Tuesday, October 17, 2017

They Came for Freedom, a review

The subtitle of this new book by Jay Milbrandt is "The Forgotten, Epic Adventure of the Pilgrims".  This is a fascinating account of the Pilgrims that answers many questions not taught in history books.  Including why the Pilgrims are associated so much with the founding of the country when in reality, there were others who came before them.

Milbrandt, in an easy-to-read style, shares the history of the Pilgrim's in Europe, the actual sea voyage as they came over on the Mayflower, their early years in the new land, and eventually what caused the downfall of their original dream.  From the beginning to the end of the book, I was fascinated by how the true story is even more interesting than the myths surrounding them.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves to read about the history of early America.  The text itself is easy to read and the Appendix includes: A Timeline of Events, A List of the Passengers on the Mayflower, The Mayflower Compact, and an in-depth Bibliography.

They Came for Freedom was provided by the publisher for the sake of review but the opinions are my own.

Further information can be found... here.

Disclaimer:  Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Lessons from the forest

For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isiah 55:12

I talked to the forest this week.  Not loud enough for the neighbors who live across the gravel lane from the forest to hear, of course.  However, I'm certain the trees heard it.  God did.

The forest is mostly various shades of green and gold at the moment.  There are few shades of red, although it is possible that there will be a short explosion of color to come later.  I've seen it happen before in "off color" seasons.  Much like the forest is apologizing that it can't provide color for very long but it works hard and gives us a few gorgeous days.

I had walked down the lane to check the mailbox when something made me stop by the forest and just take it all in.  The aroma of the forest in Fall is, I think, my very favorite.  It has that musty smell of fallen leaves and wet sod and honestly, I can understand why the Celtic lands write about seeing fairies in the forest.

October brings about a magic... Narnia magic... which easily makes one with an imagination think they can see into that world.  Perhaps it was the Octobers of England that inspired Lewis and Tolkien and Wordsworth and so many favorite writers.

October in the forest reminds me of both the process of dying and the hope of the Resurrection.  That is why I was talking to the forest... but really to the God who created the trees.  The One that made the deciduous trees to lose their leaves as they get tired and old and at the end of their appointed journey.  Even in their dying they give joy.

The forest doesn't weep for the losses, the trees know this is their natural process.  Without the leaves falling to the ground and becoming compost for the land, there would not be the needed nutrients for the new growth of Spring.  No, instead God wove into the circle of life I think the best part of it... that amazingly other worldly look and feel of an October forest.

The sunlight shining through the leaves made for beautiful images in the camera lens.  Short bursts of light seen only through the lens as it reflected in the scenery that day.  It is the light that makes it beautiful.  The forest at night is something I avoid.  It is quite dark and unsettling and sometimes scary and always alive with sounds.  While I know in my heart they are made by small furry animals with four paws... one's imagination can easily be swayed to more sinister inhabitants.

Sometimes my circumstances are more like the forest at night than the lovely days when light is streaming through golden leaves.  That is why I was talking to the trees.  I was thanking them... and not being a Druid, actually the God who created them... for the lessons they provide those of us whom Lewis calls daughters of Eve and sons of Adam.  We can learn much through nature.

It has been a month when the income was less than the outgo and I was still too tired to clean the deck "garden".  My husband's personality was being affected by the leaf mold he is so allergic to and my eye was still too blurry to read easily and honestly, I was just plain tired.

Just before stopping to enjoy the forest, I had been talking to God on a different level.  Just a chat with the Father to tell Him... as if He didn't already know... that life gets hard at times.  I had recently watched a documentary about a missionary couple who was affecting Zimbabwe for the Lord and reading about the work once again that Katie is doing in Uganda and comparing myself to those who do great things for the Gospel of Christ.

I'm sure that it was Him who put in my mind to walk down the lane to check the mail right then.  Just as the sunlight was streaming through the forest.  To gaze upon the trees who were at the end of their journey but remain such a vital part of the forest as a whole.  Not to mention that they are their most lovely at this part of their seasonal cycle.

Okay, God... I see what you are teaching me.  I talked to the forest and to Him.  Each season has its' own Beauty and each season of the forest and of life contains what it needs for where it is right now.  Today.  Where we are on our journey.

The trees are not looking back at April when they were sprouting their first chartreuse leaves, nor were they nostalgic for their fullness in July.  They were content in this season of October so much that the scenery they created and the scent they provided caused one to stop and fill up their senses with the sights and sounds and smells of the forest.

I realized that I cannot compare myself to anyone else in God's eyes.  I am uniquely made (and my children shout, Amen!!) and when I stand before Him to give account of my life, He will not judge me by the accomplishments He expected from another person.

He didn't call me to Africa or to walk the Mission Trail in California or to preach in stadiums like Billy Graham.  He called me to be faithful in the small things, to know His Word, and to accomplish what was set before me in my own journey.

His Word is truly a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.  It keeps me grounded and wise and not easily deceived by the whispers of the enemy of my soul. For those who have accepted Christ as their Savior, the coming Spring will be far better than anything experienced before.

Like the trees, we will not look back on our previous days of glory for they cannot compare to what He says is awaiting us.  The Bible says it is far beyond anything we can ask or think... and I'm pretty good at thinking.

We are to be content to do what we can, with what we have been gifted, in our own season of life. Just like the forest, God is not asking us to do anything but reflect His glory in our days... and to trust Him in all things.  I don't know about you but that brings great peace to my soul.

Image:  The view of one small area of the forest last week.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Little decisions, big results

This week I've been trying to put some thought into what small, easy on the budget things I can do to be more prepared for winter and emergencies.  The first thing I did, and you will laugh at its' simplicity, was to put a package of three boxes of new matches on my grocery list.

I hate to admit it but I have been frustrated by matches that do not light properly now for years.  Did you know that matches have a "Use By" date and they really do lose their ability to light, even when striking on the box?  I'm pretty sure all the matches in my house were at least fifteen years old, which was the last year we lived in a house with a fireplace and the last time I stocked up.

We don't use them as much as we did back then so they got... old.  (Don't we all eventually?)  I cannot tell you why it took so long.  It wasn't a budget problem because three boxes of matches cost less than $3.00.  It probably has more to do with my dislike of not using up something I stocked up on at one time... even if my reason for having a lot of matches (the fireplace) no longer exists.

So by purchasing the three-box package, I definitely have a new stock of fresh matches and one reason for being annoyed was easily resolved, the matches now light immediately.  I should have done it years ago.  It wouldn't hurt to purchase one more three-pack just to put back for real emergencies but for now, being able to light my Autumnal scented candle so easily was a very good thing.

After hearing interviews with people affected by hurricanes and forest fires, I decided there was a definite need to rethink and finish our "bug out bag".  For one thing, the bag I use is an old Land's End duffel bag that is almost as old as Christopher and received a lot of use over the years.  It is practically falling apart. 

So I decided to use instead the old Vera Bradley duffel I bought at Goodwill long ago for just a few dollars.  It mostly sits in the coat closet, anyway.  It just needs something added to the bottom of the bag to give it more structure.

I also decided it will not be an official "bug out bag", at least not yet.  If  you do an online search for "bug out bag", the suggested contents would require more of a complete set of luggage rather than a duffel bag.  Since the probability of our having to leave our house in an emergency is low (but still exists), my priority is not necessarily long term survival but taking what will make our life easier.

It is to be more a "grab and go" bag should we need to ummm... grab and go.  I was watching interviews of the people who escaped the forest fires in California and many of them had less than ten minutes to throw together what they were taking with them.  How much better it would be if they had such a bag to easily grab and add a few thought out items to on the way out.

I'm now adding items by priority as well as budget. I'm taking photocopies of important documents like birth certificates, a list of phone numbers (I couldn't tell you my daughter's phone number, I just press #3 on my cell phone), the front of our insurance policy, etc.  Like many recent printers, ours has a photocopy capability that we use only for a few items at a time (it uses a lot of ink) but this is one of those times.

I'll share more about what I put in when it is finished.  I know I will transfer what I already have put together and I need to replace two or three boxes of granola bars.  Should there come a time I do need to grab and go...  I can throw the insulin pens from the frig, required pen needles, and prescriptions in at the last minute. 

I'm still thinking through what I will include, there will be more items.  Of course, if I lived in an earthquake zone, a flood zone, or where forest fires are more possible than they are here, I would put together an actual bug out bag with more items for survival.

I understand what it is like to not think through what to take in an emergency.  When our house was hit by lightening, the last thing I thought of was that I would need our insurance information should the unthinkable happen and the house blew up (when the firemen had to return, it was because of a gas leak caused by the lightening strike).

Because I lived with an ADD husband and son, I have already set up good habits through the years that would make a quick exit possible.  Our keys are always in the same wooden bowl when not in use.  Our flip top cell phone is always next to it since I share that phone with my husband. So whoever is leaving home to run errands has a quick access to the cell phone.  I did keep our kitty carrier in the garage but it was used to carry Mr. Sebastian to his new home.  Note to self: ask for my kitty carrier back the next time the kids are coming to town.

Our emergency radio is always in the same place, my insulin pens and prescriptions are in the same place, etc.  So those would be easy to locate and throw in a bag if needed.  It would be a very good idea to type out a list of things you need to take that are located in other places so you do not forget anything if you need to use the grab and go bag.

I am convinced if most of us change the way we think of "bug out bags", we will be more likely to put something together that will make life much easier should we need to leave the house suddenly.  Perhaps for most a complete survival bag will not be necessary.  Just start with something simple like photocopying important documents (putting them in something like a gallon size Ziploc bag for protection), that extra flashlight (and extra batteries if you have them), etc.

The theme of this week's post is this... do something simple right now.  For me it was adding the new matches to this month's grocery list and deciding to change from a bug out bag (which was never completed) to just a "grab and go" bag (which can easily be completed and then added to over time).

Then, do something simple each week to prepare for an emergency situation.  Much like my "little at a time" house and lawn work, you are surprised how much can be accomplished.  

We have seen these past couple of months that life can be running along as usual one day and the next some kind of an emergency hits.  There was not even a storm over our home when lightening hit it. By preparing just a little, we are helping our future selves a great deal.

One of the men interviewed who just barely escaped the fires said they believed their neighborhood was safe from forest fires because they usually do not jump the large Interstates.  However, the conditions of this fire with the Santa Anna winds being so high made it possible for the fire to not only reach his neighborhood but do so within minutes of jumping the Interstate.

I will be revisiting this theme often in the next few months.  Everything done a little at a time will reap huge results eventually.

Image:  From The Sentinel, photo by John Lindsey

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A view of part of my collections

Dish collection on the hutch.

Since I'm no longer doing a My World this Week post as it takes so much time, I'm planning on some simple "show and tell" blog posts.  Mainly photos that are self explanatory.  They can be inserted on weeks with no book reviews.

I mentioned in Sunday's blog post that many of my pretty tea things and dishes are in the corner china cabinet and on the hutch.  They are also displayed a couple other places in the house but I'll share them another time.

Most of these items were purchased very cheap at Goodwill, thrift stores, and antique malls through the years.  The hunt is part of the fun.  The two Johnson Brothers American Thanksgiving plates were (if I remember) a dollar each, purchased in different years.  The Friendly Village tall coffee server was only $7.00 at an antique mall because it has a slight chip under the lid that you can't see.  They are rare and the chip is so small, it can even be used with no problem.

A few were bought with Amazon credit through the years as a birthday or Christmas gift to myself. Some of my collection were gifts, such as the gorgeous Johnson Brothers Old British Castles brown transerware china (middle plate), which were a gift from my blog friend, Kristi.

Please excuse the quality of these photos.  It is so dark in the area where the china cabinet sits that it is hard to get good photos.  However, I do love opening the china cabinet at times and just enjoy the view.  Sometimes the Old English Roses set gets moved to the breakfront, especially in Spring and Summer.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Creating Sanctuary at Home

I walked down the gravel lane this week, the forest on my left and my neighbor's red barn across the County road.  I'll be able to see the barn clearly soon.  The trees are mostly green but brown leaves and black walnuts on the ground tell me Fall is here, in spite of the warm temperatures.

I couldn't help but think how peaceful the scene was as opposed to the scenes on my TV for days upon days.  The world has never been a safe place.  Not really.  However, it is apparent it becomes less so each day.

So all of this has me coming back to a subject I've written about before.  One that is a mainstay of my writing.  That is the subject of... home as a sanctuary.  I put a lot of thought into creating such a home.  It can be accomplished, whether one lives in a dorm room or a castle.  Actually, I think it is easier to accomplish in a smaller place.

My goal is to have someone walk into our Living Room from outside and immediately feel calmer.  Even if for about a year now, the Dining Room area has been full of papers and boxes as my husband has been working on a long term project.

If perfection is the goal and one cannot have sanctuary without it... it will never happen.   I do not like clutter but I've learned to look at the Beauty around the papers and pray for the day when it gets put away.  But when we know company is coming, he does pack up the boxes and hides them in our bedroom. There are ways to achieve temporary success.

Now that my children are grown, I actually miss the days of Legos (although not stepping on them) and doll clothes and creative projects being strewn around various rooms.  I wish I had developed the ability to look past the clutter when they were home.  I'm thinking that is where I learned the ability, though.

So in my home, I need to think through what is sanctuary and how to achieve it in spite of living in a fallen world with less than perfect people (including myself).  The first thing I did... long ago... was to cut out photos in decorating magazines of rooms that I thought beautiful and brought me peace.

I know I've written about this before but it worked and I still do so from time to time.  I learned from years of looking at images of rooms that there was a constant in what I loved.  Items that would appear in the pictures, certain colors, lots of plants, lots of wood, vintage dishes, pewter, silver, pottery, books... lots of books, tea things, a cat here and there, images that made me smile.

My Study mostly embraces everything I love, which is possible because it is my room... my reward for the Empty Nest Syndrome.  (It isn't easy for homeschool moms to find no children at home, as I was surprised to find.)  When life is far from perfect, I can shut the door and play music and read and write a friend an email... no TVs are allowed in the Study.

The Study is where I keep everything I use to create, that doesn't have anything to do with food. I still miss Victoria jumping on my desk when I would begin a creative project.  She loved washi tape.  However, Florentine provides hours of comic relief.  So a cat (or more) in the home is a good thing.  I will admit that dogs can be, too, but don't tell Florentine I said that.

Other rooms in the house, while containing much of what I love, also had to be comfortable for the two guys who lived in the house.  So the only foo foo dainty items are the tea cups and teapots, most of which are in the china cabinet and on the hutch.  I hung my favorite Dutch lace curtains in the dining area when we moved in and a Dutch lace valance acts as a petticoat showing  under a plaid valance in the kitchen.  A little bit of girlie pretty they didn't mind.

If a home is to be a sanctuary for everyone who lives there, it has to be comfortable.  There must be places one can bring a pillow and a throw and nap on Sunday afternoons or read when taking a break from housework.  There must be furniture that is sturdy for rowdy boys (including husbands who never grew up) and safe places where they can put up their feet without worry.

We have, of course, made books a priority and many bookcases make for a very cozy environment.  Most of our books came from library sales.  We have favorite TV shows and movies on DVDs, collected over the years with Amazon credit or received as gifts.  Since the kids moved out, most of the music in the house is what I have collected over many years.  My husband likes to listen to his favorite music on the computer in the office.

As I have been working in the Study this weekend, I have had two albums playing on the CD player, rotating off and on according to my mood.  Playing now is Michael Card's amazing Starkindler "album", with favorite Celtic Christian music bringing peace.  The other is a favorite John Denver CD, purchased at Cracker Barrel a couple Christmas seasons ago.

Sitting next to them is a George Strait CD, also from Cracker Barrel using a Christmas gift card, and an Indelible Grace CD of seemingly ancient hymns revised with modern arrangements.  If anything, my taste is eclectic.  Come the beginning of November, the wicker basket with the Christmas music will be pulled out.  As with Christmas movies and books, one month is not enough to enjoy them.

I find sanctuary in the kitchen as I prepare soup or make bread.  As I write, the ingredients to make orange cranberry bread are coming to room temperature.  They will transform into a loaf for a treat this week and a loaf for the freezer.  Last night I cut the backbone from a whole chicken to try a new-to-me baking technique called Spatchcock chicken, something I've wanted to do for quite awhile.  Since I love to cook, trying the new technique took my mind off of the troubles of the world.  It was delicious by the way.

I find peace when I sweep the kitchen floor, lemon oil furniture, polish the thrift store silver, as well as chopping vegetables to prepare dinner.  The nice outcome of doing these things is that others in the home appreciate the outcome.  Whether a lovely meal or keeping the antiques looking beautiful.

Last week I wanted to decorate the breakfront for Fall but it needed to be lemon oiled first.  So I put on the podcast with Sally Clarkson talking to Michael Ward and enjoyed the process of seeing wood come back to its' natural warm glow as the oil was rubbed into it.

I should mention here that I am married to someone with a Master's Degree from the school of Forestry at the University, specializing in Wood Science and Furniture Engineering.  So no can of Pledge will ever be found in our home.  Never.  Ever.  I learned that our first year of marriage.  But I digress...

I think part of what makes our home a sanctuary is not only what is in it, but what is not.  I'm careful about the books, movies, TV shows, and even the artwork which hangs on the walls.  Everything should bring peace and never be defiling before God.  I know we all have different opinions of what that would be so each home would be different.  I watch documentaries about Bigfoot and things that go bump in the night but never horror movies.  Go figure.

It can take a lifetime to tweak a home to be exactly what would bring us sanctuary.  We have spent many a weekend when the kids were younger, searching treasures at garage sales.  Since I presently have "enough", I mostly go to Goodwill and thrift stores to find small treasures to enhance the Beauty.

Even if we had lots of money to spend on furniture, art, and decorations, one does not create sanctuary overnight.  It is the process of the creating that also brings peace and that does not arrive by UPS. 

Of course, one cannot have a peaceful home that is a sanctuary if one does not have peace in their heart.  That comes from knowing the Prince of Peace.  For peace is a Person.  One can have the most lovely home in the neighborhood and be full of desperation.  One can spend a lot of time decorating their home and making it almost perfect but people will not want to spend time there because of the atmosphere in the home.

So I believe that the most important part of having a sanctuary is in having it be a Christ centered home by knowing Him personally ourselves.  He knows that we will not be perfect this side of Eternity but we are running the race in such a way as to become more like Him each day.

He knows that our home will never be perfect until we reach our Heavenly Home.  But the process of making it lovely and a sanctuary is part of living the life He has given us... never ever achieving perfection.  Good enough will be... good enough... when it comes to our homes.

Now, the fun begins.  Think of ways your home can be even more of a sanctuary for friends and family as it is today.  I enjoy asking God to show me more ways to create Beauty on a budget.  Life with Him should not be boring.

Mentioned in this Post

Starkindler by Michael Card... here.

Spatchcock Chicken... here. This has a video that shows how to butterfly a whole chicken.  I made mine very similar to this, although I didn't cook it on a rack and no cutting of lemons or rosemary was involved.

Sally's podcast with Michael Ward... here.  Click on the Play Podcast window.

Disclaimer:  Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.

Image: Warming up in Badger's kitchen by Chris Dunn

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Prepared to Minister to Others

This has certainly been a season of natural disasters and as I write, another hurricane is heading towards the Gulf Coast.  While most of us were shocked at what happened in Houston and in Florida, I think it was the scenes coming out of Puerto Rico that shocked me the most.  Absolute devastation.

What I have been reading from ministries involved in the aftermath of the disasters and personal accounts of people living there is the affect people who are able to help are having on the communities.  What an opportunity as Christians to feed the hungry physically and spiritually.

It got me to thinking about what would happen if my own community would be hit by a disaster.  My husband and I discussed what we would do as far as staying or leaving and I think I (finally) got it through to him that my living in a tent out in the middle of a cornfield is not going to be an option.  Sheesh.  Unless there is a forest fire, staying in our brick house would certainly be the wisest thing to do.

I've been building up a personal emergency pantry a little at a time.  It is not extensive and neither is it complicated.  Except for some Mountain House pouches and a couple #10 cans, it consists of inexpensive items that can be rotated for freshness.

However, would I be able to help neighbors?  We live in the country but our backyard looks to quite a few houses, a full scale subdivision is just down the road, and we share the gravel lane with two other houses. My natural feelings would be to hoard anything I have (that human need for self protection).  Mainly because except for two large bags of converted rice, I wouldn't have anything to offer many people.

But if I stop to think about it, what an opportunity to minister God's love to others.  Oh, I have helped in the past when I had a full pantry and close friends needed the items.  I shared my pantry with my daughter when she was first married and we lived in the same town.  That is understandable but what about having items on hand as... ministry?

My first thought about deepening a pantry is for each of us to do what we can to not be a victim.  If we are prepared, we are less likely to be standing in line for very basic items.  But could we put back enough to help those around us not to be victims?

It's something to pray about and to think about.  My husband has a saying he uses when we are setting priorities, that is "first in Jerusalem".  That's how Jesus sent out the early Church... they were first to minister in Jerusalem, then the next closest towns, and then to the other countries.

Certainly we can first consider our family and close friends, those who live close enough to come over in a time of crisis.  Then our closest neighbors.  But there are those who have the ability to help more in their community.  Perhaps through their church or social organizations.

All it would take is deepening a pantry to a larger scale than one already does, making a priority of food that can be made for many people.  I'll do more research but I especially like information from cookbooks written by the Amish, Mennonites, farm wives, and homesteaders.  They tend to have sections on feeding a crowd.

More than actual recipes, I think just learning how to extend what you already are used to making is the easiest way to help people.  That is why soup kitchens were popular in the Great Depression.  In Edith Schaeffer's book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, she has a section where she talks about how she would stretch a meal when unexpected people came to their houses.  Which often happened at L'Abri.

I remember a family from my childhood who was going through very difficult financial times.  They came up with different ways of cooking potato soup.  Even something that simple would give people needed calories and energy in a crisis situation.

I have a friend who used to tell me, "nothing says love like toilet paper".  I always thought that so funny but I also knew what she was talking about.  She made stocking up on TP a priority. Since she lived in New Mexico, she also stored water.  Lots of water.

Below are some books I still have on my shelves, many I've had for a lot of years.  They have survived various book downsizes because they are so helpful.  A couple are more recent titles but they are excellent.

One of them is the new cookbook by Lovina Eicher, an Amish wife and mom who writes a nationally syndicated column.  Some may remember that her mother wrote the column and Lovina took over when she passed away. 

I receive her updates through email and I enjoy each of them.  She provides a recipe each time and this last one was for feeding a lot of people.  I include the link to sign up for her columns below and it is now on the sidebar.  The website includes archives should you enjoy reading past columns.

So that is what I'm considering these days.  I can't do a whole lot but I'm thinking I can set aside a little should we need to share with neighbors.  Jesus tells us He notices when we give even a cup of cold water to "the least of these" and you may be placed where He has you so you can help those who surround you.

Lovinia's Column/blog updates... here.
The Essential Amish Cookbook by Lovina Eicher... here.
This is the first cookbook Lovinia wrote without a co-writer and it is my favorite.  I enjoyed her mom's books, too.

The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer... here.
Hands down one of my all time favorite books.  Ever.  Yes, it is dated but still quite wonderful.

The More-with-Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre... here. (Spiral bound... here.)
This book, put out by the Mennonite Central Committee, introduced me to great recipes from other countries over twenty years ago.  The subtitle is: Recipes and suggestions by Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world's limited food resources.

My favorite homesteading/building the pantry/recipe book is The Made from Scratch Life by Melissa K. Norris.  This sits in the basket on my vintage yellow cart where my most used cookbooks reside.  Lot of great information and the book is not at all expensive.  Info... here.

Cooking from Quilt Country and New Recipes from Quilt Country were written by Marcia Adams as part of her (then) popular PBS show.  They are out of print but available third party on Amazon and I'm sure most likely from other used book sellers.  I've kept them since hmmm... the 1980s maybe?... because they are beautiful to look at but are treasure troves of original Amish cooking.

I first saw Beverly Nye when I was a teenager on the Bob Braun Show that broadcast out of Cincinnati, Ohio to other Midwest TV stations.  Her three books, A Family Raised on Sunshine, A Family Raised on Rainbows, and Everyone's a Homemaker are where I got a lot of my early recipes as a brideEspecially from A Family Raised on Sunshine.

Beverly is a Mormon (I think she is still living) whose books often contain information about deepening the pantry, too.  Her recipes are basic from-scratch cooking and are the kind that can be easily increased for a crowd.  Her books are also available third-party on Amazon and other used book sellers.

I'm not including a link for books only available third-party because now the links send you to a specific book seller and as I don't know them... I can't recommend them.  I've mostly had good success with third-party sellers but I've also had a few I would not order from again.

When I was looking up to see if Beverly K. Nye was still around (there is an obit but it is not for her), I came across this fabulous video of her on a TV show... here.  She was sharing how to make pickled vegetables.  Gotta love YouTube.

I will look through my shelves to see if I can recommend more next week but this gives you a good start.  Honestly, once we master basic cooking techniques the way our grandmothers did then we can often expand them to feed more people.

Disclaimer:  Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.  I thank you.

Image: Fresh Bread by Loren Entz 

PS:  Still dealing with not being able to read from my right eye so forgive any typos I don't catch.  I am healing.  The doctor says it may take months.  I've prayed it is much quicker.