Ephesians Five Wife

The writings of a wife who loves her husband and family more than anything except Jesus. From a Christian truth seeker/natural health/homesteader point of view. In that order.



Homemade Paprika

Last year was the first year I made my own paprika.  It was a sad day when I ran out of it last spring.  This year I planted Leutschauer Paprika peppers from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  They had a little more kick than the Ostra Cyklon peppers I planted last year, but not too bad.

First pickings.  These plants have been very productive, and I have gotten numerous peppers over the past couple weeks.


Cut the tops off the peppers, clean out the seeds and cut them in half.  I saved and dried seeds from several of the bigger ones I’ve picked to keep for next year.  Also, take caution as this variety was a little hotter, I burned my fingers a little bit!  I’m going to work on more of these today, and plan to wear food grade plastic gloves this time around.

I have an Excalibur dehydrator…dehydrated at about 135 degrees for 12 hours.  You may need to do longer, just gauge by when the peppers are nice and crispy.

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Take the dried peppers and run them through a coffee grinder.  I have not tried this with a blender or food processor, I do not know that either would get a nice fine consistency like the coffee grinder does.

The finished product:

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Heirloom Spaghetti Sauce

The tomatoes are finally starting to come in…things have been really slow this year.  Not sure if it is the cool, rainy weather or what.  We recently had our county fair, and the struggle was real trying to find enough for the kids to pick for their garden boxes.

I did get 14 pints of salsa canned last week, which was great, my super-picky 13 year old son will only eat my salsa and I swear he eats a pint every couple days.  I am hoping to get a lot more canned yet to keep up with the demand around here.

I also like to make my “Mom sauce” as the kids call it.  It is a spaghetti sauce chock full of many of the heirloom veggies we grow.  The flavor is out of this world.

Here’s a before shot.  The flowers are for the table…and oops, looks like I got someone’s feet in the pic too. 🙂   Sorry for my fine photography skills.  🙂

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Every year I try to make this recipe a couple times.  I usually freeze it, although this year I did pressure can it.  You cannot can this recipe with a boiling water bath due to safety.  That was a real learning curve…I could not find a reliable recipe for how long and what weight to process it at.  I’m a little bit afraid I did too much too long, I had two jars break.  I guess I know better for next time.  So on that note, I’m making no advice there, please Google more tried and true canners than me.

The finished product:

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Heirloom Spaghetti Sauce

I don’t recommend specific quantities…every batch I’ve ever made turns out a bit different.  It depends on what I have on hand.  I have also added carrots and eggplant in the past, however, they weren’t ready yet so none in this recipe.

I’d say to start with about 5 pounds of tomatoes, at least enough to give it a tomato base.

To this I added:  3 peppers, a couple small heads of broccoli from the garden, 3 onions, 8 garlic cloves, several sprigs of fresh basil, a couple of handfuls of fresh parsley, 6-8 collards (you can use kale too), and three stalks of garden celery.

First of all, I run everything through my blender until everything is finely processed.  This takes many “batches” to get it all.  I put everything in the biggest stock pot I have, and heat until boiling, and then about 20 minutes simmering.  The sauce does not look like normal spaghetti sauce, it has a much paler color at first.  I add Real Salt or sea salt to taste.  To this batch, I also added about a quart and a half of bone broth just for added nutrition and flavor.

For supper that night, I fried up 2 pounds of burger in my large skillet.  After that was cooked I added enough sauce to feed my crew…we had enough for that night plus one day of leftovers for everyone.  I did add a little extra virgin olive oil to the sauce, about 2 T.  I add one 2 oz can of tomato paste for every 2 quarts of sauce roughly.  You can add more or less to get it to the desired thickness.  This sauce is very thin, and you will need to do this.  Serve with spaghetti, gluten free spaghetti, zucchini zoodles, spaghetti squash, whatever you want.

After that, I did have enough to can/freeze six quart jars of sauce.  You can make this in any amount with whatever you want for veggies.  If you freeze the sauce in jars, be sure to leave a couple inches of head room at least, and cool completely before freezing.

I thought I’d share a few of the heirloom tomato varieties I planted this year.  They had wonderful flavor!  German Pink (we plant every year), Hungarian Heart, Pink Vernissage, Black from Tula are shown in the above picture.  Not affiliated with either Seed Savers or Baker Creek, I just order alot of seeds from them!

Heirloom Gardening: Helios Radishes

So far we’ve had an abundance of fresh greens (which has been lovely!)…and these beautiful radishes!

There are a few red ones tucked in there too… but the yellow ones are Helios radishes. They were good…I’ll plant them again!  Got them here…(not an affiliate link).

Homemade Toothpaste

We’ve been using “organic” fluoride free toothpaste for several years…it seems like no matter what we do, our kids burn through about a tube a week.  At $4.50 or more a tube, that adds up fast.  I hate having to pay through the nose just to avoid fluoride and some of the other junk in conventional toothpastes.  I recently saw this recipe for homemade toothpaste, and thought I’d try it.  I had no cost outside the GoToob (link shown) as I already had everything needed.

Homemade Diatomaceous Earth Toothpaste from Love Love Thing

***Due to fears of my bathroom sink solidifying shut from coconut oil, I did do what she mentions in this post – using 3 T. coconut oil and 3 T. olive oil instead of 6 T. coconut oil.

I mixed this up yesterday, and we’ve been able to use it a couple times.  We were just using Earthpaste, and I must say I like this better.

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Looks horrible, I know.  I posted this on Facebook, and a friend said it looked like newborn baby poop.  🙂  True story.  At least it tastes decent!  And it has alot of tooth remineralizing properties, which will be great for all the dental issues we’ve had over the past year.

I also bought this nifty little GoToob on Amazon.  So far so good as far as how that works.  (**I’m not an affiliate, link for informational purposes only.)  Almost all of the toothpaste fit into the 3 oz size.  I had just a dab that wouldn’t fit.  It does not spoon in easily, I had to use a funnel and the flat end of a kebab stick to cram it into the tube.  But I think we will like this, and it will be a nice cost savings from what we were doing.

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Our Chicks Are Here!

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Our chicks are here!

We always get our birds from Cackle Hatchery.  They are the best!

We live in town, but have a variance to have up to 12 laying hens (no roosters).  If you are interested in having backyard chickens, find out what your city’s rules are.  It is getting more popular, and more places are allowing them.

Breeds above are Barred Rock and Buff Orphington.  Both are docile and good backyard chickens.

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