It’s Cherry Season! Summer Fruit Clafoutis Recipe

Summer Fruit Clafoutis

It’s the season of abundance. The bush fruit is approaching its peak. Eggs are coming faster than we can consume them and the cow is giving copious amounts of creamy milk. Finding ways to use it all up can be a challenge. Much fruit has been juiced and gorgeous jars of crystal clear raspberry jelly grace my pantry shelves. More has been set to ferment with sugar and yeast and will provide healing syrups during the winter cold season. Eggs have been fried and deviled, pickled and poached but still they come. Cream has been churned into butter and the milk is curing into rounds of cheddar cheese. Continue reading

Making It Yourself: Why Bother?

Kathy's homemade soap. Find the supplies you need to make yours at and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Kathy’s homemade soap. Find the supplies you need to make yours at and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

I recently taught a workshop on soapmaking at our local folk school. I was telling a friend about it and she asked a pretty profound question: Why do you bother? Continue reading

When The Lights Go Out


Usually we have some notice. The storm is forecast and we can expect that snow or wind will take down power lines and leave us sitting in the dark. Continue reading


When I was in college, my Dad would send me a handwritten note every so often. This was just before email came into being, and he wouldn’t have used that anyway. Most often there would be a few dollars enclosed and the note would encourage me to take a break and treat myself to a coffee and pastry at the student coffeehouse.

The note usually came with the same basic instructions: “Eat. Sleep. Study. Brush your teeth.” (Yes, Dad paid for several years of orthodontic work on me.)

In a sense, Dad was telling me, through that note: “Take care of yourself. Take care of what’s important. Enjoy learning. Enjoy life.”

Here are a few more “Dad-isms” that have stuck with me:

“To each his own.” (Love and tolerate others, even when they are different from you.)

“You pays your money and you takes your chances.” (Life is not certain. There are no guarantees. We all take risks and we must live with the consequences.)

“Go outside and get the stink blowed off ya.” (Enjoy nature. Be active.)

I love my dad and appreciate the wonderful example he was (and is) more and more the older I get.

What are some Dad-isms your father instilled in you? Feel free to share a comment, and Happy Father’s Day to all Dads out there!

The Ultimate Campfire French Toast

French Toast

Here’s a fantastic new recipe from our favorite “wandering cowboy,” Mark Pendl. Mark is currently traveling the American West in his horse trailer, researching wild ponies for an upcoming book. Trust us when we say he knows campfire cooking! Try this “cowboy gourmet” French Toast at your next campout, or in your cast iron skillet at home. Continue reading

Father’s Day Feast: Easy Homemade Summer Sausage

summer sausage

Have you ever tried your hand at making summer sausage? Do you have extra ground meat (venison, beef, etc.) on hand in the freezer? If you have a hunter in the family or just need a creative way to make space for summer freezing, you can’t beat this recipe – especially as a delicious, impressive way to spoil Dad on Father’s Day. (Hint: Make it Friday at the latest, as the meat needs 24-48 hours to blend flavors.) Continue reading

Little Lessons From Anna’s House

amish farm spring_bruce stambaugh

Recently I had the privilege of visiting Anna*, a longtime friend of my grandmother’s. Penpals for decades although they live just a few miles apart, they met in an apple orchard and immediately bonded over their shared frugal ways.

Anna is a 70-ish widow who belongs to one of the strictest orders of the Amish, so I expected her house to be very bare, almost austere. But I was wrong. Like Anna, her house was a delight in the purest and most innocent sense. In fact, Anna’s house taught me… Continue reading

Homemade Maraschino Cherries: Easy, Delicious, Fun!


I decided to try out a recipe for homemade Maraschino cherries for my summer beverage and dessert enjoyment. Who knew it was so easy – and soooo delicious? Continue reading