Hot Pepper Treats to Can This Summer

peppers on cutting board

Here in the mountain foothills of North Carolina, July and August are the time to start canning and pickling. Many varieties of hot peppers grow like weeds in our hot southern summers. Here are some great recipes you can make to preserve that sweet, spicy deliciousness and enjoy it all winter long. Continue reading

Our Olive Oil Lamp: A Fixture of the Rural Night

olive oil lamp5

I have come to know darkness as a fact of rural life. When the sun sets over the Green Mountains, ceasing to bathe the lush Vermont landscape in its golden evening light, the darkness of night makes itself abundantly known. Continue reading

That Good Old 9×13 Pan. Only Better.

sscakepancover

Like so many couples, one of our wedding gifts was a glass 9″x13″ baking pan. Just like the old standby ones our mothers had as we were growing up. Back then, it seemed huge for just my husband and me (although we do love leftovers). Continue reading

Sweet, Sweet Sorghum Makes The BEST Cookies Ever

Dave's stack of sorghum stalks, ready to be crushed.

Dave’s stack of sorghum stalks, ready to be crushed.

(Editor’s Note: Last year, Dave Ross tried his hand at growing sorghum, then pressing and cooking the juice into the delicious old-time syrup many people remember. Here are his adventures in sorghum farming!)

Sorghum. At last the project has reached completion. From mail-ordered seeds that arrived in May, to sorghum syrup in my jars on the counter, to molasses crinkle cookies. It was a fun, educational experience, but honestly, I probably won’t raise it again. Sorghum syrup can be purchased from a local Amishman for a good price per quart. Lehman’s also carries it year-round, and that makes the effort of raising, stripping, taking the stalks somewhere to get them squeezed, and cooking down the sweet juice into finished syrup, more costly than buying it locally. Still, there was value and fun in the experience, and I’m glad I did it. Continue reading

Celebrate Ice Cream Month With a Dairy-Free Treat

strawberry ice cream deep roots at home

After our family does something strenuous together here on the farm, we’re all hot, hungry  and need to cool down. My sweet and generous husband wants to go out for great big strawberry ice cream cones or pull a carton of store-bought out of the freezer. It didn’t take long, though, before we all realized this frequent habit wasn’t helping us at all (dairy allergies, bumping up sinus issues, more colds). Continue reading