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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.