Books that I am LOVING:
These are some books that I think anyone who is determined to be self-sufficient or even just dabble in self-reliant living should have on their bookshelf.
I know this might sound funny, but The Little House Cookbook is one that I would love to have if I had to cook from scratch with only things I have/am raising/growing/foraging/hunting/fishing. If you are familiar with the Little House on the Prairie set of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, you'll know that much of the stories revolve around food. In 19th century rural America your days were spent making sure you have food to eat now and in the lean winter months. Barbara M. Walker uses tons of detail in describing what the Ingalls and Wilder families would have done and used, and then translates it into modern day terms. It think I relate so well because growing up on a farm we did some of the same things. My dad was a hunter, my grandma a gardener, and my mom could make anything into a meal fit for a king.
**********Now that you are building your food storage, how do you cook it if there is no gas or electricity? Don't be afraid of you food storage...just Dutch It! has a huge variety of recipes using basic food storage items, a dutch oven, and charcoal. I recently took a class on dutch oven cooking and we made a breakfast casserole, chicken enchiladas, and 2 different desserts in dutch ovens. They all turned out amazing! Dutch oven cooking is definitely a skill that will be handy to have in an emergency. We've done a little bit of cooking this way while camping, and there a lot of websites with recipes, but the recipes in this book use things like dried beans, wheat, powdered milk, and other food storage staples, AND tell you how to store charcoal and tons of other tips and tricks to dutch oven cooking. This would make an awesome Christmas present to the budding outdoor chef in your family.
Canning for a New Generation is my new favorite cookbook. I picked it up at the library, keep picking it up at home, and have tried a few things in it. It is plum FULL of canning recipes, other cooking and preserving tips; enough to make your mouth water! This book is full of incredibly detailed instructions and beautiful but not overwhelming photographs. It is now on my wish list because I need a copy of my own. Very precise recipes, with tips throughout like “Fruit-Juice Stain Removal” and recipes to use your canned goods in.
What do I want to try?
Charred Tomato and Chile Salsa pg. 169
Cardamom Plum Jam p 117
Persimmon Pudding pg 215 with directions for freezing Persimmon pulp.
Pumpkin Chips pg 228
Lemon Curd pg 245 (refrigerated)
Hot Cumin Pickled Summer Squash pg 159 (always an abundance of squash, and I’m a lover of cumin)
If you are truly in a survival situation, the Emergency Disaster Survival Guidebook is the book you want to have with you! The author covers a LOT of different areas in a general way. If I paired this with a Boy Scout Handbook I think I would definitely be prepared! It is not very large and heavy and I have it in my 72-hour kit.
Natural Meals in Minutes also has a lot of recipes that utilize basic food storage items and includes a whole section on sprouting. Also included are shopping lists, a glossary, and how to make bean flour to use in baked goods for a more complete protein and fiber.
This is just a sampling of excellent books. I have not been compensated or coerced into recommending these books and none of these links are affiliate links, just letting you know what is available and would be worth owning!