I went grocery shopping yesterday. I spent $315 and that will feed us for the month other than weekly milk and egg runs (can’t wait till the chickens start producing!) and a mid month produce run (can’t wait till the garden starts producing!). The cart was filled mostly with produce and cheese and meat, but there were also some canned goods. I try to buy products with the least amount of ingredients. My dream is to be able to grow enough veggies that I am able to can them for our family for the whole year. But that dream is quite a ways in the future. So, for now, I make do with store bought stuff and try to buy as healthy as possible. But there was one thing on my list which I hated to put in the cart. Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup. Have you read the ingredients on those cans? First of all, they use wheat as a thickening agent and wheat is a major cause of inflammation in the body so I try to avoid it like the plague so my knees don’t flare up as easily. Also, they all have msg and a bunch of other questionable ingredients. But they are conventient! I have made cream of mushroom soup from scratch numerous times and it is absolutely delish. But when your 9 year old wants to make her old standby, greenbean casserole? Or you’re pressed for time? Or you don’t have fresh mushrooms in the fridge (a biggie for me!)? That’s where the canned stuff comes in handy. I think we’ve all been there. But I still hated putting it in my cart and I swore it would be the last time.
But what about convenience? my brain rebelled! That’s when I determined to finally get around to making and canning a big batch of mushroom stock which is the basis for cream of mushroom soup. Open a jar of home canned mushroom stock. Add it and some cream (or even just milk) in a pot and cook it down till as thick as desired. Defitely more time involved than cracking open a can of the condensed stuff, but still easy enough my 9 year old could handle it when she makes greenbean casserole. And waaay easier and faster than starting from mushrooms which may or may not be residing in the fridge.
So, mushroom stock got added to my to-do list, and I started wondering what other things I need to put on that list. So below is a bunch of homesteading type to-do items which need to get done in the near future, in no particular priority other than that’s the order they can to mind.
-Render bacon grease into lard
-Make and can mushroom stock
-Make canned diced tomatoes from the ‘maters in the freezer
-Clean out the chicken coop
-Fix the bottom hinge on the chicken coop door
-Do something with the blackberries in the freezer. Jam? Syrup? Cobbler?
-Make bone broth from the chicken bones accumulating in the freezer
-Build a raised bed in my little garden space my FIL gave me and fill with garden soil so I can plant some early spring stuff (still amazed I can start this early!).
-Fill the containers with soil so I can plant stuff.
-Get the peas and broccoli and lettuce and carrots and… planted! (See above)
-list ebay items to sell
Ok, so that last one isn’t necessarily related to homesteading, and yet it is. The money I get from selling some of my extra costumes (I used to be a professional seamstress and made historical costumes) will go into savings toward building our house when we eventually move back to Nevada.
And yeah, I crossed the bacon lard off the list because technically I finished that this morning. But you know the saying. Put one or two items on your list which you can immediately check off so you feel accomplished. 😉
So there you have it. A list of things to get done amonst all the other chores and responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, caring for people, and homeschooling. A lot to get done, some of it immediately, some it may be a while to find the time for. But a good list nonetheless.
What are some of your homesteading chores you need to get done?
“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.” Ps 121:1-2