Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Radical Homemaking | Homemade Food Staples



This weekend I've been experimenting in the kitchen, making food staples that my family consumes everyday. We spend a lot of money every month on yogurt and bread in this house. My son Charlie, as you may know, is a stroke survivor and has great difficulty swallowing food. And chewing? Forget about it. Needless to say he eats a lot of soft food - yogurt is his favorite. And my six-year-old seems to be on a fruit, peanut butter and bread diet. A loaf of bread can disappear in a day. So instead of relying on corporate food processing and packaging to fill this void in our diet, I am intervening.



BREAD
I used Amanda Soule's Everyday Oat Bread recipe from her book Rhythm of the Family. It was a lot messier and a lot easier than I had anticipated. The loaves turned out gorgeous and delicious and even my six-year-old is asking for more more more!







YOGURT
The yogurt was also messier and easier than I anticipated. I started with a gallon of whole milk ($3.50). After straining, I ended up with a little under a gallon of yogurt - about 14-15 cups. My son's store bought Chobani yogurt is $1.10 a cup and my homemade roughly comes to 25 cents (or less) a cup. I sure like that math! My kid eats 2 cups a day, so that adds up to huge weekly savings.

My yogurt turned out pretty runny, which sounds like a common first time situation, so I strained the whey using coffee filters. Next time I'll use cheese cloth like a sane person. I used a few online tutorials to help make this work. I found the following to be really helpful:







This was breakfast this morning!




SCONES
We drive through our local coffee shop at least twice a week and order a round of scones for the car. Cha-ching! So I've been making a round of scones at the beginning of the week for the past month. They're super simple and really good. The original recipe was from a friend, but I've added grated orange rind to these for flavor. You can add anything you like - blueberries, dried fruit, jam, chocolate chips, etc.



Scones

2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 - 1 1/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Topping (sometimes I skip this):
2-3 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons sugar

- Preheat oven to 425 F
- Stir and knead all ingredients together 
- Pull it apart into 8-9 even balls (or you can pat the dough into a circle and cut it into slices like a pie)
- Place pieces on ungreased pan
- Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar (I use my fingers)
- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes (I tend to bake for 15-16 minutes)


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Why do you sometimes write about Radical Homemaking and what is that?
Radical Homemaking is a term I borrowed from Shannon Hayes's book, Radical Homemakers. Basically, I am in the process of transitioning our home life from one that is mostly centered around consuming (water, electricity, groceries, technology, services, etc.) to one that centers around creating and producing. I am inspired by the idea that we don’t have to rely on nameless, faceless corporations to feed, clothe, shelter and entertain us while they treat their employees poorly and poison the environment. So yes, less spending and more making. This involves, but is not limited to vegetable gardening, making our own food, composting, back yard chickens and DIY home improvement. We are doing this for economic, health and environmental reasons. Plus, it's just plain fun! I've written more specifically about this in the posts below:



5 comments:

Rachel Anderson said...

Nice! Rock on, radical mama.

This Little Blue Homestead said...

I love weekends like this. I'm due for one this weekend, we are running very low on our staples!

Pam Ferguson said...

Thanks! Just tried the scone recipe this morning. DELISH!

Sarah Greenman said...

Yay Pam! I'm so glad you liked them !

Peggy said...

Impressive!