Monday, May 31, 2010
What you need:
Mylar Bags – buy from your local church cannery or order online
Oxygen Absorber packets – also available at the cannery, Honeyville Grain, or Walton Feed
A piece of wood or metal to iron on.
For my project – Dry packing the dried corn I just did, I cut 1 Mylar bag in half lengthwise and then I sealed the cut sides with the iron, medium hot and no steam – for just a few seconds to seal the cut edges (that I just cut) on the bags making two bags, with 3 sealed sides, from one larger bag. Fill each smaller bag with about a quart of dried product, add an oxygen absorber packet and seal the top of the bag with the iron. Add a label telling what is inside and the date you sealed it and you’re done! So easy and fun. This has opened a whole new world up to me. The possibilities are endless. I can’t wait to see what I can store now. In a later post I’ll tell you more about Kathy’s book, “Dinner is in the Jar.” It is an awesome book with tons of great food storage ideas and recipes.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Blender Wheat Pancakes
Makes 6-8 pancakes
1 c. milk (or 1/3 c. non-fat dry milk and 1 c. water)
1 c. uncooked whole wheat
2 T. oil
2 t. baking powder
2 T. honey or sugar
1/2 t. salt
Put milk and wheat in blender. Blend on highest speed for 4-5 minutes or until batter is smooth. Add and blend on low, eggs, oil, baking powder, honey and salt. Pour from blender jar onto hot griddle. Flip when bubbles pop and create holes.
2 cubes butter
1 c. buttermilk or sour milk
1 t. soda
1 c. sugar
2 T. Karo Syrup
2 t. vanilla
Combine butter, sugar, milk and Karo in saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add soda and vanilla. Fresh milk can be soured by adding 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar to measuring cup and filling to 1 cup with milk.
1 quart peaches
1 c. sugar
Blend together in blender till smooth. Heat till sugar is dissolved.
Fresh Strawberry Syrup
1 pint strawberries
1/3 c. white sugar
1 t. almond extract (my favorite) or vanilla extract
Wash and cut strawberries in half or fourths; combine berries, sugar, and extract in medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for five minutes,stirring or breaking berries up with a wooden spoon constantly. After five minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly (if you have a glass blender jar) and a lot (if you have a plastic blender jar). When cool enough, transfer mixture to blender and pulse until desired consistency is reached. Serve over pancakes or waffles, ice cream, brownies etc. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Popcorn is a good snack and a great addition to your food storage. Not only can it be popped and topped in any number of ways, it can also be ground into cornmeal and used in recipes that way.
Here are some popcorn tips:
Yellow popcorn – has more hull & is meatier – great for caramel corn
White Popcorn – has less hull – better for those with diverticulitis
Baby or Ladyfinger popcorn is the best.
If popcorn won’t pop or is old, try this:
Put 2 cups popcorn and 1 T. water in a quart jar. Shake 2-3 times a day until the popcorn absorbs water. Pop when the corn is dry.
Here is a fun popcorn recipe:
HONEY BUTTER POPCORN
1 cube real butter
1/3 c. light corn syrup
½ c. honey
1 c. sugar
1 c. cream or canned milk
½ t. salt
1 t. vanilla
Cook to 238º. Pour on popped corn. This popcorn does not go hard, it is gooey and very good.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
There has been a lot of hype lately about Universal mixes. A powdered white sauce mix that you can “just add water” to and make a thousand different recipes. Okay maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration but you get the point. A few years ago the Utah State Extension Service developed this recipe. Once you try it, you’ll want to keep it on hand. It only has 3 ingredients, is relatively inexpensive to make and has at least a thousand different uses. It can be used in any cream soup recipe, homemade macaroni and cheese, au gratin or scalloped potatoes, cheese sauce for veggies or creamed vegetables, like new potatoes and peas; or use in any recipe calling for white sauce. You can have it on hand all the time and won’t even need to send $3.95 in the mail for the free powdered white sauce “just add water” sample!
Magic White Sauce Mix
2 ½ c. dry powdered milk
1 c. flour or ½ c. cornstarch
1 c. (2 sticks) butter at room temperature
Combine dry milk, flour or cornstarch, and butter in a large bowl. Mix with electric hand mixer until it looks like cornmeal. Keep mix tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to eight months. Yield: 5 cups
To Make White Sauce
2/3 c. Magic White Sauce mix
1 c. water
In a saucepan, combine Magic White Sauce Mix and water. Stir rapidly with a wire whisk over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble and thicken. Yield: 1 c. white sauce
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Imagine eating exclusive out of food storage for an extended period of time. Wouldn't we miss those eggs? Now you don't have to. Unfortunately as a society with all the awesome conveniences we have, we have lost much knowledge that those who lived before us had. Such as how to preserve many different varieties of fresh foods, such as eggs. There are a couple of ways to preserve eggs. I'll mention one today.
Did you know that an egg will stay fresh as long as air does not penetrate the somewhat porous shell? When an egg is laid, it has a coating on it that protects the contents from going bad, even in a hot nest, while being sat upon by a contented mother bird. When eggs are processed for sale, they are cleaned, thereby removing some of the natural coating that was protecting the egg from spoilage. By purchasing fresh eggs and recreating the barrier between the outside air and the egg within the shell, you can significantly increase the egg's shelf life, even when stored at room temperature for great lengths of time.
Here's how. First, get a large container of Vaseline and a bunch of eggs, preferably in Styrofoam containers. If you can only find eggs in cardboard containers, that's okay. Just use plastic wrap inside of them to protect the cardboard from the Vaseline.
Next, get ready to get messy. Take eggs out of container. Get a small amount of Vaseline on your hands. (You can use gloves if you wish.) Pick up an egg and rub the Vaseline all over the egg until it is covered completely. The Vaseline doesn't have to be thick, just don't miss any spots. When it's covered, set it back into the egg carton, with the wide end of the egg at the top. (That's where the little air space is located inside the shell) Get a little more Vaseline on your hands and do another egg. Repeat until all eggs are covered. Close cartons, date, and put into your food storage room.
To use an egg, put a little dish soap on your hands and rub it all over the egg. Rinse with warm water while wiping the egg clean. Only wash as many eggs as you intend to use right away.
If you want to be sure your egg is still fresh before eating it, simply drop it into a bowl of water. If it sinks, it's fresh. If it floats, some air has gotten inside the shell and you should discard the egg.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
One of my most favorite additions to my food storage is butter. Canned butter. When I first heard this I didn’t really believe it. But it is true. You can and it is not hard to do. Actually it is fun. If you do this close to a holiday, you can usually find butter on sale. Buy it when it’s on sale and freeze it until you have enough to make a batch of this. Every time I see these little jars of butter in my food supply, it makes me smile. The recipe suggests using pints, I used half pints. If I were using this and had no refrigeration, I wouldn’t want to open a jar bigger than what I could use up quickly. Here is how it’s done:
1. Heat half-pint jars in a 250º oven for 20 minutes, without rings or seals. One pound of butter slightly more than fills two half pint jars, so if you melt 11 pounds of butter, heat 12 pint jars or about 24 half pints or a combination of the two. A roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet works well for holding the pint jars while in the oven.
2. While the jars are heating, melt butter slowly until it comes to a slow boil. Using a large spatula, stir the bottom of the pot often to keep the butter from scorching. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes at least: a good simmer time will lessen the amount of shaking required (see #4 below). Place the lids in a small pot and bring to a boil, leaving the lids in simmering water until needed.
3. Stirring the melted butter from the bottom to the top with a soup ladle or small pot with a handle, pour the melted butter carefully into heated jars through a canning jar funnel. Leave 3/4 inch of head space in the jar, which allows room for the shaking process.
4. Carefully wipe off the top of the jars, then get a hot lid from the simmering water, add the lid and ring and tighten securely. Lids will seal as they cool. Once a few lids "ping," shake while the jars are still warm, but cool enough to handle easily, because the butter will separate and become foamy on top and white on the bottom. In a few minutes, shake again, and repeat until the butter retains the same consistency throughout the jar.
5. At this point, while still slightly warm, put the jars into a refrigerator. While cooling and hardening, shake again, and the melted butter will then look like butter and become firm. This final shaking is very important! Check every 5 minutes and give the jars a little shake until they are hardened in the jar! Leave in the refrigerator for an hour.
6. Canned butter should store for 3 years or longer on a cool, dark shelf. It does last a long time. It has been tested and it was fine after 5 years. Canned butter does not "melt" again when opened, so it does not need to be refrigerated upon opening, provided it is used within a reasonable length of time.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Home canned apple pie filling. What a great way to preserve fruit for your storage. This pie filling is so much better than pie filling that you buy at the store already canned. There is no comparison. Whenever you shop for apples, buy a few extra and save them for pie filling. It takes about 6 pounds of apples to make quarts of pie filling. You can use whatever variety you desire; I like Granny Smith and I would not use Red Delicious but I’ve never really tried any that were not good. My family loves crisp apples but when they aren’t so crisp anymore, it’s pie filling time.
Apple Pie Filling
4 ½ c. sugar
1 c. cornstarch
2 t. ground cinnamon
¼ t. ground nutmeg
10 c. water
3 T. lemon juice
1 t. salt
6 lbs. apples peeled, cored and sliced
In large saucepan, blend sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg well. Stir in the water; cook and stir till thick and bubbly. Add lemon juice. Pack sliced apples into quart jars leaving 1” headspace. Fill jars with hot syrup, leaving 1/2” headspace. Add lids and process in boiling water bath for 20 minutes. This makes 6 quarts.
When it’s time for pie, prepare pastry for a 2 crust pie and line pan with pastry. Add 1 quart apple pie filling. Cover with top crust, cutting slits for escape of steam; seal. Bake at 400º for 50 minutes.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Dried Sweet Corn with Butter Sauce
1 c. dried corn
2 c. cold water Soak 2 hours. Do not drain.
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Cover and cook slowly until the kernels are tender (50 to 60 minutes). Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Stir in:
1/3 c. cream
2 T. butter
Heat through. Serve in sauce dishes with sauce.
Creamed Dried Corn
If you have never had dried corn you really must give it a try. It goes back to the days when drying was used to preserve vegetables through the winter.
The dried corn has a rich, nutty flavor, very different from fresh.
2 cups dried sweet corn
3 to 4 cups boiling water
1 T. sugar
2 T. butter, or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk (use evaporated for a richer flavor)
Place corn in large saucepan. Add boiling water and soak approximately 1 hour. Add sugar, butter salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer approximately 30 minutes. Add milk and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Reheats very well.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Taco Seasoning Mix
2 ½ teaspoons instant minced onion
½ teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon crushed dried red pepper (more if you like it hotter)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon instant minced garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl until evenly distributed. To use In Taco filling add seasoning mix and ½ c. water to cooked and drained ground beef. Make extra packets and store in Ziploc bags or small Rubbermaid containers for future use.
Friday, May 14, 2010
BLACK BEAN SALSA
2 c. black beans, cooked, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 can petite diced tomatoes with chipotle chilies
1 green pepper chopped
¼ medium Red onion chopped
½ c. Italian salad dressing
1 diced avocado (optional)
Drain beans & corn. Mix all ingredients. Add Avocado just before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
4 c. Hot water
1 Fels-naptha Soap Bar
1 c. Washing soda
½ c. borax
1 -5 gallon bucket with a lid
2/3 bar grated Fels Naptha Soap
1 cup washing soda
1 cup 20 mule team borax
Mix and store in airtight container or bag.
**light or small loads, use 1 tablespoon
**normal loads, use 2 tablespoons
**heavy loads, use 3 tablespoons
Tip: The above recipes will NOT make suds in your washer, so don’t be alarmed. Fels Naptha Soap is a pure soap and typically makes little or no suds, in the water. This makes it perfect for the new washers, as well as, traditional washers. You will also notice the need to either reduce your laundry softener, or in most cases you can even eliminate the use of softener completely.