Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Restaurant at Home

Cake at Mrs. White's Vermont Estate

I have a set of pretty dishes that came from a Museum.*  I have been saving them for just the right time to use here at our Estate.  They are so pretty and elegant.  I made room for them in the cabinet yesterday.  We just started using them.  I have to tell you that our home is very humble.  It is an old 1850's house that is in need of repairs and general maintenance.  I like to bring pretty things here, humble - old fashioned items, that bring class and elegance for very little cost. This brightens up our shabby surroundings.

* My dishes came from a community yard sale hosted by our town's museum a few years ago.  The entire box cost me $3.00. *

Setting these up in my kitchen inspired me to get back to the old time tasks of making good food for the family.

This morning, I grated mozzarella cheese and made a batch of whole wheat pizza dough, seasoned with oregano, garlic powder, and olive oil.  While I worked, there were grown children and grandchildren all around. We talked a little, but when it came time to knead the dough, I sent them into the parlour. I do my serious work when everyone is safely out of the way.  The little ones pulled up miniature rocking chairs and put them on the carpet nearby so they could watch.

I set up a fresh tablecloth on the dining table.  I put cloth napkins by each place.  The children noticed this was not the time for play dough or games. We were to have a lovely luncheon.  Soon the first batch of two pizzas were ready and the children enjoyed a nice lunch.

I was ready to take a break when one of my sons called to say he was on his way over to pick something up.  "Have you had your lunch?" I asked him.  He had not.  I told him I would make him a pizza. He was delighted.  This son is a chef in a beautiful Vermont Inn and restaurant. He greatly appreciates food made from scratch, with care and love. 

By the time he arrived, I was ready to put his pizza in the oven. It was covered with fresh organic spinach and cheese.  I started to clean up the mess so my kitchen and parlour were kept neat. This makes me happy. I love to see things looking pretty.  I delight in the work.

In the background, one could hear a gentle sound of an orchestra playing hymns from my kitchen radio.

Someone called for me to go out on an errand.  I was a passenger in the car and enjoyed talking about what I wanted to bake when I got home. 

Once I was back in my kitchen I prepared a white cake with chocolate frosting.  Then I put fresh sliced strawberries on a plate, along with a couple of small scoops of mint chocolate chip ice cream. To this was added a delicate slice of the cake. (See photo above.) A piece was served on one of my pretty new plates.

After all was clean and neat, I noticed the bananas and thought it would be nice to make banana pancakes in the morning. I looked in the refrigerator and thought of what I would make for the next day's lunch. 

In this area where we live, there are very few restaurants.  I have been to the Inn where my son works and it is upscale and beautiful.  Yet, there is nothing to compare to the humble, old fashioned home where I can bake and cook in my very own restaurant at home.


From the Archives -

A Happy Wife - Serving Mister.

I Will Always Try to Be - The Mother Who Isn't Busy.

You Can Do It! - Housekeeping - With A Will.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Living a Quiet Life

Humble flower garden at Mrs. White's Vermont Estate

A few weeks ago, I bought three potted geraniums on clearance.  One had pretty red flowers. The other two were a gentle pink. The cost was $4.00 for all three.  I wanted to brighten up our front garden to add some cheer to our yard.  I am often looking out the second story window of our parlour and wanted to see some flowers. This was just what I needed.

It was inevitable that I would neglect them.  Once I put them in the homemade garden, I ignored them. I never visited them. (gentle smiles)  I never watered them. I left them alone because I am a terrible gardener. 

Despite my failures, the flowers thrived.  The red geraniums have constantly kept pretty flowers for me to see.  The pink ones look like they will soon produce more flowers very soon. I noticed it just today, when I finally ventured over to see how they were doing. I was delighted.

The sun on the lush green grass somehow makes the property look elegant. It is lovely to walk the grounds and enjoy the sounds of birds and nature.  It is a quiet way of life to walk the gardens and see the sights.

I have been settled comfortably here at home. My summer journeys and adventures are coming to a close.  It is time to get back to preparations for a rapidly approaching Vermont winter and enjoy the indoors for a season. 

I have been cleaning with the help of my little 3 year old granddaughter. She delights in clearing the table and doing little household errands. I will say, "Will you close that door please?"  She stands up straighter and says sweetly, as she walks toward the door, "Yes I will."  I will ask her to bring me the children's lunch dishes, help me put away puzzles, and make my bed.  She is a charming little housekeeper.

Last week we had a wonderful day on the front grounds.  There was a birthday for one of the children.  There were homemade activities created by the mother of the birthday child.  Most of the time, I was holding an 11 month old grandbaby. 

Mrs. White with one of her grandchildren

There was cake and juice and candy.  The games included ring toss, throwing water balloons into buckets, playing with bubbles, and going on the slides.  We all had such a lovely time hosted by one of my daughters here at the Estate.

This afternoon, as my lunch guests (grandchildren) were eating, I held the youngest baby and sang "Precious Memories" from the hymn book.  It is a lullaby for our life.

Being settled at home, doing all the many duties,  hearing angels cry, and the noise of family, to me, is quiet.  It is peaceful.  There is no anxiety from the world's materialism here. There are no advertisements and sales pitches coming at us while we are at the Estate.  Home is quiet. It is a quiet life focused on holy living and a happy family.


From the Archives -

D.L. Moody's Mother - Poverty in the 1800's.

In Case you wondered - Retirement Planning for the Poor.

It means everything - Just a Housewife.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Review - The World God Made

The following is a homeschool review of "The World God Made," published by Christian Liberty Press:

Book: Softcover, 92 pages.

Grade Level:  Kindergarten

I have had such a wonderful time going through this book with my grandchild.  The pictures are bright and the text is large.  There are Bible verses throughout (NKJV) which go perfectly with each lesson.

The Author and Editor of this book did an outstanding job in choosing their text.  The words are clear, simple, easy to understand, and make it so easy to teach a small child.

Inside you will find seven sections of lessons.  These sections include the seven days of creation:

1. The Heavens and the Earth.

2. The Sky.

3. The Dry Land, Seas, and Plants.

4. The Sun, Moon, and Stars.

5.  The Fish and Birds.

6.  The Land Animals and Man.

7.  God Rested.

There are bright photographs throughout, along with illustrations for the student to color.  There are short questions and activities at the end of each section.

The lessons can be done at a pace of a page a day, (which is what I have been doing), or a couple of pages, depending on your student. 

In addition to this workbook, there is a Teacher's Manual.   It is 21 pages, stapled together and is a simple guide.  It contains answers to all the activities, a brief lesson plan, and very short instructions for each page in the workbook.  

You can find this book at the Christian Liberty Press site:

The World God Made

  This post is the sixth in a series of reviews I am doing using Christian Liberty Press curriculum.  I hope to do 2 reviews each month as I work with my grandson for Kindergarten. To start with the first post, please see the introduction:

"24 Years of Homeschooling with Christian Liberty Press"

* Disclosure - I received this item for review purposes.*

Monday, August 28, 2017

Feeding the Family

Mrs.White shopping with one of her Grandchildren in Vermont

Home Economics training for young ladies used to be essential, especially when it came to feeding a family.  Girls studied nutrition, cooking, baking, and careful shopping.  We need to start focusing on this again.

There was a wonderful market in my hometown in Massachusetts.  It was called, "The Fruit Center." It was a beautiful store and contained the freshest quality produce you could find. (Across the street you could see the harbor with a little public beach, and, off in the distance, was a view of the city of Boston!)  The prices were affordable, and the displays were inviting.  Quite a few homes had small gardens in this suburban area, but when we needed to supplement the harvest, or buy things out of season, we went to "The Fruit Center."

Here in rural Vermont I am finding it harder and harder to find delicious fresh foods all year round.  I can understand why many grow their own food and preserve it for the winter season.  However, I did manage to freeze some of the strawberries and blueberries from my tiny gardens this summer.

My Mother did a marvelous job feeding us nourishing foods throughout our childhood.  We always had milk and orange juice.  She cooked wonderful, comforting suppers for us every single night. Breakfast was always nourishing and our lunches were mostly eaten at work or school. She was very careful with her grocery budget and made sure we had quality food to eat.  She would not buy junk food.  If we wanted something foolish like that, we had to use our own money. 

There is a sort of laid back attitude these days when it comes to providing food for our kitchens.  I see a lot of young adults buying mostly processed foods, frozen convenience dinners, and lots of pizza.  They are buying what is easy and not necessarily what is healthy.

I remember watching an old episode of "Happy Days." After all the family sat down for dinner, the youngest child grimaced when looking at her plate.  Mom had made liver.  (shudder)  It was more common for homemakers to serve nourishment for the evening meal, rather than what everyone wanted.  I don't remember my mother asking any of us what we wanted to eat.  She just made the food and we ate it.  Of course, she would notice when we enjoyed something more than usual - such as her spaghetti and meatballs!   But always, there were fresh vegetables along with a good, hot, homemade meal.

I once read of Rose Kennedy ordering her dinners at home by telling her servants what she wanted.  In the morning at breakfast time, she would go over her plan for the evening meal with the paid staff.  It was up to them to make sure any shopping or cooking was done in plenty of time to serve the food. 

In the instance of a wealthy family with a hired cook or a homemaker doing her own work, there is a requirement of planning, budgeting, and overseeing the work of providing good, nutritious food for one's household. 

This should not be taken lightly.  It will take hours of work each week to shop, write lists, plan meals, and then to actually prepare food each and every day of the week. 

To make this work more pleasant, we ought to find ways to enjoy the shopping and the kitchen duties.

 I try to shop in my favorite stores when they are not very busy. That way I can take my time. Sometimes I have grandchildren with me. At other times I might have a grown son who will help me with the unloading of groceries.  Rarely, though, do I shop alone.  I find it more fun to have company when I do necessary errands.

Our kitchen ought to be inviting and pretty. It should be the place we will enjoy spending a great deal of time.  My old time cabinets are painted a light purple.  It is a cheery kitchen which makes me smile.  I enjoy baking and cooking while sitting on a tall kitchen chair.  I have my radio nearby so I can listen to old time gospel singing or sermons on CD.  My parlour table is in sight as I work. I try to make it all clean and pretty so I can work in a happy, pleasant environment.

Feeding our guests and family good quality food does not have to be expensive.  It does not have to be fancy.  Basic, recurring menus are perfectly okay and used to be common in households.  There are ways to keep costs down.  Here are a few of my posts, from the archives, that might help:

Why the High Cost of Food?

The Thrifty Kitchen

How the Old Time Mothers Survived Poverty

I am planning to stock up on several items over the next few months for our long, cold winters.  I will have to reorganize my shelves and cabinets to make room.  I will also make a list of basic "inventory" items so we can avoid running out of things in case I forget.  I am just about to make a weekly menu, something I haven't done for quite some time.  I have been slacking on being efficient and wise in my kitchen work.  Lately, I have not been taking it seriously. I have fallen into the common ways of being too laid back. 

I have to say this.... I believe part of the sliding of kitchen values has to do with the lack of a supper table.  People are eating on the couch in front of the television more now than ever before.  I have even heard of many people who never even use their table.   Let's bring back the old time family meal at mother's table!

This effort is just another adventure in homemaking.  It is something we can do with a smile. We can take care of ourselves and our families by doing the necessary work of shopping and baking and cooking.

I am off to bring a revival to my kitchen!

Mrs. White

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Review - Hearts and Hands

The following is a homeschool review of "Hearts and Hands," published by Christian Liberty Press:

This is a really fun book for Kindergarten age children.  It is called, "Hearts and Hands:  Beginner's Drill in Letters, Numbers, Phonics, and Math."  There are a total of 124 pages. It is a softcover workbook.

The pages contain the perfect combination of colored illustrations and basic text.  It does not overwhelm or overstimulate the child.  I have noticed that when there is too much excitement in a school book, the student is overly entertained and finds it harder to study or learn. They get more interested in the pictures or a story and have trouble focusing on the actual lesson.  That is not a concern with this book.

Each page is called "drill sheets." You can do these alone or combined with the rest of the Christian Liberty Kindergarten curriculum.  There is a suggestion at the top of each page for doing the drill page after a Math or phonics page.  For example:

On page 25, there is a note in small print at the top of the page of "Hearts and Hands" which says, "Complete after page 62 in Math and Phonics."  I looked up "Liberty Mathematics Level K" and "Adventures in Phonics Level A - third edition" and found on page 62 of each one that they work perfectly with the drill page on 25 of "Hearts and Hands."  I have to say, I am impressed with the seamlessness of the entire curriculum when used all together.

This workbook contains a variety of lessons, including manuscript writing, filling in a missing letter for phonics and reading purposes, numbers, simple addition and subtraction, learning phonics rules, and more.  It is a complete book that works very well for drills. It is an excellent resource which will help students attain a good solid education in this grade level.

I have been using this with my grandson and he enjoys it very much.

You can find out more about this book, and even take a look inside, at the Christian Liberty Press site.

Hearts and Hands workbook.

I also want to mention that when I first starting homeschooling my children in the early 1990's, I used the original Hearts and Hands workbook, which is a little different than the one mentioned above.  All my children used the original and loved it very much. It is no longer in print, but you can get a pdf version from the Christian Liberty site if you are interested:

Original Hearts and Hands workbook.

 This post is the sixth in a series of reviews I am doing using Christian Liberty Press curriculum.  I hope to do 2 reviews each month as I work with my grandson for Kindergarten. To start with the first post, please see the introduction:

"24 Years of Homeschooling with Christian Liberty Press"

* Disclosure - I received this item for review purposes.*

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