Baby steps toward food independence: nuts, nutella, apple juice, cider, apple cider vinegar, wine, bread & jams
This beautiful collection of foraged nuts represents my current stash. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, chestnuts & acorns, all of them picked within a few 100 meters of our home. It took an entire afternoon to crack 400g of hazelnuts with that hammer for a sugar-free nutella recipe I wanted to try, but it was worth it in the end!
The original nutella uses more sugar & palm oil than anything else, with only 14% nuts! Mine is around 90% nuts, sweetened with maple syrup and a dash of vanilla. And just so you know, real cacao would have been preferable to this processed chocolate. It was out of date and needed eating so I just went with it.
After roasting the hazelnuts (and doing my best to skin them) I processed until smooth.
Finally I melted the other ingredients in a hot bowl and mixed it all together. In the end it could have probably done with a bit of sugar but no matter, it will still all be finished in a week.
Have also been adding walnuts to my bread mix recently which has been lovely.
The acorns will eventually be turned into flour and used to bolster our current flour stash. With food shortages on the horizon I am always looking for sustainable replacements or additions to things.
A decent video on what to do with acorns here if you're interested. They grow on all continents and represent an amazing food source completely unknown by most, so you really should be interested ;)
Remember those apples I told you about in the last post?
They ended up as apple juice for the kids (left), cider for the adults (center) & apple cider vinegar for everyone (right). We used the left over apple cores to make the vinegar.
I racked & bottled the cider a few days ago, after two weeks of fermenting. Didn't even need to add yeast to the juiced apples. Plenty of natural yeast in there already.
We filled 26 wine bottles in the end, with one party sized bottle!
Two of the corked bottles have since exploded, so these swing cap bottles are definitely preferable.
I added sugar before bottling and it still needs to sit for another week before it is ready but even now it tastes amazing and my mind is consistently blown by how alcoholic it becomes after just two weeks of sitting there, without adding anything at all. If I had only known this as a teenager!
Here is the vinegar after straining out the mushy apple cores.
Like the cider it will need to sit for a further week or so to develop its intensity. And if I understand correctly, this batch can be used as a mother to create more.
Interesting to note that the only difference between cider & vinegar production is the vessel you keep it in. One permits the air to enter, while the other does not.
The red & white wine (which needed yeast) ended up in these glass containers and is still fermenting a little after a month. Baby cat likes to sit and watch the bubbles.
I've not talked much about my jam production this year but I can assure you I have been busy. Opening the fridge door now I can see fig & vanilla, red grape jelly & apricot jam. My favourite is actually fig, cinnamon & ginger, an incredible combination. And now that everyone in my family enjoys at least one of them, we will never again need to buy jams!
In our courtyard things are still looking great. Ripe figs.
Even the banana trees are flowering.
Bit beyond his reach for now ;)
Incredibly beautiful right? Let's see if we will be eating home-grown bananas before it gets too cold for them...
Over in the garden things are also looking great. Two varieties of lettuce coming up here.
The ginger is currently in flower, amazingly scented and lightly flavoured flowers.
At the base are their desirable roots.
Looking ready for me to cut a few out before winter.
We created a new kids area with a teepee, hidden behind the Jerusalem artichokes
It has been amazing to see how much they love it there.
Decorating their house & garden as they wish.
Yesterday Esteban planted peas in his little garden, which will be ready to harvest in the spring.
Here he is with our harvest of the day :)
Playing Mr Funny-man as usual.
In other news, am very happy to announce the arrival of @opidia to our little village here on the French side of the Pyrenees Mountains. Later today we will be setting up an office in her house (away from the delightful yet not always desirable distraction of children) as a little HQ of sorts, for crypto trading and planning our future. This last period of the bull market we are moving into now will see insane price moves so one would be prudent to be poised and ready to take full advantage.
So I think that's it for now, but I would like to take this opportunity to remind you all that something great is brewing here in the South of France and perhaps if you are brave like @opidia you would like to join us on our mission (to live freely forever!) at this early stage before we buy land? I cannot stress enough the importance of getting away from built up areas as soon as possible and focusing your attention on food independence. As you have seen in this post we are situated in a perfect part of the world for this, so just drop me a line at [email protected] and let's make something happen!
Love & Light everyone 🌱