Tag Archives: frugal granola

Book Review: Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich

I picked up this book at Mast General Store last weekend and couldn’t wait to share it with you. It’s called Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich of Cold Antler Farm.

The author, Jenna Woginrich, caught a dream from a coworker who owned her own farm. She learned how to raise chickens, angora rabbits, and grow vegetables at a small rental house, how to play mountain music in TN, and eventually bought her own farm in VT, and started sheep farming. She loves antiques and simple living, including percolated coffee, knitting, and gardening. She believes it’s time to slow down and loves using hand-powered kitchen tools, like hand-cranked coffee grinders and antique cheese graters. She’s my kind of girl!

This book gives you insights (and even step-by-step dos and don’ts) regarding raising chickens, rabbits, and training dogs. She has a delightful narrative style. And what I appreciated most was her advice on page 12:

“I think the real trick to finding that sense of satisfaction is to realize you don’t need much to attain it. A window-box salad garden and a banjo hanging on the back of the door can be all the freedom  you need. If it isn’t everything you want for the future, let it be enough for tonight.

“Don’t look at your current situation as a hindrance to living the way you want, because living the way you want has nothing to do with how much land you have or how much you can afford to spend on a new house. It has to do with the way you choose to live every day and how content you are with what you have. If a few things on your plate every season come from the work of  your hands, you are creating food for your body, and that is enough. If the hat on your head was knitted with your own hands, you’re providing warmth from string and that’s enough. If you rode your bike to work, trained your dog to pack, or just baked a loaf of bread, let it be enough.

“Accepting where you are today, and working toward what’s ahead, is the best you can do. You can take the projects in this book as far as your chosen road will take you. Maybe your gardens and coops will outgrow mine, and before you know it you’ll be trading in your Audi for a pickup. But the starting point is to take control of what you can and smile with how things are. Find your own happiness and dance with it.”

The last section of the book contains all kinds of resources for each topic discussed in the book. I found my paperback copy at Greenville’s Mast General Store on a buy-one-get-one-free sale; you can get yours on Amazon for about $10, too (also available for Kindle and in hardback)!

I think it’s great anytime anyone tries to make small changes towards simpler living, whether it’s setting aside an hour on Saturday morning for a quiet cup of coffee and a good book, choosing an organic head of lettuce instead of conventional from the grocery store, starting your own garden, or buying a farm, take one small step at a time and enjoy every moment of it! This book doesn’t necessarily have a Christian worldview, so remember that whatever you do is for the glory of God. If you have a desire, recognize that it may be from God, and trust Him to fulfill your dreams. As a side note, you might be interested in the Simple Living section of one of my new favorite blogs: Frugal Granola.

Let me know what you think in the comments section below!

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Weekending

This past weekend started with dinner at Flat Rock Cafe with Bryan and his folks. I had the Hickory Salmon on a Flatrock Salad, which has blue cheese, glazed walnuts, dried cranberries and sliced granny smith apples. Yum!

Saturday started early. Bryan had Men’s Prayer Breakfast at church, and I had my friend Heather (of Wife Mom Runner) over for breakfast. We had Basil Omelet Cups and Organic Fruit Salad. I added spinach, mushrooms, and ground sausage to the eggs and used mozzarella instead of cheddar. They were delicious! The fruit salad was compliments of all the wonderful things from my Milk & Honey Organics baskets the last two weeks (orange segments, apple, pear, banana, and blueberries). Yum! And such a good time catching up with Heather!

We stayed up far too late on Friday night catching up on Hulu and talking, so after Bryan got home, we took a short nap before I got ready for my lunch interview. It’s not what you think. I actually interviewed Christine, the owner of Milk & Honey Organics.

Christine and I met at Everyday Organic at Cherrydale (one of my new favorites) and had a wonderful time. She had the chicken salad on wheat and I had the Cherrydale Turkey on wheat (turkey, lettuce, goat cheese, and sliced granny smith apples), each with the quinoa salad as our side dish. We split our sandwiches so we could taste both of them. We talked as if we had been friends for years. I can’t wait to share the interview with you! Stay tuned for that!

For dinner, we met up with our old Game Night group and had a fun time playing Poker, eating chili, drinking IBC root beer, and sharing lemon tarts (along with the age old inside jokes, of course)!

The funniest part about this is that she just cleaned her husband out, and he's still cheering.

I ended up making graham cracker crust crackers (basically, press graham cracker crust into muffin papers and bake at 350F for 5-7 minutes) and topped them with Ina Garten’s lemon curd (in which I used 2 lemons and 2 key limes instead of 3 lemons) and some pomegranate arils. Yum! The first attempt, I filled the lemon curd into the muffin papers, but it never set (even when I tried freezing it), so we tried just a teaspoon on each graham cracker crust cookie, and it worked great. Picture below:

Sunday was a great day of services. Sunday morning, Pastor spoke on Romans 14 and dealing with differences among fellow Christians graciously. In our Sunday School class, we had a couple give a testimony of their experiences making difficult decisions (which included a long distance engagement, living in China, getting pregnant in the first few months of their marriage, having a child with only half a heart, doing a short term mission to Indonesia, getting pregnant again, and traveling on deputation to return to Indonesia). It was a wonderful, transparent time that really helped me see that we’re not the only couple going through life changing decisions and challenges.

Sunday lunch was garlic-y sauteed greens and roasted yams and yukons (golden potatoes, that is)! We haven’t consciously made a choice to become vegetarians or anything like that, but due to current budget constraints, it just happens in about 75% of our meals right now. The cool part is, we both love fruits and vegetables, and it’s fun experimenting with putting different ones together. And when we do splurge for meat, it doesn’t feel quite so bad to spend the money on all-natural and organic options because it’s more of a treat than a necessity.

Sunday night, we were privileged to watch the premiere showing of the fourth Dispatches from the Front DVD, a glimpse into God’s Kingdom in India. It was inspiring and beautiful! God really is working all over the world, and His purposes are so much bigger than I can understand. It’s like I’m looking up, asking “Why?” and only being able to see the underside of a tapestry. Meanwhile, God is looking down and seeing the beautiful artistry of all those strings woven together into a perfect picture! And I have to choose to stop trying to figure out the strings on the underside and just trust the Artist!

Finally, I want to share a blog I recently came across.

This blog is put together by a Christian couple, living a simple life. It’s called Frugal Granola, and I can’t stop reading it! Check it out. They’ve got great recipes, crafts, devotionals, etc., but the Simple Living section is my favorite. It’s like reading a beautiful novel. It’s about making difficult choices to follow the dream of a simple life, the challenges of miscarriage and adoption, the joys of being a stay-at-home mom, and the journey of their marriage. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I’ve been learning so much recently, but I’m having a hard time putting it into words. God is stretching me and reinforcing my heart’s desires and teaching me to trust Him by trusting my husband, and so many other things. Just know my heart is full. God is so good and I am truly overwhelmed by that instead of my circumstances right now. Have a great week! It’s a busy week, but I’ll be back soon, so stay tuned!

~Melissa