Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blackberry Liqueur

I am gonna try this this summer to preserve fruit.

Wild Blackberry Liqueurs
3 cups vodka
1 cup syrup
as much fruit as I could pack in the jar with the vodka and syrup.
Let sit for at least a week before straining. Let it sit on the counter by the sink for longer than a week. Up to 2 or 3 weeks. Strained out the mixture once and add more berries for another couple of weeks.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Party Mix recipe for super bowl

IngredientsChex mix
3cups Corn Chex® cereal
3cups Rice Chex® cereal
3cups Wheat Chex® cereal
1cup mixed nuts
1cup bite-size pretzels
1cup garlic-flavor bite-size bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces
6tablespoons butter or margarine
2tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2teaspoons seasoned salt
3/4teaspoon garlic powder
1/2teaspoon onion powder

The original recipe includes Corn Chex®, Rice Chex® and Wheat Chex®. You can mix and match to suit your taste—just use a total of 9 cups of cereal.
Health Focus
To reduce the fat to 2 grams and the calories to 80 per serving, use 3 tablespoons margarine instead of the 6 tablespoons butter, omit mixed nuts and use fat-free bagel chips.
Special Touch
Make enough of this favorite mix to package up as gifts for special friends—it’s so good and always a welcome surprise!
Preparation Directions
1.In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside. In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.
2.Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 6 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.
Oven Directions Heat oven to 250°F. In large bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside. In ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in oven. Stir in seasonings. Gradually stir in cereal mixture until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Things I have learned this year of doing without.

My parents lived through the depression. They told stories of lard sandwiches. My mother had jam because my grandfather worked at a sugar factory and  brought home sugar before the war and rationing started to provide for his family. Food storage is a way of life for me. Twice I have suffered job loss and my food storage kept us going. My goal is to always have a years supply. My supply is down to bare bones with this last year of unemployment. I also use my food storage as a hedge against inflation. I buy at today's prices so I don't have to buy at the increased cost tomorrow. It seems like lately cost of food is only on the rise so the more I buy and put away now the more I save my family in food dollars tomorrow and the next day. I can fresh produce in season and never turn down free food. I was grateful to get to pick a large pear tree this fall. So we have plenty of canned pears. I was able to glean somewhere around 400# of white potatoes and I am still trying to get them all canned. As my jars empty and I have enough canning jars for a load I refill them with what I am given. We will be eating potatoes for years to come. But that's ok it makes me feel good knowing my jars are full and I can make a meal for my kids. My parents taught us to eat things like macaroni and tomatoes or macaroni and milk. So I am never without a box of macaroni in the house to feed hungry children. Bread and butter fills hungry bellies too and stretches the meal. I recently learned that I like to add oatmeal to my hamburger to make it go further too a trick from the depression era cookbook I just read. And while I will never make myself a lard sandwich the health benefits of lard are being rediscovered and it does make the flakiest pie crusts. Well I got to go I am boiling a chicken carcus to make bone broth who knew that after making my stock this same way my whole life I am now trendy as well as healthy.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


But  tincture making really goes beyond just being a method of preservation, it’s a way to extract and concentrate the healing and beneficial properties of an herb and preserve them for a long time, often for many years. Use a 1 quart glass canning jar. Add herb. Use 2 cups of vodka to cover. Mold and bacteria can develop and ruin a tincture if the plant matter isn’t completely covered so add more vodka if necessary. Label the concoction, shake the jars a few times a day to assist the extraction process, and allow it to steep for a few weeks before straining off the plant material.   It’s also important to “top up” with the alcohol as the plant matter expands or alcohol evaporates.  Yes, it really is that simple. Use the herb of your own choice.

Monday, December 1, 2014

 Deb R. used to make these every year for christmas open house. I lost the recipe and was so excited to find it again. She used club crackers and mixed nuts. Another childhood memory in the form of taste buds. I don't think I can wait till christmas to make these.
1 box club crackers
2 sticks salted butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup nut pieces (maybe more for you tastes)

Line 10×15  pan with heavy-duty foil and spray with Pam so you can remove foil easily. Cover pan completely with single layer cracker, break crackers to cover pan.Combine butter, sugar and vanilla in heavy pan. Bring to full boil over med-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for EXACTLY 5 min, don’t stop stirring.Pour over crackers evenly. Sprinkle nut pieces over top.
Bake 350 on middle rack position for 10 min.
Cool on rack, peel off foil and break into random pieces.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Almost back to school time again for year rounders

It's almost back to school time for CamCam, our highschooler. (The rest of  us have been doing it year round.) We will be sad to see her go as having her around is great for all of us. Her summer was filled by a trip to NYC, a new trampoline and another trip coming up to KY. I feel so blessed that she was able to travel so much this summer. Skills she learned this summer include  a lot of driving time logged and trying several recipes to learn the secret of baking bread. I am very proud of how much help she is around here (when she doesn't have that teenager attitude). We had a lot of adjustments this spring and summer and she was a champion through it all.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Instructions( I have found around the web and copied to one place) for Growing from Produce:

Celery: The next time you chop celery, save the crown (the bottom), place it in a shallow bowl of water until the center leaves turn green and sprout, then transplant it into your garden. Or, just plant the crown straight from crisper into garden, keeping the top of the crown at soil level. Not only is celery a yummy vegetable, it attracts beneficial insects that keep unwanted bugs at bay.

Garlic: Separate cloves and plant the largest ones pointy-side up, under about 2 inches of rich, well-drained soil. Plant garlic around roses to reduce black spot and sooty mold.

Horseradish: In the fall, plant the tuberous horseradish roots horizontally under 2 inches of soil that’s been well-worked with compost. The plant is invasive and spreads quickly, so plant at the end of garden rows or in areas where they have room to wander. Harvest with a pitchfork in late fall.

Ginger: Select a plump ginger rhizome with many small, growing buds. Plant just under rich soil in a spot with filtered sunlight and wind protection. Avoid planting in low-lying areas, or in spots with poor drainage.

Beans and peas:  It’s easy to plant any dried bean or pea. Just push the seed under 1-2 inches of loose, rich soil in a location that gets at least 6 hours of sun each day. If your soil is hard clay, grow beans and peas in a container. (We bounght a bag of 15 bean soup mix at the grocery store for our seed)

Potatoes: If you’ve ever kept a potato too long in a bowl, you’ve seen the plants begin to sprout. Place the potato in a 10-inch-deep hole, and cover with rich soil. As the plant grows, continue to mound soil around its stem. Harvest potatoes in late fall.

Tomatoes: If you love heirloom tomatoes, cut them in half to scrape out their seeds. “Ferment” seeds in a glass jar with about a cup of water for 2-4 days. When a foamy mold appears, rinse and dry seeds on a paper plate. Start tomato plants indoors in containers, then transplant to a garden spot with full sun.

Peppers:  The ones with four bumps are female and  are full of seeds. So if you are buying the pepper with the idea of saving the seeds look for the ones with four bumps.

Apples: Place seeds on moistened paper towel in sealed Ziploc baggie and keep in fridge for about 1 month until it sprouts.
From the Spice Rack:
Poppies: For a brilliant floral display, shake poppy seeds directly from the container onto well-drained soil. Lightly press into the ground and cover with a dusting of soil. Thin seedlings to about 10 inches apart.
Sesame: These seeds grow into flowering plants that are resistant to heat, drought, and pests. Press seeds 1 inch into well-draining soil. Water lightly for 3-5 days after planting, then as needed. Be sure not to over water, because sesame plants do not like to sit in wet soil. Harvest in about 150 days after seed pods open and seeds are thoroughly dry.

Dill: Dill is very easily grown from seed sown in later spring to early summer. Bear in mind that dill does not transplant well, and is best being sown direct where it will continue to grow. Select an area where permanent regrowth of dill won't bother you; dill will easily self-sow after you've first planted it.

Mustard Seed:
Red Pepper/Chili Pepper: