Friday, January 29, 2016

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week- The Hard Knocks Education

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - The Hard Knocks Education

Dutch Oven
The Pot Of Possibilities

Heavenly Father has a unique way of helping me learn the things I need to know. If He wants me to learn how to wash laundry by washer breaks. And, if he wants me to learn how to use alternative ways of baking...the element goes out on my oven. I'm just glad He knows that I know how to purify water, because I really would rather not have to be tested on that...moving on.

So, this week I have been practicing other ways of baking. What alternatives are out there?

#1 The Good Ol' Fashioned Dutch Oven:

The Dutch oven has been used for literally HUNDREDS of years! The Dutch had it all figured out a long time little buggers. Dutch ovens are more versatile than just about any other way of cooking. They can be used for soups, stews, frying, and baking...even bread and pies! Dutch ovens work really well with Volcano stoves too. There is a REASON the Iron Rod was made out of iron...because like the Dutch oven, it is steadfast and faithful...and when seasoned correctly can sparkle.

I have really tried to avoid learning how to use the Dutch Oven because, honestly, wood fires and even charcoal can be intimidating. Modern spoiled people (me) aren't used to that kind of stuff, and what if I mess up? I could burn something. Yes, there is a learning curve. But Dutch oven cooking has so much potential! In the home of Paul Revere, they have an example of how a typical Colonial kitchen was. Now is the time to go and hug your counter tops and sink, and maybe even give them a little kiss; because a lot of fire poking and squatting was involved. Dutch ovens minimize that. If someone happened to fall into the cooking fire, life threatening injuries could result. Vigilance is key around open fire, but it can be done and some amazing culinary masterpieces can happen with a little practice.

For dinner last night I made Chicken Pot Pie with all FSF (Food Storage Friendly) ingredients: Here is the recipe I pretty much made up as I went along:
8 C of Water
Handfull of deh. onions
handfull of deh celery
handfull of deh carrots
handfull of deh potatoe dices
handfull of deh peas
2 tsp salt
diced chicken (I used fresh, but canned can be used also)
Brought to boil, thickened with flour/water mixture

Biscuit topping (this was actually from a recipe)
4 1/2 C wheat flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2/3 C oil
2 T sugar/honey

mix well
Added 2 1/2 C water - very wet mix...
I plopped the biscuits on top of the chicken soup and put my dutch oven lid on.
I used 25 charcoal: 8 underneath and 17 on the top. It was ready in about an hour. The family loved it.
For more information on recipes and how-to's for the Dutch Oven, check out Jas-Townsend videos on Youtube. I love them!!

#2 The Solar Oven

I have a Solavore Solar Oven. I love it. When there is sun. All you have to do is warm the oven and help it follow the Sun while stuff is cooking. That's it. When it is cloudy, well, look elsewhere because this honey isn't working for you today.
I have made biscuits, bread (more like rolls), casseroles, sweet potatoes, cookies, the BEST chicken ever, etc. in my Solavore oven. It has been well worth the investment.

For more information check out:

It is ALWAYS better to practice alternatives BEFORE the School of Hard Knocks knocks on or even bursts through your door and you land on your hiney. It is better to burn stuff now than when you might need the ingredients to sustain life. If you mess up, you can always go get pizza and try again tomorrow.

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