Chocolate Box Cottage Diary, Volume 2
Week 22: June 3, 2022
If you follow my Chocolate Box Cottage page, you know we took the last week as a Homestead Holiday. (Thank you Kathi Lipp for the creative and perfect name.) Homestead Holiday is a time to do projects on our place that we can’t get to in a weekend. When you live in the countryside, especially if it’s an older house, the projects pile up.
Urgent projects: repairs to plumbing, washer, irrigation system, fence maintenance, chimney cleanout, clean rabbit hutches, and firewood.
Fun projecs: planting the garden, yardwork, and assembling freezer meals.
Every Homestead Holiday begins with housecleaning! A kitchen with a clean floor, tablecloth, and candles feels inviting. Read more about Homestead Holiday prep here.
We spent leisurely mornings together with tea and coffee on the front porch in all kinds of weather. What a treat to listen to the birds and frogs and take in the beauty around us!
Evenings we ate simply and early. We lit candles lavishly, listened to music, read, and enjoyed a couple of good rainstorms.
First project: washer repair.
The garden got lots of attention. Bunny berries were harvested from the bunny quarters, soil was prepared to receive seeds and transplants, and I wrote names on stakes to label plants as they were planted.
Due to unusual spring weather, we are late bringing in the last of the firewood. We picked a warm day for this load. Cool days are much easier!
Eight freezer meals were assembled to freeze and cook later in the slow cooker and multicooker (aka Instant Pot.) I am sold on the convenience of freezer meals. I used to rely on them about three nights a week when I was working (away from home, I’m still working).
It dawned on me that I am in fact still working, though the location has changed! I work at, from, and in the home. Over the years I have revamped some of our family’s favorite recipes to be freezer meals. They are made of real food ingredients like meat and vegetables with spices – so good! Then I discovered The Family Freezer – what a treasure trove of WONDERFUL FREEZER MEAL RECIPES! They are healthy and delicious and she offers printable labels, shopping lists, and more!
One day we drove to town for an appointment and supplies and had lunch at a favorite Mexican restaurant. Another day we went fishing at Lost Creek Lake, where crickets serenaded us with their particular brand of music. I can never resist gathering a few pumice stones. These will be used to mulch potted plants.
We enjoyed the first handful of ripe strawberries. Sylvester, the handsome Silver Muscovy drake, proclaims his lordship over the gillyflowers.
Heavy rains and cool weather favor the wild herbs. I picked a teapot’s worth of herbs for tea, including wild chamomile, Matricaria discoidea; self-heal, Prunella vulgaris; lemon balm, Melissa officinalis; and broadleaf plantain, Plantago major. It is critically important to correctly identify any herbs you forage and use.
The teapot is stove-top safe borosilicate glass and so handy for bone broth as well as tea. This one is discontinued, but here is a similar teapot. I especially like that it does NOT have a long spout, which would make it difficult to clean.
We worked hard and went to bed tired and happy!
I’ve included a smattering of pictures from our Homestead Holiday. Perhaps this is something you could adapt to your situation? The more I think about it, the more I think this concept is adaptable to all kinds of housing – not just homesteads. Why not set aside some vacation time to dig in and work on fix-it projects, print pictures and put them in photo albums, organize your closet or bathroom, create a terrace garden in pots? The list goes on. I would love to hear your thoughts about how you plan to use this concept!
Michele 🌸 🏡🌸