Each year, another skill or recipe is added to the list of methods I use to fill my larder. Each year, my self sufficiency increases. Last year, I made several batches of wine. Following the recipe to the letter, each preparation was an event. This year wine making confidence has built to a point of aptitude and adventure as I explore the wine making of other fruits and combinations of fruits.
This year I have explored the use of several herbs that have just magically appeared in my garden. Mullein has sprouted up all over. I made some garlic and mullein oil for ear aches for this winter. Yarrow has also had quite a year in the garden. I have a tincture of yarrow for wounds and I have dehydrated some for other purposes. The rose hips are plentiful this year and I will make some jelly with it. It will be saved as special jelly this winter when we need an extra boost of Vitamin C on our toast. For many of these preparations I use two books, The Medicine Maker's Handbook by John Green and Common Herbs for Natural Health by Juliette de Bairacli Levy.
With apple season here, I have a long list of things I want to make. New this year is apple pie filling. I think this would be an easy way to throw together a crisp, pie or extra treat on the oatmeal in the morning. I am also going to try making apple cider vinegar from the scraps of cores and peels. This looks like a great recipe. I would add putting a small label with the date on the jar to help keep track of when your vinegar is mature. I will have several jars going over the next few weeks and I want to keep consistency in the making.
All these skills and recipes reflect an older wisdom of the kitchen that has been lost to the microwave and the instant dinner in a box. It is an exciting to learn and practice and hopefully pass the knowledge on.