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Seasonal Salt Recipe

Seasonal Salt is another one of those easy things to make, we call it brown salt in our house.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground thyme
  • 1 tablespoon ground marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon ground savory
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace

Directions:

Mix thoroughly, it is easily accomplished with a flour sifter and place into a container that is both easily opened to take measurements from or to shake directly onto foods.

 

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Flavoring for gravy, soups, stews and a browning agent

While available on your local grocers shelf, a browning agent is rather easy to make.  This recipe will not only save you a little money, but is quite simply made.  It will brown pale skins, is wonderful in stews and generally an all around liquid meat seasoning.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chopped onions
  • 3 pods of red pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (may omit and replaced with an artificial sweetener)
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a quart bottle and fill up with cider vinegar.  A tablespoonful of this mixed in a stew, on a steak or gravy will not only give you an added flavor but also a rich color.  I find the older this mixture gets, the finer the flavor.

 

 
 

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Soup Stock Recipe

Today we are going to talk about an absolute necessity for every pantry or larder.  This is the base for gravy and dishes galore and so much better for you than a bullion cube.  While it requires a little more effort, it is so well worth it.  To use this stock in place of a bullion cube, simply freeze into an ice tray, when they are thoroughly frozen, remove them from the ice-cube tray and place into a zip closure type bag.  Any recipe that calls for a bullion cube, simply use one stock cube in its place.

Soups made with stock include all varieties of beef, veal, mutton, poultry and any other animal you prepare for the family meal table.  Stock means material laid by, or stored as in “stocked”.  When it comes to stock, normally you use the cheaper cuts of meat or the odds and ends from cooked meat or other portions of the animal you may have butchered where those edible portions of the animal that are not welcomed on the meal table by your family.  In our house this is chicken feet, liver and brains, for some reason, even the best cooked brain is not liked, so I use these for the stock base.

When making stock you want to cut the meat into the smallest pieces you can and soak them in cold water.  This will harden the albumen on the meat to prevent the juices from escaping into the liquid.  Another key factor is to have a very tight-fitting lid, you don’t want the goodness of the meats and vegetables in the stock escaping or being wasted by the process of evaporation.

It is best to make the stock at least one day ahead of time.  This will allow you to fully cool the stock so that the fat will raise to the top and become a solid mass which is easy to remove.  You do not have to make it a day ahead if you don’t have the time, but removing the fat makes it more nutritious.

Ingredients: (for each quart of water used)

  • Handful or two of meat or other animal parts, toss in bones as they contain nutrients as well.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 peppercorns or 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 allspice berries or 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed or celery root
  • sprig or two of parsley or cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed herbs (oregano, marjoram, basil, what every you like)  If using fresh herbs, a tablespoon of fresh minced herbs, any combination.
  • 1 tablespoon of several vegetables such as onion, carrot, celery, squash, turnip

Directions:

When the stock has simmered until the meat is easily shredded and the bones are clean, strain the liquid, do not let it stand or cool.  Place it into a jar if not using the next day.  Make sure you have boiled the jars very well so that they are clean and sterile.  If you are placing into a jar for storage at a later date, set the jar in a cool place, uncovered but do not refrigerate.  The stock will harden up like a jelly and the solid fats will rise to the top.  This fat layer will kep keep air from the stock and should not be removed until the stock is used.

If you would like to preserve stock you can do so by following the directions in your pressure canner book for meats and stock.

 
 

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Scotch Scones

I’m hungry just at the thought of sharing this recipe, not only is it a great scone topped with fresh preserves or honey, but it also is an excellent choice to go with country gravy and sausage.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of flour (sifted)
  • 2 cups thick buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

Mix flour and baking soda thoroughly.  Make a hollow well in the flour, pour in the buttermilk and rapidly mix the flour into the buttermilk.  The consistency should be that of a soft bread dough.

On a floured surface, knead lightly and quickly, you don’t want to overwork this dough or it will make it less fluffy and tends to taste “heavy and dry”.  Roll out to your desired thickness, I prefer about 1 inch thick and cut into desired shape.

Heat up a heavy fry pan on medium heat and place cornmeal on the bottom of the pan, you want the scones to rest on top of the cornmeal to cook.  It will take about five minutes per side to cook them, you might like to turn them several times in the cooking process, but try to keep it to about a total of five minutes per side.  They are done when browned on both sides.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2011 in Bread, The Kitchen

 

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Navajo Fry Bread

I learned of this recipe when a small girl.  Mom would cook up a pot of chili and beans and would cover it with lettuce, cheese and salsa.  We knew it growing up as Indian Tacos, what ever you call it, it tastes great!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour (sift, important to sift flour being used for bread always, even though it might be “fluffy”, sift it)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Directions:

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and powdered milk thoroughly.  Pour warm water into flour mixture and mix it with your hands until soft.

Make a ball of dough and knead it until it is flat and round.  If you want to shorten the time, use a rolling-pin if you must, but if you practice doing it just with your hands, you will soon enough become very proficient and fast with this process.

Melt 1/2 cup of oil in a heavy frying pan, fry the do in the oil until brown on both sides.

Top as you like, it tastes great under chili and beans, as a taco or even with a drizzle of honey!

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2011 in Bread, The Kitchen

 

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Mass Evacuation, are you as scared as I am?

We have been watching and reading much in my book club on the subject of the German Wars of the 1940’s.  I found my thoughts often wondering what those people must have been going through as they were evacuated from their homes and villages.  I know when Hurricane Katrina hit, we discovered that as a Nation, we are ill prepared for a massive evacuation.  Be an evacuation from a natural disaster or an act of war, what would we really be facing if we were evacuated?

Many of you may be thinking that “they didn’t have cars or trucks back then”, most were under the power of their feet or carts and animals.  Many feel that since we have automobiles, trailers, RVs and the likes at our disposal an evacuation would be very easy to deal with.  All I have to say about this is look at “rush hour traffic”.  Now consider that most of the population is not on the roads during this time, not even a majority of the population.  Why?  Because not everyone is going in the same direction or even working on the same shift; yet look at how badly the roads are congested during the hours of rush hour.  Now tack onto this congestion the fear and panic people will be going through in the event of an evacuation.  I simply don’t see it possible for a safe evacuation of the large cities to occur in an expeditious manner.

Are we really prepared?  Do we have an evacuation plan put into place with our families?  And if we are evacuated, without reliance of the Government to provide your shelter and food, do you have the ability to live somewhere for a month or longer should something happen requiring an evacuation?

This has been a heavy thought upon my shoulders as the American Government continues pushing forward, invading more and more countries in the name of “domestic safety” and a perceived threat of terrorism.  I mean since before recorded history there have always been people wanting to make war, and there have always been threats in the middle east, but my thoughts are driven away from these far away lands and back to the personal safety of my friends and family here at home.  China has told the United States to “back off”, they don’t threaten often so I think we need to firmly consider the fact that they are genuine in protecting their neighbors borders for their own personal safety of their Nation.  And this just scares me because the U.S. Governmental Leaders show no signs of taking the threat seriously and continue invading more and more countries.  More than ever before, I firmly believe that China is capable as well as having the backing of many other Nations should they follow through with their threat to protect themselves against the forces of the United States Military.

Based on this, and I am not saying that WWIII will happen, I think that the players have taken their stance and right now are posturing, so the potential is there.  Based on this potential, what will we do?  I have seen the faces in photographs, even in modern media as people are evacuated due to war, they look hopeless.  True, they are evacuated into government set up camps, but has anyone seen the numbers of the people who die in these camps?  Food is limited, personal hygiene is limited and so many end up sick and die from things like dysentery.  Illness spreads like a wild-fire when you take thousands of people and put them into a camp designed to house only a few hundred people.  Tack onto this the stress they are under, and the body naturally becomes more susceptible to disease.  We aren’t talking thousands of years ago, we are talking in recent history within the last ten years here.  So don’t think technology is set in place to avoid this because it simply isn’t.

What is my families exit plan?  How will I keep them safe and how will we honestly ever get to safe ground living where we live right now?  How long will it take when the millions of people who live within a 20-mile radius of us are all trying to do the same thing……….

These are questions I think we all need to be thinking about, be it a natural disaster or an act of war…..if it happened today, what would we do?

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2011 in Soap Box

 

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Limpa, or Rye Bread

This weekend a girlfriend brought over some Limpa bread for the barbecue we were having, it was so delightful that I had to ask for the recipe.  She looked at me a bit funny, because I am not really good about sharing my recipes with others.  Not because I don’t want to, but I don’t really measure things so in truth, I don’t really know how to explain “a smidgen of this, up to the 2nd wrinkle on my knuckle of that”.  After you make things so much, you just start eyeballing things and learn by smells and textures what is right.  Quite often when someone wants a recipe, I have to make it based on my eyeball and write down the measurements so I can kick it out in an email.  After she teasingly stated, “oh just a little of this and a glob of that”, she shared with me her delightful recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup molasses (black strap, organic)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel (saved from the fennel harvest)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 (2-ounce) cake compressed yeast (4 ounces liquid yeast)
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 cups sifted medium rye flour
  • 5 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup
  • Melted butter

Directions:

In a  saucepan, mix together molasses, water, brown sugar (I prefer dark), fennel, and salt. Bring to boiling point, then gently cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add shortening. Let stand until lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water (unless using liquid, in which case reduce liquid by same amount). Add cooled molasses mixture and mix well. Stir in the ryr. Beat until smooth. Cover and let rise at room temperature overnight, about 9 to 10 hours.

In the morning add 5 cups white flour, and place remaining 1/2 cup on a pastry or board for kneading. Turn out the dough and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until double in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Cut dough in half and shape into 2 loaves (round is more traditional). Place in 2 greased 9 inch pie pans. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise until light, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Remove and brush tops with melted butter

Thank you so much Brenda for sending me your recipe.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Bread, The Kitchen

 

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