A Week's Worth of Homestead Cooking, Organizing & Preserving

Cassandra Smet
by Cassandra Smet

I make most of the foods we eat at home, so the kitchen is always pretty busy. Today I am bringing you along for an entire week in my homestead kitchen. Let’s take a look at a week’s worth of homestead cooking, baking, canning, and organizing.


This is a typical weeknight, and I am making some brown butter chocolate chip cookies. This is the first time I am making those.

As always, there are a few projects going on at the same time. I have also got breadsticks in the oven and I am making some stuffed shells. I have just figured while my noodles are cooling off, I might as well make a quick batch of cookies for desserts and snacks.

We are not going grocery shopping for another two days and the last days without groceries can get kind of rough, so I hope some fun cookies are going to help. I am going to pull out my breadsticks here and finish making these cookies hopefully and get dinner done.

Cleaning and organizing the pantry

Pantry clean & stocktake

I just finished going through my pantry and giving it a really good deep clean. I make sure to clean it out each time before we do our groceries to get it prepared for the new round and figure out what we are short on. I wanted to see what I had for kids’ snacks this month.

I need to get some more flour and refill my seasoning packets. I'll just buy a ton of them, keep them in here, and then I will have them all winter long. I also need to restock on Mac and cheese boxes, as this is what my kids eat when I am away.


Today's project is cabbage. I have five cabbages, and I am going to peel off the bad parts, cut out the cores, and blanch them in big pots.

The cabbage only needs to boil for three or four minutes, and then we'll put it in some ice water, get it rinsed out, and package it in Ziploc bags. The scraps that were not good enough for me to blanch are going to be great for the chickens.

Preserving cabbage

We will eat some of the cabbage over the next couple of weeks, and the rest I am going to package in Ziploc bags and store it in the freezer for the winter. We will definitely use this frozen cabbage in soups and stews.

I also love buttered cabbage: I dump some cabbage on the stove with some water, boil it for a little bit, and then add a little bit of butter and salt. I love that as a side.

I have also canned some coleslaw, but I did not make too much this time because I am not sure yet whether we are going to like it. I am also going to cut one cabbage in quarters instead of putting it through a food processor, so I can have some big leaves for wraps and rolls.

Pickling cucumbers


Another project I have is with cucumbers. My mother-in-law grew these and gave them to me and I promised to use them. I took five or six of these and put them in the fridge for fresh eating, for lunchboxes and dinners for the kids.

The rest I decided to make them into pickles. I ended up getting 10 quarts of pickles. Some of them are spears, some of them are slices, all sorts of weird fun shapes. So we got those. I have seven of them going in my canner, and three will go in the next round.

I did that while all of my cabbage cooled. It is still steaming a little bit, but I think it is cool enough now for me to put it in Ziploc bags and get it going in the freezer.

I use the Mrs. Wages cookbook for my pickles and I use the Kosher Dill Home Style pickles, keeping these pickles really basic. I did not add onions or peppers in these, which I normally do, because I was not feeling all that great.


The rest of the day I'm going to be lazy. The only other thing I am doing today is washing my bedding. Food preservation may be tiring, but today will be another good day of getting at least a little bit on the shelf even when I really do not feel like it.

Putting cabbage in Ziploc bags

Packaging vegetables

I package my blanched vegetables in sandwich-sized Ziploc bags, which hold about a meal's portion of most things for us. Apart from cabbage, I do this with corn, zucchini, peppers, and lots of other veggies.

Once I close up all these little bags, I will shove them all into a gallon freezer Ziploc and label it “shredded cabbage”. This way helps consolidate it in my freezer and make it much easier to find.

Along with a huge bag filled with thirteen little bags, I am packing one gallon-sized freezer Ziploc of shredded cabbage in case I make something in bulk and do not want to open all the individual-sized bags, and I have the two halves of a whole cabbage packed away, too.

Making sauces

I have my fourth roaster pan full of pasta sauce. This time I am adding some more vegetables and getting things used up. I also have a double batch of hot sauce going. I am getting ready to strain this off and get it into jars. My water bath canner is heating up. My dishwasher is sterilizing jars for me.

I am also going through tomatoes. I am going to wash and quarter these and get them in the freezer so I can figure out what I want to do with them later.

Canning hot sauce

Hot sauce is something I definitely recommend you try making at home. It is surprisingly easy to make, and you get a lot, too. It also makes great gifts. I just bought a second water bath canner, so I am getting the sauce in there. This way, I can get all my spaghetti sauce going at the same time, which makes a world of difference.

I stayed until 10 or 11 waiting for the sauce to get processed, but it was actually a great night, since my husband, myself, and my oldest daughter ended up staying up late and watching Netflix together, which was a lot of fun.

Homestead cooking & preserving

I hope you have enjoyed joining me for a week in my homestead kitchen. What does your week’s worth of cooking look like? Share in the comments!

Join the conversation
 1 comment