Friday, April 6, 2012

The Reluctant Homemaker

The more and more I look at our homesteading goals and make steps to reach them, the more I realize that homesteading and homemaking go hand in hand.

I'll be honest - I am not good at homemaking.

I really let the dishes, laundry and dirt pile up. Our furniture is dusty. There are cobwebs in the corners. My kitchen is rarely clean. I may clean my fridge once a year.

All our drawers, cabinets and closets are cluttered, disorganized and overflowing.

It's not that these things don't bother me. They do! I've just let them go for so long, it's hard to know where to start.

My cleaning days come in spurts. Usually by the time I get one area clean, the previous area I worked on is in disarray yet again. And so on. It's just kind of overwhelming.

Any headway I make during the slow season, quickly goes to heck when my busy summer starts and I'm on the road all day.

So I decided to start in the area I work the most in: the kitchen....


I'm not thrilled with my kitchen. It's full of largely out-dated, hard to clean appliances, and cheap cabinets full of old peeling liner paper. Mice frequently visit, and leave their "deposits" necessitating the cleaning of just about every object that gets removed from the cabinets.

But, for better or for worse, it is my kitchen. And I've decided I'm going to take better care of it. (I love how the flash from the camera makes all the wood look so clean and shiny. :) Believe me, it's not!)

And boy have I been spending more time in it! In an effort to improve our eating habits and tighten up our budget, I've been trying to prepare more and more of our food at home. Yesterday I actually baked bread! Not only that, it turned out great! (I have a knack for ruining just about every recipe that involves baking, so I was thrilled it wasn't another disaster.)

Today's project has been slow-roasting pecans for snacking on.

These pecans are very special to me. They come from trees that grow at my Uncle's house in Arizona.


My Uncle Bill and I have shared a special relationship for years. My mom's older brother, he was the one that introduced her to wildflowers and the wonders of the natural world. This in turn, was passed on to me. We have been pen-pals since I was a young teen, sharing our lives and the plants and animals that we come across.

2 years ago we made it out to Arizona for the first time to visit him, and it was an amazing trip.

Every winter he mails us a gallon bag of pecans from his trees, that he husks himself. Last year we made it back to AZ for my niece's wedding, and even saw his tannin-stained hands.

I really wanted to do these nuts justice. So as per Sally Fallon's instructions in Nourishing Traditions, I soaked the pecans overnight in saltwater, and have been slow roasting them all day in the oven. We will be enjoying these nuts for some time. I think food with meaning has to be more nourishing. :)



Other projects I may try in the week to come include:
  • Making homemade laundry detergent
  • Making butter from my new cow share (if I can get it this week)
  • Making cocount milk from scratch

Just one small homesteading (and homemaking) goal at a time.


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