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Jocelyn Campbell
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A visitor just asked me what food she could bring. While this is more thoroughly discussed in the food choices podcast, here is a quick summary.

We mostly eat paleo-ish around here - very much organic or better and grassfed meats. Which means lots of veggies, meat, eggs, plenty of animal fats, naturally fermented foods and some fruits. We try to minimize starchy foods and sugar, and are not eating much in the way of dairy products at this time, though we imagine incorporating raw milk products from animals on the land.

(Though Ryan said Paul eats pielio. Paul loves fruit pies.)

Recycling is difficult in Montana. We'd much rather reuse glass (or other) containers whenever possible. Which means plastic water bottles would be a pain let alone the leaching and waste.

We drink coffee in the morning, and don't drink a lot of alcohol around here except for a moderate amount of beer and wine. Paul doesn't usually drink any alcohol at all except for fruity drinks like a pina colada once a year, if that.



In fact, in terms of residents here, Paul has written about smoking, pot, hooch and drugs in the forum.

Paul particularly enjoys stevia-sweetened lemonade or limeade, so we tend to make a lot of that.

Edited to add: we now have a wonderful discussion going about what makes a permaculture kitchen. This is very important to us here at wheaton labs.
 
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Paul particularly enjoys stevia-sweetened lemonade or limeade, so we tend to make a lot of that.


That lemonade was delicious and served in a massive erlenmeyer flask! Would you mind posting the recipe?
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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For a normal-sized pitcher, or a massive erlenmeyer flask , I think we use the following, though I don't measure it, so you will likely want to test it.

5 oz. (more or less to taste) organic lime juice
one sliced organic lime
5 (more or less to taste) squirts stevia extract
enough water to fill pitcher or flask

(or, substitute lemon juice and lemon slices)

We buy lemon juice and lime juice by the case from Azure Standard - bulk, organic food and homestead supplies - see also the lime juice on Amazon, or lemon juice on Amazon.



This is similar to the stevia we used: Sweetleaf Steviaclear
 
Leila Rich
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Apologies if I missed it, if so, please direct me there...
I'm always interested in how large communal groups work out cooking/cleaning stuff so that everyone's happy
I know Paul's discussed some previous experiences; how has that informed how you're doing things down on the farm?
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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That's a good question, Leila. We are doing the best we can right now, though the plan is for things to be a bit different.

The threads that have some additional background and info for this are:
  • community food: I provided 540 meals and received 2
  • paid positions
  • .

    And of course this:



    Right now the volunteers who have been coming in are guys who want to build the pooper, drive the track hoe, and build a wofati. Hence our request for the need of a house commander or kitchen commander now.

    Everyone washes their own plate, etc. and puts them in the dishwasher to drain-dry.
    Some will wash an additional dish or two to pitch in while they're at it.
    The guys take kitchen scraps up to the lab for the pigs.

    We have the occasional paid help of Jill to cook and clean for us - though she lives 1.5 hours away.
    Last weekend we hired Lynn to cook for the hoard of 20+ that was upon us. (It was a good hoard and loads of fun!)
    July 4th an awesome guy cooked Korean barbecue beef for all the folks who were here.

    Otherwise, I will cobble together food for folks and take care of the cleaning.
    Currently, we don't expect the volunteers who are here to build things to do much cleaning.
    For some meals, folks are on their own to rummage for leftovers and such.

    I'm struggling to get to workshop planning, accounting work for clients, and more bookkeeping/admin work for the farm with the amount of house and kitchen work I'm currently doing. So have I said enough times yet that we're looking for a full-time house commander?

     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    As for the food itself, we're currently buying it. Multiple factors, including the time of year that we moved in, meant infrastructure, equipment and other things were higher on the list than putting in food systems. (Tim and Kristie's animals are for their use, or for sale, not necessarily food for the project - yet.)

    The majority of our food comes from three places right now:
    The Good Food Store in Missoula


    Missoula's Saturday markets


    or Azure bulk food orders


    There are meat processor/butchers nearby that I hope to check out soon. (Maybe I should get my Montana driver's license before I do that...hm.) Until we have root cellar(s) and/or wofati freezers, a chest freezer would help a lot to stock up on the kind of meat we like to eat.

    Some day an outdoor kitchen would be lovely, too.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Oh, and folks have donated or brought food, too! Besides the Korean beef barbecue that was gifted us (by Morgan), we've had all kinds of produce donations from folks' gardens (Bob, Tim S. & Marta) or the market (Paul R., R.J. + others?), gorgeous salads made by talented folks (Bob, Tim S.), other food donations (Kelly K., Will), lots of coffee and tea donations (Rebecca, Adrien & Sonya), plus yummy oils and chocolates (Kristen, Adrien & Sonya).

    Thank you to all! (Apologies if I missed anyone.)
     
    Adrien Lapointe
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    Thanks for the recipe Jocelyn, we will definitely make some once we are back home.

    I have to say that the food was awesome and it was all organic! It was really fun to have the communal meals too.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Adrien Lapointe wrote:Thanks for the recipe Jocelyn, we will definitely make some once we are back home.


    You're welcome! Fresh squeezed would be better, of course, but until we get that lemon tree growing out here, the bottled stuff is quick and easy.

    Adrien Lapointe wrote:I have to say that the food was awesome and it was all organic! It was really fun to have the communal meals too.


    Thank you and Sonya for all of your help when you were here! And yes, I think folks had a great time visiting with each other.
     
    Leila Rich
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    Thanks for the info Jocelyn
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Here's what looks like an awesome deal to me - you know, when you're not growing your own, that is. Organic tomatoes for less than $1/pound. Am I crazy or is this a good price?

    I've purchased #2 or such produce from these guys before and it's been hardly blemished at all and quite good quality, in my opinion.

    I'm trying to get our next Azure order placed (it's due in 2 days) and I would love for us to can some tomatoes, but without a kitchen/house commander, I hardly have time to make my own 'kraut or kimchi, let alone do any canning. Darn!
    Azure-Tomatoes-2013.07.29.png
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    Julia Winter
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    You are right, $1 a pound for organic tomatoes sounds very good. How does it get shipped to you? I see that it says not available for UPS shipping.

    I would love to help y'all put up a bunch of tomatoes, but I'm not likely to get out to BC until 8/27/13 or so. Do you have the big pots, jar rack, jar tongs, lid lifters, etc for water bath canning?
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Julia Winter wrote:You are right, $1 a pound for organic tomatoes sounds very good. How does it get shipped to you? I see that it says not available for UPS shipping.

    I would love to help y'all put up a bunch of tomatoes, but I'm not likely to get out to BC until 8/27/13 or so. Do you have the big pots, jar rack, jar tongs, lid lifters, etc for water bath canning?


    You are so awesome to offer, Julia - though I placed the order already without the tomatoes. And yes, since our monthly order arrives this coming week (it gets shipped via a refrigerated semi truck that makes a 3-4 day route from Oregon through Montana), you're right that the tomatoes might have gone a bit off before later this month.

    We do have some canning supplies.

    I did order 20# of peaches though. Might be making some pie. Maybe.
    Azure-Peaches-2013.08.04.png
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    Julia Winter
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    I am definitely going to check out this Azure Standard business once I move to Portland! Given that there's basically no way I'm going to have my own fruit trees, at least for some time, it's good to be able to get moderate amounts of organic produce for a good price, to make preserves (or pies!)

    Oh! Pies! I just learned the coolest trick for making a flaky pie crust. You mix all of the fat with 2/3 of the flour, and then cut in the final third of the flour with a goal of pea sized balls of "paste" coated in flour. Then you mix in the water using a spatula to repeatedly flatten in a big broad bowl. You get some gluten development in the non-fatted flour as it mixes with the water, and this leads to the flakes. I've been making pie crusts for years, and they are delicious, but not very strong. I found this new technique and got a pie crust that resembled puff pastry! Still yummy (can't go wrong with home rendered lard from a pastured pig and organic butter) but now with the gorgeous snapping flakes in the crust.

    Here is the article on making flaky pie crust.
     
    Lynn Jacobs
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    food preservation is a lot of work, but SO worth it! Obviously it will be best once you have your own gardens, but taking advantage of the in-season bargains and canning/freezing/drying/fermenting will help you feel snug and secure when winter blows in, knowing you have a supply of good healthy food stuffs. And you certainly have plenty of storage space for jars! Might need a third refrigerator for fermented stuff, though Maybe people coming across yard sale bargains on canning jars might choose to contribute in that way, if they want to bring something to share.
     
    Lynn Jacobs
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    Julia Winter wrote:I am definitely going to check out this Azure Standard business once I move to Portland!

    I was going to tell you to check it out now and not wait until you move, but it looks like Wisconsin doesn't have a route. Azure is a great company, though. And their home base of Dufur, Oregon has a wonderful little city park for camping, if you ever go that way.
     
    Julia Winter
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    Might need a third refrigerator for fermented stuff, though


    How about bringing that excavator over to base camp and building a root cellar? That should provide good cool storage for fermented foods.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Root cellar is in the plans at some point, yes.

    In the mean time, an extra fridge or extra freezer will be needed before our fall workshops, that's for sure! Just looked at Costco chest freezer prices today...not sure yet what we'll do.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    A happy shout out to Wüstner Brothers Honey. They donated this HUGE, fantastic jar of knapweed honey.

    Yum and thank you!

    Wustner-Bros-honey.jpg
    [Thumbnail for Wustner-Bros-honey.jpg]
    Wüstner Brothers Honey big jar front
    Wustner-Bros-honey-back.jpg
    [Thumbnail for Wustner-Bros-honey-back.jpg]
    Wüstner Brothers Honey big jar back
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Jocelyn Campbell wrote:A happy shout out to Wüstner Brothers Honey. They donated this HUGE, fantastic jar of knapweed honey.

    Yum and thank you!



    I forgot the back of the jar had a tumeric thumbprint on it. I've learned that fresh turmeric root is quite colorful.
     
    Lynn Jacobs
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    Jocelyn Campbell wrote: I've learned that fresh turmeric root is quite colorful.

    And I'm bummed that I completely forgot to bring a small piece of it home with me to see if I could get it to grow. Ah, well, another time.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Mrs. EdJacobs wrote:
    Jocelyn Campbell wrote: I've learned that fresh turmeric root is quite colorful.

    And I'm bummed that I completely forgot to bring a small piece of it home with me to see if I could get it to grow. Ah, well, another time.


    I tried planting some though it might have been too late and I'm not sure if my makeshift potting soil will work for it. We'll see.

    Naturally fermented some ginger slices because we had so much of that, too.
     
    Julie Anderson
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    Jocelyn Campbell wrote:

    I forgot the back of the jar had a tumeric thumbprint on it. I've learned that fresh turmeric root is quite colorful.


    The tumeric plant is also very attractive. I planted them in various locations around the yard this year as an experiment. I plan to dehydrate and powder some of it after I harvest.

    Julie
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    We recently bought a stainless steel mandolin for base camp.



    We were too hungry for me to stop and take pics of the zucchini noodles I made using the mandolin. I like that it doesn't require any power to operate and has a blade for almost any slicing job.

    Oh, and, we've been enjoying this bacon fat mayonnaise recipe, on the noodles, on burgers, on fish, as a dip, and next we'll use it in deviled eggs.

     
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    I LOVE zucchini noodles! I am definitely going to have to try the Bacon Fat Mayonnaise recipe. I have a plethora of pastured eggs from my friend's flock. I'm starting to acquire a nice volume of rendered bacon fat as we start to work through the 47 pounds of bacon that we got last month when we bought a whole hog.

    LG
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Julie Anderson wrote:I'm starting to acquire a nice volume of rendered bacon fat as we start to work through the 47 pounds of bacon that we got last month when we bought a whole hog.


    47 pounds - now there's a happy thought! We won't have our own pork or bacon until October when we butcher hogs for the Farmstead Meatsmith workshops.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Kristie bought us some huge, fresh, local beets. Yum! And, of course, I had higher priorities than trying the natural ferments I wanted to try.

    This weekend, there is a lovely gal here doing some cooking and cleaning for us, but she doesn't know anything about naturally fermented foods. So she's making her version of pickled beets: sliced, boiled beets, chilled, and mixed with vinegar. A great solution to get the beets eaten before we feed them to the pigs, so that's a good thing.

    For anyone else who might not know what naturally fermented foods are, the method is very different from what most people think of as pickling or canning pickled foods. There is no cooking involved. The raw beets are sliced, a brine is poured over them (salt water with our without whey or other "starters"), and then they sit at a room temperature to ferment - a process that involves pro-biotic bacteria and makes a very healthy side dish or condiment.

    In the natural ferments worlds, I keep hearing about beet kvass and hope to try it some time. Here's a particularly lovely picture from http://nourishedkitchen.com/beet-kvass-recipe/:



    It's all a process and a learning curve, and we are doing what we can, when we can and with what we have. And that's all good.
     
    Julie Anderson
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    I make frequent forays into trying different fermentations. I call these experiments "Fun with Fermentation". I have enough pickling cucumbers from the garden to ferment another batch. The last batch was perfect, nice and crisp! I asked Sandor Katz about how to keep the fermented pickles crisp when he was answering questions on Permies. I was told to add a grape leaf to the jar. It totally did the trick.

    I had the extended family over for a meal and they mowed down my last batch. It's time to do more for me.

    Julie
     
    Leila Rich
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    Jocelyn Campbell wrote:We recently bought a stainless steel mandolin for base camp.

    Mandolins are great tools!
    Just be warned, I've seen (and experienced) some nasty injuries when slicing tough veges like, say, beets...
    Mind you, cooks are notorious for removing all guards and safety devices on gear to make it 'go faster'!

    Speaking of ferments, it must be nearly garlic season over there. If you happen across loads of it, it's one of my favourite ferments, especially when combined with whole birdseye chillis. A couple of star anise makes it Asian-ish
    While whey gets things going faster, I find water and salt is fine for starting a lacto-ferment.
     
    Lynn Jacobs
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    Leila Rich wrote:Just be warned, I've seen (and experienced) some nasty injuries when slicing tough veges like, say, beets...

    Indeed...which is why I have a very small section of my right pinkie finger missing, from slicing zucchini
     
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    With people coming and going, you are bound to encounter people with undeveloped knife skills.
    There are Safety Gloves on the market which can save a finger.
    Stainles steel mesh interwoven with synthetic fabric for comfort.
    Toss em in the washing machine, different sizes available, goes on the hand not holding the knife.
    I've used (put up with) them.
    Might be something to have around until the user develops knife skills.
    I hate to see folks get hurt.
     
    Lynn Jacobs
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    Safety gloves are an interesting idea! My particular run-in occurred many years ago in my own home. Though I am somewhat accident prone, I escaped injury while working in P&J's kitchen.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Julie, "Fun with Fermentation" is where it's at! I recently watched Sarah Pope's video about using grape leaves, or oak leaves to keep pickles crisp, though I have yet to try it.



    Leila, you are so right! I was using my old, mostly plastic mandolin and got my finger good enough that I had to hold it above my head for a while to stop the bleeding. Ugh.
    And, I, too, mostly use just salt water brines, without the whey or such, for the ferments I've been experimenting with. Still want to experiment more!

    Mrs. Ed, is the zucchini injury the graphic picture I saw on your blog?

    Ken, those safety gloves do look smart! I am SO accident prone with knives, and mandolins, it's a wonder I haven't lost a tip of a digit myself.
     
    Lynn Jacobs
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    Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Mrs. Ed, is the zucchini injury the graphic picture I saw on your blog?

    Ha! No, that was the unfortunate meeting of two rather large rocks whilst my finger was in between. Ouch! Though yes, it is the very same finger

    I need to get some grape leaves and some dill so I can get some fermented pickles started. And my sauerkraut I shared with y'all is about gone, so time to make more of that as well. I made a small batch of Nourishing Traditions fermented beets, but haven't tasted it yet.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    A few pics of recent food at the project.

    Cameron's no-knead bread baked in a cast iron Dutch oven!

    Fantastic beef slow-roasted by Kristen Lee-Charlson of Missoula's the heirloom project.
    bread_cropped.jpg
    [Thumbnail for bread_cropped.jpg]
    Cameron's no-knead bread
    beef_smaller.jpg
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    Kristen's roast beef
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    These have been some of the best Delicata squashes we have had! All the squashes in the first pic (and more!) were from Noah and Mary of http://forestvoices.org/farmblog/.

    We had tried a lazy way of cooking the entire squash in the crock pot without splitting or scooping first. (Boy, can they be hard to cut!) It worked once, okay; but then created too strong of a flavor in the flesh from the gooey insides. Perhaps because the squashes were aging themselves, so the insides had more funkiness to impart.

    Winter roasted veggies are a favorite around here. Paul is not a fan of beets, but the rest of us seem to be.
    20131110_132512.jpg
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    fall fruits
    20131111_180817.jpg
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    prepping roasted veggies
     
    Julie Anderson
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    I like to cook winter squashes in the pressure cooker. They cook quickly, and the skins peel right off without any hassle. I think pressure cooked squash tastes the same as oven baked squash.

    Julie
     
    Julia Winter
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    Those beets are gorgeous!

    I think oven roasting makes squash taste better, because it's a dry cooking method and thus concentrates the flavors. After it cooks, you can let it cool off before you get the flesh away from the skin.

    I have been known to use a mallet to drive a cleaver through a particularly hard winter squash. Just make sure you are on a good wood cutting board!
     
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    This early January dinner represents cool things to me.

    *pork roast from pigs raised on the land and butchered at the Farmstead Meatsmith Workshops.
    *apple cranberry sauce using raw applesauce ground by the Champion juicer given to us by Julia Winter and sweetened with Jake Wustner's honey
    *mire poix made with chestnuts that Erica Wisner brought us and roasted by Tony
    *butternut squash grown in Missoula by Noah and Mary


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