Kathy Harrison

About Kathy Harrison

Kathy Harrison is the author of Just in Case, Another Place at the Table, and One Small Boat. She is a national spokesperson for both foster parenting and family preparedness and has appeared on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and National Public Radio. She lives with her family in western Massachusetts.

Classic Christmas Cookies: Bulgarian Maslenki Cookie

maslenki-cookies

Editor’s Note: Kathy Harrison, preparedness maven, is also a fantastic cook! Every year, her very large family gets together, and what she calls the “cookie wars’ break out! This year, she’s got an international surprise in store for them, and she shares the recipe and story with us. Continue reading

10 Ways To Prepare For A Storm And Power Outage

oil lamp in power outageAs I write this, the snow is coming down in a solid white sheet, obliterating everything more than 20 feet away. The snow is expected to be followed by sleet and then freezing rain. Will we lose power? Probably, but I feel well-prepared to manage for several days without it. How about your family? What steps should you take when you know a storm is bearing down? Here’s a check list to get you started. Continue reading

Prepping 101 Giveaway: Win a Family Preparedness Kit!

Prepping 101 SweepstakesThere is a lot of crossover between the worlds of family preparedness, resiliency, homesteading and off-grid living. Add in gardening and living lighter on the planet and you end up with a group of wonderful people who have a lot in common. This makes a marriage between Storey Publishing, the people who put out the best books on all of these subjects, and Lehman’s, the people who sell the best tools and equipment to accomplish the tasks necessary to achieve these lifestyles, something special. As a way to celebrate that connection, we’re having a giveaway! Continue reading

Canning for Beginners: 10 Things To Know Before You Start

canning jars with toolsMy dear friend, Sarah, is new to the homestead life and there is a lot she wants to learn. Canning tops the list. She asked me recently what the most important things were for her to consider before she begins. I came up with this list. Continue reading

When Gardening Is Not As Easy As It Used To Be

person holding carrotsThis may come as a shock to you (I know it shocked me) but I am not as young as I used to be. My body has hit a point where I can get down to garden without a serious problem, but getting back up requires a good deal of effort and sometimes a willing hand from a nearby child. Bruce and I are trying to plan for a future where we still want to grow food but will need some accommodations.
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Eating Fresh: How to Make Homemade Rhubarb Custard

Getting ready to make custard

Editor’s Note:  Cooking and baking with fresh food doesn’t have to be complicated. Author Kathy Harrison will show you how to use rhubarb from your backyard to create a simple, mouthwatering dessert. Enjoy!

After a winter of food primarily from the freezer, root cellar or cannery, it is time for something fresh. Today I found the rhubarb poking up. Rhubarb is not fancy. It doesn’t have the panache of asparagus not the beauty of a strawberry. It is rather plain but therein lies its virtue. It is a reliable old friend, growing well despite erratic weather. It is just as happy during a warm, dry spring as it is when April is wet and cold. I think every yard should have a clump or two. Continue reading

Chicken Co-Op: Homesteading With Neighbors and Friends

Wire Egg BasketYears ago, when all 7 of the kids were home, a flock of chickens was a necessity. I could go through 18 eggs for a single breakfast and custard for that hungry bunch used up another dozen. Things have changed. Only my youngest remains at home and a dozen eggs lasts me for several days, even with the occasional batch of custard. A big flock of layers seems like overkill, especially as most of the neighbors have chickens too. Continue reading

Dreaming of a Garden As It Snows…

Classic Gardner Tool SetPunxsutawney Phil may say there are six more weeks of winter but apparently, he is not from Western Massachusetts. We see snow well into April and a late frost can wipe out the garden in May. So, what’s a garden girl to do while the snow lies deep and yet another storm is forecasted for the weekend? Well, she hunkers down with her seed catalogs, graph paper and last year’s records and starts planning her garden. Continue reading

Recipe for Small Batch Refrigerator Dill Pickles

dill pickles kathy harrisonWith such a large family, I got used to cooking everything in army-sized batches. Now, with only one child still at home, I don’t need to do that anymore. But getting used to smaller batch cooking has been a challenge for me. This morning I got out all the equipment to make dill pickles when it occurred to me that I wasn’t likely to need three gallons this week. One will be plenty, and will probably leave enough left over to bring to my neighbor.

I will can larger batches for our pantry later but this early in the season I tend to make refrigerator dills a lot. They are crispy, tart, make use of the garlic that is just ready to harvest, and the dill which is producing large, fragrant heads. My own garden up here in the hills is not giving us any cukes yet, but the valley cukes are very good. They are all but giving them away down at the farmer’s market. I bought a pound yesterday and the pickles I made are chilling now. Here is the refrigerator dill pickle recipe I used.
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