Bacon has long been a staple of the American farm family’s diet, and now modern cooking techniques have given it greater versatility than ever before.
How to Cook With Bacon: Delicious and Mouthwatering Bacon Recipes by Tony James Miller shares some of these new and interesting ideas in three categories:
- Appetizers and salads.
- Main courses.
The recipes range from simple to complex, standard to surprising. Find new ways to:
- Garnish salads with bacon for the perfect accent.
- Wrap your favorite meats in bacon for extra flavor.
- Incorporate bacon into traditional desserts, such as apple pie.
How to Cook With Bacon is only available in eBook format, but content is high-quality. And it’s about bacon! What’s not to like?
Looking for the perfect gift for the homesteader who loves to garden and cook? Take a look at these handy cookbooks:
- All New Square Foot Gardening Cookbook
Solve the question of what to do with all that produce! This colorful little cookbook offers a variety of suggestions for making the most of homegrown vegetables and some fruits, as well. Organized by crop for easy reference. Includes harvesting and storage instructions. Read our full review.
- Stocking Up
If preserving large amounts of fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, or eggs is important to your fellow homesteader, give them a copy of this classic. Choose between the trendy, health-conscious third edition or the old-fashioned, homestyle original. Read our full review.
- Kids Cooking
Do you know young children who would love to try their hand at cooking or baking? Maybe they would enjoy receiving a copy of this easy-to-use cookbook. Get them off to a great start turning real foods into delicious breakfasts, lunches, dinners, sides, and desserts. Includes safety instructions, a glossary, step-by-step instructions for basic cooking procedures, and nearly everything else a young chef needs to know to get started. Read our full review.
Depending on where you live and your weapon of choice, you may already be getting ready for deer season.
If this is your first hunt, you probably should peruse a copy of Field Dressing and Butchering Deer: Step-by-Step Instructions, From Field to Table by Monte Burch first. This handy book contains clear instructions and a plethora of illustrations demonstrating how to shoot, dress, skin, and butcher a deer that you will enjoy eating. Safety tips are also included to help you avoid the diseases that deer can carry.
Particularly valuable are the cooking directions and recipes. Besides learning how to keep your venison from drying out while cooking, you’ll discover that this lean meat is far more versatile than you would have expected. This is just a sample of the foods that you can make with the aid of this book:
A must for the first-time hunter, and a good choice for someone looking to diversify their venison cooking options. Very useful book!
The gardening season is picking up. Some of you are probably starting to bring in the fruits of your efforts—literally.
Ready to try out some new and creative ways to use your fresh vegetables this year? Here’s a Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin that contains some ideas that you might like experiment with: Fast and Easy Ways to Cook Vegetables by Penny Noepel.
Among the recipes that you will be tempted to try are simple stir-fries, salads galore, and other interesting sides that will put your vegetables to good use. However, much of the bulletin is devoted to cooking directions, teaching you how to enjoy your produce without elaborate preparation. After all, simplest is sometimes best, right?
Some of the recipes are faster and easier than others, but this bulletin will get you off to a good start on using your homegrown produce creatively. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to enjoy the natural flavor of vegetables!
Spring is in the air at last! Are you ready to start gardening?
If you have never planted a garden before, you may still be doing your research, hunting for resources that will get you off to a good start. We’ve pulled together a short list of posts, links, and books to help you out from start to finish:
- Starting a Garden or Orchard
Our own series on how to start your very first garden. Covers water, workload, location, logistics, and plant selection.
- All New Square Foot Gardening
Gardening in a small space? Just looking for a simple alternative to the traditional row garden? Give this unique method a try. Read our full review.
- How to Plan a Garden
Step by step suggestions for getting the growing season off to a good start.
- Zone and Frost Maps
Information that every gardener needs to know.
- Vegetable Garden Planting Guide
Planting basics from K-State. Available as a free PDF download.
- Home Vegetable Gardening
A public domain work rich in gardening wisdom. Contains advice on every step of the gardening journey. Read our full review.
- Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening
This classic covers relevant gardening topics from A to Z. Here is the current edition. Read our full review.
Our own guide to growing vegetables from planting to storage. Also includes kitchen tips and instructions for saving seeds.
- 5 Tips for Deterring Garden Bugs
Bugs are inevitable in gardening, but they don’t have to confiscate the harvest. Here are our suggestions for keeping insects at bay—naturally!
- All New Square Foot Gardening Cookbook
Once you start bringing in the harvest, you may be interested in looking for new ways to cook it. This cookbook is organized by vegetable for easy reference. Read our full review.
- Bonus: The Family Garden Journal
Want to keep a record of those gardening memories and learning experiences? Try out our own 366-day journal, complete with additional planning and reference pages. Learn more.
Those of you who loved Mel Bartholomew’s unique gardening methods and his great book All New Square Foot Gardening are going to love his cookbook.
To make it easy to find ways to use your homegrown produce, Bartholomew has organized the All New Square Foot Gardening Cookbook by vegetable. Recipes range from simple to somewhat involved, and include everything from pastas to sandwiches to breads to dips. How about some of these:
- Asparagus frittata.
- Stir-fried beef and green beans.
- Blue cheese slaw.
- Berry crunch coffeecake.
- Chopped tomato and cucumber salad.
- And so many more!
Other handy information is included, such as planting schedules, harvesting and storage tips, and companion planting suggestions. Simple activities for children round out the book.
So the next time you find yourself wondering what to do with all of those beans, peppers, or cucumbers, try something new. Reach for the All New Square Foot Gardening Cookbook.
Here’s a fun and easy way for young folks to learn how to cook. What makes this cookbook unique? The directions.
Kids Cooking: Scrumptious Recipes for Cooks Ages 9 to 13 from the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library explains the cooking process clearly. Much of the information is illustrated by color photos. For instance, pictures demonstrate the difference between sliced, chopped, and minced. The uses of kitchen equipment are explained at the beginning of the book. And every recipe is written out step by step for the benefit of the novice cook.
But the recipes will last well past age 13. Here are a few favorites that may stick around:
- Apple Cinnamon Muffins.
- Mamma Mia Minestrone.
- Taco Salad.
- Old-Fashioned Mashed Potatoes.
- Spaghetti & Meatballs.
- Giant Oatmeal Cookies.
Kids Cooking includes breakfasts, soups, salads, vegetables, lunches, dinners, and desserts that are sure to please. Many of these recipes use real, unprocessed foods, some of which you may be growing in your own garden.
An excellent choice for young chefs. Highly recommended!
It’s still not too late to think about putting away some of your produce for the winter! And if you need a little help figuring out just what to do with it, allow us to recommend a classic from the Rodale folks: Stocking Up.
The original edition has seen us through many a kitchen adventure. A partial list of its numerous helpful topics includes the following:
- Choosing produce varieties.
- Freezing vegetables.
- Drying fruit.
- Storing the harvest underground.
- Making pickles and relishes.
- Making jelly.
- Juicing vegetables.
- Making cheese and butter.
- Freezing eggs.
- Making sausage.
- Roasting nuts.
- Harvesting grains by hand.
Included are recipes and step-by-step directions. Tables make it easy to quickly locate the special techniques for harvesting and preserving different kinds of fruits, vegetables, and meats.
Stocking Up is an old favorite that is currently in its third edition. The book has been extensively revised over the years. A few major changes include:
- An expanded section on drying produce.
- An expanded section on making cheese.
- Directions for making fermented milk products such as kefir.
- Tips for making homemade ice cream.
- A chapter on storing fish and other seafood.
- Ideas for storing and using sprouts.
In other words, the third edition has been modified to reflect more recent trends in cooking, not to mention gardening.
Whichever type of eating you prefer, old-fashioned or trendy, Stocking Up is an invaluable resource for country families who want to put away a little of their surplus food for later. Highly recommended!
If you’ve read the Little House series, your mouth was probably watering a good portion of the time. Hearty soups and homemade bread figured prominently in most of the books; Little House in the Big Woods was notable for maple treats and a huge supper at sugaring-off time; wild game abounded in Little House on the Prairie; and as for Farmer Boy—yum!
Perhaps you and your family wanted to try some of the old-fashioned cooking Laura Ingalls Wilder described so vividly. The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories by Barbara M. Walker will help you do just that.
This book explains old-time ingredients and cooking methods for the modern reader. While some of these ingredients may be hard to come by nowadays, some of them just might be accessible to those who raise gardens and livestock!
Most of the recipes are not quick or easy to make, but they are fascinating for their history. They remind us of a bygone day when meals were hearty and food was homegrown. They also provide uses for the produce of the woods, the garden, the field, and the barnyard. Consider some of these old-fashioned favorites:
- Corn dodgers.
- Roasted wild turkey with cornbread stuffing.
- Sourdough biscuits.
- Buckwheat pancakes.
- Pumpkin pie.
- Homemade sausage.
- Homemade butter.
- Ice cream.
Are you hungry? If you have the time and the ingredients, you may want to explore some of the old-fashioned cooking in this book. If nothing else, though, The Little House Cookbook is a great source of information on food and cooking in the late 1800s. Enjoy!