Do you often find yourself in the following predicament: in the kitchen at 8pm after a hard day of gardening, your family needs dinner, but you don’t nave enough energy even to prepare peanut butter crackers; let alone something healthy and nourishing?
Do you find this predicament to be frustrating in light of the fact that your efforts to grow your own food often leave you without the energy to prepare and preserve it?
I know I do, and for that reason I was delighted to recently read Homestead Cooking With Carol Bountiful Make Ahead Meals.
In this fabulous resource Carol defines homestead cooking not a style but rather a technique: preparing healthy, home cooked food in advance to free up valuable time on your homestead.
With Carol’s gentle, friendly approach, you’ll learn how to prepare and preserve your garden produce, free range chickens, and game meats in bulk. Then, when garden season kicks in to high gear, or spring cleaning has you worn out at the end of the day, you can turn to your own well stocked larder instead of ordering a pizza.
Additionally, Carol will help take you through the decision of how to preserve your produce ~ whether or not you should can or freeze it; how to stretch large cuts of meat over several meals; how to make applesauce and apple butter.
She even offers her famous crockpot granola recipe, and her mother in law’s wonderful gravy. An easy read in just over 80 pages, you’ll feel as though a neighbor has dropped in for a cup of tea and an afternoon visit.
Although she herself is a busy homesteader and a homeschooling mother of six, Carol graciously took the time to answer some questions about her new book.
1. What inspired you to write Homestead Cooking?
Honestly, no inspiration was involved. I am not a foodie. I want more time for other things so I will do whatever it takes to get out of the cooking. Actually, this book came about because I noticed that my food posts were the most popular on my blog. So when I thought I might make an e-book, I wanted it to be something folks would read.
2. How do you define Homestead Cooking?
Homestead Cooking involves much more than regular cooking. Homesteaders deal with food in bulk—green beans by the bushel, meat by the whole, half, or quarter. A savvy homestead cook will know what she wants to eat ahead of time so that when she is processing such large quantities of food, she does what needs to be done for those meals.
3. What are three items no homestead kitchen should be without?
Next, a grain mill. Most folks wait on this, but if you process your other food right, so that it’s ready come meal time, making your daily bread is almost no chore at all.
Lastly, I would say a stick blender. That little tool is a lifesaver for me.
4. What if I don’t live in the country? What if I live in a downtown apartment?
Do what you can do. Grow in pots on the balcony. Recycle. Shop at the farmers market. Ask the farmers to bring you bushels (you will probably get a better deal that way) and learn to put up the food. Visit outlying farms. Find a source for raw milk and make your own butter and yogurt. The possibilities really are endless.
5. I have special allergies. How will this book work for me?
This book walks you through the process of making menus from foods you already love and enjoy. So it really doesn’t matter what your special diet is. If my recipes don’t work for you, that is okay. You already have your own. Then, with those menus, you will begin the work of processing your food, when harvested, with those meals in mind.
6. I would like to learn how to can. How do I go about this?
There are many resources online and off. I learned from a neighbor. That is the best way. Ask around in your family, church, or community for someone to teach you. Check out your home extension service to see if they have classes. If you positively cannot find a flesh and blood person to teach you, I recommend At Home Canning for Beginners and Beyond. This DVD gives two hours of step-by-step tutorials on the basics of home canning. It was done by Kendra at New Life on a Homestead. (affiliate link)
To add this book to your homestead kitchen library you can order it here on Amazon. While I did receive a complimentary copy of this book for review, the thoughts and opinions are all my own.