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A new year and a new challenge

 
pollinator
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I've set myself a challenge this year, every evening meal we eat must contain something that we have grown/foraged, starting on the 1st of January. It doesn't need to be a lot, it could just be the chives on top of the dish or it could be the entire meal. I didn't plan for this last year so we only have the usual suspects in the house, fortunately those include potatoes, onion and garlic and there are not that many meals that don't include one or more of those 3.

So far we have had (home grow/foraged ingredients in bold)

Bought soup with leftover potatoes
Chicken soup with Chinese dumplings filled with squash, garlic and chicken
Pork, Auricularia auricula-judae  mushrooms and onion stirfry, with garlic and ginger
Pork steaks with potatoes and coleslaw
Salad with chicken and peanut sauce containing garlic, lemon grass,
Green curry with potato and squash
Lasagna with squash, onions, garlic and canned tomatoes


It will be interesting to see if we can keep it up, I have enough lying around but will I remember?
 
pollinator
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What a good idea!  Don't tick I could pull it off now, other than some herbs and berries. But with some forethought it would be fun to plan meals around homegrown or foraged items for a year.
 
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Don't forget about SPROUTS! Tasty like extra crunchy lettuce on sandwiches, and can be grown in a Mason jar anywhere all year round! (It's not cheating to use them for this challenge in the depths of winter! ;) )
 
master pollinator
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Great challenge Skandi! So far this year I am on track for this project.
Tonight we're having a version of Hot & Sour Soup with a New Mexico twist featuring the following home growies, foraged foods, and ferments:
 Mung bean sprouts (grown in a Mason Jar like Rachel suggested)
 Foraged Porcini mushrooms
 Prickly pear wine
 Fresh scallions
 Red chile oil
 Fresh ginger root
 Live garlic
 Jan White's pear vinegar
I feel very proud to be cooking with home grown food in January!
 
Author
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What a great challenge, Skandi! Thanks for sharing.
 
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You have great challenges, I also have a lot of them this year and may we finally complete these challenges, it would be very good for me to be very happy
 
pollinator
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I don't have nearly enough produce set by for each dinner to have a main constituent element sourced from our property (e.g. I've already run out of potatoes and have another month or two of garlic), but I have enough vinegar and hot sauce that I could include a little of those in every meal, but I'm not sure if that should count.
 
master steward
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Rachel Lindsay wrote:Don't forget about SPROUTS! Tasty like extra crunchy lettuce on sandwiches, and can be grown in a Mason jar anywhere all year round! (It's not cheating to use them for this challenge in the depths of winter! ;) )



This is a really great idea for this challenge.  

I love sprouts on salads, sandwiches, in soup, etc.

The forums just don't talk enough about sprouts.

Microgreens would be another great idea for this challenge.

I have seen several posts on microgreens.
 
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Mmm, that's a real challenge! I can't do it with my own production/foraging but I am trying to include mostly locally produced organically grown foods. This is quite available here, but expensive!

I will plan on extending my home-grown usage this year, and work toward this. Biggest challenge is a husband who prefers rice to any other starch (in northern Vermont) and in his 60s is regressing to us teen years food preferences, ie canned chili, canned hash, limited veg. Complains about the smell if I cook what I like. Very boring!

Thanks Skandi for this challenge, and everyone else for getting me out of my rut!

 
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I love it! This same challenge is something I started years ago, and it's snowballed into a pretty large component of my diet (including a whole year of eating only hand-harvested food). In 2022 I am doing one week a month of eating only hand-harvested food all year. I know it's only January, but so far, so good (yeah dandelion tea with homemade maple syrup).

In April we do a Nettle challenge, competing for ways to eat nettles every day. Nettle lasagna, ravioli, steamed with butter, cream-of-nettle soup, nettle tamales, nettle cakes, nettles in polenta, cheesy baked nettles...

These challenges make growing so much fun.  Carry on and keep us posted!
 
pollinator
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Lynn Wilson wrote:Mmm, that's a real challenge! I can't do it with my own production/foraging but I am trying to include mostly locally produced organically grown foods. This is quite available here, but expensive!

I will plan on extending my home-grown usage this year, and work toward this. Biggest challenge is a husband who prefers rice to any other starch (in northern Vermont) and in his 60s is regressing to us teen years food preferences, ie canned chili, canned hash, limited veg. Complains about the smell if I cook what I like. Very boring!

Thanks Skandi for this challenge, and everyone else for getting me out of my rut!



Lynn, my mother has a similar problem with my stepfather.  She mostly gave up; she cooks for herself, and shares with him if he decides he wants what she fixed.  Otherwise she lets him fix the junk he likes, which sounds similar to your dad's preferences, with the addition of burritos.
 
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Love this challenge Skandi!! Due to being frugal  I’m usually on it with at least something I grew/foraged in every dish. I have lots of saved greens, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms and herbs in winter. However, this year I broke myself pretty badly June 30th(awesome timing) and cut my tendon in my pointer finger. Most of my plants were planted, but harvests, weeds, and preserving got away from me. Also no fall garden planted in July. I’m healed up now, but I miss having so much produce to choose from. I have a few things left still and I’ve started kale, chard, lettuce, dill and cilantro just to have some greens. I really feel the difference physically in not having lots of vegetables in everything these past several months.

These next few months are going to be hard as the little preserved veg I have left is almost gone. I’m going to try growing microgreens again. Hopefully 3rd times the charm.

I do have fresh new stores of herbs, venison and mushrooms from October/November and it’s rabbit/squirrel time so nearly every day has something from the farm. I’m just going to make sure we do! Thanks Skandi for the reminder.
 
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I typically eat what I raise/grow/trade for about 7 months per year. This is my first year attempting to go thru winter without purchasing any food for meals.  

I did trade a large portion of late harvest around Halloween for 100 lbs of local whole berry Sonora wheat,  which is a significant part of my diet.

Otherwise, I eat ALOT of corn, squash, goat dairy, chicken, and preserved items of all kinds as seasonings/flavorings

I will say that through this have found a much better (for me) way to utilize my older chickens that I process before winter. I now debone, and grind all the meat with a progressive grind down to 1/8 "   it makes the most delightful filling for steamed dumplings, which are my winter favorite, and the family much prefers it to stewed or canned birds.
 
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My favorite gardening book is Cindy Conner's Grow a Sustainable Diet. She talks about her challenge, which is Homegrown Fridays during Lent, in which she eats only things she's grown. With maybe a couple exceptions...but only on Fridays. However it strikes me that Lent would be about the hardest time to pull this off, right in the Hungry Gap.
I have not done any such challenges but grow about half of what we eat, so there are probably few dinners that don't contain something I grew. For breakfast we usually have toast (bread I make myself from organic flour I buy) and butter I buy, fried potatoes with onions and garlic and sometimes sweet potatoes or peppers or celery, all of which I grow (but I run out of onions in late winter and potatoes sometimes then too), and an omelet from our own eggs 95% of the time, often containing onions, garlic, perhaps peppers or mushrooms and some kind of cheese. I trade with someone a few miles away for goat milk, and I make soft cheese from it but buy hard cheese mostly from the same distributor of mostly organic foods that I buy the flour from.
 
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What a great idea!!! We just moved to our land so I’ll plan to do this for summer onward! When my veggies start growing I have big plans for conserving them! Dehydrated, frozen, & canned. It is my goal also to eat what I grow. Perhaps an even bigger goal would be not to depend on the grocery stores at all. Seems daunting, but that’s the 5 yr plan for my family. We’ve got so much work to do before we get there.

Thank you for being an inspiration!!
 
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Thanks Skandi for the excellent challenge idea!

I've been trying for some time to get myself to eat more and more from food grown or foraged on my little homestead or nearby.  For some reason I never thought to try making a personal challenge to just eat something, even if a small something, daily from these sources.  As other have noted it may be difficult for me to start right now due to the winter snow cover.  However, I also understand that's a part of my brain throwing up objections and excuses.  Stopping to think for a moment what I do have on hand rather than just telling myself this will have to wait until spring (when it will likely be forgotten if not started now) I can see I have options.

Garlic
there are some greens still living out in the greenhouse
lots of fennel seed
dried beans
multiple herbs
As others noted I can do some sprouts.  I already have a big bag of sunflower seeds for just this reason and my RMH is great for gentle warmth for sprouting them!

I also signed up for a winter CSA from some local organic farmers, so my goal has been to be mostly eating what I get from them.  This fits right in with that general sentiment!

So lets see yesterday retroactively I fixed a veggie rice goulash (no real name for it) using mostly CSA veggies, but I did use my own homegrown garlic in the dish.
 
Posts: 60
Location: Mid Atlantic mountains, USA, 5a, clay, harvest plentiful outdoor veges year round with a few tricks
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Eating what I grow is my PASSION!  My all-time high count of home grown fresh greens and veges in one meal is last fall with a 15 count of lettuces and greens, herbs, radishes and onions, cilantro, etc. to make a super scrumptious American taco salad. Plus, some sides like corn fritters really got the numbers up.

Three years ago I upped my personal challenge from just dinner to veges and greens with Every Meal. Substantial difference in how healthy I feel. Love steamed, sweet winter kale with breakfast. Always toss in herbs or greens in a lunch soup, salad or sandwich. Hearty salads like taco, caesar, or a sweet salad with greens, fruit and a sweet dressing are a filling meal when beans or grilled meats are added for protein and then amped up with homemade croutons, or toasted pita, or garlic bread for a starch for even more energy. What's wrong with salsa on your eggs or just simple carrot and cucumber sticks with breakfast and as an alternative to crackers or chips with lunch? I also make more meat and grain based meals where the veges are the sides, but have upped the number and size of the vege dishes and made the meats and grains and meat dishes smaller. Husband doesn't even notice and because I don't force it all on him he asks for veges and greens now.

I do store onions and squash for wintertime use, but mostly I count on my hard-earned garden for veges and greens. Easy to say in spring and summer. A wee bit more effort for fall and winter harvesting. One degree and snowing the day I took this photo! Under 152 plastic tubs are small plots of: various spinaches, lettuces, swiss chards, turnips, beet roots and tops, 7 kinds of onions, leeks, chives, rosemary, sage, carrots, radishes, miner's lettuce, various bok chois (I'm not a fan of them steamed, but they make lovely fresh salads), mustard greens, and heck, I forget what all else.

My daily goal is to eat as many home grown, fresh veges and greens in every meal. And, boy, does it pay off in healthy skin and hair and your general well-being!
IMG_1354.JPG
garden vegetables in snow protected under containers
 
master gardener
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Alexia Allen wrote:

In April we do a Nettle challenge, competing for ways to eat nettles every day. Nettle lasagna, ravioli, steamed with butter, cream-of-nettle soup, nettle tamales, nettle cakes, nettles in polenta, cheesy baked nettles...


Would you be willing to add some of those excellent-sounding recipes to this thread:

https://permies.com/t/44253/kitchen/Seeking-nettle-recipes#350309

I've got plenty of nettles, but haven't found many ways to convince my family to eat them...
 
David Huang
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I forgot to mention something that I find helps me with daily challenge sorts of things is to have some way to visually track, chart, or record my success/failure.  I'm thinking I'll use the paper calendar hanging up here by my computer for this, simply making an "x" mark in the corner of each date square when I do eat something I've grown or foraged.  As what will hopefully be a long unbroken line of "x's" develops I will not want to break that string.  What might also happen is that I see I regularly miss a certain day of the week.  That would quickly become visible if it happens and I can ask myself what the cause might be and hopefully figure out how to overcome it.
 
David Huang
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Molly Gordon wrote:Thanks, David! And to delete the extra posts?



I'll use my "staff powers" to get them.  :)

This post will self destruct in one day.
Content minimized. Click to view
 
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Just something in the meal has to be home grown?  An herb garden could easily go a long way with that goal.  I put mint and basil in drinks. Basil goes in soups and with tomatoes.  Fresh oregano really peps up pasta.  I grow society garlic, so there is always garlic.  You could probably find at least one fresh herb that will add something to any kind of soup.  

Then there are tomatoes and peppers.  I'm happy to have sliced tomatoes and basil on the side of just about anything.  Peppers go in a lot of dishes too.  I'll dice up a fresh ripe jalapeno into my spaghetti-Os or chilli.  Or sweet peppers if it doesn't go with the dish, or I don't want the heat.  

Raspberries make a good desert.  Fresh greens make or add to a salad.  Cucumbers or pickles make a good side.  Snap peas I'll eat any time I see them.

If you were to make your own peanut butter, that'd go a long way too.

Of course it's easier for me to keep it fresh year round... in southern California I still have peppers ripening on the plant, I just picked some raspberries yesterday, and my Cara Cara oranges are just getting ripe (late this year.)  Although most of my annuals like basil and cucumber did finally give up.  I'm rooting on the cucumber to pull through even though I'll re-plant anyway.  
 
Nick Husby
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Lynn Wilson wrote:
Biggest challenge is a husband who prefers rice to any other starch (in northern Vermont) and in his 60s is regressing to us teen years food preferences, ie canned chili, canned hash, limited veg. Complains about the smell if I cook what I like. Very boring!



I like to add fresh garlic and peppers to my canned chilly.  Think he'd go for that?
 
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What a great idea!

This just might be the motivation I need to try sproutin' some sprouts!
 
Skandi Rogers
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Soup mixed herbs
Gammon with potatoes, carrot, onions.
Mexican, soft tacos with 2 types of mole, pork chops, salsa etc (for 15 people at the centre) onions, garlic
Big lunchtime dinner out so only rye bread and topping for dinner (beetroot)
Sweet and sour noodles with dried veg (carrots, beetroot, french beans) and chicken
Tacos with leftover mole, salsa (Tomatoes, peppers, onions) and chickweed from the field.

There's a day missing from the list but neither if us can remember what we had at all.
 
gardener
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I'm so impressed by everyone in cold climates doing this challenge.  The picture above of snow covered plants under protection - wow, that's commitment!  Thank you for sharing and thank you Skandi for the whole thread idea in the first place.

This fall we planted daikon radishes for the first time, with the intent to have enough for two a week until March.  However, I ran into a problem. They are so delicious we are eating them faster than expected. I'm having to ration the radishes. They became even more delicious after the first freeze. They are so sweet and juicy and crisp. Next year I will at least double the amount we put in.

On most days we are having just cilantro, parsley and/or green onions from the garden.  We also have kale and red mustard in the garden and then radicchio in the unheated greenhouse which we use for the occasional salads we eat, or on sandwiches.  Red mustard leaves are delicious instead of lettuce on a sandwich. There are also a few peppers left in the greenhouse, but they haven't made it out of the greenhouse into a meal yet because I keep snacking on them. Thanks for the sprout reminder everyone - I even have a bag of sunflower seed to do it with and keep forgetting!

Notable "discovery" I made in 2020 - radicchio is a perennial!  (This is a known thing, I just didn't know it when I planted them.) The radicchio in pics below were planted in Nov. 2020 in an unheated (also uncooled) greenhouse. The plants were basically semi-dormant over the summer (and the greenhouse hit at least 125F), then grew and filled out again over this winter. Very tasty.

Coming up are kohlrabi (waiting for it to size up, hopefully), sweet onions, and another new one for me - fall-planted garbanzos. I'm hoping they make it through and will be a bit like peas in the spring. I originally read about fall-planting garbanzos in one of Carol Deppe's books, but I didn't live in a dry enough place to do it.  I sure do now!

Here is an article about what to do with fresh garbanzos. Online I discovered they are quite commonly eaten in other cultures:
Fresh garbanzo beans - the new edamame?

As for the daikons, how we eat those... lots of ways. In stews and stir fry, also fresh as a slaw or salad or condiment on Mexican food.

The basic radish condiment consists of chopped radishes of any kind, along with some chopped cilantro and bulb or green onion, then a little toasted cumin, salt and lime juice to taste.  And you can add a pepper if you like that, or also a little black pepper.  This is a really nice "salsa" that we eat on Mexican soups, tacos, enchiladas... almost any Mexican food we cook.  

For a slightly different salad dish, we grate the radish (and/or kohlrabi, and or fine cabbage) along with grated carrots, then make the same base dressing above but add mayonnaise. This makes a type of coleslaw .

When radishes are more bitter (like the black Spanish ones that are still bulbing up), I do a different dish. Grated radish, then a dressing of sour cream or buttermilk, salt, lemon juice and dill leaf.  A Greek guy at a farmers market told me that one when he saw me buying the big black radishes. He said it was how his mom served them. That was neat to learn, as it helps deal with the bitter flavor.

This is one my favorite recipes, a Korean shortrib stew with daikon and carrots:

Korean beef short rib stew

Tonight, though, I am making something different and partially new...  spaghetti sauce with fermented tomatoes.  I saved a portion of our tomato harvest this last year by putting them in saltwater and keeping them in our chest fridge (chest freezer converted to a refrigerator, link here: chest freezer converted to a refrigerator using a thermostat).

Well I want the space back, and it seems a nice time to try making something with those tomatoes. I'm going to see if I like the taste well enough to do some salsa, but probably make the most into marinara since I have a hankering...

And you might be thinking -Why ferment tomatoes?  Why take up the fridge space?  It was over 100F when these tomatoes ripened, and I've found canning in the desert to be very inconvenient in our un-cooled home.  Next house will have an outdoor kitchen space for this purpose...

I was inspired to the tomato fermenting by this video from Self-Sufficient Me. That guy has a lot of neat ideas:



winter-garden.jpg
winter garden 2021-2022, more daikon next time!
winter garden 2021-2022, more daikon next time!
garbanzos-in-January.jpg
fall planted garbanzos growing slowly
fall planted garbanzos growing slowly
rad-raddichio.jpg
radicchio in the unheated greenhouse - planted in winter 2020/21
radicchio in the unheated greenhouse - planted in winter 2020/21
 
David Huang
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Yesterday I was gone all day, eating out, and failed to consume anything I grew or foraged myself.  Today though I set about finding ways to use a monster green cabbage from my latest CSA pickup.  I did a big pot of cabbage soup and used garlic and some dehydrated Jerusalem artichokes.  Then flying by the seat of my pants I tried making a vegan cheesy cabbage casserole.  As part of the cashew based vegan "cheese" sauce I used some fennel seeds and dried sage from my garden.  Surprisingly the casserole turned out really good.  I think I've got to tweak the soup some to make it better yet.  Regardless I'll be eating these for at least a few days this coming week.

I was quite happy to realize I had the dried Jerusalem artichokes as I had forgotten about them.  They will make it much easier for me to do this challenge until spring and new growies!  I also saw I have dried kale and mustard I've been neglecting to use, not to mention a pile of hickory nuts I've gathered but not set about shelling.  Oh, and then there is the acorn meal I worked to hard to harvest and process a few years ago but then never really developed ways to use.  This challenge should provide some motivation to find ways to start using all this food!
 
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Awesome challenge Skandi.

I haven't scaled my gardening up to that point yet unfortunately... I am working on it.

For now I make a point of telling the family whenever I manage to get some of our garden's food into their meals. I'm trying to at least create awareness of where the food is coming from.
 
Mary Cook
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This is mostly in reply to Kim Goodwin, whose post really reinforced for me how different the best advice for people in different climates and circumstances is. Especially the first line--she was impressed with the efforts of people in cold climates to eat something they grew each day. I say, that isn't hard, especially in early January. There used to be what they called the Hungry Gap, when people who had no choice but to eat things they grew or foraged--for all their meals--were most likely to go hungry. It wasn't in winter, it was in spring. As a homesteader who grows about half of what we eat, I can see why. I still have plenty of sweet potatoes and regular potatoes, the last few garlic, and lots of canned stuff. My chickens aren't laying like they do in spring but the nadir on eggs is late fall, not late winter. Midwinter was a good time for hunters in those days. Harvest festivals are held at the time of greatest abundance, in fall. This is why I'm impressed by the challenge my favorite garden writer, Cindy Conner does--she has Homegrown Fridays in Lent, where she eats nothing every Friday but what she grew herself. In Lent, that is, March--that's the Hungry Gap, when food you grew last year has run out and you may have a greenhouse full of seedlings but nothing to eat there. There are wild greens but that's not much of a diet.
 
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This is an awesome idea!  Thank you, Skandi!  I'm going to modify it for us slightly, I think, because we raise chickens, ducks and rabbits for meat, and hunt the deer, so all the meat served at our table besides the fish is already "homegrown," and has been for some years.  So I'm not going to count that.  I'm going to count the fruits, veggies, nuts, and herbs instead, because that will be more challenging for me personally.  And next year, I'm going to plan for doing this so I don't end up eating peanut butter and homemade jam sandwiches (to get credit for the jam, lol) at too many meals!  This is going to be a fun challenge!
 
Jay Angler
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There's a book promotion this week in the Food Preservation forum. Hopefully lots of people will learn some more techniques that will help with this challenge! We do need to be thinking about a well-rounded diet from local resources.
 
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What a cool post. I love seeing how everyone is using their produce. Unfortunately in my teeny growing space (about 300sq feet, will be acquiring another 75 this year) I mostly eat fresh out of the garden. But I do eat a lot of my own herbs still, some frozen greens leftover from fall (kale, kohlrabi, brussel sprouts), lovage, and chanterelles.

I have jars of fermented homegrown garlic, a miso I made from my scarlet runner beans (a great way to use small bean harvests), foraged blackberries, and pickled chicken-of-the-woods.

I did recently make a fantastic 'chicken pot pie' with drop dumplings from a recipe that Rowen White put out on her Instagram, and a dandelion green minestrone.

Anne Miller wrote:

Microgreens would be another great idea for this challenge.

I have seen several posts on microgreens.



Microgreens are something I have done a lot this year. I am growing two trays a week, as my clients all got a 'month of micros' as a Christmas gift. I deliver a jar of harvested fresh that day microgreens every week. And then we get to eat/share the surplus. They are incredibly handy to have around and can be grown without any additional heat or light if you have a vaguely sunny window.
 
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I always feel more comfortable having a variety of canned and dried foods put up.
We regularly include our canned tomatoes, green beans, corn (from bought corn), and squash. There's fresh garlic from the harvest in the spring, sufficient for the year. Sweet potatoes last a good while, and can get turned into gnocchi with ricotta made with left over raw milk (from a neighbor) and wheat ground from bought wheat berries. If I put up enough basil pesto, it can be kept frozen to be used all year as flavoring and a little herbal zing. Tomatoes are "sun"  dried and put up in olive oil. Peppers are canned, pickled, or dried and powdered. Kale keeps growing all year, albeit slowly, under the snow, but we look forward to the spring wild greens. Canned blackberries, pumpkin, and mock mincemeat (from the green tomatoes left just before the first frost) give me dessert options, along with any bought fruit that we put up. Found oyster mushrooms can get dried to get thrown into soups. Roasted and dry canned black walnuts get added to oatmeal and used for desserts.
So, we're not really self sufficient, but we do try and include local and home grown resources most meals, as a matter of pride.
We need to consider having chickens again, for the eggs. We have gone back to eating meat and fish. And I can't seem to live without cheese.
 
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I'm in North Central Kentucky and I try to have something homegrown every day. Everything outside is frozen now, but I've saved a lot in the freezer,  I canned tomatoes, carrots, and pickles, made peach jam, fig jam, and strawberry jam.
My favorite home grown meal is burritios with all home grown ingredients (except for the tortillas):  Butternut squash, red pepper, cherokee black beans, onions and garlic.  This year I made them with pumpkin because I grew pumpkins and the taste is the same.
I made potato soup two nights ago from home grown potatoes. I added lots of my home grown dried greens which includes beet greens, radish greens, bok choy, kale, green onion, and chard. I add this to most anything I cook and it adds much flavor and nutrition. And used my frozen celery.
I make chili with my home grown tomatoes, red and green peppers, onions, garlic, and red hidatsu beans.
At least once a week I have a smoothie where I use frozen home grown figs, strawberries, cucumber, kale, watermelon, or cantelope.
I have a lot of amaranth seeds that I've harvested but yet to find a good way to use them. Sometimes just add a few here and there. My jar is a few years old now and I'm wondering how long it will still be good.
 
Kim Goodwin
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Annie Darst wrote:
I have a lot of amaranth seeds that I've harvested but yet to find a good way to use them. Sometimes just add a few here and there. My jar is a few years old now and I'm wondering how long it will still be good.



They last a really long time.  My favorite way to eat amaranth is very simple, sort of like cream of wheat or oatmeal - a porridge cooked in water with some salt.  That's the sort of thing I crave if I'm sick with anything, too. Yumm.  You might try it.  If you do, try it at different cooking lengths.  I like it boiled until it's very smooth and porridgy where the grains are indistinguishable from each other.

In case you haven't tried many porridges, I've found that each porridge is it's own "thing".  I love wheat porridge and also amaranth and tapioca, quinoa or rice porridges are okay, but I can't stand oatmeal. Also I don't like polenta or grits, even though I love corn almost any other way.

This thread has been a lot of fun and gives some great ideas.

I broke into those fermented tomatoes and the flavor was so surprisingly good that I didn't want to cook them after all.  They don't taste like tomatoes anymore- I did not expect that!   I served some of the liquid to my husband and he was able to distinguish the unusual flavor. "It tastes like salty guava!"  I think it tastes like a salty guava kombucha. Wild!  

I'm going to try them in some salsa, vuelve la vida (like shrimp cocktail, Mexican style), and drinks! So guava(tomato) margaritas and vuelve la vida are on the menu tonight!

Hare's a Vuelve la vida recipe that we really like (but I tweak it because we don't eat sugar):
Vuelve la vida Mexican seafood cocktail

My tweaks are:
plain tomato sauce instead of ketchup
beer instead of the orange soda (though in this case with the fermented tomatoes I think it will be good on it's own)
any type of onion, even just green if that's what we have
soy sauce or tamari instead of the Maggi sauce
whatever seafood we have available, often just the tiny frozen shrimp
hot sauce or peppers

This dish is so good we can end up eating it instead of a meal... and we like it with home-fried corn tortilla chips instead of saltines.

This is the image from the cooking site.  mmmmmmm  Mine doesn't look as pretty, but tastes just as good.
 
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What a great challenge!  Sure to get me thinking about what I have in the pantry and basement.

One thing I have been doing is smoothies.  A great place to throw in frozen fruit.  I steamed , roasted a lot of beets last fall, then peeled and diced, and froze on cookie sheet before putting into bags and jars.  The beets go into the smoothie.

Another easy one is dried herbs going into tea.

And somehow I got into the habit of freezing unpeeled whole tomatoes, which go into soup, kinda replace broth, more flavor than water.

Thanks for this fun challenge
 
Thekla McDaniels
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And, tonight when I made dinner, I realized a couple other easy to include foods.  They need to be made in the season of plenty, but it’s worth mentioning them now.

One is pesto… basil garlic and olive oil is perhaps the most well known.  I don’t put cheese and pine nuts in until I am eating it on pasta or spaghetti squash, or your other favorite.  It increases the volume needed for storage, and increases the cost when you are making a large amount.  Freeze it in jars(leave some room for a little expansion, pack in jars with tapered sides, or otherwise be inventive about protecting jars from splitting.

The pesto can be used to flavor soups and sauces, can be rubbed onto chunks of butternut squash before baking, used in salad dressings, mixed into soft cheeses and other dips.  unlimited opportunities.  I keep all but one jar in the freezer, the one I am working out of, thawed and in the fridge.

More than basil pesto, I love garlic scape pesto.  You probably already break off the flowering stalk to get bigger bulbs, but it’s a wonderful mild flavored vegetable.  Stir fry or add to broth or soup.  The pesto- olive oil garlic scapes and what ever herbs are coming out of the garden, like parsley, oregano, thyme, chives- can be used to spread on bread, tossed onto pasta, all the things mentioned above.

Easy to make, and wonderful to have in winter.

Also, chutney.  Find a good recipe, but read several recipes because otherwise it is easy to get the idea there’s only one right way.  Make chutney from excess peaches, apricots, apples.  It also wants onions garlic raisins spice slime turmeric ginger cloves.  It’s a sweet and savory relish just bursting with flavor ,  wonderful to have for those boring humdrum meals I sometimes make, but also delicious on sausages.

Hardest part is remembering to use them!
 
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