A question that goes through my brain frequently is “What would Ma Ingalls have done?” I think this because there’s a lot of information out there for our modern homesteaders/sustainable livers to delve into. And often you come across very strong “YOU MUST DO THIS” kind of statements or… your cheese won’t work… or your milk will go bad… or all your chickens will die… or your goats will get sick…. or… or… or….
So I find myself stressed out a lot of the time because I’m afraid that I haven’t done it all right! I don’t have all my ducks in a row!!! It’s all going to fail! And that creates pressure, and makes the whole thing a lot less fun! And I think if you can’t make your lifestyle fun, why do it?
I’m learning to think differently. “Eat the meat and throw away the bones” is a good thing to apply to any advice/information you get from online sources. I have to remember that what these people have done is working for THEM! And if I can take something from what they’ve done that works and make it work for us they cool!! If not, I’m sure there’s another way.
Ma Ingalls didn’t have modern conveniences like, oh, electricity!! She wasn’t able to chill their milk to 40* as quickly as possible by submerging the jars in a bucket full of ice water! Yet they drank fresh milk, made cheese, made cottage cheese and it was all good! She wasn’t able to control the temperature and humidity levels in a “cheese cave” to make it age just perfectly, yet they ate cheese and it was good! She used sourdough starter when she had no yeast or baking soda. She created a candle out of axle grease and a button! She used a grated carrot to color her cream so she would have “pretty” butter! Awesome!
Therefore I’m looking for ways to do things as sustainably and easily as possible. With the thought in mind that they did this successfully long before there was packaged mesophilic starter cultures for cheese, or powdered lye to make soap with. If they could do it with the things they had and a little ingenuity then I can surely do it now with all the modern gadgets and gizmos as well. But I don’t have to stress about getting it perfect or following someone’s special formula down to the smallest detail. I’ll experiment with what we have and if it doesn’t work, feed it to the chickens and try again! 😉
Now I’m fixin’ to make some hard cheese for the first time using our very own clabbered milk instead of the mesophilic starter! Lets see what happens! 😉