Valentine snowstorm

Valentine Snowstorm and Meal Prepping for One

Valentine Snowstorm and Meal Prepping for One

Chocolate Box Cottage Diary, Volume 3
Week 7: February 18, 2023

Join me in pictures for a special snow day at Chocolate Box Cottage: a Valentine Snowstorm!

Chocolate Box Cottage Valentine snowstorm
A touch of Narnia

I awoke to over a foot of sparkling snow on Valentine’s morning! Sam left for work early; as a grader operator for the county road department he was already plowing snow before I woke up.

I pulled on my boots, grabbed my phone and headed outside. Fat, fluffy flakes were still falling and the air was hushed. Within a few footsteps my boots were full of snow – it was deeper than I expected.

Henhouse in the snow
Henhouse in the snow

The redwood tree by the henhouse was heavy laden and every bush, twig, and tree was a marvel of silver tracery against a pearl grey sky.

Duck prints

I gave myself over to pure enjoyment of the transformation in the landscape and the incredible freshness in the air.

Morning homestead chores were pure joy!

…that was later balanced out with a migraine. I’m moving slowly, still recovering. But I wanted to be honest. Life isn’t all beauty and sparkling snow, there are “migraines” of one sort or another. We all deal with trials, disappointments, and even deeper pain. Thank you for sharing this journey and adventure called life with me.

Indoor Salad Garden

My indoor salad garden is going strong. All winter I have continued to soak, plant, and tend salad greens grown in simple soup bowls.

These are nearing harvest. As they mature, the buckwheat seeds shed their hulls. Each bowl produces the equivalent of a head of lettuce. And my potted basil continues to offer tender leaves and the rich aroma of summer.

Meal prepping for one

Cooking for one can be uninspiring at times, but eating is so necessary. My daughter Miriam and I got together recently to stock her freezer with an easy batch of healthy freezer meals that she can quickly cook and eat without using a microwave.

Meal prepping for one
  • 6 Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties
  • 6 Fried Chicken Patties
  • 6 Spaghetti Sauce with meat
  • 4 Steak and Veggie Stir Fry

This was Miriam’s first time prepping freezer meals. She made everything from scratch using Mom’s recipes.

New video

Say goodbye to preservative, trans fat, and sodium-laden commercial crackers and say HELLO to crunchy homemade crackers! Rosemary and Olive Oil Crackers are crispy, crunchy, and downright delectable with the bright flavor of rosemary. Perfect with soups, stews, chili, on a charcuterie board, or a simple snack plate with cheese and veggies. You can tailor the recipe to your family’s preferences and develop a signature cracker for your house.

A birthday for a special friend

Allow me to introduce you to my friend, Marian Traina. Marian and I met through the Master Food Preserver program at Oregon State University Extension, where I was an educator and she was a class member. Marian was already an experienced lifelong preserver of all things delicious – her canned peaches are poetry! She had the grace to listen in class and learn updated science-based methods of canning, dehydrating, freezing, pickling, sausage-making, cheese-making, and more. We’ve been friends ever since. A group of friends got together to celebrate a special birthday for Marian. (From the back: Liz Bliss, Claire Wight, Ellen Micheles, Sheila, Judy Howlett, Vicki Belknap, Gene, Marian, and Michele)


Lauraine Snelling Red River of the North series

An Untamed Land and A New Day Rising are the first two of four books in the “Red River of the North” series by Lauraine Snelling.

“After three long years of scrimping and saving to buy tickets for their passage to America, Roald and Ingebog Bjorklund, along with their son, Thorliff, finally arrive at the docks of New York City. It was the promise of free land the fed their dream and lured them from their beloved home high above the fjords of Norway in 1880. Together with Roald’s brother Carl and his family, they will build a good life in a new land that promises untold wealth and vast farmsteads for their children.

“As they join the throngs of countless immigrants passing through Castle Garden, they soon discover that nothing is as they had envisioned it…” (from the back cover)

I was on the literal edge of my seat the first time I followed the Bjorklunds on their journey west by covered wagon all the way to Dakota Territory. I have since read everything written by Lauraine Snelling that I could get my hands on, over and over. If you are looking for series that will transport you to the beginnings of America seen through the eyes of immigrants, with faith, hope, and immense struggles, this is for you.

If you like to buy used books, check your favorite local bookstore for these books or use my ShareBookLove Link to search for them and we will both earn points towards free books.

Thank you for stopping by to visit!
Blessings, Michele and Samuel


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