Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Healthy Kitchen Window Project-Sprouts

Home today trying to nurse a very nasty cold, my second one in only a short time uggg. I wanted to share these lentil sprouts I grew in a Jar in the kitchen window. I was itching to grow something that I could eat and since I am not ready for outdoor planting yet this was a quick and easy project. There are a bunches of videos on YouTube of people and their sprout projects and there are all kinds of jars and sprouting kits out there that people want you to buy but a mason jar with an open lid and a piece of clean window screen ( sold by the foot at the hardware store for pennies), worked just fine. I think the sprouts took longer then they should (about 5 days) because the house is not super warm. Although at around 70 degrees it is not cold either. All of the videos I watched said you should have sprouts in 3-4 days so I am not sure why mine were slow, but they did sprout and they taste fresh. These will be added to my salads and sandwiches this week and I have another jar in the window in progress. I am pretty sure just plain lentils from the supermarket will work just fine, I ordered these last year from a preparedness website, they came vacuum sealed in a Mylar type package but I don't believe they are any different, if anyone know the answer to that question please let me know.

Feeling good about the direction I am heading, one small project at a time.

Hope everyone is staying warm and safe through the rough winter weather, even here in Florida we are getting down in the very low 20s at night. Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Starting From Scratch

I have always believed that the idea of homesteading is simply a mindset, meaning that a person can homestead anywhere under any circumstances, in the city or the country by making simple changes on a daily basis, deciding what their priorities are and how best to utilize the resources they have available to accomplish what they want.

Given the big changes in my life over the last six months and my new living arrangements, I have decided that my new years resolution will be to put my money where my mouth is and over the course of the coming year completely start over and see how many actual changes I can make in my lifestyle towards my goal of simplifying and getting back to basics and living the homesteading mindset.
I am am going to make a new list of goals for the year, and work towards them, blog about what I learn including my successes, failures, heartbreaks and whatever else comes along the way.

An update on my bread making post, I will no longer buy bread from the grocery store, I have actually incorporated bread making into my life in a very practical way and am very pleased to say that my family has made the transition nicely using the bread on a daily basis. Often for me that is half the battle, I have to make changes that are actually practical or I am fighting a losing battle. So one change down, one hundred more to go.

Now to figure out where to start.......I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Making Bread the Easy Way

If you have never attempted bread making by hand because it seemed like too much work or even a bit intimidating as I did, you have got try this recipe. I have tried other methods but for me this proves to be the easiest method by far.Using the recipe from this Mother Earth News Article;http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/Artisan-Bread-In-Five-Minutes-A-Day.aspx
I have been making fresh hot bread every day, even on days that I work 12 hour shifts. It really is as easy as they claim.
I mixed up the large batch recipe ( which makes enough for 8 loaves) in a Rubbermaid type container I keep in the fridge and every day I pull out enough dough to make one loaf, shape it into a round ball and leave it in a either on the counter or in a bowl dusted with corn meal, wheat germ or just plain flour, cover it with a dish towel and let it rise for 40 minutes while I go about my day. To bake I don't use the pizza stone as they suggest, I preheat my oval ( you can use a round one too) dutch oven to 475 for about 15 minutes, shape my dough into a loaf shape, put about three slashes in the top of the loaf, sprinkle some wheat germ on top and cover. Then bake for 20 minutes, remove the lid and bake for 10 more. That's all there is to warm crusty goodness! I am so impressed I will be buying this book or the authors other book "Healthy bread in five minutes a day".
Before I baked the first batch I found a bunch of U-tube videos demonstrating the method and they all agreed that it was a success.

I don't have a picture to share today, my loaves disappear as fast as I can make them, but they are almost foolproof, they are so easy. Knowing this is something I am going to make a part of my lifestyle,I plan on buying my next batch of supplies from Sams club they have the best prices on yeast and flour in bulk, I think I figure about 30-40 cents a loaf. With some hot homemade soup on a cold day it does not get any better.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Have been in a writing slump, but have been following all of my favorite bloggers when I can.
Sending out my wishes for Happy Holidays to all of my online friends. Take time to breathe, and enjoy the precious moments when they come.

To Blog or Not To Blog,,,

In January of last year I sat down and wrote a post from the RV I was living in at the time. I thought then that I really wanted to get bac...