Tag Archive | self-sufficiency

Homemade Zucchini Soup

Believe it or not the following soup is incredibly tasty. I found the recipe in an old cookbook of my aunt’s that she gave me. The flavour comes from the spices and onions.

Ingredients: Olive oil – but you can use butter as well. Slice onions and sauté them in the fat until soft. Then add a small amount of rosemary, basil, thyme, and salt. Chop up a medium potato into small pieces and add that. Finally add the zucchini to fill the pan and cook until soft. Taste when cooked to check for spice amounts. Don’t over do the rosemary most importantly. You can add pepper but be careful with it.

All of the ingredients in this recipe we grew in our garden except the olive oil and salt, obviously. If you have a small amount of animal fat you that you have saved you can use that instead, as it really doesn’t matter flavour wise.

See if you can find the dog hair in the soup picture.Image

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No Power? No Problem.

A few weeks ago the power went out for a couple of hours so I decided to make coffee on the propane burner in the garage – with the door open!

No need to worry about running out of coffee filters or not having a coffee maker. Yes we have propane in a can, but for emergencies like this one…used very seldom.

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More Wooden Stuff

Since we are talking about wooden items, I just wanted to post a picture of these neat trash cans that hubby made from scrap wood.

Cost of materials:  about 25 cents total.

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Make A Nice Bed Frame For Almost Nothing

Here is a way to get your creative juices flowing without spending a lot of money and make something necessary and useful in the process.

This bed was made by my hubby out of 1x6s. We wanted a certain look so we made it instead of travelling to the city and buying a cheap frame made out of particle board. This bed is sturdy and cost $50 in materials.

Even if you don’t do any building you can still figure this out. All you need is a measuring device – ruler, tape etc, wood, screws and screwdriver (you may want to have a drill to pre-drill holes as the wood may crack if you don’t. You can use a hand drill for this), and metal braces the length of the bed to support the mattress. Salvage braces could work well for this as well.

This mattress is old. I don’t recommend getting used mattresses from people you don’t know. Buy new or make your own (that is for another post).

We also added a headboard made out of scraps that we had left over from panelling the stairs. Very economical and sustainable if you get your wood from the right source. You may want to harvest your own from your woodlot if you have one. That would make a nice rustic decor. We will likely do that in the future.

Make Pasta at Home

It is often believed that it costs a lot to eat well. Part of the point of this blog is to prove that this is a myth. Eating well – or eating poorly is a matter of educating yourself on how to do this, not on how much you make.

This brings us to my lesson for today – PASTA.

Real pasta has has TWO ingredients – flour and water. I actually learned this method from a real Italian cook.

Take some water – about 1 cup and add flour until you have a dough. Roll out and cut into pieces or use a hand crank pasta machine if you have one or can find one at a yard sale or auction. The key to making it easily is to use enough flour when you are rolling out the dough so that it does not stick to everything. Then you must shake it off the pasta before you cook it.

Here are our lasagna noodles that we made two days ago.

It takes a little more time to make your pasta but you would do this in lieu of working more at a job away from home rather than IN ADDITION to your job. You always save money by doing things yourself. And the pasta tastes better.

Homesteading Psychology – Being Happy

After reading many blog posts about being frugal, saving money, being happy, how to find your purpose in life (thank you James Altucher), I decided to make a post.

I am happy.  I do not own a cell phone. I do not make a lot of money. I do not live in a big city. I do not have a lot of “things”. My truck is a hand-me-down and works when I need it.

Things do not make us happy. It is our attitudes about “things” that make us happy or miserable.

I have always known that I cannot keep up to the “Jones” as “they” say. I just can’t. I only feel good when I am working for myself at something that I love doing no matter how much I make. When I don’t do this, I become unhappy. Then I get sick.

My husband was born right after WWII. His family was REALLY poor. But he remembers being happy. Happiness is an inside job. And after many years of self help because of trying to find out my life’s purpose, I just let go and let it happen.

Allow what is trying to work its way into your life. Trying too hard, especially if you are not doing what you really want to be doing, will result in stress and unhappiness. Oh, and most if not all of this will get easier to do after 40.

And if you are so kind as to make a comment here, please be nice.

Here are some of the things that I do to make me happy:

Make the Best Coffee

Here is a link to our latest how to video – making coffee.

The point of making coffee this way is not to get rid of your current coffee maker but to demonstrate that you don’t need anything complicated or expensive to make excellent coffee. Just a pot, coffee and a spoon. Oh and water and a heat source!

Make Your Own Ketchup

We make our own ketchup. It was is easy to do I will never buy any again. The taste is excellent especially with homegrown fried potatoes.

Ingredients for homemade ketchup:

Tomatoes – grow your own

Vinegar – make your own

Onions or onion powder – grow or make your own

Sweetener – we use honey sourced locally

Salt – buy or make your own

Optional: A dash of cloves – I use it because I have some already but I wouldn’t go out and buy any especially for this. Ketchup can be made without it. Be careful how much you use though – it is very potent.

The Method

Cook the tomatoes well and press them through a sieve to remove the seeds and skins if you haven’t already removed them.

Into the tomatoes add sweetener – lots. Ketchup is very sweet so taste test often as you add this.

Add the salt and vinegar. These will be added in less amounts than the sweetener.

Add the onions or onion powder. We use small multiplier onions. We add them by grating them on a very fine grater directly into the ketchup. That way you get the full flavour of the onion, but not chunks of it. It blends in nicely.

If you use cloves, add it last. Be SSSOOOO careful not to put too much. You only need a small DASH of it.

Add these ingredients to taste slowly. You won’t get the full flavour of the ketchup until it cools so this can be a long process.

Also Coffee…

If you like this you may want to try making coffee like our ancestors (settlers) did. In a pot.

Homemade Ketchup

You don’t need to buy a fancy machine or anything special except coffee. Just don’t boil it too long. One minute at a slight boil is enough. Strain out the coffee grains or don’t, It doesn’t matter. You can figure out what works best for you.

The best way to make coffee.

 

 

 

Only basic ingredients are needed.

Give these things a try and feel the satisfaction of being able to provide more for yourself with less from basic ingredients you grow yourself.

For more homesteading stuff check out our YouTube channel. You can find more of my writing at Medium.