Homesteaders take on many time-consuming tasks themselves. For an efficient kitchen, keep the following supplies on hand.
A short bucket in the kitchen can be used to catch water that would ordinarily go down the drain while you’re waiting for tap water to heat up. You can then use this water in the garden, for livestock or for washing outside equipment.
Preserving food is integral to the homesteading lifestyle. Mason jars of various sizes will prove useful for canning fruits and vegetables as well as storing seeds and nuts in the pantry. You can also make mason jar candles that will serve you well if the power goes out.
Re-usable kitchen towels and napkins replace paper towels and napkins. You can quickly make these yourself using a serger and suitable fabric cut into 10 x 10 squares.
Stack your cloth napkins in baskets near the sink and on the kitchen table. Baskets are also invaluable for holding fresh garden produce that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
Wind cotton twine around the stems of freshly cut herbs from your garden and hang in a sunny location to dry. Twine can also be used to knot trellises for growing beans and cucumbers.
Use cheesecloth while making homemade almond milk. Blend 1 part softened almonds with two parts water. Pour the mixture into a strainer lined with cheesecloth and squeeze into a clean mason jar. Refrigerate and use within two days. The remaining almond puree in the cheesecloth can be used to make almond shortbread cookies.
Extra set of inexpensive pots
Reserve a cheap set of pots exclusively for making homemade soaps and candles. You don’t want to use the same pots for cooking as you do for melting wax.
Countertop compost bin
This can be a large coffee can with a lid, or a bucket specifically designed to hold fruit and vegetable trimmings while preparing meals. When full, add to your outdoor compost pile.
A hand-cranked countertop wheat grinder makes easy work of grinding wheat for homemade flour. Using hand-grown wheat or store-bought wheat berries, simply grind enough for your immediate baking needs. The superior nutrition from freshly ground wheat makes this a necessity for all homesteaders.
Low-cost, cast-iron meat grinders clamp to your kitchen countertop and are removable for cabinet storage. Even if you don’t keep livestock, you’ll find this tool convenient for grinding low-cost cuts of meat for meatloaf, stews or burger patties.
Keep your homestead pantry stocked at all times with these items: flour or wheat berries, yeast, dried beans and lentils, salt and seasonings and dried pastas. These will provide for many different types of hardy meals, even if no fresh meat or produce is available.
You will be doing lots of container labeling on prepared food containers or storage mason jars. Your labeling supplies could be as simple as a spool of masking tape and black Sharpie, or you could invest in one of several varieties of a label maker. Label maker tape is harder to remove and best used for permanent labels, whereas masking tape comes off easily and is more suitable for temporary labels.
Make up a cleaning bucket with vinegar, baking soda and castile soap. Various combinations of these inexpensive ingredients can be used to clean almost everything in your home. Baking soda and water mixed into a paste is a superb oven cleaner. Castile soap and a little olive oil make a fragrant hand wash. Vinegar and hot water disinfects your kitchen floor and countertops.
Your homestead kitchen will be the warm and cozy center of your home where your family will gather for nourishment. Fill it with the supplies you need to care for your loved ones.