Brownies Baby

There’s nothing like homemade food, most especially when it is made from traditional ingredients. Here’s a great, simple brownie you can stuff your face with and walk off the regrets later.

  • 2 sticks of butter, left on the counter to reach room temp
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour, I use sunflour because of its fine soft, texture
  • 1 cup cocoa powder

Preheat your oven to 375*F. Grease your rectangle or square pan. I use parchment paper in mine then I rub butter on the parchment. Start by blending the butter down smooth. Then add the sugar and blend until creamy. Add your eggs 1 egg at a time to get it to blend together quickly. Now add the vanilla. You should now get your sifter out and sift half the flour and cocoa into your bowl and mix. Then incorporate the last half of your dry ingredients. This makes a very thick batter.

Pour your batter into your pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and come back out dirty from moist brownie but not wet with batter.

Take them out to cool and enjoy! It’s fire with homemade ice cream y’all. I don’t play around with the whole you don’t want too much chocolate idea, most recipes call for 3/4 or 7/8 cup. No, this sister rounds that last bit up and cups it the whole way.

Busy Bee

I know many people have had their lives grind to halt the last few months and I hate that for them. I tell you what though, things are hoping around here! Brandon has made me 5 new raised bed boxes, we fixed up the big raised bed Daddy made me in college, and some of my yard and countless buckets have been sacrificed this year for food growth!

I’ve got radishes, rainbow carrots, tomatoes, peas, corn, green beans, okra, onions, garlic, kale, spinach, lettuce, bok choy, pok choy, watermelon, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, mint, sage, rhubarb, oregano, dill, cilantro, marigolds, thyme, and peppers. Man alive! I have been working after work every day and passing out at night without writing articles. My apologies but I will write about how to make the boxes soon.

A Trip to the Past

Pepaw and Uncle Rufus

As our culture is continually speeding up and socialism gains more ground in our country, our elderly people are often left behind to suffer the most. Not to mention how many who buy into the socialist plague that the elderly offer no value to society. These are the people who taught you, or tried to teach you, everything you know, the people who sacrificed for you to have a better life, and let’s not forget those horrible poop diapers. Yet, our culture tells us when they slow down we have to focus on ourselves and push them out of our lives or discard them like dirty rags. Let me tell you, I have spent the majority of my life primarily with elderly people and this culture could not be more wrong.

Grandmother 1950s or 60s

These elderly people may take more time to get somewhere but they are invaluable to us if we just listen and watch, and if you do something for them, I promise you no matter how seemingly insignificant it is, they will be so grateful to you for it they often can’t contain their gratitude. Their souls cry out for you to see them as they once were, the strong, capable young person that once conquered this world and is now left with the consequences of age.

Grandmother putting peanut butter chips on the cupcakes ws made for my brother

Grandmother’s mother, who I had wrote about on page 1 of my garden section, passed away while I was still in college 5 years ago. That was a devastating time for everyone here but especially for Grandmother. I watched her as she struggled deeply with this for some time and seemingly age double what she should have.

Memaw 1940s

As things often have a way happening in a grand way around our family, this last year has brought the shock of Grandmother losing 3 of her brothers and a sister within months. Life as an elderly person or someone, like myself, who has been crippled in some way is already difficult as you try to find new ways around your problems or just do without, but the added shock of grief is enough to take the wind out of your sails.

Great-great Grandmother Epperson, Grandmother, Aunt Johnnie, Billie, and Vire Lue Morgan.

Grandmother is a very resilient woman though, she is not one to mope around. She wants to do something to keep her busy and to keep what strength she can.

Aunt Catherine and her dog

So when grandmother mentioned how much she wanted to go to the old place that was the first home she remembered living in when Pepaw came back from WWII and gather up some of the iris that Memaw had planted those 70 something years ago I knew we had to go. It is a quiet and secluded area up and surrounded by woods.

I had been many times myself and loved the mostly undisturbed place’s beauty. The old corn crib still stood fairly solid and beautifully reminiscent of simpler times. The house simple and beautiful, though, the floors much too far gone to be entered most all of my life. The old well pump with its beautiful curves and promised danger if you venture too close. The lush green grasses of the back yard and where the barn once stood. The quiet, beautiful pond where the deer love to drink from when they come back from grazing the lush pasture, now turned wheat field. The front yard was by far the most magnificent, however, those few iris and buttercup from over 70 years ago had multiplied into the hundreds, proudly displaying their colors and their thick straight leaves as they push through the rich, untouched dirt year after year. Lilies spill from the locust tree base down the little drainage ditch.

Today was the day. We finally had a few dry days, the temperature was decent and Grandmother was ready to go. We grabbed some totesacks and a shovel and headed down to the next drive. We stopped at the entrance where there is a cable to keep people from tearing up the fields and we started our half mile trek up the hilly dirt drive with locked arms. We stopped here and there to rest and she told us what used to be here and what was there and how she used to run along behind the tractor when Pepaw was plowing until he plowed up a snake out of the ground and that put an end to that. We had an escort, too, we followed a turkey most of the way up the hill until her nerves wouldn’t take anymore and she flew off. When we got to the side pasture she talked about the milk cows Memaw milked every day and how her older sister would grab a pea can and get herself a fresh drink of milk every day.

*beef cattle on the family farm now*

She talked about how Catherine would go to the creek and do her bathing when she stayed with them. Then we reached the top of the drive, where the land plateaued to a meadow with the old house and corn crib surrounded by trees, Grandmother showed us where Pepaw had put up an electric line for the chickens.

I remember Pepaw raising chicks until he was too sick to do it anymore

She told us how it was taken down shortly after as her brother, Randal, had grabbed the wire and was unable to turn it loose without Memaw prying his hands off it. She showed where the barn once stood and told us how there was a patch of sumac she and Johnnie would play under. She talked about having jumped off the back porch into 3 foot snow and climbing the corn crib by sticking her toes between the cracks. As the walls of the house are now see through, she pointed where the kitchen was, “a bedroom to that side, and over there, and the livingroom was back there.”

Grandmother had told me, when I was younger, about how their stove had gone out one year and Memaw simply took out the oven rack, dug her out a place in the hill and cooked from there until they saved up for a new stove.

” I remember when I had given Daddy the mumps and the measles and we laid in the bed that was over there. We could see Momma cooking in the kitchen from there. He was so sick he couldn’t get out bed for 3 days.” Then we rounded the corner to the front, Grandmother gasped in awe as she finally got to see the multitude of flowers I had told her about. Brandon shoveled up a few and we made our way back to the truck.

Now, this took very little time and effort for us. Grandmother got to be young and with her family again in her memories and we learned important family and life history. She was so grateful she could not contain herself when we got back to the house. So I ask you why is it so hard to take a few moments to make someone feel better? To treat someone with human dignity? If you truly have no heart I pray God will come into your life and give you a new heart and new eyes. May the blood of Jesus cover you and make you new so that you may go out and make this world a better place.

It is as easy believing Jesus came from heaven to live a sinless life so that He could take the punishment for our sins because God knows it is our nature to choose to listen to satan’s lies and take the easy way out but God loves us so much and wants to be with us so much He sacrificed a part of Himself, His Son, so that we would have a new life with Him and we can spend our after life rejoicing with Jesus. No sin is too great and no person is so far gone that the Almighty God can’t reach. You see once you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, He covers you with His pure and holy blood so that God no longer looks on you as a sinner because your bill has been paid by Jesus’s death and resurrection. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and take over your life. Trust Him to do it and turn from your past. He will help you because He wants to.

Spring is a comin’

Is there anything so beautiful to the arthritic soul as the sounds of frogs and toads coming out of their hibernation? The sudden growth of wild onions and dandelions, then grass and other flowers making their debut? It is more delightful than any red carpet dress made. The gradual climb in sunlight and temperatures brings relief straight to the bones!

Grab a cup of coffee in the mornings and take in the music as the sun comes up and your cup of tea at night as the poems and lullabies rush in. Celebrate the fresh air and abundance of fresh produce to come and relax a little, it’s good medicine!

CULTIVATING HEALTH IN THE FACE OF A PANDEMIC

Citrus is high in antioxidant vitamin C

I want to share a fairly easy way we fight illness with our family. We have been doing this for several years now. This is great for everyday use too! This is a lactoferment that helps strengthen your body’s defenses.

Grab you some oranges and lemons, mainly because they have the most pleasing flavor and have tons of vitamin C, have however many glass jars in whatever size you want and the lids and rings to match how many you are wanting to make, and find some raw honey. The best honey is raw and local but if you can’t find some truly local please look at your bottle at the grocery stores and make sure your honey is from the USA.

Wash your hands, all the items you will be using, all your kitchen surfaces, and your fruits. Be careful to wash and sanitize but also be sure to rinse away all sanitizers completely because any leftover will kill the good bacteria we are trying to cultivate. Take your citrus fruits and chop them into halves, then in half again lengthwise, and further slice those down into quarter inch slices crosswise. This makes little triangles that will increase the surface area to promote good fermentation and double as chewy treats when used! Place a layer of equal parts lemon and orange slices into your very clean jar. Pour or spoon a layer of honey and use something with a flat end to press the air out of your layers. Continue this process until the jar is about half an inch or so from being completely full. You will then place your lid and loosely place your ring onto the jar and place the jar into a bowl to catch any drips. Place your jar in a warm area away from the sun for 2 to 3 days. During this time the good bacteria will break down the sugars and release gas so you will need to burp your jars once a day by unscrewing the ring and lifting the lid, but not taking it entirely off, to release the gas. The honey also draws all the moisture out of the citrus sometimes leading to the jar overflowing thus creating the need for the bowl you place your jar in. Honey is a natural antibiotic, the enzymes and good bacteria release small amounts of hydrogen peroxide killing bad bacteria and the antioxidants in honey fight damage from toxins. The combination of the benefits of honey and the citrus fruits is already pretty outstanding before fermentation, but adding in the additional support of the probiotics that cultivate during fermentation is priceless.

When you can see that the honey has now turned thin with juice, the peels on the fruit are darker, and it might even be a little bubbly in about 3 days total, you are ready to start using your healthade! Simply put a spoonful or 2 in some hot water or into some peppermint tea, my usual favorite, and enjoy!

  • Healthade
    • Food items:
      • Lemons
      • Oranges
      • Raw honey
    • Utensils:
      • Glass jars
      • Knife
      • Flat bottom utensil
      • Jar lids
      • Jar rings
      • Bowl
    1. You, your kitchen, your produce, and your utensils should always be well cleaned and sanitized.
    2. Cut your lemons and oranges into small triangles.
    3. Place a layer of fruit in the bottom of your jar.
    4. Place a layer of honey over the fruit.
    5. Use a flat bottom utensil to press out any air in your layers.
    6. Repeat process until the jar is almost full.
    7. Place your jar in a bowl and move it to a warm dark place.
    8. Allow your jar to sit for 2-3 days.
    9. Burp your jars daily.
    10. Enjoy!

Ephesians 3:12 kjv

Through Jesus Christ, we can have boldness in our speech as we speak about Him, and boldness as we live knowing that death is gain. Through Jesus, we also get access to the Father, whom we wouldn’t have access to without Jesus. Beyond that, we can come to the Father confidently in the name of Jesus because Jesus covers us. He puts on us His perfection and victory over sin. Through Jesus, by faith, we get great rewards. To begin your daily devotion download now:- https://link.biblebychrist.com/1ux2

This is from the free app Holy Bible KJV. The app can be used without data or internet so it is perfect for anywhere. There is a daily devotional that is short and very the entire bible can accessed through it for pocket sized and moments notice references.

I love this bible app as it has helped me in getting closer to God. It has features like share, bookmark, add notes and much more. To begin your daily devotion download this now:- https://link.biblebychrist.com/mVFa

What to do for chronic pain: Natural remedies for chronic pain associated with chronic illness.

If you suffer from pain caused by chronic illness or any non acute pain chances are pretty good you have tried prescription drug therapy, among other modern treatments, but have you read the long term effects of those treatments? Man alive I am here to tell you I want to be better and not worse! I am also one of many people who are sensitive to drug treatment of any kind, including the milder NSAIDs. This lead me to be just desperate enough to try natural remedies *insert magic noises*. Please check with your doctor and your pharmacist, of course, before changing anything, quitting anything, or adding anything. As we were told in pharmacology, this stuff is real and can have a real impact on your health. Do be mindful and use good sense. Do not do like the general population and go to extremes. Your body is made to be balanced and it works hard to maintain that balance. If I ever take a supplement, for example, and the directions are to take 2 I will only take 1. Most people believe that you can’t get enough good but when reality comes knocking on your door she will tell you that you have had too much. Be responsible and learn to think appropriately for yourself and listen to your body. Any changes should also be made gradually to allow for your body to adjust to a new normal range. I’m going to talk about my personal experiences with the remedies that I studied up on, and I am a scientist so the world should know wikipedia is not considered a reliable source, and I use personally. Everyone has different body structure and chemistry and may need to do things differently but you have to start somewhere. My philosophy is that if someone complains to me about a problem but they will not try a solution to their problem then they simply aren’t desperate enough yet. Friends the amount of pain I experience is reason enough for me.

My personal daily routine, along with being more serious about the restrictions I have now, keeps me feeling better than I was before I had started. In the mornings my my body is stiff and it feels as if my foot bones go straight through my flesh. I noticed that when I sleep with compression socks on that there is no foot weirdness going on the next morning and my legs feel more refreshed than stiff. I started wearing compression socks when I was working 18 hour shifts at the hospital. My legs would practically kill me even on my days off and I stayed exhausted. I bought a pair of compression socks desperate for some relief without taking something addictive or that would damage my organs. I found that on the days I wore them I genuinely felt better. I was less tired and my legs didn’t hurt quite as bad. Now I have a desk job and I wear business casual clothes with flats most days and it looks odd with compression socks. However, I love how they make my legs feel so I started sleeping in them and noticed the improvement in my mornings! At times when my legs and feet are extra sore and aching I will rub them down with Arnica Warming Relief Massage Oil before putting my socks on. I had previously used Wonder Oil but it has been discontinued, unfortunately, it had a wonderful orange smell. This is simple, natural, and cheap and I have gotten relief by doing this. The added bonus of soft, sandal ready feet is the icing on the cake, too.

Moist heat has long been touted for its healing and pain relief. Moist heat is soothing and relaxing. A warm shower is a great way to start the day. Especially if you have some soap with peppermint oil in it. The smell is refreshing and energizing while the menthol it contains helps boost circulation. It is also best to do some light stretching when getting started in the morning. This helps with circulation and to loosen your body up, as well.

At times when you are extremely painful and you have time enough, a warm bath with Epsom salts and baking soda can be a relief. This has the moist heat but also the magnesium content of the Epsom salts helps to ease muscles. Magnesium is a necessary nutrient for muscle contractions and for bone composition. A lack of magnesium can lead to muscle cramping but too much taken can be a sure way to stay on the toilet! This is taken internally for low magnesium levels but also for its laxative effects. The amount absorbed through your skin is normally not enough to make one nervous enough to carry toilet paper around though. The baking soda is a cleaning agent and a softener that is also said to detoxify. The recommended detox bath for patients taking chemotherapy treatments is 1 cup of Epsom salts and 1 cup of baking soda in warm bath water for 30 minutes. If it works well enough to help patients recover from something as serious as chemotherapy I believe it can offer a lot to all of us.

Speaking of water, our bodies are primarily made from water and function better when they are well hydrated. Drinking plenty of clean water will keep joints lubricated and waste flushed out of your system. Your joints and your kidneys will thank you.

Have you seen the commercials that say “a body in motion stays in motion”? It’s true. In the same way that an engine or a hinge will seize up or rust together your joints lock up and you lose muscle tone necessary for movement. Move and stretch in whatever way you can. When I was young I was moving and lifting all the time, now I’m doing what we call in south piddling. Just enough to get some of the soreness out but being careful not to make things worse. Take your time and be mindful of what you are doing and what is comfortable but you must move.

Last, but not least, make yourself some hot herbal tea before bed. I use Celestial Seasonings peppermint tea and apple cinnamon spice tea with a few slices of fresh ginger and honey. The days following the nights of drinking this tea are much more comfortable for me. This has significantly lessened the throbbing in my hands! These ingredients will help your digestion and decrease inflammation in your body.

Try some of these and see if you notice any differences in the next month. If you feel better by the end of the month then you will be on the track to better life. If you don’t feel any differences then don’t give up! Keep looking for something that could help you. Best of luck to you in your journey!

Comment below if you have your own remedies!

Keep the Fire Burning for Less. A Saturday Morning date.

One of the ways it is recommended for couples to stay connected is to never stop dating. We are currently on a strict budget and spring is trying to break through here in Tennessee making it a good time go outdoors. Our simple Saturday morning date will be breakfast, bought with coupons, and walking through the city park holding hands and talking. Boom! Done! Just like that we both eat for about four bucks and the rest is natural. No cooking, no cleaning, no breaking the bank. What are some ways you stay connected with your other half?

Drying vs. Sugaring Fruit

Sugared fruit is a beautiful way to add color, flavor, and depth to many dishes especially cakes. However, adding sugar to a fruit, fruits have naturally occurring sugars in them already, can spell sure disaster for anyone sensitive to sugar like individuals with diabetes, for example. I do not have diabetes but several family members do and it is always a good idea to prevent diabetes before it starts. Therefore, drying fruits may be a better action long term. The slow process and low heat will preserve the nutrients of your fruits and allow you to still add some interesting dimensions to your dishes without overwhelming them with sugar. Please still exercise restraint because, as I previously mentioned, there is still sugar naturally present in fruits.

To dry fruit from home without any special equipment I use: cookie sheets, the oven, cooling racks, and something fire resistant to prop open the oven door ever so slightly. Start by washing your fruit and slicing it thin in the most attractive way to you. Place your cooling racks on your baking sheets and place the fruit on them making sure the slices do not touch. Place your pans in a NON-convection, also known as a conventional, oven on the lowest temperature setting your model will allow. Prop the oven door open just a tiny smidge. This allows the moisture to escape. The reason this will not work with a convection oven is that most of them will not operate with the door open! Allow your fruit to dry for 5-6 hours or overnight until dry. Create something amazing and enjoy!

What is simple?

Simple is easy and quick to most people. However, simple is also a short list of guests, ingredients, or steps. Simple can be healthy for your family and your mind and bring a sense of calm to your life. Simple is anything that you eat, drink, put on, or do. Keep it simple and keep it you. Keep simple and keep it smooth.