The kitchen is the center of the homestead and the place where all the hard work of growing fruit and vegetables, raising animals for meat, and harvesting eggs come together in the form of preserving the harvest.
It is the place where tried and true family recipes are born, and the place where family memories are made.
Building a Useful Pantry
When you live in the country, and the store is 30 minutes away, a stocked pantry is like having your own home store. If you’ve planned well and stored a trusted set of items that your family loves you should be able to reach into your cupboards and create a healthy, cooked from scratch meal any day.
Regardless of where you live, city or country, a stocked pantry saves you money from running to the store every day for common ingredients. Building a pantry takes organization and thought to get it right.
There is a distinction between building a pantry and stocking a pantry. Anyone who has set up a house for the first time knows, building a pantry can be a chore and is best done over time. The slow approach of building a pantry will cut down on waste and keep you from filling your cupboards with unusual ingredients that you find at the grocery store, but who tend to sit on the shelf. Cranberry sauce, anyone?
Your pantry may be as simple as a closet or as big as a room. It may be a shelf devoted to preserves, another for storing grains, and another for dehydrated food or spices. There is not usually a distinction between wet and dry goods, so consider your refrigerator and freezer to be as much a part of your pantry as the canned food cupboard.
Drying food is perhaps the easiest food preservation method to get into, and the learning curve is small. You only need a way to remove the liquid from food to make it effective. That could be using an oven, sun drying, or purchasing an inexpensive dehydrator. Other than that, a sharp knife is the only requirement.
Be sure to sign up for our dehydrating email mini-course, and we’ll help you solve the 4 most common dehydrating problems!
Recipes to try in your homestead kitchen
28 Herbs, Spices, and Extracts to keep in the homestead kitchen
cinnamon, cloves, cayenne pepper, paprika, cloves, cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, oregano, thyme, chives, turmeric, basil, onion, marjoram, rosemary, sage, tarragon, allspice, bay leaf, parsley, dried mint and the extracts – lemon, almond, vanilla, and mint