Blog

Summer Sauerkraut!
The usual time of year to make sauerkraut in Connecticut is in the late Fall. After a few frosts, the huge heads of cabbage are a little sweeter and more tender. But mid Summer is a good time to make sauerkraut too. You will need more heads of cabbage since each one is smaller, but they are tender and and have more juices in them. The warmer Summer temperatures make fermenting faster and the room does not have to be heated to stay around 70 degrees here. The shredded mid... Read more →
Quaker City Grain Mill Review
I have been using this huge hand powered grain mill for a few months now, and I continue to be impressed. It is large enough to quickly grind a pint and a half of corn. The handle turns more easily than any of my much smaller hand cranked mills. With smaller mills, I usually make more than one pass to keep the effort low. First I crack the kernels, then I grind it again, adjusted finer and finer. The total time and effort are less when you do that... Read more →
PRESTO Stainless Steel Pressure Cookers
I have a small anodized aluminum pressure cooker but I am not completely satisfied with the idea of cooking food directly in any sort of aluminum pot. In tests that I have conducted this pressure cooker used about 1/6th the fuel needed to cook the same amount of beans or brown rice as a regular pan. Aluminum is great for all types of canners, where the food is inside a jar, and will never come in direct contact with the pot. Aluminum heats up much faster and more efficiently, but... Read more →
Storm Alfred October 29, 2011
This fast moving storm dropped 10 inches of extremely heavy snow on us in a matter of hours. Trees still had most of their leaves. With the heavy snow clinging to them, massive numbers of branches and many whole trees fell to the ground. Damage to power lines was extensive, Our electricity was out for 8 days. Some homes in our area where out for 12. That is the longest power outage I ever experienced. Branches fell across both of our vehicles. Luckily they landed on top of the first... Read more →
Canning Meats at Home
A Pressure Canner is required for canning meats and fresh vegetables without vinegar added. Although tomatoes are thought of as a vegetable, they are technically a fruit and the older varieties contain enough acid for water bath canning. Many years ago accidents did happen with early pressure canners 'exploding' so they earned a bad reputation. More modern pressure canners have multiple safety features. I'd still recommend you watch the canner during the whole time it is under pressure, and keep the safety relief valves or plugs pointed in a safe... Read more →
Grain Mills for Freedom
Nothing beats the wonderful taste and aroma of foods made of freshly ground grains! You will also be getting all the nutrients naturally in the food. Most whole grains contain some oils, which are removed by commercial flour makers because they spoil after milling. For example, Kernels of wheat are a good source of vitamin E, but whole wheat flour from the grocery store has that vitamin removed, so it will keep on the shelf. White flour has much of the healthy fiber removed too. Grinding your own grains... Read more →
Back to Basics Steam Canner Review
When I was a young child, I found a Con-Servo Steam Canner in one of my Grandparents attics. Being curious, I had to examine it carefully and ask lots of questions. It was a large metal box with a door and two sets of shelves like an oven. In the bottom was a pan for water. I was told a lot of jars of food could be canned in this at once, using steam instead of hot water. Most people were still pumping or even carrying there water by hand... Read more →
Food Security, a Trip into Our Past.
Until a hundred years ago, the majority of Americans were farming the land for a living. Most foods were locally produced and consumed. In my home library, I have a number of market garden books written by Peter Henderson in the late 1800's. He started out growing food for the New York City market, and became an authority on the subject. Henderson bred new varieties of vegetables, and founded a large and successful seed company. He recommended one able bodied man for each acre of market garden. My own great... Read more →
Repacking Bulk Foods
I save a lot of money for other projects by buying large containers of foods, and repacking them. This article will describe a few examples. I love to add garlic to all sorts of foods, and a very inexpensive way to buy it, is chopped and dried. Garlic prepared like this will keep on the shelf for a long time, if it is protected from moisture and sunlight. We use small canning jars, and repack the large tub of dried, chopped garlic, and store it inside a cabinet, protected from... Read more →