New Preschool Enrichment Program at Sweet Harvest Homestead!


Hi Friends,

We are so excited to announce that we will be starting an Enrichment Program for preschoolers this fall!

This is going to be such a wonderful experience for the children enrolled, and for us!

Pumpkin Creek Academy is an enrichment program for preschoolers, ages 3.5 to 5 years. The classes are very small (open to only 4 students) and we will focus on life skills, art, manners and nature study.
This is an 11 week program and it runs September 4 - November 15th.

The program is inspired by the Charlotte Mason and Montessori educational methods. (the way my children were educated ). It has proven to be an extremely effective way to learn about the beautiful world God created!

Field Of Study For Our Eleven Week Enrichment Program:

  1. Planting a winter garden.
  2. Proper care and feeding of animals.
  3. Study of wheat and making bread from scratch.
  4. Electricity (from batteries).
  5. Let's make soap!
  6. Zip line rocket ship
  7. Let's make homemade jam.
  8. Battery powered homemade truck.
  9. Sheep shearing and wool processing.
  10. Harvesting persimmons and hickory nuts.
  11. Candle making.
 For more information, please visit our website



Taffy Pull


My Family moved to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee when I was 10 years old, and since we moved from a very small town, it was like moving to Disney

World.   My brother and I were fascinated by all of the sights, sounds and smells of the tourist area, but our favorite places of all were the candy stores!

Never in our lives had we seen chocolate candies dipped by hand or the glistening sticks of rock candy. We especially loved watching the taffy being made (probably because they gave us samples.)  It was a fun  place to grow up and I cherish the time we had there.

I came across this recipe for homemade taffy when my children were small and we make it every Autumn. We’ve spent many happy evenings pulling taffy to make the texture just right.

So fun to make and pull, but watch out!  It is messy!

2 cups sugar

2/3 cup cocoa powder 1/2  teaspoon salt

1 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons butter, plus additional for greasing pan and hands   

In heavy medium saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add corn syrup, water, and vinegar to pan and place over medium heat. Stir until sugar and cocoa dissolve,

raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, clip candy thermometer to side of pan and cook until mixture reaches 260 degrees

  1. Remove pan from heat, add the butter and stir. Butter edges of sheet pan, line with silicone baking sheet and pour on taffy. Allow to cool until you are able to handle it.

Once you are able to handle the taffy, butter your hands, and start  folding the taffy over and pulling it. Pull until it loses its shine and becomes stiff. Pull into ropes, and use scissors to cut into 1 inch pieces. Wrap each piece in waxed paper.. Make sure to keep pieces separated or they will stick to each other.

That’s the news from the homestead, see you next week!

Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler


My friends, I have happened upon the most delicious, pumpkin, fall cake that I have tasted in years! It's from Lauren@
If you have the ingredients at home, make it tonight. If you don't; run out to the store and get's THAT good!

I just pulled ours out of the oven about 30 minutes ago and it is nearly gone.

Recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler-

Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

1 cup + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups very hot water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium-sized bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and spices. Set aside.
In a smaller bowl, stir pumpkin, milk, melted butter and vanilla together to combine. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix to create a thick batter. Pour into a small 8-inch casserole dish with high sides.
In a separate bowl, stir sugar, brown sugar and pecans together. Spread over the top of the batter evenly. Pour hot water over the entire thing {WITHOUT STIRRING A THING!} and bake for 40 minutes or once the middle is set. {Be sure to place on a baking sheet in case it bubbles over.} Cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with more pecans and vanilla ice cream.

Thank you to Lauren at for this wonderful recipe!

Apple Butter


Last weekend, my sweetheart and I drove over to Blowing Rock and had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, a British styled pub called Sixpence. Have you ever been there? Great food & atmosphere! On our way home, we picked up a half bushel of mountain apples and a bag of chestnuts. Chinquapin; I believe that is what the old timers called the type of chestnuts we bought. They will be a tasty snack after we roast them. The variety of apples that I purchased was Winesap, and I was very busy this week making them into apple butter. Have you ever made apple butter? It is sinfully easy. Apple Butter doesn’t have butter in it; it get’s its name from the smooth texture that occurs after a lengthy cooking time. The old fashioned way of making apple butter involved cooking it outdoors over an open fire and usually in a copper pot. I couldn’t manage to procure a copper pot without shelling out a ton of cash for it, so I opted for an easier method and a cooking vessel that most kitchens have; a crock pot. To make apple butter, you need a large crock pot, enough apples to fill it, sugar, vinegar and apple pie spice. Begin by peeling, coring and slicing up your apples, fill the crock pot full of them and add 3 cups of sugar and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar. Add two heaping tablespoons of apple pie spice and let it cook all day on high. You will need to stir it on occasion to break down the apples. Be careful, the mixture will be very hot! Next week, I will tell you how to preserve your apple butter by canning it in a hot water bath. I wanted to remind you of our Herbal Workshop at Sweet Harvest Homestead on October 8th. It is not too late to sign up. This is going to be such a fun and informative class! We are privileged to have Dr. Partick Ess as our guest speaker. Janice Efird will be our guest demonstrator and show us how to make an effective earache remedy. The workshop starts at 10:30 and we will make tinctures, herbal salves, and an herbal body cream as well as The Master Tonic ( a natural cold and flu remedy). A delicious lunch will be provided. The class is limited to 12 people, and your spot is reserved upon payment. Cost is $99. You will go home with three tinctures, a jar of The Master Tonic, handouts, a jar of body cream, salve & a full belly. These classes fill up quickly! Reserve your spot now. For more information, you can email me at or visit my website That’s the news from the homestead, see you next week.

Brunswick Stew

Early this morning I went outside to my herb garden to gather Comfrey to make a healing salve. Herbs are best gathered in the morning after the dew has cleared, but before the heat of the day sets in and draws off volatile oils.
While I was out there, I noticed that the persimmons on our tree are big and fat and have a muted peach tint to them. After the first frost, they will make a delicious persimmon pudding.
The pumpkin seeds that we planted in the summer have many bright yellow blooms on them, and a few tiny baby pumpkins are beginning to form. You have to get out in the garden very early to even see the flowers opened because by 10 am, they are closed up tight.
This time of year makes me think of good soups. I like to make up extra and freeze it so that we can have a fast and nourishing meal for busy weeknights. This is one of our family favorites, and I hope it will become one of yours too.

Brunswick Stew
One tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 lbs of your favorite BBQ pork
3 (14.75 ounce) can cream style corn
3 (14.5 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes with liquid, chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce
salt and pepper to taste
hot sauce to taste (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and saute the onions until soft. Mix in the pork, corn, tomatoes, broth and BBQ sauce.
Cook, occasionally stirring, for 2 hours, or until thickened.
Enjoy with hot cornbread.

This Friday, September 9th is our Grand Opening of the Tiny Boutique at Sweet Harvest Homestead. We will be open from 10 – noon and will have your favorite fragrances of handcrafted soap, an assortment of seasonal jams and freshly baked homemade bread.
Hope to see you there!

That’s the news from the homestead, see you next week!

Making Homemade Ice-Cream with Granddaddy


 “Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum…”

- Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Even though that passage was written over 50 years ago, it is still fitting right now on these humid, sweltering, summer days. A great way to cool off in this heat is with a bowl of home-made ice cream.

I remember when I was about 11 years old, my granddaddy bought an electric ice-cream maker. He let me go to the store with him and choose the ingredients and flavors that we would need to make ice cream. I chose mint chocolate chip. We set to work making it for the whole family on his front porch. I remember my brother and younger cousins eating the rock salt, and I was worried that all of that salt would get down inside of the container that held the rich, creamy goodness. Thankfully, no salt got in the ice cream. When it was finally finished, all of the cousins gathered around the machine and watched as my granddaddy pried the top lose. We all held our breath in anticipation of the treat, and when the lid was finally off, it exposed a deep green ice cream (because I was a little heavy handed with the food coloring). The chocolate chips were too big and hard to eat because they were frozen, but that memory will live forever as the best ice cream that I ever tasted.

When you are surrounded by all of your family and having a good time on your grandparent's front porch, everything tastes good.

I’ve been experimenting with different flavors of ice- cream, and I think I have hit the mark with this one. It is flavored with cardamom, and the texture is more like the old fashioned Ice milk, instead of ice cream. Does anyone remember ice milk? That was my daddy’s favorite; haven’t seen it in years, but I digress.

Cardamom is a spice that is used in Scandinavian and Indian cuisine. We also use it a lot here because I am nuts about the flavor.

To make Cardamom Ice Cream, you only need a few items.

2 quarts light cream

½ cup sugar

1 TBS freshly ground cardamom.

One fresh egg

8x8 metal baking dish

Mix first three ingredients together in a large saucepan and warm up. In a separate bowl, crack the egg and temper it ( add a little of the hot cream, a tablespoon at a time and stir. This prevents the egg from cooking in the hot liquid) When the egg mixture is tempered, add back to your pot of heated cream and mix well. Pour mixture into baking dish and set it in your freezer for several hours. The shallower the pan, the faster the cream freezes. After the mixture is frozen, scoop out and enjoy.

Cover with plastic wrap or convert to a lidded container and store in the freezer…that is if there is any left.


I have been thinking of adding a new segment to the podcast about books. I consider myself a life long learner and I have at least three books going at once, all of the time. Truth be told, if I went to a doctor for a diagnosis, I would probably have ADD because I flitter and flit from one topic to another all of the time- I like to look at that as an asset instead of something that needs to be medicated out of me.

If I stumble upon something that really resonates with me and is game changing or just helps me to think differently, I want to share it with you. Some may be fictional but most will be non-fiction.

I have recently been re-reading a great book by Claude Bristol called the magic of believing. Written in 1948, the magic of believing can change your life if you follow the steps that Claude Bristol lays out. Now, it is not new age fluff;  Even well-known Christians like Norman Vincent Peale have said this is a great inspirational book - Set a goal in your life, visualize yourself moving toward that goal and see the steps involved.

It is a positive approach to self-improvement that works for many. It is a matter of positive thinking and believing that better things in your life are due to come to you. You can find the book at the library or buy it on Amazon but you can also listen to an abridged version on you tube for free! Give it a listen; I think you’ll really enjoy it!

Speaking of you tube, you can listen to my podcast on you-tube right now. I have a new channel there. I have avoided you tube as a platform for so long now, but I bit the bullet and uploaded my podcasts as well as a couple of how to videos. More videos will come so stay tuned.

Now, I wanted to ask a favor of you dear listeners, If you enjoy listening to the sweet harvest homestead podcast, would you do me the honor of leaving a review on iTunes or subscribing to my you tube channel and giving me a thumbs up? Reviews help get the podcast noticed so that others can enjoy the show too.

Thank you so much for listening and for your support.

That’s’ the news from the homestead, see you next week.

Pork Roast with Sweet Potato & Glazed Kale

Pork Roast with Sweet Potato & Glazed Kale:

I fixed this for supper last week, and it was a huge hit!  The pork roast was so large that I planned on using the leftovers for lunch the next day.  Well, that wasn’t happening.  After my boys and husband had finished supper, there wasn’t any left.

This was easy to make because the Dutch oven did most of the work.

1 Naked Pig Pork Roast (mine was about 5lbs)
1 TBS Naked Pig Lard

One medium Onion

3 Sweet Potatoes

½ cup vegetable broth

½ teaspoon brown mustard



Fresh Rosemary


½ Cup Sweet Harvest Homestead Roasted Peach and Rosemary Jam

Two large handfuls of fresh chopped kale

In a Dutch oven, heat the lard on high.  Sprinkle salt, pepper and sage over both sides of the roast and brown in hot lard.
Chop up one onion and add to the pot.
Add half cup of vegetable broth along with the fresh rosemary.
Put the lid of Dutch oven on the pot and simmer on low for 3 hours.

After two hours- chop up two sweet potatoes and add to the pot
Remove roast and sweet potatoes from the pot after the roast is fall-apart tender and sweet potatoes are sufficiently cooked.

To make the glazed kale:
There will be liquids and roast leavings in the Dutch oven, leave them because that is what makes this glaze taste so good!  To the dutch oven add ½ cup of Sweet Harvest Homesteads Roasted Peach &  Rosemary jam and one teaspoon brown mustard.
Stir until well incorporated and add two tablespoons water
Add two generous handfuls of chopped kale to the glaze in the pot.
Put lid on the pot and let mixture steam for about a minute
Remove kale from the pot into another bowl leaving behind some of the peach Rosemary glaze. Pour glaze over ham.

To serve- slice ham and served over a bed of glazed kale with a side of sweet potatoes and onions.
Delicious! Meat-2

Sweet & Simple Wedding Cake

I am a little obsessed with these naked cakes. Back when I worked at a catering company, many years ago, we called this the crumb coat. Now, this look is a hot little number.
Last weekend we went to the sweetest wedding but had to leave before they cut the cake. They had the most beautiful naked cake there and I really wanted to taste it.
I made my own yesterday and I have to say, I enjoyed this much more than the traditional iced cake. Icing is too sweet to me. You can fill the layers with a tasty jam and just barely ice the cake to keep it moist. Cover it with beautiful flowers and it's a sweet, simple way to make a wedding or birthday cake!


Fish Stew with Kale


This is a recipe that I whipped up last week after I left the farmers market with an abundance of kale.

My family loved it.  Check it out, it might be a new favorite in your family too!

Fish Stew with Kale

1 –TBS lard
1-Vadilia Onion (diced)
1-12 ounce bag of frozen flounder
1-16 ounce bag scallops
1-small bag fingerling potatoes or 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes (diced)
1-can chopped tomatoes
4-large handfuls of fresh kale ( stems torn out)
1-jar clam juice
4 cups vegetable broth


Heat the lard in a large stock pot and add diced onions. Saute until brown. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 30 minutes.

Serve with hot cornbread.