I made butter and had a lot of rich buttermilk leftover. I poured very hot water into the churn and the solids separated from the rest which was clear water. I collected the solids in cheesecloth and hung it on the back porch for a month. It grew a mold but was very good cheese. What kind of cheese did I make?
Boy you’ve got me, Bob. I’ve made a lot of different cheeses but never have I made cheese out of fresh, uncultured buttermilk. Any readers out there have an answer for us? — Jackie
How do you can turkey gravy?
Sorry, but gravy is one thing you shouldn’t home can as it can get too thick to be safe for home processing. How about canning turkey broth then making your gravy from that? If you add some of the pan scrapings from the bottom of your roaster to the broth, you’ll have a rich-tasting broth for gravy making. — Jackie
Discouragement in homesteading
I was wondering if you or someone else at Backwoods Home Magazine could do an article or even a regular column where homesteaders share some of their discouraging moments and how they managed to triumph or simply push their way through them?
A quick background on me and my reason for asking…
My family is from the deep South, I grew up in the corn belt Southeast of Chicago, and now live in Pitt, MN (between Baudette & Warroad). I married a 3rd generation + local. It is a second marriage for both us. We’ve been homesteading on his 160 acres (referred to as the Old Paxon Place) for 8 years. I have often referred to your articles for advice.
I’m also learning much from the locals about the culture and fortitude of the Norwegians, Swedes, Germans , etc. that settled in these parts. It’s fertile ground for potential homesteading knowledge, but often it is mockery, discouragement, disdain, & disgust shown to those of us who desire this way of life now.
Perhaps the locals have struggled too much, too long, too recently in history? Perhaps they remember all too well only the pain & negatives of a homesteading lifestyle… They say they “simply” want “better & more” for their kids. It even seems the pervasive “throw it away”, materialism, and “money is everything” attitudes are as strong or stronger here than in any big city. Hence, as a persistent homesteader, I get “hungry” not for good, wholesome food- but rather, encouragement, homesteading knowledge, & mentor-type friendships. Again, I’m grateful for your articles and blog.
When I look out my kitchen window at the remains of the “Old Paxon Place”, I have often wondered about the obstacles that the Paxon family faced: the extreme cold, the mosquitoes and biting flies, the brief gardening season, the wildlife predators, the remote location… We have faced those, too. And after 8 years of work & pondering, I now feel qualified to answer when asked, “What’s the biggest obstacle for a modern day homesteader”? It’s Discouragement. And while I will never know for sure, I will always wonder what part Discouragement played in the Paxons abandoning this homestead here and moving to Washington.
Thanks Jackie for your part in encouraging modern homesteaders!
This constant facing of nay-sayers can be discouraging to homesteaders. It’s a thing that homesteaders from small towns to remote locations face constantly. After all, most modern people just don’t “get” homesteading and equate “success” with money. It’s too bad. Maybe that’s why today we talk about self-reliant living. When your mood depends on how others around you regard your lifestyle, you’re not being self-reliant no matter how much of your own food you grow, etc. We need to feel our joy in our day-to-day accomplishments, the nature around us, and in ourselves and families. It does help to find some like-minded folks in your area. (There ARE some!) We host a few potlucks at our place for local homesteaders to come talk, and share tips and seeds. Each time it grows larger and we all become networked. You might try it yourself. One thing I’ve learned is not to talk homesteding to neighbors who are not interested. You always end up shot down.
Of COURSE discouragement killed many homesteader’s dreams in the old days. Simple starving out was a huge factor. No money, no food, no market for crops produced. It was a tough time. Very few today really understand what our ancestors faced. It makes us, today, seem like wimps!
What about it readers? How about answering Shae’s question from your own experience? — Jackie