Old Fashioned Dixie Recipes~ Raisin Sauce

We love collecting antiques, and one thing in particular that
Penny has collected through the years are these wonderful wooden cookbooks.
We have tried some of the recipes from them several times, and they have become
our favorites. This raisin sauce, for example, has become a staple for Christmas Eve and Easter.
We absolutely love the way it tastes on ham, and it is so simple to make.
1 Cup Raisins
1 Cup Water
5 Cloves
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cornstarch
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Pinch of Pepper
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Teaspoon Worcestershire

Cover raisins with water, add cloves, bring to boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes.
Mix together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in bowl, then add this to raisins/water.
Stir till thickened (you may need to heat it up again to get it thickened), then add the butter, vinegar, and worcestershire. I actually transfer it to a gravy boat, and set it out to pour on the ham. So good-watch out for those 5 cloves (remove them if you can see them)!


~Want a copy of your very own?~

Fresh Water Even in Winter

During the winter, it is not easy to keep fresh water in the coop. Every morning, we clean the water containers, and put fresh water out for the chickens! We have one heated water container in the main run, but the other one usually freezes during the night, and occasionally during the day also. The chickens still need access to unlimited fresh water in the winter also. 
This morning, I was refilling their containers, and I noticed, that even though it was 29 degrees outside, they were wanting the ice cold water directly from the hose pipe! Keep this in mind, it may take a little longer during the winter months, but your chickens can still get dehydrated if their water containers are constantly frozen.

One thing we leaned the hard way about out water spigot is how easily it freezes up, we were carrying 3 water containers to the house for a couple of days for refills until we figured out a solution. We  make sure to remove the hose after each use, and we have wrapped the main pipe in pipe insulation and zip tied it all the way to the ground, so far, it hasn't frozen up again. 

(photo credit and affiliate link to Amazon)
Here is a link to the heated water container that we currently use.

10 Things You Didn't Know About Us

10 Things You Didn't Know About Us!

~Let's Play A Game~
Here are 10 random facts. You tell us who they belong to: 
Brittany (left) or Penny (right) or Bella (middle)

1. Has A Master's Degree (Brittany)
2. Has a Black Belt in Isshin-Ryu Karate (Brittany & Penny)
3. Worked in a florist. (Penny)
4. Lived in Texas (Penny)
5. Raised Siberian Huskies (Penny)
6. Certified scuba diver (Penny)
7. Was homeschooled (Brittany)
8. Is a nurse (Penny)
9. Can walk on Stilts (Brittany)
10. Overcame physical disabilities from traumatic 
injuries immediately after birth. (Bella)

Let's see who can get them all right!
Make your guesses in the comments!

A Christmas Tea~for Lunch

 It has been cold and rainy the last few days leading up to Christmas. We have had a few extra chores to do at the coop every day this week, so I headed to the house prepared to spend my lunch hour working at the coop. It was a nice surprise to come to Happy-Days-Farm today and find this lovely meal waiting.  A simple meal of broccoli and cheese soup and an egg salad sandwich, paired with a wonderful cup of hot Harney & Sons rose tea, became extremely special when it was placed on Christmas dishes and a simple piece of holly placed beside it. Meals do not have to be elaborate in order to be special. Here is the recipe for our Egg Salad, which was made into a sandwich and toasted for this meal. If possible, take time today to slow down for a few minutes, even if it is just for one cup of tea. The holiday season will be over in just a couple days, make sure to enjoy it and not allow the hectic pace to overtake the day.  
Merry Christmas~ Happy-Days-Farm

Saving in Bulk~ Freezing Peppers

I do most of my grocery shopping at a wholesale store, Bj's to be exact.
People say all the time that it is a waste to buy groceries there, unless you run a restaurant or 
have a huge family. I must disagree. The produce I find there is sometimes much better quality, and it is almost always much cheaper. These little peppers cost me $4.00 for a huge bag. I have been using them for almost 2 weeks now, so I had this many left that were going to go bad before I was able to use them. However, the solution is very simple, and it will save time and money later. 
I have already used these peppers several times. Stuffing them, soup, and pasta tonight, so honestly they have already paid for themselves. 

I have decided to freeze the leftovers.

~I thoroughly washed them.
~Cut the tops out and removed the seeds.

~Then I decided to freeze one bag in halves, and slice the rest.
~I added a paper towel to each bag to absorb the extra moisture and prevent freezer burn.
These slices will be perfect for pasta, soup, or stir fry, as well as homemade pizzas, 
and just about anything else you want to add them to.
Now they are ready to go when you are ready to cook. 
There is no waste and we saved so much purchasing them in bulk.

An Old Fashioned, Log Cabin Christmas at Happy-Days-Farm (as seen in In Season Magazine)

     Do you ever yearn for an old fashioned Christmas, one far away from the hustle and
bustle. Do you wonder what Christmas may have been like for people long ago? Come along with us and we’ll take a peek into the past, and let our imaginations wander. Is this similar to what Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about in Little House on the Prairie? 

Nestled beside the woods, amongst the pines, is a little, log cabin in North Carolina, on Happy Days Farm. The cabin is constructed of hand hewn logs, making one reminisce of pioneer days and how life may have been hundreds of years ago. The logs are weathered in silver hues with a bright white chinking, and a tin roof adorns the top. 

As you step on the porch of the cabin, you step back in time. Walking through the front door, you enter the cabin as it would have been in the early days of America. Stepping inside, you find one large room, and a ladder leading to a small loft.

The cabin has been decorated for Christmas, simply. Hand strung popcorn and cranberry strings are on a small tree. We found old potato sacks that had Santa on them, and they have now become pillow cases to add a festive touch. Holly and berries are added to the table, which has been set with pewter dishes holding a huge apple that has been carved out to nestle a tea candle safely. A wonderful smell fills the air, and you discover a small, wooden bowl holding fresh oranges that have been decorated with whole cloves. Bright, red, long johns lay across the old, rope bed, reminding us of how cold Christmas Eve would have been for the people who originally lived in this small one room cabin. The front door is decorated with fresh greens that were cut from the woods directly behind the cabin. Everything is simple, and simply elegant.

I’m sure we have no idea how hard it must have been for folks living in these times.
They had to work hard for every little thing they had, and they didn’t have the luxuries we do today. They could however, take pride in seeing the work of their hands. Christmas gifts were more than likely hand made, like the little doll in the scrap stocking. Perhaps, the one pair of shoes or a new book would have been the only purchase the family made that year for Christmas, and they would have been a necessity. They had their families close, and they appreciated the blessings and little things they had, taking nothing for granted. 

     So this year, as the stress of the holidays begins to take its toll, let’s think back about days of yesteryear and what is really important during this holiday season.         
Merry Christmas to you, from Happy-Days-Farm