Reflections on lifestyle integration

I’ve been thinking about integrated living for awhile. (most especially on this project where I was trying to understand design choices in a Norwegian Stabur, and more recently trying to learn to use my oven) and yesterday I made the best I’ve ever had. I thought I’d share the recipe because it connects to integrated living. As you read this, play John McCutcheon song, “Water from another time” that talks about someone before to you saving a bit of water so that you’d have it to prime the pump (and you should do the same).

Soup from another time

Have your mother-in-law cook turkey for Thanksgiving, take the gravy with giblets and some of the white meat.
Go to the cabin and make Turkey noodle soup with some of the gravy, meat and assorted veggies; save the leftovers.
Roast some beef, but find its tough. Cube and make beef veggie soup; save the left overs.
Make ravioli with commercial spaghetti sauce doctored with lots of sautéed garlic; dump the leftovers back into sauce jar.
Make Bubble and Squeak, grate too much cheddar cheese, save the extra cheese. (Alas, we do this recipe from scratch, rather than from left overs.)
Make chicken korma over white rice; save a leftover serving of rice and topping.

In large pot combine all ingredients above (except cheese) with enough water. Simmer slowly until hot. Stir in cheese. Eat with bread; save the leftovers.

Today I have been making potato bread in and around my other Sunday chores. I cut corners and used instant mashed potatoes; should have boiled extra spuds for the Bubble and Squeak and saved a cup. With the bread I’ll bake the last of our pumpkins to make pie later in the week. BTW, turns out its much easier to clean a pumpkin that has frozen solid and then been allowed to thaw enough to be cut but with lots of ice crystals still inside. The guts are just not gooey (work fast, they thaw quickly).

This reflection is intended to help me remember the satisfaction of these experiences and to encourage me to move forward towards tighter integrations (for example the pumpkin seeds just went into the toaster oven, when they could well have been toasted in the residual heat of the mud oven if I were using it for the bread and pumpkin. (I’m not using it because its outdoors and we are having 20 mph (gust to 40) winds and the air temp is 32F., need to have a baking shed heated by the oven. (maybe partly baking shed, partly sauna?))

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