Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Did I say I was finished Canning?

If I recall, I said "I think" ;o)  I just can't help it y'all. I went to Walmart's and what did I see but a 10 bag of 
Russet Potatoes for $2.
Being my mothers child, I couldn't resist the bargain,that's like  a $1. for 5 lbs. so I bought a bag to make me feel good that I didn't miss a bargain. Well after processing them,and letting Cecil give them a taste test (just about a pound). I bought another bag today :o) .As you see I first peeled them and then sliced them up about 1/2 inch thick...laid them on my trays and baked them..didn't take any time at all to cool, then me and Penny ( Jilly won the contest by default :o) managed to get the air out and I learned how to operate Penny a little better. I got about 12 meals, all ready to use any way I like.
I'm really falling in love with "Penny" and glad the company made it easy for me to have the other one exchanged. Idea's are running away with me...I like to put food away, Cecil loves going to the store, I don't. So I can plan meals and not waste. Most folks are on a budget with the economy the way it is...but for some of us, it's a natural thing to SAVE.
My mother used to say she could live on what Cecil and I threw away < those times are long gone. Now I say that to my kids. Wonder will they be saying the same to theirs :o).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Living in a Winter Wonder Land in NORTH CAROLINA!

 Don't have any special plans for dinner today.. I've got a big container of Collards I can whip into , just have to decide early what kind of meat to unfreeze.. Don't have to worry about anyone but Cecil and I for dinner, and sometimes we go light, cause we can.

UPDATE;  The door bell rang! and to our surprise one of neighbors had shoveled our driveway and cleaned the snow off the car. We didn't hear a thing! Wasn't that a nice thing to do :o) Not only did he shovel the snow he brought back an empty jar for more of my "Chow Chow". I think I got the best end of the treat, and he does too. Today that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy :o) Now NC almost feels like home, if there were more "old fashioned" people around like him to make you feel you belonged.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Last bounty for 2010

Thank goodness! This is the last "Canning" for 2010...remember those pretty Red cabbage!, well Cecil covered them up just about evening in hopes they would "head Up".
Well they didn't "head up" and if we wanted to salvage them, I'd better get my butt in gear and go out in the cold and rescue them before the snow, sleet and rain they said was coming and Kill them.  Yesterday I did just that, They were cold and some leaves were "cold frosted" but were worth claiming.. I managed to get six good sized bags with about 1 1/2 lbs each from the total of the Red, Savoy and regular Cabbage. Not too bad for a first year of raising cabbage..Maybe next year will be better ..we now know to plant about the second week in August for fall cabbage to "head up" :o).. I was able to put the packs into one container so I could keep track of them in the the way the "New Baby" worked out far  I haven't gotten many choices of names for "New Baby" to select from...everyone is busy with Christmas preparations..Well, at least I won't be canning . ( I think ;o)
This would be a good time to wish you all a Merry Christmas,  Prosperous New Year and Good Feasting!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chicken and Potatoes

I'm a day late putting  this meal on the blog from yesterday, What your looking at is Sweet potatoes and white potatoes with onions,thyme and other seasoning and Agave nectar sprinkled all over ...just had to use up more of those potatoes before they started growing eyes :o)  Then I seasoned up a couple  of chicken legs wrapped some bacon strips on them and roasted them at the same time ..
while I prepared 10 more pounds of chicken legs to cook, debone and cut up for chicken salad & the latter I put into my "new baby"packets and promptly put them into the freezer .. which I got 6 packs /8oz each That's steamed cabbage for the veggie.

Then I'm such a smarty pants, I took the stock from the first batch and this second batch and got These 10 quart jars of chicken stock..One is Corn beef Stock I saved for another dish..I'm not counting the first bag of chicken legs, that I cut the backs out in order to make some home made soup or just fry them up for a Saturday snack (or any day snack) :o)I got up this morning tired! but ready to finish up the project so I could sit back on my laurels :o) 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thanks to Ladydi, the Lid Fits! :o)

If you all will remember me finding this jar without a lid in Goodwill store....Well thanks to Ladydi, It now has one that fits perfectly, looks neat and it matches my  "New Baby" ;o) it seems good things come to those who wait. Thanks Ladydi, that was a sweet thing to do...Plus the lid was wrapped in a beautiful hand made dish cloth, which I will use (when I have company and brag about it :o) Now send a name for "New Baby" :o)  Ginny

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Say Hello to my "NEW BABY" :o)

She arrived Yesterday at about 12:30 pm, and I was too busy running errands before the great storm before I could tell you about her. I'm the typical "Grandma" crowding up the kitchen with all my "necessary" stuff I need to make a meal :o).  I didn't think her Black Dress went well with my kitchen colors, but Lo and behold it did and she makes a grand appearance :o)...I lifted her skirts :o) so you could get a good look at her..she is pretty all over ! She will  cut the size bag I need , and then she can vacuum the air out of the bag.:o) and then she will close it with a heated kiss.
I think she will be a great help to me during the "canning" season, and also with saving leftovers...Already she has saved leftover Pastrami for a sandwich. It's nice and airtight  too.She came just in time..I had her grandmother that I threw out about a month ago (after 30 years :o(  she was bad to the core years ago. Also, last night a package of the Cranberry beans burst! I had used one of those vacuum thingies and it wasn't secure enough to last! :o(
Yesterday I did pick up some Chicken Legs on sale, and when I'm rested a bit, I'm going to see how well she will save them for me..I have many idea's, and I'm willing to listen to some of yours...Do you think I should give her a name instead of "New Baby"? Send me your idea's about it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Homemade Grav Lox with Cream Cheese (and Pickles)

While I'm waiting for my "New Baby" to arrive I'm eating my way through frustration, by the time it gets here with the weather delivery delays, I'll be as big as a house! :o(
I have to say that the Grav lox has taken some frustration out of my bite.:o) ( I'm trying make puns
and doing a poor job of it). Any
way your looking at a good bit that would have been a half package if I'd bought it.
My dill was limp from being frozen by the cold snap. but I used it anyway and it worked out fine. Next year I'll plant more and by then I hope to have some Row Covers to help protect it from bugs and weather.. Making Grav lox is pretty easy, just takes a little patient waiting for it to "cook"..
Place Salmon (Skin side down) in a glass dish , cover with dill
Mix dry ingrediants
1/2  cup kosher salt
1/2  cup sugar
1  tbl  fennel seeds (ground)
2  tbl White or Black Peppercorns (ground)

put dry ingrediants over dill, place other portion of salmon (meat side) on top.
place a plate on top of the whole thing, then place a heavy object (can,or covered brick)
let sit in Fridge for 1-3 days, it will "weep" , spoon that "weep" back over the Salmon.
on the 3rd or 4th day..wipe dry ingrediants off Salmon, slice thin in a slant and enjoy!
I got this recipe from my "barefoot contessa, back to basics" Cookbook

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sweet Potatoes again! :o)

These French cut Sweet potatoes are Half of one potato (already eaten) when I decided to show you another reason my B/S stays up :o(  The picture is a little dark on one part, you can see more of them at the top.
I've been trying preparing Sweet potatoes in more ways a monkey can shell a peanut :o)  ( I thought that was pretty good).
First I peeled them, cut them into French style, and deep fried them in one of my old trusty iron pots, (good way of getting a little iron naturally, good excuse for frying :o)  I  videoed them and really succeeded but decided to use this still pic.

Drained them on a paper towel and sprinkled a little sugar and salt on them while they were hot and we had a little feast.
Don't do a close up! unless you want to make some , they were delicious :o) and I have more raw potatoes too!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chicken Wings and Stewed Potatoes

Today it's cold and dreary in NC, not a day to roam the streets and feel the cold, and if one did venture out! What a pleasant treat to find a steaming pot of Chicken wings and stewed white potatoes waiting on the stove...and a nice hot slice of Homemade Rye bread with "Homemade Butter" spread on it, and later maybe a little prickly pear Jam spread on it too!  :o).

RYE  Bread Rising

Hope the bread turns out the way I expect..this is the second rise...Have to wait for it to rise and then punch it down again, put it  on a sheet and wait for it to rise again, then into the oven... usually Saturday is the day for beans, but I felt like this "Comfort" food today..Hope everyone is staying warm and toasty,especially  here in NC where the weather is usually not this brutal.
The Rye bread wasn't too bad in taste etc. I wish I had made a larger loaf, this one went too quickly!, :o(  I'll have to make another real soon. This one just wet the appetite for more :o)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Frustration tolls

Everyone knows when things don't go right and are out of your control, it leaves you with a bitter taste and a bitter tongue!  I won't be able to say what I want to and be considered "pleasant", So I'll keep my mouth shut about it. "My new Baby" got here! Not a second too soon as far as I was concerned, Alas! "My new baby" couldn't and didn't make a sound! she opened her eyes so I knew she was alive, but not functioning like she was supposed too. Talk about being frustrated, that was my first name #$^& < and that was my last name. :o(
After a couple of calls, (that took all morning and part of the afternoon) the problem is initially solved, once "My new baby's replacement arrives within 7-10 days.  I had so looked forward to playing with "My new baby" and had many idea's on how she could be such a good partner to have in my "Homesteading endeavors" I wasn't pleased with the color of her dress, but figured "what the heck" I got a bargain! Have to give up something! If I have to wait a week, why shouldn't you!, I want somebody to be frustrated right along with me :o(.... At least I did have one thing go right today! It was time to take my Grav lox out of it's brine.
 I had a slithering of cream cheese and Rye bread with it and a little onion...WOW! Delicious, I think it's the best one I've made yet!
Stay tuned and I'll let you know when "My new baby" arrives.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Just Checking in

I haven't posted a few days, been busy as a bee doing nothing :o) or trying to do nothing but rest. The weather is cold here and that Snow flurry that turned into a pile is still hanging around. Other than going to the Dr's nothing gets me out of the house..good thing we have delivery from the Internet to the house, we are really getting lazy :o). Sometimes you get a better bargain online, usually I miss them! This time I didn't :o) and I grinning from ear to ear...I was going to show you "My New Baby", but darn if the camera wouldn't take a picture :o(  I tried a few batteries and even the ones that was re-charging,didn't work...ugh! I'm going to get new batteries (not today, I'm in for the night). I hope I don't need a new camera..if so you will have to wait a bit...stay tuned to the Saga.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Two Surpises in One Day

First Snow
Three hours later from Bedroom window
The First surprise came about 10 am, Cecil and I had what we call a "wake up breakfast" Toast and our favorite drinks, his is always coffee. After sitting in our "Chair Beds" and just relaxing to wake up! The door bell rings! ugh! I thought, the first morning I didn't make my bed early and someone is ringing the door bell! Cecil checks it and says, it's some Man!. He opens the door and this man walks into the room, and it's my Son :o)  what a surprise, his siblings knew about it but kept it quiet.  I haven't been out of my apron since, he eats three times as much as Cecil and twice as often :o).
The Second surprise was Snow! it promised to just be a flurry and I decided I'd better go pick some greens before it got bad. I picked all the turnips so I wouldn't lose them and I'm glad I did...they were absolutely delicious < my son remembered we ate the tops in NJ and Cecil was surprised that he hadn't remembered when I told him so. We women are always right :o) I don't have time to spend this afternoon  gabbing on the blog, I've already cooked two pots of Greens
(turnips and mixed) and a pan of cornbread, that's half gone.
Saturday's is usually my "Bean" Day and I won't deviate from it ..I have some nice smoked ham hocks and some "field peas"  I will cook them today, and tomorrow I'll bake that Pork Roast I've been marinating for the last two days.
My Son brought us some treats from NY.. Pastrami sandwiches (enough meat in them for three big sandwich's instead of one) and some NY Knishes and don't forget the pickles  yummy...

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Well Roasted Chicken

When I took this chicken out of the Oven , it was such a beautiful succulent looking Bird. I have been showing you mostly Canning so I thought I'd give you a break :o) and myself too!  I had it with some Candied yams, Cornbread and of course Greens :o) This time it was Mixed Greens..Wonder would I have been able eat it if I raised it :o(
I'm waiting for my Cabbage to "head up" we were late in planting them and the weather has really turned cold. Cecil covers them (tucks them in ) every night to keep the frost off them and uncovers them in the morning. The Red cabbage is still such a beautiful color..I'm thinking they will be delicious little bites. I'm going to be well stocked with selections of greens this year :o)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Still Canning "Collards" this time

I think we are becoming quite the farmers! This is another crop of Collards that we have grown on our "Almost and Acre" farm :o)..Yes, the Food closet is getting quite full of delicious eats! We are "Homesteading" in a small way, but I will say this "it's the way to go". I know exactly what's in the jars and where it came from. It's said "you are what you eat!" Somebody told me I looked good !, and I want to believe it :o) if only I could knock that sugar count down :o(  That Dr. put me on Insulin injections S*** I fought taking it long enough, one less pill to take so insulin better work. I still have some Rutabaga and Cabbage to put away ( a little at a time). I'm thinking the cabbage can be put away like the collards,(pressure canned) the leaves are similar in texture, any idea's anyone.