Skip to main content

Three simple ideas: Cook from scratch

Lately I've been sharing with you simple ideas for getting started with simple living.  As many of us have discovered, simple living isn't simple, certainly when you're getting started, there are lots of new skills to learn and its important to find a routine that works.  I've already shared simple ideas for growing your own food, and for saving money on groceries.  Here's a few ideas of things that you can cook from scratch that will save you money and be better for your body.

Simple: Homemade bread
I didn't think that making bread was easy at first, but have got myself into a system and haven't bought any bread since April 2012, so it must not be too hard after all! More here on the bread recipe that I've settled on.  If you have a bread maker (or can buy one secondhand from someone else who gave up on the breadmaking dream), its even easier to make bread.

eight acres: three simple ideas - cooking from scratch


Simpler: Chicken or beef stock
One thing that I have been trying very hard to keep doing is making my own stocks. They are so tasty and good for you compared to the stock cubes I used before. They will make everything you cook taste rich and delicious. The easiest method is to keep various bones and vege scraps in the freezer until you're ready to make stock, then pile the whole lot into a slow cooker and cook for 12-24 hours, then freeze or can the finished stock. If you don't have a slow cooker, a large pot is fine too. I wrote a brief explanation of my stock method here and here too.  The slow cooker certainly makes it easier, and you can pick up a cheap one from Big W for $50 that seems to do the job just as good as my expensive one that broke.

eight acres: three simple ideas - cooking from scratch


Simplest: Casserole or roast in the slow cooker
I really do use my slow cooker a lot and its very useful for cheaper cuts of meat, like rolled roasts and chuck steak.  You can let the meat cook for a long time until its tender, and not use as much electricity as turning on the oven for that time.  Casserole is also a great way to use up left over bits and pieces.  I will throw in any veges from the fridge that are not looking so fresh, bacon or salami, wine, the last bit of sauce in the bottle, leftover dips, rice, mashed potato, its amazing what you can add to casserole!  I don't really have a recipe as such, as long as you add some stock and lots of veges, it will have lots of flavour after cooking for most of the day.

eight acres: three simple ideas - cooking from scratch


What do you think? What are some other ideas to get started with a simple life? I will have more next week....



Comments

  1. I used my slow cooker yesterday to cook a chicken and then put all the bones back in with some herbs carrot onion celery to make chicken stock. I've only made chicken stock once before and was reminded recently to make it in the slow cooker. Today I'm making spag bog in the slow cooker and it's a family favourite. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some great tips there and like you say simple anyone can do them and start making a switch over to a simple life.
    we freeze left overs from a meal, we often find there is enough there for another serving, so pop it into a container then there is always a meal on hand.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bread making is really great, I love it, but like you said, you need a routine. I need to work on that, and how to make gluten free bread. Its so expensive in the shops and full of preservatives. If you know of a good gluten free bread recipe please pass it on!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Slow cookers are great, especially in the hot weather we're having just now. No hot kitchens. Looking forward to trying that bread recipe too.

    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

Getting started with chickens - Tanya from Lovely Greens

Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....

Farmer Liz: You will remember Tanya from Lovely Greens from the first series, she lives on the Isle of Mann and added chickens to her garden about a year ago.  You can leave comments for this post on Tanya's blog.



How many chickens (and other fowl) do you keep, what breed and what do you use them for (meat, eggs, slug control etc)?
Tanya: Around the same time that we were initially thinking about having hens another friend beat us to the punch. She went to the local pet store and bought a flat-pack hen house and chicken run combo and found a local farmer who had dozens of semi-feral chickens running around his property. One night he pulled three down from the trees and my friend took them home in a pet carrier. She named them Miracel, Carmen, and Geraldine and though they’re probably related they were all…

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 mushrooms in my kitchen!

I’ve been wanting to try growing mushrooms for some time. I LOVE mushrooms and we buy them from the supermarket every week, so I was keen to find a way to produce them at home to reduce waste and potentially cost as well.





A few years ago I found out that you could grow mushrooms from the spent mushroom compost from mushroom farms. So we dropped in to a farm on the Sunshine Coast and picked up a couple of boxes for $2 each. I diligently kept them dark and sprayed them with water, but in our climate, I just couldn’t keep them damp enough (and I had to keep them outside because our shed was too hot). I never managed to produce any mushrooms from those boxes, but when I gave up and tipped the compost out onto the garden, mushrooms sprang up everywhere. I wasn’t confident that they were the right mushrooms though, so I didn’t harvest any of those. As the proverb says, All mushrooms are edible, but some only once! I am generally a bit nervous about unidentified fungi.

Since then, I had…