Hello Garden Gals & Guys! If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I am beginning a new phase in our road to self-sufficiency…..cutting ties with grocery stores. If you are new to the blog, you can read about this exciting new goal here and here.

Shortly after I wrote this blog, one of my dearest friends sent me four books that are going to be absolutely wonderful in helping me with my journey. It was like Christmas day getting all of these books in the mail. I was just giddy with excitement! A big thank you to her (she knows who she is). She is one of my biggest supporters of my farming aspirations and I am so blessed to have her.

I’ve just got to share these books with you because they really are great books to have on your shelf if you enjoy cooking (and canning).

First up is Better Than Store-Bought by Helen Witty and Elizabeth Schneider Colchie. This was published in 1979, but has some really great recipes in it and these recipes contain no preservatives. It has recipes for too many things to list in one blog post, but it is separated into a number of sections ranging from meat and fish to candies and confections.

The next book is Fancy Pantry  by  Helen Witty. I haven’t had a chance to read through this one yet, but I’m loving that it has recipes for breads and crackers. I’ve made bread a few times and enjoyed it…and will be getting back to it in the months ahead.

The Good Stuff Cookbook, also by Helen Witty (I’m startin’ to love this lady!), is now also a part of my personal library. Again, I’ve only flipped through the pages, but this book has recipes for custom charcuterie, breads, relishes, dessert toppings, rubs for meats, mayonnaise, and a ton of other things.
This one is my most favorite of the four. It’s called The Garden-To-Table Cookbook. I’ve read this one from cover to cover. It is organized into three sections: growing your own food, putting up food, and recipes. Honestly, this book starts you off at square one and shows you how to start your own garden and gives an extensive list of vegetables you can grow and takes you all the way through preserving your harvest and giving you recipes. With this book, you definitely can’t say “you don’t know how”…this book takes away ALL of your excuses. 
I definitely have my reading cut out for me (and I’m a bibliophile so I really don’t mind!) over the next few months. I know I will be referring to these books over and over again for recipes. I’m so looking forward to expanding my family’s food menu!
On another note, I’ve got a little tip about oregano that you may not have known…I found out purely by accident one year. Here’s a little video I did about it:
Well, that’s all for now folks! It’s a gorgeous day here in Maryland. Sunny and warm…almost 70 degrees! I’m goin’ out to enjoy it! 
Until next time….
Happy gardening!