Thursday, September 30, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Waffles

Since the apple jelly never did jell, we needed something to use it with. This morning I made a double batch of apple cinnamon waffles. For a single batch, you will need:

3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 T. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1 apple peeled and shredded
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 waffle iron
spray oil or oil and a brush

Put your liquid ingredients in a bowl and mix (in my case with a hand beater) well. Add your dry ingredients and also mix well. Add the shredded apple.
Spray your waffle iron and add the batter by large spoonful and spread out. Don't put so much on that it will overflow down the sides (it always manages to at least once). Cook until lightly browned. Cut apart the waffles and serve.

Here they are with the apple syrup on them. Don't they look wonderful?! My double batch made 19 waffles. The girls ate some and I froze the rest. I wrap them in saran wrap in sets of 4 with wax paper between them.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Growing Garlic from Bulbils

There was a time when I had no idea what you would use fresh garlic for. I used garlic powder and that was it. Luckily things are different now.
So winter is coming and I still am in my gardening mode and the fall garden of cabbage and broccoli just grow too slowly for my gardeners spirit. While looking through the seeds on eBay (I bought my tomato and peppers seeds for next year), I came across some garlic bulbils, 100 to be exact, for $3. I do like to try new things and I understand that I likely won't get usable garlic from these the first year but I went ahead and got it.
The bulbils came in yesterday. They are tiny!I decided to plant them now in the greenhouse and see if I could keep them growing through the winter.
I soaked them first in plain water for just a couple hours;

Here is the potting soil I will use. It was marked down at a local Dollar store;

Here are the pots:

Pots must have drainage. Poke holes in the bottom of the pots.
Fill with soil and then try not to get too frustrated putting those tiny wet bulbils in the soil. Needless to say mine may come up anywhere in these pots and not look exactly neat and tidy.

Water and wait, that is all there is to do now. I'll have other posts on these as we go along.

Canned Garlic Onion Potatoes

Potatoes are on sale in the stores right now and I always buy as many as I am able to. This year however the potatoes just aren't storing well. I usually just set them in my kitchen but this year, within a few days, they are starting to rot. I am not sure why this is but I imagine it has something to do with how they are handled when harvested. So I have been buying them and canning them.
My canner is small and I don't like wasting any potatoes so I always measure mine as I cut them. I peel them, cut them into chunks and then drop them into the quart jar until it is full, then put those potatoes in the pan they are going to be boiled in. That way I don't boil more potatos than my little canner can hold.

Once I have the amount of potatoes I need, I cut up one onion. Doesn't matter how you cut it, just get it in the pot with the potatoes. You'll also need garlic. I put a big spoonful of garlic in the pot (a tablespoon maybe).

The potatoes are cooked for 10 minutes.

While it is cooking you can heat up your canner, get your jars ready and also heat to boiling another fairly large pot of just plain water.
After the potatoes have cooked for 10 minutes it is time to start loading the jars. Put the potatoes in:

Put in more garlic. About this much.

And then put in water from the pot of plain water that you boiled. Leave about a inch of headspace.

These have to be canned at 10 lbs pressure for 40 minutes (quarts). Here they are fresh out of the canner.

These are great mashed, fried or just heated up and eaten. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yogurt Biscuits

This recipe was contributed on our forum by our member rednecknurse. It is a great way to use up all that yogurt that you will be making. I hope to be able to add a picture of these soon!

2 c. flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 c. butter or margarine
3/4 c yogurt

Put flour, baking powder, salt and butter in a food processor and whirl until it has the texture of corn meal. Put in a bowl and mix in the yogurt. Roll out on a floured board to about 1/2" thick and cut with biscuit cutter. Bake at 425 degrees 15 to 20 minutes.

Growing Mealworms

I'll never forget one day when Phil was rearranging his things in our walk-in closet. He stopped suddenly and asked me, "Do you have worms in here?!"  I sure did. In a small tub in my closet are thousands of worms and many, many beetles.
Why would I want to grow worms? Because my quail absolutely love them and they are a great source of protein for them.
To grow mealworms you will need:
chicken layer crumble
a small tub

I found my small tub at a thrift store for about $3. It was perfect because it had a top that had a round insert in it that I could take out. In the tub I put a few inches of chicken layer crumble feed then a few peices cut up newspaper.
To get mealworms you must start with mealworms. The mealworms I bought from a friend online. You can buy them online on eBay as well. I only started with 100 mealworms. These I put in the tub as well and then added a few peices of carrots. I put them in my closet because it is always closed and stays warm even when the air conditioning is on. A few weeks later and my worms evolved into beetles. Don't worry, they can't get out of the tub even with the top open all the time. The beetles lay more eggs which give you more mealworms.

I add to the tub any vegetable matter that the beetles will eat. They seem to like cabbage or lettuce leaves and carrots so they get a lot of those, and I also add more chicken layer crumble from time to time. I eventually will get a larger tub and grow a bigger mealworm "colony". 
To feel them to my quail I have a small seive by the tub and I scoop them out trying to only get the worms and leave the egg laying beetles. I put them in a small bowl and take them out to the quail.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Making Yogurt

Today's project was yogurt making. It was only the second time that I had made yogurt but the first time I tried it the yogurt turned out so tasty that I now don't want any store bought yogurt. Store bought yogurt seems so tasteless when compared to what I now know that I can make.
The first time that I made yogurt. I made it entirely in the crockpot. It set great and we loved it but the crockpot did sit in the refrigerator for a week or so and took up a lot of space, so this time I decided to do it partially in the crockpot but pour it into jars to set. I like this method so much better and will probably do it this way every time.
To make yogurt my way you'll need:
A candy thermometer
dried milk
and a starter(store bought yogurt or a cup saved from you last yogurt making)

You put as much milk in the crockpot as you want yogurt but since the amount of sugar and dried milk goes by quart, you should probably put your milk in by quarts. Today I made 2 quarts because last time I made 3 quarts and we had a hard time eating it all. Measure out your milk and put in the crockpot.Add 1/2 cup of dry milk per quart and 1/3 cup of sugar per quart.  Put the crockpot on high. Go do your other chores, coming back from time to time to check the temperature of the milk with the candy thermometer. You are needing it to read 180 degrees farenheit.

When it reaches 180 degrees shut the crockpot off and go do some more chores. Now you will be checking it from time to time to see when it comes down to 100 degrees. When the temperature is down to 100 degrees pour it into your jars.  

 Now you want to add your starter. Add a couple heaping spoonfuls of store bought yogurt or your saved yogurt and stir it in. I put the lids on and set the jars in my oven (my stove is a gas stove so the pilot light keeps it warm) and wrap them with a towel.

 I then went to work. My daughter took the yogurt out of the oven when she went to cook supper and put it in the refrigerator. It was probably in the oven about 6 hours. The final product is just wonderful smelling and mine turned out thicker than the stuff I used to start it with. Phil got into it before I could get a picture of it in the jars. He put it over some home canned peaches (which was a very good idea and what I will be having for breakfast tomorrow).

I hope this inspires you all to make your own yogurt. It is incredibly easy and the flavor is amazing. It also will cost you a lot less than the containers that you can buy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hot Pepper Butter

I found this recipe on another blog called Chickens in the Road. Everyone who tried it seemed to love it and this week I found some hot peppers on sale in the store and bought them so I could try it.
Cut and seed your hot peppers, then chop them up to a mush in the food processor.
Put your peppers in a large pot and add:

1 qt apple cider vinegar
1 qt. prepared mustard
4 cups sugar (the original recipe called for 6 but those who reviewed said 4 was fine)

I used a whisk to get the mustard mixed in well. Cook it for 10 minutes or so. (original recipe did  not specify how long)
In a second small bowl mix up a cup of flour with enough water to make it smooth(I whisked these together as well).
Using your whisk stir the pepper mixture quickly while pouring a thin stream of the flour mixture into  it.
Ladel into jars and can in boiling water bath canner 15 minutes.
The hot pepper butter are in the yellow jars on the left.

Apple Jelly

I made apple jelly from the peelings of the apples that I made into apple butter and applesauce.
I added 4 cups of sugar and a package of pectin. Bring it to a rolling boil and then boil for one minute.

Isn't it a pretty color?

And looks beautiful in the jars.

Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be jelling at all and I may have to retry again tomorrow :(

Edited to say:  Just so you all know, it did not jell. I actually have never seen any jelly that I have tried to make come out looking just like it went in the jars. So I tried again this morning with more pectin. They aren't completely cool yet but so far they are only slightly thicker than before. I have to wonder why this is and if it is something that the apples are sprayed with prior to our buying them in the store that causes this.

Caramel Spice Apple Butter

This was another thing I made with the apples. You will need:
 about 4 pounds apples peeled, cored,  cooked down and mashed
3 cups brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
4 tsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp butter
1 package pectin

Add all ingredients together in pan, but leave pectin for last. Mix well, cook on low heat 30 minutes. Can in a water bath canner 10 minutes.

The carmel spice apple butter are the darker jars.


I made several things today from some apples that I got on sale. I had three different kinds of apples. One of the things that I made was a few pints of applesauce. I didn't make too many pints of applesauce because we don't eat a lot of it plus I had a shortage of jars.
To make applesauce you need to peel and core your apples. Put them in a large pan with just a cup of water and cook them down until very soft.
I drain the water and then add sugar. You can add as much sugar as you like. Start with 1/4 cup per pint (estimate) and go from there.

Applesauce needs to be canned in a waterbath canner for 20 minutes.
There are three pints of applesauce in there. You can see two of them right in front of the sink full of dishes that I hadn't gotten to yet.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sourdough Peanut Butter Waffles

My son proclaimed these the best waffles ever. I have recipes for the sourdough version which is what I made and the regular version.
(Regular) Peanut Butter Waffles
1 3/4 C. flour
3 tsp. sugar
6 tsp. peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C. butter
1 3/4 C. milk
Mix together eggs, butter and peanut butter, milk. Add dry ingredients. Fry on your greased waffle iron.
Sourdough Peanut Butter Waffles (Double Batch)
3 1/2 C. flour
2 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. butter
4 eggs
2 C. sourdough starter
1/3 C. sugar
Mix together eggs, butter, peanut butter and sourdough. Add dry ingredients. Add enough milk to make it the right consistency for waffles(approx. a cup). Fry on a greased waffle iron.
I also make cinnamon waffles using the same recipe, just omit the peanut butter and add about a tablespoon of cinnamon

Some of the Crew

Here are the ducks, there are 15 of them. Their job here is to supply us with fresh eggs...

They seem to be on strike lately..

Here are a few of the bantam chickens

At least they lay eggs.

Here are just a few of the larger chickens. These are Easter Eggers and their hens lay greenish colored eggs.
And this is Romeo. He is the baby of the house. There is a larger dog Dukey who is the ruler of outside the house but Roamy is the baby.

He is not exactly a real exciting dog but we love him.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Halloween Jar

This is a very simple craft project that I recently made. You will need:
A pickle jar (or any type of large jar)
Acrylic paint in black and orange
An empty thread spool
A sponge
Fabric ribbon (optional)
A small set of Christmas lights (mine I took out of my Christmas village)

When your jar is washed and dried well, take your sponge and dip it in the orange paint, then blot it off on a peice of newspaper before you start sponging it on the glass. Make sure you cover the glass totally with the orange paint but you don't want it on too thick or the lights will not show through as well. Allow to dry.
Glue the empty spool to the top center of the jar lid. Paint the jar lid and spool black with a brush. When orange paint is dry, paint on face in black. When jar is completely dry tie ribbon around neck of jar. Put your lights inside (if the cord is small enough the lid will still fit on, if not, you may have to make a hole in the lid to put the lights through.

Sourdough Fried Chicken or Steak

This is one of the best fried chicken recipes that I have. Enjoy.
1 chicken cut up
1 cup of starter
1 egg
your choice of seasoning
Take three bowl and put flour in the first one, the starter and egg in the second one-beat egg with a fork, and flour and season in the third bowl(I used chicken season salt and Chicken Jambalaya seasoning).
Wash chicken, coat chicken in the first bowl of plain flour, dip into second bowl, coat again in third bowl, set aside on a paper towel until all are done. Fry in deep fryer until done.

No Crock Sauerkraut

It is really simple and makes a small batch, which I like since we don't use this up really fast.

5 lbs fuly mature cabbage (about one large one, is all I usually use)
Wash quarter and finely shred

3 1/2 Tablespoons salt
Mix into cabbage in large bowl. Allow to set 30-60 minutes to wilt slightly.

Firmly pack into jars, leaving a 2 inch headspace. Fill with Cold water, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Adjust lids, screw bands tight. Place jars on a pan to catch brine that overflows during fermentation (usually very little). Keep cabbage covered with brine, add more if necessary (1 1/2 tsp. salt in 1 qt. water).

This is just left out. I leave mine on my table where the sun won't hit it.

Sauerkraut is cured and ready to can in 6 to 8 weeks. Clean rims of jars and replace lids if ncessary; screw bands tight. Set jars in water-bath canner filled with cold water. Process 30 minutes.  Makes approx. 7 pints.

Growing Culinary Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

There are many different types of roots which can be purchased in the grocery store and then replanted. Horseradish is one of these and so is ginger. Ginger is incredibly easy to plant and grow but and only takes a season for the rhizomes to get big enough to harvest . Ginger plants usually grow just a few stems that can reach a height of 2-4 feet. To me they look like a small palm leaf or a bamboo stalk.
Today I planted two small ginger rhizomes that I purchased in the grocery store for $ .67.  Ginger rhizomes have "eyes" just like a potato plant does.
Here is where I planted my ginger roots today. It is my little herb tub that also holds my green onions.

I just dug out a very small depression in the soil as ginger roots only need to be covered with about an inch of soil.

The root is placed in the hole flat and covered then the dirt patted down over it.

As the ginger grows I will be sure to take more pictures of it so that you can all see how it is doing. Ginger is not frost hardy and I will be dragging this tub into the greenhouse to overwinter. People who live in colder climates may want to plant their ginger in the spring and harest in the fall.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sweet Pickled Carrots

These carrots were just so pretty in the store and only $1.77 for a one pound bag that I went and got them.

I looked around for a recipe. Wanted something different for a change. I found Sweet Pickled Carrots in my Better Homes & Garden Home Canning Cookbook (1973) but it called for 6 pounds of carrots. Had to adjust the recipe. At first I cut it in half but knew that wouldn't be enough liquid to cover 4 pints of carrots (I know from buying these bags of carrots before that each bag equals 2 pints) so I added some more to it. The recipes called for cinnamon sticks, I have some somewhere but I don't know where and the ground cinnamon was right there, so I used that. I also pressure canned it for 5 minutes instead of waterbath canning it for 5 minutes. I really don't know why anyone would want to fill up a waterbath canner for 4 pints when a pressure canner is so much faster and takes a lot less water. I also did not cook the vinegar liquid for the 20 minutes that the recipe called for (what the heck for ?). Anyway, so my recipe may not turn out as well as theirs but I like to experiment.
Here is my recipe:
2 pounds baby carrots
2 cups sugar
2 cups vinegar
2 cups water
1 heaping tablespoon mustard seeds
1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon
2 whole cloves
Put carrots in a pan of water and bring to a boil. Boil about 5 minutes. Put the rest of the ingredients in a pan and boil for about 5 minutes as well. Put carrots in jars, fill jars with vinegar mixture leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Waterbath (or pressure can in my case) 5 minutes.  Makes 4 pints.

The sauce

Filling the jars. Aren't they pretty?!

The finished product!