Friday, December 23, 2011

Make Your Own Dog Food From Mainly Food Storage Ingredients

If you have to eat your food storage, what are you going to feed Fido?  Most of the ingredients in this recipe, you probably already have.  This recipe is taken from:

Mable's Meat Loaf - meat eater's version

(makes two large loaves - 24 slices)

1 1/2 pounds Ground Beef , Venison, Chicken or Turkey
2 cups cooked & pureed Beans and/or Lentils- I use Pinto Beans
2 cups Corn Masa Harina Flour (corn flour)- Masa Harina is a fortified, fine ground corn flour that has been partially precooked in lime water (which makes it easier to digest). It is usually used for making tortillas and tamales and can be found in the ethnic (Mexican) section of most grocery stores. If you cannot find it, you can substitute regular corn meal.
1 cups Rolled Oats (I buy in bulk)
4 cups cooked rice (I buy in bulk)
1 cup wheat germ (I buy in bulk)
1 - 2 cups liquid (water, milk, whey, stock, etc) - This amount will vary depending on the moisture content of your other ingredients.
2 eggs
2 cups (1 lb.) vegetables, pureed - You can use any vegetable. It's good to vary ingredients because variety in diet contributes to good health. I usually use frozen mixed vegetables, peas or broccoli. I buy them is a really big bags (it's cheaper that way) , thaw, puree in my food processor, divide into 2 Cup portions and refreeze for future use.
3 tsp. garlic (granulated)
3 tsp. Calcium Citrate -OR- 6 tsp. egg shell powder - a source of necessary calcium
1/2 tsp. salt substitute (potassium chloride) - a source of necessary potassium - you can find this in any grocery store where they sell salt.
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup ketchup (optional- not for use with diabetics)
6 tsp. Herbal Nutritional supplement (optional, but highly recommended)
other optional supplements if necessary such as Arthritis & Joint Support mix, Glucosamine, MSM, Kelp, etc. (Mable got 1 1/2 tsp. of Glucosamine & 1 1/2 tsp. of MSM - Note: reports now suggest not giving glucosamine to diabetics)

 It is important that your dog should also receive a good dog multi-vitamin each day (a vitamin formulated specifically for dogs, not humans), either as a powder mixed into this loaf, or a tablet given as a treat.

In a very large bowl. Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together very well. (Since ground meats differ in consistency, you may need to add more liquid). Put into two large loaf pans and spread out evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Cool and store in the refrigerator. Makes 12 slices per loaf.

To serve, slice and cut into bite sized chunks. You can also slice off servings, put in ziplock bags and freeze them for later use.

Measurement of the loaf pans I use:
measurement taken from bottom of pan: 8 1/4" X 4 1/4"
measurement taken from top of pan: 9 1/4" X 5 1/4"  height: 2 3/4"
I bought my pans at Wal-Mart.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Vegetable Antipasto

Here are a couple of good recipes for this coming year's vegetable garden.
Vegetable Antipasto

This antipasto recipe was specifically formulated to be processed safely in a boiling water canner. Do not deviate from the recipe ingredients and quantities as any change could affect the safety of the end product.

2 1/2 cups green beans cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 1/2 cups cauliflower florets, about 1/2 medium head
2 cups diced onion, about 2 large
2 cups diced green pepper, 2 medium
2 cups diced red pepper, 2 medium
1 1/2 cups diced carrots, 3 to 4 medium
1 1/2 cups diced celery, 4 to 5 stalks
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp pickling salt
2 cups red wine vinegar
3 cans tomato paste
4 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp hot pepper sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups diced peeled eggplant or unpeeled zucchini
3 Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried mustard

Prepare, measure and combine vegetables (including zucchini if using), except garlic and eggplant; set aside.
Prepare jars, lids and bands.
Combine brown sugar, salt, vinegar, tomato paste, worcestershire and hot pepper sauce and garlic in a large stainless steel saucepan. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil.

Prepare eggplant (if using); stir into hot sauce along with remaining vegetables. Stirring occasionally, return mixture to a boil; boil gently, 5 minutes to begin to soften vegetables. Remove from heat; stir in basil and

Ladle antipasto into jars leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Process jars in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes. Adjust time according to altitude.

Makes about 7 pints

Fiery Pepperoncini Antipasto

Pepperoncini is the traditional variety used for Tuscan pickled peppers. In this zesty antipasto, they're combined with hot peppers and juicy tomatoes. The result is sure to get your taste buds jumping.
10 cups chopped, peeled plum tomatoes (Roma), divided
3 cups seeded pepperoncini peppers (preferably red)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1/2 cup diced, seeded cayenne peppers
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp pickling salt
1 Tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar

In a food processor or blender, puree 2 cups of tomatoes until smooth.
In a large pot, combine pureed and chopped tomatoes, pepperoncini peppers, onions, cayenne peppers, garlic, bay leaves, sugar, salt, basil, pepper and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring often, for about 2 hours or until antipasto is reduced by about half and is thick enough to mound on a spoon. Discard bay leaves.

Meanwhile prepare the canner, jars and lids. Ladle the hot antipasto into the prepared jars leaving a 1/2" headspace.
Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Adjust time according to your altitude.

Makes: about 8 half pints or 4 pints

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Digital PDF Question


My name is Daniel Mendoza and I am marketing executive at Stallion Publishers. We specialize in conversion of PDF files to digital online editions for viewing on Website, iPad, iPhone etc. I was wondering if you would be interested conversion of your PDF files to online interactive digital editions?

Please call or email me if you are interested. My number is (773)-598-8551 and email is

Thanks for your time.
Daniel Mendoza
Marketing Executive
digital showcase:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Maybe I Was Hasty...

I just redid the jelly.  I boiled it down to the jelly stage and it turned into a nice rosy color.  I still don't know if I'm that crazy about the flavor.


All I have been hearing about is Quince.  How wonderful it is, how fabulous it tastes, blah, blah, blah. Well, I made the trek to Whole Foods and bought quince for $2.97 a pound.  I bought almost 5 pounds of the fruit, thinking I'll make jelly and membrillo.

First thing, it doen't smell like a cross between a pear and an apple.  Second thing, it's supposed to turn a beautiful pink color when cooked,  they didn't.  Third thing, they are supposed to be loaded with pectin, they didn't set up. Fourth thing, they don't have that much flavor. You have to add almost as much sugar to it as you have juice. TOO SWEET!

To say I'm not as enamored with this fruit as other people are is an understatement.  I have to cook down the batch of jelly I made and then reprocess it in the WB canner.  It's a good thing it's raining today.  (It's one of the handful of days that it rains in SoCal.)   I will not be singing any joyous Christmas tunes as I open each 1/4 pint jar of jelly, pour it into the pan, cook it down, and reprocess this crap!  Hopefully none of my neighbors read my blog, because they are getting the uber handmade jelly for Christmas.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

New Page Added

I added a new page today.  Check out the beans page for a way to suck fat out of recipes using beans!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Try a Different Flavor or Two

I pulled this right off a forum I'm on. How about trying some of these flavors for your next jams or jellys.

Chocolate black cherry jam (great on dessert, ice cream)
Spiced Blueberry (I love mixing fruits/berries & adding spices)
Bacon-Bourbon jam (great on meat sandwiches)
Blueberry Wine jam (wonderful flavor, I used grape wine, couldn't find blueberry locally)
Spiced Peach & Spiced Pear (tastes like honey)
spiced peach & blueberry jam
Mango Jalapeno jam (hot, good with meat sandwiches)
Kahlua spiced peaches (not jam, but very tasty)
Banana split freezer jam (wonderful on ice cream, angel food cake, banana bread)
Tropical fruit freezer jam (pineapple, papayas, mangoes)
Pina Colada jam (very popular)
Spicy strawberry chipotle jam (strawberry with a little kick, very good)
Exotic Mango Banana jam (great on banana bread)
Jalapeno strawberry jam (slight bite to the strawberry taste, good)
spiced strawberry jam (not your store bought strawberry flavor)
Strawberry Balsamic black pepper jam (sounds strange, very good strawberry flavor)
Kiwi strawberry daiquiri jam (something special)
Strawberry Maple syrup jam (no sugar)
Spiced Blackberry jam (not the plain usual flavor)
Banana jam (great on banana bread or pancakes with banana slices)
Rose hip & Rhubarb jam (high vit C, healthy & good fiber)
Fall pumpkin jam (great on pumpkin bread or bars)
Red Hot Pepper Jam (for those who like it HOT, mix with cream cheese on crackers or on meat sandwiches)
Melon Mandarin jam (try with diff color melons)
Carrot Cake jam (nice topping on carrot cake or spice cake)
Sangria jelly (unique & good)
Wine Jelly (tried with grape wine, I don't know wines, use your favorite)
Mint apple jelly (I grew applemint, spearmint, peppermint, lime mint, ginger mint, chocolate mint, pineapple mint. This was a great one to try each flavor. I also use them for tea)
Chokecherry jelly & syrup is a favorite, I didn't get berries this year. Buffalo berry jelly is a 'man' flavor, not sweet. Do not add pectin you get rubber.
Rose Hip jelly (good when you have a cold, very high vit c)
Rose petal jelly (fun for a ladies tea, a nice rose petal suspended in the jelly, dark roses color best, sweet fragrance is sweet jelly)
Tomato juice jelly (good on toasted cheese sandwiches, meat sandwich)
Mexicalli Jelly (Jalepeno & hot peppers, very hot, nice on meat or cooled with cream cheese on crackers)
Champagne Jelly (I'm not a drinker, asked help from the liquor store, a nice gift for Honeymoon Breakfast basket...or anniversary)
Watermelon Jam (fun with diff color melon to each diff batch)
Tomato Chili (peppers) jam (good on sandwiches)
Christmas Jam (fun to give gifts with fresh bread: cranberries, orange, strawberries spices) Also
Jingle Jam (cranberries & Jalapeno)
And Cranana (cranberry & Banana: family favorite)
Cranberry Orange

I'm also raising sea buckthorn berries, 3 color current, 2 color gooseberry, saskatoon blueberry, blackberry, cherries, 2 color grapes, apples, pears, apricots, raspberries. We'll be planting lingonberries (great jam, a side dip to meat balls).

I've never tried Prickly Pear jelly, would like to. And Cactis jelly.
If anyone's tried these, and has 'harvest' you could ship to me, I'd pay shipping.
Never tried dandelion jelly or corn cob jelly, has anyone? Good?

We were in OR, at Ikea, and ordered swedish meatballs, they made them authentic (like going to Mexico instead of Taco Johns), and they have a side of lingonberry jam & dip their meat balls into this

Monday, October 17, 2011

Long Time, No Write...

I guess I took a vacation from blogging, but now I'm back. With the weather getting cooler in places other than So Cal, it starts to feel like a homemade soup and bread day.  Maybe I can help with the bread part.


6 cups warm water
4 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons salt
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup oil
2 tablespoons yeast
10 to 11 cups whole wheat flour

In a heavy duty (8 lb.) bread mixer, combine warm water and 4 cups of
bread flour. Mix briefly. Add salt, sugar, oil, and
yeast. Blend. While the mixer is running, slowly add whole wheat
flour until the dough pulls away from the bowl. Scrape sides of the
bowl; add an additional 1/2 cup flour. Knead 10 to 12 minutes or
until dough is smooth and is not sticky when touched with well-oiled
hands. If it is still sticky, add 1/2 cup more flour and knead 2
more minutes. Remove the dough and place on an oiled surface.

HAMBURGER BUNS: Tear off small portions of dough and shape them into
the size and shape of a hamburger patty or smaller. Place on a
lightly greased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Cover and allow
to rise until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake 20 minutes at 350
degrees. Remove from baking sheet to cool. Makes 36 buns.

CINNAMON ROLLS: Roll one half of the dough into a
rectangle. Sprinkle on cinnamon sugar; sprinkle on chopped nuts
and/or raisins. Roll up jelly roll fashion starting with the long
side. Slice into 1-inch slices. Repeat with remaining half of
dough. Place in shallow baking pans, cover and allow to rise until
doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350
degrees. Remove from baking pan to cool. Glaze while still warm
with a glaze made of 2 cups powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons milk.

RAISIN BREAD: Roll out 1/4 of the dough to a 9 inch width. Sprinkle
on 1/2 cup raisins; roll up, starting with the 9-inch side. Place in
a greased 9x5-inch bread pan. Press the dough down to make it
conform to the pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, 1 to 1-1/2
hours. Bake 30 to 35 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove from the pan to cool.

CINNAMON ROLL BREAD: Make raisin bread but sprinkle cinnamon sugar
on the dough before rolling it up.

PECAN BREAD: Substitute 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans for raisins in
raisin bread.

SURPRISE ROLLS: Roll 1/8 of the dough into a circle. Cut into 12
wedges. On the wide end, place a filling such as chocolate chips,
1/2 teaspoon chopped nuts or jam. Roll up, wide end to narrow
end. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet about 1/4"
apart. Cover and allow to rise until doubled, 45 minutes to 1
hour. Bake 18 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from baking sheet to cool.

WHOLE WHEAT BREAD: Divide dough into 4 portions. Place each portion
in a greased bread pan. Press the dough down to make it conform to
the pan. Let rise 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until doubled. Bake 30 to 35
minutes at 375 degrees. Remove from the pans to cool.

SIX-GRAIN BREAD: Grind 8 cups of six-grain whole-grain mix. Start
mixing the bread using 4 cups of the six-grain flour. Continue
following the recipe instructions, using light brown sugar instead of
dark brown. When the six-grain flour runs out, continue the recipe
with bread flour until the dough forms as directed. Shape, let rise,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'm Still Here

I guess I took a bit of a break from blogging.  I wanted to post this story I wrote after 9/11.  I was in a life story writing class and the assignment was to write about a challenging or sad time. This is the story I wrote.


   My mother loved flowers.  Every year, on her birthday, I place a homegrown bouquet her grave.  This time, however, I do not make it to the cemetery on her birthday.  It is September 11, 2001.
   At about 7:45 a.m., DH rushes into the bedroom and turns on the T.V.  He is saying something about a bombing in New York.  I sit up in bed; still groggy from insomnia and three Excedrin P.M.’s and wonder what is so special about this bombing.  It becomes clear as broadcasters are trying to make sense of what is still happening.  I quickly sober up as the images become focused.  My mind begins processing the horrific scenes.  What I am seeing is surreal, like watching a movie being played out on the television.  One of the World Trade Center towers is burning. 
   Some people are running from the area.  Others stand and watch the building burn.  Still others rush to help.  Suddenly a plane hits the second tower.  I sit transfixed, unable to take my eyes off the screen.  I am beginning to comprehend the enormity and horror of what is happening.  The news breaks about other possible hijackings.
   This is not an accident.  It is murder.  It is suicide.  Someone, somewhere, is making a statement in the most terrifying way possible.
   Three thousand miles away from New York, DH and I lay on our king-sized bed.  We watch as brilliant red and yellow flames engulf the skyscrapers.  Huge gray dust clouds descend from the sky and roll through the streets.  We see people leap to their deaths amid millions of bits of twirling paper.  Our 40-inch marvel of technology has brought the nightmare into our comfortable home.  We watch quietly and hold hands, knowing we are powerless to do anything to help.  I sit silently, understanding that things I value one moment can mean absolutely nothing in the next.
  DH had taken the Kiddo to school.  I ask if she has heard what happened.  She has, and I worry she might be afraid.  I’m not fearful that something will happen to us.  I feel we’re safe. Orange County, California doesn’t seem like much of a terrorist target compared to other places. I decide to let her have as normal a day as she can.  I know it will change soon enough.
   In my mind, I hear the snippet of Roosevelt’s declaration of Pearl Harbor being a “day which shall live in infamy.”  This feels like one of those days to me.  America is my home, and war doesn’t happen on our shores.  A naive thought.  Of course, it happens on our shores.  Terrible things happen in the United States every day.  CNN is announcing that foreign terrorists, not an American group, staged the attacks.  Somehow, I feel better.  It is easier for me to comprehend a murky unnamed enemy on foreign soil committing these acts, then an American doing this to his countrymen.
   As the day wears on, more information becomes available.  Four planes have been hijacked.  Two were flown into the Twin Towers, one into the Pentagon and one crashed into a Pennsylvania field.  Little by little the puzzle is being pieced together.  President Bush addresses the nation.  He speaks forcefully to our country’s threats.  I am comforted to know that we will not back down.  I want to fly our flag, to let the world know we are proud to be Americans and will overcome whatever threat there is to our country.
   September 11th will forever be known simply as “9/11”.  Next year on September 11, everyone will remember the tragedies and the precious freedom the terrorists tried to steal from us.  I too, will remember those events, but first I’ll make sure I tell my family how much I love them and place an extra large bouquet of flowers on my mother’s grave.

Monday, September 5, 2011

September Sale Items




Breakfast bars

Peanut butter


Lunch meat

American cheese



Snack cakes


Hot dogs

Ground beef

Hamburger and hot dog buns

Condiments (ketchup, mustard, barbeque sauce, relish)

Salad dressing

Canned fruits and vegetables



Frozen pies


Drink boxes

Grill supplies (charcoal, lighter fluid)
Party supplies (disposable plates, cups, napkins and utensils)
School supplies
Large appliances (refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers)
Lawn mowers
Trees, shrubs and bulbs

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A preview...

tomorrow i'll show you what i found at a thrift store...score...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August Sale Buys

Breakfast bars
Peanut butter
Lunch meat
American cheese
Snack cakes
Ice cream
Bottled water
Iced tea mix and bags
Drink boxes

Pool supplies
Outdoor toys
Outdoor furniture
Bathing suits
Summer clothes
Summer shoes

Dear Hubby's a Winner!

 DH won the first place for LARGEST pumpkin.  His first blue ribbon.  Congrats, DH! 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cherries + Chocolate...yum...

Chocolate Black Cherry Sundae Topping
(Adapted Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)

Makes about 6 (8 oz) half pints – also fantastic to put into 4 oz jars for gifts!

1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
*1 1.75-oz pkg Ball Original Fruit Pectin
4-1/2 cups black sweet cherries
*6-3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. lemon juice

(*If you used Ball flex batch low sugar/no sugar pectin you can reduce the sugar significantly. I used only 1 1/2 cup sugar. Make sure to taste the recipe after the first cup of sugar and increase by ½ cups until the flavor is sweet enough)

Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

Combine Cocoa powder and pectin in a medium glass bowl, stirring until evenly blended. Set aside.
Combine cherries and lemon juice in a large stainless steel saucepan. Using a potato masher crush the cherries as best you can. Whisk in pectin mixture until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once (taste if you are using the low sugar method but do not boil till you have correct sugar ratio) and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam.

Ladle hot sundae topping into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes...

This morning, DH and I took a pumpkin and zucchini to the county fair.  We entered them in the largest vegetable contest.  I'm sure no one's pumpkin can beat ours.  We could barely load it into the back of the truck.  A worker from the fair helped DH load it onto a drivable cart.  They will judge them later this morning.  Too bad the fair is closed today.  It did give us two more fair tickets.  DH is going to give them to some friends that might not be able to afford them.  He's a sweetie, that way.

I've picked some more tomatoes, about 18 lbs. worth.  When I get 30 lbs. worth, I'm going to make this recipe:

Spaghetti Sauce
Makes about 9 pints.
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbls. oregano
  • 4 tbls. fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 30 pounds whole tomatoes (1 lug)
Hot Pack

To remove skins, wash tomatoes and dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until the skins begin to split. Then dip in cold water, slip off skins, core and remove any blemished or discolored parts. Cut into quarters and boil in a large uncovered pot for 20 minutes. Press through a sieve or food mill.

In a heavy sauce pan or cast iron skillet, saute garlic, peppers, and onions in oil until tender. Combine with tomatoes and remaining spices and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered until thick enough for serving. Volume will be reduced by almost one-half. Stir often to prevent sticking.

Pack hot jars with hot prepared tomato mixture leaving 1-inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim and screw threads and adjust lids and screw bands.

Processing Methods

Pressure Canner:

Dial Gauge Type @ 11 pounds pressure or Weighted Gauge Type @ 10 pounds pressure.
  • Pints 20 minutes
  • Quarts 25 minutes
After processing, remove jars immediately, place on a rack to cool. Test for a seal.
Note: Do not increase amounts of vegetables

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Note About Norway

My heart and prayers go out to the families and friends affected by the shooting and bombing. There is no reason to the torment people are willing to inflict on the average citizen trying to live a good life.  There is life after this world and the victims will be waiting for the day that their families join them.

Week 66

Another week has just run past me.  Man, I must be gettin' old!  Here is a recipe for an interesting jam.  It has a soft set, so it makes a great glaze.  I think I might try this one in a slow cooker with a pork roast.

Blueberry-Pepper Jam

2 large red bell peppers
2 large green bell peppers
2 large poblano peppers
2 large slim Jim or Anaheim peppers
8 jalapeno peppers
2 c. fresh blueberries
1 c. vinegar
½ c. lemon juice
1 pkg. sure gel powder pectin
8 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. butter

Cut peppers in half and remove most of the seeds. On hot peppers, the more seeds that are left, the hotter they will be. Cut peppers into chunks, run through blender with vinegar and lemon juice to puree coarsely. Pour into pan, stir in whole blueberries and Sure Gel. Over medium heat, bring to a rolling boil, then add ALL of the sugar at the same time. (Pre-measure it into a large bowl.) Add butter to help reduce foaming. Stir well, and return to a full boil (one that cannot be stirred down) and boil 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Pour into clean, sterilized 8 oz. canning jars. Wipe rims, put on lids and screw on rings snugly. Place in boiling water bath and process 5 minutes. Let cool out of drafts and check for seal after 1 hour. Any jars that have not sealed properly will need refrigerated and used within 2 weeks.

This jam is usually a "soft set" jam, which means it spreads easily and works very well as a glaze for chicken or pork too. Its good on toast or biscuits with eggs, or as an unusual but tasty ice cream topping. The blueberries can also be pureed with the peppers if you prefer a smoother jelly texture.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Week 65

Yes, the humble green tomato.   Here in So Cal don't worry too much if we are left with a lot of green tomatoes on the vine.  They will ripen in the fall or even winter.  However, for those of you who are not as lucky, here's a tasty recipe.

Green Salsa

Yield: 5 pints
5 cups chopped green tomatoes
1 1/2 cups seeded, chopped long green chiles
1/2 cup seeded finely chopped jalapeƱos
4 cups chopped onions
1 cup bottled lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin*
3 Tbsp oregano leaves *
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and stir frequently over high heat until mixture begins to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle hot salsa into pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner 15 minutes at 0-1,000 feet altitude; 20 minutes at 1,001-6,000 feet; 25 minutes above 6,000 feet.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fair Results

All the hard work paid off. I won a blue ribbon for my whole wheat bread! I also won a blue ribbon for my Peru photo album.  (That's three straight years.) I won a 2nd place ribbon for my dill pickles and nothing for my jam.  I didn't think I was going to get anything for the jam.  It was too thick. Not a bad percentage.

Another Zucchini Recipe

If your garden is anything like mine, I went to pick tender baby zucchini and found 10 pounders hiding at the bottom.  Here's a recipe that is perfect for cubing those suckers and making Mock Pineapple.

 Mock Pineapple

4 quarts shredded or cubed zucchini, peeled
46 oz can unsweetened pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups bottled lemon juice
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pineapple extract

Mix ingredients (except pineapple extract) and bring to a boil. Simmer 20 minutes. Stir in extract. Fill hot jars with hot mixture and cooking liquid, leaving 1/2" headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids. Process in a boiling water bath; pints and half-pints for 15 minutes (20 min. above 1000 ft., 25 min. above 6000 ft.).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 3, 2011

Every three months I have to give the Presidency lesson on the first Sunday of the month.  Since it was the day before the 4th of July, I decided to talk about something I know a little about, WWII.  I film the lessons each week and post them on YouTube for those that don't get a chance to see them.

This is a pic of my Dad.  They must have decided to take pics on the spur of the moment, because he's only wearing his jacket over his civies.

My guess is the photo is from 1945-46.  It's not marked.  This would make Dad 24 or 25-years-old.  My lesson is in 3 parts, below.

I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Week 64

It's the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Yes, I'll gladly blame this one on DH.  He wanted to try some giant pumpkin seeds, and lo and behold, we got humungous pumpkins.  Okay, now what?  Funny how when I say I want to plant pumpkin pie pumpkins, he says the vines take over everything. He's correct, but at least we'd get some edible pumpkins out of it. Enough of my rant...

Look what else I have lurking in my garden.  No it isn't an oblong pumpkin, it's a cucumber.  I have several that mysteriously appeared when I didn't check the garden for a couple of days.  Never fear, if you remember last year, I made mock spiced apple rings.  Here's a recipe from David on the Canning2 Yahoo group, for another variation:


7 lbs. cucumbers, sliced 2 ways (I use big yellow cucumbers)
2 qts. vinegar
2 gal. cold water
5 lbs. sugar, or if desired less
2 c. pickling lime
1 tbsp. pickling spice
2 pkgs. red hots (cinnamon candies)
Red food coloring

Slice big yellow cucumbers, remove all pulp and seeds. Slice in desired lengths. Mix lime with 2 gallons water. Mix well. pour over cucumbers. Soak 24 hours. Drain well. Soak 3 hours in cold ice water. Drain. Tie spices in rag. Mix sugar and vinegar, put in spices and red hots. Pour over cucumbers. Let stand 12 hours. Add red food coloring, a few drops to make pretty red. Bring to boil. Boil rapidly 30 minutes, until cucumbers begin to clear. Pack in jars and cover with liquid. Heat lids and seal.

Of course you would want to update the canning instructions (I BWB for 10 minutes pints/15 minutes quarts - adjust for elevation of course) and rather than stocks I make rounds from peeled cikes that have the seeds
removed. Same sort of idea without the lime soak or the alum.  Pickle Crisp could be added as a firming agent.

Once canned and stores for a couple months the pickle is a dead ringer for spiced apple rings.

And, in case you missed this recipe on the Recipes page:
From the 1969 book, Homemade Bread edited by Nell B. Nichols, comes this recipe for:

Zucchini Marmalade
2 lbs. young zucchini squash (I'm using my immense 50 lb. zucchinis, thinly sliced.)
juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 (13.5 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 pkg. powdered pectin
5 cups sugar
2 tbs. finely chopped crystallized ginger

  • Peel squash and cut into thin slices.  Measure 6 cups sliced zucchini into a large kettle.
  • Add lemon juice, peel and pineapple.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until squash is tender but holds its shape, about 15 minutes.
  • Add pectin.  Place over high heat and bring to a boil.  Stir in sugar and ginger.  Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat; skim off any foam.  Stir and skim 5 minutes to cool slightly and prevent fruit from floating.
  • Ladle into hot, sterilized jars; seal with hot paraffin.  Makes 5 half pints.
I would process this marmalade in a BWB for 10 minutes. (This is a different way to pawn off zucchini on your neighbors.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Week 63

With the price of food going up so much lately, it makes sense to buy when the price is low on something you use.  Extra lean ground beef was on sale, so I bought 10 lbs.  I made my meatloaf recipe and put it these small baking dishes.  These are enough for DH and me and with a bit left over for lunch.  I freeze these in my foodsaver bags and pull it out when we want meatloaf.  I also make two patties and freeze them in the bags.  They are easy to defrost and there is no waste.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Week 62

Bet you thought I wasn't getting anything in this week.  You're sort of correct.  Here's July's bargains.

Hot dogs
Ground beef
Hamburger and hot dog buns
Condiments (ketchup, mustard, barbeque sauce, relish)
Salad dressing
Ice cream

Bottled water
Iced tea mix and bags

Grill supplies (charcoal, lighter fluid)
Party supplies (disposable plates, cups, napkins and utensils)

I'm teaching a Relief Society lesson tomorrow at church.  I've been polishing it up this week.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I've Opened a Store @ Etsy

It's called New 2 You .  Since I am going to estate sales with Dad every Friday, I thought I would pass on some great buys.  I will add a small mark-up and pass the savings on to you.  The first item posted is an orange clutch purse and gloves set.  Pumpkin orange and fantastic.  I will be adding more items as I take photos.  I have some great items, so check the store often.

Thanks for the Update, Millie

 A faithful reader of the blog, Millie, sent me the comment below.

My son lives in a farming community and as of now they had not been able to plant their corn, alfalfa and their tomatoes because of the dreadful rains they have been having this year. It has been a total loss for them. Also as of Jan.1st, the electric companies will no longer be making regular light bulbs...the companies will be selling only the spiral efficient light try to stock up on the regular light bulbs before they are all gone.

We have been asked by our church to become more self-reliant. There is still time to plant your own garden.  Even if you live in an apartment, try growing a tomato in a pot.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Get Your Pasta Now!

From Bloomberg News:

Pasta Price May Surge as Swamped North Dakota Cuts Durum Supply.

Unrelenting rainfall may have slashed U.S. planting of durum wheat to the lowest level in more than 50 years, fueling a surge in the price of pasta and noodles as mills scramble for supply of the grain.

Farmers who normally are finished planting by now had completed just 44 percent as of June 19 in North Dakota, which produces more than two-thirds of U.S. durum, government data show...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Zucchini Candy

It's already starting.  The zucchini is taking over!  Lucky I found this recipe from Suzy Homefaker.

Zucchini Candy
10 cups peeled diced zucchini 1/2 inch cubes ( I use "worms" about 3 inches long and 1/12 inch thick and wide. The little dice would be good in muffins, though.
3 cups water
2 pkgs. unsweetened  Cherry Koolaid
2 1/2 cups sugar
Peel zucchini, dice or slice, removing seeds. Mix the liquid syrup together. Add zucchini. Bring to a boil and them simmer for 25 min. Drain. Put on dehydrator trays. Dry 14 hours at 125 degrees. Turn pieces over and dry another 4 hours. This will feel dry and not sticky when done. Store in jars or other tightly sealed containers.If you dip in sugar when you turn them, they will be more like "gum drops" on the outside.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Week 61

How about this great idea, salad in a jar.  Check out this site namely aptly, Salad in a Jar, for the how-to.  If you have mason jars and a Food Saver with a vacuum lid attachment, you got it made. The site says the salad can be done a week at a time and stored in the fridge.  It lasts a week or more without browning.  How great is that?  I'd go a bit further and put the extras in jars also.  Pre-cut the peppers, jicama, fruits etc. to the fixins bottle. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Garden Bounty 2011

I've been a bit busy this week.  The garden is coming along quite well.  I pulled all the onions out this week. The strawberries are coming in nicely as are the cucumbers.  DH and I ate our first tomatoes, also.  They taste so good.  The beans are coming on and the zucchini is giving us lots of tender blossom-ended zukes. I did find some zucchini that were hiding on the ground under some leaves.  Not so tender.  I also picked our first green bell pepper. Since the cukes are on, I made our first pickles of the year.

If you are wondering what my great recipe is, wonder no longer.  I cheat.
This mix is great.  Everyone loves the pickles made with this mix.  I bought four packages at Wally World for $1.97 ea.  My local Wal-Mart was out, so I had to find the packs at another store.  The directions are simple.  You dissolve the mix in vinegar and water, let it boil and then add it to your raw pack cucumbers.  It doesn't get much easier that that.  After processing for 10 minutes in a BWB.  This is what you wind up with.
One packet made seven pints and three half-pints. After a week the flavor has developed enough to eat. Open, Eat, Enjoy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Week 60

Okay, here's a tip for you I bet you didn't know.  You can use your blender base on a regular mouth sized mason jar.  This is great for me because, with my arthritis, I often drop things, if I don't get a strong grip. This very thing happened to me when I was picking up my blender jar. Not only did the jar break, but I  also broke my 8-cup pyrex measuring cup! Dang, I hate when I do that!!!!  But, for some reason I keep the blender screw on base. The blender also has food processing attachments, so that's why I didn't get rid of the entire machine. Any whoo, I can now use the blender again by using a canning jar. I have been craving a berry smoothie...

Oh and something else, am I the last person to find out about Pinterest? It's a great site to store the pix of all those fabulous ideas, thoughts, trends and whatever else you like.  I am loving the fact that I don't have to store tons of things in my bookmarks never to be found a second time.  All I have to do is look at my board and click on the photo.  For example, I love doing miscellaneous things with old maps, so I made a board I entitled 'maps' (how original) and can dump the inspiration photo or link to a tutorial directly into that board.  Then when I want map inspiration I can go to the board and bring up whichever photo I want to.
Follow Me on Pinterest

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Yesterday, after taking Dad to breakfast, we hit the estate sales in his retirement community.  I got all these jars for $15, They originally quoted me $20, and I countered with $15.  There were even some blues and wire tops with the glass lids.  Not bad.  After washing them all, I think I did pretty well!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Week 59

How about a 'new' pickle recipe? Try this one at your own risk. ***

Joe Loftin Smith's Pickles:


Fresh jalapeno peppers OR Pickling cucumbers (whole, cut lengthways or into small chunks or sliced) OR whole green beans OR Fresh asparagus

Canning or Kosher Coarse Salt (no iodine)
Garlic (lots-peeled)
Boiling onions OR chunked onions
Red cider vinegar
Dill seed
Dill weed (fresh if possible)
Option: Mustard or celery seed (highly recommended)

Sterilize everything close to the kitchen with bleach and water - sink, counter tops, etc. - rinse. Carefully wash and rinse the jars, shake dry and place in 275 degree oven with their mouths upwards.

5 quarts water
2 1/2 quarts red cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups salt for peppers
1 1/4 cups salt for pickles, jardiniere, green beans and okra (some add up to 1/2 cup more)

The above ingredients make enough brine for 12 quarts of pickles. Mix everything in a large metal pot with a lid. It takes about 2 cups of brine to do a quart of veggies (seems I always need just a little more). Bring to a boil and turn
burner down to keep the solution simmering hot.

Place peppers, green beans, asparagus (trimmed on the bottom) or cukes (cut 1/2" off blossom end of the latter), 1 large bag of peeled carrots, small pieces of cauliflower and onions in a sink filled with warm water. Use any combination or just one veggie, like string beans. Scrub and drain everything at least twice to remove dirt, leaves, and slime. Prepare all the garlic you can stand to peel (don't over-blanch in the hot water) or you can use the prepared chopped type.Rinse the latter before using.

As the brine heats assemble canning tools and place rings and lids in slow boiling water as with any canning. Clean all of the counter tops and stove.

Put clean towels on cabinets to contain spills and insulate jars to prolong heat. Wash the veggies, place in a large pot or in a very clean sink and cover with hot water to preheat them. Drain and repeat 2-3 times during the process.

When doing dill pickles, cut a few cukes lengthwise to facilitate packing the jars.

Cut the sharp top off of each jalapeno pepper and put one in each jar of dill pickles, green beans, etc. I do not cut off the tip when I do just jalapeno peppers alone.

Remove a hot jar from the oven and add 1/4-1/2 tsp peppercorns, 1/4 tsp dill seeds, 1/4 tsp celery (or mustard) seed and a small amount of real dill weed to the jar. Then quickly pack it with the hot veggies - mixing large and small pieces. Use the packing tool that comes with canning kits to pack the jars as full as possible.

I usually do not add the cauliflower and carrots except when I am making jardiniere.

Keep everything hot - do not answer the telephone!

Fill the jars slowly to the top with the hot brine, keeping air in the jar to a minimum. Wipe salt, fluid and debris from jar tops - most important! Carefully place lid and ring on each jar - tighten very snugly.

Place all jars upside down on a very thick layer of towels and cover/wrap them in more towels to retain heat. Prolonged heat, salt, vinegar and heat from peppers makes it unnecessary to water-bath or pressure cook the whole mess. Only great crunchy veggies result. Properly wrapped, the warm jars will be sealed the next morning. Those that do not seal can be put in the back of the fridge and eaten first. Let age as long as you can stand it before eating - at least 1 month for pickles, slightly longer for jardiniere and 3 months for jalapeno peppers and beans.

Disclaimer: Use at your own risk. Since this doesn't water-bath or any other methods of preservation, I don't claim that this is safe to eat. However, I believe that this brine is strong enough that everything is 'preserved'. Many
people preserve things using brine without any ill effects. Growing up, there was a country store (that had a dirt floor, I might add) that had a huge wooden barrel full of brine that they sold pickles out of. As they sold, they just
dumped more pickles into the brine. No refrigeration at all. But since we live in a society where everyone sues everyone else, I feel the need to post this disclaimer.

Mary Ann
McCurtain County, Oklahoma

Sunday, June 5, 2011

What's New in the Garden

I was watering in the garden yesterday and found some small zucchini that were just the right size.  I'm still pulling up onions.  Our giant pumpkins are going great guns and taking over the garden, backyard and soon the neighborhood!  We still have strawberries that are a race to see who will get them first, us or the bugs.  I checked the cucumbers tonight and pulled off enough for a jar of pickles.  That was one of the entries I made for the county fair this year.  I entered dills and a some jam.  I did eat some snow pea pods the other day.  There weren't enough to save so I chomped them down raw.  Can't wait to see what's new tomorrow.

How to make Homemade Dough Enhancer

Another great money saver for us bread makers.

Homemade Dough Enhancer
1 cup wheat gluten
2 tablespoons lecithin granules
1 teaspoon ascorbic acid crystals
2 tablespoons powdered pectin
2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1 teaspoon powdered ginger

Mix together and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For
100% whole grain breads, use 3 tablespoons per loaf. Add to your recipe
along with the flour.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June Sale Items

Here are the items to keep a lookout for in June.
Ice cream
Bottled water
Iced tea mix and bags

Tools (around Father’s Day)

Week 58

I am trudging through the onions, still!  I did make something that is super yummy with them, Caramelized Red Onion Jam.  Stop right here if you won't cook with wine.  The taste just wouldn't be the same.  Personally, I don't drink, ever, however I do cook with wine.  If you're a bit adventuress, give it a try. This recipe is from Small Batch Preserving.


2 large red onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 fresh bay leaves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/8 teaspoon each)

Stir the onions and brown sugar together in a large, heavy bottomed enamel pot. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until the onions are very soft and deep brown in color (about 25 minutes). If the onions stick while cooking, stir in 1/4 cup of water and stir vigorously, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add the wine, vinegar, and herbs. Turn the heat to high and bring the onions to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove the relish from the heat, pick out the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Pack the relish into hot half pint jars, seal, and process for 10 minutes.

Cook's Notes: Since I don't drink I didn't know anything about the wine.  I bought an inexpensive bottle of red wine from the store. It was under $3.  I  actually used red , brown and white onions, since that is what I picked.  I also skipped the bay leaf and thyme. (DH and  I don't like thyme.) I used more onions than what they called for, so I doubled the rest of the ingredients.  I had sliced the onions into rings, but the next batch I will chop in the food processor.  The mixture turns into a tar-like substance.  We tried it on grilled! 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Take a minute to thank a soldier for all
they give and have given.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Strawberry Salsa

This recipe was from the Complete Book of Pickling.
Peppery Strawberry Salsa

6 cups crushed strawberries (about 3 1/2 lb)
4 cups diced red bell peppers
2 cups diced yellow bell peppers
1 1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup minced seeded jalapeno peppers
2 tsp pickling salt
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup liquid honey
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro or mint

Prepare jars, lids and bands.

If berries are very juicy (they squirt when crushed), spoon 3 cups into a sieve and set over a bowl. let drain for 30 minutes to remove about 3/4 cup excess juice, reserving the juice for another use.
In a large pot, combine strawberries, red and yellow peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers, salt, cumin, vinegar and honey. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring often, for about 20 minutes or until onions are translucent and salsa is slightly thickened. Stir in cilantro.

Ladle hot salsa into prepared jars leaving a 1/2" headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Process jars for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath. Adjust time according to your altitude.

Makes: 12 half pints or 6 pints

Week 57

Sometimes I check the blog stats to see what people are looking at. For some reason this week, I've had 166 people look at my Jay Leno post. Odd. If you're looking at it, let me know how you found out about it and why are you looking at it?