Part of our move to living off grid has challenged my meal plans. I have had to adapt to not having the freezer to grab from my stock pile for a quick meal. But, I have been adjusting more. I have had to adapt at new places to shop etc. and find all the secret places the locals shop. This last week finally feels successful in that we used of our purchases and pickings from the plans. The meat stayed fresh for the 7 days in my 7 day cooler and out of the 2 bags of ice I bet I only lost ¼ of the ice. Now, it is cold enough to keep the ice 100% frozen as well as the food almost 100% frozen by keeping outside, so that is great for us!
Another challenge has been not having a predictable oven. I guess I shouldn't say the oven is not predictable as much as I need my husband to light it these first few times until I get the hang of it. So, I cannot wait to put the roast in the oven until he gets home etc. I have 4 burners that I do not feel I need to wear a helmet to light them J. I have gotten real creative with cooking directly on top of the wood stove because of the oven issue. The wood stove does not have a thermostat of course. I have been playing it by feel and smell. Yesterday I cooked a huge pot roast in a Dutch oven on top of a 1" rack on the woodstove. I put the meat in the oven at about 11 am and cooked until 4 pm. Just like a crock pot I guess. It worked fine. I have done lots of casserole type things as well. I want to try bread next… stay tuned.
Yesterday I stocked up down the road at the staples store with about 3 weeks to a month of non-perishables. Instead of buying our meat this week(s) we plan to butcher our broiler chickens and consume and pressure cook them. We have 2 deer aging in the shop to consume and pressure cook. Thanksgiving will be 1 of our Bourbon Red Turkeys, although the children are not excited about this as they said I am killing one of the "Clevenger Brothers" (the kids made up this name) . Thanksgiving will be fairly simple this year. I love that each day as I cling more and more to this simple lifestyle I can look at our dinner table and see more of our very own food that we have grown and raised. It is so rewarding to know where it came from and as I cook with it I feel so blessed that we raised it from the bottom up. This year will be our first Thanksgiving apple pies from our very own apples. Next year I want to have our own pumpkins for pies… We forgot and carved this years J. It just keeps going on and on… I wonder if I have a "boggy" enough place on the farm to grow our own cranberries. At any rate I feel like I am getting back in the groove of our family meal planning while living without electricity….