Wednesday, April 17, 2013


     I'm starting a new category.  Ever wonder what we eat around here?  Maybe not but I've had some ask.  We have lived for a year now with no refrigerator or microwave.  While I will be happy when we get the refrigerator working I haven't missed the microwave at all.  Although Super D and Sugar Bug have missed microwave popcorn a bit I like the stove popped stuff better.
     So how do we keep food cold?  We do have a refrigerator in the trailer but it's not functioning yet so I put frozen water bottles in it and use it like a cooler.  We are fortunate to have access to a freezer at the in-law's about a mile away.  To be fair it is our freezer we brought with us but we were struggling to keep it running here and didn't have a good place to put it so it was outside.  Probably not the best for it. So it is now in their garage and we share it with them.  It really works out pretty well. We are slowly learning how to keep food with out freezing it and will start canning a lot more this summer.  The future plan is to have a root cellar and not need a freezer. 
     But back to now. My goal is to post about our food once a week.  Probably through out the summer.  We try to spend very little on food and continue to move towards growing and producing all our own food.  These posts may be recipes or just information about how to keep, grow, or find certain foods.  I also hope to include cost of eating with these.   

   I'd thought I start with breakfast, around here we VERY rarely eat boxed cereal.  First because it is expensive and we can easily polish off one box to fill everyone up in a morning. Two because they are very unhealthy especially the cheap kinds we would buy because of reason one.  ;)

To replace cereal when we need a quick breakfast I make granola.  This can be made ahead of time and kept for a week to two although it never lasts that long here. Plus it can be made over the fire or on the stove or even in the oven.  Very versatile!

Campfire granola I pictured in 1 month Anniversary post.
Here is my recipe. 

Sweet Ma's Granola

1 Cup Butter
2 Cups Honey
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Almond Extract (optional)
1-2 teaspoons Cinnamon (optional)
6 1/2 cups Oatmeal (18 oz pkg) (I always use old fashion)
About 6 cups of what ever combination you want of...
Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds, Peanuts, Sunflower seeds, Coconut, Raisins, Dried Apples, Dried Cranberries, Dried Cherries, Dried Apricots, or any other nuts or fruits you think you might like :)

The method is to melt your liquids stir in oatmeal and add ins and cook.
Oven Method = Pour Granola on cookie sheets with side or large cake pans and cook at 400 degrees. Check and stir often.(every couple mins!)  It will take 20 - 30 mins. Take it out when it is browning and all is toasted.   Dump on wax or parchment paper to cool.  Watch carefully as it will burn fast if you don't keep an eye on it.
Pan Method = Melt your liquids and Cinnamon in at least a 4 qt pot.  Then add everything else and stir.  Stir often while it cooks when the bottom of you pan turns a dark brown and the granola starts sticking together it's done. Take off heat and dump on wax or parchment paper to cool.

    Now all that said. Play with this recipe.  I never make my granola the same way twice.  If  you want to stay away from butter use a different oil.  Maybe sunflower oil or canola.  (I'd steer clear of olive oil as the flavor probably wouldn't be a good match) 
When I made the Stuff in the picture I didn't have any nuts or dried fruit so I increased the ratio of oatmeal and added more spices like nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. 

      Once when we were looking for a sweet treat I made some and added peanut butter at the end to make it into balls like a cookie.  Sometimes it's okay to play with your food!

Tell me...
Did you understand my instructions? Any questions? What did you try? What combinations did you like?


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