My blog here has been quiet for a while, and that hasn't been unintentional. As events unfold here in the United States, I become weary and simultaneously shocked at what all is going on. Contact tracing. "Secret police" enforcing masks. Government instability (and by that I mean "unofficial dictatorship"). Riots. Grid problems. Spotty grocery store shelves. It reminds me of Guatemala, to be honest. Guatemala is great for visiting, but there's a reason we don't live there.
I've deliberated for over a year now on what I should do with the Renaissance Housewife brand. I know there's a lot of people who like my books, and I think now more than ever they'll be able to help people. So I want to keep them available. At the same time, this blog has never had a lot of traffic, and it takes a lot of time to do. Back in January I said I was going to quit blogging, and I did for a month or so. But then I missed writing, so I came back to it.
My biggest issue with keeping the blog going is privacy/trolling/internet bullying issues. Thankfully these problems have been minimal so far, but I feel like the stakes are higher now with our daughter getting older and the country/state in the predicament that we're in. So for the most part, I'm lying low. I have been doing a little "debranding" around the Renaissance Housewife blog and social media outlets. I will likely get rid of all RH social media besides Youtube (where I'm still posting about once a week, if you're interested in watching). I will also remove some pictures here on the site, and probably do a little re-working of my books. Of course most of it will still be here, but I'm just letting you know what's going on if you notice some changes.
I expect to get on here once every couple of months from here on out. Mostly to keep some content fresh on my Amazon author page. If I want my books to keep selling, I have to do at least a little marketing. Until I figure out a different way to do it, I'll continue minimal blogging for the meantime.
What I've Been Doing
So now that all the serious stuff is over, a little update for those of you who don't watch Youtube. Since I wrote last I have been undertaking some new projects.
1. I am purchasing plants and working on a new herb/cut flower garden. I also got myself a lemon verbena plant for indoors and a rosemary plant to bring indoors this winter as a topiary. As I mentioned before, now is a great time to purchase plants, because it's the end of the season.
2. I am experimenting with alternative food preservation methods; mostly dehydrating and lacto-fermentation. These two projects were spurred on by the freezer and canning lid shortage.
The dehydrating is going great. In addition to actually drying foods, I'm cooking a little with them just to make sure the food is something I can actually use. So far, success.
The fermentation is going okay. The ferments in the fridge are great. The ferments I put in our basement seem to be molding, even when all of the vegetables are submerged in brine. It is about 60 degrees down there, so I thought they would be okay. I may try to just store them in the refrigerator until temps outside (and therefore, in the basement) cool down a bit.
For those who still have canning to do but no lids, you can always reuse store-bought jars and lids (like spaghetti sauce or jam jars) for water bath canning. Also, I know it's not "officially" recommended to reuse canning lids, but you can if you're careful about which lids you use (minimal dents, scratches, etc.). I've done this several times, especially for low-value foods like applesauce.
3. Sourdough. I've had a lot of success with this project and it's allowed me to make pizza crust and bread dough without store-bought yeast. I've also made very good crackers, pancakes and cookies with the dough.
4. Campfire/cast iron cooking: I am all about the Instant Pot. And easy cooking. But I've always been jealous of my SIL who makes amazing campfire meals. For years I've told myself I would learn how to do it, and just the other night I made my first dinner (it was only egg sandwiches, but still...) over the campfire. I've been cooking with cast iron already for several months, so it's just a matter of cooking those same meals over an open fire rather than a stove top. I want to master at least five different recipes before cool weather comes.
Of course there are a lot of other things I'm doing, but I won't be sharing on here because.... safety. Privacy. Freedom! I've decided that future writing projects need to be directed away from the Renaissance Housewife brand (which is also connected to my address, real name, etc.) or shelved and published later when society isn't so volatile.
If you have any thoughts I would love to hear them.