The Little House Living Show – Episode 005 – Decluttering, Spices, Canning Beans, and More

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The Little House Living Show – Episode 005

Thanks for joining me in my first full episode on saving money with the Little House Living Show podcast! My hope for this podcast is that it will be a new way for me to connect with you, my readers, and for you to be able to listen to my words even if you are driving or having a busy workday.

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What’s In This Episode?

This weeks’ episode is a little different from the norm…I’m just answering reader questions! I had some great questions come in this week about our own personal decluttering journey, how to add more flavor to food, cold storage, and canning beans. I hope you enjoy the show!

0:36 – Introduction
1:15 – Did I declutter before our move?
3:42 – How do you make food more flavorful?
6:01 – Can you store potatoes with apples?
8:08 – Can you over-process canned foods?
10:55 – Outtro

Links Mentioned in This Show

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Podcast Transcription

00:37 – Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of the Little House Living Show. Today I’m going to be doing this podcast episode a little bit different than I’ve done at the ones in the past. I’m just going to go through and answer some emails that I’ve gotten in my inbox this week. I’d like to keep this episode a little bit shorter because I’m feeling a cold coming on so I’m not feeling my best tonight. Plus I am recording this on a Sunday evening and today was the daylight savings time change and so it was kind of a very long day. So nice and short and sweet, but I’d like to get to some of these really interesting questions that I got in my inbox this week.

01:15 – So the first question that I want to answer is one that is based on my podcast from last week, which was all about how to start decluttering. And it was, did we declutter before we moved? And the answer is yes and no. So we did spend quite a bit of time decluttering things and getting rid of things and minimizing things before we moved. When we moved to our current house, we wanted to be able to pack everything in an eight by 20 trailer because that’s what we’d purchased to move with. So we decluttered to get to that point so that we could pack everything into that trailer. Now I had a plan with this because I knew that I would be able to declutter more things after we moved that I just didn’t have time to do before we moved. So I packed everything in this trailer and then when we got to the place that we’re living now, I only unpacked the things that we absolutely needed. And so we still have quite a bit of stuff left in boxes, either in the trailer or in our garage.

02:20 – And I’m just kind of taking my time with those things and only unpacking things if I really need them or if we’re really going to use them. My plan with everything else is that if it stays in the trailer or in the garage during this entire year that we’re here in Ohio, it’s going to go and get donated after this year. That was kind of my decluttering plan with this last move. Like I said, we, we did declutter before we moved here and we’ve kind of always done that before we’ve moved into a new house. But this time the difference was that I decluttered as much as I could before we moved and then now I’ve just kind of left everything in the boxes and I’m going through it as needed. I feel like that will give us more opportunities to get rid of things that I may not have gotten rid of otherwise.

03:09 – That I am actually not using. But when you have it out there in the open you think that you need it or you think that you use it. But if it’s packed away in a box and I can’t see it for several months, I will stop thinking that I have it or you know something like that. And I probably don’t need it after all if it stays in a box for six months or more. So that’s my plan with decluttering with the current house that we’re in. So hopefully that answers your question. Decluttered a little bit before and we’re de-cluttering now afterward also.

03:42 – Okay. So the next question that I have comes from Natalie and she says that she has issues getting food to taste more flavorful. She said she’s a good cook and learned a lot, but when she’s in the spice aisle, she always chooses the same stuff. So I’ve kind of had this issue too, or at least I did when we first got married. I was raised in a very German-based household. Most of my family members are German and did a lot of German type of cooking, which if you know anything about German cooking, it kind of tends to be very heavy on the butter and the garlic and the onion. And not a lot of other things. So I kind of stuck with that when I first got married and just kind of went with it because butter and garlic and onion all tastes very good anyway.

04:29 – But in the last several years we’ve really tried to expand our palate and found that a lot of other spices tastes very good too in the best way I’ve found on how to figure out spices that we enjoy or new spice combinations was to check out different cookbooks from different cultural cuisines. So we like to try different Italian spices or we’re really into different like Greek types of spices or things like that. And you know, there’s a lot that comes with that that you can’t, you can do trial and error with spices, but it’s really nice when someone has already kind of put together some of those flavor profiles for you. And like I said, I’ve found the easiest way to do that is just to check out different cookbooks that have featured different types of cuisine, tons of those types of books at your local library so you don’t have to purchase them all and are not wasting money on cookbooks where you may or may not actually like the flavor combinations. So that’s what I would recommend starting trying some different things. And then also try to incorporate some fresh herbs into your cooking.

05:36 – I know that they can be expensive in the store, especially during the winter when they’re not in as much of abundance, but it’s very easy to grow fresh herbs in your kitchen. Just right in the kitchen window, cell or any other window that gets some good light and you can grow them all year round. They’re very, very easy and that’s an easy frugal way to add yummy flavor profiles to your food.

06:01 – So the next question comes from Kathy and she said that she has been storing, this is on the topic of food storage and cold storage. She said that she’s been storing apples and potatoes together, but my blog posts about cold storage recommends that you store apples in potatoes separate. The reason for that is that apples put off ethylene gas and that will cause the potatoes to spoil. It’ll cause them to either rot or to start to sprout.

06:34 – Depending on the temperature of your, where you have your cold storage. So that’s why potatoes and apples should be stored separately in her email or in her comment, she talks about that she’s always stored them together and has not had a problem. I guess it could be true. It probably depends on the temperature and really how close they are together in the room that they’re being stored in. So it’s possible that they could be stored in the same room and not have any problems. But if you want to try and keep good cold storage, I would recommend keeping the apples and potatoes completely separate from each other. You also want to keep onions separate from the potatoes because I’m storing the onions with the potatoes can cause the onions to get really mushy and yucky. So keep those things separate.

07:24 – The book that I would recommend about cold storage would be called root cellaring and I can link to that in the show notes here. But basically it’s really good in detail book about all things that you’d ever want to store in cold storage, all types of cold storage that you can build pretty much no matter where you live or what kind of property you have. So it’s a really excellent resource. It’s one that I’ve kept on my shelf for many years and I always go back to it when I’m thinking about storing something new in our cold storage and I have questions on how to store it or what variety I should be storing or things like that. So I would recommend that book if you have any particular questions about cold storage.

08:08 – The last question that I want to get to today before I let you guys go is a question that came in this week and it was something that I think happens to all of us. But the question was, is there such a thing as over processed foods and this is referring to foods that you have home canned and yes, there’s absolutely a thing as over-processed foods. It generally happens with things like fruits and things like that. If you over-processed them, leave them in the water bath too long or if you have to process them twice or something, they can get mushy and their texture is just absolutely not appetizing. So there does come a point in time when instead of processing something for the second time, like if the jar didn’t seal, I would not recommend doing it because the final product will not be something that you’re very proud of or something that you want to eat. So yes to answer this question, you can definitely over-processed foods and you just have to be careful and you know, do it on a case by case basis, which foods are not going to be good after they’re processed.

09:21 – I just want to also quick mention this was another question that I had this week about canning already cooked beans and by that referring to like Pinto beans or black beans or something, I would not recommend canning already cooked beans because beans have to be in the pressure canner for 90 minutes. So that means they are definitely going to get cooked in that pressure canner. So if you put them in, they’re already cooked, your final product is going to be pretty mushy. Now if you plan on using those beans for like, like say you’re canning Pinto beans and you plan on using them for refried beans or tacos or something like that, then a mushy final product maybe isn’t that big of a deal because you’re going to mash them up anyway. But in general, I wouldn’t recommend cooking the dried beans before you put them in the jars because it’s just an unnecessary step.

10:15 – It’s going to take you extra time to do something you don’t need to do. Since those beans will cook in the jars. So in the instance of beans, if you happen to have extra cooked beans or something and you’re thinking about processing them, I would just go ahead and stick them in the freezer instead. Cooked beans usually come out of the freezer pretty well. I always just put mine in a nice little freezer Ziploc bag and then kind of flatten them out and stick them in the freezer so I can stack them on top of each other. And they’re super easy just to pull out and reheat when you need them instead of going through all the work and all the trouble to process them and possibly ending up with a very mushy end product.

10:55 – So that’s what I wanted to fit into this podcast today. I know it wasn’t my typical podcast that I’ve been doing so far, but I wanted to let you know that next week won’t be my typical podcast either. Next week I will be starting some interviews on this podcast show. And so I’ll be interviewing several different people in the upcoming week. I’m very excited about those podcasts. I’m excited for you to meet some of these awesome ladies that I’m going to be interviewing. They have so much knowledge and so many different skills that I think you’re just going to learn so much from them, and I know that I’m going to learn so much from them too. So I hope that you’ve enjoyed this podcast today and maybe gotten some ideas or answers to questions that you’ve had as well. And I hope that you spend this week and making the most of what you have

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