So it’s the new year, I am equal parts excited and terrified. For whatever reason projects and creativity are flowing abundantly while time seems to be flying by. When I got to thawing out the cabin a few days ago I realized one of my glass jugs of water had shattered (I thought I left enough expanding space but sadly I guess not..) and water spilled underneath a pile of bricks I had in the middle of the kitchen area on the floor. Last night I put on a bit of music and decided to re-stack the bricks behind my wood-stove out of the way of the kitchen, by the light of my head-lamp. It’s a bit pointless in the way that obviously I’ll have to take it all down to put it up properly at some point, but having the extra few feet of cleared space in the cabin has inspired me to get a bit more organized. Stay tuned for a handy kitchen/cabin project 😉
Here’s my makeshift kitchen. I heat water and cook on my little wood-stove. It cooks quite a bit more slowly than a usual conventional oven so it’s great for breakfasts and slow-cooked dinners.
Never mind that giant mass of ice I’m melting there. Focus in on the diced onion and freshly minced garlic simmering away there. Nothing gets a person more fired up then the smell of good food cooking in the morning! I find for myself, living at my cabin takes a LOT of calories and lots of good fats to sustain the energy I put out. I tend to go for fatty greek yogurts, fish and red meats. It is definitely frustrating to live in a northern region where everything that comes from the grocery store is loaded with preservatives and has almost no nutritional value. “Low-fat, extra crap.” Yea that sounds awesome, hand me some of that expensive nothingness so I can pass out later while trying to split some firewood, awesome! I would love to of course be able to grow, make and hunt everything I eat, but I am not quite there yet. Homesteading can’t all happen at once. You get there by learning and growing at whatever pace fits. So for now, grocery store hell it is.
I do have an element on my bbq but it cooks things a little more quickly then I’d like. I moved the baked beans dish to this element after adding the tomatoes as I knew I’d be waiting all day had I have left this on the wood-stove at this point. Fresh thyme at this point of the winter is a god send. I love me some fresh herbs (but you knew that from my recent plethora of rosemary posts)
This is my very first smoothie I’ve ever made at the cabin. I almost forgot I had a blender. I’ve seen nifty blenders that work by turning a lever and would love to have one someday, but not everything can happen at once! Dreaming of smoothies early this morning I remembered a little niche in my sans-power life.
Of in which involved a little (a lot) of trudging through deep snow. Finley was pleased. There’s a cabin not far from me that is on the grid. I bought my property from a guy that also owns this little cabin and I have full permission to use this little gem of an outlet. So, yep I cheated on my cabin. I often forget I can use this as there’s no way I could really run an extension chord that far over from my cabin.. but it’s there!
Banana, Strawberry-Ginger Smoothie
serves 3-4 (unless you burn through calories like I do, then this serves one)
2 cups raw organic whole milk
1/3 cup 11% greek yogurt
3 organic bananas, roughly snapped in half
handful of organic strawberries, yucky greens chopped off
1 – 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon of local honey
Baked Beans & Poached Eggs on Toast
serves 4-6 (or breakfast & dinner in my case)
glug of nice quality olive oil
onion, finely chopped
eggs, preferably from your own chickens, sadly mine aren’t laying at these chilly temperatures
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 fresh sprigs of thyme
2 14oz cans of diced tomatoes (I cannot keep fresh tomatoes around in the cabin during the winter)
1 long sweet red pepper, finely chopped (mine was frozen solid already after one night in the cabin..)
2 14oz cans of red kidney beans (high in iron! hooray!)
preferably fresh home-made bread
finely chopped cilantro, to serve
Heat olive oil on the wood-stove in a large saucepan. Add the onion, season with a pinch of salt and cook for ten minutes. Add the garlic and let simmer a bit longer. Add the thyme leaves, tomato, sweet pepper and simmer for 20 minutes (I moved to the outside element for this part). Add the rinsed kidney beans (I saved the kidney juices from the can for my chickens.. good?..bad?) and cook for another 10 minutes.
Toast the bread and poach a few eggs. Serve the tomato/bean goodness over the toast with poached eggs and chopped fresh cilantro on top. Add a little extra salt and pepper and stuff your mouth hole. And then get to work! That water ain’t gonna haul itself!