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Monday, June 27, 2011
I am a BARN ENTHUSIAST -- I LOVE barns of all sorts -- old barns, red barns round barns, tall barns, short barns -- okay, you're getting the idea here...some other things I also love are quilts, anything Americana and old advertising signs. Sometimes these things go together -- I'm talking about barns that are painted with a quilt design, a flag or other Americana motif or my very favorite, an old advertising sign!! I remember a few years ago when my family was vacationing in Ohio -- we were driving along an old country road on our way to the Amish country around Kidron, OH, and we rounded a bend to see a glorious site -- a Mail Pouch Barn! I squeeled with excitment!!


When we lived in Minnesota, there was both a barn with a large painted flag


and a quilt barn that I got to pass on a regular basis -- actually I'd drive out of my way to get to see either site.


Sometimes these signs are on other out buildings besides the barn...but my favorites will always be the barns.

A couple of months ago a friend gave me a special gift -- it was custom made just for me and Faithfulness Farm -- I was very taken back by both the thoughtfulness of the gift and how well my Faithfulness Farm was captured. Thank you David! I get to gaze on this site as I enjoy my morning coffee on the back porch!



Credit:
All the photos in the post, with the exception of the Faithfulness Farm sign, were borrowed from here.

From The Hymnal ~ Day By Day

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I love this old hymn and find myself humming it often...it speaks to my heart :)

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Day By Day

Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.


(Remember to listen to the video, go to the bottom of my page and click off the blog music).

Oh So Cherry!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Years ago, my family lived just north of Seattle, Washington. Every June, as my youngest daughter's birthday comes around, I am reminded of the year she was born. We made a trip over the pass into eastern Washington to visit an old friend of my Grandmother-in-law -- Pete, Pete the Cherry Man!! June is cherry season and we came home with TONS of cherries to be processed. Oh, those cherries were so wonderful and I spent many, many hours getting them all processed before I delivered. It was hot, back-breaking work for this 9 months pregnant momma but was so worth having all those wonderful cherries to enjoy......I think we had cherries for a couple of years. These days my cherries come from the grocery store and I don't process them like I once did but I always look forward to cherry season!


Since it is cherry season, I thought I'd share some Cherry Tricks & Tips (and a recipe too)!!

Fresh Eating: When you bring your cherries home, wash under cool tap water before eating or using in recipes. Fresh cherries may be kept for eating uncovered in the coldest part of the refrigerator for 3-5 days, taking them out about an hour before serving for the best flavor. Cherries will absorb odors, so keep other strong-smelling foods covered.

Pitting: To easily remove a cherry pit when eating the fresh fruit, slice open each fruit with a knife and pop out the pit. If you prefer to keep the cherries while, a variety of simple-to-use pitting devices are available at most kitchen supply stores, or try one of the following home methods:
* Using a paper clip or bobby pin ~ Start with a new or thoroughly cleaned clip/pin. Insert the loop into the center of the cherry, gently press around the pit and lift up.
* Using a knife blade ~ Gently press fruit until it cracks. Continue to gently squeeze the fruit between your thumb and a finger, and extract the pit with a knife. This technique crushes the fruit but it works well if you are making pies, sauces or jams.

Freezing: To freeze whole cherries, place in single layer of washed and dried cherries (do not remove stems) on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Dryness is key, so pat away any excess water before freezing. Place frozen cherries in an airtight container or freezer bag, and store in the freezer for up to 1 year. Thaw frozen cherries in the refrigerator rather than heating them to room temperature - to maintain the fruit's juice and firmness. For a special frosty treat, serve slightly frozen cherries.

Canning Cherries: Whether sweet or sour, all cherries may be canned for later use. Here are the basic steps for canning them.
*Select freshly harvested cherries with deep uniform color and ideal maturity for eating.
*Stem and wash. If desired, pit and treat cherries with ascorbic acid color keeper solution; drain. If preserved unpitted, prick skins on opposite sides with a clean needle to prevent splitting.
*Place raw cherries in jars. Cover with light syrup, amde by boiling a mixture of 1-1/2 c sugar and cups water. Leave a 1/2-inch headspace in jars. Water-bath process pints and quarts for 25 minutes, according to canning instructions.
*Once processed, remove jars from canner with a jar lifter and place on a towel or rack. Do not retighten screw bands. Air-cool for 12-24 hours. Remove screw bands and check lid seals. If the center of the lid is indented, wash, dry. label and store in a clean, cool, dark place. Use within 1 year.

Brandied Cherries: Brandy-soaked cherries are an irresistible topper for ice cream, pies and slices of grilled pound or angel food cake. Combine 1 quart of brandy and 2 cups sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add 2 pounds of stemmed and pitted cherries. Store in tightly covered jars in the refrigerator for 6 weeks before using. Cherries will keep, refrigerated. for up to 1 year.


Cherry Waldorf Salad
(Printable Version)

2 large Fuji apples, cored, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 c. pitted sweet cherries
1/2 c. dried cherries (cranberries can be used too)
1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. sour cream
2 tbsp honey
1/8 tsp salt

In a large salad bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Stir in celery, cherries, cranberries and almonds. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, honey and salt until well blended. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Serves 10 (1/2 cup each).

Salad Time ~ Go Green!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spring greens are GORGEOUS right now and although I love salads year round, they never taste quite as good as they do when the greens are sweet and tender in spring. At my house, we like dressing our salads with a variety of different homemade dressings but none are as popular as good ole ranch-style dressing -- creamy and cool and with the addition of fresh, spring herbs, just the perfect compliment to the tender, fresh greens. I've used the same ranch-style formula for years with few variations.....it's tried and true. When my June copy of EVERYDAY FOOD came in I spied a great formula for making different dressings with a Creamy Salad Dressing Base. I've been playing with those formulas all week and thought I'd share both my tried and true recipe and that formula for making the 6 different dressing using the creamy base.


Ranch-style Dressing
(Printable Version)

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4cup buttermilk (I always use real buttermilk, I freeze it in 1/2-1 cup measurements)
1-1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar (or 1 Splenda packet)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1-1/2 teaspoons dried parsely (or 2 Tbsp fresh chopped)
1/4 teaspoon dried dill (or 1 tsp fresh)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash sweet paprika

Wisk all ingredients together and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Makes 1cup.


Creamy Salad Dressing Base
EVERYDAY FOOD
(Printable Version)

1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
desired mix-ins (see below)
coarse salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, and mayonnaise until smooth. Whisk in desired mix-in. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mix-Ins:

Green Goodess ~ 1/2 avocado, mashed until smooth, 1/4 cup finely chopped chives. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley.

Roasted Garlic ~ 1 small head roasted garlic, skins removed and cloves mashed until smooth (about 2 tablespoons).

Blue Cheese ~ 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled.

Ranch ~ 1-1/2 reaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, 1 small garlic clove, minced, pinch of cayenne pepper.

Thousand Island ~ 1/3 cup ketchup, 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish.

Peppercorn-Parmesan ~ 2 ounces finely grated Parmesan (2/3 cup), 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper.

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old........

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.

A circle is round, it has no end. That's how long, I will be your friend.

A fire burns bright, it warms the heart. We've been friends, from the very start.

You have one hand, I have the other. Put them together, We have each other.

Silver is precious, Gold is too. I am precious, and so are you.

You help me, and I'll help you and together we will see it through.

Across the land. Across the sea. Friends forever, we will always be!

Recently, I had a HUGE treat. I was able to host my dear friend Rebecca and her family for the weekend. They live in Virginia -- like us, a long way from San Diego, California, where we were raised. They were passing by on their way to vacation in Yellowstone. Rebecca and I were pretty much stuck-like-glue as teenagers. What fun memories we share. The photo on the left is us at church camp in 1976 ... I think we look the same although 35 years older (and SIX children between us), lol! Such a lovely visit we had and I look forward to getting to visit again before another 13 years passes us by :)

GBP's 101 Easy EVERYDAY Recipes ~ Sunday Meatball Skillet

Friday, June 3, 2011

The recipe I am posting today from 101 Easy Everyday Recipes is from the chapter Toss-Together Suppers. Now you all know that I am a sucker for any recipe that includes the word SKILLET and this cookbook features a few including Easy Skillet Lasanga, Skillet Dinner and Sunday Meatball Skillet. Since my kids are huge Swedish Meatball fans, I tried Sunday Meatball Skillet (although I will be making the other 2 very soon). This recipe was simple and got thumbs up from the meatball enthusiasts. This book has been a joy to review -- simple, everyday style foods that are a snap to get onto the table. The book is full of gorgeous photos and I was drawn to read and reread the dedication which really sums up the Gooseberry Patch experience for me...."To those who delight in making every meal special!" -- that would be you and I -- THANKS GOOSEBERRY PATCH for helping us everyday home cooks do just that!!

Sunday Meatball Skillet

3/4lb ground beef
1 c onion, grated
1/2 c Italian-flavored dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c catsup
1/4 t pepper
2 c beef broth
1/4 c all-purpoe flour
1/2 c sour cream
8-oz. pkg. medium egg noodles, cooked
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

In a bowl, combine beef, onion. bread crumbs, egg, catsup and pepper. Shape into one-inch meatballs. Spray a skillet with non-stick vegetable spray. Cook meatballs over medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned, aabout 10 minutes. Remove meatballs and let drain on paper towels. In a bowl, whisk together broth and flour; add to skillet. Cook and stir until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream. Add meatballs and noodles; toss to coat. Cook and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley. Serves 4.

Don't forget to enter in for the giveaway here AND for another bonus entry visit my friends at Gooseberry Patch on Facebook and post to their wall that Faithfulness Farm sent you!! Leave a comment on this post telling me you did.

GBP's 101 Easy EVERYDAY Recipes ~ Company Green Beans

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Sharing the next recipe I prepared for my review of the newly released 101 Easy Everyday Recipes -- Company Green Beans! These were perfect for me -- yummy, easy AND very low carb diet friendly. I served these on the side of grilled meat and thought they were simply a perfect sidedish. Since I used frozen green beans, I thought my baking time would need adjusting but not so. This recipe is my new favorite way to prepare what is already one of my favorite veggies!! Don't let the name fool you either, while these are good enough to serve to company, be sure to make them often just for your family!


Company Green Beans

3 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled and 1 T. drippings reserved
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/4 c. red onion, finely grated
2 14-1/2 oz. cans French-style green beans, drained (I used frozen beans)
1 tomato, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

In a skillet over medium heat, saute garlic and onion in reserved bacon drippings until slightly softened. Remove from heat and stir in green beans, tomato and seasonings to taste place in greased 8"x8" baking pan and sprinkle with cheese. Bake, covered, at 400°F for 15 minutes. Uncover, reduce heat to 350°F and bake an additional 15 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.



Don't miss out on entering in for the giveaway of Gooseberry Patch's 101 Easy Everyday Recipes AND 2 Hand Embroidered Faithfulness Farm Dishtowels here AND for a bonus entry leave a comment on this post and blog about the giveaway on your blog (be sure to tell me so I can come check it out).