House cleaning is like stringing beads with no knot at the end of the thread.

"Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods." -Ezra Taft Benson-







Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Zymergy

What am I talking about? Don't you know? Why not? Our ancestors surely used zymergy all the time. It is a way to preserve food. And when done right tastes amazing!
Zymergy is fermenting food, you know like pickled herring, sauerkraut, pickles, etc.. I just spent 3 days making dill pickles, the new way :( by using vinegar, but I would like to learn to do it the old way.
My friend has just posted an amazing article on fermenting foods, with books to read in her article. Please go and check it out. Then use the library and read some great books :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Expiration dates... are so misunderstood!

Ok, my mom and I were discussing expiration dates the other day. Then I finally have a chance to sit down and work on my blog, and my friend has written an awesome article.. I think our minds are linked in some way.
Check it out PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

So, how do I use expiration dates??? Well except for store bought milk, cream and meat. I use these funny little dates to tell me how to put items in rotation. Example: I just bought 18 jars of Ragu spaghetti sauce because it was on sale. I got home and found out I still had 6 jars left. So I looked at dates on the jars, wrote those dates on the front of my jars with my SHARPIE where I could see them easily, pulled out my first 6 jars. I then look a the dates and put the date that is the farthest away, in this case 7-2010, and put the oldest dates in the back and line them up so the closest date to today is in the front. Easy to do. I ALWAYS rotate. I also do this in my fridge with cheese, although I don't use a sharpie on those items, it eventually leaks through the plastic onto the cheese, much like those USDA stamps for meat used to do.

Please read both articles above, they are both great sources of info.. Amazing what the FDA will admit, the whole expiration date is so misunderstood!!!

Can you prepare too much?

I am sending you to another blog to read this article.  A few key points, the last 6 questions you need to really look at.  So go read the article. And make sure you are preparing the way you need to :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Zucchini Pineapple

Yes that is correct. You use this in place of pineapple. So cool Zucchini is special, it absorbs the flavor of whatever it is cooked in, how great is that?  So try this canning recipe. Use this to make pineapple banana bread, or something else yummy :)  Some people use this in place of pineapple chunks when they make pizza. This is so cool!

Zucchini Pineapple
4 quarts cubed or shredded zucchini
46 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups bottled lemon juice
3 cups sugar

Yield: about 8 to 9 pints

Peel zucchini and either cut into 1/2-inch cubes or shred. Mix zucchini with other ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer 20 minutes. Fill jars with hot mixture and cooking liquid, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process.  BOILING WATER CANNER

0 - 1000ft = 15 minutes
1001 - 6000ft = 20 minutes
above 6000ft = 25 minutes

Saturday, September 4, 2010

DEALS WOW!

I so love my DK Market!!  Send hubby to pick up some dried hot chilies and then I remembered I was out of bananas. And boy am I glad I was on the phone with him!  He got 15 pounds of bananas for me. I am so happy I could pee my pants! But I won't :)  What will I do with these bananas? Well, everyone (almost) eats one a day, plus when they get brown spots on them I will dip slices into a lemon juice dip or pineapple juice dip and dry them. Home made banana chips!  The kids love them. Also banana muffins, banana bread, and of course special pancakes!!!

Why am I so excited over 15 pounds of bananas? Because hubby got them for ...... are you ready for this? .... $0.29 a pound!!!  Yup! That's is correct! I am looking at the receipt and happy as can be! He also got my dried hot chilies for  the salsa I am going to attempt to make. Hope it's good.

I may run back next week for more bananas and make some banana jam, if I don't make any from the ones I already have. yummy!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Give Away - Tattler Lids!!!

I am new to using Tattler lids, but they are amazing!!  I love them so far!  Just DON'T stretch the rubber ring and you will be fine!  My friend over at Adventures in Self Reliance is having a give away for these amazing lids!  Go read about it and enter!! 
Why do I love these lids?? Well, let's see, they are reuseble, easy to use, reuseable, dishwasher safe, reuseable, great for pressure or water bath canning, reuseable , and REUSEABLE.

Ok, so now you know. So head over to Angela's site and check them out!  Tattler lids are amazing!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Zucchini Cream

Ingredients

    • 2 lbs zucchini
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter ( no substitute)
    • 2 lemons, juiced and zested

Directions

  1. Cut off stem and blossom ends of the zucchini and peel. (Remove all the green for a prettier color at the end). If the zucchini are very large, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. If small, leave whole. (I cut the zucchini into chunks at this point).
  2. Boil in a small quantity of water until tender OR you may microwave in a covered dish until tender, about 10 minutes. In either case, drain well, then mash or process to a smooth pulp.
  3. Cook in the top of a double boiler over hot water with sugar, butter, lemon juice and zest. Stir frequently, until thick and creamy, about 15 minutes.
  4. Ladle into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims clean, put lids and rings in place and tighten down.
  5. Invert jars for a few minutes, then return to upright and cool completely. Check seals, label and store in cool, dry place.
  6. Note: It took 30 minutes for my batch to cook down. I processed my jars in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.

Zucchini Bread and Butter Pickles

Ingredients

    • 18 small zucchini
    • 4 medium onions
    • 4 cups vinegar
    • 4 cups sugar
    • 4 teaspoons pickling salt
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons celery seeds
    • 4 teaspoons turmeric

Directions

  1. Thinly slice the zucchini and onions.
  2. Mix together the vinegar, sugar, salt, celery seed, and turmeric in a large pot; bring to a boil.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, then add zucchini and onions and return to a boil.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Pack mixture into sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/2" headspace.
  6. Adjust caps.
  7. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  8. When cool, check jars for proper seal; refrigerate any that do not seal promptly.
  9. Store others in a cool, dry place; pickles taste best after aging several weeks.

Zucchini Salsa

Ingredients

    • 10 cups zucchini, peeled & shredded
    • 4 onions, chopped
    • 2 green peppers, chopped
    • 2 red peppers, chopped
    • 1/4 cup pickling salt
    • 1 tablespoon pickling salt
    • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon cumin
    • 2 cups white vinegar
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 5 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 12 ounces tomato paste

Directions

  1. Day one:In a large bowl combine; Zucchini, onions, green pepper, red pepper and the salt Mix together cover and let stand over night.
  2. Day two.
  3. Next day rinse, drain well and put into a large pot then add mustard, garlic, cumin, vinegar, brown sugar, pepper flakes, salt,cornstarch, nutmeg, pepper, tomatoes and tomato paste.
  4. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.
  6. Water bath jars for 15 minutes

Special Pancakes

4 eggs
4 cups flour
3 cups milk
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large VERY ripe bananas, mashed
1 small zucchini, (6 - 8 inches), seeded and grated
1 TBS. cinnamon
1/2 - 1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 - 1 cup water (OPTIONAL)
1 - 1 1/2 cup choc. chips, optional
Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl, except chocolate chips. In large bowl mix eggs, bananas, zukes, milk and oil. Next add dry ingredients, and mix well. IF too thick, add some of the water. Mix will be thick. Measure 1/4 cup pancakes onto hot 400 degree griddle. Turn when edges are slightly dry and top is bubbly. Cook until golden on bottom.  IF you use the chocolate, I add 5 chocolate chips to each 1/4 cup pancake right before putting on griddle, because the chocolate sinks to the bottom of the bowl of dough.
This is our favorite breakfast during summer when we have zukes.

Zucchini Brownies

2 cups zucchini, shredded
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Fudge Frosting
Combine zucchini, sugar, vanilla and oil. In separate bowl combine dry ingredients, then add to zucchini mix. Mix well. Add chocolate chips and stir.
Pour into greased 13 X 9 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. 
While baking, make frosting.


Fudge Frosting:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon agave nectar OR corn syrup
dash of salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Mix granulated sugar and cocoa in 2-qt. saucepan. Stir in milk, butter, agave nectar or corn syrup and salt. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Boil 3 minutes, stirring occasionally; cool. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread over brownies.