Meal-planning is an important part of our week. It allows us to be more prepared and relaxed with regards to our nightly meals and reduces stress. It also makes eating locally much easier because we take the time to figure out what seasonal foods are available and how we can use them. If you live in a similar climate (we’re in Southern Ontario, which is a pretty classic upper-midwest climate) then you should sign up for email updates or check out the facebook page or twitter feed and compare what you’re eating with us!
Last week was quite busy around here. We canned a lot. With kids around it’s hard to have a really intense canning session so I work in small batches and have my Young Assistant help as much as possible. In this case it meant pureeing tomatoes in the food processor. He’s quite good at loading cored tomatoes into the device and then pressing the button while I hold down the lid (it’s kind of old and takes two people to operate the thing anyway….). I don’t have him help with the actual canning part yet though, a bit too much hot liquid splashing around.
Check your library for this book, in our home it is essential.
By week’s end we had put up 14 quarts of pureed tomatoes, 14 pints of peach salsa (two different recipes), and 7 quarts of peaches. Shortly we will be doing pears and then our most important canned item, applesauce, will follow in he fall. I plan to do more salsa this week as well so the canning shall continue!
I often make the meal plan on Friday in order to shop for the plan at the Saturday morning market. This past Friday, however, I spent my afternoon hour of workable time (while my youngest assistant sleeps and my young assistant has “quiet time”) working on getting ready for a workshop I taught at the First Annual Homestead Symposium. My session was about making fermented beverages at home, so I talked about making pop, Kombucha, and beer. It was lots of fun and I connected with some really cool people who are doing incredible things at home. I realized how important it is to be connected locally with others who are trying to live simply and make as much as they can from scratch at home. It also became clear to me how being part of a community of homesteaders is essential to one’s success because you need feedback, support, and encouragement from others to feel like what you are doing matters and is worthwhile. Furthermore, to look at it from a different angle, the specialization of labor applies to homesteaders when we look at our personal skills and strengths as homesteaders and realize we can trade skills and products locally with friends and neighbors who have other products that they excel at making. I’m excited about all the possibilities!
We are loving all this local fruit!
It was hard to have to spend the whole Saturday away from Madame and the boys, but they had a good day grocery shopping and playing around the house and Madame even made this meal plan for the week. (Yes, I am very grateful to have a loving partner who joins me in all of this!) Inspiration came from our friend’s copy of Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook.
Check out last week’s Vegan Locavore Meal Plan!