Welcome to American Homestead. I'm happy you have found my blog. Make yourself comfy and see what's been happening around here. I write about the things that interest me ~ creativity, travel, food, nature and a happy life. I'd love to read your comments.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy 4th Birthday American Homestead!

Happy 4th Birthday to the American Homestead
blog!  Four years ago today I started my blogging
journey, it also happened to be my birthday so I 
thought that would be good luck.  I had no clue 
about how to blog, I didn't really know how to 
upload photos from my camera and I think I was
a bit shy about writing whatever I wanted for all 
the world to see.  Oh , how times have changed!
My daughter sent me off to eastern Europe four 
years ago with an index card with a few instructions 
written on it and somehow I figured out how to do it.

Avalon, our American Homestead, has been filled with 
people who have come to visit for Thanksgiving week.
Kasey, our Hawaiian daughter (Kate's former college
roommate) lives on the beach in Hawaii but makes us
happy by spending some of her Thanksgivings with us.
Last night, to kick off my birthday celebration, she made
me Haupia ~ a coconut custard that tastes like a pina 
colada, it was delish!  Thanks Kasey! (And Kasey's Mom
who sent out the mix from Hawaii).

It has been a busy week of movie watching, talking and
feasting.  Photos of our feasts will be sure to show up on
future blog posts.  

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and thank 
you for visiting the American Homestead!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Beautiful Day in Bloomington

Yesterday we headed south to pick up our
guy in Bloomington.

It was a cold day but still beautiful
with the sun and blue skies.

We took a quick walk around campus.

This is the Well House, one of the oldest structures
on campus.  Legend has it that a couple will be together
forever if they kiss at the 12 strokes of midnight on
Valentine's Day.

This is a great old building but with 
something new this time.

Here is the new statue of the famous Hoosier,
Ernie Pyle, a one time student at Indiana University.

It has quickly become an infamous statue
due to the misspelling of the word "Corespondent".

Then we headed back indoors to have
a  lovely lunch at the Tudor Room.  I 
always feel like I am at Hogwart's when
I eat here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Early Bird Baking

In a few days our Thanksgiving week company
will start arriving and that means we will be having
a few Dutch Breakfasts.  And with those breakfasts
I always like to serve some baked goods.  When we
are in Europe and can run down the block and buy
beautiful pastries, that little jaunt is a pleasure but
when we are home on the prairie, we don't have as
many options for breakfast baked goods.  So, I make
my own.  Now I could get up really early and bake 
and mess up the kitchen and wait for the tea breads
to cool but that's too much stress and work when 
what you really want to do is have fun! Last night,
before, during and after dinner I baked a few tea
breads, I made Irish Tea Bread and Pumpkin Bread.

Remember to ALWAYS grate your nutmeg, it 
is so beautifully fragrant.  It makes the ground
nutmeg you purchase look like dust...

When mixing together your dry ingredients,
use a whisk, your ingredients will be perfectly

In a few hours I had my baking done.  Now since
I will be using them next week and they don't 
have preservatives, they wouldn't last if I left
them as is.

I cut each loaf in half and wrap in paper.

Then into freezer bags and into the freezer.
I pull a few halves the night before I need 
them and by morning they are perfectly
thawed and ready to slice and eat.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Homekeeping: Pre-pressing Table Linens

Thanksgiving week is our biggest time for
entertaining in the entire year.  Our guests 
start arriving on Saturday and we will have 
a house filled with people we love.  We are
all cooks and that means most meals will be 
at home.  I love to set a pretty table and use
the many linens and dishes I collect.  To save
time I iron all my linens ahead of time.  I use
skirt hangers to keep them neat and hang 
them out of the way on a rod in my laundry

I keep a little weekly planning list so
if I'm busy I can send one of the kids 
to gather the correct items to set the 

After all, it's much more fun to spend 
time with your loved ones than to be 
off alone ironing when everyone else
is having fun.  A little planning can
 make entertaining a breeze.

Friday, November 14, 2014

That's ME! ~ In the Land of Wonder, the Land Down Under

What a way to warm up a frosty day in the
American Midwest.  A copy of Australian
Patchwork and Quilting arrived from all the
way on the other side of the world.  AND, it
has an article about me and my book.  Oh,
thank you so much Australia ~ I can't wait 
to finally get to see you next summer.

I apologize if the photos are a bit blurry
but I admit I was a bit teary when I was
taking the pictures.  It was a mix of happy
and sad tears.  You see, the article talks
about how my Mum encouraged my 
interest in embroidery and our trips to the 
Five and Ten store where I would always 
want to buy embroidery floss while other
little girls were buying paper dolls and candy.

So, I sat down and had a big boo hoo.  We miss
our sweet girl so very much... But I know she 
would have loved this article, after all, it's why
she encouraged my interest in crafts all those
years ago.

Thank you so much Ally!  I love it!