Thursday, July 26, 2012

How To Process More Tomatoes and Make Seedless/Semi-Seedless Jams

I am ready to still continue making my own food if power is lost for long periods of time. I know how and have the proper equipment to manually prepare my own food for long term storage. But for now, I have power and I have lots of fruits and produce to get through.

Using technology to help you sustain a self sufficient life isn't a bad thing, and because you use it to help you doesn't mean that your not doing it right. Sure, some people might say "well that isn't the way it was done/you can do it a more primitive way" and most of the time their right. But you know what? We are modern pioneers, not pioneers without the tools available to us to use.

Go back 100 years with a chainsaw and ask a Lumberjack yielding misery whip to fall a Redwood in Oregon, if he would like to try your chainsaw. After he uses your chainsaw, you would have to shoot the guy to get it out of his hands. Maybe it is just me or perhaps you think like I do, it is just common sense to use what you can to help you. I got a Kitchenaid stand mixer some years ago, the the fancy high end one. I had picked it up for a few hundred bucks. I started to use it to make bread dough and mix other things when I could.

One day I went into the store going to check out the attachments that I could use to make more use of mine. So there it was, the one thing I needed the most... The Kitchenaid strainer attachment... My mind started racing like the dad did when he opened the box and saw the leg lamp in the movie Christmas Story... It was amazing to see it there, and it drew me in and I didn't care about the cost. I was drawn in by all the uses and how much time it was going to save me... so I bought it...

I got it home and started to make jam the following morning, Raspberry to be exact... It was too easy... The berries went in, filled the hopper, pressed down with the tool, juice and pulp drained down and the seeds and other stuff came out the end. That was it, that easy...DONE!

 A bright light appeared in my kitchen that day, it was the time saving idea light... I had finally found the one item that would save me THOUSANDS of HOURS of intensive labor to process berries and tomatoes. I can do a bushel of tomatoes in under an hour, that is from washing, cutting and processing them for canning. Now that I have this, I use the time I save and my shoulder for other projects that need attention.

I don't know about you, but some jam like Blackberry/Raspberry can have way too many seeds for my liking, but at the same time they don't feel like homemade jam to if there isn't some seeds in it. So I dump one big tablespoon back in each batch I do.

Trust me when I say " don't let the price fool you, it's well worth the investment ". If by chance you don't have a Kitchenaid mixer yet, get one!!! I love mine!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Blah, Blah, Blah's and the Rewards

Some days seem to be harder than most days here on the homestead with life, work, family and putting up your own food. Some days, there isn't enough hours in a day to get completed what you tend to get done knowing you have many different ways to get all the stuff done and done right.

The other day I did many task in just one day, I canned, gathered, weeded, braided, fixed stuff, did one new project to completion, cooked and helped others. At the end of the day I was sore and tired, and just thought if I would just buy all my food than I could half everything I have to do. See how easy it is to get distracted from what takes so much effort to do in the first place?

Danielle, my wife, under a blogging crisis's, reminded me of the efforts it takes to not only do what we do, but also the amount of time we use to get this out to our fans/friends. We have a family and we stay focused on that during the evenings. At night, when we used to mindlessly watch TV, that time is now filled with blogging and sharing what our interest are and lifestyle choice. I also plan the next days events if not planned already as well as read more information on living off the land and its many different aspects.
It's because of what I do, the reasons why I do it, and helping others to live, grow, gather, hunt, and live a self sufficient life. I would have nothing to blog or show you if I didn't live this way. It doesn't consume my life, that is unhealthy, but it's important to me the food I grow and so forth. It's that fact the food I eat, I grow, and I know how it was grown. It's the independence I feel as a human upon the earth, I think I owe it to the world, earth and my fellow man to do something on my own and not depend on others as much. 
The Rewards
Do you remember what happened a few years ago when I opened my own freezer? If not, let me share. I went down to get something out, and when I opened my freezer, everything in there I grew, gathered, hunted, processed, and bartered for. I turned to Danielle ( she was down there folding clothes ) and said " look everything in here I did myself, woohoo " she didn't share the same level of excitement as me, but she said "good". That is her way of saying "good job". So what did I do? Ran and got the camera, piled a bunch of stuff in the freezer, snapped a photo to share with all my friends online. I should have pulled more veggies out, but here is a look inside my freezer that winter afternoon.

The second reward, and there are many, but I feel in my soul/heart a sense of responsible accomplishment. I don't know if those words belong together, but the feelings sure do. I feel like " I am doing something positive and its good for everything ", 

So when you feel low on energy and bummed out, take a nice cool/warm shower and remember all the good things that you do. Remember, if each of us do a little something for ourselves, we together make a huge difference in the world.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Running A Contest For A Free Excalibur Dehydrator

We have reached 5,000 likes on Facebook page Modern Pioneer to celebrate that milestone we are giving away a food dehydrator. Spread the word, get the widget, and get your entries in!!! Jason

To find out more about the prize visit Amazon for more details.  Prize details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Face For The Coldframe

I added a summertime lid to my coldframe. You can still see the Swiss Chard we have been Eating on since March of this year!!