Homestead Cooking with Carol: Bountiful Make-ahead Meals – Book Review

Although, for the last few years Jon and I have been working toward being more self-sufficient, prepared, and just living a simpler life, we are still far from experienced homesteaders. I must admit that we have spent hours picking, preparing, and canning our homegrown veggies to turn around and have frozen pizza for supper because we were too tired and didn’t have time for real food. Sadly, more than once we have taken note of this. Not only is it counterproductive, if we are not careful we could let such setbacks discourage us. So, when we had the opportunity to read and review Carol’s new eBook, “Homestead Cooking with Carol: Bountiful Make-ahead Meals”, we were ecstatic.

In the introduction we learn from the very first words that this isn’t just another recipe book. Although, Carol does include several of her own recipes like “Taco Soup”, “Daily Bread”, “Whole Wheat Tortillas”, “Crockpot Granola”, “Crockpot Yogurt”, and several more, her eBook is literally a bounty of helpful tips and know how on planning and preparing meals ahead of time from your homegrown and raised harvest.

Jon and I have both read the entire book and can promise you that we will be going back to this book time and time again. In so many ways I am organized and a planner, but for some reason I struggle with meal planning. Carol provides many useful tips, guides, and even downloadable worksheets that can be personalized to help those of use still floundering with our daily meals.

You can see from the table of contents that she covers everything from canning to butchering large animals and to cleaning chicken feet.

Table of Contents


I. To Can or to Freeze? That is the Question

Vegetables in the Mix
From Dried Beans to Perfection
Potatoes on the Ready

II. From Big Game to Chicken: Processing Meat

Butchering Large Animals
A Tip for Tastier Wild Game
Processing Poultry

III. Creating Healthy Stock: Feet and All

How to Make Stock
Cleaning Chicken Feet

IV. Mix and Match Meals

V. Complete Meals in Jars


VI. Eighteen Meals from One Ham: The Fine Art of Stretching Meat

VII. The Essentials

Our Daily Bread and More
Great Crockpot Granola
Yummy Yogurt in the Crockpot or Cooler
Carol’s Favorite Hummus

VIII. An Apple a Day

How to Can Apples
How to Make Applesauce
How to Can Applesauce
How to Make and Can Apple Butter

IX. The Sweet Stuff: Unbelievable Make-ahead Desserts

X. Meal Planning Made Simple: The Necessary First Step

XI. Additional Recipes

Appendix A: Carol’s General Canning Tips

Appendix B: Carol’s General Freezing Tips

Appendix C: Food Storage Safety

Appendix D: Equipment for the Homestead Kitchen

Appendix E: Specialty Supplies for the Homestead Kitchen

Appendix F: A Well-stocked Homestead Kitchen

Appendix G: Resources for the Homestead Kitchen

Jon is now fascinated with scrapple! What is scrapple? No spoiler alerts here. You’ll just have to read the book. There is also an entire section dedicated to apples. We love apples and hope to have many apples once our trees start producing.

We have already been canning, freezing, and drying our homegrown foods. However, Carol provides instruction on planning ahead before preserving foods while keeping in mind the meals to be made with them when it comes to storage size, mixing and matching, and even meals in jars! Whether you grow your own or buy from the farmers’ market this is a valuable resource than can keep your home and kitchen healthier and more efficient.

Carol J. Alexander
Carol lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband, four of their six children, and the usual homestead critters. When not writing, you can find her in the garden wishing for things to grow or in the kitchen putting up her bounty.

To learn more about Carol’s writing and her Lessons from the Homestead series, visit her website,