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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Off-Grid Homesteading Cookbook Kickstarter planning - Begins on November 12th!

 
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Update: The Kickstarter is now live! You can visit it by clicking here.

This thread is now locked. The new thread can be found here: https://permies.com/t/151239/Grid-Homestead-Cookbook-Kickstarter-live

Update: The Kickstarter is now ready for preview!


Kickstarter preview page

Recipe testing is going really well, and the design is coming together nicely, so I thought it might be about time to announce my upcoming cookbook and start planning for a Kickstarter in October!

A Year in an Off-Grid Kitchen: Homestead Kitchen Skills and Real Food Recipes for Resilient Health

If you’ve ever wanted to make your own cheese, salami, sourdough bread, butter, bacon, ham, kimchi, pickles, preserves, healthy baked goods, and more, and to get a bunch of homesteader-friendly real food recipes at the same time, then you’ll like this book.

You don't need to be off-grid to make these recipes... You can develop the kitchen skills to homestead successfully in any kitchen by using this book.

Even if you already have these skills, A Year in an Off-Grid Kitchen is filled with of innovative recipes to appreciate, and new homesteader-friendly approaches to old favourites.

A Year in an Off-Grid Kitchen is a cookbook atmospheric enough to sit on your coffee table, yet with so much substance that it can teach you the kitchen skills you need to learn to homestead successfully, complete with over a hundred delicious traditional foods recipes to make with your homegrown foods.

A Year in an Off-Grid Kitchen is divided into eight seasonal sections, plus a chapter on year-round baking. In each of these sections is an important skill to learn or seasonal ingredients to focus on, as well as seasonal and everyday recipes. The book can be used as a cooking course over a year, or it can be picked up, read, and cooked from whenever you want to learn a new skill or are looking for a healthy recipe.

It’s often overwhelming to face all the skills that need to be learned to thrive in a successful homestead kitchen. My aim is to break these skills down into simple steps, so that you can take on one thing at a time, while cooking from natural, local ingredients, using methods that allow you to have time for everything else on the homestead.

Woven throughout the book are focuses on seasonal ingredients, new ways of serving familiar and not-so-familiar vegetables, and tons of tips, meal suggestions, recipe variations, and more. Indexes are provided to find recipes by ingredient, as well as by cooking time, so even if you’re just looking for a quick recipe to make for dinner tonight, or something to slowly cook for tomorrow, you can easily find the right recipe for you.

Recipes include…
100% wholegrain sourdough breads that take 5 minutes of active kitchen time to make.
Preserving fruit without cane sugar or pectin.
One-pot meals and large batches for intentional leftovers.
Lots of options and variations for different ingredients you might have on hand, or different dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, paleo, or dairy-free.
Ways to make real food cooking work with limited time and budget.
Fermenting and preserving recipes that use formulas - don’t just learn an exact recipe, but know how to confidently ferment and preserve with different quantities and ingredients.
Off-grid kitchen tips are provided throughout the book, from ways to store food without electricity, to cooking on a woodstove, foraging for wild greens, preserving the harvest, and much more.

Not just for off-grid!
The recipes have been tested in all kinds of kitchens, and the instructions include exact temperatures and times for electric and gas stoves. This is the perfect book for anyone that wants to cook with local foods.
 
Kate Downham
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My questions…

Earlybird bundle - I’m keen to offer one of these to the lovely people that will back this in the first two days of it going live. Has anyone here created stuff that they’d like included with it? Please reply here or PM me.

Stretch goals - I’m not sure when it’s best to start thinking about this, but if anyone has any ideas of stuff that would be great to have as a stretch goal, please let me know!

Extra goodies to include for everyone - I’m creating some new ebooks for this, is there anything else that would be good to include? Has anyone here created something that would be suitable to include?

Backer levels (roughly translated into US$ amounts) - I am thinking they will be around:
$8 for the ebook
$25 for the paperback edition
$40 for the hardcover edition
$80 for two hardcovers
$100 for two hardcovers, early access to the manuscript, your name thanked in the book, and more extra goodies
Some levels in between those for access to an exclusive cooking club and a copy of the ebook for those who want the book on their phone as well as a physical copy.
I’ll have one or two lower backer levels with some goodies too.
All backer levels get a digital ‘thank you’.

What are good ideas for higher backer levels?

If I could include one or two (or more) things from the book as a sneak peek at the $1 and/or $5 level, what could it be?

I had thought of giving stretch goals out (if it makes it that far) at around the $100 level, as well as other extra goodies, but I am not sure if many people would want to have two books? Would it be better to have a level of around $50 or $60 and include all the extra goodies with that?

FAQs - what are good ones to include? Do you have any questions you’d want answered before backing this Kickstarter?

Kickbacks/affiliate links: Would anyone here be interested in promoting this Kickstarter on social media, email lists, and other places? I’m thinking of offering a 10% affiliate deal, so that you get a custom link, and then at the end of the Kickstarter you get 10% of any pledges brought in from your link (so long as 2 or more pledges were made), please reply here or PM me if you’d like a link once they’re available.
 
Kate Downham
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pollinator
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Can't wait till this goes live! Do you know what the goal amount is yet?
 
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First let me say that I’m a  sucker for a good cookbook and have a sizeable collection. What I look for in a good cookbook is an excellent index, decent photos to inspire, readability and interesting recipes. It looks like your book has a all of that in spades Kate and I would back it even without extra goodies. Best of luck with it and I’ll be watching for the launch.
 
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The way the world is currently headed, it's an immediate YES from me.
 
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This looks fantastic! I would love to have something like this in my library! Beautiful pictures and information I've been searching for over a year. As we head into a new chapter of our lives, a resource like this would be quite valuable.
 
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What I would like to see and is something that I've kicked around creating, is, for lack of better words, a key-word index.  Basically, I have chicken, what are my chicken recipes, I have basil, what are my basil recipes.  I have tomatoes, what are my recipes that use tomatoes, and etc.  Especially helpful around harvesting time - I have an abundance of X, what can I make or do with that?  Possibly use it as a stretch goal?  Make it apply to the digital copies with links?  Example: I have chicken, look up chicken in the index, see all the recipes that use chicken, select one and click on the link to go to that recipe in the digital copy.

In addition, this sounds a lot like Carla Emery's book, but updated with pictures.  You might check in her old book to see if there are any things you might also like to include in yours.
 
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Sounds great, I'd definitely like a copy!

That said, you were asking for things people wanted and didn't see? How about an ebook on adapting the recipes for those of us still on the grid? Or, using the tech we already have?

If you did the discussion about adapting the off grid recipes to ongrid kitchens as an ebook, you could also include it as a stretch goal perk.

As it is? I agree with the comment about Carla's book, but I didn't keep my copy of her book, because it seemed to have little or nothing to do with how we actually lived. That prompted the suggestion above.

How about teaming up with Paul and including a copy of his book as a stretch goal? Or do it both ways... donate a few books to Paul to boost his sales too?
 
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I will back this Kickstarter- the book looks great!
 
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How about a couple of exclusive recipes?
 
Skandi Rogers
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Jennie Little wrote:Sounds great, I'd definitely like a copy!

That said, you were asking for things people wanted and didn't see? How about an ebook on adapting the recipes for those of us still on the grid? Or, using the tech we already have?

If you did the discussion about adapting the off grid recipes to ongrid kitchens as an ebook, you could also include it as a stretch goal perk.

As it is? I agree with the comment about Carla's book, but I didn't keep my copy of her book, because it seemed to have little or nothing to do with how we actually lived. That prompted the suggestion above.

How about teaming up with Paul and including a copy of his book as a stretch goal? Or do it both ways... donate a few books to Paul to boost his sales too?



Having tested a lot of the recipes there's not an issue with the recipes not being usable by people with "normal" kitchens.  Interesting that you think there might be, that might be a perception problem that the blerb needs to address
 
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I'm definitely gonna need one of these! However is there a section about canning because that would be nice?
 
Kate Downham
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Thank you all for the kind words!

I am wondering if "off-grid" in the title is going to be offputting to a lot of people?

I'm definitely going to emphasise in the blurb that the recipes will work in any kitchen, perhaps something like:

"You don't need to be off-grid to make these recipes... You can develop the kitchen skills to homestead successfully in any kitchen by using this book".
 
Kate Downham
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Huxley Harter wrote:Can't wait till this goes live! Do you know what the goal amount is yet?



I haven't done the final number crunching yet, but probably around $4000 in US$, so around 100 people buying hardcover books would reach the goal, or 200 people buying paperbacks.
 
Kate Downham
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Janice Black wrote:First let me say that I’m a  sucker for a good cookbook and have a sizeable collection. What I look for in a good cookbook is an excellent index, decent photos to inspire, readability and interesting recipes. It looks like your book has a all of that in spades Kate and I would back it even without extra goodies. Best of luck with it and I’ll be watching for the launch.



Thank you : )

Good indexes are really important to me in cookbooks, so I will be putting a lot of effort into making the index usable.
 
Kate Downham
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Michael Heath wrote:What I would like to see and is something that I've kicked around creating, is, for lack of better words, a key-word index.  Basically, I have chicken, what are my chicken recipes, I have basil, what are my basil recipes.  I have tomatoes, what are my recipes that use tomatoes, and etc.  Especially helpful around harvesting time - I have an abundance of X, what can I make or do with that?  Possibly use it as a stretch goal?  Make it apply to the digital copies with links?  Example: I have chicken, look up chicken in the index, see all the recipes that use chicken, select one and click on the link to go to that recipe in the digital copy.

In addition, this sounds a lot like Carla Emery's book, but updated with pictures.  You might check in her old book to see if there are any things you might also like to include in yours.



Yes! It will definitely have an index like that, they are the best kind of indexes. It is so important to be able to make use of what is abundant at the time, and a lot of my recipes have many options, so I am keen for people to be able to easily find recipes that will work for a particular ingredient.
 
Kate Downham
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Ben Hylen wrote:I'm definitely gonna need one of these! However is there a section about canning because that would be nice?



Yes, there's a section on water batch canning fruits, and also one on preserving tomatoes this way, along with recipes for jams, sauces, chutney, and pickles.
 
Kate Downham
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The blurb on my first post has been edited to put the stuff about cooking these recipes in any kitchen (and not just off-grid) towards the top.

Any more feedback on the blurb or anything else is greatly appreciated! Thank you all for your feedback.
 
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This sounds and looks great, Kate! Looking forward to supporting your kickstarter...

I agree with the suggestions about a good index. The index pages of every good cookbook I´ve ever had (and I´m 75!)  always end up dog-eared for the use I give them!

Let us know when the kickstarter launches so we don´t miss it

Linda
 
Huxley Harter
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Kate Downham wrote:I am wondering if "off-grid" in the title is going to be offputting to a lot of people?



Off-grid is a critical attracting key word for me and probably others planning a homestead without refrigerators and the like.
 
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I'm looking forward to this, It sounds like it will be a great cookbook.  I was just reflecting today on how homesteading is basically just a whole lot of food preparation work (+firewood and infrastructure work).   Animal husbandry, gardening, harvesting, processing, cooking, that how I spend most of my time and it's all essentially food prep.  

I think off-grid is ok in the title, but spending some time crafting a subtitle that will entice folks who are just starting down the homesteader/permie trail.  "develop the kitchen skills to homestead successfully in any kitchen".  I like the idea of a year long course in skill development.  Being able to make your own food from scratch is so valuable and not as common as it used to be.  I'd say most folks these days don't learn these things growing up, so a book with all the basics is a great reference.

Thinking about extras and such, exclusive recipes is a good idea, maybe a little collection of recipes that didn't quite make the cut for the book but are still great?  Or what if you sourced some kind of useful kitchen tool/thing or a starter for miso, rennet for cheese making, a kombucha scoby or similar that relates to a project in the book?  Then you just make the $amt reflect your cost for procurement.  

Also, I think various options for multiple books is a good idea - one for you some to give away.  I would totally get 2 or 3 paperback copies.  Will you be printing enough that these will get distributed in bookstores?  I'm not sure how that works, have you got a publisher and stuff or are you doing it yourself?   If it's not going to be widely available, you could encourage folks to buy 10 and resell them/use them as fundraisers etc
 
Brenna Preston
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Hilary Duinker wrote:
I think off-grid is ok in the title, but spending some time crafting a subtitle that will entice folks who are just starting down the homesteader/permie trail.  "develop the kitchen skills to homestead successfully in any kitchen".  



I think this is a great idea. The whole reason I was excited about this book is because I am just learning some of the old ways of homesteading and am about to buy some land to move onto. We have already begun canning jams and jellies, ferment veggies, make sourdough and Jun regularly. We raise chickens for eggs and have a small garden. What I've never done is try to preserve our harvest without having electricity available at all times. With our new property we know we have a small solar setup, which will power only a small fridge and maybe a few lights. We are looking at woodstoves and antique gas stoves for cooking and trying to weigh which might work better for us. There is a small wood burning stove in an old abandoned cabin, we just don't know if it's salvageable yet.
The recipes and techniques you were displaying were exactly the types of skills I am looking for. How to cure meats to food storage with limited electricity in an off-grid setting. I have tons of books with small amounts of information spread out, but one with the resources for food alone would be quite valuable. As for integrating it to a modern kitchen, it really shouldn't be a big deal. Just adding a small blurb such as "alternatively bake at X amount degrees for X amount of time" is all you would need. I believe you may have already stated this, but a section with tools needed would be important too. As for gifts, see if it's possible to work with a company like Cultures for Health to gain a coupon/discount code for purchasing rennet or starts or cheese making kits.
 
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I think a bookmark with conversions cups to kilos liters etc would be a great thing to accompany the book,because you are marketing it worldwide (Go Kate!)  The conversion bookmark would also be good for low level backers,but shipping would be a pain unless they gave you enough to cover it.

Another idea that just popped in to my head and I haven't thought it through yet, so I don't even know if I think it's a good idea is a little flip book, bound on top with something like ring or comb binding, so that the book would stay open and could be propped up on the windowsill..that had no photos,no chatter,no descriptions, just ingredients,amounts, order of including,times,temperatures...

The kind of thing we jot down someone is sharing a recipe with us.  The barebones of the recipe.  That could maybe be a stretch goal to be included with anyone who backed at the hardback level...

I seldom get excited about "candy"offered along with other rewards, I am more interested in the actual item,in this case the cook book, and to answer your question about a person buying multiple cookbooks, I would see a reduced rate on the second cookbook as an opportunity. Or a reduced rate on the paper back if someone buys the hardback,kind of thing.

The ebook is never interesting to me, being visually impaired and no internet at home, it has been cumbersome to have to use the computer to get the recipes for testing...and I don't want the computer in the kitchen. I guess maybe people print the ebooks?

 
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I have a woodstove cookbook which is actually for cooking on top of a woodstove, not with a traditional wood burning stove. In the years I've been culling the book collection down, I've kept it as an emergency cook book. We use propane to cook with and I can't use my oven with its electric ignition/thermometer in a power outage, but I can use the stove top, and do.

My "trunk novel" has a protagonist responsible for a community's winter food storage, preindustrial setting. So, while I was working actively on that, I was collecting preindustrial cooking and household references. Every time I find that woodstove cookbook, until I look at it, I assume it's for cooking with Grandma's huge Monarch wood stove.

So I think the revised blurb is a great idea!

 
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Another idea for extras, possible stretch goal additions...in addition to the conversions between different measuring systems would be substitutions.

Honey for sugar type of thing.  Applesauce or flax seed when you don't have oil.  The one I love the best is bitter cocoa powder (not the chocolate milk powder) for bakers chocolate.  I don't like melting the squares of chocolate, partly because I don't like losing what sticks to the pan, or the extra step.

And I don't know if they still sell it, but they used to have a product in this country that was a plastic pouch you would squeeze the chocolate goop out of.  I never liked that because I never knew what it really was, and I did not like leaving some inside the package. (I was raised by people who lived through the depression!)  

3 level tablespoons unsweetened cocoa and 1 tablespoon butter, for every 1-ounce unsweetened baking chocolate.

 
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Kate Downham wrote:
Extra goodies to include for everyone - I’m creating some new ebooks for this, is there anything else that would be good to include? Has anyone here created something that would be suitable to include?



Perhaps a bonus index or ebooklets of these recipes sorted by special diet? I know a lot of folks who would find that helpful. Vegetarian/vegan/Keto/gluten free/AIP etc.
 
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An idea for a low tier stretch goal.    pre-printed 3x5 recipe cards.
 
Tom Rutledge
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Tom Rutledge wrote:
An idea for a low tier stretch goal.    pre-printed 3x5 recipe cards.



For Mid tiers, PDFs for printing them yourself.

For higher tiers include a fancy recipe card holder box?

 
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Looks Great. I’m in for a hard cover. Will sit nicely next to Sally Fallons “ nourishing traditions”
 
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I will buy a hardcover
 
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It's mid-October and I still can't see it on Kickstarter.

When will it go live ??
 
Kate Downham
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It will go live later this month, or early next month. I'm keen to be able to send the books out quickly after the Kickstarter ends, so I wanted to make more progress on it before the Kickstarter begins. I'll post the link here once it's ready.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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where will you post when you go live on kick starter?

I want to order a hard back in the first hour, just for fun.

I am posting on this thread in case this is where you put the notice up!

thanks

by the way I love your backyard goats book!
 
Kate Downham
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I will announce it in this thread once it's live. I am thinking it will start on a Tuesday in the afternoon, USA mountain time. Looking at the calendar, possibly the 10th of November might be the right day for it to start! I will keep you all updated as changes are made.

I will also post a preview page of the Kickstarter in this thread before it goes live, and that will have a button on it that you can click to be emailed as soon as it begins - that is probably the fastest way to find out.
 
Kate Downham
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I've written a script for the Kickstarter video and would appreciate feedback.

Hi, I’m Kate Downham. I live off the grid in the forest, cooking food on a woodstove. I have not always lived here. I grew up in a city, knowing nothing about how food was grown, how milk transforms into cheese or pork into bacon, how to preserve food, or anything that is now a part of my homestead life.

Before I moved off grid, I learned many of these skills one at a time, I found my own ways of perfecting them, while juggling family and homestead responsibilities, and this is something that has made our homesteading efforts more successful.

There are many ways to go about making bacon, cheese, bread, and preserves. Not all these ways will work without electricity, and not all these ways will give you the time to do everything else that’s needed on a homestead - a book about making bread might tell you to stand there kneading each loaf for half an hour, a book about cheese might tell you to stir your cheese constantly for forty five minutes, and information online and in books might tell you how to make bacon or jam for taste, but not how to make it in ways that will store without electricity for a year or more.

A year in an off grid kitchen is a book all about teaching these skills in a holistic way - you can learn how to make sourdough bread from wholegrain flours milled in your own home, in a way that only takes five minutes or less of hands on time. You can learn to make bacon as a storable staple food, how to preserve fruit without any pectin, using local honey instead of sugar, how to reliably ferment vegetables every time, and how to make the most important dairy foods such as butter and cheeses. You can learn the kitchen skills that are most important on an off grid homestead.

The book is not just about skills, but also about practical homestead recipes that you can make with local ingredients throughout the year.

The recipes are nutritious, filling, and made from traditional, local, real foods, from scratch. The recipes, like the skills, are created to fit into everyday homestead life. With my recipes and cooking strategies it’s possible to cook entirely from scratch every day while still having time for everything else.

So if you’re interested in learning homestead kitchen skills, and having over a hundred homestead friendly recipes, just choose a reward from the list below to help create this book.



I could try to say more about survival and food security, but I'm not really sure how, or where to fit it in. The current script takes 2 minutes 15 seconds to read, which is a good length for a video, but up to 3 minutes would probably be fine.

I will post a preview of the Kickstarter page up here for comment once it's ready! It's getting very close now!
 
Huxley Harter
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It looks good. Especially presenting your practical experience. I would only add two things:  the reader's suggested experience requirements (is it for someone who has extremely little cooking knowledge, or is a competent cook?), and an attention grabber as the first sentence or two.  For example
"Do you want to learn how to cook on an off grid homestead? Hi, I'm...." or
"Have you ever wondered how sustainable homesteaders can cook great food while still managing to get everything done? Hi,..."
Something like that that will pique their interest and pull them into the good stuff.  

Keep up the good work!  We can't wait!
 
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I like this script a lot, Kate, you do a great job in these few paragraphs setting up the motivation and philosophy of your book and what a person will get from your book that is different from all the other various cookbooks they might already have.

I think it is a really selling that you are showing how whole foods homemade from scratch can also be made simply in small steps-- we don't need processed pre-packaged stuff to make food "fast and easy,"
 
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