I guess it always felt “normal”. Mama ground wheat in our mill on the driveway… and hours later there were golden loaves of fresh wheat bread, cooling on the counter top. We hardly ever bought cookies at the store. The ones made in our kitchen were warm and fresh and soft with gooey chocolate chips… Mmmmmm! And as I got older I learned how to grind the wheat and make the bread, and bake the cookies… {along with quite a few catastrophic learning mistakes, which I’ll gladly spare you the details of!} 😉


As a little girl it seemed perfectly natural. I thought that everyone knew how to grind wheat and make bread and bake their own cookies.


But I will never forget the day that my mom dropped me off a local public high school for drivers education. One very long week of my life, three hours daily. Twice I brought fresh baked cookies to share with all of my classmates during the middle break. It was fun (with the exception of one very awkward situation with a few of the guys)! Everyone loved the cookies and it made the break less challenging for those of us who really didn’t know anyone there, or have something to talk about. I’m quite certain that it helped our instructor soften up a bit as well – because at the end of the week he came up to me with a kind word… and I think he *almost* smiled, for the first time that week… 😉


I don’t think I’ll ever forget the expression on one girl’s face, or what she said when I handed her a cookie the first time. It was a sobering, convicting reminder to me, of how very blessed I am to have grow up in a home where we make things from scratch – on a daily basis.

I learned that *some* girls would give up quite a few things in their lives to be able to cook and bake for their families and friends…and *some* guys will go to incredible lengths to eat things baked from scratch… :-/

And I realized (yet again!) what a gift it is, to know how to cook and bake – not only as an individual, but as a family. Something deliciously homemade.


There’s no loaf of store-bought bread that compares to a slice of fresh hot homemade bread straight out of the oven, with butter melting in all over…

There’s no such thing as a store-bought cookie that compares to the soft, chewy, chocolate chip cookies that my brother pulls out of the oven on baking day.

There’s absolutely no need to compare the salad dressing from a grocery store, with the homemade stuff… it’s *almost* like the difference between local farm fresh (or home-grown) produce, and that from the store. 😉_MG_1178

And… yes, and there are few things that compare to a family bagel-making party on Saturday evening – to wrap up a long and productive day of work projects!! Oh yes!! And get this… we’ve *never* made bagels altogether as a family before. There’s a first time for everything 😉_MG_1197

I love it when we make things homemade. Salad dressings, soups, casseroles, pizza, breads & muffins, all things baked, sauces, syrups, salsa… cooking beans and making fries and canning Pumpkin and Apple Butters… the list goes on. Not that we don’t occasionally buy pizza, or salad dressing, or munch on store-bought cookies while picnicking in the mountains…


But guess what?! When you cook and bake from scratch, you know exactly what’s going in. There’s no preservatives, chemicals, added-anythings… you don’t have to wonder about bleached flour, and aluminum-baking-powder, and whatever else… (hopefully you chose your ingredients carefully 😉 !) It’s so much healthier for you. And in most cases it tastes so much more delicious!


I promise… I mean, quite seriously… would you not eat this baked deliciousness over the stuff from your grocery store bakery any day?!



Homemade bagels anyone? 🙂


3 thoughts on “Homemade…

  1. Good Afternoon Sarah,
    From one ATI family to another….:)….yes, homemade is the best made things – food and otherwise. We have been cooking from scratch for along time- pretty much since we have been married (23 years).
    Just out of curiosity, what kind of grain mill do you all use? We are just getting into grinding our own grains. We did buy a mill – but had to send it back. It did not do it’s job.
    Thank you for sharing all of your adventures here.
    Have a blessed day, the Kiessling family


    • Hello Mrs. Kiessling! Back when we bought it, it was called WhisperMill but now I believe it has been replaced by WonderMill. We have had our mill for as long as I can remember. We’ve never had to replace it in the 20 years that I’ve been around… 🙂 and it is just now needing a repair or two which we recently sent it in for. Now it works wonderfully again! I highly recommend it (although things tend to be made more poorly over time…so I’m really not sure what the current WonderMill is like in quality).


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