Mini Homestead…In A Trailer Park

Learning to Live for the Future

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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Homemade Food Gifts: The Cooks’ Gift

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on December 4, 2010

baked cookies

Image by roboppy via Flickr

(This is – I think 🙂 – the last article in the Homemade Food Gifts series being posted by me on the Frugal Recipes blog. I hope that you have all enjoyed the series.)

If you have taken the time to make the homemade vinegars, oils and butters that have been featured here on the Frugal Recipes blog as of late, then you have a great base for a cooks’ holiday gift. If you have made the dried herb gifts, you will be able to add them to this. All of these items, combined with some homemade baked goods, will make a great gift.

Place the a combination of these items in a large gift bag or basket.

You can add to this gift, if you have affordable ways of obtaining certain other items. For instance, why not add some homemade knitted or crocheted dish cloths to the gift. A dollar store will net you wooden cooking spoons and rubber spatulas, or even dish towels. I once found two large metal pots at a yard sale for .50 each. They were old, but looked almost new. A thrift shop may net you a hand grater for a quarter, or a couple of whisks. If you have been lucky enough to find such deals, create gifts with them.


  • Combine in a container. No need to wrap.
  • If you choose to use a basket, they can be found affordably at thrift shops.
  • I once found four large baskets at a yard sale for $1.00 each.


What food gifts do you give at the holidays? Please share with us in the comments below.




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

A Thanksgiving Post

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 10, 2010

turkey in the gourds

Image by Scorpions and Centaurs via Flickr

I love Thanksgiving. I love all of the baking and stove top cooking. I love the decorating. I love having my family gathered within my home. I love the aromas of the food cooking, and of the candles. It is a wonderful time. This is about how it is (planned) to go at my home this year:

The day before: Be sure I have everything I need. Bake 4 types of breads, and two pies. See which of these Zowie wants to make. Pick up the house in preparation for company. Be sure to freshen blankets in the dryer for Skye and Jonas to use. Remind Skye to bring pillows. Make sure all dishes are clean.

Thanksgiving morning: Get the mulled cider warming in the slowcooker. Put the bird and the vegetables in the oven. Set out the breads for snacking. Have Skye make the cheesecakes. Make sure everything else is ready for the cooktop.

Afternoon: Set out all food, plates, beverages, etc. Eat with my daughters (Skye and Zowie), Jonas (Skye’s boyfriend), my sister and my nephews. Great times! Sitting around the living room, eating, laughing and joking. My kitchen is too small for a table :). After dinner clean-up. Bringing out of Yule and Christmas decors. Watching Thanksgiving shows, taking down decors and decorating the Yule tree! Skye, Zowie and Jonas all spending the night.

The morning after: Jonas makes breakfast 🙂 I relax. I will, however, clean up after breakfast.

Sounds like a great time to me 🙂

I love Thanksgiving. I do not celebrate the Thanksgiving that is normally celebrated, as it is not historically correct – and not good. But I celebrate family, and all of the things that I am grateful for. I love staying home on this day and cooking. And I love my family being here. It is all so homey.

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Do you make wonderful decorations for your table?

Possibly decorating with a gourd theme? Napkins, placemats, and candle holders can be created easily.

Maybe pumpkins are more your style. If so, consider these napkins, placemats and candle holders.

Still, you may prefer to decorate with apples. If this is the case, then try these crafts: Napkins, placemats and candle holders.

You may also wish to make pumpkin bowls to serve soups in.

And, let’s not forget about all of those wonderful leftovers. So many dishes can be created using them, that are quite tasty 🙂

I hope that each and everyone of of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving. One filled with joy and love.


Posted in Autumn Holidays, Crafting, Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 11/24/2008

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 24, 2008

Well, the reason why it had been so cold was because we were headed for some snow, which arrived in time for our Saturday morning viewing. We woke up and there it was. Early to be sure. Last year it snowed a little before Christmas.

Anyway, I got to walk in the snow, and boy was it cold! We brought in all of the outside autumn decorations, except for the wreath on the door. The outside stuff will be put away as soon as it is all dry.

So, we have been getting caught up on chores. I have also stocked the pantry shelves some more with items on sale, and I had coupons for them, as well as some Family Dollar items with coupons.

3 Joy dish washing liquid at .77 each

4 Suave shampoo at .75 each

2 Ajax dish washing liquid at .80 each

6 bread mixes at $1.50 each – this is how we quickly and easily bake mini breads for everyone at the holidays. We only do these from scratch: pumpkin, apple, banana and zucchini. We do these from boxes: lemon poppy seed, apple cinnamon, cinnamon swirl.

2 cake mixes at .50 each.

2 sugar at $1.79 each

2 frosting at $1.50 each

6 Pasta Sides at .67 each

2 garlic bread at $1.00 each

4 Campbell’s Tomato Soup at .25 each


We have also begun making gifts for the holidays: candles (I made a separate post to tell you how.), and my nephew is making pictures and piggy banks for littler family members right now.

We are currently watching Little Men, which Isaiah is enjoying very much. We just finished Young Riders and Father Murphy.

We are also watching season 2 of The Waltons.

Our turkey is thawing in the refrigerator, and we will begin the holiday cooking by baking on Wednesday. We are having my sister and nephews over for the meal on Thursday, and they will bring stuffing, stuffed celery and a pie.


Posted in Family Matters, Mini Homestead Happenings, Money Matters, Stock Up on Foods and More | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thanksgiving Plans for the Mini Homestead

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 18, 2008

I would like to say that fresh turkey will be served at my Thanksgiving meal, but we do not have turkeys. I did purchase two frozen turkeys at about .59 a pound, paying just under $10.00 each. We will use one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. That was a great deal, less than we spent last year.

I will be looking into raising turkeys for when I have my land, which will give me room to keep them. Any tips would be helpful.

(I have a notebook where I am recording what I want/need to know about everything homestead related that will apply to me.)

I would also like to say that all of our vegetables are home canned, but I can’t. While I did grow peas, which is a food that we will enjoy on Thanksgiving, we ate them all fresh from the garden. And, I have not yet learned to can. I am looking for an affordably priced canner and water bath unit to begin my trials with. Maybe even free. Tips for canning are also welcome.

We will, however, be doing some of our own baking from scratch, in that we will be making pumkin pie, a couple of different types of bread, cheesecake, and probably apple pie. We are part way to making a totally homemade Thanksgiving tradition.

My sister and her two sons will join us for our meal. There will be only 5 of us this year, as my daughter Skye lives too far away. We will see her just before Christmas.

I always begin decorating for Christmas after the Thanksgiving meal cleanup. We listen to Christmas music while doing this. And Zowie, even at the age of 16, loves to watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving show.


Posted in Food Preservation, Gardening, Turkeys | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

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