Recently I stumbled upon a cooking class called “Heritage Cooking Crash Course“. The words “crash course” got my attention. What Dutch girl wouldn’t want an element of danger to spice up her otherwise “Dutchy” way of life? So, kicking off my wooden clogs I grabbed a mug of tea-milk, some olie bollen and with one click of the mouse, I was the thirty-third HCCC member and my E-material was electronically winging its way to my email box. YES! I could feel the danger already.
my house on the prairie
First I had to do a little bit of registering and confirming. Then I had to set up a password so that I could get into the online class and begin. With all my “ducks in a row” I entered the class and signed up for the super- secret Facebook HCCC community page. Pretty quick and simple.
The Heritage Cooking Crash Course teaches you the old pioneer and homesteaders ways of cooking and baking. One of the slogans was ” Cook LIke Ma Ingalls”. That brought me right back to the “Little House on the Prairie” episode with Ma Ingalls stirring some stew in a cast iron pot over the fire in their fireplace. This was sure to be down-home goodness, and open flames to boot!
Looking over the course I noted 10 modules (classes). Each one had their own video which you could follow along with and watch Jill Winger make: a sourdough starter, sourdough bread, homemade pie crust, sauerkraut, homemade sausages, how to pressure cook, water bath canning and much more. All great skills any gal worth her salt in the kitchen should learn. As a quick side note, should you want to take the course just click on this affiliate link and it will direct you toward class information and registration, and you can also buy the materials directly from this link. Just so you are aware I do receive a small commission from anyone who signs up for the course. Thank you in advance. It helps with upkeep on our MandyandMichele blog.
Baking like a pioneer
I had been looking at sourdough starter recipes since last summer. I read various blogs and copied recipes but never quite committed to trying it until now. Jill Winger, the founder of The Prairie Homestead and The Heritage Cooking Crash Course is your guide. She is a no-fuss kind of gal, simply dressed standing in her very own farm kitchen. You feel like your sitting at her kitchen table watching her work while you get to drink coffee and enjoy the presentation. Jill uses simple terms, explains her techniques and then demonstrates them. It’s that simple.
Jill weaves her everyday homesteader life into her cooking. She relies heavily on her families own homestead products of meat, eggs, vegetables, and grains. Jill loves homesteading and encourages others to try this simple nostalgic way of life and cooking. Living like a homesteader may not be for you, but cooking like one may be just what the doctor ordered.
From the get-go, you will appreciate the fact that you have lifetime access to these courses. You can skip around the modules as one module doesn’t build off the other. Along with this course, as I mentioned above, you can join the secret Facebook HCCC page and ask questions of fellow classmates and Jill -this is a nice feature.
I decided to start off with Module #2 which featured Wild Yeast Sourdough Starter and Sourdough bread baking. I enjoyed the fact you didn’t need fancy cooking/baking products. Jill has a list of what is needed for the module, but she also helps you to make adaptations in case you don’t have exactly what she uses.
Making the sourdough starter was a bit challenging. I drew comfort from the fact that I was not alone in the failures of the pursuit as I read several postings of others who were frustrated over not getting a culture started. But after two, 7 day long attempts, I struck wild yeast gold. Finally it cultured!
Sourdough cultures like to grow where it’s warm, dark and somewhat humid. I tried starting a culture on the counter by the refrigerator and when that failed, I put a one up above the fireplace and finally it took off. You can bet I was pretty excited when I looked into the jar to find it had grown. All frothy bubbly and looking yeast happy, I proudly showed the culture to my husband. I took pictures and posted on Facebook, and then sent texts to my sister and girlfriends.
I was one proud yeasty momma. Before I knew it, I had eight cultures going -I had this down! But my house and refrigerator could take no more of my mothering. So I did my best to find good homes for them on Facebook and through phone calls.
Good thing I didn’t have this talent for making babies because that could have gotten way out of hand! Kind of like “The Old Women Who Lived In A Shoe”. Yikes!
Into the oven, you go
Now that I had cultures, I needed to use them. So I set to work with my first sourdough bread. I was a smashing success. There was no interference by any barn cat, which if you have read my other articles, seems to be problematic. The recipe is very simple. raises overnight while you sleep and bakes in a dutch oven. By mid-day, I had a lovely loaf of sourdough. It was definitely delicious. I went on to bake sourdough blueberry muffins, sourdough crackers, and sourdough pancakes. All fun and delicious.
Sourdough is a great addition to your diet. Because of the fermentation process, it is easier to digest the gluten as well as keeping your glycemic index low. For those of us getting older this is a win-win. Hope this inspires you to try the Heritage Cooking Crash Course and culturing your own sourdough starter!
Michele Bruxvoort is sure to draw you in with her delightful sense of humor and love for living life. She enjoys reading, repurposing, as well as remodeling the family home with her husband. Drawing from her life experience as wife, mom, and follower of Jesus, Michele brings you a very honest and real perspective on life. When you don’t find her writing, you can find her mowing lawns, stocking shelves, and tackling her latest life adventure.
Wisconsin native and empty-nester, she now makes her home with her husband of 26 years in the South West Prairie plains of Minnesota.