After things have calmed down for us a bit and while stepping into a new balance, we are able to take care of a few seasonal things, again.
Actually, for me this is essential. Moving with the seasons, eating seasonal foods, enjoying and preserving the seasonal gifts – this all feels so very grounding to me.
So, last week we stocked up our empty food storage and spent many hours in the kitchen. We have made a delicious black bean chili of which we froze a small portion and enjoyed the rest right away along with a heavenly homemade corn bread.
We also cooked a nourishing potato soup and froze it in portions. This way we have a quick and delicious meal at the ready when we need it. Additionally we created some soy-burger balls from tofu and chickpea flour which we froze separately and can have with the potato soup.
We then tried a recipe for bread spread made from chickpeas, smoked tofu, marjoram, thyme, sage, salt and pepper which I found on Smarticular – and boy is that good! The first jar is already empty, but fortunately we have three more in the fridge. In between we also baked our literally daily bread. We usually vary a quick and easy recipe for Irish soda bread. This time we used the pulp that was left from the inside of a pumpkin after we took the seeds out, puréed it in a blender and added it to the bread dough. This is so good! I can’t believe that I used to throw this part away… We also roasted the pumpkin seeds and enjoyed them as a snack one evening.
Then we have been making our own granulated broth – a recipe I once found via Chris Hilton. During the autumnal season we buy an extra bundle of soup vegetables (usually a combination of ½ celery root, 1 stick of leek, 2 carrots and 1 parsley root) plus a parsnip, each week, grate them and then dry them in the oven before we grind them up to a powder which we then store. This way we stock up for the coming year.
For a short time each year our favourite grocery supplier offers Ackerpille (acre pill), an ancient cabbage variety that tastes awesome and is much more gentle on the digestive system than most of the modern varieties. Due to our financial situation we missed most of the Ackerpille-season. But we managed to grab three cabbage heads of this delicious and healthy variety. The week before the last one we made some slaw – the recipe I found, once more, via Chris Hilton. Last week we used one Ackerpille and made a scrumptious cabbage stew with soy mince, an apple, an onion and seasonal spices – which we froze.
I also found some beautiful recipes for pickling cabbage, beet roots and beans at Life on Pig Row. So I varied the one for pickling cabbage and we took the last Ackerpille for that. This way we can preserve our favourite white cabbage variety and enjoy it over the winter. I will surely try the original variations for pickling red cabbage and beet roots that are mentioned in the recipe, soon.
Finally, it was time to make some more tooth powder – a recipe I found on Simply Organic Recipes and laundry soap – a recipe I found on langsamerleben and varied slightly. So, while we were at it, we quickly created those mixtures, as well. For the laundry soap I used the olive oil soap that was recommended in the comments and substituted 100ml of the water that is used in the recipe with EM Blonde which I added when the mixture had reached room temperature. EM 1 sometimes tends to “eat” up fabric, but in my experience EM blonde is safe to use for laundry. It helps to clean the laundry as well as the water that goes down the drain. (If you are wondering: What is EM?)
What I love about the sustainable, homemade way of living is that you can actually see and choose what goes into the recipes. I tended to develop various kinds of allergies. Now I barely have any. I have super sensitive skin. Since I make my own creams and cosmetics, my skin has improved so much. In fact, my health has improved holistically.
In terms of food I stay connected to the seasons, when I buy it according to the wheel of the year. When I preserve food, it is a lot of work, yes. But I also know what actually is in the end product. Apart from the nutritional value this preserves, love goes into it – and I daresay, you can taste it!
We don’t have a garden. So we harvest, what we get from the balcony and in the wild. We have to buy the rest. But we can take care of the quality we buy – which means organic, often regional and definitely fair trade. Or, as our grandparents called it: food.
For me, it has something deeply satisfying to harvest my own herbs, to prepare my own food, cosmetics, et cetera. And I am only at the beginning of this journey.”
Also: It is frugal. Yes! We actually pay less and have more.
So… Things have calmed down for us – for which I am tremendously grateful. And we have been in happy action.
Are you preserving your own food? Or are you making your own facial creams or toothpaste? Do you maybe have a garden? What plants and wild herbs are growing in your neck of the woods?
P.S.: For those who care – all the recipes we used are vegan. Please note – the links in this post partially lead to sites in English language and partially to sites in German language.