Monday, December 31, 2012

What's new for the New Year?

In the upcoming year of 2013 I am going to do some articles on animal husbandry, gardening for food and of course my favorite hobbies of food preservation and preparation.  We will also throw in some fun articles through the year just to break up the monotony.

January brings me to perusing those wonderful seed catalogs and the hopes of a warm and wonderful spring.  I know it's spring when I smell newly mown grass and a fire from a barbecue, quite possibly the most wonderful smells of all to me. 

I love looking through those seed and gardening catalogs which are free by the way if you just cruise through the Internet for free gardening or seed catalogs.  They are very helpful in providing me with ideas for my vegetable garden every spring.  I do like to use mostly heirlooms and more and more are becoming available each year.  When it comes to buying heirloom seeds however I prefer FREE.  OK you say, how do I do that?  Well, you start visiting produce stands, farmers markets etc.  You buy one extra item, for instance you are buying some heirloom yellow tomato's for your dinner but buy one extra, then if you like or love the flavor you take the extra one and keep the seeds. (I will provide some directions later on how to keep the seeds.) Then about 2 months before planting you will plant the seeds in  small containers and by the time they sprout and are hardened (more explanation's later) you will have plenty of your favorites to plant. 

Some of the items I have planted from farmers market produce is: winter squash varieties, pumpkin varieties, tomatoes, potatoes (sweet, yam, purple, white, yellow), garlic, beans (dry varieties as well as green bean varieties, Asian bean varieties, corn, melons of all kinds and just so many other items.  Some items it is just easier to buy seeds such as lettuce, cabbage, collards, mustard, chard, etc.  I also plant many varieties of sunflowers and zinnia just to attract the bees and butterflies for pollination and because I admit to loving the cut flowers in my house. 

I will show you how to make enough sweet potato plants to provide yourself with enough sweet potatoes to go through the whole winter from only 2 sweet potatoes!  You can do the same thing with just a handful of regular store bought potatoes.  You don't even have to have a huge yard or garden to plant them if you practice upright planting... more on that later.

If you live in the city and don't really have a yard you can still be a gardener by doing container gardening or if you have a house in the suburbs where you can't actually grow a real garden there are ways to include some veggies right in your landscaping that will look nice and no one will know its a cabbage or some peppers  grown there in the shady area and not an ornamental!

Kids, while they love growing and harvesting don't always enjoy the weeding and watering.  Well, watering they like on a hot day but and its a big "but" they don't always water much more than themselves so don't trust that the job will be done to your satisfaction.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Recipes

I decided that for the December post I wanted to get recipes together for Christmas and share them with everyone.  We all enjoy making Christmas goodies for our families and friends and sharing recipes.  I love combing through magazines, blogs, on-line sites and eve TV for yummy recipes.

Here are some of my favorites:

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin

You can add some cinnamon, chocolate chip, nuts whatever you want to personalize this recipe. I often double it and divide it into 2-3 smaller batches and add different things to each batch.  I use a small cookie scoop that give me walnut sized balls of dough and I get about a 3" cookie.  I also use parchment paper on my cookie sheets instead of greasing or spraying them.  It can be used over and over.  When using parchment paper you sometimes have to make your bake time a little longer.  I baked mine at 350 for 15 minutes and they were perfect.

Whisk together and set aside

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Cream wet ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
Then stir in
3 cups oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups raisins

1 Preheat oven to 350°.

2 Whisk dry ingredients; set aside.

3 Combine wet ingredients with a hand mixer on low.

4 To cream, increase speed to high and beat until fluffy and the color lightens.

5 Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture until no flour is visible.

6 (Over mixing develops the gluten, making a tough cookie.) Now add the oats and raisins; stir to incorporate.

7 Fill a #40 cookie scoop and press against side of bowl, pulling up to level dough (to measure 2 tablespoons of dough).

8 Drop 2-inches apart onto baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.

9 Bake 11-13 minutes (on center rack), until golden, but still moist beneath cracks on top.

10 Remove from oven; let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Big Batch Peanut Butter Cookies

This makes a huge batch of cookies just perfect for giving away for Christmas!
If you want you can put a mini Reeses in the center of each cookie as it comes out of the oven, you can add chocolate chips to the dough or put some jam in a pastry bag, make a dent in the center and fill it with the jam.

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

3 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 jars (18 oz each) Creamy Peanut Butter

2 C butter (4 sticks), softened

2 C packed brown sugar

2 C (plus 1/4 C) granulated sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until blended. (  I use a whisk)

In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and 2 cups graunlated sugars until creamy.  Occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.  Reduce speed to low, beat in vanilla, then eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape bowl, now beat on medium speed 3 minutes or until creamy.  Reduce speed to low.  Beat in flour mixture just until blended.

Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Put the remaining 1/4 sugar on a plate.  Dip fork tines in sugar and press onto the cookie ball in a criss cross pattern.

Bake until lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes.
 Makes about 144 cookies!

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
1 pkg (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c butter, softened (do not use margarine)
3/4 c confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c miniature chocolate chips
3/4 c pecans, chopped

In mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add sugars and vanilla and mix until well-combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Gather cold mixture into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill another hour. Roll ball in pecans just before serving.
Usually, I skip the ball stage and serve this as a spread without the pecans. It's great on chocolate, cinnamon and honey graham crackers, vanilla wafers, shortbread or butter cookies.

Candied Walnuts
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup liquid (see vari1 egg beaten
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoon hot water 1 ground orange rind
1 cup cranberries
1 cup chopped nuts
Bake 1 hr 10 min at 325 in bread pan.
Store in fridge 3 hrs.ations below)
1 teaspoon white corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cup walnuts (whole if possible)
In 2 qt pot, mix first 4 ingredients.
Cook to soft ball stage 240f (use candy thermometer).
Remove from stove and add walnuts and stir until creamy.
Quickly turn out on waxed paper and separate with fork.

Orange:  1/2 cup orange juice plus 1 1/2 teaspoon finely grated rind and 6 drops orange coloring.

Mint (better):  1/2 cup milk plus 4 drops green coloring. Add 1 teaspoon peppermint flavoring.

Cranberry Bread

1 egg beaten
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoon hot water 1 ground orange rind
1 cup cranberries
1 cup chopped nuts
Bake 1 hr 10 min at 325 in bread pan.
Store in fridge 3 hrs.

Lemon Angel Refridgerator Cake

1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
6 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 large (9 1/2) angel food cake
1/2 cup whipping cream
Soften gelatin in cold water.
Beating yolks together with 3/4 cup of the sugar, lemon.
Cool over low heat until mixtures coat a spoon.
Add gelatin and stir until dissolved.
Cool beating whites until stiff with the remaining 3/4 cup sugar.
Fold into lemon mixture.
Tear cake into walnut sized pieces and stir into filling.
Spoons into 10: round pan and chill overnight.
Unmold whip cream and spread over cake.
Serves 16.

Molassas Cookies

These are fabulous cookies! Soft and big.  No one would know they have molassas in them but they just have a great taste that people have tried to identify and usually think its some sort of spice.  Believe me when I say nobody can eat just one.  They freeze well too. The directions say to chill but I did not and they still worked well. Just use that great cookie scoop!

Mix together:
 1 1/4 cups sugar
 1 cup lard
 1 cup molasses
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp each ginger and cinnamon
 1/2 tsp ground cloves

 Add and mix well:
 1/2 cup cold coffee
 2 tsp baking soda
 2 beaten eggs
 5 1/2 cups flour

 Chill dough before baking. Drop 2-3 tbsp onto greased cookie sheet, top with a sprinkle of sugar or bits of crystallized ginger. Bake at 350*  for 12-14 minutes. (Reduce to 10-12 minutes if you use vegetable  shortening instead of lard.)

Peach Cobbler Dump Cake


2 (16 oz) cans sliced peaches in heavy syrup (approx 29 oz.)

1 (18.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
 1 stick unsalted butter
 1/2 cup brown sugar
 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
1 cup coconut (optional)
 1/2 cup chopped nuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Pour canned peaches, along with syrup, into a 9×13″ baking pan.
Spread the yellow cake mix over the top of the peaches, covering evenly and pressing down.

Cut up butter into 16 pieces and spread over the top of the cake mix.

Sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon, coconut and chopped nuts over the top of the cake mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F, and remove to cool slightly before serving.

Top with whipped cream, ice cream, or serve plain.

Persimmon Bread
I used pecans for this recipe.  It was really a yummy bread, I used the mini-loaf pans and it made several; 6 I think.  I have also made one regular loaf, 2 mini loaves and 6 muffins from one batch.

Original recipe makes 3 - 6x3 inch loavesChange Servings
1 cup persimmon pulp
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts


1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).   Grease three 6x3 inch loaf pans.

2.In a small bowl, stir together the persimmon pulp and baking soda. Let stand 5 minutes to thicken the pulp.

3.In a medium bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Blend until smooth. Mix in persimmon pulp and water alternately with flour. Fold in nuts. Divide batter into the prepared pans, filling each pan 2/3 full.

4.Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Every time I turn on the TV or radio I hear much about Sandy and it's devastation.  The interesting thing is as time goes on the background sounds are beginning to mimic the sounds we heard after Katrina.  I hear people yelling in anger, "No one is helping us!", "We need water!" , "Where is the help for us?".  One woman interviewed at a gas line said it was like an apocalypse movie with vehicles and debris everywhere, lines for gas and food blocks long.  I have to wonder how many times will history repeat itself until people get the idea that you HAVE TO HAVE A PLAN! 

You will not find preppers in those lines, they would have loaded up and bugged out to their bug out locations.  They have enough gas stored to get where they need to go, and they are taking their food, water and family with them.  Those preppers in the fringe areas that were able to stay in their homes are probably enjoying a cup of hot coffee in the morning, they are enjoying a hot meal at night and have no need to go out and search for water or pray the government comes along with MRE's or soup lines.  They are not worried about gas shortages because they have several 5 gallon containers that they have been rotating out on a regular basis and have taken it with them when they bugged out or they have it safely stored away in case they need to get somewhere.

The picture above was taken just this weekend (11/3/12) at a neighborhood store in New Jersey.  There are some things available but lots of stores look like this one due to having to either throw everything away from flood contamination or because of looting and/or people trying to get everything they needed last minute. 

Seriously?  Is this what you want for yourself and your family?  So many people laugh and make fun of preppers.  I hear it all the time, they aren't worried.  God will provide.  That's what the government is for.  Seriously?

 I'm worried all the time about keeping my family taken care of.  It's MY job to feed and clothe my family.  God will indeed provide for us, He has given me a brain to plan ahead, He has given me direction on how to do that just like he did Noah, Joseph and many others.  He wants us to survive and protect our families.  If you are willing to wait for who knows how long and put your kids to bed hungry, thirsty, cold and wet then I suggest you go ahead and wait for the government to help you.  I personally do not want to wait around for something to happen before I am spurred into action.  We all live where something could happen.  Earthquake, hurricane's, flood, tornado's, droughts, loss of jobs, etc.   What is wrong with preparing for those things?  At the least you have a full pantry, you have medicine, you have gas and dry goods (toilet paper, garbage bags, wipes, etc) You can help someone else or a family member who has experienced a job loss and needs help or someone at your church or in your neighborhood who requires some additional help. 

I don't care if there are people who think I am "odd" or a "hoarder" just because I try to be ahead of the game by keeping my freezer, pantry and gas tank full.  I have a plan that I can evacuate if needed and take all my "stuff" with me.  I know where to go and keep my family safe, fed and protected.  I hope you are considering this too.  It's not so far-fetched when you turn on the news and see it happening right now in this country.  If you haven't started an emergency preparation you should start today.  It all starts with just one shopping trip and buying just a few extra items and putting them aside.  Dried or shelf stable milk, a case of toilet paper, extra soap.  Just a few items and an inventory list of "needed" items and you are on your way to having what you need in a crisis.  You don't have to worry about 8 years worth of food and goods, you just need to worry about a few weeks worth of things to start with.  Practice a plan to evacuate and how to get your goods to another location or a way to have them there when you get there.  A plan to keep your family together or reunite if separated.  Plan Plan Plan.  FEMA asks that you have 3 days food and water on hand, they suggest that 2 weeks would be even better.  Do you have 3 days to 2 weeks food and water, medical needs, hygiene needs etc on hand.  Where are you going to use the toilet?  Where are you going to bathe and wash clothes?  How are you going to do those things?  If you don't know, now is the time to start learning and planning. (see

Now more than ever this needs to be a priority. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Prepping for kids

I like to make foods from scratch.  I try to use as few as possible prepared foods, however I'm not zealous about it.  I just prefer scratch cooking as usually it's better tasting and cheaper.  Sometimes though I bend in order to accommodate my family members tastes.  For instance my grandson loves instant mashed potatoes... if I am making dinner and tell him mashed potatoes are one of the items on tonight's menu he will say very seriously, "Is it the kind with potatoes in it or no potatoes?"  He calls the instant variety "the kind without potatoes".  I like to make him happy so at least twice a month I serve "potatoes with no potatoes".  He is a strange little dude sometimes, he also likes cheap boxed macaroni and cheese.  He doesn't like the kind that comes with the little package of Velveeta or the kind you actually make from scratch, he likes the kind with fake cheese flavored powder.  He also likes instant cocoa, grits, popcorn, avocados and he loves dill pickles on his sandwiches and mint ice cream for dessert.   How is it that kids actually like things like that?

I am careful to include those items in my prepping because it's important to provide comfort foods for our family.  In an emergency situation where perhaps the power is out for a week or longer, the youngsters are going to have it especially hard.  They are used to having TV, snacks, going out to pizza once in awhile, electronics, being driven to their schools, sports practices, the mall etc.  The least you can do for your youngsters is provide them with some of the comfort that will make them feel a little better till the emergency has resolved itself or until they get used to a new way of life.


Last January I went to Vietnam with my son and my grandson for 2 weeks.  I made sure I packed some boxed shelf stable milk, mac and cheese, favorite cereal, Crystal light, instant cocoa and some instant mashed potatoes.  In the first few days he wanted most of his meals to be peppered with these items but by the 4th or 5th day he was becoming acquainted with new foods and was starting to enjoy them.  By the time we left he was eating just like any of the other Vietnamese children in the household.  He had slowly learned to adapt in order to fit in with the other children and to enjoy the fun of trying new foods.  At home he would not have been so adventurous.

I think it's important to have some adventures when you are considering how to prep for your kids.  Everyone should know how to eat with chop sticks.   Why?  Because you don't always have silverware with you in an emergency but you can find a couple of sticks.  Even with soup you can use chop sticks to eat the solids and drink the juice directly from the bowl or cup.  You can make an adventure out of it by having a chop stick eating contest or just making a festivity out of it by using them once a week at a regular meal.  It doesn't have to be Asian food to use chopsticks.  It would be more fun to use them eating a bowl of mac and cheese or Hamburger Helper than Chow Mien .  As your skills get more accomplished you can try more and more difficult foods like noodles, salad, rice, even oat meal!  If it's made into a game you and your kids will have more fun with the challenge.  One of the nice things is a bundle of chopsticks is relatively cheap and a bundle of them the size of a water bottle will probably supply eating utensils for 20 people or more.  I even have a few extra long ones about 18" for cooking.  They work great for turning frying foods like fish, chicken or larger pieces of foods. 

Things like small toys, stuffed animals, dolls, crayons, paper or coloring books will help your child remember to be a kid.  No matter if the electricity is out for a day, a week or a month or even longer a child has to have childish things to do and it will keep them from under foot if you can pull out something new for them to do or examine every so often.  We, as adults get bored to tears with the same old thing in our routines all the time and it so much more boring for a kid who has boundless energy and nothing to do.  (Remember the adage "Idle hands are the Devil's Workshop" ?) 
If you are doing serious prepping as in for a long term situation lasting 6 months are longer don't forget to add larger clothing for each season you estimate your preps, with this remember to include things you might enjoy having for your child at that size (or age).  Birthday cards, shoes, warm socks, larger coats, jeans and shirts.  Age appropriate books, gifts and personal hygiene.  Hair brushes, combs, ribbons and barrettes can go a long way in making a girl feel good about herself in a time of stress.  The same goes for boys, a baseball, a shaving kit, some after shave or men's cologne would do a lot for the self esteem of a young man who maybe thinks things will never be the same again even though maybe it's only been a week.  Think ahead for the mental well being of your child, only you know what kinds of things might make them happy or encouraged.  Try to keep things as normal as possible and as routine as possible.
Don't forget your child's spiritual education.  A supply of Sunday School lessons, crafts and a child's Bible will be a valuable part of their education.  Teach a child the way to worship and it will bring great comfort to them as they mature. 
Some "Preppers" include school plans in  their prepping.  They have gone online and procured through online suppliers or from other homeschoolers lesson plans, curriculum's, books and classroom supplies for all ages and levels of education.  Even if you don't use them due to some unforeseen event you could use them as summer or vacation lessons and keep your child that much more ahead of the game if your child is currently in public school.  If you never need them or use them, at least you were prepared. 
Here is a list of what I keep on hand for emergency use for my grandson (or for his grandpa in some cases...LOL) This is in addition to my regular pantry foods.  These are the things I specifically set aside just for him.
Mac and Cheese
Instant Mashed Potatoes
Instant Oatmeal
Instant Hot Cocoa with Marshmallows
Instant Grits
Ranch Dressing
Top Ramen
Canned Bacon
Crystal Light
Presweetened Cool Aid or presweetened packaged beverages
Canned cheese products like Nacho Cheese in a can, Cheddar Cheese Soup etc.  (With some imagination you can use these items to make some of the things very similar to things your child likes)
Pop Corn
Shelf stable milk (This comes in a box and is ready to use, it actually tastes just like regular milk)
Cookie mix (in the box, removed and vacume packaged with instructions)
Word Searches for kids
Colored pencils, crayons, regular pencils (pack these in multiples when you can.  I pick them up 10 packages at a time at Walmart at the beginning of the school year for sometimes 4 for a dollar)
Paper, coloring books, game boys
Books for pleasure reading (superhero stories, sports stories, Bible stories)
Homeschooling items picked up at garage sales or on Freecycle.  (
Freeze dried ice cream...this is an extravagance and is available at sporting goods stores in the back packing section.  It isn't cold and its not like real ice cream but it is fun and it does taste like ice cream that is crunchy..
Favorite cups, mugs, cereal bowls
Favorite colors of towels
Canned fruits and juices
Wind-up flashlights
two way radios (for those scary trips to the bathroom)
batteries and chargers
I am also working on clothing, shoes and winter items for kids in lots of different sizes.  If we don't use it I am sure there will be someone who will need it at some point.  I also have and continue to collect bedding that is of the type my grandson feels comfortable with.  Even though he is 11 he has autism and is attracted to soft, fuzzy and fluffy blankets.  He swathes himself in them year around as they make him feel comfortable, it's important to me that he has those things as long as he needs them.  Fabric is also something to purchase, set aside in vacume packing and maybe a few moth balls. You just never know what you might want to try to make later. 
These are all just ideas of what you can do to make a stressful situation better.  Remember, even if the lights are out just for the night or for longer you can pull out any of these things to surprise your children and even put some smiles on faces during what could be a scary time.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Recipes for a Crowd and Specialty Items

I use this recipe for mayonaise. I got tired of paying extremely high prices
for mayonaise and decided to try my own and it was surprisingly easy and tastey.
Further I can triple the recipe and fill a 2 quart jar with it and it will last
for about two weeks. Yes, while I don't eat mayo myself other than to make
dressing with it my menfolk love it and slather it on like crazy. Sometimes I
divide the triple recipe into thirds and flavor each third differently, for
instance I add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper for a spicy mayo for my son who
loves really hot foods and loves me to sprinkle cayenne pepper on his
sandwiches, or a few tablespoons of pesto to make a fabulous spread for
roastbeef sandwiches and its even great to dip your homecooked fries in, I add
some relish to make homemade sandwich spread etc. We are talking pennies on the
dollar for a homemade product.


1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (or 1 teaspoon brown regular mustard)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 whole eggs
2 Tablespoons white vinegar (you can also use lemon juice if you like that
better or cider vinegar)
2 cups oil (vegetable or olive, safflower etc I use the cheapest)
Optional: a pinch of paprika
1. In a food processor or blender (I use the food processor) put in the salt,
eggs, vinegar and mustard. Give it a few pulses to mix.

2. Set on medium or high and turn it on and drizzle slowly the oil, when the oil
has been completely added let it go a few minutes more to whip it completely.
Put it in a container or jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.

This is not as thick as Best Foods or Hellmans but they add thickeners to get
that real thick custardy texture. This is the mayo that your Grandma had to
make for her family during the depression.

Apple Pie Filling   

Per Quart:

5 apples

1 c. sugar
1/4 c. corn starch
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c. water
3/4 c. apple juice
2 TBSP lemon juice

Core, peel and slice apples. Place in boiling water for 1 minute. Set aside and keep hot. Boil remaining ingredients until desired thickness. I barely let mine reach a full boil. Fill hot sterilized quart jars alternating apples and syrup until it is almost full. Run a knife down the side to remove air bubbles. Add more apples and syrup. Process 25 minutes.

Cabbage Burgers

This recipe is great for a crowd or you can freeze for many later on meals.
6 lb hamburger (you can use deer or elk)
salt and pepper to taste
garlic salt to taste
5 Tbsp minced garlic
2 lg onions
4 md cabbage heads
5 loaves of bread dough
1 c water, warm
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 c sugar
1/3 c powdered milk
1 tsp salt
1 lg egg
1/4 c oil or butter(melted)
3 c flour
Start by browning the meat using salt and pepper and garlic salt to taste. add in 1 of the onions and 1 or 2 tablespoon of the garlic as well. Drain the meat and set aside.
While you are browning the meat you should chop up the onions and cabbage. I like small chunks of onion and medium sized chunks of cabbage.
Add cabbage, onion, and remaining garlic to large stalk pot add the burger on top of cabbage and mix. Season to taste with salt pepper and garlic salt
Let simmer on LOW heat till cabbage is tender
I use my bread machines to make the bread, add 1tbsp yeast and 1tbsp sugar to 1 cup warm water mix till dissolved and place in bread machine then add the other ingredients in order to the machine an set on dough setting.
As soon as everything is ready to go, roll out dough and cut them into 12 squares large enough for a heaping 1/2 cup of the cabbage mixture. Fold up the corners and "just a pinch" to seal them and place them on a large cookie sheet.
I have it set up so when I take one batch of bread dough out I start the next loaf right away so that by the time the cabbage burgers come out of the oven and cool I can be working on the next batch.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, till nice and golden brown. Lightly brush tops of rolls with butter. Serve right from the oven, and freeze the rest if there is any. Enjoy!!!
You can cut this down but where I only do the majority of my baking in the winter I do it this away and freeze them.

Yeast Rolls

Again this is for a crowd or to make and freeze ahead.
2 1/2 lb plain flour
1/2 c dry milk
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
1/4 c instant yeast
3/4 c melted, cooled butter (or shortening, room temperature)
3 c lukewarm water
Sift together all of the dry ingredients. Mix Well.

Add yeast, lukewarm water and cooled melted butter.
Beat 15 minutes (this is an important step).
Let rise.
Roll out to 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick on a floured serface. Cut out rolls with cutter.
Place on greased pans. Let rise again.
Bake at 350°F until done, (about 35 to 40 minutes, until tops have browned), just keep an eye on them.
Remove from oven and butter tops.
Makes approximately 65 rolls.

Monday, October 15, 2012

General Information about Food storage and Items to keep on hand

10 Surprising Foods You Can Freeze

You already know that the freezer is a good place to stow steak and chicken. But it works equally well for some far less obvious items.
Try freezing the following (you’ll find more detailed instructions by clicking on each item). You'll save money, waste less — and make cooking a lot more convenient.
OPENED WINE: 6 months
Can't finish the whole bottle? Freeze leftover wine in ice cube trays and transfer to freezer bags. Great for cooking, in sauces, stews and the like.
EGGS: 1 year
Crack open and mix in a touch of salt (if using for savory dishes) or sugar (for baking or desserts); place in freezer bags or airtight containers.
Brown rice has a higher oil content than white rice, so its shelf life isn’t nearly as long. But it’ll keep for several months longer if you freeze it.
BUTTER: 6 months
Butter freezes well, so stash a stick or two in the freezer (leave in the original wrapping and place in a freezer bag) and you’ll always have some on hand when you need it.
MILK: 3 months
If you’re constantly running out, freeze a backup supply in an airtight container. Thaw in the fridge and stir well before using — the texture may be a little grainy, but it's fine for cooking and usually okay for drinking.
NUTS - INCLUDING PECANS, ALMONDS, WALNUTS: 1 -2 years (depending on the type)
Thanks to their high oil content, nuts are especially prone to going rancid. Freeze them and they’ll stay fresher longer.
Most recipes call for only a sprig of herbs, but you have to buy the whole bunch. Freeze what you don’t use in ice cube trays, covered with a bit of water, and then transfer to freezer bags.
TOMATO PASTE: 3 months
Rarely do you need to use the whole can at once. Freeze dollops of leftover tomato paste on a cookie sheet or in ice cube trays and transfer to freezer bags for use in future recipes.
BREAD: 3 months
If you can never seem to finish a whole loaf before it gets rock-hard or moldy, freeze it. Bread toasts just fine, straight out of the freezer.
MAPLE SYRUP (100% PURE): keeps indefinitely
Sure, it’s more expensive than the imitation stuff. But pure maple syrup keeps forever in the freezer — so you’ll never have to waste a delicious drop.

Sturdy Staples: 9 Foods That Can Outlast You

You've just gotten halfway through a recipe, only to discover that a key ingredient is missing because you tossed it during your last cleaning spree.

It’s a predicament you shouldn't have to face again — at least when it comes to the nine kitchen staples we've listed here.

When stored properly, these everyday items will last for years — sometimes decades — even after they’ve been opened. And they’ll lose very little, if any, of their original quality as time passes. So think twice before tossing one of these items. If you've been handling it correctly, chances are it's just fine.
Pure honey is as durable as it is delicious; it keeps safe indefinitely. Honey may change color or crystallize over time, but that won't make it unsafe.
Keep it fresh: Store in a cool area and keep tightly closed. Revive crystallized honey by placing the opened jar in warm water and stirring until dissolved.
White, wild, arborio, jasmine and basmati rice all have an indefinite shelf life, when kept free from contaminants. The exception: brown rice. Thanks to its higher oil content, it won’t keep nearly as long.

Keep it fresh: Store in a cool, dry area.
Once opened, place rice in a sealed airtight container or place original package in a resealable heavy-duty freezer bag. For added protection, store rice in the refrigerator or freezer.
White, brown or powdered sugar never spoils because it doesn’t support bacterial growth. The real challenge is to prevent it from becoming rock-hard.
Keep it fresh: Keep sugar in a cool, dry area. To prevent sugar from hardening after opening, place it in an airtight container or cover the original package in a heavy-duty plastic bag and seal tightly.
Whipping up some penne alla vodka and a pitcher of cocktails? Distilled spirits vodka, rum, whiskey, gin, tequila and the like don’t spoil, even after opening. The taste and aroma may fade gradually, but it’ll take ages before you notice.
Keep it fresh: Store in cool, dark area, away from direct heat or sunlight. Keep bottle tightly closed when not in use.
Pure maple syrup not only makes your pancakes special, it adds tremendous flavor to a whole range of dishes. Best of all, it keeps forever in the freezer.
Keep it fresh: Refrigerate after opening. For long-term storage, freeze maple syrup in airtight plastic containers.
Yes, it’s more expensive than its imitation counterpart. But pure vanilla extract keeps forever, so you’ll never have to waste a drop.
Keep it fresh: Store in cool, dark cupboard and keep tightly closed when not in use.
A reliable standby in everything from marinades to salad dressings, distilled white vinegar will remain virtually unchanged as the years pass by.
Keep it fresh: Store vinegar a cool, dark area and keep tightly capped after each use.
A must-have for thickening sauces, gravies, and puddings. Cornstarch will keep indefinitely if it's kept dry and free from contaminants.
Keep it fresh: Store in cool, dry area; keep package tightly closed between uses.
From the basic table variety to fancier versions like kosher and sea, salt is a flavor enhancer that never spoils or goes stale.
Keep it fresh: Store in cool, dry area.


1. Generators Powermate PM0101207 Vx Power Series 1,500 Watt 99cc Gas Powered Portable Generator2. Fly strips
3. Reading glasses
4.Lamplight 110 Chamber Lamp, LAMPLIGHT FARMS 6045 "ULTRA-PURE" LAMP OIL 32OZ-CLEAR, Lamplight Farms 3/4-Inch Cotton Oil Lame Wicks, 3-Pack
5. Ice Chests
6. Coleman Fuel 1 Gal
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Asp Law Enforcement F21FA Foam Airweight Fricton Loc Baton (21-Inch)8. Hand-can openers
9. Birth control
10. Survival, Wild Food Foraging, Herbal Medicine books Homestead Survival Suggested Book List
11. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, wedges
12. Charcoal and lighter fluid
13. Water storage containers 55-Gallon Barrel Combo
14. Emergency Fire Starter and matches
16. Propane Cylinders Worthington Cylinders Propane Tank - 20-Lb., OPD Valve shortages will occur
17. Survival Guide Book.
18. Flannel flat sheets to cut up and use for toilet paper after paper toilet paper runs out
19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula, ointments/aspirin, etc.
20. Columbus Washboard 2133 Pail Size Washboard, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
21. Cook Stoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
22. Socks more the better
23.Texsport Heavy Duty Camp Grill (24" x 16")
24. Feminine hygiene - menstrual products
25. Thermal underwear
26. Vitamins
27. Aluminum Foil heavy duty 8-10 rolls
28. Gasoline Containers Eagle UI-50-FS Red Galvanized Steel Type I Gasoline Safety Can with Funnel, 5 gallon Capacity, 13.5" Height, 12.5" Diameter29. Garbage Bags so many uses
30. Toilet Paper
31. Powered Milk
32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid)
33. Clothes pins and Rope King PCL-316100 Plastic Clothesline 3/16 inch x 100 feet
34. Pre measured and cut plywood squares to cover windows
35. Tuna Fish cans canned in water and oil
36. Fire Extinguishers Kidde - Kitchen/Garage Fire Extinguishers 3 Lb. 10Bc Kitchen/Garage Fire Extinguisher: 408-466141 - 3 lb. 10bc kitchen/garage fire extinguisher37. Extensive First Aid kits
38. Batteries (all sizes…rotate your stockpile)
39. Wine/Liquors for trade, medicinal use
40. Dogs for alarm & protection
41. Cigarettes great barter item even if you do not smoke
42. Coghlans Waterproof Matches43. Water Filters and Purifiers
44. Seasoned firewood
45. Work clothes and boots
46. Flashlights/ Glow Sticks Light Stick - Green - 12 Hour - Pack of 50 - For Camping and for Automobiles47. Chapin 20000 1-Gallon Lawn and Garden Sprayer for cooling and bathing (Never put chemicals in it)
48. Garbage cans Plastic great for storage, collecting water, transporting – if it has wheels
49. Hygiene items
50. Cast iron cookware Lodge L5HS3 Lodge Logic Cast Iron 5-Piece Cookware Set can be used indoors or over camp fire
51. Fishing supplies and tools
52. Mosquito coils, repellent, sprays
53. Duct Tape 2" X 35 Yard Black Double Thick Adhesive Gorilla Tape54. Tarps, stakes, tents
55. Long burning candles 100 Hour Plus Emergency Candle Clear Mist56. Laundry Detergent
57. Backpacks, you may have to BUG OUT
58. Garden tools & supplies
59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, Stews - Food Storage
61. Bleach - plain 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite
62. Granite Ware 0707-1 21-1/2-Quart Steel/Porcelain Water-Bath Canner with Rack, jars and lids
63. Knives & Sharpening tools stones, steel
64. Bicycles…Tires, tubes, pumps, chains
65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats Coleman North Rim 0-Degree Mummy Bag66. Battery Powered Carbon Monoxide Alarm
67. Board Games, Cards, Dice
68. Roach and Rat poison
69. Mouse traps
70. Paper plates, cups,utensils
71. Baby wipes
72. Rain gear, ponchos, rubberized boots
73. Shaving supplies razors & creams
74. Hand pumps & siphons Triple Seven Safety Siphon Self Priming Pump for water and for fuels
75. Dry soup base mixes
76. Portable Toilets
77. Coffee, Teas
78. Mres MRE (Meals, Ready to Eat) Premium case of 12 Fresh MRE with Heaters. 5 Year Shelf Life.79. Woolen clothing
80. Wagons & carts Tricam FR110-2 Farm & Ranch 400-Pound Capacity Steel Utility Cart, Green(for transport to and from)
81. Sugar
82. Gloves
83. TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Cot (85"x 40")
85.Common sense
86. Pool Shock Doheny's Super Pool Shock 24 x 1 Lb Bags87. Band Aids 10 times the amount you think you will need
88. Ham Radio
89. Prescriptions Medications
90. EMT EMS Surgical Skin Stapler w/35 {wide} Staples and Remover Kit, Sterile
91. Vinegar

92. Salt
93. Quikclot Sport Brand Advanced Clotting Sponge ,Stop Bleeding Fast, 50 Gram Package
94. Bic Lighters
95. Portable Solar Panel
96. Police Scanner
97. Machete
98. Folding Shovel



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Canning bacon

There has been a lot of chatter lately about ...BACON!  Bacon has been in the news because it is reportedly going to be on the shortage list next year.  My family are big bacon eaters.  I don't eat it so much but they love it so I will be canning some extra bacon this fall.  I don't believe there will be a shortage per se, I think it will just be very expensive due to grain shortages as a result of the drought. 

Fall is usually the time of year that pork is on sale. Pigs are butchered year around but all those little Spring piggies are Fall Hogs and go to market.  For that reason there is usually a lot of pork sales this time of year.  I personally buy bacon whenever it is on sale, stick it in the refrigerator and when I have enough I can it. 

Buying canned bacon is very, very expensive.  Canning it yourself is very, very cheap!  All you need is wide mouth quart jars, rings and lids, a pressure canner (you cannot can meats in a water bath) some food grade brown paper or parchment paper, (although some people do use brown masking paper that comes in large rolls, it isn't food grade therefore I don't use it)  a sharp knife, scissors, and you are good to go. 
I prefer to use Parchment paper, it's a little more expensive but I find it is easier to use than brown paper.

Lay your bacon out side by side just touching but not overlapping.  If the bacon is thin you can and should put two slices on top of each other. You shouldn't put more than 8 single slices side by side or 8 doubled slices side by side for thin sliced bacon.
I like to use a ruler or thin wooden dowel in the middle of the row of bacon, then flip it in half so you have your bacon folded in half.
Trim your paper close to the bacon.

Roll you bacon in the paper tightly into a roll.

Put it into the wide mouth jar fold side down into the bottom of the jar.

 Put your lids and rings on the jar, do not add liquid of any kind.
Place the jars into the pressure canner on the rack, you may have to weight down the jars to keep them from floating.  Some people use a plate with a brick or rock on it.  Process for 90 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure for quarts.  Turn off the stove and let the pressure canner return to normal on it's own.
After removing from the pressure canner be sure to check all the lids to be sure they have "pinged". This bacon will keep for 2-3 years stored correctly in a cool dark place.

This is what the bacon looks like as it is unrolled.  Just fry it or oven bake it as usual. 
Be sure to check your jars occasionally to be sure there is no mold or that the lids are still in good, clean order.  Any sign of mold or rust and you should throw out the contents immediately as that jar did not seal correctly.
This is a great way to buy bacon on sale and be able to use it 2 years down the road. 
 Frozen bacon has to be used within a year so this will definitely prolong it's use.  You can buy your bacon bulk from somewhere like Zaycon Foods or you can just buy it by the pound as its on sale and when you have enough to fill the pressure canner you can defrost and can.  Commercially canned bacon sells for 16.95 a can!  So you do the math!