Homesteading Tips and Tricks From the Expert


I haven’t been able to go and visit my friend Addy for a while now, with the kids being sick and everything else that has been going on. The last time I saw her was when Titus had Pinkeye and she was kind enough to invite me over to get some Eyebright to treat him with. That was a couple weeks ago.

And I was so sad last week… she had invited me over to make soap, and I was SO excited about it, but the morning I was to go Titus woke up with a 104* fever, and I had to cancel. That was the first time that she had actually invited me over, too. Hopefully I’ll get to do it another time!

I do however, have a few things from my last visit that I can share. I think I’ll just list them for you to read:

She cooks with Enamel and Cast Iron Pots and Pans. She said that if your cast iron pan gets really dirty, you can put it in a fire and it will burn all of the crusty stuff off, and will also “season” it.

She uses a Food Dehydrator to not only make dried fruit, and fruit roll-ups, but she also has a cool trick using a tomato paste spread (like the fruit roll up process) which when done, she cuts into strips, rolls up and packs into jars. Then, whenever she is cooking and she needs a little tomato flavor, she just takes out one of these tomato rolls and grates it into her recipe. She said it gives a really strong tomato flavor, without all of the tomatoes. What a cool tip!!

She also showed me how she uses an Egg Slicer to cut her bananas into perfect slices for dehydrating.

She showed me her favorite Homesteading book called, The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery. It is jam packed full of everything you need to know to be a Homesteader. I can’t wait to get this book and see what all I can begin doing now!

She told me about how she makes Strawberry-Fig jam using Strawberry Jello instead of Sure-Gel.

She doesn’t cook with any salt; if it needs some salt, they just put a little on before they eat.

We talked about homeschooling, and she told me that the cost of her home school curriculum for an entire year was cheaper than a year’s worth of lunch at the public school.

Birthdays aren’t a huge expensive celebration. One year, the youngest daughter was thrilled to death to go fishing with her “Pa” for her birthday. She even bought her own fishing rod with her birthday money. Imagine if more children were as grateful for simplicity as that!

We talked a little about discipline, and she asked me if I’d ever read To Train Up A Child. I told her that that is my absolute favorite book on the subject (*update: see comments below), and she showed me several more in the series that I hadn’t seen. I can’t wait to read them as well!

Anyways, that’s all I have for you for now. Just a few cool tricks, and some great advice.


Kendra
About Kendra 1104 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

5 Comments

  1. Oh, thank goodness. I always look up the books mentioned to see if they’re something I might want and when I read up on this one, I was horrified. I’m so glad that you didn’t take that part out once you realized it wasn’t a good resource *understatement*, and that you also let us know that you came to your senses, lol. I have actually printed this whole series out and I’m reading it like a book. It’s so sweet and informative…thank you, so much for sharing.

  2. To train up a child would not have been on the list of books I expected you to like. At all. This book has been linked to several cases of child abuse and the deaths of no less than 3 children.

    • Joanna,

      It’s been a LONG time since I wrote this article, and many of my opinions have changed. I no longer recommend this book. I’d actually completely forgotten that I even mentioned it here. Nevertheless, it is part of the story which I recounted here. This blog is an open book of my life, and how I’ve grown and my thoughts have evolved over the years. Often there are things that I look back on and say to myself, “What was I thinking?”. LOL

  3. Years ago my friend told me about a lady from Oregon selling a great cookbook out of her car. She was traveling down California selling it. I think I paid 18.00 for 1st addition of “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” by Carla Emery. That was a lot of money those days (and now) but I trusted my friend. The “book” contained hundreds of photocopied pages in a big blue binder– and hours of entertainment for my husband and I. I would read it aloud as we relaxed in front of the fireplace after dinner. We so wanted to leave the hectic city and live that homestead life, still do, but so far haven’t found the freedom to do so.
    Carla’s Recipe Book (as it was referred to back then before publishers changed it) is my all time favorite. Loved it. And I love this site. Your about the same age I was when I bought the book.I’m so happy you are able to live it and share it with us. Thank you.

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