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Cookbook for homesteading and pre-homesteading

 
pollinator
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The idea of a cookbook for homesteading is challenging. When you are establishing a homestead, you may not have a proper space to cook in and store food. Few ingredients will be available because your food systems are still coming online. Yet what you eat must be exceptionally nourishing, as you are putting in up to 12 hours a day of hard labor 7 days a week.

This would be different from a cookbook for an established homestead. One thing the two book styles would have in common is the presumption that grocery stores are far, a pain, expensive, or all 3.

In a Perfect world, those who are establishing Homesteads could live off food from other area homesteads and farms, building community, until their own systems can support them. This is not what I'm experiencing.

All this without even considering the main point of cookbooks: tasty food!

What are your favorite cookbooks for The Good Life you're growing...or have?
 
pollinator
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That sounds like a cookbook I’d like to read!
Now depending on where you live and what natural resources are around you, I could image that it would be possible to supplement the produce of your starting homestead nicely with foraged food. Spring can prove to be bountiful when it comes to rich leafy greens. Fall can help you stock up on nuts, seeds and wild fruits that can also be a rich addition to your diet.
I think a good homestead cookbook should definitely include recipes using foraged foods!
 
pollinator
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Fredy Perlman wrote:The idea of a cookbook for homesteading is challenging. When you are establishing a homestead, you may not have a proper space to cook in and store food. Few ingredients will be available because your food systems are still coming online. Yet what you eat must be exceptionally nourishing, as you are putting in up to 12 hours a day of hard labor 7 days a week.

This would be different from a cookbook for an established homestead. One thing the two book styles would have in common is the presumption that grocery stores are far, a pain, expensive, or all 3.

In a Perfect world, those who are establishing Homesteads could live off food from other area homesteads and farms, building community, until their own systems can support them. This is not what I'm experiencing.

All this without even considering the main point of cookbooks: tasty food!

What are your favorite cookbooks for The Good Life you're growing...or have?



The Mormon canneries (no, I am not) sell bulk supplies and cookbooks. Cheap staples plus good fat plus foraged greens is darn good nutrition and super cheap.
 
gardener & author
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I am working on a cookbook that combines both.

Pre-homesteading there are a lot of skills that can be learned that will help with homesteading. Making use of whole animals, dairying, all kinds of ways of preserving foods, cooking from scratch, and many more.

I think in some ways the kitchen is the most important place to start, because if you're working towards relying more on homestead produced foods in future, having a seasonal eating pattern and recipes that call for real foods that can be produced on a homestead helps a huge way towards knowing how to make use of what your homestead will grow. It's one thing to grow and raise heaps of food, but making use of it all and learning to preserve it are important skills to have that can be learned anywhere.

I have a thread where I've said some things about it and am interested in learning about what others here would like to see in a cookbook: https://permies.com/t/117816/kitchen/good-cookbook-favourites
 
pollinator
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Kate Downham wrote:I think in some ways the kitchen is the most important place to start,



I am designing a house around a kitchen. The house design I am working on starts with a kitchen, then the pantry and everything else is just sort of what fit in the space. But the kitchen and pantry are all important, at least to me.
 
Kate Downham
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Devin Lavign wrote:

Kate Downham wrote:I think in some ways the kitchen is the most important place to start,



I am designing a house around a kitchen. The house design I am working on starts with a kitchen, then the pantry and everything else is just sort of what fit in the space. But the kitchen and pantry are all important, at least to me.



I probably spent more time designing the kitchen than everything else combined! I think it's important to have good unobstructed pathways to get to places that are frequently used for homestead processes. The ideal for this is probably the combined mud room/veg washing/food storage room in Bill Mollison's books, this wasn't possible with our shed conversion house, but I made sure to 'play house' and work out the most common paths I would be taking so that I'd have easy access to the larder and outdoors from the kitchen, and so I could find the best spot for the wood stove we use for cooking and heating.
 
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This was my go to cookbook when we had our homestead.  It was written in 1933 and covers almost everything a person needs to know.  Cheese making, breads, wine and a lot more.

Janet Chadwick "How to Live on Almost Nothing and Have Plenty"



Source
 
pollinator
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Anne Miller wrote:Janet Chadwick "How to Live on Almost Nothing and Have Plenty"


Thanks for the link and recommendation. I just bought a copy.
 
pollinator
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Cooking

Meats: Fish, Eggs, Poultry, Mammals can be stewed, fried, baked, grill
Starch: Pasta, Rice, Potatoes/Root Crops, Beans, they are boiled, drained then covered in sauce/gravy/broth, maybe baked too
Vegetables: Cabbage Family, Spinach Family, Lettuce Family, Mushroom kingdom,  can be steamed, stir-fried, fermented or eaten raw.
Maybe I just over simplify stuff but boiling starch, stewing meat and steaming greens don't seem too complicated or time intensive, 45min and its done, maybe even already eaten too. the hardest part is picking the seasoning.

Seasonings/Sauces/Condiments: This is really what cooking is about. Onion Family, Carrot Family, Mint/Thyme Family, Ferments/Condiments/Cheese Sauces. Sugars/Fruits

I could expand cooking to include
Dairy: sweet smoothies, ice-cream, or umani ferments/cheese, sauces, etc even just butter.
Fruits/Nuts: can be a source of bulk calories like starch/meat, usually used to make oil or added to salads/stews, or make juice/smoothies/etc
Bakery: Eggs, Sugar, Fat, Flour, Leaving agent and flavoring agents, +misc.
There is also once a month or longer condiment/vodka distillation production, is this still cooking though?
Condiments/Ferments: Vegetables, Fruits/Juices, Dairy, Beans, Grains can all be fermented to preserve and to add strong flavors, or used a quasi-medicine.

I don't think that homestead cooking and regular cooking is really different, they are the same. I dont think that boiling some starches and stewing some meat takes alot of time/effort. If anything the greens prep is the time killer. You really don't nee alot of space or specialized appliances. Just 2-3 burners and an oven.

I can see how someone would call, picking beans for storage, or dehydrating grapes to raisins or, or canning 20 gallongs of radish as homestead cooking. To me they aren't, food production and food preservation isn't the same thing as making a meal to eat which can easily be done in 45 minutes.

But maybe you meant a good book about food preservation (dehydrating, fermenting, and the newer freeze-dry and canning technologies). When it come to food production and preservation those should be done outside. A huge solar dehydrator is the way to go. Your wine and cider production outside/barn/basement. ditto for you miso and soy sauce.
 
S Bengi
pollinator
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In a perfect world this is the setup I would like.

Meats
Fish+Pultry is harvested once a week, seasoned and frozen and packaged for daily servings. This gives me a quasi-meal plan, and this really saves alot of time. I don't see myself growing my own mammals they are probably harvested/bought every 3 month and packaged and salted into daily serving. I wouldn't calling processing and packaging meats part of cooking though, but it will be a nice project once a week.

Seeds/Nuts/Bulk Starch
I would avoid famine grass seeds like wheat/rye and rice. I might grow my own beans, but mostly I would focus on nuts, root crops and squash. Most of these nuts 'ripen' in during October 256lbs of hazelnut would provide me with 2,000 calories for 365 days. I only want 1/3 of my bulk calories from Nuts. I want the other 2/3 from meats/dairy and fruits/vegetables/mushroom. So this nuts purchase/harvest is really enough for 3 people, Five 50lbs buckets can fit in a pantry. Beans, potatoes and squash are less calorie dense but you harvest them throughout the growing season vs having to store 12 months supply.

Green Vegetables/Mushroom/Herbs
Herbs can be dehydrated and stored, Mushrooms can be grown in a greenhouse under the vegetables all thru the year, that might be more money/time/energy efficient, otherwise it is alot freeze drying/canning and monthly ferments. I don't think anyone cans enough green vegetables for the winter, so if not a greenhouse it will be the supermarket or multi-vitamin pills. That said nuts are usually pretty high in mineral so maybe we don't need the green vegetables

Fruits/Honey
Solar Dehydrator would be my friend, given that I want to get 1/3 of my calories from this category year-round. Grapes to raisins, yummy. I will make some wines, kefir soda, and vinegar ferments too. Honey is a great sweetener too.

Monthly Ferments/Condiments.
This would be a big project, maybe I will break it down into 4 types of ferments and do 1 category per week, to make the workload less. Doing this once a month, means alot less mason jars, and I don't even have to pressure cook anything.

Weekly Baking
I could make my breads, fruit cakes and pastry for the week, once a week. Its almost like I am doing weekly food shopping. Maybe I will use whole nut or nut meals + nut oil, and lots of honey, butter, dried fruits. I will probably bow under the pressure and just buy regular flour form wheat (famine/wartime grass seed as food).


Misc Thoughts
With all this weekly condiments/ferments, weekly baking, weekly meat seasoning and processing. I will have to create a quasi-meal plan and I know it will streamline the process alot.
I wonder how much storage room I would need per person/per family. 256lbs of nut, ferments in mason jars, chest freezer, honey bucket, brew room, solar dehydrator, greenhouse, chicken coop, fish pond. Okay I probably should draw a line between production and storage



 
pollinator
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When we were living in a tent and building our house, we certainly weren't doing any cooking that required a cookbook.

Breakfast and lunch, if we stopped working for it, were quick, no cook foods: fruit dried and fresh, veg, nuts, maybe overnight oats. There just wasn't time to cook and deal with dishes.

Dinner was almost always brown rice and lentils, which cook in about the same time, with whatever veg we had around thrown in at the end to steam on top. Best part about this meal is you can get everything boiling, turn the heat off, wrap the pot up in a couple towel, and walk away to keep working while it cooks.
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