An Urban Homesteader’s Kitchen Update

It seems that each one of these updates revolves around a theme. First there was cherries, then peas, them blueberries. This time it’s peaches.

The early peach tree is at the end of her annual fruitful period, having given up pounds of sweet fruit, many of which are stowed away in my freezer. The birds and the insects got their fare share, but no more!

If that wasn’t enough, we visited a local farm and purchased 27 pounds of apricots. Sometimes I really do bite off more than I can chew. Which brings me to a comment directed my way the other day – “I wish I had time to do all that canning and cooking!”

It’s a valid sentiment. Cooking at home, canning and freezing garden fresh food, and and growing your own fruits and vegetables does take time. Remember though, you don’t have to do it all. Every step you make towards an urban homesteading life results in a positive change in your life. The important thing is to take that step!

If you are a beginner and you want to start:

  • Growing your own food – I recommend planting a cherry tomato plant in a big pot on the deck. Add a basil plant too.
  • Canning – Start with mixed fruit. It’s the easiest canning project there is, and provides your family with high quality fruit this winter.
  • Freezing – How about freezer jam? Find out how over at Pearl Owl.
  • Cooking at Home – Choose a pasta dish. Pasta is very forgiving. Slice a variety of veggies (zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, spinach, etc), quickly stir-fry them, and serve over cooked pasta. Toss with some olive oil and red wine vinegar or lemon juice. Top with shredded cheese. Add some cut up chicken or tofu if you like.

There, you are well on your way to becoming an Urban Homesteader. Be careful – it’s addictive!

So here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • Candied cherries – dried the batch started earlier this summer. Find out how here.
  • Cherry Almond Caramels – I had to do something with the syrup left over from the candied cherries! Find the recipe here.
  • Sliced peaches – froze 6 gallons
  • Peach butter – made 11  (1/2 pints) for gifts this winter. Find the recipe here.
  • Canned – 6 pints of mixed fruit. Find the recipe here.
  • Apricot jam – made 12 (1/2 pints).
  • Apricot syrup – canned 9 (3/4 pints) jars. Find the recipe here.

What urban homesteading projects have you been working on lately?

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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 SeedToPantry.com and HestiasKitchen.com.

Comments (4)

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  1. Bought stuff to jam and can, and more heirloom tomatoes than we can eat, plus crisp chard, lots of basil and biting Vietnamese coriander that’s running riot over far too much of the very tiny back yard. What can we do with very biting Vietnamese coriander.

    • So sorry for the late response here – what a week! I grow most of my herbs in pots (with varying degrees of success) and have never grown Vietnamese coriander. My understanding is that it grows a lot like mint and quickly takes over the whole neighborhood! It can be used like the more common kind of cilantro and added to almost anything. It would be really good with those heirloom tomatoes in a salsa (for canning or freezing) or mixed with goat cheese or yogurt for a dip. You can also dry it although it will lose a lot of its sharpness, or chop it and free in ice cube trays to use all winter. If you still have some after that, cut it into bunches and give to friends, relatives, strangers on the street….:) Good luck!

  2. Who has made this dish? Please tell me its recipe.

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