I have been asked several times by younger girls about what is the hardest thing about being out of school — finished with formal lessons — and remaining at home.
I would say the hardest thing would be managing the time I have been blessed with during this season. Having your time filled with lessons is convenient. But when you are finished? What then? Yes, we are blessed to be able to move on, as it were. To be entrusted with bigger things, of more responsibility.
But there is only so much of cooking, cleaning, and laundry that can be done in a day. Trust me on this =}
We are exhorted in Ephesians that we need to be “redeeming the time, because the days are evil”, but just how exactly are we supposed to do that?
In my days of singleness that I have chosen to spend at home, I have a goal — to learn to become a wife and mother one day, if the Lord so wills. Which means I need to be preparing now…in these days, during this “free” time. Not only stocking a hope-chest, but applying it all practically in my day to day life to get a lot of practice in before I am married and have a family.
So, by this time you are looking at the title of this post, and at the jars filled with delicious looking stuff, and wondering what on earth is she rambling on about???
One way I have filled my time is by preparing things for our cabinet. To stock up a pantry with healthy things that can be made with little preparation is a great help when you have unexpected company over….and who doesn’t like people who surprise you? Isn’t it fun? And then to make them feel as if you were expecting them by serving them a little surprise would make them feel so at home and comfortable, wouldn’t it?
When our family cooks, we cook from scratch. But this can take time and preparation. Beside the things added to ready made packaged food being unpronounceable, much of it isn’t healthy to be consuming. Now, I will state a disclaimer here — yes, my family cooks healthy. But when I say healthy, I am talking we use healthy ingredients in our creations. Raw sugar, unbleached, unbromelated white flour, whole wheat flour, butter, eggs, milk…..ect. Much like the old fashioned farmers wife would have cooked fifty years ago for her hungry husband coming home from working in the field. But I digress :D
I spent quite a while yesterday preparing dry mixes to have on hand…..just because. Just in case we have company. Or would like more time to visit with our guests. Or maybe we want a quick, easy treat to mix up for our family dinner table, to make it special. Being hospitable is a very important thing — opening your home to others and making them feel comfortable is an art. Here is the first recipe in this series of recipes I am planning on posting here in the near future: Homemade “Funfetti” Cake Mix….so lets tie on our aprons and start cooking, shall we?Sift together in a large bowl 2 1/4c. flour, 1 1/2c. granulated sugar, 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt. Stir in about 1/2c. rainbow jimmies (the long, colorful sprinkles). Store in an airtight container. Yields 4 c. of mix.
To prepare you will need:
- 1 1/4c. milk
- 2 TBS. vegetable oil
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 TBS vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
Cream softened butter until light and fluffy. Add milk, oil, vanilla, and eggs, and stir until combined…if doing it by hand this will take a while, but it will work :-} Add 4c. mix and stir until just combined and no longer lumpy. Pour batter into lined muffin tins or greased and floured cake pans. Bake at 350*. For cupcakes, bake about 20 min., and for cake pans start checking around 30min.
Makes 2 doz. (big) cupcakes, or 2 9″ cake pans, or 1 9×13″ pan.
For the frosting:
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 32 oz. confectioners (powdered) sugar
- a little milk
Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add extracts. add powdered sugar, adding milk as needed, until you get the consistency you desire….Bon Appetite! Here is a printable version of the recipe, so you can add it to your recipe collection:
Visit all of our posts in the Prepared Pantry Series: