Monday, January 28, 2013

Pioneer Women

For about a year now, some of my family has been meeting up monthly to try out different crafts and do-it-yourself projects centered on homesteading and self-sufficiency. We call ourselves the "pioneer women" and our group has made all sorts of homemade items like soap, candles, and cheese, and we've also gone on fun outings to local fairs, wineries, and museums. This weekend we met up at my place to try our hand at homemade cough drops and potpourri simmer pots.

We experimented with a couple different cough drop recipes, and everyone agreed that this one was the clear winner. All we did was brew some strong herbal tea, then add sugar at a 1:1 ratio and boil until the mixture reaches 300 degrees. We used powdered sugar with shallow indentations in a cake pan to act as molds for the drops and once the mixture reached the appropriate temperature, we simply poured it (very carefully!) into the prepared "mold."


We let the drops set until hard, then rolled them around in the powdered sugar to finish them off. These are actually really tasty and good whether you have a cough or not!


Next we assembled the potpourri. For one batch, mix 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, 3 cinnamon sticks, 1 T whole cloves, 1/2 T nutmeg, and one whole orange. Place the ingredients in a sauce pan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low to maintain a simmer. Keep adding water as it evaporates to make the potpourri last as long as you like. The lovely scent will fill your home and make it feel so cozy.


We always have to get a group shot at the end with some of our spoils. Everyone has a fun time catching up while learning new skills and figuring out which projects we'd like to tackle next time.


Can't wait til the next one in February. We have some great things lined up for the next few months!

~Tammy

Shared with Backyard Farming Connection, Eco-Kids Tuesday, Farmhouse Style Blog Hop, Farm Girl Blog FestFarmgirl Friday Blog Hop, The HomeAcre Hop, Backyard Farming Connection Natural Health Remedies   

59 comments:

  1. Wow - that is so impressive. I never would have thought to make my own cough drops, but at least you know EXACTLY what's in them when you do it yourself. I can't wait to see what you ladies come up with next!!

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  2. What a lovely family thing to do together! It must be so hard to get everyone to be available on the same day, but obviously they all enjoy themselves so much that they make it a priority. Do any of your family keep blogs of these fun "Pioneer Women" days? I'd love to know what other things you've made together. This is such an inspired idea - I just love it!

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    1. Hi Nessa! We don't keep a pioneer women blog, but my aunt does keep a binder with photos from all of our get-togethers and outings :) I'll share our activities on here from time to time, though!

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    2. Thanks Tammy - so glad your Aunt is keeping a record - your Pioneer outings and get-togethers will definitely make heart-warming memories. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

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  3. I wish I lived closer, I would TOTALLY gatecrash! :)
    Janie x

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  4. I would gatecrash as well! Sounds like a really fun time together trying out new makes. The sweeties look good and I bet the potpourri smells delicious...it looks good enought to eat!

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  5. Awesome, gal! Looks like a fun time! And homemade cough drops?! Love that idea!!

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  6. Oh what a very cool bunch of ladies to come together and create needed ideas. Amazing we all should have that in our lives. Love the cough drop idea. B

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  7. Well Tammy I am sooo totally impressed.. homemade cough drops....who would have thought of doing that.. They actually look really good. Great group picture....looks like a fun group to do some creative things with...you did it! Cough drops...Wow! Blessings and thanks for the info.

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  8. Wow, how I wish I had family with homesteading interests. I'm pretty much on my own (except for my daughter who lives 12 hours away). I'm considered the 'hippie' in the family. I'll take it, thank you! Great post...you are blessed!
    Farmhouse hugs,
    Cindy

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  9. I love that you do this with your family! It never would've occured to me to make homemade cough drops.

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  10. Tammy-what a wonderful, and pretty cool way to spend time with your family! It looks like so much fun, and I love that you discover new ideas and ways of doing things too! How I'd love to be a "pioneer woman" as well:)

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  11. Wish I could have been there, will see all of you in Feb. save a cough drop for me to try.
    Aunt Bette

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  12. Cough drops! Oh my... you guys are awesome. They look good too! I love that you and your family get together and share homesteading ideas.

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  13. Very interesting to make your own cough drops. They're probably better than anything store-bought too. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. What a wonderful activity for a family to do together! I wish my family was as excited about homesteading as yours seems to be! Alas, not yet, but soon...I hope :-)

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  15. I know it's not the point, but that potpourri looks delicious! LOL

    What a great fellowship time. Can't wait to see what is up next.

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  16. I wish I had something like this nearby, I would surely attend. Looks like fun

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  17. What a neat thing to do, especially with family! :)
    Love the idea of homemade cough drops, thanks for link!

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  18. You ladies are extraordinary...what a wonderful thing to do each month!!

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  19. You guys are so darn cute!! Love the cough drop idea, but I'm afraid I'd just crunch them up like candy - they do look so good!

    Thanks for stopping in at Cranberry Morning. I'm happy to report that it was in the 30s here today, way warmer than last week! Misty is happy too. :-)

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  20. It is so neat that you have a whole group working together - that's true pioneer women! Wish I was your neighbor! At least I can be your newest follower :)

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  21. I love the idea of homemade cough drops, I so need to try this idea :) Your group looks like a lot of fun!

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  22. I love this .. I would so be apart of your group... I joke with my friends we are all pioneer woman.. and I just love that .. Everything looks amazing... Looks like the snow is letting up too ... I wish I was yalls neighbors... Would have EGGS< SAP ..and candles LOL ..... TOODLES my sweet friend .. See you at the pearl ................... HUGS

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  23. What a wonderful family event to have every month! I'm like the some of the others and would so be a gatecrasher if I lived close by lol.

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  24. That sounds like a fun way to spend the day - I never thought of making cough drops. Cool idea!

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  25. How nice that you get together to make crafts and do-it-yourself projects. What a lovely and creative family! :)

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  26. Looks like a great group of women and a fun way of learning some new skills together. I did many things like that 10-15 years ago but mostly by myself. It was fun, but it would have been so much more fun with a group of friends. I just didn't know any women who liked to do this kind of stuff at that time. So glad times have changed now! I love the idea of the cough drops...I am inspired now to buy a horehound plant this year and make cough drops from them!

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  27. WOW!! I'm impressed. Sounds like alot of fun. Your own home-made cough drops. I had no idea you could make those.

    Judy

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  28. Tammy, I am so impressed that you all did this and I wish I could have been there. Let me know when you start selling :)

    Being a self sufficient pioneer woman is right up my alley;)

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  29. This is such a neat tradition!!! And it's a great project. Impressive, as always. :)

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  30. What a fun event to look forward to. Love your cough drop idea!

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  31. Looks like a fun group of pioneering girls -- what a great idea. :)

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  32. What a great idea! It's more fun learning together!

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  33. I love every single ingredient in the potpourri and I bet it does smell delicious. And the Pioneer Women idea is awesome!

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  34. Aww, this is so nice! What a fun gathering, and thanks for the recipes!

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  35. Tammy, how great to make your own cough drops! And it looked like you had fun too. Hope you are having a super week.

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  36. How fun! I make my own cough drops too, using herbs from my garden. I am intrigued by the powdered sugar mold and will give it a try! Thanks!

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  37. What a wonderfully creative group and topic is so fascinating ~ Great photos ~

    Carol of A Creative Harbor

    Thanks for coming by and commenting ^_^

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  38. Thanks so much for sharing! I can only imagine how lovely that smells :)

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  39. I think I'll try your simmering potpourri mixture in my copper teapot that sits on top of our free standing wood stove in the den aka Man Cave. It needs a bit of "smell good" :-)

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  40. This is pretty cool! I've done the potpourri thing, but never made my own cough drops!

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  41. Love the last picture and this is just great! What an awesome way to catch up, bond, and learn new things together. Such a great idea :)

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  42. This looks like so much fun! My mama and I get together a few times a year to "make" stuff.. last time was when we made EO chest rubs and EO bath salts.. but monthly would be wonderful! Please consider sharing your post with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday! http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-funky-junky-windchime-at-eco-kids.html

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  43. Wow! I never thought to make my own cough drops! What a great idea! I bet they taste so much better, and are more soothing! What a fun family!

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  44. oh my gosh, i love this. i want to be a part of your pioneer women group. will you adopt me into your family?!

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  45. Oh this is just great well done Ladies , never thought to make cough drops wow!!

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  46. cough drops? oh my, what a great idea!
    lovely group of women in the last shot.

    i also love your header!

    big hugs~

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  47. What a fun and worthwhile tradition...!!

    hugs x
    Crystelle

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  48. How fun! I would love that kind of get together. :)

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  49. The group is such a great idea! I love the cough drops. Thanks for sharing.

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  50. I wanted to let you know I featured your poston my blog today! The concept of community... women sharing and learning together really touched me. Hope you share with us again this week at Eco-Kids Tuesday http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2013/02/garden-planning-at-eco-kids-tuesday.html

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  51. What a great idea, making your own cough drops! We've had a sick family since Jan. and have paid a pretty penny on "Fisherman's Friends" cough drops. They work, but I'd definitely love to try homemade.

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  52. This is a wonderful group of women--we need to learn pioneering again, before we lost our skills. Having an older person give us some tips and lessons on things would be a wonderful way to reach out and learn as well as teach! I have a 5-year old granddaughter that I hope to teach some sewing and knitting , etc. one day!

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  53. Way to go Pioneer Women! Thanks for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop!
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/02/the-homeacre-hop.html

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  54. Well, this certainly sounds like a lot of fun!! May need to see if I could get a group started like that with some family and girlfriends of mine! :)

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