Making the Most With What We Have: The Carew Family

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Making the Most With What We Have

Welcome to our series here on Little House Living, “Making the Most With What We Have”! This series will showcase individuals and families all over the US (and even outside the US!) that are making the most of what they have. We know that you can be a modern homesteader without 160 acres of land and a mule so this series will share the stories of these families so we can get a peek into their lives and learn from each other.

Today enjoy this interview with The Carew Family about her experience with Making The Most With What You Have!

Where Do You Live?

Ontario, Canada in a farmhouse on 2 acres in the country.

Where Do You Live?

Ontario, Canada in a farmhouse on 2 acres in the country.

What Are Your Dreams and Goals for Your Homesteading Journey?

We just moved here last Summer, so we are fairly new into our journey. We have chickens, but we want to start our very first garden this year, along with adding Nigerian Dwarf Goats, pigs, and a farm dog eventually. I make soap (something I’ve learned since moving out here) so I want to grow lavender for the soap and use our very own goat’s milk for it as well one day. We want to be more self-sufficient and hope that each year we achieve more of our dreams and goals. We want to do more canning, and eventually, raise some of our meat here on our homestead.

What Are Some Things You Have Learned So Far?

We have learned how to care for baby chicks and chickens. We have also learned what not to do, like how you should NOT build mesh sides on a brooder box. Those baby chicks made such a mess! We have learned how to use our woodstove for our primary heat, and how to layer up to stay warm! I didn’t even know how to start a fire before I moved here, and now I am the primary “fire-keeper” while my husband is at work.

We also learned how to make an ice rink for kids with only snow and water -no liner! We couldn’t afford a liner so we had to make the most of what we had, and what we had was water and snow!

I have also learned to make soap and even plan to take it to a local market to sell.

After driving into a ditch one night on our country road I discovered that I have to learn to take care of myself out here because help can be very far away. That sometimes means taking precautions and having plan in case of emergency.

Share Your Favorite Recipe!

We love our homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza. We use leftover chicken from a whole roasted chicken for the pizza.

3 cups warm water
5 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp honey
7 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup oil (I use canola)
1 cup cornmeal
For toppings
1 cup BBQ Sauce
5 cups grated marble cheese
sliced red onions
leftover chicken

Preheat oven to 425F
Mix together your yeast, honey, and water. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes to allow the yeast to “proof”. You will know it is ready when it gets foamy.
In a separate bowl mix 5 cups of the flour, and the salt.
Add the yeast and oil to the flour mixture. Stir until all mixed. Add the rest of the flour a bit at a time until it is no longer runny or sticky. You don’t want it too dry though. When the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl is when you’ve added enough flour.
knead it on your counter top for a few minutes, then roll it into a nice ball, place it back in the bowl, and cover it with a tea towel. Let it rest for 10-20 minutes.
Spread some oil on 11 x 17 cookie sheets to grease them.
Pour the cornmeal on the pan. While holding the pan over your sink on an angle, tap the back of it gently to spread the cornmeal all over the pan.
Divide your dough into two balls.
Roll your dough out on the counter until it is close in size to your cookie sheet. Transfer the dough carefully to the cookie sheet.
Put sauce, cheese, and whatever toppings you want on the dough.
Stick it in the oven and cook at 425F for 14-16 minutes.

Share With Us One Unique Tip That Has Helped You

Every mistake on the homestead is an opportunity to learn. It is easy to beat myself up when I make a mistake with the chickens, or when I am cooking from scratch, or if I mess up something in the old farmhouse. But each time I make a mistake I get to learn from it and improve for the next time I am confronted with a similar issue.

Your Favorite Useful Homesteading Item

Our Wheel barrel. It makes bringing wood into the house a lot easier.

How Are You Making the Most With What You Have?

We buy whole roasted chickens and divide it into three meals instead of using it just for one. We use the divided chicken in stews, soups, and stir-fries. We make most of our own bread. I wash out milk bags to use in place of storebought Ziplocs. We don’t have a dryer so we hang our clothes near the woodstove, using the woodstove heat to dry them in the winter. Our woodstove doesn’t heat all areas of the house the best so we close off a portion of our house in the winter to avoid using our backup oil heat as much as possible. We used chicken wire as decoration in our kitchen because it was already on our property and free to us. We shovel by hand our insanely long driveway because a snowblower just isn’t in the budget anytime soon.

Anything Else to Share?

When I make the most with what I have I discover that it gives me peace. It allows me to be creative, to provide for my family, and to avoid taking on unnecessary debt. I love this simple life we are living and wouldn’t want it any other way.


Want to be a part of the Making the Most With What We Have Series? You can read about it and fill out the interview questions here.

Thank you Carew Family for sharing your story with us! Read more about their lives on their blog here.

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  1. So true that you learn from your mistakes, they should be seen as mis-steps that you learn how to take the right steps next time!! You are doing an awesome job of using what you have and being very frugal, Keep it up!! Remember it all takes time and in the process you are making memories for a lifetime!!
    Love and prayers for your family