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Everything posted by sparrowgrass

  1. I used to be able to tell red M&Ms with my eyes closed, but they have changed the coloring they use, can't do it any more.
  2. Sweet potato casserole, with a pecan praline topping. Which reminds me, better buy some pecans.
  3. Popped Wild Rice Popped wild rice can be used as an interesting replacement for croutons in a salad, or as a garnish on soups, and casseroles. Not all wild rice will pop successfully. The best wild rice to use is hand processed wild rice that usually has more moisture left in each kernel, which will expand when heated. Place about ½ inch of oil in a small, shallow pan with a small strainer set in the oil. Heat at high temperature until oil is at about 450 F. Drop one rice kernel into the strainer. When it sizzles, cracks open and expands to about double its length, the oil is ready. (You may wish to reduce the heat temporarily.) Add 1 tablespoon of rice at a time to the oil. When all the kernels have expanded (which constitutes the popping), empty the strainer onto paper toweling. Repeat, adjusting heat as necessary. Crisp popped rice may be seasoned with salt, pepper, and mixed herbs to enhance the flavor. This popped rice can be made in large quantities and stored in a sealed container for several weeks. From http://wildrice.mb.ca/recipes/
  4. I dried green peppers that way. Works like a charm, and no expense at all.
  5. Plenty of tomatoes so far, but no glorious pictures like yours!
  6. Whoa. I just picked about $300 worth of tomatoes yesterday.
  7. I plant Ananas Noir every year--my absolute favorite. They are ugly on the outside, but quite pretty sliced, and so tasty. I like to dress them with a garlic/olive oil/vinegar dressing. Mash the garlic clove into a paste with a teaspoon of salt, son't use much vinegar--maybe a tablespoon--and a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Let the salad sit while you prep the rest of dinner. Put some cukes in if you have them. I have been roasting tomatoes for sauce--single layer on a half sheet pan, with celery, onions and garlic. Bake for an hour or so at 400 degrees. I use an immersion blender to puree, adding about a quarter cup of cider vinegar per sheet pan. I pressure can in half pint and pint jars. The half pint is just the right size for making a pizza or pouring over a meatloaf.
  8. Diabetics need to watch carbs, so don't serve a big bowl of pasta as your only dinner choice. Roast beef is good, but if he is really watching his diet, he will probably skip the pudding. Chicken sounds lovely, add a big salad and/or roasted veggies, light on the potatoes. Bacon and eggs or sausage is good for breakfast. Desserts are problematic. Sugar free products just don't taste good. Fresh fruit with Greek yogurt maybe?
  9. I grow my own garlic, and have for several years. I started with grocery store cloves -- probably from China--and replant my own cloves every year. I don't know what variety they are, but they keep well and taste good. The interesting thing is that this year, after about 5 years planting them, I ended up with several heads that look just like that single clove garlic above. The plants also produced bulbils this year, for the first time.
  10. I keep my ginger in the freezer and grate it with the Microplane. I bought mine in the hardware department, many years ago, and it is still as sharp as ever.
  11. Pressure canners hold at least 4 quart jars, and they have the capability of functioning at 5, 10 and 15 pounds pressure. Just giving you the USDA rules! Recipes calculate the time it takes to bring the canner up to pressure as part of the process. A little cooker heats up too fast. It might not be unsafe, but USDA has not tested little cookers with their canning recipes. Approved recipes call for 5 or 10 pounds pressure, which you must increase if you are at higher altitudes, thus the need for a 15 pound setting. For a good primer on canning, try the official USDA website. http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html Follow the rules, and you will not have to worry about killing someone! (Though I personally think canned asparagus is deadly!)
  12. You want me to wait two hours for bacon?
  13. You can dip the blossoms in batter and fry. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  14. I haven't tried the shoots--the flower buds are very tasty. I have a big asparagus bed, so most of my foraging has been confined to that. I did find a couple of shiitake mushrooms on my mushroom log this spring.
  15. Spend some time talking to the butcher! When I have a side done, it takes about 15 minutes to go thru the checklist on how thick I want the steaks, how much I want ground into hamburger, and whether I want the brisket, liver, heart, etc. And my butcher gives me all the soup bones/dog bones and suet that I want---they are waste for him, because most people just want the meat.
  16. sparrowgrass


    Shred cabbage into a buttered casserole dish. Pour a can of evaporated milk (I suppose you could use half and half) over just to cover the cabbage about half way. Add salt and pepper. Top with lots of buttered bread crumbs and bake until bubbly and brown. Even non-cabbage eaters like this.
  17. Here ya go! http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE%207%20Home%20Can.pdf
  18. Hickory nuts would be just as authentic, and they taste much better. The native method was to pound the whole nuts into a paste, then simmer in water. The fat rose to the top and was used for seasoning, the broth was strained off the nutshells and used for soup.
  19. Old hens do often have a string of eggs in differing stages of development, and some folks like these little egglets dropped into the chicken soup. If you buy a commercial hen, those eggs have been discarded with the rest of the innards.
  20. I have 2 roosters (10 months old) right now with my girls, and one of them is very annoying. I am going to show him this thread.
  21. sparrowgrass


    I like them tossed with some olive oil and grilled whole on the grill or in a dry cast iron pan over high heat. Cook them until they brown/char some. I usually just use salt and pepper with the olive oil, but I can imagine that other seasonings would work well.
  22. Why not just put the stock in the freezer, if you are planning on using it quickly? USDA would not like your method. It probably won't kill you, but I wouldn't do it that way. Tested recipes use larger pressure canners, not pressure cookers--as I explained 5 years ago, the time for heating and cooling is considered in the processing time. You don't want to let the stock 'warm up' before you can it--you want to bring it to a boil, and put it into the jars hot.That takes care of the contamination problem. Straining cold stock through unsterilized cheesecloth is way more likely to introduce contaminants.
  23. I never saw the box, but the opening in the baseboard was a bit wider than a normal broom and maybe 2 or 3 inches high. I guess the size of the box would depend on how much room you had at the point in the basement, and how often you planned on emptying it. (I have an old dirt floored cellar--maybe I will skip the box )
  24. I lived away up north in Ely Minnesota for a time, and several of the older homes that I visited had solved that dustpan problem. A small section of kitchen baseboard was hinged, and opened to a small box (reached from the basement). Sweep the debris into the box, and go downstairs once in a while to empty it into the trash. Brilliant. I keep trying to figure out how to fit one of those into my house.
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