Saturday, April 25, 2015

Canning Season Begins! My first batch of strawberries

It's that time of year again...


We do grow strawberries. We don't have a lot of plants, and what we don't "share" with the birds are normally picked and eaten before they even make it inside, so I don't ever have enough to can.
We are blessed to have a great berry farm close enough to us though, and this morning I bought three flats of delicious strawberries. I think I forget how wonderful local, fresh strawberries are. So stinkin' good.

 So here is the "before" picture. I used one flat to make jam, one flat to freeze and then one flat we'll eat fresh over the next day or so. That's right, it will just take us a day or so to devour them.


The frozen ones we use for homemade popsicles this summer, as well as smoothies. I'll also use them to make a strawberry cake that we like to eat as well as share at potlucks and family events throughout this year.
The little containers I got at Walmart several years ago and they work very well for freezing items. Some of the best ones I've found and they are cheap!So totals this year for my canning:
5 pints frozen strawberries
3 quarts frozen strawberries
8 pints of strawberry jam
2 half pints of strawberry jam

Here's to a good season for us all!

Happy Homesteading Ya'll!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Visit to Mansfield, MO- Where the Little House Books were Written

You all may recall that I'm quite fascinated with Laura Ingalls Wilder. Please refer to my other posts regarding Laura and her life:

 Part 1: Introduction to the Series, information about Laura
Part 2: The books!
Part 3: Dress like Laura
Part 4: Places to visit to have that "Laura Experience"
Part 5: Cook like Laura
Part 6: Other books you might enjoy

Over Spring Break though I took it a step further and visited Mansfield, MO which was the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almanzo once they got married and was where the Little House Books were actually written. There is a home tour a museum that had Pa's FIDDLE!!! I know right, the ACTUAL fiddle that Laura referred to so lovingly in her books. You could take pictures inside the museum but I did get a few pictures of her house.
You can see the three littles playing here around her home. This is the home in Mansfield, MO that started out as just the small piece on the very left and the built onto through the years. You can take a tour of the home that still has many pieces from her. I was like a kid in a candy store. It was so neat getting to feel so close to your favorite author.

Just another view of the home. I liked the stone fireplace.

The back of the house. It looks out into the woods.

Not a good picture at all, but a pic of me and my Dad enjoying the tour. It was worth the drive, and worth the very nominal fee that they charged. I would highly recommend to any Laura fan to put this on their to do list!
They have a gift shop/bookstore on site and I purchased several items, a tshirt, some other books ( there was a subsequent series written about Laura and Almanzo's daughter Rose, that takes place while she was growing up in Mansfield, that I purchased and read and enjoyed for that matter.
You can shop online as well as the following link. Shop from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Bookstore 
There isn't a ton to eat around, so bring a picnic or eat before you go. The little town of Mansfield has a very small statue/bust of Laura in the city park which we went to and let the kids stretch their legs.
They also have the cemetery where she and Almanzo are buried if you are so inclined.
Until next time,
Happy Homesteading Ya'll