The Finished Jar of Homemade Horseradish

The kitchen is where I can and cook and dry and freeze most of our food. It’s a journey in frugal-fun living.

At TFW, I share what I do in the kitchen. You can find my recipes and how to’s about canning and preserving, freezing, dehydrating, gardening, and just celebrating the home-cooked meal.

Family dinners are sacred around here, and I love seeing how others make their family dinners special as well.

One of the ways I manage my food budget is by food planning. If you think it’s just for hardcore home cooks, think again. Food planning means control of your budget and time. I love knowing that I am going to be making for dinners all week long, and since I don’t have to worry about coming up with something last minute, we don’t resort to fast food or convenience food runs when everyone is starving.

It’s always better to know how to cook 25 foods 100 different ways, rather than trying to break the bank buying 100 different foods and trying to find ways to eat them. I am a home cook, but do have my favorite helps in the kitchen. Here are the few items that I would be sad to let go of in my kitchen:

  1. My breadmaker – I buy my breadmakers from the thrift store and never pay more than 10$ for one. They often end up at the thrift because people don’t know how useful they are. Once you buy one, look online for endless recipes ( I often post what I make) and you can bake for the rest of your life and never spend more than 5 minutes dumping in ingredients.
  2. My pressure cooker – not to be confused by a pressure canner (another device I couldn’t live without) but an actual cooker that uses high pressure to cook your food lickety split. A family favorite is pressure cooked chicken soup. I wrote a blog here Pressure cooked chicken soup if you want to try it.
  3. My cookbooks – No, it’s not a singular appliance, but my cookbooks are certainly tools. I collect cookbooks; especially old ones from the days when people actually cooked from scratch. Reading them gives me ideas for creating my own recipes and how flavors might taste with each other before mixing them. I can’t imagine not having my cookbooks to peruse while I am waiting for the oven timer to go off.

There are other things that make my kitchen mine, but these are the main things I need to have around me while I create food for my family.