Friday, June 10, 2011

{ Going Old School - Laura Ingalls Style }

Eating healthy and organic foods is not cheap, that's why I'm trying to figure out ways to make organic more affordable for our family. There's also something nice about knowing exactly what's in the food you're eating. That's why we've been trying to make more of our food from scratch and buying less prepackaged food. Because not only is the food itself a concern these days (if you don't know why, you should do some research), but so is the packaging (they are finding BPA leaching into canned food from the lining they put inside the can and if we're just now discovering this, who knows what else our food packaging is doing to our food). These are just a few of the reasons why we are trying to go old school, Laura Ingalls style, by making food instead of buying it prepackaged.

A few of the staples we've already taken to making at home are: granola, yogurt and bread (granted so far the only completely organic product of the three is the yogurt). Here are a few more things that I want to try, and when I do I'll share my experience with you. So here we go!

While checking out at Top Foods today I saw this magazine and decided that I "needed" it. I'll for sure be doing jam and apple sauce at some point, but this magazine has other great ideas for canning relishes, pestos, dessert spreads and zucchini pickles among other things. And did I mention that I haven't even cracked this baby open yet? I got all of this from the cover, so imagine what's inside! (Speaking Authoritatively On Books You Haven't Read, this article is so for me.)

I currently have plans in the works to can beans with my friend Julie. I'm pretty excited about this since we use a lot of canned beans. In fact the only things we buy in cans are beans, tomatoes and broth. So in the next couple of weeks you can expect a post on how that experience goes.

Next, aside from the art of canning, there are some other staples that I want to start making at home too. I was referred to the blog Kitchen Stewardship by my friend Sarah and I've found quite a few things that I want to make from here- things that one doesn't typically think about making at home. Here's my "to make list" from Kitchen Stewardship:

Yogurt Cheese - I'll be making this soon. I've got my yogurt made, bought my flour sack towels and now I just need to wash the towels so I can use one to make my cheese. Supposedly this can replace cream cheese, I'll let you know what my choosey eater thinks of this replacement. I'm also excited because I'll use my organic yogurt and get organic cheese for less than or the same price as a block conventional cream cheese would cost me. My cost will be $1.42 since it will take a quart of my yogurt.

Tortillas - these look yummy. My other Sarah friend, who now lives in Germany, made tortillas for lunch once and the pictures here look like her tortillas. Also, as an added benefit, I will get to use the whey (as in Little Miss Muffet's curds and whey) produced by making my cheese for an extra protein boost in the tortillas. Double score!

Crackers - Organic crackers are SO expensive, so I am looking forward to seeing if this recipe is easy enough that I can keep us cracker-ed up by making them at home.

I'm pretty excited to go Laura Ingalls - or should we say Caroline Ingalls - on y'all. I'll keep you updated on my back to the roots experiments. If you beat me to it, please share your experiences with me - and this isn't a rhetorical request.

(I LOVED Little House on the Prairie as a girl, we won't mention that it was Nelly that I liked - it must have been the hair and pretty dresses.) 

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