Skills for 2013

Have you ever really thought about skills? What skills you have, what skills you should develop–what skills will last a lifetime. . .Things come and go, but skills are yours to keep.

I know it sounds all corny-but it’s true.  I have tons of appliances in my kitchen–but those aren’t what make me a good cook, my skills and knowledge do.  Techniques trump tools–although tools can be helpful!

This past year there were a few specific skills I worked on:

Learning to identify several medicinal herbs and create tinctures and oils (plantain, yarrow, feverfew, lemon balm, spearmint etc).
Dehydrate vegetables and learn to use them in cooking.
Continue to improve my skill in canning by preserving as much of my food for the winter as possible.
Continue to improve my gardening skills including seed starting and mulching.
Learn to use season extension techniques like cold frames.
Learn how to save my own seeds for replanting.
Become proficient with my new handgun.
Learn to use white balance and to take better photographs.
Try fermenting hard cider (my first batch is still going).
Learn how to store dry goods for long term.

And now my skill list for 2013:

Learn how to cook in a pressure cooker, my new solar oven, and a dutch oven.
Make herbal salves from the herbal oils I made.
Learn more about herbal medicines that can be wildcrafted in my area.
Learn how to make soap.
Make homemade mozzarella cheese.
Make yogurt using my dehydrator as an incubator.
Make my own wine.
Practice target shooting with Yankee Bill’s shotgun and rifle.

I’m sure that there will be more-but that’s what I’ve already got swirling around in my brain.

Did you learn or improve any skills in 2012? Do you have plans to learn or improve any skills in 2013?


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  1. Kathi says

    Hi Jenn, I am trying to learn about canning. I called our local home economist and she told me not to try any recipes except for what is in the current Ball or Kerr canning books. Does that mean I can’t use recipes from any other source? Do you have any sources where I can research this some? I don’t want to make anyone sick, but there has to some other options. I saw a book called Food In Jars I would like to try recipes from. Also, I noticed you use the reusable lids. Let me know what you think. And thanks so much for the organizing and skills posts! Kathi

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