Saturday, January 22, 2011

Recipe for a Cold January Saturday Morning

Sweet Potato Donuts


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream ( or yogurt, or milk soured with a teaspoon of vinegar)
  • 1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato (one pint jar home canned)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Maple Icing, recipe follows

  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sour cream, and sweet potato. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring to combine. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface. Knead in flour with hands as needed (dough will be sticky). Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out dough with a 2 1/4-inch round cutter. Cut out center of doughnuts with a 3/4-inch round cutter. Re-roll dough as needed.

In a Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat to 360 degrees F. Cook doughnuts, in batches, in hot oil, 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels. Ice top of doughnuts with Maple Icing, and sprinkle with chopped pecans

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Efficient Meal Planning - 2 meat system

Summers are crazy here at the little homestead. Walt works out of town every Thursday - he's gone from 1pm - 11pm. Then there is gardening sometimes into late hours. Also spontaneous picnics and barbecues and trips to the lake. But during cold weather we settle into more of a routine. And thus its much easier to plan out meals. I like to use a 2 meat system for meal planning when I can. I buy large amounts of 2 kinds of meat - whatever is on sale. On Sunday we have what we call a Protestant Sunday Dinner - around 3pm, everyone eating together. We usually have a nice roast or chicken or something like that and I plan for lots of leftovers. As an aside on Sundays I serve 2 vegetables, maybe some fruit and... dessert- cake or pie- homemade of course! The next day we have a different meat dish, then I alternate the leftovers. I always have carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, garlic, canned whole tomatoes, home canned chicken, broth and noodles so I can always make some kind of soup.

This weeks menu
Sunday - 2 roast chickens (88 cents/lb) ( chicken w/ gravy and mash potatoes, acorn squash, garden frozen beans, jello with fruit)
Monday - spaghetti with meat balls, salad
Tuesday- chicken pot pie, sliced cucumbers, canned peaches
Wednesday - spanish rice with ground beef (left over from Monday) peas
Thursday - Chicken Soup with fresh baked bread
Friday -Baked Ziti with meat sauce, broccoli, homemade applesauce
Saturday - Clean out the Fridge Soup

** note - this is only a plan. In actuality the young men of the family might eat leftovers or invite friends for dinner . If that happens, I will substitute a meatless meal something like a baked mac and cheese or if I have time, homemade pierogi .


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Putting up on a snowy January day - Part 2

It is also snowing today. I got up early and got a head start on the day's chores. After cleaning up from breakfast, I made a bowl full of bread dough and left it to rise. Right now I've got a pressure canner full of pints of sweet potato. These small jars are just the right size to make a batch of sweet potato bread, donuts or pancakes. While the sweet potatoes are processing, I also made big kettle of cranberry/blackberry/strawberry juice. I bought cranberries right after the holidays when they went on sale.

Cranberry Juice
4 quarts (4 pounds) cranberries


3 to 3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Bring cranberries and 4 quarts water to a simmer in a large pot. DO NOT BOIL. Simmer 5 minutes, or until most berries burst. Pour berries and juice into damp jelly bag or a colander lined with four layers of clean cheesecloth. Let juice drip into a large bowl. DO NOT squeeze the bag. When you have extracted as much juice as possible from the pulp, return pulp to pot with 2 quarts water. Simmer 2 minutes. Pour this pulp and juice through jelly bag again to extract remaining juice. Place the 2 batches of juice in a large pot. Add sugar to suit your taste and 1 more quart water. Heat to dissolve sugar completely, but do not boil. Quickly pour into clean, hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch head-space; seal. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Yields 6 to 7 quarts.

To make the cranberry/blackberry/stawberry juice I added a frozen strawberries (from the u-pick farm), and frozen wild blackberries from my neighbors lot. I added more sugar and 1 cup of lemon juice to taste.


Cranberry Blossom - Otter Lake , NY


Cranberry- Pitch Pine Bog - Rome, NY

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Putting up on a snowy January day

It's Wednesday morning. The sky is cloudy, overcast grey. There has been a light snowfall for the past 24 hours with the promise of more for the next day. All the Christmas decorations have been put away and the homestead has slid into winter hunkering down. I'm not planning on leaving the house, so I'm thinking it's a good day to pressure can potatoes. I have a 50lb bag of Pryputniewicz Farms potatoes in the fruit cellar, and another 20 lbs of culls that are starting to I better put them up before they are unusable. My 1st batch is 9 widemouth pints. Just the thing for a quick breakfast of fried potatoes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dinner from the storehouse

Yesterday I made a big sunday dinner. Sunday Dinner is a tradition here in the little homestead. It's the largest meal of the week and I plan for lots of leftovers from the meal, leftovers for at least two other meals. Beacuse I served dinner later than usual, I also fixed a quick small lunch to tide us over.

Blue corn chips
Salsa mixed with canned kidney beans and ground beef
Colby jack cheese
Black olive slices

A 7.5 lb Flank steak marinated in wine, soy sauce, garlic and thyme
Mashed potatoes (from the local farm - 50lb bag)
gravy from drippings
canned sweet potatoes mashed with brown sugar and fresh grated ginger
frozen fillet beans with garlic butter sauce
Black olives
Pumpkin pie (from canned pumpkin) with whipped cream
Apple/strawberry rhubarb crumb pie (from canned apple pie filling and strawberry rhubarb butter)

** red denotes garden or home canned food