During these lean economic times, I’ve really investigated my own habits. Granted I’ve been in a lean economic time ever since I’ve started trying to make a buck. I don’t often feel like I get ahead. Then again that’s something completely different. A few months back I invested $25 in some Whal clippers and Sus has learned to give a decent haircut. I continue to make beer and mead, if anything because I enjoy fermenting things. I’ve got a blackberry mead I made that is super tasty, but it’s got a bit of a rocket fuel taste given that it’s ABV is in the 15% range, that alcohol burn will dissipate over time as the mead ages. It’s only about 6 months or so old, I think it’ll be delicious in a year+ …. if I can wait that long. If I ever end up in some prison, I’m going to be that guy that makes prison wine and then takes it a step further to create prison sangria. This is not an expected outcome though so no worries.
Our garden this year was ravaged with blight so our tomatoes barely had a chance to survive. The basil grew like a bush and we’ve got some great pesto in the freezer right now. There’s this sense of homesteading, and self sufficiency that has become a bit overwhelming. Maybe it’s all in an effort to reduce my carbon footprint, or it could just be another way to give the middle finger to the man! The latest conquest has been to bring back the canvolution. A great friend of mine, Kath, has been a long distance mentor guiding me along this rewarding path. My first and successful attempt was a homemade bourbon bbq sauce. I made the batch up and then preserved about 8 8oz jars. All the lids went ping and everything went according to plan. Hell, I didn’t even make that big of a mess. My goal this weekend is to pickle my first batch of cukes. I love pickles, and grocery store varieties just don’t quite have the crunch that I want. It’s a lot of work to wash, prep and process everything, and I begin to wonder if it’s really saving me much money, but after I purchase all the ingredients we’ll see what my per jar cost is. Not that it really matters, I enjoy it, and I know what I’ll be putting in my body and that’s more important to me anyway.
I see an evolution of my generation returning to what maybe our grandparents did because they HAD to, where we are doing it out of choice. I shop for my slacks and dress-shirts for work at the local Salvation Army. I’ve also begun to teach myself to fish. I find it mentally rewarding, a sense of quiet time and man vs. nature stuff as well as another way to put food on my table. Maybe Thoreau wasn’t that far off with his ideologies. Or the fact the Dick Proenneke was able to live in a harsh Alaskan wilderness when he retired for 30 years. Not to romanticize what those two, for example, have done. Balance is the key somewhere between the absolute plugged in society we live in now and the other extreme is where I aim to be.