Homemade Candy

I usually make this candy each Christmas…. I am still making it, shame on me.  It is just too irresistible and easy to make. I’ll share the recipe below.

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Toffee Butter Crunch

Melt 2 sticks of butter, add 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of corn syrup and 3 tablespoons of water. Bring to a 250 degrees on a candy thermometer and while stirring, turn the gas down a little so as not to scorch it. From here you can bring the temperature up slowly to 280 for hard crack candy or around 265 as I did here as I wanted something a little softer this time. Be careful, it can burn quickly after 250 degrees. Let cook for 10 minutes or so and keep stirring. When it’s done,  pour into a 9 x 13 pan over 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans, let sit for 5 minutes and then pour 1 cup of Ghiradelli chocolate chips (these are the best) on top of candy. Let melt and spread. I put mine in the freezer for a while because I just want to eat it as soon as possible.  : )

Hannah Grinding Wheat

Here’s our pretty little Hannah grinding wheat. Daddy can run it through once and grind it into a fine powder, I have to make it go through two to three times… the kids, well we put it through very course so it takes no work at all but we need to put it through at least 8 times.  : ) It sure makes beautiful bread and rolls though. DSC_0070




The girls are coming along quite nicely with their reading. Elisabeth is reading at the pace of one book every two months… very comfortably and very accurate. We have a 6 foot chalkboard and 5 old fashioned wooden desks that we use downstairs for math and other schooling. 

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Iowa Cold

This morning I witnessed my first zero degree weather. I took these pictures and later that afternoon when it was 5 degrees, the wind picked up. My husband went out to the garage to get his milk buckets and shared that it had to be – 15 degrees. Sure enough, I looked online and it is currently -13 degrees with the wind. I stood out on the back porch for about 10 seconds so I could witness my first real cold weather and was happy to come in. Three minutes later my dress was still cold.
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Herbs

I never thought I would get into herbs. I have never been an “earthy” type of woman. But, when I was pregnant with Miriam, I started to take a tincture each day to help with labor (though I quit taking it because I was nervous as I was unfamiliar with herbs then). I received a booklet that accompanied the tincture and it opened the door to me on the world of using herbs. DSC_0155DSC_0141

Dried Licorice Root – Excellent tonic for sore throats, viruses, building up strength after childbirth, and so much more. This is one of my favorite herbs. 
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Our daily tea blend. Hawthorne berries and flowers (excellent for heart and palpitations, blood pressure. Recommended for all over the age of 50), clover, nettle, alfalfa, licorice, dandelion root and dandelion leaf, astragalus and probably a few others I can’t think of because I’m tired.  : ) 
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Astragalus Bark – An excellent adaptogen. It builds up the immune system strong and steady over time. Many people just throw some into a soup broth to add health benefits to their soup. I found out about this through a book we have called, “Herbal Antibiotics”. 
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Himalayan salt. Not an herb, but good healthy salt with all the 80+ minerals that are found in the human body. It doesn’t make you feel dehydrated or thirsty like regular, white salt. It actually nourishes your body. We use it with everything now… I made the best guacamole the other day with just avocado, olive oil and sea salt. My husband and I couldn’t believe the taste. I also love this salt in homemade chicken broth. 
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One of my tinctures of echinacea that I made a while back. 
DSC_0105Here is the echinacea sitting with the alcohol in it.

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It only takes 6 weeks to let a tincture sit and then it is ready. It is so much cheaper and fresher to make your own. I know it must sound foreign to some people but it really is simple.