Mini Homestead…In A Trailer Park

Learning to Live for the Future

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Posts Tagged ‘homemade’

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 »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 12/8/2008

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on December 8, 2008

I have been sick for a few days now. The worst part is, when I have a cold, my asthma kicks in pretty bad. And we have had two very cold days since Friday. I am reassured, once the cold is mostly gone, I will be able to breath well again.

Saturday I stayed on the couch all day watching Christy episodes and Loves Enduring Promise, as well as looking at homesteading magazines.

Zowie had made tomato soup for lunch, and she helped me to make homemade chicken soup for dinner. It was very good, and we are having leftovers today.

We helped a friend clean all day yesterday, as well as take down Thanksgiving things and replace them with Christmas things. We are helping her to prepare for the month. He husband has to have surgery on the 16th, so they will be in Boston for about a week. Then he will have a five month recovery period at home.

As a treat afterward, Zowie treated us to a movie at the theater. We saw Twilight, which we enjoyed very much.

I am refusing to go outside at all today. It is only about 7* outside right now, feeling like about a -9*. My lungs will not be able to take it. I had to tell the girl that I babysit for that I could not bring her daughter to school today, and she will send her daughter here on the bus this afternoon so that I do not have to go out.

Isaiah is studying while I write this post. He is learning about cause and effect in his reading book, and is finished with his writing assignment.

Zowie is running the dishwasher and preparing to leave for one of her classes, and I am contemplating posts for other blogs.

I hope you are all doing well.


Posted in Mini Homestead Happenings, Winter Holidays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Homemade Candles from Old Candle Remains

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 24, 2008

So yesterday Isaiah (my nephew), Zowie and I made candles. We are still working on them today.

We don’t actually know how to make candles, mind you. We had tons of candle ends, and used wax melts, that we needed to do something with. Plus we had all kinds of candle jars/holders. We decided to reuse these items to make holiday gifts.


leftovers from used candles

used wax melts

used candle jars/holders

wicking – I purchased mine from Joanne Fabric. They have the metal ends for easy handling. They are $2.99 per package.

metal cans from soups, etc. Washed and labels removed.


something to stir each cans contents in


*** This can be time consuming, but it is easy. Please do not let small children use sharp knives by themselves.

1. Before you begin, you will want to cut the used candles into chunks. Remove wicking (saving longer pieces or pieces with the metal to reuse for ‘new’ candles.) You can separate like colors into different bowls, but I just throw them all into a large bowl, even the smallest shavings, and pick through them as I need them.

I do mix and match colors.

2. Wash out, and dry thoroughly, all candle jars/holders.

3. Now you are ready to begin. Fill pot(s) about 1/2 way with water and put on stove to boil on high heat. When boiling, reduce to medium heat.

4. While water is boiling, fill each can with the color(s) you wish to start with.

5. Put the cans in the pots and allow the wax to melt, stirring sometimes. Take wicking and dunk each one of the bottoms into melted wax, then put each in the center of one of the jars/holders.

6. Now pour melted wax into jars/holders, leaving a little head space.

7. When solidified, you will want to add just a little more wax to each to even out the surfaces.

*** You can either use just one color, or you can layer the colors by pouring in a little at a time and allowing it to solidify before adding the next layer.

Posted in Crafting | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »

Mini Homestead Tasks

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on September 24, 2008

I have some things that I need to do before winter hits. Oddly, it is already cold outside at night, sometimes freezing. In previous years, children would still be wearing shorts to school and it would be hot during the day at this time, but not so this year. He is my recent to-do list:

  • Plug in the heat tape under the trailer.
  • Bank the trailer.
  • Pull plants from the garden and compost them.
  • Stir up the compost real well.
  • Add soil from planters to compost.
  • Put away decorative lawn items.
  • Decorate for Halloween (outside = children do, inside = I do.)
  • Clean up the yard, though we do tend to keep up with this all year.
  • Hang homemade bird feeders and fruit.
  • Hang herbs to dry.
  • Begin work on curtain for the door.
  • Bake bread/muffins to freeze.
  • Create freezer meals for ease during the holiday season.
  • Put plastic into the windows.
  • Change shower head, use a water saving one.
  • Have furnace cleaned.
  • Vacuum out the heater vents.
  • Vacuum out the furnace area and rinse the screen.
  • Organize and dust pantry area.
  • Change screens.
  • Wash the fans.
  • Purchase new light bulbs.

So, I am wondering what people on real homesteads do to prepare for winter.


Posted in Food Preservation, Gardening | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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