Do you want to learn the kitchen skills that helped our ancestors to thrive in harsh times?
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.
Even if you don’t plan on going off the grid or having a homestead, these recipes can help you to make use of frugal and seasonal foods, whether they’re from your garden, a CSA, or from the wild. The recipes will work for you, wherever you are.
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.
Will the recipes work on the grid?
Yes! The recipes have been tested on gas and electric stoves, as well as wood stoves. You can confidently make these recipes anywhere.
What do you mean by real food?
Pretty much anything our great great great great grandparents would have recognised as food, long before the advent of supermarkets and factories. In this book there are vegetables, meat, dairy, eggs, fruit, grains, pseudograins, honey, and tree sap sugars. Real food can also be called traditional food.
Real food in this book is also food as it comes from the homestead - grains are whole and milled on simple technology. There’s no preservatives, packaging, or weird ingredients, just things that you could grow, raise, or make on your own homestead.
Are there many pictures?
Yes! Most recipes have a full-page colour photo on the opposite page, plus plenty of smaller photos throughout the book.
Do I need any special equipment to use this book?
No! All you need is a stuff that can be found anywhere - a sharp knife, pots and pans, wooden spoons, and maybe an analogue weighing scale for some preserving recipes.
What if I want to order more than one book?
I'm using a new Kickstarter feature which will allow you to easily add extra books on to your pledge as add-ons. I will explain how to do this in detail in an update.
Are the recipes gluten-free?
Mostly. Everything except for the sourdough baking is gluten-free and mostly grain-free. There are also some gluten-free and grain-free cakes and baked goods.
Are there many paleo/primal recipes?
Is this book suitable for vegetarians?
Vegetarians will get a lot out of this book if they can ignore the meat recipes. There are a lot of tasty egg, dairy, vegetable, and grain dishes to enjoy.
Is this book suitable for vegans?
Some vegans that are good at substituting ingredients might get something out of it, but if you are someone that has a panic attack whenever you see the word ‘lard’ or ‘butter’, or who expects to see vegetable fats listed as alternatives to these nourishing local fats, this is probably not the book for you.
Is the book family friendly?
Yes! I have designed the book to be one that I'm comfortable for my children to read cover to cover - the language and subject matter is family friendly. The recipes have also been taste tested by children, including picky eaters.
Will the book be easy to use?
The book has been designed with cooking in mind - the instructions and ingredients are clear, the ingredients in a single column so you can easily glance at it from across the room as you make your recipe. There will be an index by ingredient, so if you have a glut of apples, zucchini, or anything else to deal with, you can easily find recipes to make with it.
Where is the book printed?
I’m using IngramSpark for the printer, who print books in the USA, UK, and Australia. Your book will be printed in the location closest to you.
Which measurements does the book use?
Both metric and imperial weights are provided, as well as US cup, tablespoon, and teaspoon measurements when appropriate.
What makes this book different from other cookbooks?
There’s a lot that makes this book different. The recipes have been tested to keep well without a fridge. In many books the preserving and fermenting recipes are designed to be stored in a fridge once they’re opened. My sauces, jams, ferments, and preserves will keep on a cool pantry or larder shelf for months after being opened, making for less energy use and waste. This book teaches skills, and the recipes are 100% from scratch - no packaged anything.