Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by sparrowgrass

  1. I use dry roasted peanuts (Planters low salt) in my most excellent peanut brittle. The recipe came from my Aunt Rosie, and it called for raw peanuts, put in after the sugar dissolved and cooked in the hot syrup and stirred constantly. Too much work. Cook the syrup to 305, dump the peanuts in and stir just enough to incorporate. Then add the baking soda. If you warm the peanuts in the microwave a bit, the syrup stays liquid enough to stir the soda in after a brief heatup.
  2. well at least I hope you peel them... I don't. I don't peel fresh tomatoes for salad or slicing because I like the 'pop' of the skins--the heel is the best part of a sliced tomato! I make a ton of sauce/salsa every summer--I roast the tomatoes and other veggies so I don't have to simmer (and scorch). I don't peel the tomatoes--I use an immersion blender or the food processor. I figure I need the fiber, and no one has ever fussed.
  3. I tend to look at my eating 'budget'. I know I have a limited amount of carb 'dollars' to spend, and I try to get the most bang for my bucks. I am not going to spend my hard earned cash on cheap junk from China, and I am not going to spend my carbs on questionable goodies on the treats table. And, just like my real budget, some things I just CANNOT afford--candy is like diamonds. I admire them, but I am not going to take them home and suffer the consequences for splurging. I also use memory to stave off actual ingestion of carbs/calories, robirdstx. Those egg rolls on the table--I know in real life they are going to be a little soggy and chewy, but my memory egg rolls are crisp and full of fresh pink shrimp and crunchy cabbage. So I can skip those.
  4. I can find enough low carb foods on the Thanksgiving table to satisfy me. Let everyone else eat the stuffing and the sweet potatoes and pie--I will have turkey, salad, green beans, brussels sprouts (and maybe a little smidge of everything else, just because it is Thanksgiving!) If you are afraid that everything will be too carby, make sure that there are salads and veggies--others will appreciate it. (I am hosting this year, too, and I will be putting out the traditional stuff--maybe not so much of it as usual, so I don't have to deal with leftovers.) I eat that way at potlucks and buffets--fill your plate with the good stuff (veggies and meat) and take a little taste of stuff you just can resist. Nobody ever notices.
  5. sparrowgrass

    Home Canning

    Sam, according to USDA, you can peppers in pint/half pint jars for 35 minutes, at 10 pounds. (15 if you are above 1000 feet.) Nut meats (I would consider the pepitas as nut meats) are also canned for 35 minutes. From the National Onion Council: Q: What do I need to know about canning onions? A: According to the USDA, use onions of 1-inch diameter or less. Wash and peel onions. Cover onions with boiling water; bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes. Pack the onions into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add ½ tsp salt to pints; 1 tsp to quarts, if desired. Fill jars to within 1-inch from top with boiling water. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids and process. Process in a Dial Gauge Pressure Canner at 11 pounds pressure OR in a Weighted Gauge Pressure Canner at 10 pounds pressure: Pints or Quarts:40 minutes The tomatillos are treated like tomatoes, and would up the acid content for you. Mixed products are canned at the time and pressure used for the ingredient that takes the longest, so you could go for 40 minutes and be safe. If it wouldn't interfere with flavor, you could add some vinegar, just for insurance.
  6. Thanks for the congrats, from way back in October--don't know how I missed 'em. Got my numbers from the doc the other day--down 60 pounds, blood sugar 5.5 (in normal range) and my cholesterol, despite many slices of bacon, burgers and over-easies, was (drum roll) 155. I think it was 225 or so the last time I had it checked. I don't care for low carb baked goods, at least not any that I have purchased or made--I have tried a couple of recipes. I don't mind artificial sweetener, but those weird flour substitutes are not worth eating. I am concentrating on eating GOOD food--not eating anything just because it is there, or because someone else thinks I can have just one donut. I did have a piece of my Mom's 80th birthday cake this spring--because I knew it was good cake. If it had been the standard Walmart or box mix--I would have passed. I enjoyed every last crumb of the little piece I had--I think there was some moaning involved.
  7. I am self taught, and not dead yet. I do have a botanical background, but mostly I bought books, picked mushrooms and tried to figure out what they are. The Peterson guides have a list of 'lookalikes', dangerous or unpalatable mushrooms that look like safe ones. My guideline is, if it has a lookalike that will kill me, I am not eating it. If you are a 'what the hell, just do it' sort of a person, mushrooming is probably not for you. If you take your time, use your books, do spore prints, and toss any that you are not absolutely sure of, you will be all right. If you find several different kinds of mushrooms on your field trip, keep them separate. Some of the bad ones are toxic enough to rub off on other shrooms, or little bits could get confused with the good ones. A big flat basket is the best carrying case for foraging. It keeps the mushrooms intact better than a bag. The first time for ANY unfamiliar mushroom, eat only a small amount--a teaspoon full, maybe. Anybody can have an allergic reaction, and mushrooms can certainly trigger allergies. Wild mushrooms generally should be well cooked, in a an open pan. Some (inky caps and maybe some morels) destroy an enzyme that allows you to process alcohol, so you cannot drink when you eat them, and this effect lasts longer in some folks than others. (I love inky caps, and they are a mushroom that is really easy to identify. So I skip the booze for a couple days.) Wild mushrooms are good for you--they get you out into the fresh air and sunshine, even if you don't find any for dinner.
  8. I haven't done this, but I understand that the Indians crushed the whole nuts and then boiled them, shells and all. They strained and used the broth for soup, and skimmed the fat off the top to use in cooking. I like to sit on the porch and crack them with a hammer on the limestone step. I generally crack a few, pick the nut meats out, and eat them, until I run out of patience or daylight. My 94 year old uncle gave me a pint jar of nutmeats one year, and I made pralines. If you can find a big shellbark, the nuts are twice the size of ordinary hickory nuts. Just as hard to crack, however. And don't ever park under one of those in the fall--you will have dents. Ask me how I know. I use whole nuts in my little smoker box that goes in the gas grill. Very nice--pecans work well, too.
  9. Audubon and Peterson field guides are good--Peterson has an edible plants guide and a medicinal guide. I am sure there is a more local guide for your area--try the gift shop at a local state or national park.
  10. Mushrooms are as much fun to identify as wildflowers. Get yourself a couple of good mushroom books* (I find the books are much easier to use than internet pix, but there are good sites on line, too). Learn the vocabulary, learn how to do a spore print, check your ID's in several books, and THROW THEM AWAY IF YOU ARE NOT ABSOLUTELY SURE of what you have. Some mushrooms will kill you, some will just make you wish you were dead. Don't let that stop you from enjoying the hunt--just know that you might be getting your mushrooms from the store, after a day in the field looking at pretty mushrooms. As mjx said, there are some that are easy to identify, but I tend to avoid any that look like the one in your picture--that is, like an umbrella. Most of the ones that are easy to identify, like morels and oysters, are not umbrella shaped. Most of the toxic ones ARE shaped like umbrellas. *Peterson and Audubon field guides are good, and your state natural resources office may have a good book--Illinois and Missouri both have excellent color field guides with big pictures. I work for Extension--your chances of finding a mycologist thru your extension office are kinda slim. We call the state mycology club when we have an ID question. Of course, at work, I tell folks not to eat anything--don't need to be sued if they have an allergic reaction, or pick a deadly 'shroom by accident and toss it in the pot with good ones.
  11. It is October now, and I have lost about 60 pounds. I do have a little popcorn once in while, and have found that a slice or two of pizza doesn't jack my sugar up.
  12. No brown on mine, thank you, and no crispy edges on my over-easies.
  13. sparrowgrass

    Home Canning

    The long processing time for beans has to do with the high protein levels--meat and fish are processed for similar times. Believe the recipe! Those USDA folks have tested them.
  14. Long ago, when I was a youngun, my dad used to get holiday gifts from suppliers. I didn't care much for the Crown Royal, though I am sure he enjoyed it, but I have very fond memories of the tin of pistachio nuts that came every year. It was the only time we ever had them, except for maybe a packet of those red ones from the gas station.
  15. sparrowgrass

    Canned Meat

    Home canned beef is still popular here in Southeast Missouri. I work in the Extension office, and we get calls from people who need the instructions. I haven't done it, but I might pull some roasts out of the freezer and try it one of these days. Be sure to do it by the book--this book! I have done stock (chicken, beef and ham) and clams, when I lived on the Olympic Peninsula. The clams were great in clam chowder, and the stock makes a bowl of soup a 10 minute process. (And it is sooooo much better than commercial stuff.)
  16. I planted Mucho Nacho jalapenos this spring, and they are terrific. Big peppers with thick walls, lots and lots of them on each plant, and they began bearing really early--mid July, I think--so I recommend them for those of you in cooler climes. Did I mention that I had lots and lots? I think I messed up my tags on my seedlings, so I only have 3 bell peppers, but a dozen jalapenos and 4 serranos.
  17. USDA says as long as it still has ice crystals it is safe to refreeze. You may find a loss of quality, but safety is not an issue.USDA info here.
  18. We have a brand new Chinese buffet in our little town. I probably won't be going back, mostly because the food is not too great, but also because they play the local Christian station on the sound system. It isn't because I hate hymns or Christians--it is because I object to the station's comments on political things on their 'news' segments.
  19. USDA says for best quality, you should grate and then blanch for 1 minute. Let the zuke shreds drain thoroughly before packing.
  20. I didn't know my daughter-in-law posted here!! (I already got my new knee last year, honey!) I have reformed in my old age, no more pints of ice cream--I don't buy any ice cream because I eat the whole thing. But I will look at these and see if they are appropriate for an ocasional treat for a Type 2.
  21. I am an 'eggspert'--worked for USDA for a time, and certified as a poultry/egg grader. Washed eggs (all commercial US eggs are washed) need to be refrigerated, because the protective 'bloom' put on by the hen has been washed away, making the egg vulnerable to dehydration and possible contamination--the egg shell is porous. If the eggs are straight from the hen, the picture is different. Farmers market eggs may or may not be washed--I only wash mine if they are obviously dirty. How long do eggs keep? If a hen is going to hatch eggs, it takes her a week or twp to lay a clutch of eggs, say 10 or 12. Then those eggs are incubated for 21 days. Thus, evolutionarily speaking, an egg is naturally going to last for a minimum of 4-5 weeks, in a warm environment. If eggs, fertilized or unfertilized, spoiled sooner, the whole chicken race would be in danger, because a spoiled egg could infect the whole clutch--spoiled eggs explode, which would spread contamination and attract vermin. I have an incubator, and have hatched many batches of chicks. Usually, only 50-75 percent of eggs develop. I have broken the unhatched eggs--they look and smell just fine, after 3 weeks at 100 degrees. The dogs get those, but if one was hungry enough . . .
  22. Rotuts, you would LOVE the jalapenos I have growing now. Mucho Nacho is the cultivar name, they are huge, prolific, early, and HOT, HOT, HOT!! I don't know if they are always this hot--we have had a month of 90+ weather with no rain.
  23. Most bell peppers start out green and change color when they ripen. Some go red, but you can also buy yellow, orange, white, chocolate and purple bell, and they are all the same species, capsicum annuum. Some hot peppers are also capsicum annuum--Anaheims and jalapenos, for example.
  24. If you scroll down on this USDA fact sheet, you can get their recommendations. Freezer Safety Like others have said, quality suffers, but if the stuff was fridge temperature when you caught it, you are ok to refreeze. Mark the stuff that was thawed and use it as soon as you can.
  25. No arrows from me, annabelle. I have 3 dogs and a cat, I love them dearly, but I know where they have been, the things I have seen them eat (and roll in), and what they lick. No licking me, no wandering on the counters or table, and get the heck out from under my feet while I am cooking. I have friends whose little Malti-poo walks on the dining room table--no way. I do always wash down the counters and table before prep, because you know how cats are.
  • Create New...