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A Freehold of My Own

Documenting my journey toward being a self sufficient family

Category

Traditional Foods

Flat Bread

I adore flat bread in pretty much all it’s forms. This version is a combination of techniques I picked up over my years as a professional cook, baker, and pastry cook. I dry “fry” these one at a time on my cast iron skillet, medium low setting(number three in my stove), after pressing them into flat circles with my hand and a plate. A tortilla press would work great since this bread is a mix between roti and tortillas. After frying I brushed them with coconut oil, keeping in a zip lock bag until I’m ready to eat the rest of them; I ate about four or five during the whole process.

Simple Flat Bread

1 cup white flour
1 cup Masa* flour
A few good pinches of sea salt
Boiling water

Combine the flours and salt, add enough boiling water to make a stiff dough. When cool enough to stick your hands in break the dough into balls slightly bigger then golf balls. Preheat your frying pan or skillet, you can coat with some oil or leave dry. Fry each side until golden, brush with oil to keep soft.

*Masa flour is made from corn processed with lime, generally used to make tortillas. I love the flavour and like to mix the grains I use for flour. Use whatever combination or single flour you like

    

Foraging and Production 

Hello folks! Things are crazy busy this year, making it very hard to keep up with my writing. I’m working on getting more time to write. Summer weather showed up a month early this year, combined with the drought we are experiencing has made for some interesting harvesting. The salmonberries were abundant, I have a large bag of them in the freezer that will be turned into jam. The blackberries are COPIOUS!! I want to bring my son to pick them so time will have to be found for that. Current projects include…

  
I’ve been wanting to make tamales for years now. Maybe months but it feels like years. I haven’t seen corn husks for sale and even if I did I couldn’t buy them in good conscience. I live in a region that produces a lot of corn so I have husks drying in the sun.

  
Hazelnuts! Or Filberts. I’ve recently discovered they are actually two different types of nut but are so similar to be all but interchangeable. I’m going to identify the wild trees I’ve been collecting from this week. I’ve got about a pound of nuts drying in a cardboard box on my patio. No direct sun but will still get all the warmth.

 
My foraging haul for the day: hazelnuts and red clover blossoms. The nuts are for eating, the blossoms for tea.

Mishaps 

So while I was out walking the dogs I’m boarding with my three year old, my spouse tried to be helpful and turned the oven on for me. He failed to notice the big wooden spoon propping the door open, not only is it how Iet air circulate when drying herbs, it’s also a big warning to not turn the oven on. This was the result.

 
I was sad. What cheered me though was the fact I found some giant dandelions while I was out. Didn’t get nearly as much root as I wanted but there are lots of tender leaves! It will be dried and added to the “green powder” I’m making. It’s basically just greens you can eat dried, crumbled, then mixed together. I’m not fond of leafy greens, they usually taste like dirt to me or have the texture of dirt. When I saw a post about making your own green powder for smoothies and such I was overjoyed! 

  

 

Urban Foraging – Horsetail and Plantain

Had the chance to get some foraging done the day before yesterday. I found some really healthy looking horsetail(also known as foxtail) and two varieties of plantain. I will be testing it’s medicinal and non-medicinal qualities so there will be a post on scrubbing pots with them!

  • Horsetail, Foxtail: Equisetum
  • Narrow Leaf Plantain: Plantago lanceolata
  • Broadleaf or Greater Plantain: Plantago Major

  

Dandelion Oil Complete!

I finally had the chance to strain my dandelion oil. The picture I took does not do it justice. It has a wee bit of a green tinge from the olive oil but it was also this beautiful golden yellow! I’m really excited about trying it out. I really need to find my beeswax so I can make some salve right off the bat.

  

Salmonberry Leaf Tea

I’ve finally had the chance to taste test some tea made from local shrubbery. I had collected leaves from Salmonberry bushes(Rubus spectabilis) that I could find far enough from main roads to make me comfortable. They took about two days to dry, spread out on a cookie sheet in my kitchen. 

  

I crushed the leaves by hand and measured a teaspoon into my tea strainer. I let my water come to a boil and let it sit for about a minute. The leaves were tender before I dried them being the first Spring shoots; I figure that hot but not still boiling water would work well.

 

I let the herbs steep, covered, for about 10-15 minutes. I tried it after two minutes and the flavour wasn’t even noticeable. After more time it tasted much like a mild green tea. I think this would work well added to other ingredients, not so much on its own. 

Chicken Galore

Cooking off some little chicken’s for meat, bones for broth, in my giant slow cooker. These little guys cost me $4 in total! Also, in the small slow cooker, peachy salsa chicken breasts which will be for dinner.





Polish Heritage

My husbands ancestry is Polish, he is first generation Canadian so there is still a lot of customs and such that are alive and well. I found my Mother in Laws English language Polish cookbook. So I nabbed a bunch of the recipes. I’m excited to get working on them!

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Crab Apple Pectin

Near my home there is a large crab apple tree. I never noticed that it was a crab apple but had noticed the tree itself. I was overjoyed when I realized what it was. I had originally planned to ferment some of them on the counter, not for booze but as a pickle of sorts. There had been talk of it in a fermentation group I am in on Facebook.

Life being busy this time of year I didn’t get out to the tree for a good four weeks. The fruit was still firm, some still with a pink blush but they were very spotty. I decided to use them for pectin instead. I didn’t use any one recipe in particular, just read through a few on Pinterest and Google.
Continue reading “Crab Apple Pectin”

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