Today we will walk through a day in a country kitchen that is filled with preserving, cooking, harvesting and other “from scratch” undertakings. Summer time is the high point for so many projects that it can get a little overwhelming — and sometimes just knowing that everyone else who lives this way faces the same problems can go a long way in how your approach summer inn a farm, homestead or urbanstead kitchen.
This week’s webinar: https://calendly.com/sparkcomm/canning1?month=2020-07
Introduction to canning – Thursday, July 16, 12pm Central
Tales from the Prepper Pantry
- Dilly beans being put up this week (why)
- Saving Tomatoes when you have too few to can
- Salsa canning season is here
- Still need to do the freezer defrost and audit
Feature Forage – (defer)
- Arranged to finish hooking up the solar hot water heater – fingers crossed because the less propane I use, the less I buy
- Exciting new project at Holler Roast – more as things develop
Main topic of the Show: Kitchen Logistics for Summer Processing
What motivated this show
From Christie and Victoria: How can a person make the process simpler instead of having a bunch of things going on all over the kitchen. How can it be made more like a factory assembly line?
Here is my issue. My usual canning day Wake up early to beat the heat picking the garden. Wash up whatever I picked – say green beans but it could be anything cucumbers, whatever. Snap a 5 gallon bucket. Get out all the canning stuff. Can the green beans. Let’s say 2 canners full. Now it’s 5:00 or later and this old lady is exhausted! Hard, hard work, but! Well worth it in January. Any tips or tricks are welcome.
My weekend: tomatoes, pig kidney, beans, eggs, beets, chard, cucumbers, pecans, dill, coriander – actual food for the humans. Planting the fall garden.
Tip 1: Choose your timing carefully
- Bean example
- Cheese making
Tip 2: Plan your meals carefully
- Premade salads
- BBQ outside
- Eat at a neighbors
Tip 3: The canning/processing pantry or kitchen
- Outdoor set up
- Pantry set up
- Livingroom set up
- My set up
Tip 4: Ask for help
- Shelling pecans
- Osso Buco
- Janna and the corn
Tip 5: Finish
- Beet greens and chard
- Bean harvest and cleaning
What really happened
- Came home with stuff from the market – kitchen counters were already filled with “in-process” projects: Coriander and teas
- Started sun tea
- Made breakfast and planned dinner, then harvested salad and tomatoes
- Jennifer stopped by and started hulling pecans (kurt story) while I cleaned the kitchen as best I could and processed dill into manageable pieces
- Started the oven to bake eggs at 150 for 2 hours (will end up crushing them and using them in soil)
- Helped hull the pecans
- Brought in Sun Tea
- Made dinner – not as planned — pulled the bratwurst ripcord
- >>>Exhausted and still had tomatoes, the pic kidney, beets to harvest and process, chard to harvest and process, beans to harvest and process
- Jennifer resumed the pecan project
- Made breakfast, planned dinner
- Harvested beans, beets, chard – cleaned all
- Sliced pig kidney and started it in the dehydrator (outside)
- Vaccuum packed pecans
- Cleaned the harvest and processed/froze the beet greens and chard
- Emergency trip to another town to drop vitamins at a friend’s door who has covid and it takes 2 days for amazon to get things to you so…
- Sold honey to John when I got back – he gifted me some squash
- Made Osso Buco (which takes 2 hours)
- Prepped beans for pickling (will do tomorrow which is today) this used up the tomatoes so they dont need to be processed and frozen for future canning
- Tied up sage and mint to dry
- Looked up relish recipes because I have enough dill pickles and need to do something besides a daily salad with the cucumbers
The result – nothing was really an assembly line – if you want to do this, you end up putting other stuff on hold for the day which I do when I have a big amount of salsa to make, or a bushel of beans. Therefore, I try to only do 1 day of assembly line stuff.
Kitchen was basically clean for the first time Sunday night — it was never dirty – dirty but there was a constant flow of dirty and cleaned and drying dishes and lots of rotating vegetables on the bar and counters so it looked a sight!
I guess what I am trying to say is this: Martha Stewart has a staff, Julia Childs had a staff. Most of your big personalities with “perfect” kitchens have a staff. They were/are also very good organizers and teachers and there is nothing wrong with that. But the real deal on a homestead is that, during processing season, you end up either blocking time to do things in between cooking meals, you pre cook, you get friends together to knock a bunch of stuff out, or you end up with multiple preservation projects rolling one to the next. And sometimes this equals an untidy looking kitchen. If it is morphing into a place where things are left long enough to rot and smell, best to admit that you have taken on too much. But if you are simply rolling from dried herbs, to canning, to meal preparation, to freezing and packing — find a way to accept some of the chaos — and to ensure that you are able to really clean your kitchen all the way at least daily or every other day.
If you have a better approach than I do on your homestead or urbanstead, drop me a line…
Make it a great week!
Song: Calling my name – by Sauce
GUYS! Don’t forget about the cookbook, Cook With What You Have by Nicole Sauce and Mama Sauce.
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