When Gail Prather entered our photo contest back in February, we were so happy to find her blog! She shares stories of her life in Nebraska as a homeschooling mom, an avid cook and cast-iron enthusiast...her recipes are really incredible.
If you haven't guessed by now, she's our Featured Friday blogger this week!
Take a trip with us to Faithfulness Farm!
Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
Well, I am Gail Blain Prather, wife to Aaron and Mom to Jacob, Jessica, Jared & Jadyn Rose. Originally we are west coasters (I am from San Diego and Aaron from Longview, Washington) but for the last 10+ years have been Midwesterner’s. We moved inland to enjoy a slower pace and raise our children in a more rural environment. For nearly 7 years, we lived in Minnesota and, since 2006, we have been Cornhuskers in the great state of Nebraska!
I describe us as half-empty nesters! Our 2 oldest children are young adults who have fledged and the other two are not far behind. We have enjoyed being a homeschooling family and the adventures that has brought us. After many years of being home full-time, I now work full time as a secretary in an accounting firm in a neighboring town. We look forward to Grands – someday – but are finding a lot of contentment in this current season of life.
Our faith is very important to us and we are very involved in our church. My teens and I teach the Jr. Church Program. Very fun! Living far away from extended family, our church family has really been a blessing to us!
Who or what originally inspired you to start blogging? How do you stay inspired?
Blogging has been something in the back of my mind for awhile. I love learning. I also love being an encouragement to other women and well as being encouraged by other women. I started reading a couple blogs. It is incredible the number of VERY talented women out there in the blog world who share all they know with their readers.
Last summer my 2 teens went traveling with their grandparents for a few weeks and I had time on my hands. That is when I initially set up my blog. Since then, I blog about everyday life and ordinary things, ramblings really...what I am cooking, treasures I find thrifting, what strikes my current fancy, the happenings in my life. I’m always doing something so I never seem to run out of things to write about.
As a contributor to our cookbooks, we know you're a whiz in the kitchen.
How did you get your start cooking?
I started cooking very, very young. I remember pulling a chair up to stand on to help my Mom peel potatoes and carrots when I was probably only 6 or 7 years old. I come from a family of outstanding cooks...my Grandma Mae and my Mom especially.
I have a Mom who encouraged me in the kitchen from the beginning and a Dad who ate a lot of burnt offerings as I learned. I’ve strived to be that same kind of Mom to my kids.I also married into a cooking family, the best of the lot being my husband. Cooking is really something we do as a family and all our kids have grown up cooking and have their own specialties.
With a busy life, how do you find time to write, create and
share recipes & photos?
My daughter, Jadyn is a budding photographer and is always willing to help in that department. I’ve shared recipes in one way or another for years and that is just second nature to me.
We love the recipes you post on your blog...do you have a favorite
you'd like to share?
I LOVE trying new recipes and passing on both old favorites and new discoveries. Some of my very favorite recipes are the ones I post in my Skillet Suppers segment. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a cast-iron enthusiast and love finding recipes that are well suited to cast iron, whether cooking or baking. A recent recipe in that segment was for Skillet Cookie. Very YUMMY!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups mixed milk and semisweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, mixing until they are fully incorporated. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Transfer dough to a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, and press to flatten, covering the bottom of the pan. Bake until the edges are brown and top is golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges. Serve each with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serves 8.
Aside from your family, friends and pets, what are 5 things that you just can't do without?
1. My KJV Bible
2. Good Coffee
(or tea, depending on my mood)
3. My cast ironware
(especially my Grandma’s skillet)
4. HOT soaks in the tub
5. Some sort of hand work to keep
busy with in my downtime
Tell us something that no one would guess about you.
My husband’s hobby is genealogy and I am totally a history buff. From that has stemmed a real love of exploring old cemeteries. The latest one I discovered right in my own area. All the markers are from before 1885. I know some find cemeteries creepy but I always have seen quiet beauty in them.
Thanks for sharing your story today, Gail...we really enjoyed hearing from the voice behind Faithfulness Farm!
Click over to see what goodies Gail has in store for you today, and then be sure to bookmark her blog and check back for more great recipes, stories and photos too!