Skip to main content

Real Food in my Kitchen - 2012 update

As I said the in previous post, I'm going to use December as an opportunity to reflect and summarise what we've done at Eight Acres (and more recently, Cheslyn Rise) over the previous couple of years.  I particularly want to review the things that are working well and have become habits in our daily lives.

The big exciting achievement this year was baking my own bread since April.  We have bought no bread (apart from the occasional bread stick), and I have come to method that works, doesn’t take up too much time, tastes great and can be cooked in the woodstove or the BBQ.

Posts about bread:

Homemade bread since April

Earlier in the year I wrote a series of reviews on Nourishing Traditions.  If you haven’t heard of this book, its about preparing and eating traditional foods, like stocks, fermented foods, organ meats, sprouts and soaked grains.  I am gradually trying different recipes or at least being inspired by some of the concepts.  It is a tough book for some people, and it does really help to have a dairy cow, but I think that everyone can get something useful out of it, even if you can't use every single recipe yourself.  I also wrote about a another useful book on the "peasant diet", called Frugavore.

The chapter reviews:

Nourishing Traditions - Snacks, desserts and "super foods"

Beet Kvass and Ginger Ale
Some of the recipes that I’ve tried from Nourishing Traditions:

Sprouts
Speaking of the dairy cow, we’ve had Bella for over a year now, and I’ll write more about milking and calves in another post, but we have certainly learnt a whole lot about cheese and dairy products since she came to Eight Acres, starting with raw milk….

Easy Peasy Raw Milk Cheeses – making cream cheese
Cheese making basics – making hard cheeses

making cheese
Late last year I bought a dehydrator and I have found plenty of uses for it this year to help preserve herbs and other veges and to dry herbs for tea.


dehydrating chillies
We went on a couple of holidays, and as always we sampled lots of the local foods, here are some of the highlights:


Strawberry picking on the Sunshine Coast
And finally, if you’re still with me, here’s a few of my rambling thoughts about food, growing your own and meeting your needs:


lots of green veges over winter!
What about you?  What are your real food achievements this year?  Please share in the comments and feel free to link to your own post if you do a similar summary (I'm too lazy to set up a linky, just put a link in the comments).  

Comments

  1. I read awhile back, about lacto fermenting on your blog and I finally got to experiment with it this fall and have had good success. Thanks for getting me interested in it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. well that's a comprehensive link post if ever there was one. thankyou :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. There's some good links there. Will bookmark this for some inspiration when we're unpacked and getting into it next year! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hmmm, I'm trying to think back over my year. Getting more real food breakfasts I love has been good. I keep meaning to make your bread recipe but need to track down the ebook for it. I'm sure I got it at some point but now can't find it.

    I experimented with lactofermenting apple and carrot. Sprouted some flour. Made raw cream cheese and sour cream. Incorporated chicken stock into lots of meals. Ate beef liver straight plus added it to lots of mince dinners. Increased our raw milk order to 4L per week plus 1L cream. Ate lots of veges from our garden.

    I also went backwards in some ways, when it all got overwhelming. And I just needed to get food on the table.

    Xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great to hear that I've inspired some real food and there's plenty of others having a go too. I look forward to seeing what everyone makes in 2013!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

Growing and eating chokos (chayotes)

Cooking chokos (not be confused with another post about cooking chooks) has been the subject of a few questions on my blog lately, so here's some more information for you.
Chokos - also known as Chayote, christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton, chuchu, Cidra, Guatila, Centinarja, Pipinola, pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, güisquil, Labu Siam, Ishkus or Chowchow, Pataste, Tayota, Sayote - is a vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash and melons, with the botanical name Sechium edule.


The choko contains a large seed, like a mango, but if you pick them small enough it is soft enough to eat.  If you leave the choko for long enough it will sprout from one end and start to grow a vine.  To grow the choko, just plant the sprouted choko and give the vine a structure to climb over.  In summer, the vine will produce tiny flowers that will eventually swell into choko fruit.  The vine doesn't like hot dry weather.  And it doesn&#…

Making tallow soap

For some reason I've always thought that making soap seemed too hard.  For a start the number of ingredients required was confusing and all the safety warnings about using the alkali put me off.  The worst part for me was that most of the ingredients had to be purchased, and some even imported (palm oil and coconut oil), which never seemed very self-sufficient.  I can definitely see the benefits of using homemade soap instead of mass produced soap (that often contains synthetic fragrance, colour, preservatives, and has had the glycerine removed), but it seemed to me that if I was going to buy all the ingredients I may as well just buy the soap and save myself all the hassle.  For the past several years I have bought homemade soap from various market stalls and websites, and that has suited me just fine.
Then we had the steer butchered at home and I saw just how much excess fat we had to dispose, it was nearly a wheel-barrow full, and that made me think about how we could use that…