Catching Up In An Urban Homesteader’s Kitchen

If you have a large garden you have probably encountered a few weeks of food overload – or food avalanche as Sherri Brooks Vinton of Put ’em Up calls it. Food avalanche perfectly describes the last few weeks in my tiny kitchen. Some of it was because once the rain finally stopped and the sun came out the garden basically exploded. And some of it was because I apparently am a glutton for punishment as you’ll see below.

  • Peas, peas, peas. I pulled the last of the garden peas, and froze 16 cups of the shelled peas. But not before making our family-favorite, Pasta and Peas. You can find the recipe on my new website here.
  • Spent time in the garden getting my second crop in, planting little pickling cukes and my favorite zucchini: trombocino – a long, meaty Italian version, and ronde de nice – little round zucchini that are perfect for stuffing.
  • Of course, we can’t forget the sourdough sandwich buns!
  • Fermentation frenzy. A few weeks ago I wrote about starting a batch of red wine vinegar. Well the process worked wonderfully. I bottled this first batch and since I am still trying to use up my husband’s wine-making experience gone awry, started two more batches of red wine vinegar.
  • Along the same line, I started hydrating a kombucha starter. I bought my starter from Cultures for Health last month and had just been waiting for the kitchen to warm up enough to get it “cooking.” I love kombucha, but it’s fairly pricey, so I hope this process works. I’ll let you know in a few weeks, so far it’s just sitting there.
  • The raspberries, like the peas, ripened all at once. I picked about 15 cups. Some went into the freezer for serving over pancakes this winter. Some went into jam (more on that below). And some went into homemade chocolate-raspberry sherbert. Yum.
  • If that wasn’t enough, I dragged my husband to a u-pick organic blueberry farm. In two hours, with only limited whining, we picked 28 pounds of sweet, luscious berries. Picking them was the easy part. It took me two days to pick them over, cleaning the little strands of grass, leaves, and twigs out of them.
  • So I made jam! Seven, half-pints of blueberry-raspberry jam, and then 7 half-pints of wildberry jam (a combination of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries).
  • I also froze 4 gallons of blueberries for blueberry smoothies all year.
  • And made a blueberry cake so good it’s sinful. Find the recipe here.
  • It was my grandson’s turn to visit and bake with Nana so we made a big batch of homemade peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. It really doesn’t get any better than cooking with your grandchildren!

Thankfully this week I have a little bit of a reprieve – nothing is ready in the garden to be picked and the apricots are just starting to show up at the Farmer’s Market. It’s a good thing – I need the rest! Is your urban homesteading kitchen busy this week?


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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

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