Posts Tagged With: food

Changing Times: Need vs Want

My great Grandmother's kitchen

My great Grandmother’s kitchen


I have been working on my family tree and going through old albums.  I came across this photo of my great grandmother “Ma” in her kitchen.  This is a room she spent a lot of time in.

The reason that I am sharing the photo is because I wanted to show the readers what a real kitchen of a real person looked like in 1958.  This is the kitchen were she canned all the food that she, her husband and their ELEVEN children would need.  As a matter of fact, she has so many children that her own children has some children of their own before her last little ones were born.  Some, like my grandmother, moved her family in with Ma’s.

Every single thing that they ate came from their farm and the garden.  Every vegetable that they would eat in the winter was prepared right there in that kitchen.  She had to can everything that would not keep.  Green beans, beets, tomatoes, asparagus, leeks, cucumbers, peaches, pears, apples, plums… everything from veg to preserves was all canned.

I am not sure if you see what I am driving at?  Did you notice in the photo that there was not a little bit of counter top in that kitchen? No storage either?  The food was kept in the cellar and that little shelf above the stove was for every day dishes and cutlery.  It was also for keeping things warm, for those who were late.  All food prep and eating were done on the same table, covered in oil cloth, all the cooking was done there on the stove unless in the middle of summer when the stove was moved out into the back kitchen.  All the food prep would have to be put away and everything wiped before the table could be set and people could eat.  It was not unusual for there to be 30 people eating in this kitchen.

I will think about this photo the next time I start thinking the 6 feet of counter at THO is small.  Clearly this tiny houser has things pretty good.

I don’t mean to glorify those days.  I know that times were hard and that there was so much work to be done. Poor Ma never stopped working!  Her hands were like leather on bones.  Truthfully, I think Ma must have been pretty happy by the time 1958 came around and they were sufficiently recovered from the great depression that  times were easier and she could buy a jar of pickles instead of making everything.

The question is, do you think you could go without cupboards and countertops in your house?

Categories: Family, Laura Moreland, Ontario, Open your eyes, Simple living, Sustainable living, View | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

The Supervisors


Hj and I dug up the garden yesterday.  The chives are coming up nicely, but the parsley winterkilled, so more will have to be put in.

The four supervisors kept their eyes on us to make sure we were doing a good job.

Planting will begin in a couple of days.


Categories: Dogs, Environmentalism, Food, Off Grid, Ontario, Simple living, Sustainable living, Tiny House Ontario | Tags: | Leave a comment

Popping Beans

Popping Beans


Yesterday morning I soaked a 2 pound bag of white navy beans in my big crockpot.  It turns out that this is slightly too many so I had to remove a quarter of them into a different pot.  The small pot I added some seasoning to, a few of my garden tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic and and onion and made a good heartily soup.  I got four large meals and two small jars (only one is pictured here) from the first quarter.  The other 3/4 of the beans were turned on last night and I salted and canned them earlier this afternoon.  I got four full quarts plus a little.  They will be used later for a recipe that calls for beans – or to make another soup, whatever.  The bag of beans cost me $2.50 Canadian; a lot of food for very cheap and very little work.  As a matter of fact boiling the jars to make them sterile was the toughest part.

The best part, is that I get the satisfaction of hearing the cans pop!  Silly as this is, it even beats the cheap cost, and feeding myself slow food, with no preservatives and good taste and quality.  Did you know that when you can beans yourself there is no slime in the jar at all?  What is that slime in canned beans?

Pop!  Pop!  Pop!  Pop!  😀


Categories: Open your eyes, Simple living, Sustainable living | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Fresh Fall Food

It has been as cold as 8 degrees below zero up at Tiny House Ontario.  I left the garden totally uncovered and mostly everything is now frozen off;  however, there is still some fresh food available for nosh.  I had cut down all the swiss chard when I left three weeks ago, because I figured it was on it’s last grow; surprising thing, is that it grew up again so I got another nice sized bag to eat.

The flat leaf Italian parsley was started late this year with a 1/2 a pack of 5 year old seeds and even with the horrible drought, it has been producing enough for me to use all summer.  It is a perennial that continues to grow too, year after year, as long as the winter freeze does not kill it.  The other half pack was what kept my Hamilton house in parsley for the last 5 years.  A very good producer for a $3. pack of organic seeds!  I cut off three good sized bundles to make 3 tabouli salads; one for me, one for my cousin S, and another for my Aunt C, so we all got a nice healthy side dish this week.  There is still plenty there to make a couple of more salads but it is fun to dig under the snow to get it, so I left it.

Sage is another easy keeper.  I don’t plant this from seed because one plant is PLENTY for my family.  Among other things, it makes what would be a good sweet potato and coconut milk soup, really great.  Sage has nice deep undertones that stay on the pallet a long time after eating.   Here is the recipe that I like, because I am a GF veg*an, I simply substitute chicken broth for a gluten free veg*an soup base.  I also don’t fully puree mine because I like bits – and speaking of bits this is nice with a handful of chopped peanuts on top too.

So, what I wanted to say is that I am glad that I did not dig up the swiss chard.  It was a zero mile mouth full of yum!

Categories: Environmentalism, Food, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Re-Use, Simple living, Sustainable living, Tiny House Ontario, View | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Who Wants This?

I just started cooking supper now.  A fall vegetable and red lentil stew of my own creation.  The house smells really great as this simmers in the large pot on the stove.

It would be so much more satisfying to be in the forest to eat this meal.  It is 11 degrees in the Kingston area now.  A little bit cloudy and damp.  Imagine a long, well paced walk in a forest, while it is preparing for its long winter nap.  You can smell and see the changes that nature brought us in the past days.  A few chipmunks gather the last of their stash, the hornet nest preparing to sleep, birds call as they are flying over you going south.  You are just a little out of breath coming back after the hour, but you can smell the light spicy aroma as you approach the cozy Tiny House.  Keen to see how it looks, you all fresh and rosy cheeked peek into the pot and see this just as the open pot reveals a deeper scent of onions peanuts and peppers.  Mmmmmmm!

Food tastes so much better after a bit of time with the natural world.  Anyone else want to be doing just this?

Here is what is in my fall stew:

1/4 cup grape seed oil

3 chopped onions

Fry to brown then add

3 chopped red peppers

6 chopped tomatoes

1 chopped head broccoli

1 chopped head cauliflower

2 chopped big potatoes

4 smaller squashes (I used white ones but it does not matter)

3 small nappa cabbages

8 cups water

1 cup red lentils

1/4 cup TVP

1 cup natural peanut butter

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon pepper

salt to taste (I used about 3/4 of a tablespoon)

2 tablespoons mixed herbs parsley, thyme and sage is what I had.

Once this is all soft and ready I took it off the heat and added a small can of coconut milk for the under flavour.

Categories: Environmentalism, Food, Forest, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Simple living, Tiny House Ontario, View | Tags: , | 6 Comments