The Homesteader’s Wish Book

I have a pretty well stocked home, but there are some neat things I wish I had to round out the DIY activities I always find myself engaging in. And as a chronic list maker… well, I couldn’t resist.



Mini Chief Electric Smoker – $80

Home cured bacon and smoked sausages? Few things sound better to me in the fall of the year.


Copper Tea Kettle- $80

Yes, I confess – I don’t currently own one. I’m a tea microwaver… shameful I know. It’s not the best cup of tea, and I’m on a quest to rid my home of the microwave. The husband is reluctant, but really, all we use it for is heating my tea and water for coffee in the French press, and defrosting boneless meat when we’ve forgotten to put it in the fridge the night before. And the occasional (maybe two per year) baked potato. Being able to make better tea will put me that much closer to getting the microwave out of the door.


Single-Tub Fruit Press – $590

This is definitely a big item and one that I won’t get until I at least have a yard. But it would be great to make my own apple cider, wine and fruit juices.


15 ½ Quart Pressure Canner – $200

My hot water canner works great for tomatoes, jams and jellies, but I’d like to be able to put up vegetables and can stock as well, and it’s only safe to do that in pressure canner.


3 Gallon Sauerkraut Crock with Board & Lid – $95

I can make sauerkraut in any kind of container, but having a special crock reserved just for it would be great. It’s the perfect size and shape for making sauerkraut, and it would look great in my kitchen.


Stainless Steel Meat Grinder – $40

For sausage making!


Sausage Stuffer – $30

For sausage making!


Mandoline Slicer – $30

I’ve been wanting one of these for ages, and now that I’m getting more into food preservation, this tool will help me slice large quantities of vegetables quickly and uniformly. I like dicing and slicing and chopping with my knife, but I detest cutting carrots – so you can bet they’ll be the first thing I try when I get one in my kitchen.


Diamant Grain Mill – $125

I’d like to be able to grind my own wheat into fresh flour, and this mill is also outfitted to grind corn and other grains. Having fresh grain for bread is the healthiest way to go.


16 Quart Graniteware Kettle – $20

When I’m canning, I always seem to find myself short a kettle. This one has a wire bale handle and a pouring spout, making it perfect for doing up tomatoes or jam.


Le Creuset 12-piece Cookware Set – $875

I have pretty nice cookware now, but this is a serious upgrade for a serious cook. Enameled cast iron is the best you can get, and I’d like to get some in my kitchen. And in addition to being completely utilitarian, Le Creuset is beautiful – it’s equally at home on the stove and the dining table.


Home & Garden

Steamer Trunk – $450

I need a place to store quilts, blankets and linens, and a steamer trunk would be a charming way to do it. In addition to being great storage, it’s a furniture piece that would look great in either the bedroom or living room.


Barn Broom – $20

I have an anonymous synthetic broom now, and it’s about at the end of its life after just a few years. Barn brooms last forever when well cared for and they look better in the kitchen than blue plastic.


Split Willow Laundry Basket – $20

I have a beat up plastic laundry basket at the moment. It’s served us alright over the years, but I’d like to have less plastic in the house. And it’s starting to get cracked and bent out of shape, so it’s got some duct tape patches on it. Not exactly nice-looking. Willow looks pretty and is strong, and can double as a picnic hamper or a place to store my knitting.


Gardener’s Supply Company 9-foot Self Watering Container – $130

It’s a self containing garden! Its nine feet square so it’s perfect for city dwellers. We’re looking to get a balcony or patio at our next apartment that will accommodate at least one of these – think of all the tomatoes and lettuce I can grow!


Rocking Chair – $150

I’d like a small, classic wood rocking chair to put in front of the window as a cozy place to read with a cup of tea or working on my crocheting.


Hoosier Cabinet – $500

I want a functional cabinet, not just a decorative one. The flour and sugar bins will be full, and I’ll have my milk glass spice jars lined up in the cabinet. A beautiful functional place to whip up pancakes for breakfast in the morning.


Muskoka Electric Stove – $225

I love the look of wood stoves, but installing one in an apartment is completely out of the question. Incidentally, all of the apartments we’ve lived in have not had tenant-controlled heat – the baseboards or the steam heat cycle on and off at their will. So sometimes it’s nice to have supplemental heat that you can control. We currently have a small plastic space heater that is functional enough, but ugly and it has a propensity to tip over, which is just not safe (and we always unplug it when not in use). This stove is in the style of a wood stove without the wood stove hassle in an apartment. Another upgrade I’d like to make.



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