Frontier skills we all need

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Obviously I have too much time on my hands right now, because my heart is turning toward the old-world skills I love to hone: soap making,  bread baking, preserving and canning food, and now I want to take up a new hobby, making sauerkraut and pickling vegetables. My mother is just like me on this front. I have a jar of her homemade kraut in my fridge, and it is absolutely delicious. Just a bit tangy, not at all harsh like the stuff in the store. And it has lactobacillus in it, which is great for the digestive tract.

A few months ago Mom asked me if I would find her a crock. I asked her what for, and she said it was so she could make some sauerkraut. I think I laughed or something, and said I would look around. In the meantime, my 89-year-old mother got tired of screwing with me and went online and found her kraut crock. And I’m glad she did. 

This afternoon I was cleaning the bathrooms, and working with my makeup bag and sponges, trying to clean them. Nothing worked, and then I remembered my own soap, that I make, and I pulled some out and used it. Talk about clean! Nothing cleans like real soap. Detergents can’t do it. And it isn’t because the soap is harsh or strong, either. It is just because soap is the best degreaser available. There’s a chemical thing here that I’m not quite smart enough to talk about, but it has to do with saponification, and molecules, and the way the soap molecules gobble up the grease molecules. So tonight I got out my own soap to help me clean the stove. And now I have  a very clean stove.

Getting back to the sauerkraut, which I love, I think I will get me some crocks and start making it, and maybe some other stuff, too. For example, I would love to have some good kim chee. And some homemade kosher pickles; of course I will have to wait until this summer to have the pickles. This is going to be the best summer garden ever!

The problem with our modern society is, we have become too reliant on some distant source for all our needs. We can’t make anything ourselves, and the skills necessary for this are dying. There really isn’t anything we need for survival that we can’t do ourselves. Of course, this doesn’t include the Internet, on which this Blog resides, but just about everything else WORTH HAVING is possible without going to a store or to town. There are several places on the Internet that have information about these skills. Here are some places I have found:

Canning Pantry – sells canning, pickling and preserving supplies

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