DIY

Eggcellent Traditions I know you'll love for Easter!

Easter is my absolute favorite holiday!

It outweighs even Christmas as far as my enjoyment goes.

I love that it falls in the spring season (even if Michigan still has snow on the ground- yes, it happens.)

I love putting together colorful baskets of goodies for my kids, dying eggs, Easter egg hunts and family dinner served on my mom’s good china.

But more important than what we do, to celebrate, is the reason my family celebrates.

The day marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ. An action that completes God’s gift of salvation, free for us to receive. It is a joyous occasion of freedom worth a celebration.

Just like my family gathers around the table at Christmas to frost cookies, we also gather around the table the day before Easter to dye eggs.

We do it the old fashioned way. The way I grew up doing it.

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Dying Eggs

My mom could never see the sense in purchasing a pricey egg dying kit when we had the ability to do it with what we had at home.

  • Mugs

  • Spoons

  • Food Dye

  • Vinegar

  • Hard-boiled eggs (room temp.)

  • Rags

  • Egg cartons

We simply filled the mugs with boiling water, added a Tbsp. of vinegar to each mug and then added a few drops of food dye to each mug. We placed eggs on spoons and lowered them into the mug, where they would sit until the desired color was reached. After we took them out of the mug, they rested on rags (or paper towel) to dry. Then they went back into the cartons and were stored away in the fridge until it was time for the egg hunt.

When my husband entered the picture, we got even more creative.

  • Sharpies of various sizes

  • clear nail polish

Sharpies allow you to draw extra (or should I say eggstra… hahaha) details and designs on your eggs. Use fine and regular tips to allow you the most creativity.

Our favorite way to use sharpies is our traditional Charlie Brown egg. Using a black sharpie draw a chevron stripe design on an egg and then place it in a mug of yellow food coloring. The result is an egg that looks like Charlie Brown’s shirt.

Clear nail polish lets you write and design secret messages on your eggs that won’t show up until you put them in dye. We like to write names and draw symbols, shapes and pictures before placing them in the colors.

After the festivities of egg hunting are done, my favorite way to use up our decorated hard-boiled eggs is as Deviled Eggs.

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History Lesson

The term deviled was first used, in reference to food, in 1786. (Though stuffed eggs were a favorite since ancient Rome.) In the 1800’s it was used for spicy or zesty food, including eggs, that were prepared with mustard, pepper and other ingredients.

In 1896, Fannie Farmer was one of the earliest to suggest the use of mayonnaise in regards to the filling, though that did not become the classic combination until the 1940’s.

Today there are many recipes for fillings that use everything from pickles, bacon, seafood, and hot sauce to kimchi and caviar.

My family’s favorite is a simple, basic recipe from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. (A classic that I received as a wedding shower gift, twenty five years ago, and still use to this day.) Deviled eggs from this recipe are always the first to disappear at any function we bring them to.

Deviled Eggs Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 hard boiled Fox & Glove Farmstead eggs

  • 1/4 cup mayo

  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp. vinegar

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Paprika for dusting

Instructions:

  • Halve the cooked eggs lengthwise, remove yolks.

  • Place yolks in a bowl and mash with a fork.

  • Add mayo, mustard, and vinegar and mix well.

  • Season with salt and pepper.

  • Stuff the egg halves with the yolk mixture and dust with paprika. (You can simply drop filling into the yolk cavity by spoon or get fancy and use a piping bag to fill your eggs.)

I have a few final tips that will make working with your eggs easier on both egg dying and prepping days.

  1. Bring the eggs to room temp. for both boiling and dying eggs. Don’t use cold, straight from the fridge eggs.

  2. Use older eggs… they’ll be easier to peel.

  3. Do use a good dose of salt in your water when you boil your eggs… they’ll be easier to peel this way as well.

I hope you enjoy your Easter Holiday and find these tips useful! If you have any egg tips or tricks I’d love if you’d share them with me. Leave a comment below or email me at cyndi@foxandglovefarmstead.com and don’t forget to sign up for your free gift from Fox & Glove Farmstead down below in the footer.

Also if you are local to the Grand Rapids, Michigan area we’d love to be your supplier of farm fresh eggs.

Until next time,

Bloom & Grow,

Cyndi

Starting a garden is as easy as A, B, Seed!

It’s February and, depending on where you live, winter may be loosening it’s grip or (like here in Michigan) it may be still going strong.

If you’re like me, you might just be getting a little bit antsy to get your fingers back in the dirt and get things growing.

Good news…

It’s Not Too Early To Start!

The biggest mistake most gardeners make is thinking everything goes into the ground at one time, about the time the weather gets nice. But that technique will leave you disappointed.

Both vegetables and flowers have cool season growers and warm season growers. A plant that thrives in the cool temps of spring will wither or bolt during a hot summer. Reverse that for a warm season plant: put it in the cold ground of spring and you will be watching nothing grow.

So now is the perfect time to start thinking about your cool spring garden and while the ground outside may not be workable there are flowers and veggies that will thrive if you plant them now, indoors as seeds.

5 Flowers To Start Indoors From Seed Now:

  • Snapdragons

  • Delphinium

  • Sweet Peas

  • Pansy

  • Black-eyed Susan

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6 Vegetables To Start Indoors From Seed Now:

  • Spinach

  • Kale

  • Tomatoes

  • Peppers

  • Peas

  • Eggplant

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Supplies Needed:

  • Seeds

  • Small pots: I like to use plastic cells and plastic starter pots. I reuse them as much as possible. Make sure they are dirt free and sterilized with a water/bleach solution before using. (One gallon water to 1 or 2 Tbsp. bleach.)

  • Trays: Hold water to allow the plants to suck it up from the bottom.

  • Lids (optional): Help hold heat and humidity in.

  • Seed starting mix: From your local garden center.

  • Large plastic container: to hold wet seed starting soil mix.

  • Small gardening shovel

  • Garden gloves (optional)

  • Plant markers: Craft popsicle sticks work well as do old plastic blinds.

  • Sharpie: To label your plant markers

  • Spray bottle: Make sure it can spray with a fine mist..

  • Water: Non-chlorinated, non-salted. When in doubt purchase distilled water from the grocery store.

  • Grow lights (really helpful)

  • Heat mats (optional)

Techniques:

I’m clearly no Joanna Gaines or Ree Drummond on camera but watch the video demonstration below for a short tutorial. We shot this in one take so I’d like to clarify that when I said most plants have to start when we have snow still on the ground, I meant cool season plants and plants with long growing times. Don’t start pumpkins now! LOL!

To help you know more about start dates I have put together a handy guide for both indoor seed starting and outdoor seed starting. Email me at cyndi@foxandglovefarmstead and ask for A… B… Seed! I’ll be happy to send you the FREE guide.

To see our seed starting setup with grow lights, and other information watch this video.

Other Tips and Tricks:

Plants that have been started in the comfort of your cozy house will need to be “hardened off” before you move them to their outside home. This means exposing them to the great outdoors, a little bit at a time, gradually lengthing their exposure so they can build up hardiness to the outdoors.

To know when your plants should go in the ground, make sure to email me (cyndi@foxandglovefarmstead) to get your free growing calendar and seed starting guide.

Reference & Sources:

  • Seeds: Territorial Seed Company, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

  • Supplies: Family Farm and Home, Lowes, Ace Hardware

  • Books: Cool Flowers by Lisa Mason Ziegler, Better Homes and Gardens Vegetable, Fruit and Herb Gardening, Floret Flowers- Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein

Happy Growing:

Are you convinced to give seed starting a try this year? I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

You can drop me a comment here on the blog, on facebook, on instagram or shoot me an email at cyndi@foxandglovefarmstead.com

And don’t forget to email me for your free guide and calendar to seed starting… cyndi@foxandglovefarmstead.com

Bloom and grow!

Cyndi

Whip Up These Bath Bombs For Great Last Minute Gifts

Bath Bombs- a compacted mix of fizz and fragrance that dissolves in your bath water- aren’t new. (I made my first ones around 20 years ago.)

They are, however, extremely popular right now.

They’re in all the stores and people are going crazy for them this holiday season.

But did you know Bath Bombs are easy to make at home?

You probably already have some of the ingredients sitting in your kitchen right now and by making them at home you can:

  • Avoid any nasty ingredients that sneak their way into the mass produced “bombs”.

  • Save some money.

  • Enjoy learning a new skill.

It’s so easy your kids can do it. (And they will want to when they see you doing it!)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baking soda

  • 1/2 cup corn starch

  • 1/2 cup citric acid

  • 1/4 cup epsom salts

  • Water or witch hazel

  • Essential oil(s) of choice

  • Food coloring if desired

Tools:

  • Large Bowl

  • Small Bowl

  • Molds

  • Mini spray bottle

  • Measuring cups

  • Spoons

Directions:

  • Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl.

  • Spoon a 1/2 cup of dry mixture into a smaller bowl.

  • A few drops at a time, mix in color and fragrance as desired. Do not let the mix sit and fizz but rather work in the liquids quickly and thoroughly into the dry mix.

  • Fill spray bottle with water and/or witch hazel and lightly spritz dry mixture a few times and then stir. Repeat until the mixture clumps when squeezed in your hand.

  • There is a learning curve when spritzing your salts: To much liquid and the mix will fizz, “bloom” and not keep it’s shape. To little liquid and the “bomb” will not hold together or crack apart after curing.

  • Fill desired mold with damp mixture and pack firmly.

  • Carefully turn out molded mix onto a firm surface and let cure overnight. (If it breaks apart when unmolding you can crumble it up, return it to the bowl, respritz it and try again.

To use Your Bath Bomb simply fill a tub with water, drop in the “bomb” and enjoy!

Tip: Almost anything will do as a mold. Avoid anything too large or detailed.

My favorite thing to use is a piece of 2” wide, plastic, pvc pipe along with a “tapper” of wood to pack the “bomb” firmly. This makes a flat tablet that I call a “seltzer”!

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Tip: You can incorporate a skin loving oil like: coconut, olive or any other liquid oil, with your water/witch hazel mix but the oil can clog the sprayer.

A better choice might be to add it by drops with your essential oils and colors. I do find, though, that the oil stays behind in the bath tub and leaves it greasy.

Tip: If you want to incorporate herbs into your creations, I recommend powdered versions that won’t be scratchy or be left behind for you to clean up out of the tub.

Another way to use herbs would be to infuse them into your oil of choice and then into the mix as the oil.

I love creating all sorts of herbal bath and body care products so if you have any questions or need an ingredient source please don’t hesitate to ask.

You can contact me by leaving a comment below or via my email cyndi@foxandglovefarmstead.com or find me on social media: facebook and instagram @foxandglovefarmstead.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas. Until next time:

Bloom & Grow

Cyndi

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