Wheelbarrows and rosettes

Wheelbarrows and Rosettes for Christmas

Wheelbarrows and Rosettes for Christmas

Chocolate Box Cottage Diary, Volume 2
Week 52: December 31, 2022

In the spirit of practical yet special gifts, wheelbarrows and Rosettes added sparkle to our Christmas.

Samuel picked out this heavy duty two-wheeled wheelbarrow and secretly restored my Dad’s 1970’s era Garden Way garden cart for me! His and hers wheelbarrows will certainly get a workout at Chocolate Box Cottage hauling firewood, hot coals, rocks, dirt, and manure (his); compost, potted plants, and garden harvests (hers).


Rosettes are wafer-thin cookies with a crisp texture. A special mold is dipped in a light batter and fried in hot fat, then the cookies are showered in powdered sugar. 

Grandma used to make Rosettes when Mom was growing up, so these are a special treat for Mom.

New Year's Tea at Mom's

This week’s Tea at Mom’s carried a New Year’s theme. I made a big pot of meaty spaghetti sauce with home-canned garden tomatoes, dried tomatoes, garlic, and herbs to serve over whole wheat angel hair or zucchini noodles (zoodles). Miriam arranged a fruit board, sis Marti brought Caesar salad and several of the younger children. My step-sis Sue and Gerry joined us too, and a plate of Rosettes made a delightful finish.

Project Pantry

The day after Christmas we plunged into Project Pantry.

Samuel assembled the pretty red shelves but there is a lot of work to do. We are hoping for a couple of sunny Saturdays which will allow us to move boxes of canning jars and other things outside while we shuffle everything around.

Garden overhaul

We are in the process of converting the garden from an inefficiently laid out plot of framed-in beds to a food-producing haven, Back to Eden style.

The previous owner admitted the raised beds were an expensive mistake and the wood was well-decayed, so we are moving forward with our new design.

The foundation of a Back to Eden garden is wood chips which decompose adding fertility and conserving water, two qualities we are very much in favor of! The trees at Chocolate Box Cottage provide a wealth of leaves and we decided to take advantage of that wealth by adding a thick layer of leaves first. Learn about Back to Eden gardening.

Sam and I put in two afternoons rolling out brown painter’s paper (to prevent weed seeds from germinating) and raking, moving, and spreading leaves in a thick layer. Next: wood chips.


Dish soap doesn’t have to be liquid – bars work just as well. This homemade hard dish soap is scented with lemongrass and lavender and suds up nicely. Quarterly challenges inside Homestead Kitchen membership include skills like soapmaking, sourdough bread, cheesemaking, and canning convenience meals. (Affiliate link)


The week between Christmas and New Year’s afforded extra time for reading, so I have 3 books for you this week!

Growing by Heart, The Minimalist Natural Medicine Cabinet, Natural Fragrances
Growing by Heart, The Minimalist Natural Medicine Cabinet, Natural Fragrances
  • My desire is to memorize Scripture this year. Growing by Heart by Scharlotte Rich is written from a gardener’s perspective and includes a year-long plan + tear-out Bible verse cards. Published in 2004, look for it online through used booksellers. You certainly don’t need a book to memorize Scripture, so don’t let that hold you back.
  • The Minimalist Natural Medicine Cabinet was written by an online friend, Kristen Smith, who has a knack for simplifying herbal medicine, making it approachable for anyone. The subtitle reads: Creating a Small Collection of Remedies to Meet Common Household Needs.
  • Natural Fragrances by Gail Duff is an oldie-but-goodie brimming with ideas and projects to bring flowers and their marvelous fragrances indoors in many forms. Look for this one through used booksellers.

Sam and I wish you a Happy New Year filled to overflowing with God’s grace and goodness.
Michele and Samuel

Note: This post contains links to products and vendors I use and appreciate for their quality and usefulness. Some are affiliate, some are not. I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases when you use the links I provide; this does not change your price.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

Subscribe to the Chocolate Box Cottage Tidings

Receive special recipes and cottage wisdom directly to your inbox!