Wednesday, November 25, 2009

T-Day preparation

Ok, let me first get this off my chest. I dislike hearing the holiday called Turkey Day. It's THANKSGIVING Day. To those who do call it that, I say " can't you even take one day to acknowledge that we should give thanks for what we have ?" Americans have been blessed with so much. As Bill O'Reily said, tongue in cheek " if you're religious give thanks to the Lord, and if not, to the solstice". Yes, we should give thanks to the Lord for all He has done for us. My heart sings, "All I have needed, His hand has provided" . At our table tomorrow, my husband will thank God not only for the food on the table but for many other blessings. Even if you don't thank God for these things, how about acknowledging those who make this American life possible. Perhaps, the farmers who grow and raised the food on our table or our men and women in uniform (military and first responders), or the fathers (and mothers) or this great nation, who followed a dream, who paid a price for the freedom to worship God as we see fit, for the freedom to use our intellect and the strength of our back to build a better life for us and our children, and to have a say in our government.

Today - This is my to do list .
- tweak menu
a call Hal with Details about our invitation to dinner
a clean out pantry
a make poolish for bread
a make pie dough
a make dough for pumpkin doughnuts
a make cranberry sauce
a make Jello
a Clean out Fridge
- wash kitchen floor
a clean out back room
a clean out mudroom & wash walls & floor
a wash crystal & good china, wipe down china cabinet
a buy corn starch, cheese, crackers, cider, eggnog and wine
a clean 2 bathrooms
- clean up my upstairs "anteroom"
a clean up office
a Clean up the Den
- Vacuum Downstairs
a Vacuum steps
- clean up yard
- Check propane supply for Frying Turkey
- Check to see if Turkey is thawed
- e-mail sibs and family Thanksgiving cards

Now I know this seems like a LONG list, however some (much) of these will be delegated to my Dear husband and the darling children. Although they are no longer little, I still sometimes call them the "kid-lets".

BASIC WHOLE CRANBERRY SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Optional Pecans, orange peel, raisins, currants, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.

PREPARATION

1 Wash and pick over cranberries. In a saucepan bring to a boil water and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.

2 At this point you can add all number of optional ingredients. We typically mix in a half a cup of roughly chopped pecans with or without a few strips of orange peel. You can add a cup of raisins or currants. You can add up to a pint of fresh or frozen blueberries for added sweetness. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice can be added too.

3 Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

Cranberry sauce base makes about 1 cup.


WHOLE CRANBERRY SAUCE WITH ROSEMARY

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • PREPARATION

    1 Wash and pick over cranberries. In a saucepan bring to a boil water and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.

    2 At this point you can add rosemary.

    3 Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

    Cranberry sauce base makes about 1 cup.

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    Things I've Done

    I was reading a blog from the Farmers Oldest Daughter. She copied this list from another blog . Here is the list. I put in bold blue that I have done. I think my husband may be surprised by at least one of these (lol)...

    1. Started your own blog
    2. Slept under the stars
    3. Played in a band
    4. Visited Hawaii
    5. Watched a meteor shower
    6. Given more than you can afford to charity
    7. Been to Disneyworld
    8. Climbed a mountain
    9. Held a praying mantis
    10. Sang a solo
    11. Bungee jumped
    12. Visited Paris
    13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
    14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
    15. Adopted a child
    16. Had food poisoning
    17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
    18. Grown your own vegetables
    19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
    20. Slept on an overnight train
    21. Had a pillow fight
    22. Hitch hiked
    23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
    24. Built a snow fort
    25. Held a lamb
    26. Gone skinny dipping
    27. Run a Marathon
    28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
    29. Seen a total eclipse
    30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
    31. Hit a home run
    32. Been on a cruise
    33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
    34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
    35. Seen an Amish community
    36. Taught yourself a new language
    37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - We should be satisfised with what we have.
    38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
    39. Gone rock climbing
    40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
    41. Sung karaoke
    42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
    43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
    44. Visited Africa
    45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
    46. Been transported in an ambulance
    47. Had your portrait painted
    48. Gone deep sea fishing
    49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
    50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
    51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
    52. Kissed in the rain
    53. Played in the mud
    54. Gone to a drive-in theater
    55. Been in a movie
    56. Visited the Great Wall of China
    57. Started a business
    58. Taken a martial arts class
    59. Visited Russia
    60. Served at a soup kitchen
    61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
    62. Gone whale watching
    63. Got flowers for no reason
    64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
    65. Gone sky diving
    66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
    67. Bounced a check
    68. Flown in a helicopter
    69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
    70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
    71. Eaten Caviar
    72. Pieced a quilt
    73. Stood in Times Square
    74. Toured the Everglades
    75. Been fired from a job
    76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
    77. Broken a bone
    78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
    79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
    80. Published a book
    81. Visited the Vatican
    82. Bought a brand new car
    83. Walked in Jerusalem
    84. Had your picture in the newspaper
    85. Read the entire Bible
    86. Visited the White House
    87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating ( is fish an animal?)
    88. Had chickenpox
    89. Saved someone’s life
    90. Sat on a jury
    91. Met someone famous
    92. Joined a book club
    93. Lost a loved one
    94. Had a baby
    95. Seen the Alamo in person
    96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
    97. Been involved in a law suit
    98. Owned a cell phone
    99. Been stung by a bee
    Which of these things have you done ?
    Pumpkins!!! - I just read in the news paper that a "Weak Pumpkin Harvest May Make Pie Filling Harder To Find" No worries here. I have about 10 cups of frozen pumpkin purree in the freezer, 3 pumpkins from the garden sitting on my counter and I just bought 4 small pie pumkins (25 ¢ each) from Twin Orchards. I may go back for more as the Pumpkin Donuts I made on Sunday was a great hit.

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    Eat Fresh

    Yesterday, I visited a small farm. We were there for more than an hour talking about raising sheep and goats and knowing where your food comes from.

    Yesterday, I fixed a nice S-L-O-W cooked meal.
    Pulled pork ( made from a pork shoulder roast that was on sale -48 ¢/ lb- I bought a $3.00 piece) That was boiled with cloves and peppercorns shredded then a sauce made from honey, ACV, lots of fresh minced garlic, some ketchup , some sweet baby rays sauce and a TBS hot sauce and salt. That was served on my own "hamburger buns". I made the dough in the morning and let it do a slow rise in the fridge - when I got home from the farm, I shaped 12 large pieces into generous rolls. Then a quick rise then pop in a hot (550 degree oven) They quickly rose filled the house with the aroma of fresh baked bread.

    Friday, November 6, 2009

    Keeping Busy

    I'm not the only one laying a supply of food down for a "cold winter day". I've come across so many other blogs like MrsSurvival to Keeper of the Home that have information on storing food.  Seems like so many feel the need to stock up some emergency supplies for when SHTF (stuff hits the fan). Melissa Ringstaff, of Vintage Homemaker said it best in  her March 27,2009 blog entry. You can read it here. As for me, I'm trusting God to give me wisdom. I'm putting in a supply of food and necessities so that we don't waste time or money if I run out of something. I can now replace my stockpile with items when they are on sale. And if times get hard, then I can take care of my family and friends.  I have also built a "Flu preparedness kit" - a box filled with items needed to help prevent flu and to use when someone becomes ill. I've already dipped into it when Brian showed up at the door with a temp of 102 F - he left with a bag filled ginger ale, juice, chicken soup, tissues, mucinex, vitamins and oscillococcinum.

    Today I made canned chicken breast for the first time. I followed the Ball Blue Book Recipe for cold pack chicken.

    Put chicken into hot sterilized jars. Cover with hot water or broth leaving 1 inch headroom. I put a pinch of salt into each jar but thats optional. Pressure can at 10 lb. for 1 hour 30 min.

    I bought a 10 lb. bag of boneless skinless chicken breast, cut off the fat and quickly cut into wide strips. I filled 6 wide mouth quarts and a1/2 pint jar. That's a good size for a quick emergency meal for Brian who is now in his own apartment not far from home.

    Since this was my first attempt at canning chicken, I decided use a jar for dinner. I was happy with the result. Keep in mind that canned chicken is not the same as fresh. The texture is different, but it's a good thing to have for a quick meal.

    Thursday, November 5, 2009

    Busy Autumn Days

    Tuesday November 3
    On Tuesday I drove to Smithies in Rome to buy beef - 10 lbs ground beef, several packs of T-bone steaks, a rump roast and some rib roasts. I paid no more than $3.50 / lb for the steaks. He raises meat as a "hobby" . Although not "certified organic", I'm happy to be able to buy meat from him. He only uses antibiotics when needed and uses no hormones.

    Smithie then sent me to his neighbors who gave me 5 pie pumpkins. After coming back home and cramming the steaks into a already full freezer, I worked in the garden for several hours. Walt and I went to vote. For dinner I made T-bone steaks and home made noodles with butter, garlic and herb sauce.

    Wednesday November 4
    Here is what I did today...
    * Make a poolish for bread
    * Cut 6 lbs of round roast (beef) into 1 inch cubes for canning
    * Cut 3 lbs of beef into thin pieces and put into a marinade for making jerky.
    * Designed, printed and delivered invitations for Katie's party.
    * Made 2 quart jars of yogurt.
    * Planted 3 kinds of tulip bulbs in garden.
    * Made homemade chicken pot pie for dinner.
    * Made a batch of pumpkin cookies from our garden pumpkins.

    Thursday November 5
    * Baked 2 loves of crusty bread
    * Drained marinated beef and placed on racks in low oven for 5 hours
    * Cleaned kitchen
    * Washed 2 loads laundry
    * Pressure canned 3 quarts and 1 pint of beef in wine sauce.
    * Went grocery shopping today.
    - Bought 10 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast @ $ 1.44/lb
    - 1 small boneless pork roast @ $1.79/lb
    - 1 green pepper @ $1.20/lb (too much!)
    - 5 cans of black olives @ $1.00 eack
    - 3 boxes pasta @ $ 0.77 /lb
    - 1 fresh pineapple @ $1.98 each

    My food storage plans are saving us money. There is not much that I really need and I today bought everything (except the green pepper) at a pretty good price.

    For dinner I butter-flied the small pork roast,sprinkled allspice salt and fresh minced garlic and a layer of sauteed sorrel and onions from the garden mixed with crushed Ritz crackers. This was rolled up and baked at 350ºF. Served with boiled potatoes and fresh green beans dressed with a fresh garlic and butter sauce. YUM!!