Thursday, October 25, 2012

Beef Jerky

We made 2 four pound batches of jerky in the oven.  I still haven't used the smoker.  Husband and the Bigs were happy with both, although I think they like the first one better.
 Ingredients #1

4 pounds beef flank, cut into thin strips
 1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
 2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
 Ingredients #2

4 lbs beef flank, cut into thin strips
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup soy sauce
Instructions are the same for both:

Trim all fat off the meat and cut into thin strips.

Mix all ingredients. Pour over beef strips in a large bowl. Mix until all of the meat is evenly coated. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Lay out beef strips on rack.  Place in oven.  Bake @ 180°F, or lowest setting, 6 hours.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Crabapple Catsup

So, my adventures in crab apples started me thinking about catsup. I've made catsup before, and even have a couple of recipes that will suffice in a TEOTWAWKI  situation.  That is to say, they're edible, and without a better alternative, I guess I could get used to them, though truthfully, I don't really like them.

One of the issues I had, was that they're too runny, and taste too much like vinegar.  Reading that the crabapple pomace could be used for catsup made me wonder, where's the recipe?  The pomace itself is thick and sour, without the vinegar taste.  I think it could make a good catsup base.  So I started searching, and found a very basic recipe, as follows.

Crab-apple catsup  

Obviously an old recipe, and of course it's not going to taste quite like store bought.  I have a very boring palate.  But maybe I could combine the crabapples with a tomato catsup recipe.  I looked up a couple for reference.

Amish Tomato Ketchup Recipe 
 Tomato Ketchup Recipe

 And then, since playing with the ingredient list worked out pretty well for my cucumber relish, I thought I'd grab the ketchup bottle out of the fridge too.

tomato paste, water, glucose, vinegar, salt, spices (soybean oil, celery)

So why not just play and tweak the recipe until it resembles something like store bought ketchup?  Because I don't live in the banana belt.  Crabapples seem to be able to handle the cold, while tomatoes are kind of hit and miss with a lot of babying and prodding along the way.  Boiling down the few tomatoes I get each year to a paste just seems like such a waste, especially if I can substitute some crabapple pulp, which is abundant.  So, I started with the Crababble Catsup recipe (which tastes pretty good on it's own)  and then added tomato ketchup ingredients, tasting as I went.  It's pretty good, if I do say so myself!

Crabapple-Tomato Catsup

 10 cups crabapple pomace
 2 cup sugar 
 2 tsp pepper
 2 cloves garlic
 2 tsp of cinnamon
1 onion, puréed
2 tablespoons salt 
1 cup vinegar

20 cups (or the rest of the pot) tomatoes, puréed
1/2 Tablespoon allspice
1/2 Tablespoon whole cloves
1/2 Tablespoon celery seeds
 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

 Combine all ingredients.  Boil. Reduce heat and simmer until desired consistency.  Return to boil.  Pour into sterile jars leaving 1/8" of head space. Process in a boiling water bath 15 minutes.

 The only concern I have is that I'm not sure how long it will keep in the fridge.  Smaller jars might be more appropriate.

I just finished off the last of the ripe tomatoes with the second batch of this recipe, when Mom and Dad brought me over another 2 bags of green tomatoes.  I think I could have done pasta sauce this year after all.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cream of Mushroom Soup

 Since the cream of celery soup was a hit, mushrooms were on the cheap rack at the grocery store, and Monday was Thanksgiving- turkey bones are waiting for processing- I thought I should give cream of mushroom a try.

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Mine is essentially turkey stock with mushrooms and salt.  I left out the clearjel- I only use cream of mushroom soup in rice, where it's the flavour I want, not the thickness.  I also left out the lemon juice, because I believe it's there to keep the mushrooms from becoming discloloured.  I don't much care what colour they end up, so long as they taste good.

1/3 cup butter
1 pound mushrooms, chopped or sliced
4 quarts meat stock
2 T. salt

Melt butter. Add mushrooms and cook until browned.
Heat meat stock in stock pot.  Add mushrooms and salt.  Bring to boil.
Put in jars and process in pressure canner for 45 minutes at 10 lb.pressure.
When opening to use, add equal amount of milk and soup.

Another shelf stable product to scratch off my grocery list.  I wonder what else I can use turkey stock for...

Meat Stock

Meat Stock

Roast meat on the bone- turkey, beef, chicken etc.  Enjoy your meal.

Put all bones, skin, fat, drippings, etc, in stock pot.  Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic.

Add spices.
For beef- rosemary, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns.
For turkey/chicken- sage, rosemary, thyme, a bay leaf, poultry seasoning, paprika.

Add water to cover all.

Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 8 hours or so, until meat falls off the bone and it smells really good.  Larger quantities require more time.

Strain out the liquid.  Return to stove.  Continue simmering uncovered to reduce volume.

Taste test periodically.  The flavour will become more concentrated as it reduces.

Can or freeze at soup stage in suitable quantities.  Process pints 20 minutes/quarts 25 minutes @ 10 lbs pressure.

Continue reducing to create bouillon cubes.  Freeze in ice cube trays.

Monday, October 8, 2012



40 lemons
water to cover
1 cup sugar for every 4 cups liquid

About halfway through juicing the lemons I started wondering why I was farting around with all of these steps.  When I made the citrus concentrate, I put the peels back in the reserve water, to try to loosen up more juice.  Then I used all of the reserved water.  I quit juicing the lemons, cut them all in half, gave each a quick squeeze, then tossed it all back into the reserved water. 
Poured in the lemon zest that I had previously peeled, and I put it back on the stove to boil for 10 minutes.
I strained out the liquid from the lemon peels, for 20 cups of liquid.  I added 5 cups of sugar, and boiled the juice again to dissolve. 

It's a little too much zest, but drinkable.  Next time, I'll try the same method, but peel and discard the zest from about half the lemons.

Grape Juice

Grapes were on sale this week for 88/lb, so I had to try Canning Granny's grape juice recipe. If this works, I'll try it with blueberries next year as well.

Grape Juice
Sterilize jars.  Boil a pot of water.  Heat water bath.  Wash grapes. 

In each quart jar, put 1 cup of grapes and 1/2 cup sugar.  Cover with boiled water.  Place lids, and swirl each jar to dissolve sugar.

Process in BWB 20 minutes.

Wait 2 months.  Strain grapes.  Drink juice.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ham and Potato Soup

  • 8 cups peeled, diced potatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • 8 cups water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne

Cook on low for 6-8 hours, check tenderness of potatoes.  Stir mixture into crockpot. Let cook 15-20 minutes more.

Pressure can @ 10 lbs pressure, 75 minutes for pints.

After opening, add 1 Tbsp flour and 1/2 pint milk, stirring constantly over med heat until thick.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Balogna Rolls

Balogna Rolls

Lay out slices of balogna on a clean counter.  Break cheese slices into thirds and place one third in the center of each balogna.  Cover with yellow beans.  Fold ends of balogna over and stab through with toothpick to hold shape.
Combine equal parts cream of celery soup and milk in a glass baking pan.  Place balogna rolls into sauce.
Cover and bake 1 hour @ 350°F.  Uncover, continue baking until edges start to crisp (about half hour).  Serve with sauce over mashed potatoes.  Delish!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Crabapple Recipes

Great tutorial on crabapples here.

Changes I made:

Crabapple Jelly
8 cups crabapple juice
8 cups sugar

4 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp allspice

Measure juice into a large broad saucepan; add sugar, spices, stirring to dissolve. Boil over high heat until jelly stage is reached. Remove from heat, skim and pour into sterilized jars leaving 1/4 in (.5 cm) headspace. Seal. Process for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Crabapple Sauce
10 cups crabapple pulp
3 cups sugar
4 Tbsp cinnamon
5 cups water

Combine pulp, water, spice, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Fill sterilized pint  jars leaving 1/2 in (1 cm) headspace. Seal. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Crabapple Juice

Boil crabapples 20 minutes.
Strain juice from pulp 2 hours.  (Keeps the juice from getting too thick).

Bring juice to boil.  Add 2 cups sugar for every 3 cups juice. Stir until dissolved.   Remove from heat.  Pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Process in BWB 10 minutes.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Plain, Boring, Cucumber Relish

Cucumber Relish

12 Cups deseeded, ground cucumbers
1 Cup deseeded, ground green pepper
4 Cups ground celery
1/2 Cup pickling salt

6 Cups sugar
2 Cups vinegar
2 Tbsp celery seed
1 Tbsp mustard seed

Grind veggies with coarse blade on meat grinder, combine in large bowl.  Sprinkle with salt.  Cover with water.  Let stand 4 hours.

Drain thoroughly.  Press out excess liquid.

Combine sugar, vinegar, spices in pot.  Bring to a boil slowly, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Add veggies.  Simmer 15 minutes.

Pack into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Process in BWB 10 minutes.

Yields 9 pints.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Citrus Lemonade Concentrate

Lemon Squash (or Lemonade) and Orange Squash

Citrus Lemonade Concentrate

20 lemons and limes
zest of 4 lemons
zest of 2 limes
8 cups sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
fresh mint

 Wash fruit.  Peel the zest from 4 lemons and 2 limes.  Set aside.

Heat fruit in a large pot of water for about 3 minutes to loosen the pulp.  Remove fruit.  Save liquid.

Juice the fruit, remove seeds, run through food processor.

Combine 4 Cups juice with 8 Cups reserved water, zest, sugar, mint and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil.

Strain out zests and mint.

Fill sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Process in BWB 10 minutes.

To serve, mix concentrate with 4 equal parts cold water.  Stir well.

Makes 18 half pints.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Plantain-Comfrey Salve

Pick a bunch of plantain and comfrey leaves.  Chop them up roughly and put them in a baking pan.  
Add tallow.  The tallow was very hard in the jar, and has a beefy aroma.  I added a drizzle of olive oil, and some rose petals.
Stir and bake at 170°F (my lowest oven setting) for 3 hours.
Strain through cheesecloth.  (I didn't let it cool first, as it would start hardening).
Reheat the oil.
Add 3 tablets vitamin E.  Mix through. (Preservative).
Pour into jars.
It hardened to a lovely shade of green, with just a tiny bit of sediment at the bottom of the jars.  It smells pretty good, not really rosey, but not beefy either.  It's still a bit stiffer than I would like it, about the consistency of chapstick.  I'll add more olive oil to the next batch.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cucumber Relish

Cucumber Relish

        4 1/2 cups cucumbers, chopped
        3 1/2 cups celery, chopped
        3 cups onions, chopped
        2 cups red bell peppers, chopped
        1/4 cup canning salt
        4 cups water
        4 cups vinegar
        3 cups sugar
        2 teaspoons mustard seeds
        2 teaspoons celery seeds


    Combine cucumbers, celery, onion and peppers in a large bowl; add salt and water.
    Cover and refrigerate overnight. Drain; rinse and drain again.
    Combine remaining ingredients in a large kettle; bring to a boil.
    Add vegetables; simmer for 10 minutes.
    Ladle hot mixture into hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Adjust caps.
Process in a hot water bath according to your altitude (10 minutes for up 1000 ft.).

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd

1 1/2 C butter
1 1/2 C lemon juice
2 T lemon rind
4 1/2 C sugar
12 whole eggs
6 egg yolks

Melt the butter in the top of a saucepan or double boiler. Add the juice, rind and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Beat the eggs and egg yolks together until thick and blend into the butter/sugar mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until quite thick. Cool and refrigerate.

To Can:

Pour into sterilized jars, seal. Water bath can for 20 minutes.

Cream of Celery Soup

  Dede's Cream of Celery Soup


1/3 cup butter
3 cups celery, 1/4″ dice
1/2 cup sweet onion, 1/4″ dice
1/3 cup finely diced celery leaves (set aside)
1 quart vegetable broth
1 quart chicken broth
(or use ALL chicken broth)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1/4 tsp. ground celery seed
1 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup Clearjel


Melt butter. Add celery and onion and sauté until crisp-tender.
Add broth, saving 1 cup to mix with the Clearjel.
Add the seasonings, lemon juice, and the reserved celery leaves.
Mix the Clearjel with the reserved broth.
Mix all ingredients and heat until it boils, stirring often.
Put in jars and process in pressure canner for 45 minutes
at 10 lbs. pressure (adjust for altitude).

Dill Pickle Relish

Dill Pickle Relish

"A nice addition to burgers or hot dogs. And very pretty for gift giving. You could substitute green bell peppers for the red ones, but it wouldn't be as attractive. You can also substitute zucchini for part of the cucumbers if desired."

        6 cups cucumbers, chopped
        2 cups red bell peppers, chopped
        2 cups onions, chopped
        1 cup celery, chopped
        2/3 cup salt
        6 cups water
        4 cups cider vinegar
        1 cup sugar (optional)
        2 tablespoons mustard seeds
        1 teaspoon celery seeds
        3 garlic cloves, minced
        2 chili peppers, minced
        1/2 cup dill weed, chopped

    Combine cucumber, peppers, onion and celery with salt and water. Let sit 3 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water and drain well again.
    Bring vinegar, sugar, and remaining ingredients to a boil in a large pan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add drained, chopped vegetables, and return to boil. Reduce to simmer and continue until relish reaches desired consistency - about 15 minutes.
    Ladle into hot pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Close with hot 2-piece caps, and process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
    Store in cool dry place.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rhubarb-Raspberry Jam

Rhubarb-Raspberry Jam

4 cups 1-inch pieces fresh rhubarb (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 sprigs fresh mint
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 Cups raspberries

Combine rhubarb pieces, mint leaves, sugar and fresh lemon juice in heavy large Dutch oven. Cover and refrigerate until juices form, stirring occasionally, at least 8 hours or overnight.

Bring rhubarb mixture to simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil until rhubarb mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Juice raspberries, add to rhubarb mixture, and boil until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes longer. Remove jam from heat. Cool jam completely.

Process in hot water bath 10 minutes.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dill Pickles

I found this recipe on about 15 years ago, and I use it all the time. It works great!  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be there anymore, but like the original author says- it has never let me down.

Dill Pickles 

 Prep Time: 2 Hours Cook Time: 15 Minutes Ready In: 2 Hours 15 Minutes Yields: 64 servings

"This recipe for Kosher style dills was given to me 25 years ago by a farmer's wife who grew cucumbers and it has never let me down. The two things I have found critical to crisp dill pickles are soaking the cukes in ice water for at least 2 hours and ensuring the brine is at a full boil when poured over the dills."

8 pounds 3 to 4 inch long pickling cucumbers
4 cups white vinegar
12 cups water
2/3 cup pickling salt
16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
8 sprigs fresh dill weed
8 heads fresh dill weed

1. Wash cucumbers, and place in the sink ( I use the bathtub!) with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart ) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.
3. In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar's rims of any residue.
4. Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.
5. Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.

*NOTE*:  When I only have enough cucumbers for a few jars, I can the leftover brine separately, then reheat for the next batch.


8 cups mix Saskatoons, Blueberries, and Raspberries 6 cups sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice

Rinse stem fruit. Throw it all in the Magic Bullet juicer. Add to pot. Then I poured the seeds and pulp in a strainer to drip over top. It lets a few seeds in, but you get most of the pulp as well. Mix well.

 Add sugar and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Add lemon juice; bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently until thick, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

 Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space; wipe jar rims thoroughly. Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Canned Green Tomato Salsa

Canned Green Tomato Salsa

  • 8 lbs green tomatoes (approximately 16 cups chopped)
  • 6 large onions
  • 6 green peppers
  • 3 sweet red peppers
  • 3 – 6 jalapeño peppers (depending on taste)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup salt (start low and work up to taste)
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper to taste (1/8 to 1/2 tsp)
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • Coarsely chop tomatoes, onions, and peppers
  • Combine all ingredients in a large kettle and mix well
  • Heat to boiling, then simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, stirring frequently
  • Ladle mixture into hot pint or quart jars, filling to within ¼ inch from top
  • Wipe jar rims with damp cloth or sponge
  • Adjust lids
  • Process in hot-water bath or steam canner: 15 minutes for quarts; 10 minutes for pints (start timer after jars have been placed in canner and water in canner has returned to boiling)
  • When processing is complete, remove jars from canner and allow them to cool to room temperature. Check seals. Label sealed jars and store in pantry
  • Jars that don’t seal can be placed in refrigerator (use within three weeks) or immediately reprocessed with new lids
  • Makes about 3 quarts (6 pints)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Grandmother Bread

Many thanks to Suzanne McMinn at Chickens in the Road for this fabulous bread recipe.  Light, fluffy, yummy, easy to make, white bread.  Perfect for sandwiches.  She has many variations on it as well.  Go check it out!

Homemade Hamburger Buns

 Once again, I found this recipe online, and now I can't find the original source.  If this is your recipe, let me know where to find it, and I'll link it up.

1/2 Cup warm water
4 1/2 tsp yeast
3/4 Cup milk
1/4 Cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 - 5 1/2 Cups flour
2 eggs

Combine yeast and water in large bowl.  Let stand 5 minutes.

Combine milk, butter, sugar, salt.  Heat until butter is melted.

Add milk mixture to yeast mixture.  Add 2 cups flour & mix well.  Add eggs, mix until combined.

Add enough flour to make stiff dough.

Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

Put into bowl.  Cover with wet tea towel, let rise 1 hour.

Punch down, turn onto floured surface.  Divide into 16 equal pieces.  Form into a ball, then flatten into a disk.  Place each disk onto a greased baking sheet.  Cover with a wet tea towel and let rise 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Bake 12-14 minutes, or until they sound hollow when tapped on bottom.  Cool on wire rack.

I baked these in muffin tins, and they turned out great!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Blueberry Cookies

Blueberry Cookies
2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c shortening
1 c blueberry sauce
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 c chocolate chips
- Mix everything together.  If you have a mixer, I suggest use with a dough hook.
- Bake @ 350°F for 10-15 minutes, give or take.

Adapted from Pumpkin Cookies