Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. Folks are oftentimes subsistence farmers, preserve their own food, heat and cook with alternative sources, and may be involved with spinning, sewing, woodworking, pottery and other crafts.
We usually wait for February before trying our luck at ice fishing. The fish seem to be more lively and the ice has had a chance to “grow” in thickness. Last year we bought an Eskimo Fat Fish 6 person insulated portable bob house to stay warm in while out on the ice. It has the pop up floor squares to cover your holes that you drilled, and it also has windows. When folded back up, it can be easily pulled on a long plastic sled.
It’s that time again when the sun warms the earth and trees and the sap runs during the day and then the nights are cold. This combination makes the first run of syrup the best! We used to use the metal buckets but the food grade plastic ones are easier to clean.
After you collect the sap, boil it down either outside on a grill or wood fire so it doesn’t steam up your kitchen. Bottle it and store for the winter. You’ll be glad to have your own syrup for baking and of course to put on pancakes, waffles and french toast! As kids we even drizzled it on snow! Yum!
This is a very handy thing to have in your cupboard. We rendered the fat from a pig and heated it until it became liquid. Be very careful as it will splatter if you are not using a deep enough pan. I used a stock pan. When it becomes liquid, pour it into hot sterilized Mason quart jars. Then what’s left in the bottom of the pan is called “cracklins” and is a delicious, although fattening, snack! Eat them in moderation.
Now you have lard that makes the best pastries and homemade soap!
I’m not sure if any of you have experienced the frustration of having a generator which fires up an electrical fridge and lights, or having coolers with ice, having to buy propane for the generator or ice for the cooler frequently. We visited neighbors to see how they coped and for the most part, they bit the bullet and purchased gas fridge-freezer combos and gas lighting.
These old Mason jars are great for dry goods storage. You can find them in thrift stores, antique stores and yard sales. Now Mason makes colored jars to coordinate with your off the grid kitchen decor!
I have always loved the feeling of being self-sufficient, of starting our vegetables by seed, canning, cooking on a wood stove, collecting rainwater, and using solar heating methods. Join my blogs in sharing your experiences with techniques and products that make off the grid living a dream!