Beautiful Day

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Homestead Blessings Cookbook Review

                                 Product image

When Franklin Springs introduced their "Homestead Blessings" video series, we were intrigued.  And from the beginning we liked the West Ladies.  This mother and daughter foursome are ladies after our own hearts---only they have the land and experiences that far surpass ours!  Country Girls and I were quite enthusiastic to explore more of the homestead arts with them and enjoyed our own cozy mother-daughter evenings gleaning ideas from them.  This is just one of our delights--learning about old-fashioned ways of living and experimenting with just about anything when it comes to home crafts and food.  We rather grew fond of  Vicki and her adult daughters Jasmine, CeCe, and Hannah with their sweet southern charm.  We admired their farm kitchen, their ways of re-purposing materials, and how they made everything look lovely--true ladies of dominion.  We were fond of their clothing, which gave us some inspiration.  My Country Girls love everything from their amazing gardens to their wood cookstove and their old treadle sewing machine.

We've had fun trying out some of their ideas and recipes.  One of my favorite experiments was making my own mozzarella cheese!  My girls often speak of wishing we could have our own miniature dairy cow to supply our family's whole dairy needs.


So we were thrilled to find that the West Ladies compiled a cookbook!   And we think It's a Blessing (as Vicki is so fond of saying in her videos)!  We've been eagerly cooking up these recipes.  It's so fun to have my daughters get equally excited to try some new ones.  As they are the breakfast chefs around here, they have enjoyed rejuvenating the breakfast menu.  Sourdough Pancakes, Breakfast Sandwich, Sunflower-Maple Porridge, and Overnight Rye Porridge have all been served and deemed a success by the whole family--now that is certainly a blessing!

When the weather warms up I think we shall be most eager to try out "Stonewall Jackson's Lemonade."  (You have to know a certain fact about the man to appreciate this one).  Country Girl 1 has also made "Cecilia's Country Cornbread" just so she could make Johnny Cakes--another thing from the Civil War era, though I am sure these taste far beyond anything they could have served up to Civil War soldiers!!

We have yet to make up the soup and salad recipes and many of the dinner entrees.  But we have made the tasty "Oven Beef Stroganoff" and tomorrow I plan to try out the "Sloppy Joe Lentils."  I've made such a lentil recipe before with my own favorite Sloppy Joe recipe, but I made a mistake in how I prepared the lentils, so I'm looking forward to a reason to try again!

There are plenty of delicious "Sweet Things" to try out as well, with an abundance of recipes that would come fresh from the berry patch or orchard (can't wait for that summer fruit!), or at least from the canning of such.  We shall also have to try "Hannah's No-fry Doughnuts" since we like to prepare doughnuts that don't ask us to deep fry them in oil.  And of course, one cannot have a true southern homestead cookbook without a recipe for "Old Fashioned Banana Pudding."

There's even a chapter on things you might prepare for your pantry shelf--this includes a variety of things from raw ketchup (which we've made) and sweetened condensed milk to bug sprays and bubbles.

I like the anecdotal stories told by each of the West Ladies and I particularly like the sections on using a Wood Cookstove and Cast Iron.   In my Tasha-Tudor, quiet-life, homestead- imaginings, I would cook exclusively that way!  But the side of me that appreciates time-saving (and work-saving) would opt to have a modern cookstove as well.  But I really do love cast-iron---especially since my Tender Warrior has taken to seasoning them up oh, so nicely for me!  My girls and I would LOVE to have an outdoor kitchen if we had the space and ability.  It sounds perfect to be able to can and cook outdoors in the summer without heating up the house!

The West Ladies are very whole food and nutrition conscious as well, so you will find a bit of dietary information as well.  And scattered throughout the cookbook are plenty of Vicki's "What a Blessing" homestead kitchen tips.

I think this will be one of those rare cookbooks, for us, that we could actually see ourselves trying just about every recipe in it.  That's a fun challenge to consider.
These ladies are talented in so many areas--we certainly find it a blessing to learn from them!

If you'd like to take a peek at Homestead Blessings and the life of the West Ladies, visit here.  Be sure to listen to their wonderful "Green Beans in the Garden" Song!



  1. I love the West Ladies too. I just received the Homestead Blessings Cookbook and I'm ready to get cooking! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  2. I made "Cecilia's Country Cornbread" was so yummy! :)

  3. Kelly,
    I'm glad you've had opportunity to jump right in and start cooking! I hope you'll have as much fun with their cookbook as we are. The "Enchilada Casserole" is very good too!



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