With a few hours to go, I feel more prepared for my month of semi-self-sufficiency than I expected I would.
Liquids: I have 40 pints of homebrew bitter ready-to-go in the shed. I’ve just had a little sample and first impression is that it’s quite acceptable for a kit – with even a slight fizz of secondary fermentation. Scout Leader Jason offered me some of his homemade elder flower champagne a while ago, which I’m hoping is still available. For hot drinks I have a bush of spearmint leaves ready to infuse and I’ll be keeping a bottle of water chilling in the fridge. I won’t die of thirst.
Meat: I won’t go short of meat either with the entirety of a (butchered) young adult deer in the freezer. Last night I used the first of it to make a venison stew that will be my Monday and Tuesday evening meals. I also over-baked some of it to have a go at making my own Venison Cup-a-Soup with cornflour, seasoning and herbs. I have a portion of roadkill rabbit in the freezer too, but it was quite far gone when I scraped it off the road and I’m hoping that I won’t need to use it.
Veg: There’s a reasonable amount of fresh veg in the kitchen. In the freezer are eight tubs of liquidised tomatoes, three tubs of wild garlic pesto, two portions of nettle soup and some green beans. I believe there’s more to come from my father-in-law Ernie’s allotment and some leeks in our veg patch here. Plus I plan to do some foraging for greens throughout the month.
Fungi: I’m told that it’s a good year for mushrooms and I intend to head into the woods one evening this week and gather the basis of a mushroom soup.
Fruit: I’ve got tubs of blackberries in the freezer – cultivated (whole) and wild (liquidised). I’ve laid down just short of 100 apples and I’m hoping that fresh ones will remain edible from the tree for most or all of the month.
Nuts: The squirrels beat me to the hazelnuts, but my friend Laurence has kindly shared some homegrown walnuts with me that I plan to use to brighten up yogurt.
Machines: I made my first batch of yogurt this weekend using my mother’s 1970s Yogomagic machine and it worked a treat. Friends Pippa and Pete have lent me their bread machine for the month and the first loaf is baking as I type.
Snacks: I have made two batches of flapjack (using homemade golden syrup) and they’re good (albeit the first batch was a little undercooked). I may have a crack at making Ship’s Biscuits sometime too.
A few people have said it will be interesting to see what impact Bactober has on my weight. For the benefit of the weight-watchers amongst you, I can report that on the evening of 30th September I weigh 14 stones 13 pounds. I will weigh again on the 31st October.
Thanks for taking an interest in my silly exploits. See you on the other side,