spread bread cubes evenly in a round microwavable dish, 8 x 1-1/2 inches.
- Sprinkle with raisins, brown sugar, and nuts.
- Quickly beat eggs into warm water mixture. Pour over fruit.
- Microwave uncovered on 70% power for 9 to 12 minutes until center is almost set (center will set while standing).
- Serve warm.
Preserving the food we grow at home or buy in bulk from a local farmer can seem daunting to the beginner. We know that food safety is important, but how do we achieve it?
This food preservation site from K-State has the answers. Many resources have been combined into one convenient location.
Learn more about:
- Curing and smoking.
- Food business.
- Jams and jellies.
- Special diets.
On each of these topics, choose from an extensive list of resources, including PDFs, videos, and external links.
Just to give you a sampling of the questions you can find answers to:
- What special methods do I need to use to can low-acid fruits?
- How do I build my own smokehouse?
- How do I make beef jerky safely?
- How long can I store frozen foods?
- Is it safe to use a pickle recipe written before 1994?
- Where can I find good jelly recipes?
- How do I make my own horseradish sauce?
- Where can I find canning instructions that are safe to use?
- What is the science behind canning?
- How do I adjust canning times for my altitude? (No, Kansas is not flat!)
- What are the regulations on selling home-preserved foods at the local farmers market?
Also, every other month you will find a new issue of the Preserve It Fresh, Preserve It Safe newsletter—two pages of seasonally relevant advice and sometimes a recipe.
A great resource for the dedicated home canner, with plenty of other information for those looking for simple but safe ways to preserve the harvest.
What child doesn’t love Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books? Now they can see firsthand what it might have been like to live in Laura’s time!
The World of Little House by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christine Wyss Eriksson introduces the people and places of the Little House series in a fun, child-friendly format.
Continue reading The World of Little House
Rhubarb is one of the first offerings of the garden each spring. When baked in a pie it adds a delicious tart flavor to the sweet custard filling. What a great way to start the growing season!
And if you had a bumper crop of rhubarb this year, you can enjoy this treat even longer. Frozen rhubarb comes back well in a pie.
This good old-fashioned recipe is a family heirloom. Who knows? Maybe it will become a tradition in your family, as well.
- 3 cups finely cut rhubarb
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 unbaked pie shell
- Place cut rhubarb in the unbaked pie shell.
- Sprinkle rhubarb with granulated sugar.
- Mix brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla.
- Spread brown sugar mixture over rhubarb.
- Bake 17 minutes at 400°F.
- Reduce heat to 350°F and bake 12 more minutes, or until crust is golden brown and rhubarb is tender.
- Serve warm or, better yet, chilled overnight. It’s particularly good with a scoop of ice cream on top.
As the first radishes start to come in, you may be looking for a simple way to enjoy the fresh goodness of raw vegetables. Try this easy dip. You can whip it up in less than five minutes, the recipe is easily adjusted to make large or small batches, and the use of salad dressing keeps the flavors new and interesting every time. This dip is one that you can use all year round—it also goes great with homegrown carrots, peppers, and cucumbers.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon salad dressing (use any flavor that you like)
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- Pinch of garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk all of the ingredients together until well combined.
- Chill before using. It’s that easy!
Are you considering getting a dairy goat? Before you get started, you might want to read this handy guide from Storey Publishing.
Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats by Jerry Belanger and Sara Thomson Bredesen covers all the basics:
- Purchasing goats.
- Keeping records.
Along the way, you will find helpful diagrams, schedules, recipes, and more. You will learn about goat meat, milk composition, and the truth about goat-related myths.
In Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats you will find answers to many of the questions you may have about getting started and probably some advice on things you haven’t yet considered. Take the time to read this book before you buy your first goat. It may prove to be a big help to you.
Sweet potato casserole is a Christmas favorite. When you grow your own sweet potatoes, it’s particularly fun. A fertile garden soil and ample moisture during the growing season ensures spectacular results. Sometimes you can manage to grow a sweet potato that is big enough to supply the entire casserole single-handedly! Seriously!
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- Peel sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks.
- Boil sweet potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes; allow to cool.
- Process the potato chunks in a food processor until smooth.
- Stir in sugar, salt, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and 4 tablespoons melted butter.
- Spoon mixture into lightly greased 2-quart baking dish.
- Combine ingredients for topping and sprinkle over sweet potato mixture.
- Bake at 350°F for 35 to 45 minutes.
Looking for a gift idea for a young gardener? Here’s a book that may spark an interest.
Practical but inviting, The Christian Kids’ Gardening Guide by Rebecca Park Totilo makes the gardening process fun and simple. Besides discussing the basics of planning, planting, and caring for plants, this book offers projects galore:
- Make seed tape.
- Plant trees.
- Create compost.
- Mix up bug repellant.
- Bake carrot cake.
- Turn pumpkins into decorative pots.
- Press flowers.
- Mix up herbal soap.
- And more!
Four interesting garden designs are provided:
- The Salad Bowl Garden.
- The Moon Garden.
- The Butterfly’s Buffet.
- The Healing Cross Garden.
Super-small-scale ideas are provided for apartment dwellers, as well.
And while children are learning about plants and how to raise them, they will learn about the plants of the Bible with verses and simple devotions.
A book with substance, but plenty of fun, as well. Great choice for that fledgling gardener in your family!
Since fall migration is picking up, some of you may be looking for ways to attract new birds to your yard. Here’s a friendly book that will give you some ideas.
The Backyard Bird Feeder’s Bible: The A-to-Z Guide to Feeders, Seed Mixes, Projects, and Treats by Sally Roth is arranged alphabetically, starting with accessories and ending with zinnias. Entries are grouped into eight categories:
- Plants for Food: How to grow flowers and trees that birds love.
- Bird Foods: Tasty treats using ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
- Birds: All about common species of backyard birds.
- Bird Behavior: Why birds do the things that they do.
- Bird Watching: How to sharpen your skills.
- Animal Visitors: Attracting and deterring the mammals that show up at the feeder.
- Feeders and More: Everything you need to know to buy, build, or maintain a feeder.
- Seasonal Subjects: Responding to the changing needs of backyard birds.
The Backyard Bird Feeder’s Bible is absolutely packed with handy information, but it is by no means a dry or heavy book. This guide is extremely inviting and easy to use. Projects and recipes add a fun dimension and may spark your own creativity.
If you love birds, The Backyard Bird Feeder’s Bible will probably become one of your favorite resources. It makes a great gift, too. Excellent starting point for the beginner, but also a good reminder to the seasoned birder of why he started watching birds in the first place. Highly recommended!
When berry season comes around, it’s great to have several options available so that you can enjoy your fruit in a variety of ways. One recipe that you should definitely keep in your repertoire is shortcake.
Shortcake is very versatile. You can have it as a dessert, a breakfast, or even as a side dish at dinner. You can top it with strawberries earlier in the season and blackberries later on. You can serve it with milk, whipped cream, chocolate chips, or just by itself.
This recipe will make two shortcakes.
- 2 cups unbleached white flour
- 2 cups whole grain flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk powder
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/3 cup water
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Spray two 8 x 1-1/2-inch round baking pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine dry ingredients in food processor.
- Add butter and process until crumbly.
- Add water and pulse just until combined.
- Divide batter evenly between pans.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool in pans 10 minutes.
- Remove from pans and finish cooling on racks.