Posts Tagged ‘Pure Michigan’

Maple Sugaring FarmCation

February 26th, 2016 by Susan Odom

Maple Sugaring FarmCation: March 18-20

Maple sugaring time at HIllside Homestead.

Maple sugaring time at HIllside Homestead.

Step back in time at Hillside Homestead and experience a small-scale maple sugaring.  This all-inclusive, hands-on weekend offers an authentic getaway which will be educational, fun and super tasty! We will set taps in the maple trees around the farm house and collect the sap. Inside on the wood cook stove we will boil that sap down to syrup and maybe even reach the successful sugar stage. We will make maple cream and maple snow candy. Of course we will be tasting our maple products as we go! Maple sugaring is a fun way to get outdoors during late winter.



Boiling Maple sap at Maple Sugaring time.

Boiling maple sap on the wood burning stove at Hillside Homestead



All meals are included and even late night snacks as we sit by the wood stove and relax. Breakfast will feature waffles with syrup and our homemade maple syrup cured bacon, all hot from the wood stove! You will also have the chance to learn some basic wood stove cooking as you can help prepare meals if you desire. Outside, in the farm yard there are chickens, ducks and geese to tend. Our Maple Sugaring FarmCation is a unique immersion experience and will create lifelong memories.


Maple Sugaring
Farm-Cation Details


A galvanized steel maple sugar bucket used for collecting sap, all with a lovely orchard view. during maple sugaring time.

A galvanized steel maple sugar bucket used for collecting sap, all with a lovely orchard view.

March 18-20, 2016. Arrive between 4pm and 7pm on Friday. Program over at 11am on Sunday.


Two nights lodging is included. Either single or double occupancy. Four guest rooms available.


All meals included, supper on Friday night. Breakfast, lunch and supper on Saturday. Breakfast on Sunday. Of course snacks are always available.


The Orchard room, one of the four guest rooms at Hillside Homestead. Stay during maple sugaring time.

The Orchard room, one of the four guest rooms at Hillside Homestead.

A full schedule of maple sugaring based activities with time for relaxing too. Lots of farm fun. We can make time on Saturday for some Leelanau Peninsula exploring if we like.


$600 for single room-occupancy and $800 for double room-occupancy. This price is all inclusive.


Please contact Susan Odom at 231-271-1131 or to make a reservation or to ask questions. A deposit of half is due when making the reservation and the other half upon arrival.

Cancellation Policy:

  • Full refunds if the FarmCation is cancelled due to inclement weather
  • If you cancel more than two weeks before the FarmCation you will receive a full refund
  •  If you cancel less than two weeks before the FarmCation you can apply your deposit to another event or stay.
  • If you cancel within five days of the FarmCation you forfeit your deposit.

Got Snow? Make Snow Ice Cream!

January 21st, 2016 by Susan Odom


A big winter storm they they knighted as Jonas is coming and it will effect much of the East coast. This is the perfect time to make snow ice cream! Snow ice, snow cream, snow ice cream, however you call it, is made with fresh, newly fallen snow! If you have that, than you have the main ingredient.Just remember to buy some cream when you run out for your milk and bread!  I made it for the first time just a few days ago (Jan 18, 2016).  Here is a photo of the original recipe for snow ice cream or snow ice as they call it here:

Recipe for Snow Cream

Recipe for Snow Ice Cream

Buckeye Cook Book Cover 1904

Buckeye Cook Book Cover 1904




This recipe comes from one of my favorite books, the Buckeye Cook Book! I have a large collection of just this cook book! It was first published in 1876 and the last publication was about 1905. If you ever make it out to Hillside Homestead for a visit we can delve into my collection and have a good time discovering old foodways! I’m open all year and am always scheduling overnight stays and classes.  I do love this book, but lets get to the ice cream…



fresh snow and cream

The fresh snow on the left and the cream mixture on the right

Here is how I made my Snow Ice Cream:

1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of Vanilla
4-6 quarts of fresh, fluffy, newly fallen snow

Mix together the cream and the sugar and the vanilla. Stir till sugar dissolves. If you think about it before hand, mix these together and heat slightly to help dissolve the sugar and then let it cool for several hours.


Mixing in the snow

Mixing the snow into the cream mixture. Work fast. Don’t hesitate. Eat it right away!

Now mix in the snow. Mix in big scoopfuls of snow at the time. Add snow, mix well, add more snow, etc. Till you think it looks done! Then scoop it into bowls and serve it up! Your own homemade snow ice cream!





Snow ice cream (3)

A sad picture I know, but I was in a rush to eat my bowl of snow ice cream!   I’m so excited to publish this blog post because of the upcoming storm that my pictures are not polished! Later on I hope to re-read a few of the Little House books, because I know the Ingalls family enjoyed this recipe too. I hope to edit this post soon. Looks like a big storm coming so If winter is going to give us snow then we should make ice cream!


The Apple Bee at Hillside Homestead – Oct 26 noon to 5pm

September 20th, 2014 by Susan Odom

 The Apple Bee

Sunday Oct 26 from noon to 5pm

Free Heritage Event – Families Welcome

All are invited to Hillside Homestead’s fourth Annual  Fall event, 


The Apple Bee fun will include….
  • Making the annual Apple Butter! We will use a 30 gallon copper kettle outside over a roaring fire and boil down 15 gallons of sweet apple cider and 3 bushels of apples! This is the main course of our Apple Bee!
  • Historic cooking demos in the farm kitchen and tastings too! All things apple and historic will be baked, fried and simmered! Lingering in the kitchen is always part of the fun at the Apple Bee!
  • NEW! Hand sewing experience…Please join Jamie Burton, a sewer of all things oldey-timey, for a quick class on the basics of hand sewing. You’ll learn a few basic stitches and even walk away with your own creation: a scented sachet to add color and fragrance to any room in your house or to tuck under your pillow to help you sleep at night (just like the Victorians did!). There is a materials fee of $5 for this add-on opportunity.
  • Tours of the farmhouse
  • Visit with the farm animals which include, 6 pigs, 8 sheep, a bunch of chickens, ducks, Gypsy the Goose and Champ the horse! My neighbor, Rose Jelinek, is bringing her horse over for the afternoon!
  • And plenty of time for visiting and lollygagging on the porch, in the parlour or thereabouts. I hope you can make it to the Apple Bee!
The apples have just been added and now for the big boil!

The apples have just been added and now for the big boil!


peeling apples at the Hillside Homestead Apple Bee

Miss Sadie peeling apples! Lots and lots of apples

Mary and Jamie cooking and talking with guests in the kitchen at Hillside Homestead during the apple bee

Mary and Jamie cooking and talking with guests in the kitchen at Hillside Homestead

Bubble bowling with Katie!

Bubble bowling with Katie!

Enjoying the tree swing in the front yard!

Enjoying the tree swing in the front yard!


Enjoying the view at Hillside Homestead

Enjoying the view at Hillside Homestead



Oatmeal Pancakes

June 19th, 2014 by Susan Odom

We serve lots of delicious food for breakfast at Hillside Homestead. Here is the recipe for Oatmeal Cakes , which are pancakes made with leftover cooked oatmeal. The recipe originally comes from the 1904 edition of “The Buckeye Cook Book”. Just about my favorite cook book of all time! I love to make these pancakes for my guests. Sometimes my guests even like to help! Learning to make a new recipe is fun and learning to cook on a wood stove is even better! I hope you enjoy this recipe. Drop me a line if you try it out!

The New Buckeye Cook Book 1904

The New Buckeye Cook Book published in 1904. My all time favorite cook book!


Oatmeal Pancakes

Oatmeal Pancakes the original recipe from the Buckeye Cook Book.

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup of water or more
1 cup leftover cooked oatmeal (sometimes I add a little apple sauce If I don’t have quite a cup of oatmeal)

Mix together the dry ingredients in small bowl. Mix together the wet ingredients in a big bowl. Add the dry to the wet and mix well. If it seems too thick add a bit more water to thin it out. This recipe doubles and triples quite nicely. Bake (or fry or cook in modern terminology) on a hot griddle. Flip only once. Serve hot with butter and maple syurp or warmed apple sauce or fruit,etc. Use your imagination add banana or squash or pumpkin to the oatmeal. You could use milk instead of water. Experiment with the amount of liquid to suit your taste. This recipe is a guideline, not a mandate. Enjoy!

Written out by Susan Odom at Hillside Homestead in Suttons Bay, Mich. June 19, 2014





Turnip Kraut

March 12th, 2014 by Susan Odom

Yes, you read that right, turnip kraut. That is my most recent historic food experiment.

Turnip Kraut - my first try at fermenting turnips.

Turnip Kraut – my first try at fermenting turnips.

I’ve made sauerkraut for years, the old way, nicely shredded cabbage layered with salt and allowed to naturally ferment in a crock. I had read and heard that it could be done with turnips and I always wanted to try that. And then like magic the turnip fairy came and brought me about 25 pounds of turnips. So when I found the turnips on the porch I knew what I had to do.

By the way Nic Welty runs a nice farm around here called 9 Bean Rows.  And some have said they have seen him drop off turnips on porches, although I’ve never seen that myself. I don’t have to see it, I believe in the turnip fairy!

Now-a-days ‘krauting’ is called lacto-fermentation or cultured vegetables. It is all essentially the same thing. It is a way of preserving vegetables. Pickles use vinegar. Jam uses jelly. Kraut uses fermentation.

So I followed the recipe at the top of this page, circa 1930. And then just today a great historic foodie friend, Pat Reber, sent me this recipe from Philadelphia in 1909…

Turnip Kraut.-—Peel and grate enough turnips in a crock to make a layer about 2 inches deep in the bottom of a 1-gallon jar. Sprinkle a teaspoonful of salt over it. Grate enough to make another 2-inch layer. then a teaspoonful of salt as before, and so on until jar is full. Cover with a plate that will fit down inside the jar. Put a weight on and tie a thick white cloth over top. A smooth clean rock is good for a weight. Some people use smoothing iron for such things, but that is not good for the kraut, nor the iron, either. It will take kraut 10 days or two weeks before ready for use. Should be kept in kitchen where it is warm. The Practical Farmer, Nov. 10, 1909

The two recipes are very similar. I opened up my crock of turnip kraut today…… well not quite. I tried to open it up but the wooden disc I put inside to keep the kraut down under the brine was swollen stuck! I paused for a moment and wondered what will I do? Then it dawns on me; I should ask the guys at Woodbine to help me. Woodbine is this amazing place in Suttons Bay where lumber is turned into furniture/art/apple butter paddles, machines are refurbished or reinvented, old boats are made new, flesh forks are straightened, unique metal parts are fabricated for making cider and many more wondrous and amazing miracles that I can barely understand. The machinery there astounds and there is this really nice cat named Oliver. I knew those guys could get that disc out of my crock. Those guys are great.

Jim, Gary and Fred, in intervals tried a few different approaches, which was all very entertaining. In the end a small saw was produced and the disc was removed without damaging the crock or the turnip kraut. Gary and I tasted some right away and were both quite pleased. It is nice to know that a girl like me can get a little help at place like Woodbine. It is all is so serendipitous. Jim, you know, is responsible for the beautiful built-ins in my house.

The dining room hutch that Jim built. Made of walnut.

The dining room hutch that Jim built. Made of walnut.

Anyway – back to opening the turnip kraut… once the kraut was opened and it was tasted I have to say I am very pleasantly surprised. I’m not a huge fan of the turnip, cooked with other root vegetables it is pretty good. But man oh man, this turnip kraut is just the thing. Crunchy, tangy, a bit peppery hot, strong flavored, not too sour – oh my gosh I’m sold. I like it better than sauerkraut.  It was not that hard to make and only took about 2 weeks to ferment.

Turnip Kraut in the crock

Turnip Kraut in the crock

I plan to serve it as a relish with meals, I think it will go well with pork and poultry and sandwiches with meat. It would also be very nice with some dry cured sausages, cheeses, quince paste and a few walnuts and I think some Riesling.

Turnip Kraut – I’m impressed.