As part of goal to become more resilient we’ve decided to avoid supermarkets as a source of food. We’ve gone cold turkey and are only using it for things like toilet paper now. Eventually we will fun alternatives to other supermarket items as well, but baby steps.
As part of the changes, we have to find alternatives to pre-made lunch box items for Pip. Today I’m planning on making some cookies. I like to do double or triple batches and freeze the extras, this means I cut down on baking and frees up time for other food prep, like cheese making (restarting this on Thursday) and extra food prep such as the soaking beans you see above.
This is the first time I’ve ever used beans that weren’t fresh or out of a can. I’m trying with the overnight soaking method, I’ve got the beans soaking in three times as much water as beans. Another method I cam across suggests placing the beans in cold water, bringing them to the boil and then letting them soak for 1-2 hours. To cook them you then need to drain them and cook in fresh water for 1-1.5 hours. They can be kept for up to 4 days in the fridge or frozen at this point and then added dishes.
These beans are destined for a nice batch of chili tomorrow night. So I guess I will need to start dinner at around 4 to ensure its all cooked by 5.30. I’m hoping that 2 cups of beans plus 250g mince beef will make a lovely large pot and I can freeze at least half of it.
The main ingredients I’ve had trouble replacing from the supermarket just now include ice cream, butter, tasty cheese and oil (other then olive oil). I’ll be replacing the cheese with my own homemade cheeses and I’ve got a local source of raw milk. Hopefully this milk will result in enough excess cream as well for various sweet treats, maybe even ice cream every now and then. Instead of flat breads I’ve started using crepes, but I’m not sure I want to do these every week. I’ve started cooking bread again but I’d like to add crumpets, English muffins, and flat breads on regular rotation.
The real problem for us isn’t so much finding ideas for alternatives or making our own replacements, its me (Tracey) needing to do all the cooking and prep work while also trying to do some weaving, looking after Pip, cooking regular meals and getting enough rest so I don’t crash (becoming complete useless to do anything).