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Season 2 of Mudroom Diaries will return in 2020

I haven’t forgotten about this blog and I’m still working the farm, school, cooking and a new relationship so things have been a little time consuming.

My new year’s resolution is to turn this into a positive habit. They say journal keeping is a healthy habit.

Coming in the new year:

Jan – planning, planning, planning

Feb – deposit for two beehives, revamp the greenhouse with veggie starts,

Mar – lambs are due, piglets bought,

April – pick up bees, ready the garden space (we’ll be growing ~ 2/3 acre garden), early spring crops under row covers, chicks and turkeys,

May – garden, garden, garden

June – CSA open for customers, produce stand open for everyone

And so on and so forth…

January will see me hashing out this list better.

Happy Holidays!

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Country-fried Breakfast

What does a country momma do when she wakes up to no power?

Listen to the neighbor cut up the tree that fell on the lines while making coffee and breakfast.

It’s just a simple hash n eggs. Red onion, bacon and diced potatoes with a little Italian seasoning and eggs sunny side up.

Enjoy your breakfast and enjoy your day!

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Lazy Day on the Farm

Yesterday the girls and I said goodbye to our helper and spent the hottest part of the day inside. After dinner I decided to get a little work done.

Shennen is a selfie queen. I on the other hand am not.

It’s impossible to do anything without these girls wanting in on it.

So I figured it was a good time to introduce them to pulling the sled.

The load is light enough for me to pull but gave enough resistance to give the girls a taste. After yesterday’s successful introduction to working I caved and bought a harness.

I think it’s a little silly to show it on a toy but here goes nothing (in 2-5 days).

I won’t use the bit or blinders though just the harness body.

The rope just gave me a good idea on how the horses would react to a load.

Even Shennen got a turn. I put gloves on in case either decided it was too scary having the sled following them but they were both champs.

Shennen has gotten herself stuck in a few situations and has proven to be calm under pressure. A horse that doesn’t panic when stuck is a real blessing.

Cross your fingers for a quick delivery of the new harness. That’ll be our next real workout with the horses.

Until then the girls and I will put in a little elbow grease.

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The Perfect Home Gym

Optional workout equipment for rent as needed.

It works the whole body while adding a boost of Vita D.

The pond will be 40×60 and 5′ in the middle. Renting a tiller was the perfect (cheapest) solution for us.

It’s great for the entire family.

Hauling good pond dirt to the new garden on the other side of the shed in the middle. Ten loads between us 3 girls yesterday.

It’s stocked with fresh flowers all summer long.

Has some really cool mascots.

Shennen will help with the work I’m going slow with her training

And after your workout cooling off is the best part.

5 minutes from home our favorite place to cool off

Oh and dinner is always on the house.

Smoked pig leg. Low and slow for 6hrs.

Courtesy of Frank.

Guaranteed to burn enough calories to enjoy a couple of beers and dessert. Whichever suits your fancy.

My day’s workout in a nutshell.

We’re refurbishing the pond to make it year-round and deep enough to add some trout. The dirt is being hauled to a washed out pasture that’s being built up for better use. This year we’ll garden it after the pond dirt and barn compost is added.

Our growing year tends to last until November so we have plenty of time to get starts in the ground for a hefty fall harvest.

Luckily for us this summer has been cooler and wetter than usual making garden season easy even now in July. Most years we’d be watering the pastures but mother nature appears to be on our side.

Maybe I did something right because Karma has been my best friend lately.

We had to say goodbye to our helper for another week but it’s been a fun mid-week weekend working on the farm.

Today the girls and I are sitting out the heat of the day. This evening we’ll get back to it.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer and whatever happenings you’ve got going on.

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Biscuit Bites and Gravy

This is the cook book (1963) that got me started here on the farm 14yrs ago. It’s my go-to when I need a quick reminder. It’s also where I send my kids when they need a basic recipe.

I confess I have created a few adjustments to the favorites. For my biscuits I use this basic recipe but instead of using shortening I dice up cold butter and leave it lumpy in the batter. This creates an amazing buttery biscuit. I also add an egg.

This morning we’re driving breakfast an hour north to share with my elderly aunt. She’s been a godsend my entire life. It’s the least I can do. Because we’re sharing I thought it would be fun to make miniature biscuits. Easy for dipping into the gravy.

The gravy is the easiest way to make any breakfast, lunch or dinner so much more.


  • 3 bratwurst, casings removed
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3-4tbsp flour
  • ~1.5 cups of milk

Brown the sausage, add the butter, mix the flour into about 1/4 of cold water and then add it to the sausage.

If you add the flour straight to the sausage it will stick. Mixing the flour in the water first makes a smooth consistent gravy.

Then add milk and mix until the gravy is at the consistency that you want. If you like a thicker gravy add less milk, if you want it thinner add more.

Remember all measurements are approximates as I tend to eye-ball everything in the kitchen.

8 o’clock I better get this gravy in a dish and hit the road.

Enjoy your breakfast and your day!

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Dinner $5 per person!?

Being someone who cooks mostly from scratch I attract the attention of skeptics. The short conversation usually goes something like, “I can eat out cheaper than cooking at home.” which generally has words like McDonald’s, whatever Chinese food restaurant and Denny’s or whatever cheap food is available around town.

Last night I was approached with the idea that dinner can’t be made for under $10 therefore eating out is cheaper. If you’re a home cook you know it’s not true unless you just don’t watch your numbers or portions but if you do then hands down it’s cheaper to cook than to pay someone else to cook.

I’m seriously considering doing some copycat meals of popular fast-food just to prove a point. I haven’t bought fast-food in a couple of months and generally don’t but it might be fun to see what I can do in the kitchen. We’ll see.

This post is one fantastic meal for 4 that is less than $20 to make. It’s not beautiful but it was pretty good. I’ve never been great at technical names for food but from a short spell on google I’ve come down to it’s either a veggie and beef ragu or ragout. I call it a ragu but I also call my pancake flipper Jack. So…

If you follow the slide show, I just saute a few sliced up veggies then put them in a bowl while I brown the cubed chuck roast. When the chuck is browned on all sides I toss the veggies back on top with a can of tomato paste some dijon mustard and a little wine and let the flavors stew for a couple of hours on low heat. When the meat is fork tender I remove it from the veggies and put them in the blender to make the sauce. I like leaving the meat chunky but a person could blend that also.

Then serve it on your favorite pasta. I used spaghetti but it would work with just about anything. The veggies are easily switched up also. Even the pickiest eaters will be eating vegetables without knowing it.


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Just a Mom?

For about 18 years I’ve been a mom, homemaker and potentially significant to an other. Naturally, with kids I’ve gravitated towards cooking or at least learning something about it, about 14 years ago after acquiring my little piece of paradise I’ve become intrigued by the process of growing the food that I cook. This is the basis of the blog I’m attempting to set up. I would like to think that I appeal to the average housewife/husband. I watch a little too much TV, my house could use a little more attention, I could stand to lose a few pounds or at least exchange some of this fat for muscle, somewhere in the back of my mind I figure if I have a Bachelors degree I will somehow be able to achieve a higher status so I’m back in school. I have bad habits and guilty pleasures. Mostly I live vicariously through my kids and whatever is streaming through my Ruko stick. I am single which adds a bizarre twist to the whole thing. Mostly though, hopefully, I’ll share my love of growing and making food.

In the past 14 years I’ve gotten familiar with growing, processing and cooking some livestock and garden produce. I’ve yet to write about it, maybe because I was so new it was a lot of trial and error or maybe the lack of sit down time. This year I will be experimenting, practicing and perfecting a lot of rabbit, lamb, chicken and quail dishes as these are the primary livestock on my little piece of property along with garden produce. I want to add on a couple of pigs and turkey after I hang up the lambs which will give me a little more room. If ambition plays a role in all of this I hope to train my two miniature horses to pull and help out on the farm. I like the idea of avoiding buying another tractor though it would definitely make some of the heavy lifting easier.

I’m in the process of making a meat locker so I can butcher animals year round without worrying about meat spoiling. I’m moving my garden this year with the goal to build up a partially washed out pasture and improve upon it. Three small livestock barns with a winter’s worth of compost should help with that project along with digging out a fish pond that’s been on my to-do list since I moved here and an abundant garden should have that pasture looking pretty good by the end of this year. I’m also going to be selling garden “kits”, salsa garden with tomatoes, peppers and such, salad garden with a variety of lettuce, carrots and peas, so on and so forth with the hope to help fund my growing and cooking adventures and get my kitchen remodel finally finished.

With all that information coming at you I hope you will follow along my little venture, maybe I’ll teach you a few things about the kitchen and garden that you don’t know and maybe you all will teach me a thing or two. This is my last full summer before my teenager heads off to college so I guess maybe I’m hoping to teach her a few more things in the kitchen to help her avoid the college diet of ramen and mac n cheese.

Oh and I almost forgot to mention we have honey bees coming in mid-April. So much fun I’ll be sharing with you this year.