Do you long to embrace from scratch living and bake, grow, make, discover and simplify your daily routines?
Even as a child, while I was growing up I had very specific ideas about how I wanted to live my life when I became a wife and mother. It was my grand plan to homestead before I knew it was even a thing, have animals that I would use for meat, and a giant garden where I could harvest and store up food for the lean or cold months ahead.
And now today, my resolve is firm as I see how busy and frantic the world has become. Children don’t stay children for long, and I long for those summer days of riding my bike up and down the street playing cops and robbers with my neighborhood friends, for my children.
One thing that I’ve been determined to do is make the best cookies and always have them on hand in a cookie jar on my kitchen counter. I also have always desired to learn to make bread. I’m an avid bread eater, but I have always wanted to learn how to make bread. Does it sound like I’m stuck in the 1940’s or 1950’s? So be it.
Value in from scratch living
If it does, that’s okay, because there is value to living that way. Melissa K. Norris’ book Hand Made: The Modern Woman’s Guide to Made-from-Scratch Living (Amazon) speaks to my soul. In this book, you will find how to cook delicious foods from scratch, make your own sauces and spices, can your garden’s harvest, and create your own herbal remedies and candles.
She begins by explaining how her typical day goes, and like most people, it’s crazy. You start your day off too early and end it too late after packing an exorbitant amount of things on to your to-do list. It’s no wonder why whenever someone asks you how you are doing; your go-to response is “I’m tired”. We are all tired of living a life like it’s some kind of race.
That’s why Melissa wrote this book that is full a great wisdom from experience. She shows readers what kind of life we can live if we take what our grandparents or great-grandparents learned while living through the greatest economic disaster in our countries history, the Great Depression. People didn’t have the money to go out and purchase everything they needed then, and even still today that is sometimes still the case.
But what if you don’t have to go out and buy it? What if you can make it instead?
Exploring homemade bread
Using Hand-Made I decided it was time to learn to make bread. Melissa has a great master bread recipe that I figured would be easy to follow. It only called for five ingredients and one of them was water. There was no trip to the store, and no kneading the bread. It was simple. And that’s exactly what Melissa was going for.
Sure, I worried a little that I may have killed off the yeast, but that didn’t happen, and that ball of dough rose to at least three times its size in about an hour.
I decided on the Cheese bread and soft pretzel recipes that use Melissa’s master dough. The directions were easy to follow and very quick to make. And it felt as though Melissa was in my kitchen talking me through each step so I knew what to do. Plus there is no greater smell in the world than your home filled with the scent of baking bread.
The pretzels were soft and the cheese bread was great for making sandwiches. And maybe it’s not the prettiest first attempts at making bread, but I made it. And there is a great sense of pride and accomplishment when you create something from nothing.
Homemade should be hectic
Do you wish you could slow down and create a home you and your family love and enjoy spending time in? Melissa K. Norris, author of Hand Made: The Modern Woman’s Guide to Made-from-Scratch Living and the voice of the Pioneering Today podcast, offers down-to-earth tips and guidance to help you learn how to…
- Bake old-fashioned recipes (everything from biscuits to Shepard’s pie) with quick, stress-free recipes
- Grow, harvest, and preserve culinary and medicinal herbs (with DIY tutorials for soaps, salves, and balms)
- Make your own cultured and fermented foods at home following simple instructions for buttermilk, sour cream, sourdough, and more
- Simplify your routine and declutter your home with room-by-room guides and Depression-era wisdom
- Discover practical and tangible ways you can craft your home into a refuge for yourself and the ones you love.
About the author
Melissa K. Norris inspires people’s faith and pioneer roots with old-fashioned skill sets and wisdom featured in her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she’s not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.