Monday, September 26, 2016

Living by Faith

{From the Archives of Connie's Letters. May, 2013.}

Part 1

I feel my writing is very important ... How could any Christian mother look at our precious country and not be moved to do something to help our America back up. .

We older Mothers are to help the younger moms to stay home . .

We need to be examples to them.  As we encourage the young moms, then we help them to make decent homes for the children.

Feminism is such an unholy spirit . . It slaps the face daily of innocent children. . Nothing hurts like watching your family break up. .My greatest heartache lately is that I haven't been able to write .. But the Lord God is making a way for me where there is no way. .

Ya know lately I have been looking through my MARY JANE'S FARM magazines..T hey have a lot of ideas about old fashioned housekeeping etc..  When Jim was healed he started to work steady. . And hey I knew I had to do some radically different things if I planned on making it. . At first Jim only had minimum wage jobs. .One job he had they expected him to work over time and they paid him half the wage for overtime. .So if he made 4 bucks an hour, and if he worked 2 hrs over, then he only got paid 2 bucks an hour for the over time.  . instead of 6 dollars ... Crazy stuff.. But he had a job..and that was wonderful..

The Word of God says that there is gain in all labor.. If you love the Lord and you are working for His glory then the Lord will reward you for your labor. .I just thought, "Ya know God has given me these children and He expects me to take what I have and buy food for them." The Lord never let us down.. .I always had what I needed to feed my family..

Part 2

I think so often of the Depression era mothers.. But the mothers coming up in our country, when its all said and done. may just outrun the Depression era mothers.   I mean the 1930's presented some very hard times.. Still. .with God all things are possible. . If I had a houseful of children right now and I didn't know how to garden or cook from what I had in the house. . I would be learning how. .

I remember going to the store with about 10 bucks to last for the the rest of the week. . I bought about 3 pounds of hamburger and a big sack of potatoes.. and I think I bought a chicken...and that was it.. But now for you ladies everything has gone up sky high. .and the wage law hasn't gone up as much.. .You all have a lot to believe God for. .Every wise woman builds her house and the foolish tear it down with her hands.

God is with us dear mothers.. No matter how much money we have or how little.. . He is able to help us to make it and care for our children. . . With Health care the way it is in our country, we better keep our eyes on Jesus.. .Our President says we are no longer a Christian nation...That breaks my heart..But each of we moms who ARE Christians can make a difference. .we need to encourage each other.. So often I get emails from mothers who read my testimony. .they say "I never could have made it without your testimony.." it kills me inside .. I feel I am so inadequate.. But I just keep peddling along. .and I hope you girls will keep peddling along too. .we all have something to give and to encourage each other with..

Love Connie

 * Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical - all about homemaking and family life. It also tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Down Home Comfort Foods

Connie's Kitchen
{From the Archives of Connie's Letters. January 2010.}

In the summer when the fruit is so plentiful, its easy to make some good fruit cobblers with the homemade biscuits on top. . Just cut up the fruit or use berries. .

Add the sugar to taste,  and a little flour. . .

Bake the fruit until it bubbles then add the biscuits to the top. .

Bake until the fruit is bubbly and the biscuits on top are brown. .

I usually put a baking sheet on the rack below the cobbler in case it runs over. . If it runs over and gets burnt, it is surprisingly good like that. Same story with fruit pies.

Oh mercy this story is making me hungry. . Anyway I say all of this to say that if you learn to make good tasty biscuits, you can make a lot of GOOD DOWN HOME COMFORT FOODS.

Another quick dessert is to take your biscuit dough and flatten it with a rolling pin. .

Then put butter on it and cinnamon and brown sugar. . Then roll it up and slice it to make cinnamon rolls. . Bake in a buttered pan. .

Put the rolls close together, and cut them about an inch thick.

Another way to do this would be to put about a half stick of butter in the pan chopped up. . And sprinkle about a cup or so of brown sugar at the bottom. .

Then lay your cut biscuits over this . .When they are done,  flip the pan over on a plate so the gooey butter sugar mix is on top.

Love Connie

 * Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical - all about homemaking and family life. It also tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Connie's Kitchen

{From the Archives of Connie's Letters. January 2010.}

After a chicken dinner, if any chicken or vegetables are left over, just cut up the chicken in bite - sized pieces and put it in a 9 by 13 pan.

 Add some vegetables. . Then cover all of this with gravy or cream of chicken soup . . diluting soup with a bit of water. . keep it thick like gravy.

Bake this in the oven until it bubbles. . Then take this out and drop your homemade biscuits on the top. . 
Crank the oven up to 450 to bake the biscuits.

This makes a hearty meal for a big family with rambunctious boys.

Yesterday I had to shovel as it snowed again. . Also I had to drag my trash to the front of the driveway over chunks of ice, covered in snow. . . Like walking on water?  Frozen water?  It was so slippery. . The cold made me so hungry for biscuits and gravy last evening. . That's what I had for supper . . and potatoes. . It was so good.

One way I used to fix potatoes for our big family was like this:  Just wash the potatoes and leave the skin
on. . .Slice them in half lengthwise and lay them in a baking pan, with oil, cut - side down. . Salt and pepper them and bake them like this in the oven. . We ate these potatoes with ketchup. . I flip these once in the oven so they get done well. . I used to bake these on my cast iron griddle. . I planned to make soup yesterday. . But the biscuits and gravy and potatoes won out.

Love Connie

 * Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical - all about homemaking and family life. It also tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Financial Matters

Connie's Kitchen

{From the Archives of Connie's Letters. October 2009.}

Ya know when Jim first got healed we were 2 accidents going some place. . Every day I wondered will he rob me of all of our money and take off again?   The Lord told me he was healed but man I wavered back and forth.  I had been left over 30 times with nothing. . and had lived through nightmares. . Now I am to believe we are okay?

Well yeah miracles happen like that.   Still I was afraid.  Well we kept our check book in a desk drawer. The minute Jim left for work in the mornings I would go look in the desk drawer to see if the check book was still there. . .and it was. . . But I got so sick of the devil trying to make me fearful.   I hated it, and yet every morning I checked my desk drawer. . . Again and again each morning. . .checking.  I felt like a slave to fear.

One morning as Jim sat with me drinking coffee before he went to work,  I went to the drawer and got out the check book and handed it to Jim. . . I said "Hey Honey, why don't you take the check book to work with ya, just in case you need something.". . He said, "Why should I?  I don't need to buy anything.".. I said, "Well take it anyway.". . . I was calling the devil out on it.  Later I said, "Well okay then, don't take it.". . I laid the check book out in plain sight on the table.  And to my surprise, just before Jim went to work, he said,"I think I will take it," and he put it in his back pocket.

Well I began to sweat bullets ..and did all day..But Jim came home after work with the check book still in his back pocket.  After that I gave Jim full control over the bills.  . He made mistakes with the money, he hadn't been in charge of the money before so he had to learn how much to spend it on what, And he learned to be wise . . and for 26 years he took care of the bills wisely.   A few years before he died, he paid off a loan on the house.  He always kept current with the bills.  He even left a lil savings for me.  He turned out to be a good man.  . . An honest man.

Yesterday was his Birthday.  He would have been 69 years old, Or I mean 69 years young. . He was always young to me. . . always my boyfriend...He was full of adventure.  I had to run to keep up with him.  My marriage was a hell of a ride.  But I  wouldn't have missed it for the World.

And Papa used to say to anyone who would listen, "if it wasn't for that lil girl over there praying for me, I would have died under a bridge. . she saved my life through her prayers.". . And I thank God I was able to be used of God like that.  God did reward me many times over. . .

Love Connie

 * Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical - all about homemaking and family life. It also tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Living From Scratch

 {From the Archives of Connie's Letters. January 2010.}

Part One

Well I wanted to write in the subject line,"Cooking From Scratch."  But really I want to write about living from scratch. 

I went to a prayer meeting yesterday.  I had a lot of fun with Terry and her husband ..They took me out for lunch after the meeting.  I just loved it.  Terry's new husband Joseph is very spiritual and interesting.  This couple is loving and humble and know what true treasures are.  Anyway they want to buy an acreage and live off the land.  At lunch we talked about how to make cheese etc. .

Back in the old days when we decided to homeschool, it was against the Iowa state law.  So we quit getting any help from the state like food stamps etc..  For me it was like getting hit over the head with a sack of potatoes ..  With food stamps, I had 500 a month to spend on groceries.  Jim could only afford to give me 200 a month out of his paycheck for groceries.  But that was okay with me.  I knew he was being honest about it.  He had to pay the house payment and the other bills.  We had to keep a roof over our heads.

We had 6 children to care for.  Well 5 at home at the time.  Jimmy [the oldest] was in the Navy.  But he came home often ..We all missed him a lot.  I had an idea of how to cook from scratch only, but hadn't done it as a way of life for so many people at one time.  It takes a lot of planning.  You can learn to cook from scratch ..You can learn about herbs and gardening, saving your own heirloom seeds each year to plant in the spring.

 Ya know we women should stay home more.

You can quit going to the Beauty Salon to get your hair died, permed, and frizzed.  You can wear a scarf on your head and forget it.  Scarves on your head make you look mysterious, like you are up to something. Or better yet wear a cowboy hat with your apron.  Just stay home and learn womanly ways.  The old time Mothers got up with the chickens and started biscuits or bread of some kind for the day.  She spent time in the kitchen.  I always got up early too, usually to write.  But when I got up I would always be thinking of feeding my army.

So while I wrote, I was frying a pound of hamburger with onions for an afternoon Hamburger, Vegetable Soup.  I made the soup here and there as I passed the kitchen. . . Writing, thinking, cleaning vegetables as I went about my morning.  It was a way of life. . . I kept the morning quiet ya know.  I didn't vacuum. . just did what I had to do as it was my time to write and pray.

But then about 6:00 in the morning I got the kids up for homeschool.  They showered and helped with chores, and I fed them breakfast.  But then I didn't have much time then to fix a lunch.  I was so busy with the kids and school work all morning.  But that meal made in the wee hours of the morning saved me for the day.

Also I would start my bread early too if I needed to.  If we had to go some place in the morning, we had that meal to come home to.  Otherwise we would have been tempted to buy fast food that we couldn't afford.  And I would be exhausted when we got home after getting up so early in the morning.  So to come home to a big pot of vegetable soup was such a comfort.

And after lunch I always rested.  This was when my children did their reading for book reports.  I rested for a few hours.  Then back to the kitchen to do more cooking.

Part 2

 I loved to see Wildman buy a 50 pound bag of potatoes and haul them over his shoulder at the grocery store.  Or 25 pounds of flour over his shoulder.  Oh what a cowboy I married.  He brought home the bacon and his wife fried it. I worked like a dog keeping up with Wildman and his seeds.

His 4 sons were creative like him, and still are.  Our home was dominated by boys growing into men.  The boys sat at the table and watched Jim heap his creamed peas or corn over his mashed potatoes and gravy, and they ate the same way.  Well not Jimmy as he was too educated to do such a thing.  David always says "Are you sure Jimmy is one of us?"  Jimmy was raised as an only child by primarily a hippy Jesus freak ..that would be me.  My life was a fright and I was afraid to have another child.  But then when Jimmy was 7, I got the Holy Ghost and thought I could do anything.  So I preceded to have 5 more children. . What the heck. .

I had to do a lot of creative thinking to keep my family afloat.  I did a lot of praying, on and off.   As my washers and dryers would break down, I used a wringer washer, and my back yard clothes line.  I used an old garden rake to hold up the middle of the clothes line rope as it sagged.  I didn't have a drain to drain the washer so I drained it into buckets.  Then I had the kids take the buckets out to the garden and water the vegetables.

I loved my 2 wringer washers.  I wasn't wasting water.  I did 3 loads of wash at a time.  Well I could use the same water for a 4th load to do rag rugs.  Anyway you can still buy wringer washers.. I know the Lehman's catalog has them.  Wringer washers save on so much water.  And it's easy to use your used up soapy water for the garden.  The soap in the water keeps the bugs out, especially in a cabbage patch.  And in a drought, the water comes in handy.

Anyway I used my wringer washer to wash all of our clothes.  Also I made my own laundry soap. But I used lye and I guess ya cant get it now at the stores.  Maybe from Lehman's catalog or on the internet.

It was a lot of work to live like we did.  But to me it was a mission or calling.  I believed God had given me my children to train for Him.  I knew I wasn't to go out to work.  So I knew God had a plan for me.  I knew He could teach me how to make it on only 50 bucks a week for everything.  I didn't know how . . .But God showed me in the wee hours of the morning when I would get up to pray.  I was confident that He knew what He was doing. . . I knew I didn't. . . but He showed me.

love Connie

 * Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical - all about homemaking and family life. It also tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mother's Homemade Light and Tasty Biscuits

Connie's Kitchen
{From the Archives of Connie's letters. January 2010.}

Good Morning Happy Housewives,

  Here is the recipe and tips for light and tasty biscuits.. I feel that making biscuits is an art.  And it takes practice to get them to turn out like you want them.  But just practice.  And the ones that don't turn out, just throw them out the door to the birds.  I had to throw a lot of my brick biscuits out.  One day we saw a squirrel running down the street with my biscuit in his mouth.  He liked "Mother's Home Made Biscuits."

Ok the recipe for biscuits is on the can of CLABBER GIRL BAKING POWDER, Probably on any
can of baking powder... But that's an awfully small amount of biscuits just using 2 cups of flour. . Ok for a family, use 4 cups of flour. . . Anyway, turn on your oven to 475 first before you do anything else.  Biscuits have to have a hot oven or they won't turn out okay.

Get out a big bowl and put in 4 cups of flour, and 2 Tbs of Baking Powder..Some salt and a lil sugar, a half tsp of both?

Mix this up and add almost a cup of lard or shortening of some kind. . . Now just work the shortening into the flour mixture with your fingers. . Until the mix looks like cornmeal sorta. . Just work all the shortening in to the flour.

Then add a cup and a half of milk.  Stir this up to make a biscuit dough. Like you are playing with play dough.  Add flour to your work surface so it won't stick. . not much flour.  I barely pat my dough together.. Just mix it up good enough so it doesn't stick to your work table.

Then cut out the biscuits with a floured tin can or cookie cutter or just a drinking glass?  Set the cut outs on a greased cookie sheet,  and pop them in your preheated oven and bake about 12 to 15 minutes, or until brown.

Don't use a rolling pin on these biscuits.  Just pat the dough into a mound.  I cut my biscuit dough to be about an inch high.  Or you could just drop the dough on the cookie sheet like cookies..I just always cut mine out.

Love Connie

 * Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical - all about homemaking and family life. It also tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Visit

 Dear Sisters in Christ,

Wow I have been learning many hard lessons in Christ. .Ya know the Lord is teaching me that if we are sick matter what we have, we can get can get well. .

A few months ago I had 2 therapists come in to teach me exercises in my home...These ladies were like angels. They sensed that I had given up...The one lady said to me .."Connie you can live through this..if you want to.  Or you can die's your decision"...Well I decided to live..

I did pretty well with the exercises..The ladies only came about 4 or 5 times. They told me after that they were no longer needed ....I am getting better...My goal is to live here at home in peace and to write ...I am surrounded by the things I love. ... I want to play my piano each day and stay busy with my home making..I love to write...The writing organizes my thoughts.......But the main thing is that I must serve God..No I dont know why life is so hard ...But His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

Love  Connie

 * Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical - all about homemaking and family life. It also tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 


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