Bread, cake, pizza crust – I bake a lot. I love the smell. I love, love, love that I can do it, easily and mine is better than what I could buy prepared. I’m a snob for my own baked goods. And I earned it.
Others take different routes; I hear of people making cheese and butter, growing amazing vegetable gardens (maybe, I’ll get there one day), yogurt, smoked meats and fish (hey, Chris, don’t forget about Mom).
I highly recommend canning. It doesn’t have to be 20 pounds of one variety, although this is great if it happens to you. But, just an over-abundance of something. For instance, I got tired of the apricots from the co-op. I had some and then I had some more, which turned out to be about 4 cups of fruit, which made 3 jars of jam last Sunday. I am thinking, apple butter, next, since I have several apples and I love apple butter. That may make a few jars. There I’ll have 5 or 6 jars and it’s only the end of May. No huge effort, just a little time spent here and there and I always have homemade jam. Following me? Keeping up with the flow?
There are some things I’d like to try to do: pickled, spiced green beans, refrigerator pickles – oh, and salsa. Something like salsa, it seems like there are so many ingredients and it’s time consuming to chop up – well, it’s pretty easy when you have a blender! I think I can do it, just a few jars here and there. Although, it can be really cool to see a line-up on the counter of a couple dozen jars of something. Who knows? Just another thing I like to do.
So, I bake and I can and freeze. And I’m lucky enough to have a son who will hopefully, give me a few pounds of smoked fish and some elk meat.
Think about what you can do yourself. Think about what you eat a lot of on a daily basis. Do you have cereal or granola or yogurt everyday? How could you make that? What are you good at cooking? If you get an abundance of something, can you can or freeze some?
A helpful way to start is by keeping your grocery receipts. Look at what you buy. Then look at what you can make from scratch.