This is going to be a long entry. Feel free to grab a cup of coffee now so as to help keep those eyelids open...
My friend Kristin of Reclaiming the Home (and the group by that name on Ravelry) posed a question to the group this morning: "Just curious if anyone here homesteads or has plans to try to?"
I'm sure most of you know my answer to that question. I don't need to bring up Alaska again, do I?
I was listening to a podcast the other night from the folks at Self-sufficient Homestead. While I found some of the content to be a bit rambling, some of what was said prompted me to think:
Is my dwelling purely a consumer or does it also produce? What can I do to produce more of what I need? The show I was listening to discussed the fruit trees and berry bushes on a homestead and how they produce for the homesteaders. My nearby berry brambles will hopefully produce quarts and pints of berries for me to both can and freeze this year. If I’m lucky enough to catch the Yakima valley farmers’ markets at the right time in August, I’m hoping to pick up cucumbers for pickling as well. I just love spicy bread and butter pickles!!
On a side note, I’m hoping my friend Julia, a local master of ethnobotany, will help me learn to forage for the best wild mushrooms of the Cascades this fall. I remember the cabin in Fairbanks and how many mushrooms grew around there after a good rain that August. My friend David tried, at the time, to show me exactly how much was edible. I gave him the good ones, letting a bit of fear of poisonous mushrooms take over. But now, two years later, David’s still alive and I’m just a bit jealous if his knowledge. This fall, I’m hoping to not let another such opportunity pass me by.
Getting back to the basics: Getting back to doing stuff yourself…
Most of you know that one of my other loves in life is baking. I have been stocking my freezer the past few months with - and eating! - homemade bagels and loaves of sourdough bread. Everyone (including the current roommate) seems to eat up everything I leave on the kitchen counter or bring to the office. I recently was made aware of a recipe by Gale Gand for Milan Cookies (thanks MountainMama!). This is my next sweets experiment – but I think I might make the ganache a mint chocolate or white chocolate ganache. Of course, chocolate in any form is always *ahem* welcome.
On the trail to the office today, I saw the wierdest orange mushroom coming up. I'm really curious to see what it is. I'll have to take a picture and send it to Julia for ID...
More about doing things for myself in future entries. For now, anyone have any comments?
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