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Please join me in welcoming Kate Downham, author of A Year in an Off-Grid Kitchen!




Read the review of a Year in an Off-Grid Kitchen here!

 


Kate Downham will be hanging out in the forums until this Friday answering questions and sharing her experiences with you all.

At the end of this week, we'll make a drawing for 4 lucky winners to win a copy of A Year in an Off-Grid Kitchen. From now until Friday, all new posts in the Cooking forum are eligible to win.
 
To win, you must use a name that follows our naming policy and you must have your email set up to receive the Daily-ish email. Higher quality posts are weighed more highly than posts that just say, "Wow, that's really cool! I want to win!"

When the four winners are selected, they will be announced in this thread and their email address will be sent to the publisher, and the publisher will sort out the delivery details with the winners.

Please remember that we favour perennial discussion.  The threads you start will last beyond the event.  You don't need to use Kate Downham's name to get her attention. We like these threads to be accessible to everyone, and some people may not post their experiences if the thread is directed to the author alone.
 

Posts in this thread won't count as an entry to win a copy of the book, but please say "Hi!" to Kate Downham and make her feel welcome!
COMMENTS:
 
gardener
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Location: Pacific North West
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Hi Kate, and Welcome!

I’m looking forward to the discussions.

 
pollinator
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Hi Kate, I just ordered a copy of your book.  I'm hoping it will get me started with fermented foods!
 
pioneer
Posts: 144
Location: Gulgong, NSW, Australia (Cold Zone 9B, Hot Zone 6) UTC +10
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Hi Kate,
Welcome to the forum.  What a great book.  Awesome information and recipes.  As I type this your book is sitting on the lounge with me.  I got lost at page 207, any fruit crumble .............  It has got to be the best desert, and breakfast, and morning tea and afternoon tea - well you get the picture.
Having just established our first bee hive in January and a second one to roll out in late spring (October-ish) after the frosts have gone, we are very pleased to have the recipes on using honey in jam making and preserving fruit.  Having A Year in an Off-Grid Kitchen is better than being a kid in a candy store.
 
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Welcome Kate. I'm from across the water, Cornwall UK. Looking forward to the discussions. Cheers Chickendave
 
pollinator
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Location: South Central PA
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Hi Kate and welcome! Looking forward to the discussions as well
 
gardener & author
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Thank you all for the warm welcome!

I’m looking forward to the discussions this week.

Paul, so pleased to hear you like my book and the anyfruit crumble… it really is good for everything! I hope you will enjoy making my preserving recipes from your own honey. We don’t have our own bees (yet) but have good friends nearby that keep bees, so it is lovely to be able to use local honey instead of sugar.
 
pollinator
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Welcome Kate!  And Paul's praise has me yet again drooling over a new book.  Going to check it out.
 
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This is great.  I love all things fermented!  New ideas are welcome.  And the cheese wheel looks so good. I'm reminded that I do want to try that as well.  I'm not sure how well that will work in south La with no place for a celler-like space?  A bit too hot, maybe?
 
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Reading the review, I was sold at "5 minute hands-on sourdough bread!" Then there's "Preserving fruit without cane sugar,” “Apple Core Cider,” “Making Jam the Old Way, Without Cane Sugar or Pectin, Water bath canning..." This sounds amazing & a must-have. I'm curious how Australia canning protocols are different.
 
Posts: 14
Location: Windsor, ME
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Welcome Kate!  Looking forward to learning more from you for off-grid living.  Even though my husband and I just started our homestead, we want to live off-grid once we get everything figured out.  So much to do!  Can't wait to read your book!
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Posts: 11
Location: Central Coast California for now, soon the desert SW
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Hi Kate! Welcome. I'm interested in reading your book to see how I can adapt it to living the van life as a nomad. I'll be as off grid as one can be while traveling the country. Heading over to buy it now.
 
master gardener
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Hello, and Welcome, Kate! I'm looking forward to seeing you in the forums!
 
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Hi Kate, congrats on getting the book published and printed!  Great topic, I just ordered a paperback.  Looking forward to reading it!
 
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Welcome! I'm rather new to this group, but I'm enjoying reading all the new viewpoints. Growing more of my own food  is very important to me, and I'm learning as many ways to preserve it as I have opportunity. Your book sounds like a great resource for more ways to support my family's health.
 
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Welcome and looking forward to this advice. Growing has been easy, it’s storage I’m not so sure about. Thank you and looking forward to it!
 
Paul Fookes
pioneer
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Jubilee Fly wrote:Reading the review, I was sold at "5 minute hands-on sourdough bread!" Then there's "Preserving fruit without cane sugar,” “Apple Core Cider,” “Making Jam the Old Way, Without Cane Sugar or Pectin, Water bath canning..." This sounds amazing & a must-have. I'm curious how Australia canning protocols are different.



If you look up Fowlers Vacola:  https://fowlersvacola.com.au/  This will give you heaps of information.  It is called bottling in Australia.  Kate has great information on this in her book and has both Australian and US advice.  Just remember that you will need to follow the advice from your food standards authority.
 
Posts: 95
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Hello and Welcome!
 
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Hello, welcome. I am excited to see what all can be done off grid. Looking forward to discussions
 
gardener
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Welcome Kate! I would love to get my hands on a copy of the book!
 
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Hi Kate! Welcome. Your book looks awesomely useful!
 
Posts: 58
Location: Allentown, PA but we bought off-grid property in Newark Valley, NY
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Hi Kate!  I'm looking forward to recipes that don't ask for a combination of ingredients that come in season at different times.  Because really, whose garden produces fresh strawberries and tomatoes in any quantity at the same time?!
 
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Welcome Kate, I'm looking forward to learning from ya.

Anna K.
 
Posts: 31
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welcome and congratulations on publication Kate. All the best.
 
Posts: 115
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What a lot of work! What you've done benefits us all so please know that we appreciate it. Honey from our local apiary is wonderful and I look forward to using more of it with your recipes.

I suspect that over time more and more of us will end up off line, like it or not. So it's good to have additional resources such as your book. What's more important than the food we eat?
 
Posts: 112
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hi Kate,
Thanks for all your help with the forest school fund raiser. Looking forward to tips and tricks since we live off grid too!
 
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I'd LOVE to win a copy of this book!!!
 
Posts: 17
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Oh wow, that looks amazing ! Welcome
 
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Congratulations on the accomplishment of the publishing of your book...I bet a LOT of hard work went into it and that it was a labor of love!

I make cheese, butter and sourdough bread...but use electricity to keep the butter from going bad in a day, and the cheese doesn't seem to keep well after it is made without living in a refrigerator. Short of having an ice-fed stream on one's property, the only way I can imagine to keep that stuff from spoiling or melting rapidly would be a nice, deep root cellar. Well, hopefully your book addresses such issues. Although we use electricity and propane for cooking, a move is planned in less than a year to an off-grid property. We believe it is wise to cut the dependence upon electricity and propane now, when there is a safety net as we learn, rather than waiting until we (and possibly the area or the nation) may be cut off long-term. And, of course,  every two or three folks who are not sucking up public utilities may help move us in a better direction. (Although the stats on China are depressing...their voracious destruction of our atmosphere in the name of generating enough cheap electricity already dwarfs any impact for good that we can make.) No matter whether I can or cannot change the power situation, we are bound and determined to live without traditional utilities and get back to the way my grandparents lived (no flushing toilet, no electricity, utilizing the circle of energy from food to fertilizer to food over and over again). And bit by bit, we're getting there! I believe your book may be an important step in that process.
 
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Congratulations!! Sounds like a book well worth reading. Lots to learn for sure!! Thank you for your time and effort and good luck with your sales!
 
Posts: 68
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As someone who is soon to be completely off grid...I NEED this book.  I hope I win it but if not I will have to break down and buy it.  I am so looking forward to having and using it.  I am hoping to be able to adapt my original and favorite recipes to work off grid.  I do a lot of jams, jellies, syrups and medicinals so stable temperatures are a must and I am sure there is a learning curve.  I hope this book will make it way less steep.  Thank you for all your hard work!
 
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Hi Kate! Welcome and congratulations! I am a wee late with the fermented foods in my diet, I just tried Kim chi today in fact! Looking forward to reading, learning, foraging, growing and fermenting with you and all the excited permies!
 
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Location: western Central Texas Zone 8a/8b
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Hello Kate, welcome to the group!
 
Kate Downham
gardener & author
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Claire Alexander wrote:This is great.  I love all things fermented!  New ideas are welcome.  And the cheese wheel looks so good. I'm reminded that I do want to try that as well.  I'm not sure how well that will work in south La with no place for a celler-like space?  A bit too hot, maybe?



I'm not familiar with your climate, but one thing that can be done is to make cheesemaking seasonal - you might find that in colder times of the year the conditions are right for making natural rind hard cheeses. In hot weather, feta is a really good option for a storable cheese, because it doesn't need any specific humidity, and it's in a glass jar so you can put it in a cool shady spot outside without worrying about rodents and other pests, it can even be aged in a fridge if it really is too hot everywhere else.
 
Kate Downham
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roberta mccanse wrote:What a lot of work! What you've done benefits us all so please know that we appreciate it. Honey from our local apiary is wonderful and I look forward to using more of it with your recipes.

I suspect that over time more and more of us will end up off line, like it or not. So it's good to have additional resources such as your book. What's more important than the food we eat?



Definitely. I much prefer paper books over things on a screen.
 
Kate Downham
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Dianne Justeen wrote:Hi Kate!  I'm looking forward to recipes that don't ask for a combination of ingredients that come in season at different times.  Because really, whose garden produces fresh strawberries and tomatoes in any quantity at the same time?!



This is the reason I like adaptable recipes! It's good to be able to have many options of making something, especially when it comes to relying on homegrown foods.
 
Kate Downham
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Jubilee Fly wrote:Reading the review, I was sold at "5 minute hands-on sourdough bread!" Then there's "Preserving fruit without cane sugar,” “Apple Core Cider,” “Making Jam the Old Way, Without Cane Sugar or Pectin, Water bath canning..." This sounds amazing & a must-have. I'm curious how Australia canning protocols are different.



Thank you!

A few things that are different about Australia's food preserving...

Our way of making jams, chutneys, pickles, relish, and sauces comes from older ways of doing things from the UK - these things were never known as 'canning' here, and were just something that a home cook would make at home using recycled jars and no special equipment. The recipes we use are old ones that keep well without any need for special canning jars or seals, they often will keep for months on a pantry shelf even after being opened. A common way of sealing these kind of preserves is with a 'hot jar, hot lid, upside down' method, which works for these exact recipes, but lower sugar, lower acid recipes that are more common in US canning are not suitable for this method. Any Australian recipe that uses the 'hot jar, hot lid, upside down' method can be followed up to the point of putting it in jars, and then water bath canned for 10 minutes in order to follow US guidelines.

Our water bath system here is Fowlers, which uses a very permie-friendly kind of jar with reusable stainless steel lids, very thick glass jars, and natural rubber rings that form a seal - the official advice is not to re-use the rings, but all the old preserving people that I've spoken to always re-used these, so there's very little that needs to be replaced year-to-year compared to other bottling systems. This system was only really used for fruit (including tomatoes) - pressure canning has never been common here, and low acid vegetables were traditionally preserved as pickles rather than canning.
 
Kate Downham
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Thank you all for the kind words : )
 
pollinator
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Hello Kate! I hope your book is doing well, it is awesome.

Anyone who is thinking about buying this book, you really should. It never hurts to have more books in your cooking arsenal and if you are learning to cook with a woodstove, or are thinking about learning this is a book you all need.
 
master steward
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We have winners!!!

Congratulations!

Robert Ray
Teresa Rosello
Jenny Cahill
Skandi Rogers


Keep an eye on your emails and PMs for a message from Kate so she can coordinate with you about your books!

And, huge thanks to Kate for not only answering our questions this week, but being a wonderful member of our community here on permies. Thank you for all you do both in front of and behind the scenes here on permies. And, for having written such an awesome resources for off-grid living!
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