8 Reasons to Buy Seeds Instead of Transplants

I think the seed catalogues arrive a little earlier every year. Baker Creek’s beauty has sat on the coffee table, the dining room table, has gotten shuffled from shelf to shelf awaiting the right moment. You see, I know that once I open that book, I’ll be so engrossed, so enamored, lost in daydreams of overflowing vegetables and plotting our flower-growing expansion. It is difficult to be excited for the garden when MN winter is really only just getting started. If I imagine the earth between my toes before the new year has even arrived, I’m in trouble come the end of February. That last stretch of winter can be a difficult one, and pining for the garden only increases my impatience. Somehow, mid-January already approaches, though, so I’m about to open up this gem of a catalogue and fill it with my wishful markings.

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Bone Broth for (Basically) Free

As that holiday busyness ebbs, and I’m mentally gearing up to get back into our regimen, R slowly starts to show signs of illness. Soon enough, it’s become clear that she has hand, foot and mouth disease. Poor babe. Weathering it seems straightforward enough and we’ve armed ourselves with lots of immune-boosting goodness, including sippin’ on bone broth.

Bone broth is a powerhouse of nutrition, and a big comfort to this mama trying to feed her family well. During this second string of single-digit highs (brrrrr!), it’s also the perfect hand and belly warmer. Not only is it a delicious superfood, it’s also free. Yep, our bone broth makes its way to our table at zero extra cost to our family.

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The perfect cookie cut-out dough

I have a confession. I’m not a fan of those frosted Christmas cookies that somehow became the center of so many Christmas kitchen festivities. Don’t get me wrong, I did line up at grandma’s kitchen counter in front of the bowls full of brightly colored frosting all those years. If I am honest, though, even back then I preferred frosting the cookie to actually eating it.

So far, with R being quite young, I’ve been able to avoid addressing my dislike for this very symbol of Christmas baking. We’ve still made merry with holiday treats, but we’ve filled up cookie tins for friends with our chewy molasses ginger cookies, assorted biscotti, and homemade peanut butter cups (yum). Until this year, anyway, when our astute little cookie eater announced, with a mouthful of ginger molasses goodness, that she wanted to make cut-out cookies, too. I knew it was coming one of these years, but I did not have a plan. So my recipe wheels got turning and turning…

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Fresh blooms for the Christmas season

Like clockwork, the Christmas cactus is in full bloom as we head into its namesake holiday. Each year at this time, I go into hibernation mode from all things gardening, then these big house blooms catch me by surprise. They arrive with such a fantastical show as if to prove me wrong. They’re right. I am still growing something around here, and it really is a pretty little something.

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