Carol’s Kitchen

I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but my husband and I are big ‘foodies’. When we were first married, we went the ‘back to nature’ route. We raised all our own meat and had a huge garden. I have a lot of wonderful memories from those years.

I attempted to make homemade cheese (put too much weight on it and ended up with the hardest brick of cheese you ever saw.) Had to grate it to use it but I enjoyed the experience.

When we moved from the 1 3/4 acres we were renting to buying five acres, I added more skills to my list. We lost our big garden because I found out you can’t garden in a pond or in timber but I purchased a big, ten tray dehydrator and learned how to make jerky, fruit leather, and dry vegetables and fruits. (I learned real fast that drying onions isn’t a pleasant experience and really, why would you need to? But I had to try it once.)

I found out how to make homemade butter. I enjoyed that experience but finding a farmer who would let me have raw milk was next to impossible and my husband wouldn’t let me buy a cow. I suspect he knew who would end up doing the milking. He nixed the goat for the same reason and don’t even ask me what he said when I asked him about bees.

From the five acres, we moved to a small town (pop.400). We had a nice big, garden (full of snakes that I was forbidden to kill. I didn’t touch a single one, but I put a bounty on them, and paid the boy who mowed our grass extra if he could take some out. Snakiest ground I ever walked on.)

My husband decided to make his own beer. I found the experience interesting but I still can’t figure out how I, a complete tea-totaler, ended up on dish-washing duty. Do you know how hard it is to clean narrow necked bottles? Needless to say, I discouraged the beer making with every ounce of my being.

In that house, I also learned how bad rotten sauerkraut smells, and in the near future I’ll write my experience about some other rotting food. But not right now, it was a humiliating (but funny) experience and I’m trying to maintain focus on my topic.

From the small town, we finally purchased my dream property. Ten and a half acres. The bad news was the land was clay. Non-perking, hard a rock clay, so gardening on it wasn’t a good experience. But, our foodie impulse blossomed.

I got my husband a smoker for Christmas one year. And he learned how to cure and smoke his own bacon. I am so spoiled, it’s unbelievable. He made homemade sausage. I won’t buy store bought any more. When my older son insisted we buy a BUD (big ugly dish) my husband and I discovered cooking shows. From there we progressed to the Food Network and that’s all it took.

Watching those chefs on TV has given both my husband and me the false confidence that we, too, can make anything we choose to make.

Under this heading, CAROLS Kithcen, I will be placing articles on our cooking adventures. Our spectacular successes and our monumental failures. I will be giving reviews on cookbooks and recipes and sharing our ‘foodie’ experiences. Please be advised that I seem to be unable to write about food without humor. And I seem to have a compulsion to admit our biggest, baddest mistakes. I’ve been told I have a talent for describing food. Only time will tell. Check back often and see what happens in, Carol’s Kitchen.

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