My Favourite Things – 2021 Edition (aka. The Modern Homesteader’s Christmas Wish List)


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

From kitchen gadgets to books to home and body products and more, find the perfect gift for the homesteader in your life with the modern homesteader's Christmas wish list! (aka. My favourite things;)Every year around this time, I compile a list of my favourite things: Things that I love, use or covet for my own homestead, and things that I know other modern homesteaders will love too! 

As the list continues to evolve, I’ve begun to pare it down to only the items that I truly love and use on a regular basis.

Every year I update the list to include new gadgets, products, books, and items that have made their way onto my favourite things list over the past year, and I curate the list even further. This year I’ve narrowed it down to my top 10 favourites of the year!

As a general rule, I’m all about quality over quantity, and while that certainly doesn’t necessarily have to mean expensive, it does mean I look at items as investments, whether they’re for our family or for someone else’s.

The list below includes a mixture of higher-ticket kitchen gadgets that are investment pieces (and absolute workhorses in a busy homestead kitchen), to lower priced items and even stocking stuffers under $20.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the homesteader on your list, or you’re just curious to see what we use on a regular basis around our place, read on to learn more about the equipment, tools and products that I love, use often and highly recommend!

These are a few of my favourite things:)

 

All-American Pressure Canner

Photo c/o lehmans.com.

I waited a long time to invest in an All-American pressure canner, but this year I finally took the plunge, and all I can say is that it’s well worth the investment.

While it only gets used for a few months of the year, it takes up permanent residence on my stovetop during canning season and is built like a tank with a metal-to-metal seal (which means no gaskets to replace) and multiple safety mechanisms that ensure I never have to worry about whether our home-canned food is safe to eat. And that peace of mind is worth every penny!

–> Grab the All-American Pressure canner from Lehman’s right here, 

 

Instant Pot

Confession time: When I first got my Instant Pot for Christmas a few years ago, I wasn’t sure I’d actually use it. But when I started using it and realized how quickly I could get a delicious, from scratch, fall-off-the-bone meal on the table, I quickly became an Instant Pot convert.

While you can slow cook in the Instant Pot, it’s also a pressure cooker, which means you can cook foods that would normally take hours to slow cook in significantly less time.

I love using my Instant Pot to cook dried beans because I don’t even have to pre-soak them and they’re read in under an hour! I also make all of my bone broth in my Instant Pot (it takes me two or three hours vs. the 8 to 12 hours it usually took on the stovetop). And even the toughest cuts of meat come out of the pot moist and tender in less time than it takes to have takeout delivered.

Hands down, the Instant Pot is a worthwhile investment that has consistently my list of favourite things every year since I got mine:)

–> Get the 8 quart 7-in1 Instant Pot Duo right here.

 

Breville Anything

 

Last year I included both the Breville Espresso Machine and the Breville Immersion Blender on this list, and this year I’m adding the Breville Sous Chef Food Processor because it’s been such a game changer in the kitchen.

Over the years we’ve come to own many different Breville products, along with many other popular kitchen brands, and both my husband and I have come to notice a distinct difference in the quality of Breville products over other brands. Everything we’ve ever owned that’s made by Breville is a solid piece of machinery that has stood the test of time (and the wear and tear of our busy kitchen). The espresso machine and immersion blender still get used regularly and the food processor has earned a well-deserved permanent spot on our counter.

We also own a Breville Juicer, which is a workhorse during harvest season when I use it to process hundreds of pounds of apples into fresh, homemade apple juice. It makes juicing quick and easy and makes cleanup a cinch!

At the end of the day, if you’re in the market for any kind of small kitchen appliance and you’ve got a choice between Breville and another brand, well, I think you know what my advice would be;)

–> Check out the full range of Breville appliances from Amazon

 

Cast Iron Cookware

I’ve been in love with my cast iron skillets since I got them. Not only do they heat up and cook more evenly than stainless steel or non-stick pans, but they’re much healthier to cook on too. You can learn about the many benefits of cooking with cast iron here.

Much like the All-American canner, cast iron is build solid and made to last. In fact, well-seasoned and cared for cast iron can be passed down for generations!

If you’re in the market for some new cast iron cookware, I recommend either the Lagostina or Lodge brand cast iron (since those are the two that I have;) If you’re in Canada, like me, you can usually find Lagostina cast iron cookware at Canadian Tire for a steal, especially around Christmas when all the kitchen stuff goes on sale. If you’re ordering off online, both Lehmans and Amazon carry American-made Lodge brand cast iron.

Whether for yourself or someone else, you can’t go wrong with cast iron. Pair with a set of wooden spoons and a jar of homemade lard for seasoning and you’ve got a thoughtful and valuable gift that won’t break the bank.

–> Check out the entire range of cast iron cookware available from Lehmans right here.

 

The Always Pan

While cast iron is usually my first choice when it comes to cookware, sometimes I want something a little more non-stick than cast iron (because even though a well-seasoned cast iron skillet is naturally non-stick, I still find that things like eggs tend to stick a little more than I’d like them to on cast iron.

But I refuse to use Teflon coated non-stick pans due to the harmful toxins that Teflon has been proven to contain.

So last year I got myself an Always Pan and I have to say, I’m impressed! The Always Pan’s non-toxic, nonstick ceramic coating is made without toxic materials like PFAs, PTFEs, lead, cadmium and toxic metals that can be found in other non-stick pans. It also comes in 10 different colours and comes with a stainless steel steamer basket insert and beechwood spatula.

If you love cooking with non-stick pans but are ready to rid your home and kitchen of potentially harmful toxins, the Always Pan is yet another worthwhile investment that I use on an almost daily basis. Oh, and it makes great eggs:)

–> Get the Always Pan from Our Place right here.

 

The Prairie Homestead Cookbook

This is another favourite of mine that has made the list two years in a row now. As far as cookbooks go, this is one I find myself using at least once or twice a week, and after cooking through at least half of the recipes in this book with nary a complaint, The Prairie Homestead Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Heritage Cooking In Any Kitchen, by Jill Winger has earned its place on my cookbook shelf, and on my list of favourite things!

Every single recipe I’ve made has been delicious. Not to mention, all of the recipes are made with simple, whole-food ingredients that most homesteaders, modern and old-fashioned alike, tend to have on hand (ie. eggs, milk, flour, butter, fruits and veggies, various types and cuts of meat, etc.)

This is one cookbook that belongs on every modern homesteader’s shelf, and I have a feeling it will be on mine for a long time to come:)

–> Get your copy of the Prairie Homestead Cookbook here

 

Sourdough Banneton & Baker’s Set

 

Homemade sourdough bread is a staple in many a modern homesteader’s kitchen, and it’s all the more enjoyable to make with a few simple and inexpensive tools. I’ve been making my own sourdough bread for a few years now and finally decided to invest a few bucks and get a banneton proofing bowl, scoring lame and dough scraper. The set I got also comes with a plastic bowl scraper and a bread bag which helps to keep loaves fresher longer.

There are lots of options available when it comes to sourdough bread kits, however I’ve linked the exact kit that I purchased and use. Now that I’m used to having these few simple tools on hand, I honestly don’t know how I made sourdough without them!

This set is great to keep on hand in your own kitchen, and also makes a thoughtful gift for anybody else on your list who loves to bake bread or who’s interested in learning new –albeit, old fashioned– kitchen skills.

–> Get the 9-inch bread banneton proofing basket set with linen liner, bread bag, scoring lame, metal dough scraper and flexible plastic bowl scraper right here.

 

Masontops Fermentation Kit

 

I started getting really into fermented foods this past summer. While I’ve dabbled in fermentation before, the one thing I’ve always struggled with is keeping the vegetables beneath the brine. So I decided to invest in some pickle pebbles this year, which are glass weights that you place on top of your fermented vegetables to keep them beneath the liquid brine.

They work like a charm! The only problem now is that I didn’t buy more, because I only got a 4-pack, which means I have some jars of fermented veggies without pickle pebbles in them. All of the jars with the pickle pebbles still look great, but unfortunately I’ll have to scrape the top layer off of the other jars. Live and learn!

You can get the pickle pebbles on their own right here (they make a great stocking stuffer!) Or opt for the complete fermentation kit, which comes with 4 airlock tops, 4 pickle pebble glass weights, an acacia wood tamper and bonus printed recipe book.

–> Get the Masontops Complete Fermentation Kit right here.

 

Farmhouse Teas

Farmhouse Teas

I started using Farmhouse Teas herbal tea kombucha flavoring packs a couple years ago and not only do I rarely use anything else to flavour my homemade kombucha, I now turn to Farmhouse Teas for all my looseleaf teas and even some of my herbal medicine (they carry elderberry syrup kits, ingredients to make your own fire cider, cherry bark cough syrup, etc.)

Some of the kombucha flavorings include apple pie, turmeric and ginger, rosemary citrus and strawberry mojito, to name just a few. Other looseleaf tea blends include seasonal favourites like Country Christmas Breakfast, Gingerbread Spice, Sweet Maple Chai and Winter Wonder Berry, among many others! Browse their tea collection right here or shop Farmhouse Teas’ Christmas sets here.

Farmhouse Teas also offers artisan foods, herbal skincare items, kombucha kits, herbs and spices and even seeds to grow your own herbs and herbal teas. Oh, and they’re 100% organic and family-owned. The founder, CeAnne, and I have become friends and I absolutely love that every time I place an order I know that I’m supporting a family-run small business. At the end of the day though, their products speak for themselves.

–> Check out everything that Farmhouse Teas has to offer right here! 

 

Plant Therapy Essential Oils & Products

I’ve been raving about Plant Therapy for years now, ever since I stumbled upon them on my quest to find high quality affordable essential oils.

Plant Therapy oils are 100% pure and third party tested, which means they’re held to strict, high purity standards. But unlike some other popular essential oils brands, Plant Therapy sells direct to consumer (ie. it’s not an MLM company), which means they’ve been able to keep their prices extremely affordable so that you don’t have to sell their products just to be able to afford them!

I’ve amassed quite the collection of Plant Therapy products myself, including bottles of essential oils numbering in the hundreds, diffusers, naturally scented candles, body lotions, lip balms, etc. The only thing I haven’t had a chance to try yet is their line of full-spectrum CBD products (because they can’t ship those to Canada… darn!) But if you’re in the U.S., you’re in luck:)

–> Check out Plant Therapy’s full line of essential oils and products here

* For a limited time only (until the end of November 2021), you can enter code HOMESTEAD at checkout and save 10% off your entire order! 

 

What are YOUR favourite things???

I’m always on the lookout for new tools and products to make life on the homestead just a little bit easier or more enjoyable! If you have any products or items that you love and use all the time, please comment below and share!

 

Wishing you a homemade, homegrown, homestead holiday season 🙂

 

 

 

 

 


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

4 Comments

  1. Debbie

    Another thank you for your suggestions. I have been using an immersion blender for a few years now as I hate pulling out my huge blender and I have “gone through” a number of cheap immersion blenders. The plastic parts always seem to break down. I took your advice and purchased a Breville. It is fantastic. I’ve had it for a couple of years now and use it on a regular basis. Definitely worth the money instead of replacing the cheap stuff over and over again and being frustrated when they break down in the middle of using them. This would be a great Christmas gift for someone you love. Breville is the best.

    Reply
  2. Debbie

    OMG, Love, love, love Plant Therapy. Thank you for introducing it to me. I also have tried many brands especially the ones that are in the stores around Christmas. None of them are even close to Plant Therapy. My very favourite essential oil is Persian Lime. I use it daily. I haven’t found it anywhere else but Plant Therapy. Thanks again for bringing this into my life.

    Reply
  3. Kristina

    I think you should check out Doterra essential oils. They are non-chemical based essential oils, and they have many other products on there that are natural too. I for one use the laundry detergent (its even gentle enough to use for my 8 month old clothes and bedding); I use their essential oils for a variety of different things, like on dryer balls.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      I actually did try DoTerra when I was looking for a brand of oils I liked. But they’re way too expensive and I don’t like the MLM business model. After doing a few years of research on reputable oil companies, I discovered Plant Therapy oils are just as natural and effective but at a fraction of the cost and without the predatory business model. I also use them on my wool dryer balls:)

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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What self-reliance skills do YOU want to learn most??

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If you haven't yet joined the waitlist, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/society to add your name and save your spot. Waitlist members will be the first to know when enrollment opens tomorrow morning!

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27 0

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it really means to be "self-reliant."

We talk a lot about self-reliance (or self-sufficiency) in the homesteading community, and outwardly it may seem as if the goal of "achieving" self-reliance is what ultimately drives many of us to live this lifestyle in the first place.

But what does self-reliance look like in the 21st century? Is it actually achievable, or just a pipe dream?

Is it even possible to be truly self-reliant?

A few years ago, Forbes published an article titled Dear Homesteaders, Self-Reliance is a Delusion.

In the article, the author argues that "self-reliance is for the most part a myth. Unless they live in an extremely remote region, use all homemade tools, and will refuse the safety net if they need it, most homesteaders are far from self-reliant."

While he makes some compelling points, but I've always felt as if he missed the point of what self-reliance actually means in real life.

No man (or woman) is an island. None of us can ever be 100% self-reliant without ever relying on anyone other than ourselves. But that doesn't mean that we should give up trying altogether.

Even one small step toward being more self-sufficient is a step in the right direction.

Maybe the point is not to ever BECOME self-reliant, but rather to become MORE self-reliant as we progress on our journey. Maybe self-reliance isn't a destination, but a pursuit.

Like just about everything that's worth doing, working toward greater self-reliance and independence is worth doing imperfectly. It's better to take a single step in the right direction than no step at all.

I decided to unpack this in more detail on the blog this week. (Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/what-is-self-reliance to read the full article).

With the doors to the Society of Self-Reliance opening in just a couple more days, I wanted to be sure I can confidently provide an answer to the question "what is self-reliance?"

But I’d also love to hear what YOU think!

Is self-reliance just a delusion? Is it an achievable goal? Or is it more about the journey than the destination?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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38 0

🌱 Have you started any seeds yet?

If not, NOW is the time!

March is a great time to start tomato seeds, peppers, lettuce, brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, etc.) and direct sow peas in most gardening zones.

Starting from seed is exponentially cheaper than buying starts from the nursery, especially is you’re growing on a larger scale. But seed starting supplies can add up quickly if you’re not careful.

In the spring issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, contributor Kayla Adams of @oatsandhoneyhomestead shares her best tips for finding cheap or even free seed starting supplies. From pots and lighting options to soil and the seeds themselves, Kayla covers everything you *actually* need to start your edible garden completely from seed (and not break the bank).

Check out the full article, along with a preview of the spring issue at modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to SUBSCRIBE or login to the magazine library and read the full issue (for current subscribers).

What are you MOST excited to grow in your garden this year??

Let me know! 👇

#seedstarting #seeds #springgardening #growyourowngroceries
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