Simple Things

The more distance we put between ourselves and the profoundly broken industrial commercial food system the better.  The better for our health, for the local economy, the environment and our own pocketbooks.

Do what you can to become more self-reliant.  Turn off the TV, plant some herbs and vegetables, take a class about food preservation.  Learn to cook.  With practice, these things become second nature.

Consider today’s lunch..  homemade sauerkraut frittered in pastured butter, onions and peppers from the garden, locally made sausage, homemade fermented mustard..


Real. Simple. Lunch.

What have you been eating for lunch all these years?  Is it time for a change?

This post is part of the Real Food Wednesdays Blog Carnival

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Winter Stores


I’ve been busy putting by goods against the uncertainty of the coming months- a little bit each week.

Shown here are Roma tomatoes, garlic packed in oil and coarse salt, chilies, mushrooms, smoked and dried jalapenos, savory and lemon grass.

Headed for the dryer tonight are epazote, great piles of purple basil and marjoram. Come February I hope to still be enjoying the local bounty and not buying goods of dubious circumstance, flown in from distant hemispheres.

‘Putting by’

Buying “fresh” produce from halfway around the world in the dead of winter (or any time of year for that matter) is problematic for a number of reasons.  Our great grandparents understood that certain foods were simply not not available out-of-season.

“Putting food by” or preserving, can be accomplished by several methods, including root cellaring, salting, canning, pickling, curing and drying.

1 dozen large fresh jalapenos, cored, split and seeded.

Into the stove-top smoker over medium heat; close the lid just as the wood chips begin to smoke. Do you see the wisps of smoke coming from both ends of the pan?

Don’t want to cook them too much, just long enough that they begin to brown around the edges.

Straight into a pre-heated dehydrator.  Those are tomatoes drying on the rack below.

Here are the smoked, dried peppers after about 24 hours. You can store them just like this in an airtight container, or pulverize and store in a spice jar.

In either case, watch the jars closely for a couple of days to make sure there isn’t any moisture present.  At the first sign of condensation, you must immediately re-dry the goods or risk spoilage.  If everything looks good after a few days, the peppers will keep indefinitely.

Lots of things are suitable for drying, including tomatoes and herbs.