Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Old grape Vine.

The old Concord vine was planted when I was very young. The old grape vine still produces. Some years I prune it, some years I don't get around to it.

This is what it looks like this year

 The grapes don't ripen all at once so I really have to pick though them

I put the cleaned grapes in a large pot  with a cup of water and lightly crushed with a potato masher. They simmered on low heat until I had time to drain through a colander.

The juice is unsweetened and smells like Welch's grape juice.  We will most likely mix with club soda for a treat.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cup for Cup Flour Mix

*gluten-free *soy-free *oat-free *dairy-free *nut-free

Large Batch (Yields about 8 1/2 cups)


  1. 1 1/2 cups white rice flour
  2. 3 cups brown rice flour, sorghum flour, or a combination of the two (I usually use half and half)
  3.  2 cups potato starch
  4.  2 cups tapioca starch
  5.  2 T xanthan or guar gum


  1. Whisk all ingredients together (by hand or with your KitchenAid whisk attachment) and store in an airtight container. Use cup-for-cup to replace wheat flour. If you are using this flour to make yeast products, add an additional 1/2 tsp xanthan or guar gum per cup of flour.
  2. Store in an airtight container in a cool location (does not require refrigeration)
  3. This recipe usually lasts about a month if used for all our baking needs.

Small Batch (Yields just under 3 cups)


  1. 1/2 cup white rice flour
  2. 1 cup brown rice flour, sorghum flour, or a combination of the two (I usually use half and half)
  3.  2/3 cups potato starch
  4.  2/3 cups tapioca starch
  5.  2 tsp xanthan or guar gum

Extra Small Batch (Yields almost 1 1/2 cups)


  1. 1/4 cup white rice flour
  2. 1/2 cup brown rice flour, sorghum flour, or a combination of the two (I usually use half and half)
  3.  1/3 cup potato starch
  4.  1/3 cup tapioca starch
  5.  1 tsp xanthan or guar gum

Gluten-Free Honey Oat Bread

  • 1.5 cups warm milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 pkg yeast

  • 2 cups Brown Rice Flour
  • ⅔ cups Potato starch
  • ⅓ cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1 cup Oat Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup olive oil OR ¼ cup melted and cooled butter
  • yeast mixture
  • Oats to sprinkle on top (optional)
  • *You can also use your favorite cup for cup gluten-free all purpose flour in place of the brown rice flour, potato and tapioca starches, although the texture may vary depending on the brand used. Will equal 3 cups total (Does not include oat flour)
  1. In a microwave safe bowl (or pot) combine milk and honey. Heat for 1 minute or until warm to the touch. Sprinkle yeast over and gently mix. Set aside and let proof for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch (or equal an equal amount of gluten-free all-purpose flour) and oat flour, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum. Mix in eggs and oil, and then carefully pour in proofed yeast mixture. Mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth. The dough will not be thick like regular dough made with wheat. It will be more like a thick paste (see photo above.) Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula, cover bowl with a clean towel, and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
  3. At the end of the hour, dough should have risen to almost double. Scrape mixture into a greased 9x5 loaf pan. Using slightly dampened fingers, smooth the top of the bread. Sprinkle oats on top and cover pan with towel again and let rise again for 45 minutes or so, until bread has risen to the rim of the bread pan, preheating the oven to 350F when you have 10-15 minutes left. Place pan into the preheated oven and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool slightly and remove bread from pan to cool on wire rack. Bread is best eaten fresh. Wrap sliced leftover bread really well and place in a freezer safe bag. Store in the freezer and thaw as needed. Makes 1 loaf

Peach Coffee Cake

Olive Oil Cake with Peaches (Gluten-Free)


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup corn flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 3 ripe peaches peeled and thinly sliced

  • Instructions

    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease sides and bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with olive oil or coconut oil. Line bottom with parchment, greasing on top of parchment as well.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups almond flour, corn flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk honey, milk, olive oil, vanilla extract, and eggs.
    3. Using an electric mixer or by hand, gradually add liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until lumps no longer appear. 
    4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Arrange peach slices on top of batter in a single even layer, allowing a little space between each.
    5. Place cake pan on the middle oven rack and bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until middle is set and a toothpick or fork come out clean. Cool cake on wire rack.



Monday, September 11, 2017

Apple Pie Filling

It's often busy here at the little homestead. Sometimes there is barely time to cook dinner. Sometimes we invite company on short notice. Dinner is always real food with fresh vegtables supplemented with home canned goods from the pantry.

When Walt and I moved backed to the little homestead in the village, we planted a few fruit trees near the bee hives. The tags are lost, but our favorite is the tree near the raised beds. The apples are firm and tart. Sadly a few years ago a microburst storm caused the neighbors mighty tree to come crashing on our little orchard and apaiary. The favorite apple took the brunt of the fall.

The apples from this tree are firm (keep their shape when cooking) and tart. I do not care for a sweet pie so these are perfect apples for putting up some pie filling. I love to make pie but often there is no time for peeling and preparing the fruit. This is just a pour into a pie dough and bake.

6 lbs apples** (about 16-18 apples, or 12 cups sliced/diced apples)
3 cups apple cider
1 cup dark brown sugar (or light brown sugar plus 1 tsp molasses)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract (or one vanilla bean, scraped)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
scant 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
(OPTIONAL: 1/8 tsp each: cloves, ginger & allspice)
1 cup apple cider
1/3 cup Clear Jel
In a very large bowl, mix together 3 cups apple cider, sugars, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and optional spices (if using).
Peel, core and coarsely chop or slice apples. Place apples in cider mixture as you cut them. Allow apples to sit at room temperature for at least 1-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
Strain juice from apple slices into a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix additional 1 cup of apple cider with the Clear Jel; stir into the cider mixture simmering in the pot. Return to a boil and cook until the juice has thickened, about 1 – 2 minutes. Stir in apple pieces with any remaining juice in the bowl. Return mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Ladle hot pie filling into hot jars, leaving 1 1/4” headspace. Use a spatula or knife to remove air bubbles. Make sure that your apples are covered by the syrup. Wipe rims with a clean, damp cloth, place lid and ring on the jars, and process in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes for quart or pint jars. After processing, turn off heat and remove the lid from the canner, but allow the jars to sit in the water for 10 minutes before removing. This will help reduce siphoning (liquid seeping out of the jars). Remove jars from water and place on a clean, dry towel on the kitchen counter. Let sit for 24 hours. Check seal, remove rings and store.
Yield: about 3 1/2 quarts.

Add caption




Good Apples for Canning:
Golden Delicious
Gala (but only in combination with another variety: they get kind of soft when cooked)
Not-So-Good Apples for Canning:
Red Delicious
Gala (on their own)
Granny Smith (too tart on their own; texture is good, but they will require more sugar; good when combined with sweeter varieties)

GF Pie dough




  • 1/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/3 cup millet flour
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cold palm shortening or butter (if not dairy-free)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3-5 tablespoons cold water
  •  Instructions

    1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, millet flour, arrowroot starch, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, and sea salt.
    2. Cut in the palm shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    3. Add the apple cider vinegar and water, and stir gently until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
    4. To roll the dough, lay a piece of parchment paper on a work surface and lightly sprinkle with flour. Place the disk of dough in the middle of the parchment paper, sprinkle the disk with flour, and roll the dough into an 11-12 inch round starting from the middle and working out towards the edges. Keep sprinkling the dough with flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.
    5. Using your rolling pin (as pictured above) to aid in moving the dough, carefully ease the crust into a 9 inch pie plate. Or use the bottom layer of parchment paper to invert the entire pie crust over the top of the pie plate (say a little prayer) and gently peel off the parchment paper. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie pan (if there are any tears in the crust, simply wet your fingers and try to smooth them out as best as you can).
    6. Trim down the edges of the pie crust leaving about 1/2 an inch of excess dough. Fold the excess dough underneath and crimp the edges.
    7. Fill and bake as desired.
    To Pre-Bake the Crust without Filling:
    1. Preheat oven to 375 and prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Line the crust bottom with coffee filters or parchment paper and fill with a single layer of dried beans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pie crust begins to change color around the edges. Remove the coffee filter or parchment paper and the beans. Bake for an additional 5-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and dried out. Cool completely before filling.a