Join me for a day during my winter homestead mom routine as I tend the wood stove, preserving lemons, plus a sweet announcement.
As we welcome in the new year, we’ve been savoring the slower pace that the winter months bring. Our family is eagerly anticipating a joyous addition, as we’re soon to meet our fifth baby! As the season presents us with shorter, colder days, we’ve been embracing the warmth of home-schooling routines, crafty upcycling projects, and the satisfying repetition of our daily chores. The house is filled with the aroma of homemade granola, the comforting crackle of a well-tended hearth, and the invigorating tang of freshly harvested lemons, lined up for preservation.
During these chilly weeks, we’ve found gratitude in simple pleasures, such as cozy clothing and hot coffee. There’s a rhythm we’ve established, starting days with intention-setting, savoring quiet mornings, and finding peace in the quiet enclave of family life. As we navigate through our day, balancing educational activities with the domestic tasks that keep our homestead running, we embrace the hands-on approach to life that informs our traditional skills. From restocking the wood box with upcycled materials to crafting lemon curd from our harvest, each task is a stepping stone to self-sufficiency and a testament to the values we hold dear.
Come along with us as we let you in on a current day in the life during these cold winter months.
Major Family Update
As we welcome the new year, I am thrilled to share that our family is about to grow; we’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of our fifth child. Currently in the 35th week of pregnancy, our anticipation is building as we prepare to greet our new addition. My winter homestead mom routine starts with coffee and quiet reflection.
We start the day with with homemade granola, a simple delight we indulge in weekly. The basic recipe is versatile, accommodating a variety of seasonal mix-ins from pumpkin to freeze-dried fruits, promising a delightful palate of flavors year-round. Breakfast doubles as a catalyst for our homeschooling routine, where shared lessons in history or scripture are followed by independent study, allowing me to manage household tasks like rejuvenating the fire.
While tending to these comforting chores, Grey, my husband, diligently harvested lemons from a tree that his great grandfather planted! The versatility of lemons is unparalleled; we begin by freezing the juice to enhance a variety of dishes and drinks, then might consider other preservation methods like freeze-drying or creating aromatic powders ideal for baking.
Seasonal cooking is a joy; leveraging our harvest, I crafted a special batch of instant pot lemon curd, an annual tradition that brings a dash of zest to our food. This year is marked by doing less yet savoring more, as we harness what’s readily available, making exceptional use of the lemons, affirming that every moment of activity is intertwined with the peace brought by rest.
Recently, our family has been embracing a more relaxed pace for my winter homestead mom routine, which has been wonderful for us, especially as we anticipate the arrival of our fifth child.
Our homestead thrives on self-sufficiency, which is even more crucial amidst the brisk weather we’ve experienced. Bundling up, sipping hot coffee, and enjoying slow starts to the day are simple joys we cherish. To fuel ourselves, we often prepare homemade granola; it’s a straightforward recipe adaptable to all seasons, such as adding pumpkin in autumn or peaches in summer. We enjoy it variously—on oatmeal, with milk, or in a yogurt parfait.
Our days are rhythmically interwoven with homeschooling. We collectively engage in subjects like history or Bible study, after which the children embark on independent tasks. Simultaneously, I tend to chores, like restocking the hearth, ensuring our home remains cozy.
In the kitchen, the lemons commence their transformation. I prioritize simplicity and versatility in food preservation—starting with lemon juice frozen in ice cube trays. We sometimes proceed to freeze-drying or creating lemon powder, perfect for baking. Yet today, my focus was making our annual batch of seasonal lemon curd, a delightful treat stored for enjoyment throughout the year with scones, biscuits, or layered in yogurt.
Our daily life, with its blend of tradition, practicality, and unified efforts, reflects our commitment to living intentionally and sustainably.
Daily Routines in Our Homestead
As we progress through winter, we find comfort in the little rituals that start our homeschooling days on the right note. Our mornings are unhurried, providing a much-needed time of tranquility that I cherish, especially during this pregnancy. We value these slow starts, granting us moments to plan the day ahead, laying out intentions for what we hope to accomplish.
Teaching Practical Skills
Often, the children join in chores like wood storage, but on occasions when they’re immersed in learning, I undertake these tasks myself. It’s an opportunity to teach and model the value of self-reliance and contribute to our family’s wellbeing. Furthermore, the wood box, a roadside find repurposed and enhanced by us, stands as a testament to our practice of upcycling and ingenuity.
Harvesting Nature’s Bounty
Amid these daily rhythms, we stay connected to the land that sustains us. As my husband harvested lemons, anticipating a freeze, he not only preserved the fruits of a tree planted by his great grandfather but also maintained a living legacy. These lemons are then preserved for year-round use:
- Step 1: Freezing lemon juice
- Step 2: Creating lemon powder for baking
- Further Use: Seasonal lemon curd made in the instant pot
Each step in this preservation process ensures that nothing goes to waste and provides us with a range of options for culinary use.
By embracing each task with gratitude, we create a day filled with the beauty of tradition, self-care, and practical education—all crucial elements as we prepare to welcome a new addition to our family soon.
Crafting the Morning Meal-winter homestead mom routine
We gather in the kitchen to prepare our own homemade granola—a recipe that is both straightforward and quick. In mere minutes, it’s ready, waiting to become a delightful breakfast once everyone awakens. The versatility of this dish allows us to cater to the changing seasons, adding ingredients like pumpkin or freeze-dried fruits for a creative twist. Here’s how we typically incorporate this staple into our breakfast:
- Granola as a topping: Sprinkle over oatmeal for a textured delight.
- Granola cereal: Simply with milk for a classic start.
- Parfaits: Layered with yogurt for a creamy concoction.
Once our bellies are full, we promptly convene for our homeschooling routine. We collectively engage in lessons that may include history, Bible studies, or literature. As the children embark on independent learning tasks, I take this window to tidy up and attend to the hearth, a focal point that brings us comfort during these persistent cold spells.
Maintaining the warmth in our home is essential, so replenishing the wood supply becomes a morning ritual. I’ll often load our wood box—a repurposed old desk reclaimed and restored for a new life. The children sometimes lend a hand, but today, they are enveloped in their studies.
Meanwhile, outside, my husband is busy harvesting lemons, gathering as many as he can to shield them from an imminent frost. These lemons, borne from a tree with familial roots, present yet another opportunity for us to preserve what our land provides. Following a simple routine,
How we prioritize preserving lemons:
- Freezing lemon juice: Ideal for water infusions, cooking, or baking.
- Lemon slices for tea: A refreshing addition to a warm cup.
- Lemon powder: Perfect for brightening up baked treats.
Finally, I savor the chance to craft our cherished seasonal lemon curd, a once-a-year delight we all anticipate. Utilizing the instant pot, this recipe is not only effortless but results in a delectable spread for our homemade biscuits, scones, or a zesty addition to yogurt.
Our meals and the processes behind them are more than just a routine—they are woven into the fabric of our days, a blend of nourishment and learning, tradition and comfort. Through these shared experiences, we not only feed our bodies but also enrich our sense of togetherness.
Educational Projects at Home
In these colder months, we’ve found comfort and productivity through engaging educational endeavors. Being surrounded by our family’s warmth, we’ve embraced traditional skills, making every day a chance to learn.
Our mornings commence with the delightful task of crafting homemade granola. A versatile recipe handily adapts to the seasons, with ingredients like pumpkin spice in autumn and peaches in summer to add variation. Whether as a cereal with fresh milk or a topping for yogurt, it provides a wholesome start for us all.
Tailored learning ensues with either history lessons, bible study, or engaging literature. Simultaneously, I manage breakfast cleanup and kindling the fire; a necessity in this brisk weather. Occasionally, one of the children assists, but this morning, I replenished our wood box and swept the hearth during my winter homestead mom routine.
Elsewhere, the open air beckons with chores; like harvesting lemons before an expected frost. These lemons, from a tree with familial roots, yield produce we carefully preserve. Starting with freezing lemon juice ensures we have a supply for various uses, while the rind transforms into a vibrant lemon powder, enhancing our baked goods.
Lemon preservation doesn’t end there. Creating seasonal lemon curd in the instant pot adds a delightful twist to our once-a-year harvest. Be it on fresh biscuits or swirled into yogurt, it’s a cherished homemade delicacy.
As we weave through these tasks, our home’s rhythmic pace allows moments for rest, reflection, and the gentle forward push towards new knowledge and skills, cementing our family’s commitment to learning and living closely with each other.
Household Responsibilities-winter homestead mom routine
Amidst the brisk days of winter, we deeply appreciate the comfort of warm clothing and the leisurely pace of our mornings. As the day begins, we engage in a ritual of outlining our tasks and setting aspirations for the day. This ritual doesn’t always dictate the flow of our day, but it serves as a guide for what we hope to accomplish.
Ensuring warmth in our home, particularly during the cold spells, involves chores like tending to the fireplace. We replenish the wood box, sweep the hearth, and clean out the stove, preparing it for continued use in the following days. At times the children assist with the wood supply, allowing us to appreciate these tasks together.
Furthermore, on this particular day, Grey engaged in outdoor activities, which included harvesting lemons ahead of a forecasted frost. These lemons, from a tree planted by his great-grandfather and now thriving on his parents’ land, are a testament to our exchange of care for produce.
Lemon Preservation Techniques:
- Freezing Juice: We start by freezing lemon juice in ice cube trays for its simple and versatile use.
- Lemon Slices and Powder: Although not prepared today, we often freeze-dry lemon slices and create lemon powder, excellent for teas and baked goods.
- Lemon Curd: Additionally, we craft a seasonal lemon curd using an instant pot, a once-a-year treat savored with biscuits or added to yogurt.
During the preservation process, we gravitate towards methods that are both uncomplicated and adaptable. Pausing often to cater to the children’s needs or household interruptions, we weave our chores seamlessly into the fabric of our daily life.
Repurposing an Old Office Desk into a Wood Box
In our quest to embrace practical skills, we’ve turned a piece of discarded office furniture into a functional wood box for our home.
Initially, we stumbled upon an old office desk with cord holes on the roadside, labeled as free for the taking. Its dimensions seemed like they would work perfectly for our needs. So we brought it home, and with a bit of craftsmanship, we transformed it.
Here’s what we did to give this piece new life:
- Staining: We chose a stain that complemented our home’s decor and applied it to refresh the appearance of the old desk.
- Trim Addition: To enhance the aesthetics and give the box a finished look, we installed trim around the edges.
- Lining Plans: While we have not yet lined the wood box with tin, this is a future goal to improve durability and protect the wood.
Our transformed wood box now serves a pivotal role in our daily routine, especially during these chillier days. Each morning, after the household wakes, we stock it with logs, ensuring our fire remains steady throughout the day. Keeping it filled is often a shared task with the children, but occasionally, I’ll handle it myself while they focus on their studies.
Adjacent to the wood box, we keep a small basket comprising:
- Kindling: Essential for starting fires quickly.
- Fire Starter Materials: A selection of cardboard or paper, which aid in igniting the wood effectively.
With these simple modifications, what was once an outdated piece of office furniture now stands as a vital component in our home, echoing our philosophy of reusing and repurposing with intention.
Winter homestead mom routine-gathering citrus fruits
As we faced an impending freeze, we decided to collect the lemons from the tree before they were jeopardized by the frost. The anticipation of colder weather spurred our urgency. Thankfully, the citrus tree, a legacy planted by great-grandparents, has been lovingly pruned and tended by us in exchange for its bountiful fruit.
Routine Lemon Preservation Methods:
- Initially, we squeeze the lemons and freeze the juice in ice cube trays for later use in various culinary applications like drinks and baking.
- Next, we typically turn to freeze-drying the slices. The dehydrated lemon pieces are perfect for infusing teas or creating lemon powder, which is excellent for flavoring baked goods.
- However, today we forwent freeze-drying and advanced to making lemon curd. The lemon curd we concoct is an annual delicacy, crafted in the Instant Pot, and savored for its rarity and delightful addition to pastries or yogurts.
Convenient Storage Solutions:
- An old office desk spotted with a “free” sign became an ideal place to house firewood near the hearth. Repurposing the desk involved some staining and trim additions.
Throughout the day, alternating between indoor chores and the lemon harvest allows us to maintain the warmth of our hearth and process the lemons effectively. The satisfaction of working together on the homestead is unmatched, especially when it culminates in such fruitful endeavors.
Winter homestead mom routine-preserving Lemons
In our household, the onset of colder weather and the winter months always brings an opportunity to engage in traditional skills, particularly food preservation. As we juggle household responsibilities and the joy of expecting another family member, we ensure that our days are not just productive but also filled with warmth and family activities. Today, I’m sharing how we preserve lemons, which not only safeguards them from the frost but also provides us with a treasure trove of flavors for the entire year.
Lemon Juice: The first step in our lemon preservation process is creating lemon juice. The simplicity of this method lies in its ability to freeze the juice, ensuring we have ready-to-use lemon juice year-round. Our method involves:
- Squeezing the lemons
- Pouring the juice into ice cube trays
- Freezing and using as needed for lemon water, cooking, or baking
Lemon Slices and Powder: Following the juicing, we sometimes opt to freeze-dry lemon slices. These are wonderful for adding a twist to our tea or other beverages. The lemon rind is also transformed into lemon powder, which can be used to enhance flavors in baking recipes:
- Freeze-drying lemon slices for drinks
- Creating lemon powder from the rind for baked goods
Lemon Curd: Lastly, a seasonal creation of ours is lemon curd, prepared using our Instant Pot. This once-a-year special is something we all look forward to:
- Preparing Instant Pot lemon curd
- Enjoying with biscuits, scones, or mixed into yogurt
As we navigate through our chores and the joys of life, these lemon preservation methods not only provide us with delectable, versatile by-products but also imbue our days with the satisfaction of self-sufficiency and tradition.
Crafting Lemon Curd
In the tranquility of our kitchen, we found ourselves amidst a bountiful lemon harvest. Recognizing the impending frost, we hastily gathered the citrus bounty, safeguarded from the cold by heirloom trees nurtured for generations. Amid our usual culinary repertoire, lemon curd emerges as a beloved tradition.
Freezing lemon juice initiates our preservation process. We employ ice cube trays for ease, capturing the essence of the fruit for future culinary endeavors. Our recipes remain unfettered by complexity, championing versatility and ease. The steps for creating the curd are as follows:
- Begin by juicing the lemons, leveraging the zest and rind. These components will impart a vibrant, refreshing flavor.
- In the absence of freeze-drying this season, we directly transitioned to preparing our seasonal lemon curd. It’s an anticipated treat we craft annually.
- Utilizing the instant pot simplifies the process, making it accessible and less cumbersome.
- We enjoy this luscious lemon curd with an array of baked goods—a complement to biscuits, scones, or folded into yogurt for a citrus-infused delight.
This practice stands as a testament to our commitment—capturing the fleeting nature of seasons and integrating their bounty into our daily lives. Our approach to food preservation is both pragmatic and heartfelt, ensuring flavors are savored long after their natural season wanes.
Thanks for coming along with me for my winter homestead mom routine!