Blogs

Best DIY Food Books of 2013

It was another excellent year for DIY food books. Here's a selection of the books that made our radar in 2013.

Drinky drinky:

True Brews
Just say no to sodas full of corn syrup! Emma Christensen's book walks you though easy recipes to brew naturally fermented sodas, beer, milk kefir and so much more.
The Drunken Botanist
This charming book demystifies the botanicals that make up our various cocktail ingredients, and includes growing tips for many so you can make your own. There are recipes for things like homemade grenadine and limoncello, and of course lots and lots of cocktails.

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Get 5% Off Great Gifts at FARMcurious

Do you know FARMcurious? Started by my pal Nicole, FARMcurious is a one-stop online shop designed "to educate, inspire and equip the urban homesteader." We've done some demos and events together, and now she's graciously offering a 5% discount on merchandise from FARMcurious to Punk Domestics readers! Simply enter the code punkdom at checkout and voilà! The site is chockablock with wondrous and cool things for the urban homesteader in your life, so grab some goodies to stow under the tree. (And if you get yourself a thing or two, we won't tell...)

For the gardener:

Handmade Clay Seed Starter
Handmade Clay Seed Starter
This gorgeous clay seed starter makes a statement that growing gardens is beautiful work, while making it possible for those of us who lead busy lives to successfully sprout seeds. A lovely, handmade piece of art, it will allow you to sprout 6 seedlings at a time, with only weekly watering (and absolutely no plastic)!
Olla – An Ancient Water-Conserving System
Olla: An Ancient Water-Conserving System
The days of standing in the yard for hours a day with a hose are over for us at last. An Olla (pronounced oh-yah) is a handmade terracotta clay pot used as an ancient method of drip irrigation for container gardening or ground applications. Simply bury the ollas, fill with water and let the watering happen on its own.

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Gift Guide: Canner's Best Friends

It's never too late to start canning, and the holidays are the perfect time to share your love of preserving with friends. We've put together a list with some of our favorite canning accoutrements to add to your holiday shopping list. (Disclosure: Affiliate links incuded from which I may make revenue.)

Ball FresTECH
Ball® FreshTECH Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker 
Maybe a little remedial for more experienced jammers, but if you've got someone on your list who's eager to start up as a first-timer, this could be a great tool. And it works -- just see Sean Sullivan's posts for proof

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Gift Guide: DIY Tools

For the more hardcore DIY enthusiast in your life, here's a selection of tools that are sure to make them squeal with glee when they see them under the tree. (Disclosure: Contains affiliate links from which I may derive revenue.)
Milwaukee Instruments pH Tester
Milwaukee Instruments pH Tester
For the canner who likes to tinker with recipes, this tool ensures that you're working well within safe acidity levels. Inexpensive and easy to use, this tool makes a great stocking stuffer.

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Gift Guide: Apparel and Mercantile

From tees to tea towels, here's a short list of our favorite soft goods for giving this season.
Punk Domestics Apparel
Punk Domestics apparel 
Choose from our family-friendly Yes, I Can tees, or go cheeky with women's Can panties or men's Pickle boxers. Talk about stocking stuffers!

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Three Things Thursday: Biltong, Buckthorn and Booze

Once again it's Three Things Thursday, where I highlight three things that ran on the site recently that inspired, intrigued or impressed me.

Biltong, Before and After
Biltong, Before and After
Biltong is a South African form of beef jerky, using both wet and dry cures, and hung until dry. Cured Confection shows us how it's hanging.

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DIY Seasoning Salts

A sprinkle of high-quality salt can elevate any dish from so-so to sublime, but when that salt is infused with flavor, it takes it to a higher level still. Here's a few of our favorite finishing salts that are quick and easy to make, and make great gifts.

Chile Salt
Chile Salt
Kick up your flakes with the potent punch of peppers, by mixing it with dried chiles, fresh chiles -- or everyone's favorite hot sauce, sriracha(Image via Larder Love.)

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Three Things Thursday: Quick, Cheap and Easy

Once again it's Three Things Thursday, where I highlight three things that ran on the site recently that inspired, intrigued or impressed me.

How to Make Pancetta in 30 Seconds
How to Make Pancetta in 30 Seconds
One of the most delicious of the pork products, Chef Dave Mottershall shows us how to make pancetta in only 30 seconds. It's much easier than you think. From Ayngelina.

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Fifteen Ways to Preserve Cranberries

No other fruit embodies the flavor of fall like cranberries. With their bracing acidity, they form the backbone of all manner of preserved foods, and have applications well beyond the Thanksgiving table. Here's a bunch of ways to use these lovely ruby orbs.

Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Sauce
The homemade stuff is invariably better than what you buy on the shelf. But if you must have the ridges from the can, then make yours in an empty can to complete the effect. (Image via Food in Jars)
Cranberry Conserve
Cranberry Conserve
Leave it chunky, plus maybe add the hearrty crunch of nuts, for a conserve that adds tooth to the classic sauce. (Image via Stephanie the Recipe Renovator)

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Three Things Thursday: Arctic Kiwi, Cherry Chipotle and HP Sauce

Once again it's Three Things Thursday, where I highlight three things that ran on the site recently that inspired, intrigued or impressed me.

Arctic Kiwi Grape Jam with Honey
Arctic Kiwi Grape Jam with Honey
Arctic kiwi, a variant of kiwi that can withstand hardier climates, pairs up with foxy concord grapes and a touch of honey in this delicious jam. From Local Kitchener.

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