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

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&#…

Native bee hotel

Like I wrote back here, native pollinators are as important (if not more important) than honey bees for pollinating crops and native plants.  There are a few things you can do to attract native pollinators to your garden:

Grow flowers and let your veges flower to feed the pollinators all yearHave a source of insect-friendly water in the garden (shallow dishes are best)Provide somewhere for them to live/nest/lay eggs - a bee hotel! In Australia, our native pollinators consist of both stingless native bees, which live in a colony like honey bees, and lots of solitary bees and wasps.  These solitary insects are just looking for a suitable hole to lay their eggs.  You may be familiar with these in sub-tropical and tropical areas, in summer you will find any and all holes, pipes and tubes around the house plugged with mud by what we call "mud daubers".  These area a real nuisance, so I'd rather provide some custom holes near the garden where they can live instead, so I don'…