December 12, 2013

This Week on the Homestead

What a beautiful, crisp, fluffy snow we’ve gotten!  We didn’t get enough ice to bother us much, which is a wonderful blessing.  Watching the snow fall here in the woods was quite a sight to behold though.  With all of the impending winter storm warnings we received, we had plenty of time to replenish the wood pile, add some much needed insulation to the chicken coop, bed the bunnies down with extra hay, and fill the bird feeders all the way to the top.  The only thing left to do was
to snuggle in and watch the beauty of the snowfall.  Even though the weather causes a bit of extra work with frozen water and difficulty getting around, we love how it seems to slow down time a bit too.  Life seems to move at a slower pace and that is a true blessing.  Did you know that scripture refers to this weather as a “treasury of snow”?  Job 38:22-30 is an extremely interesting section to read regarding not only the importance of snow, but how treasured it is.  I know farmer’s treasure the snow very much.  Up north, where it gets extremely cold, the snow is greatly treasured to safeguard not only the plants, but it also safeguards against frozen pipes and septic systems.  One year, there wasn’t a significant snowfall before the below zero temps came and everyone was scrambling to protect their underground assets with tons of straw.  Growing up here in the Ozarks, those steps of precaution were new to me since we never seem to need to do that here.  Of course, the winters up north introduced me to a lot of new things that I won’t bore you with, but needless to say, winters here in the Ozarks are a breeze in comparison.

It is hard to believe that we are well into the month of December already.  It is time for all that scrumptious baking that we don’t do the rest of the year, including those extra sweet goodies that we guard against except for during Christmas time.  One of our favorite treats (and extremely easy, so easy you won’t believe it) that we like to make is Christmas Bark.  

It can be made as Peppermint, Chocolate, Toffee, Cherry, or whatever type of baking chips you prefer.  It’s best to use a cookie sheet with shallow sides and then line the bottom of it with saltine crackers.  

In a saucepan, combine 1 cup butter and 1 cup dark brown sugar.  
Bring it to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.  
Immediately pour it over your crackers and spread it to cover your crackers.  
Have your oven ready at 400° and bake for 5 to 6 minutes.  
Remove from your oven and sprinkle 2 cups of chocolate chips (or whatever flavored chips you like) over the top.  
Let it set for about 5 minutes for the chips to get soft, then spread them evenly.  
Top with pecans or Christmas colored M&M’s or fun sprinkles or use several toppings.  
Let it cool completely and then break apart.  

This is a really fun kitchen project for even the young children.  We sometimes like to use a combination of chips to swirl them together too.  The ones made with the toffee chips are extremely delicious with the butter and brown sugar combination.  Also, a batch of these makes great Christmas gifts!

Now my mouth is watering.  We are heading out today to do some Christmas baking shopping and you better believe those ingredients are on my list!  Maybe I can get home in time to make some today.  I hope you are enjoying some time in the kitchen with your children and/or grandchildren this season.  Those memories for them and us are priceless!

Have a blessed week and especially remember to not burden yourself with a flurry of activity that causes you to lose sight as to what Christmas is truly about.  It can be so easy to do.  Being peaceful and content can also be a great gift to others because it can be contagious and what a great feeling to spread!


  1. Christmas Bark had no idea that was so easy...will have try that...thank you for sharing...

  2. As I came from the Chicago area, I've had my share of crummy winters and appreciate the warmer temps here in the Ozarks. But we obviously need to be reminded of Winter and not grow lax with our preps. More freezing rain supposed to come tomorrow night. Hunker down & stay warm. Oh, and great picture! Sometimes I need a reminder to stop & look at the beautiful snow & ice instead of just cussing it :)

    1. That is the answer Carolyn! Always over prep and then snuggle in, feed the fire and enjoy watching the beauty of winter!

  3. I tried the Christmas Bark and it was so GGGOOOOODDD!!!!! Thank you for the recipe!

  4. I happily found your blog (have liked on FB and am now following) as I was searching for information about Missouri and where we might relocate our homestead; we're kicking around the idea of moving to MO. Land prices look much better than where we are now but, if you have a minute, could you leave me a message on FB and tell me anything about MO you think would be relevant to a fellow homesteader. You can search Homestead Lady or follow this link I'm interested in the Ozarks - they look beautiful - but you could fill a book with what I don't know about Missouri! Thanks in advance!

  5. I just came by to wish you a blessed and joyous Christmas!


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