4 1/2 cups of sifted flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 2/4 tsp salt
1 cup lard
2 cups sugar
400 ml milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips or chunks
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl cream together lard and sugar. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat well. Mix egg mixture slowly into flour mixture and add milk gradually while stirring. Fold in chips and scoop into muffin pans. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 F for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
So many people over the past year have asked me, how do I manage to feed such a large family. I honestly have to laugh every time I am asked this, even though I understand they are questioning how to feed a family of ten on a fixed income, so today between classes I thought I would take the time to share how we manage to do so on a fixed income.
To start I should share the I have hundreds of mason jars, when I say hundreds I mean I lost count after 500. Collecting mason jars was the first thing I did, I placed an ad online looking for used good quality mason jars and received an overwhelming amount of responses. Next I went out and bought a large amount of lids and rings, they now make plastic lids for mason jars if using for spice and such but I try to stay away from the plastic lids. After washing and sterilizing all the jars I placed them upside down in a pantry until needed.
Now in my kitchen you will find mason jars full of sea salt, pickling salt, cornmeal, cornstarch, baking soda and every herb used in the kitchen. I have to say though, since moving here my kitchen has become a lot more crowded as I do not have a lot of space. In my cupboards you will find canned carrots, beans, pickles, tomatoes, relish, mustard, honey and jellies. If it is able to be canned then into a mason jar it goes in preparation for winter and early spring.
I buy my flour and oats in bulk at the moment so I have 5 gallon pails full stacked up, but if you do not bake this would not be a good idea. I can go through 20 kg of flour in one week or less feeding our household.
As for milk we buy 4 to 8, 4l bags weekly from the nearest grocer and try to stick to apple juice or cider but do occasionally buy other juices such as cranberry.
I guess because we do not eat out and I prepare all our food from scratch, it cost less and we get more. When it comes to meats we raise our own chickens, ducks, rabbit, lamb and pigs currently and just before the move sent our cows to the abattoir so we do not pay sky rocket prices for our meat and we know their are no added chemicals or such. What we raise is what we eat.
So basically when you really break everything down, because we grow our own vegetables and raise our own meat and eggs, currently we only need to purchase flour milk and juice on a regular basis. So our grocery bill is only about $100 and we shop roughly 3 weeks out of a month so we spend $300 a month. Now that does not include our hard work or the supplement of feed over the winter, but even including supplement each month it only totals $100. So our family of 10 spends $400 a month to eat healthy and know where our food comes from.
What you must remember though is that we also pay the abattoir so just for an example last year we paid to get our three pigs and two cows slaughtered, we paid $350 for our pigs and $400 for our two cows. Mind you we cut and wrapped ourselves, so in a year we paid $750 for meat which lasts us 12 months, and in 12 months we spend roughly $4,800 on grocery and supplement to total $5,550.
I am pretty sure a family of four, who eats out and does not raise their own food can double to triple our food costs, don't you?
So remember buy in bulk, know your prices, rotate your groceries and save!
I do not know anyone who would ever argue the fact.....Everyone loves home made bread! But what most don't realize is that most of the bread that is sold at the bakery in your local grocery store is still full of the unknown! This is why home made is the best, not only do you know what goes into it but you can add to it and create your own bread creations.
Personally, I don't care for the taste of store bought bread, I find it tastes too doughy. So in our kitchen we have many different bread recipes to keep me busy and to give us a change. With a large family we can go through two to five loaves of bread a day depending on our meals, so on a slow day I tend to make a few extra loaves to freeze. Just remember if freezing bread to use an airtight freezer bag or container and only keep bread for up to a month....always rotate! Now for first time bread makers, sometimes your loaves may come out lop-sided or uneven. Don't worry to much its all about trial and error, I have to say when I started making bread I was so upset because it didn't look like other peoples loaves but with constant baking I figured out what needed to be done. Now don't get me wrong, I am no where close to perfect, I still have my flops from time to time but with eight children on the homestead it really doesn't matter what it looks like as soon as it is out of the oven and a bit cool it disappears!
Here is one of our bread recipes for you to try!
In a large bowl, dissolve 2 1/4 teaspoons of active yeast with 2 cups warm water. Let sit 10 minutes until creamy. Mix in 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup soft margarine or butter, 1 egg, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 2 1/2 cups of flour. Using a spoon mix until dough is smooth. Add 3 1/2 more cups of flour 1/2 cup at a time and knead until dough pulls together. Place in oiled bowl cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down dough and knead for 3 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes then divide dough into two equal portions place in greased loaf pans and let sit covered until doubled in bulk. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes or until nicely golden brown on top. Remove for oven, let cool and slice. Enjoy!
From our Homestead to yours!
All Recipes we share on our blog are made in our kitchen and yield to feed a family of 10-12.