Thursday, April 28, 2022

How to Can Strawberry Jam in a Water Bath

 Hi friends! Tonight I posted a video over on my YouTube channel that explains how to can strawberry jam in a water bath. I wanted to leave the recipe here so it's easy for you to reference while you follow the video.

Strawberry Jam (makes 9 pints)

10 c. crushed strawberries

14 c. sugar (divided)

2 boxes pectin

Wash, stem, and crush strawberries to measure 10 cups. Place into a stockpot and stir in 1 c. sugar. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. Then add pectin and bring mixture to a rolling boil. Add sugar and bring back to a rolling boil. Then boil for one minute and remove from heat. Fill jars and process in a water bath canner according to instructions in the video below.

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Friday, April 22, 2022

Canning Tomatoes in a Water Bath

Canning tomatoes is so rewarding and a great way to preserve your harvest or whenever you find them at a great price! Here is a step by step instruction video for canning tomatoes in a water bath. 


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Can Anyone Be a Homesteader?

Modern homesteading is different than what we traditionally think of as homesteading. It's a mindset more than a specific set of boxes to check off. In this video, I share my take on modern homesteading, along with an introduction to my new brand, Torah Led Homestead.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Fresh Whole Wheat Bread Recipe from Ground Wheat Berries

Last year I started grinding my own wheat berries for flour and boy are we loving it! I'm so glad I invested in a grain mill. The freshly milled taste is like nothing else and the health benefits are enormous! If you haven't already, check out this video from Sue Becker that explains all the benefits of consuming freshly ground grains.

Several friends have asked me for my bread recipe lately, so today I took the time to photograph the process so I could write it up. 

I think one of the most important things to know about baking fantastic bread is to get the dough ball right. Is it too wet? Too dry? The best way I can tell that my dough ball is just right is when it doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl and it feels like chewed bubblegum. It should feel kind of tacky but not sticky.

Another way to tell is if you can form it into a log that will hold its shape. 

So, if your dough is too dry and crumbly to do this, add a little warm water. If it's too wet, knead in some more flour. If you take the time to get your dough ball right, the rest should be a breeze!

Fresh Whole Wheat Bread (2 loaves)

2 1/4 c. warm water
1 1/2 TB yeast
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. honey
1 TB salt
9 1/2 - 10 c. freshly ground whole wheat flour

Begin by grinding your wheat berries. When you're about 10 minutes from finishing, mix the yeast and warm water together and let it sit the rest of the grinding time. I use a stand mixer with a dough hook. If you will be kneading by hand, just put this in your mixing bowl. Remember that if your bowl is cold, you'll need to warm it up under warm water. The water and yeast mixture needs to stay warm.

Once your berries are finished, add the oil, honey, and salt to your mixing bowl. Then add a few cups of flour and begin mixing. Add the rest, a cup at a time, making sure everything is incorporated well by scraping the sides of the bowl from time to time. I usually stop at about 9 cups and really mix/knead it well, then I check the dough ball. If it is tacky like gum but not sticky, it is ready. I usually need 9 1/2 cups of flour to get it perfect.

Continue kneading with a dough hook or by hand for about 5 minutes. Then let the dough ball rest in the bowl for 30 minutes. After that, oil your bread pans and then form the dough into two logs the length of your bread pans minus about an inch. Place the logs in the bread pans with the seam side down and let them rise in a warm place for awhile---usually an hour or two. You can cover them if you'd like but I never do---I use shallow pans and I don't want to mess up the tops!

Lastly, bake them at 325ยบ for about 30 minutes. You'll need to watch them to see when they're at the stage of browning you prefer as every oven is a little different. Make sure they're at least a light golden brown so you can ensure the middle is cooked through. Then slide a knife around to remove them immediately from the pans and cool on a rack. If you leave them to cool in the pans, they'll sweat and your bread will become soggy. I've found this to be true, even for stoneware pans.

I hope you enjoy this delicious fresh whole wheat bread! Let me know if you try it out!

Flee Youthful Lusts

I like to consider myself a mature believer. I've been pursuing a relationship with Jesus, who I now call Yeshua, for over 30 years. I've spent my entire adult life in one sort of ministry or another and have raised my children in a home that requires honor and obedience to the Father and his Word.

But there's one area of my life that I have always struggled to give Him complete control over---my health. Back in my 20s, I would have just said "my diet"---but now in my 40s, these years of sugar binges and lack of nutrition have caught up to me and I'm starting to see their effects on my overall health. I've had plenty of warnings from the Father---but I've chosen to ignore them, I've chosen to serve my idol instead.

I recently heard a fellow YouTuber say something like, What is Yahweh talking to you about giving up and how much longer can you refuse before He stops talking to you about it anymore? Whoa. That hit me. Will I be given over to my foolishness by a God who has chosen to go silent on me? It's happened to others---the Bible is full of examples. This thought terrifies me.

"But you, O man of God, flee these (temptations) and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness." 1 Timothy 6:11

Refusing to give up my addictions shows immaturity. Refusing to walk in self control shows laziness and irresponsibility.

"Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from (dishonor), he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts." 2 Timothy 2:21-22

We have three adult sons---two who still live at home. The rule for adult children at home is that they must take care of their own personal bills and either pay us a small monthly rent or contribute significantly to the running of the home. If these conditions are not met, they must move out. Thankfully, I've not had to kick anyone out yet---but I'm not opposed to doing so, if needed. Our mature children must take responsibility for themselves. 

But am I modeling this in my own life? If I won't take care of my Father's "house" (me), then one day I fear he may give me over to my irresponsibility and throw me out! This body belongs to Him and years of unhealthy living are manifesting themselves in signs of an increasingly unhappy home.

The second half of Romans 1 spoke to me pretty clearly this morning:

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (28)  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting…" Romans 1:18-25, 28

In verses 18-19, we learn that the wrath of God is on those who know what God has revealed but suppress it. It is true that there are certain subjects I don't address in my ministry because I'm not obedient in them myself. While it may seem noble to avoid hypocrisy, the righteous thing to do would be to get those things figured out in my life so I can walk in true obedience.

In verses 20-21, we learn that we have been able to understand Him since the creation of the world. Therefore, we have no excuse not to walk in His ways.

Verse 22 tells us we have chosen idols over Him. Yes, I do this daily when I refuse to require my will to submit to His.

Verses 24-25, 28 are the real clincher for me. Concerning those who choose to worship themselves over walking in obedience to God---He gives those people up to the lust of their hearts and the dishonoring of their bodies. How can I pray for the blessings and favor of the Father when I won't give up the things I know are creating the very problems I'm praying against? It sounds so ridiculous---but addictions are hard. They're traps---not of the body, but of the mind.

If I'm truly a mature disciple, I must walk like one. It's time to grow up.

"But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind." Philippians 3:12-15

"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For YOU died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:1-7