Author Archives: Anna Paige

We Won a Top 100 Homesteading Blog Award!

Top 100 Homesteading Blog AwardWe’re proud to announce that our humble blog won a “Top 100 Homesteading Blog” award! Homesteader’s Supply made #42 in Feedspot’s list of the Best Homesteading Blogs on the Planet.

Congrats to all our fellow homesteading bloggers who were also awarded this honor!

 

 

Why You Need to Wash Homemade Butter

Washing butter preserves flavor and keeps it from going bad quickly.Have you ever been told that it makes no difference whether or not you wash your homemade butter? Do you think it really matters all that much one way or the other? Wouldn’t it be easier and faster to skip the washing step and just work the buttermilk out of the butter?

Here are the answers to the above questions:

  1. They lied.
  2. Yes, it actually matters a lot.
  3. Um, that would be a NO.

Are you surprised by any of these answers? If not, then you’re an expert butter maker. Congratulations!

Let’s take a look at the science of butter-making to see why washing the butter is a critical step in the process. An effective way to determine whether a procedure is important is to find what happens when it doesn’t get done. That’s a good place to begin our discussion. Continue reading

Top 10 Reasons to Eat Locally Grown Food

Benefits of Locally Grown Foods

About 10 years ago, consumer preferences slowly started shifting away from conventionally produced foods to locally grown. The 2007 release of Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, was largely responsible for this change. Once awakened to the consequences of our food choices, many of us became much more conscious about what we were eating, how it was made, where it came from, and how it got on our plates. That book heightened awareness about our dependence on agribusiness and the moral and ecological consequences of our food choices.

Today, consumer demand for locally grown food is greater than ever. More and more, Americans are starting to understand that locally grown food is healthier, and that it benefits our local farmers and communities.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 reasons to eat locally grown food. Continue reading

10 Ways to Make Healthy Eating More Affordable

How to Make Healthy Eating More Affordable

Homesteaders like to cultivate large gardens, so usually there’s ample “free” food during the warm months of the year. And most of us preserve at least some of our harvest by canning or dehydrating our vegetables, fruits, and sometimes even meats, too. Those of us lucky enough to have root cellars or walk-in coolers use them to store the more hardy types of produce, like potatoes and other root vegetables, winter squash, and cabbage. All these efforts help reduce our grocery bills during the cold weather months.

But it’s practically impossible to squirrel away enough food to feed our families all winter long. So, invariably, we end up needing to buy food to supplement the bounty we’ve managed to store. Even in summer, most of us don’t grow enough to sustain ourselves completely, so we have to buy what we can’t produce. And, yes, buying organic, whole foods at the grocery store can get very expensive. But the good news is, you can still practice healthy eating all year long without mortgaging the homestead to pay your grocery bill.

Here are 10 tips to make healthy eating more affordable.
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9 Unusual Ways to Use a Prepper Pro in the Kitchen

Prepper Pro CoverWhat’s a Prepper Pro?

We originally designed the Prepper Pro as a tool for canning and fermenting. It’s perfect for compressing veggies when packing them into jars or fermenting vessels. And it does a great job of breaking up fibrous veggies so they release their juices before fermenting.

The Prepper Pro has a small end, which fits well in a small-mouth canning jar, and a large end, which fits large-mouth canning jars.  The different sized ends make the tool even more versatile.

prepper-pro-fermenting

Our artisans handcraft each Prepper Pro from quality Appalachian maple wood. It’s easy to grip and feels good in your hand. The Prepper Pro’s ergonomic design makes it comfortable to hold and easy to use. The wood is seasoned with 100% organic coconut oil. Take care of it properly, and it will last a long time.

Why Every Kitchen Needs a Prepper Pro

If your kitchen tools include a Prepper Pro, you can be sure it won’t sit on the counter collecting dust. Even if you never do any canning or fermenting, you’ll find yourself instinctively reaching for your Prepper Pro time and again.  I use mine at least once a day.

9 Unusual Things You Can Do with a Prepper Pro

We find the Prepper Pro handy for a wide variety of unrelated kitchen tasks. Here are 9 creative ways you can use your Prepper Pro (that don’t involve canning or fermenting).

  1. Breaking Up Ice – Sometimes ice cubes stick together and need to be separated before you can use them. This often happens when you purchase large bags of ice at the grocery store. By the time you get it home, the ice has melted a little. Refreezing ice that’s slightly wet can cause some of the cubes to clump together. Usually, the ice loosens up fairly easily if you forcefully drop the bag on the kitchen counter a few times. You can break up any remaining clumps by giving them a couple quick whacks with the large end of your Prepper Pro.
  2. Tamping Down Shaved Ice – If you have a snow cone maker, you know it produces light, fluffy snow that’s just right for making slushies. But if you want a thicker frozen drink, or a tightly packed snow cone, you need to compress the shaved ice. A Prepper Pro makes it easy to tamp down the ice until it’s packed as tightly as you want it.  Using the flat side of the end that best fits your container offers a great deal of control, so the ice gets packed evenly all the way around. Best of all, there’s no mess!
  3. Breaking Up Granola – Homemade granola tends to stick together in clumps as it cools. You can eliminate the clumps easily by lightly tapping them with the flat end of your Prepper Pro after the granola has cooled to room temperature.
  4. Breaking Up Homemade Candy – Certain kinds of candy, like brittle and toffee, need to be broken up after it has set up or cooled. So the next time you whip up a batch of homemade peanut brittle, just slide a spatula under the slab of candy to lift it up off the pan. And then use your trusty Prepper Pro to break the brittle into pieces.
  5. Pounding Chicken into Cutlets – You can use your Prepper Pro like a mallet to pound pieces of chicken (or other meat) into cutlets. Place a manageable slice of meat in a gallon-size Ziploc freezer bag and seal it. Then pound away with the flat side of the large end until the cutlet reaches the desired thickness.
  6. Bruising Herbs –  Some recipes require herbs, like basil or mint, to be bruised to improve the flavor. Place the herbs in a bowl and then gently bend or press the leaves with one end of the Prepper Pro. When they show a wet crease, you have ruptured their cell walls and released their tasty oils.
  7. Making Butter – After you’ve made your butter and washed it, you can use the flat end of your Prepper Pro to pound out any remaining water. Pour off any water that gets released as you work the butter. This helps your butter stay fresh longer. (Butter goes rancid quickly unless all the water or buttermilk is removed.)
  8. Crushing Berries – You can crush small amounts of berries or other soft fruit by using the flat end of your Prepper Pro to press the fruit through a sieve. This separates the pulp and seeds from the juice. You can then use the crushed fruit and fruit juice in recipes, or to make jellies and preserves.
  9. Cracking Nuts and Seeds – You can use the flat end of your Prepper Pro as a nut cracker or pestle. To crack a nut, give it a good, hard whack. If the shell is very hard, you might need to whack the nut more than once. If the shell is soft, a gentle tap might be enough. You might want to wrap the nut in a bit of cheesecloth first so you can hold it in place and protect your fingers. The Prepper Pro also works great for crushing certain kinds of seeds. For example, you can use it much like a pestle to break up whole cardamon pods. Tap them lightly until the pods release the little black seeds inside. Then you can pick the pod fragments out with your fingers and use the cardamon seeds in recipes.

What creative uses have you found for your Prepper Pro? Share your ideas in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

How to Enter Our 2016 “Unconventional” Apple Pie Contest

apple pie contest cover

Enter our Unconventional Apple Pie Contest

for your chance to win a

$25 Homesteader’s Supply Gift Certificate

Continue reading