from scratch Archives · Ryder Family Farm- Southern Illinois
We to a big leap of faith, quit our jobs are moved to the the heart of the Shawnee National Forest to follow our dreams of self sufficiency and to make a go of living off the land… Can we help you feed your family?
Southern Illinois, farm, CSA, Goat Milk, Soap, Eggs, meat, local food
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from scratch

Canning Fairytale Pumpkin and Sweet Meat Squash

We drove up north last week to retrieve our award winning produce from the Duquoin State Fair. Nathan wanted the experience of entering stuff in the fair so that we could show our daughters what it is all about (they have been eager to enter stuff at the fair but have only recently become of age). He entered four different produce categories and placed 1st in three of them, he got 2nd place for eggplant and first place for his Fairytale Pumpkin, his pickling cucumbers and his hot peppers. We realized just before getting the prized pumpkin home that we've exhausted our frozen abundance of pumpkiny goodness from last year and *gasp* in our blur of activity this growing season I've overlooked planting pie pumpkin! Actually we didn't even plant the...

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Butter, oh butter

Making butter is quite easy but for some reason I’ve always viewed it as wasteful and unpractical. I guess I just assumed making butter requires you to use raw milk in it’s entirety (and raw milk is quite the commodity!). Plus, only a small portion of butter results from the whole gallon of milk and I was under the impression the liquid left over once the butter separates is a waste product.

I’ve never felt inclined to make butter myself. Yet I LOVE me some raw butter and as of late it’s been pretty hard to come by… and it so good for you.

The most healthful raw butter is a springtime commodity in the milking world.

Cows fed on rapidly growing spring grass produce milk that contains high levels of beta carotene and five times the amount of CLA, an essential fatty acid that has a strong anti-cancer properties. 

Brewing Homemade Kombucha: A DIY Healthful, Homesteading Adventure Shared

I am pleased to share the next step in our homemade kombucha adventure and our recipe. If you are wondering what got us started on the kombucha and fermented foods craze you can find out more here or why kombucha is known as the miracle health elixir read more here. As I wrote about previously, before you can brew your own batch of kombucha you need a starter. You can either buy one somewhere online (which apparently isn't as good since live bacterias are killed off in transport), get one from a friend/ company locally or simply grow your own. Since a kombucha SCOBY is a raw live bacteria culture that can easily be contaminated with unknown mater I felt better being 100% responsible for the growth and sanitary conditions of mine...

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Perfect pie crust and old school Nintendo.

I made a turkey pot pie from scratch yesterday and was pretty pleased with the pie crust recipe so I wanted to share it here on the blog. I searched high and low for a good from scratch pot pie recipe and kept coming across the call for "crescent rolls" as the "pie crust". To me from scratch is not buying premade crap and throwing it together guys. I mean what are people going to do if the store runs out of crescent rolls for any extended amount of time? Anyway, I finally found a recipe I thought sounded good and boy was I right, it was great! I did modify it a bit because it was way to sticky and wet when made as directed. If you are interested here is...

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Making ladyfingers from scratch

Earlier in the week N wanted to make up a batch of ladyfingers. The goal was to make homemade Tiramisu, one of his favorite desserts but you need ladyfingers to make it. We searched high and low for ladyfingers in the stores last weekend, nobody sells them. Being the baker that I am I suggest that we just make them, "they can't be THAT hard" I said. So N gave them a whirl and ran in to some major egg white consistency issues. The whole beat until soft peaks form part was just not happening for him so he added more sugar, then more flour and also a touch of baking soda...

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Homemade holiday gifts are IN, what are you making?

My top search terms right now are homemade gift ideas. There is no doubt that the economy is impacting the way people are thinking about holiday shopping. People would rather make things to give as gifts because it saves money. I personally like creative homemade, do-it-yourself gifts because they are more from the heart than store bought ones. Plus I have a blast making gifts for people cause I am crafty like that. Now since so many are flocking here in search of homemade holiday gift ideas and craft projects I wanted to take a second to suggest some easy gift ideas for you to try this holiday season. If you want to check out the instructions just click on the linked text! you have a project you have written about on...

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Getting in to the fall spirit…

On Sunday (when I found out I was pregnant and won my wedding dress on ebay) N and I also went to the Englebrecht Apple Orchard where we collected 2 10lb bags of apples and had some quality time. In October we love to pick our own apples and make all kinds of yummy stuff, we even have preserved our apple creations for future enjoyment in past years. This year we thought it would be yummy and fun to get a ton of apples and have some fun in the kitchen. We paid $8.00 for the 20lbs of apples, that is not a bad price at all. Plus we got to pick all the apples ourselves which was fun. I was woozy and overheated but that didn't stop me from climbing a...

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I was not making porn I promise!

Just because I have a tripod set up at the end of the bed does not mean we were making porn! I am sure that is what the neighbors are thinking though. It's a kind of funny sight and thought so I snapped a photo of it and thought I would make it the title of this post. Nice huh? I am sure I'll get lots of 1 second hits from people searching for homemade porn now huh? Seriously though I was recording a video demonstration for another craft article I wrote. As I mentioned yesterday I sold another article and have been feeling highly motivated to write these days. Plus the search terms on this blog have been super instructional craft project oriented. The people have spoken and want more craft...

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Save money on grocery bills by beefing up your kitchen skills!

The best way to save money on your grocery bills is to change your cooking/ eating habits. How many of your groceries are convenience items? Making items from scratch is an incredible way to save money and have more meal options. Did you know you can make your own alfredo sauce from cream cheese, milk and butter? You already have milk and butter in the fridge so if you can score an 8oz container of cream cheese for a dollar you can save $2-$3 by making your own alfredo sauce as opposed to buying it ready made. I love buying whole roasting chickens because I can get 3-4 meals out of them and they are cheap! For the first meal we eat my famous salt roasted chicken, the left over chicken...

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Counting calories to GAIN weight…

Get ready, I have joined the bloggy giveaway carnival and my giveaway launched this morning! If you want a chance at winning a Custom Gifts by Talina exclusive check the giveaway post. I also wanted to post an update on my calorie count & gaining weight saga. Counting your calories shows you lots about your nutrition and can have a real effect of your weight if you find the magic number of calories you need to eat to obtain your ideal weight. I am using http://my-calorie-counter.com because it is free and easy to use. Looks like If I can consume 2400 calories per day I will be on tract to gaining some weight. Problem is I haven't gained anything yet. I am also having trouble eating that much per day and am...

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Old-Fashioned Know How- Do it yourself remedies part 2

Good lord! The people have spoken and apparently old-Fashioned Know How- Do it yourself remedies are a favorite among my readers and fellow stumblers. A few days ago I shared a microwave cleaner I discovered and I also shared a home made recipe for spackle or wall hole patch and the comments/ hits went through the roof! It's surprising to me that others are also interested in my old-fashioned, simpler ways of doing things obsession and now I am not so embarrassed to share my tips. You know many people think a not so old girl sharing these discoveries/ tips is a strange thing but I am really into all this simple living stuff and I am glad you are too! So here are a few more of my favorite bits of...

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Make your own Alfredo Sauce

I discovered a really yummy alternative to buying ready made Alfredo sauce! All you need is cream cheese, milk and some other simple ingredients. I really like this recipe and was amazed at how easy it was.. Don't think I'll buy ready made Alfredo sauce ever again. I copied the recipe from all recipies.com for your convenience. INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup butter (8 tbsp = 1 stick) 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese 2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 cups milk 6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper DIRECTIONS Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. You can add more or less milk depending on consistency preference. I like...

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Old-Fashioned Know How- Do it yourself remedies

I have always been interested in homemade remedies/ do it yourself remedies. Often times the remedies are cheaper, healthier and easier than conventional remedies plus they make you more self sufficient and they get you back to a simpler lifestyle. In earlier posts I talked about how to make simple yet helpful cleaning solutions with products you already have in your home. You can remove stains, disinfect, whiten your teeth and much more without buying expensive specialized products. In the next few weeks we are moving out of our current place and into an new one. This means massive amounts of cleaning and fixing will occur and I am trying to find simpler ways of doing this. My first old-fashioned know how concoction I want to share with you is homemade spackle- hole...

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Make it from scratch blog carnival – Feburary 5th 2008

Being able to say you made something is a great achievement and Make it From Scratch Carnival has so many great make it from scratch ideas that anyone can try! The most popular topic for this edition of make it from scratch is food, these ideas are mouthwatering and I can't wait to try some of them out! If you are looking for creative recipes you have come to the right place. One of the best ways to enjoy the food you eat is the raise it/ grow it yourself. This is the ultimate in self sufficiency and it's easier than ever to Get Started Growing Vegetables. Home grown veggies are not old delicious but they are also very rewarding! I know I enjoy freshly grown zucchini, green beans and perhaps some salad...

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Naturally and simply living- 1st edition

Happy new year everyone!! What is your resolution for the upcoming year, are you interested in living more simply and naturally? We are always looking for better ways to do things and we are very interested in getting back to the basics in life. Things like spending more time with family, adopting a more healthy diet, growing some of our own food, composting, recycling and all that good stuff! Have you ever needed to find a home remedy or a natural alternative? Did you find what you wanted searching the web? I thought it would be beneficial to offer some truly relevant and helpful information for you from writers all over the blogosphere! This is the goal of my naturally and simply living blog carnival. You can find submission info and...

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Finches leave the nest! Happy x-mas eve!

Yesterday I got a photo of two of my baby finches outside of the nest having a good time! My gray one and a cream colored one were hanging out on a perch together testing the waters! I am super excited and surprised that they are flying so early in their development! In other news our holiday kitchen madness has ended! We spent much of 12/22/07 making fudge, orange ham glaze, cinnamon raisin bread, rice crispy treats, chocolate dipped pretzels, English toffee, oatmeal raisin cookie mix, rustic soup mix and much more! We were canning, packaging and wrapping like crazy till about 2 am! We made up lots of good treats to give away to family and we had some fun too! I think the baking and crafting that we do...

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Get your free 2007 holiday E-book today!!

This year I got involved in a fun free holiday E-book. I submitted my favorite cookie recipe to the E-book and I am excited about trying all the fun recipes others have submitted to the E-book! If you need some holiday ideas you should check this out! The theme of this years E-book is centered around how to plan the best cookie swap ever. Each participating vendor was asked to share a tried and true family cookie recipe and or one of their family traditions. This years e-book is set up as follows: You will find a listing of all of the vendor's recipes and/or holiday tradition followed by their special offer with a link that is click-able to their website. The resource page is full...

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Cheesy Bone Doggie Treats and Snow

Well, Nathan and I went for an afternoon walk into downtown Flagstaff for some coffee and snacks. We took Dixie and ended up at Late for The Train to sit outside with our new doggie while we at pastries, drank coffee and got snowed on. Dixie loved the snow, my hands were cold but other than that it was a nice exercising walk. When we got home and thawed out I went searching for a doggie treat recipe that I could whip up. While I made the doggie treats I watched the snow from our kitchen window. I wanted to share the doggie treat recipe and the snow pictures with you. Cheesy Bone Treats 2 cups all purpose flour 1 1/4 cup cheese, any kind, shredded 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup water Preheat oven...

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