“Spending time outdoors make you feel great.” – Elizabeth Hurley
In general, pioneer women spent much time and energy in cooking, cleaning, sewing and helping out with the farm chores. If you think about it, it is not much different than today’s mothers. In particular, the preparation of the family’s meals took up the most amount of the pioneer woman’s working day.
To cook, the pioneer woman needed a ready source of fuel, which could have been coal, firewood, dried grass, dried corncobs, dried woody stalks of plants, or even dried chunks of cattle dung. Most cooking took place out of doors especially during the summer months.
In honor of this past heritage, and also because I am a little quirky, I cook quite a bit of my family’s meals outside. I use the wood-fired grill and an outdoor fire pit to cook. When I cook outside, I feel my hurried life of crossing chores off my to-do list slow down. I feel like I am connecting with nature, my ancestors, and to simpler times.
We grow our own vegetables and herbs. In addition to these field crops, we raise and butcher our own barnyard animals for meat. Yesterday I made sausage and rice with cabbage, which is a healthy and hearty dish that can be easily cooked outdoors on top of a wood fire. We personally grew all of the ingredients except for the rice, salt and pepper. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
1 pound pork sausage (Make your own pork sausage.)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups rice
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups cabbage sliced into ribbons
1 small squash or zucchini, cubed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown pork sausage in pot. Remove cooked sausage with a slotted spoon to leave rendered fat in pot and set aside. Add onion and rice into rendered fat and cook until onion is almost transparent.
Add water, cabbage, squash and cook with the lid on until water is almost gone. Then add fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Once the water is cooked out of the rice, mix the pork sausage back into the rice.
Sausage and rice with cabbage makes a great main entrée or side dish as well as a good stuffing for bell peppers.
To learn more self-reliant skills, please visit my The Texas Pioneer Woman blog.