Last Week On The Homestead: Food Prep, Taxes, Eggs, and Snow!


There will be a common theme throughout the winter LWOTH posts and that is....snow.  We received snow last night and earlier last week, although not much.  We also received rain, so our driveway and walkways were cleared (after we shoveled, of course) and the snow has remained everywhere else on the property.  It's so pretty to look at.

One of our trees was loaded with robins one day.  We don't usually see that many at once in January.  They were loving the berries the tree provided.  After we saw them, we realized that we haven't seen any woodpeckers yet this winter.  Usually, we have quite a few who frequent the many dead trees that surround our property, including the quite large pileated woodpeckers.  They are stunning and so fun to watch.  I was sure I had photos from previous years, but I can't find them so if they visit us this year, I'll try to get a photo.

I prepped some of my meals for both fresh eating and for the freezer.  I've mentioned before, that because we eat quite differently, it's easier for me if I can have my meals either 15-minute meals made that day or pre-made meals put up in the refrigerator or freezer.  This allows me time to cook Jay's from scratch each day while not spending the full day in the kitchen.  My meals prepped were: black bean burgers, veggie potstickers with whole wheat wrappers (I'm going to try spelt flour next time just to see how they are as well), minestrone soup, and hummus.  From previous weeks I have veggie lasagna, split pea soup, bean enchiladas, and black bean soup in the freezer in addition to plenty of veggies and cooked beans.

I also made bread (jalapeno and regular) and banana cake.  We don't have bread or dessert every week, but last week they sounded good, so I decided to add them to my to-do list.  The banana cake we actually like more than banana bread and it's just as easy.  

I've had questions about the jalapeno bread.  I use my No-Knead Artisan Loaf recipe and stir in maybe 1/2 cup raw jalapeno slices (I don't measure, I just pour from the bag I store sliced jalapenos in the freezer in) with the flour.  When I'm prepping the dough for baking, I do some stretch and folds (like you do with sourdough) to help the dough keep a shape.  I bake as directed in the recipe.  Leftover bread can be sliced and frozen.

I completed our taxes.  Woo hoo!  That is a wonderful thing to be done with!  I mentioned late last year that I had neglected to keep up with bookkeeping, with caring for Ollie, Jay, and all of the other events that happened, so I was a bit behind.  It was nice to have it done.  I had to sit myself in a chair for one full day and just finish it.  I do love to procrastinate tasks I'm not fond of.  Do you?

Jackson is still obsessed with his new bed.  Jay also made him a new window seat for the window in our closet (he can see pretty much the entire property behind the house), which has made him incredibly happy.  He loves windows and spying on everyone and everything - he's a very nosy guy.  

Also, for those of you who look forward to Felix updates (our feral cat friend), he is still coming for food every day!  When we've had a heavy snowfall, he skips a day, but I can always count on him coming that night or the next day.  I think he has a little bit of a hearing problem which probably contributes to his skittish-ness, but he seems to be doing well. 

The chickens are laying eggs again.  Their morale has not improved, however, as they have been so disappointed by the snow.  They want to go out and scout for goodies, but they don't want to walk through snow to get there.  Sigh....such is life, I tell them.  

On the menu for this week:


Bean Burgers with Salad
Chow Mein (I use this recipe from Pick Up Limes minus the sweetener)
Lasagna with Salad  (I use this recipe from Cookie & Kate and add more greens)

Jay (all include a veg not listed):

BBQ Pork Ribs with Baked Stuffed Jalapenos
Chicken Cacciatore
Turkey & Dumplings (still using up frozen leftover turkey from Thanksgiving!)
Cream Cheese Spaghetti 
Chicken Meatballs with Dipping Sauce and Rice
Sticky Honey Chicken (trying this recipe from Spend With Pennies) with Rice
Skillet Pork Chop with Homefries

I have vanilla beans coming so that I can make another huge batch of vanilla extract.  Do you make this?  I think the vanilla flavor is really outstanding.  Not that anyone wants to hear about Christmas 2024, but if you would want to make vanilla extract as Christmas gifts, you'll want to get it started now.  I've hear that many people begin using it after it's set for 6 months but I like it best after 10 months or more.

That's life on the homestead.  I hope all is well with you and wishing you a wonderful week ahead!


  1. How wonderful you finished your taxes! I've got a ways to go yet, but have been collecting everything. I do make vanilla extract, but haven't in a while. I don't bake near as much since starting the GF journey, so still have a good amount left. That's a cute egg in the first photo. Hooray for laying chickens!

    1. Yes - taxes being done are indeed a great feeling. I don't bake much either, so I haven't made vanilla extract in years. This batch should last me quite a few years too. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Yes, I've already purchased the vodka to make the vanilla, I just need to get the beans ordered.
    Taxes-ugh. Thankfully, hubby does that for us. It's so intimidating to me.

    Glad your chooks are laying again. Can't blame them for not wanting to have cold feet!
    I love your snow pictures! Isn't it wonderful being able to be home to enjoy it?
    Have a fabulous week!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Daisy. Yes, it IS wonderful to be able to enjoy the snow from home. So grateful for that.

  3. We are in a heat wave here in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, cyclones and floods which is January through and through. Where I am we are okay but the night before last there was a huge amount of rain in 4 hrs so my friends had heaps of rain at their place.

    1. Gosh, I'm sorry to hear about the heat, flooding, and cyclones in your area Kathy. Happy to hear that you are ok. We've had some flood warnings in our area this month due to heavy rains but, thankfully, we received a bit less than expected. It's always scary waiting to see. Thinking of you and hoping you, your friends and family stay safe.

  4. The picture of Jackson makes me smile – cats love to curl up - the bed must be just perfect for him. No taxes completed here yet – I think the last of the paperwork should come straggling in this week. Property taxes are due soon – they just seem to increase every year - this is where you see me, rolling my eyes! I’ve been practicing my bread baking, I will toss some jalapeños in my next batch, do you add cheese as well? Send some snow my direction – it was 50 yesterday and I was sorely tempted to work outside - I actually had to say to myself this is only February there’s still much to do inside, yardwork will be here soon!

    1. Yes indeed, cats do love a good place to curl up. Yes, I do sometimes add in either small cubes or shreds of cheddar cheese to the jalapeno bread (shreds are easier to keep in the dough). I add it with the jalapenos. Wow - 50 degrees!! We have made it to a high of 41 today but haven't yet made it near 50 (although it's been forecasted a time or two in the past month). I will work to send some of the snow your way. I agree regarding the outdoor work - plenty of time coming up. Enjoy the indoor activities while you can. Thanks for stopping by Mary. Have a wonderful weekend and week ahead!

  5. I would love to see your bean burger recipe. I am a vegetarian as well. I have one recipe I found online I use, but it isn't the best at sticking together.

    1. Hi there! I usually just use the basic recipe from Dr Michael Gregor's How Not To Diet book and change up the seasonings. If you're ok with sweet potatoes in your bean burger, the "Favorite Veggie Burger" recipe at is really good too. I hope this helps!

  6. I have not checked in with you for years... . My husband and I are empty nesters now, youngest of four sons moved out after the holidays.
    I am actually reading your Chicken 101!
    Nothing tastes better than homegrown
    For now, I will report sighting of first robin here on Long Island despite recent snowfall and temperatures below freezing at night! So glad you are still
    living the sustainable and soulfully
    satisfying life of sheer simplicity!

    1. Welcome back Jean! It sounds like you've had quite a few changes recently. Wishing you the best as you adjust. Isn't it wonderful to spot robins? We continue to have full trees of them and they just make me so happy. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

  7. Just stopping by to say Hi - Hope all is well and business is booming!


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