I am an Urban Homesteader!

*in spirit!*

This post is part of the Urban Homesteaders Day of Action.  For some background on Urban Homesteading, visit Crunchy Chicken.

Since we’re not really urban homesteaders, I’ve decided to participate by preparing a meal that celebrates some of the ideals of urban homesteading: growing and producing your own food, increasing self-sufficiency, reducing waste and energy consumption, and building community.  This is the story of tonight’s supper!

It’s late winter, so I’m really depending on our stored food and the community food system.  My garden is buried under snow, but I can still make a local, sustainable feast. 

piglets 007

My husband’s family raised this pig at their home.  We have a freezer full of pork, bacon, ham and sausage, all from one pig.  We know how he was raised, what he ate, how he was treated and how his life ended because we were there. 

ed pig

We believe that if you eat meat, you need to respect the animal that’s nourishing you.  We’re thankful to this pig for feeding our family.

Both sides of our family make maple syrup (and are in the process right now!) It’s a part of our New England heritage, and we love to use maple syrup to glaze meat, as a sugar substitute for baking, and of course on pancakes and waffles.

walston-tapping-trees-008

When you make it yourself, you really appreciate the work that goes into maple syrup, and the 40:1 ratio of sap to syrup!

I feel that apples represent all the beauty of local food.  Break away from the bland monochromatic mush at the supermarket.  Grow, pick or preserve your own, and you’ll never be able to go back.  While our own trees are still a few years away from producing, my family’s farm is our source for apples. 

I grew up surrounded by apple and peach trees, but even tiny lots can fit a few dwarf trees. 

You don’t have to be 100% self-sufficient.  Do what you can, then support local farms and artisans.  The staples that I’m using today come from around our state, through a delivery service called Connecticut Farm Fresh Express.  Locally grown and ground white cornmeal, milk in refillable glass bottles, butter, free-range eggs, honey, acorn squash, garlic, shallots and salad greens round out our supper tonight.

While the words Urban Homesteading may have been trademarked, the lifestyle is not for profit.  Urban Homesteading is for the good of all Earth’s creatures.

Recipes

Maple Mustard Crusted Pork Roast

  • 2-3 lb pork loin roast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, cut into slivers
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

Sprinkle pork loin with salt and pepper all over.  With a sharp paring knife, cut tiny slices all over the pork, and stuff the garlic into them.  This will make the whole roast taste garlicky.  Spread the mustard and maple syrup onto the pork.  Bake in a 375 F oven for about 45 minutes to one hour, until the internal temperature reaches 155 F.  Let the roast rest for 10 minutes (the termperature will increase to 160 F while resting), covered, before serving. 

New England Johnny Cakes Cornbread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, and pour into a bread pan that is greased with butter.  Bake 30-35 minutes until top is browned and bread is cooked through.  Slice and serve hot with maple syrup for Johnny Cakes.

Sauteed Cinnamon Apples

  • 3 peeled and thinly sliced cooking apples
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • water or apple cider as needed
  • cinnamon to taste

Combine all ingredients in saucepan.  Cook over low heat until apples are very soft, adding small amounts of water as needed so the apples don’t burn or dry out.  No sugar necessary!

Maple-Roasted Winter Squash

  • 1/2 of a large winter squash, peeled and diced in large chunks
  • 2-3 shallots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp butter, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp  maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a glass baking dish.  Bake in a preheated 375 F degree oven, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and browned, about 1 hour.

Remember that every meal has a story. 

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9 Comments

Filed under Food, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Recipes, Sustainable Living, What's for Supper?

9 responses to “I am an Urban Homesteader!

  1. That must be some amazing pork!
    I really appreciate how you live, and that you are doing your part for the good of the planet.
    Love, Dawn

  2. Whether we’re rural, urban or suburban, we’re all doing the same thing. It’s an important and life changing act.

  3. Jennifer Hamilton

    The photo of your baby and the red apple is wonderful! I didn’t grow up around apples and peaches but rather strawberries and oranges. Either way, buying locally is a good message for us all.

  4. Pingback: So you say you want a revolution? | Seasons in the Soil

  5. Love your post, cousin!

  6. I love the story of your meal and the photos, especially!
    I especially appreciate your explanation of “urban homesteading” and that it’s for the good of the planet and not for profit.

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