Sweet Reads for the Homesteader or Foodie in Your Life

My iPad is chalk full of ebook, literally hundreds.  I have read countless fiction titles that I delete after reading, but I really like to save the cookbooks and informational books.  Although, storing all of your ebooks on a tablet or computer is super easy and convenient, nothing compares to holding an actual hardcover work of art.  These are the books that writers mark their careers on, pour sweat and blood into and have gorgeous vivid pictures you want to look at for hours.

I compiled a top 5 list of said works of art that any Homesteader or Foodie would love to have and to hold.

1. Sean Brock- Heritage

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Heritage, the first cookbook by Sean Brock, chef at the extraordinary restaurant Husk, in Charleston, South Carolina, is equal parts chronicle of Husk’s best dishes and survey of the local agricultural landscape.” —Saveur

I cannot wait to dive into this book, just the preview pictures alone are breath taking.  Mixing agriculture with recpies is right up my alley.

2. Jennifer McGurther- The Nourished Kitchen

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“What an inspirational book! Jennifer McGruther takes us from the local community and the garden to the kitchen and the table with a collection of delicious, nutritious, traditionally prepared recipes. The Nourished Kitchen deserves a place of honor on your kitchen counter.” —Sally Fallon Morell, president, the Weston A. Price Foundation

It’s WAY back to basics with this one.  Traditional wholesome foods with gorgeous photography, what more can you ask for?

3. Shaye Elliot- From Scratch

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“If your looking for a cookbook that is as entertaining as it is delicious, then look no further. From Scratch is a breath of fresh air when it comes to learning how to traditionally prepare and cook nutritious food. Shaye does not disappoint in her recipes and this cookbook reads like a letter from a close friend. These meals are easily prepared and yes, easily devoured.” From Scratch: Easy Recipes for Traditionally Prepared, Whole-Food Dishes

Ok so I am a year late with this one, and Shaye is already working on her second book.  But I still have not read the first! Hopefully this will be accomplished before the next one is available.

4. Corky, Lori, Dana, and Tracy Pollan- The Pollan Family Table

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“This wonderful book shows how good food, simply and seasonally prepared, has the power to bring the family back to the table—and keep them there! Fast food culture has disconnected us from something so basic to human nature, but when we encounter real and tasty food again, it’s like coming home.” -Alice Waters

So we all know Michael Pollan and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, but did you know the ladies in his life just put out a cook book? A cookbook at Alice Waters herself LOVES! Crazy I know, and I cannot wait to read it. Oh, and Tracy Pollan is married to Michael J. Fox, yup truth.

5. Yotam Ottolenghi- Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking

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“Its this approachability that is the books greatest strength; it gives inspiration, as well as just great recipes, and it’s not just for vegetarians.” -Time Out

Who said vegetables weren’t sexy? Because this book and these pictures say otherwise.  I like bacon as much as the next girl, but these veggies are truly stunning.

Do you currently own any of these titles?  Any of these on your book wish list?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

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Homestead Renovation: Larder Layout

The floors are gone!
I will be posting updated pictures soon, but there honestly it's not much to see; studs, wires and plywood. This weekend the hubs is spray foam insulating, then the sheetrock can go up.

The basement has also been demoed and now we have to decide what we want to actually do with the space. A small corner is for the washer dryer, and another for the utilities. The majority of the remaining space is going to house our hydroponic vegetable garden (exciting right! more on this to come). But, I would love to also claim a space for our larder. Below is drawing I did for a possible layout. What do you think?
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And ideas or suggestions for our larder layout!

Canning Simple Tomato Salsa

Our tomatoes have finally started to turn red and now we need to use them up.  What better way then sauce and salsa!  Because I do not own a pressure canner, I had to find a highly acidic salsa recipe to water bath can.  This is a pretty simple tomato salsa recipe from Marisa McClellan’s Food in Jars. It is far more tart then I am used to due to the cider vinegar, but I am sure after sitting awhile the flavors will come together and it will be just as enjoyable as any other salsa.

If you do not own this book, here is a pretty comparable recipe for free on the internet 😉


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Do you prefer a canned salsa or a fresh pico de gallo?

[Disclosure:  Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything thats recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

Canning Sweet Pickle Relish and Bread and Butter Pickles

We planted 4 small cucumber plants in our garden this year.  Those 4 plants sure did produce a whole lot of cucumbers.  We had dozens and dozens of the those crunchy green guys.  What we couldn’t eat or give away we decided to preserve.  Since refrigerator pickles only last a month, and there are only so many pickles we can eat in a month, canning bread and butter pickles as well as relish was our best bet.

I used both the sweet pickle relish and bread and butter pickle recipes from Liana Krissoff’s Book Canning for a New Generation. I highly recommend this book if you really want to do some yummy canning, as well as Marisa McClellan’s Food in Jars.  If you do not have either of these books, I found some pretty comparable recipes for free on the internet: Sweet Pickle Relish and Bread and Butter Pickles.

I cannot wait the 4-6 weeks they take to cure to try them!

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Do you have a favorite pickle or relish recipe to share?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

Preserving the Summer Squash and Zucchini Harvest

Our summer squash harvest was UNBELIEVABLE this year.  We had an over abundance of the green and yellow squash cluttering our countertop for weeks, and still do. We also received a ton in our CSA.  This seems to be the norm.  Even if you do not have your own garden, I am sure family, friends and neighbors are practically begging you to take some off their hands.

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So, what to do with all this fresh and nutritious produce?  You can simply eat it now; sauté with olive oil and garlic, roast in the oven with other squash, make into pasta and toss with pesto or shred and use in muffins and breads.  Speaking of muffins, here are our favorite! YUM!

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Besides eating all your zucchini and yellow squash right away, you can also preserve it for use later in the year when squash is not in season or available.  We chose to preserve a lot of our harvest by freezing and dehydrating.  You can also can it if you like, we have not tried this method yet.

We make a really great stuffed squash with rice and ground turkey, but it is hot and time consuming to make in the summer.  So we made, blanched and froze the boats to stuff when the weather gets cooler. Also, we sliced and blanched squash coins to freeze.  With these you can just deforest and sauté for a quick side dish. Make sure you blanch your squash before freezing, this will insure it doesn’t get frost bit or go soggy before using.

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Utilize the dehydrator as well for preservation.  This is one of my favorite methods, it doesn’t take up room in your freezer and the dehydrated product last for a very long time.  We shredded and then dehydrated our zucchini.  Find the how-to here.  Later, we can rehydrate the squash with a little water and use in breads, muffins, sauces and sautés.  So many possibilities with this.

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How was your summer squash harvest this year?  How are you eating or preserving it?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

DIY All Natural Sunscreen

I LOVE Wellnessmama.com!  Today, I made her Natural Homemade Sunscreen.  It was super easy and cost WAY less than the $11 I paid for 3oz of a high end all natural version.  I went basic and did an olive oil, coconut oil and beeswax base then added the powdered zinc.  Working with the zinc was a little scary but just be careful and it will be fine.  I also bought these adorable little cups to keep it in.  It smells wonderful, like the tropics, cant wait to try it out!

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[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

DIY Miracle Healing Salve

I happened to come across this DIY Miracle Healing Salve from Backdoor Survival.  Having dealt with Eczema and very very dry skin my entire life, I am willing to give any sort of cream or lotion a try.  Let me tell you, it actually WORKS!  3 weeks of apply this at night to my heals and they are softer and healing, no more dry, cracked and bleeding skin. It has so many uses and really is amazing stuff.  Give it a try and let me know how it comes out.

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DIY All Natural Homemade Bug Spray

I am a mosquito magnet!  There is just something about me I guess, maybe my blood, or skin, or smell. Whatever it is, they flock to me like crazy.  I also tend to get HUGE welts that itch and last for days.  Most bug sprays are nasty and contain very harmful chemicals.  The all natural versions are expensive and some don’t really even work that well.

So what is a mosquito buffet to do?  Make it myself.

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There are so many bug spray recipes all over the internet.  It was hard to narrow down what would work best, but I think I found a pretty good mixture.

DIY All Natural Homemade Bug Spray

Equal parts Castor Oil and Filtered Water
10-15 drops of each of  any combination of Essential Oil
Lemon Eucalyptus, Citronella, Rosemary, Peppermint, Lavender or Geranium

1. Fill spray bottle 3/4 of the way full with Oil and Water
2. Add Essential Oil
3. Shake VERY well before each application
4. Apply to exposed skin, be careful not to soak clothing, the oils may stain if used in excess

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How do you repel those little blood suckers?

[Disclosure: Salty Suburban Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through these links.  So if you decide to order anything that is recommended on the blog, we would LOVE it if you used the affiliated links. We thank you in advance for your support!]

Pa and MomMoms Vegetable Garden

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This weekend our family was outside planting this years vegetable garden at my parents house, who JW lovingly calls Pa and MomMom.  JW was ready to help in his farmer get-up!  So CUTE!

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We had 36 herb and vegetable seedlings that needed to be planted, 2 potato towers to build, sunflower seeds to sow, a fig tree to plant in a container, the ground to work and a fence to install.  It took almost the entire day, but the garden was ready just in time for an evening shower to water the very appreciative plants.

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What type are garden are you planting this year?  Trying any new types of vegetables or a new growing method?

DIY Potato Tower

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So, as we were cleaning out the panty to make room for the new groceries, we came across a bag of sprouted potatoes!  Jackpot!  Why is a bag of spoiled potatoes a good thing?  Because we were able to use them as seed potatoes for 2 new potato towers.

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Previously we posted about our potato barrel, and it really is growing quite well.  Now we were able to try a different technique called a tower.  It is basically the same as the barrel, except you use wire fencing to create a container and line it with newspaper or brown paper bags.  Then add some soil to the bottom, place your sprouted potato seed pieces and cover with more soil. Continue to water and add more dirt until you reach the top of the container.  Once the leaves turn yellow (about 90 days) check the potatoes for doneness (green potatoes will make you sick).

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We set up our towers in this years vegetable garden so when the potatoes are done we can just cut the wire and add the soil back into the ground to till into next years garden.  Also, we ran out of brown paper bags so one tower is lined on the bottom with an empty soil bag with holes in it. Hey it works for now, and it is an interesting experiment to compare with the other brown bag only tower.

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Have you ever had luck with potato towers?  Growing some spuds this year?