This past weekend I visited an Amish area in Hazelton, Iowa. This was my second trip to this community. I love to buy grains and spices in bulk. This time I came across Whole Spelt Flour. I bought a bag and then did a little research on how to use Spelt flour in baking. Seems this is an "ancient grain" unmodified. Although not gluten free, evidently Spelt is easier to digest than common wheat. From what I can tell, you can just use it as a replacement for white and wheat flour when baking. For more information on how and why to use Spelt flour please select the link below.
I found this milk jar carrier at an antique mall and it works perfect for carrying my canning jars to the basement. I leave it on top of my fridge and when it's full it's time for a trip down to the shelves in the basement. You can have tin cans and plastic containers to deal with after you open your food or you can have re-useable glass canning jars. Less in the recycling/garbage bins.
Even though there is a blizzard outside it's nice to enjoy some plum jam made in better weather. The hot cocoa is a nice treat with the blizzard howling at the windows.
When I went out to pick apples at the farm I found a new friend, my Thanksgiving Turkey:) His head came up to my waist and he was strutting around like he owned the place. He followed me around as I picked apples. However, when I tried to get a picture of him with my phone, he kept turning away. When I ignored him, he got under my feet.
What a beautiful bird! I resisted naming him...although I did pet him, once.
Tonight I canned vegetable soup. A neighbor told me how she has done hers for years (she's in her 70's) so I tried it last year and we loved it.
You can put whatever kind of veggies in the quantities you want. I used green beans, carrots, onion, zucchini, tomatoes, green peppers, garlic, parsley.
I put everything in a pan and covered it with water and boiled it for about 5 minutes. Then sealed it in quart jars at 10 lbs pressure for 15 minutes.
Canning this soup is a real time saver. I just open it up pour it in a pan, add a jar of beef, add noodles, or barley or rice or whatever I want and it's done in a few minutes.
Not bad for a night's work! 21 quarts of soup and 10 pints of sweet pickles and 7 more quarts of green beans.
OK so I hate waste. I admit it:) Here's an experiment I thought I'd try. Dehydrating beet stems and leaves to use later as vitamin supplements in soups, stews, roasts, etc. Anyone else tried this? I'd love to hear how it turned out and how you used them in your cooking.
I just cut them off the beet, rinsed them and laid them in my dehydrator.
I'll keep posted.
My sister-in-law, Rose made this wonderful, yummy platter of caprese. Here's how she did it.
Firm garden tomatoes sliced
Farmers Cheese sliced
black pepper, white vinegar, fresh Basil, olive oil over the top.
What a great snack! Healthy! Vibrant, full taste when you use fresh from the garden tomatoes and fresh cut basil. I grow mine on the deck in a pot. Makes a huge difference.
#basil #gardentomatoes #caprese
Here is what I found under the weight I used to keep the cucumbers below the brine. I let these dill slices sit in brine on the kitchen counter for 3 weeks. They turned out pretty good...the better the further under the brine.
Yesterday and today I canned 28 quarts of spaghetti sauce. And I'll probably make another 28 quarts tomorrow. I spent the summer of 1997 discovering this recipe by trial and error. I have used it ever since. It seems like everyone has too many tomatoes this time of year. Recipes like this are a good way to reduce the waste. I hope you enjoy it!
I'll be making Salsa in the next day or so, so look for that recipe as well.
Canning Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
30 diced tomatoes, peeled
2 medium green peppers, diced
1 large white or yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 TBSP salt
3 TBSP garlic powder (or substitute whole crushed garlic to taste)
2 TBSP parsley, chopped
2 TBSP Italian Seasoning OR
1/2 TBSP Basil and 1/2 TBSP Oregano, ground or chopped
1 tsp black pepper
Tomato paste to thicken or cook down slowly to thicken
* I have done the herbs both ways and both are good. The herbs are just to taste for your family so experiment with the amounts. Try growing the herbs you will use. It gives them a more vibrant smell and taste.
This is how I put this together. I de-stem and rinse the tomatoes and cut all the bad spots out. And then I freeze them whole. Sometimes I freeze them for a while as I'm waiting for enough tomatoes to be ready to make a first batch, and sometimes I just don't have time to make spaghetti sauce right away, but even if I'm making the batch the next day or even later that evening I still freeze the tomatoes because it makes getting the skin off super easy and doesn't burn your fingers like boiling water does.
Take frozen tomatoes and run tap water over them. the difference in temperature from the freezer and the tap water will loosen the skin and they should slip right off. I use luke warm to slightly hot tap water, but it should still be comfortable to your touch.
Quarter the tomatoes and dump all ingredients in a large cooking pot and cook. When tomatoes are soft and falling apart I put the mixture through the blender (because my family likes smooth sauce...teenagers!:) But I prefer it chunky, so this part is up to you. After blending, Return to cooking pot and bring to a boil. I used to cook it down to thicken but I get a lot more spaghetti sauce if I just use tomato paste to thicken it. Plus it takes hours to get it thick by simmering it down. Thicken to how your family likes it. Remember it will thicken more in the canning process as well.
While hot, put in jars (I use quarts) and seal using the hot water bath method. I boil for 45 minutes for my spaghetti sauce. This makes about 5 quarts of sauce per batch.
Let me know how you like it.
#canning #homemadespaghettisauce #tomatoes #canninghomemadespaghettisauce
Every day I skim this stinky stuff off the top of my pickles. They are just starting to have an odor. Should be done in two days. I can't wait to get them off my counter!
I grew up and currently live in Iowa. I have three beautiful daughters and a Miniature Schnauzer. I'm interested in anything that supports healthy families and healthy lifestyles.