Swine Flu Update

Well I'm recovering, finally, from the swine man swamp flu!  I still have a cough hanging on.  The canning came to a near screaching halt, John took 4 days off from work but the reality is 1. I'm more organized than he is, which isn't saying much btw, and 2. there was way more that needed canning than one person could do alone!  He did get a dozen or so pints of pear butter put up and a dozen or so quarts of tomatoes canned.  I'm feeling better but not by much, a simple drive across town  and back still wears me out and I need a nap just to recover from the experience.  To make matters worse I have a show coming up this weekend and I"m no where near being ready for the event.  More later from the kitchen!!!

Inspiration for Prairie Potholes -Harvest

A couple of folks have asked me what my inspiration was it's very simple actually it is what I saw day in and day out as a kid growing up in the country. Every farm had grain bins, barns, some had silo's, etc. I started the Prairie Pothole Series sometime around 2003, made several nice pieces in 2005, and made several more in 2007, but they were always lacking something.

Last Sunday I had hubby take me for a country drive and with my handy trusty digital camera in hand I snapped some shots of farms etc., and came home and started stitching. What can I say while I long for a pure prairie teaming with buffalo, prairie chickens, elk, etc., that is NOT the world I grew up in. I grew up in a prairie filled with tiled fields, ravines, silos, grain bins, barns and elevated fuel tanks.

Todays kiddos are growing up with a reality of confinement houses in their view - that was NOT my reality~!

Anyway... watch for more from my machine as I have many pieces in progress from this idea now.

Carla Emery"s Old Fashioned Recipe Book

Carla Emery"s Old Fashioned Recipe Book an Encyclopedia of Country Living copyright 1977. Carla rewrote her book right before her death several years ago.
I get a lot of emails asking me where I learned what I know, most of it is from helping my parents when I was growing up. We always had a very large garden, canned, dehydrated foods, etc., and we raised rabbits and chickens for food. I've supplemented what I knew with books such as these (this book was in with a lot of books I purchased at a sale).

Turkey Enchilada's

two cans each green enchillda sauce, green chile's, chopped tomatoes, and tomato sauce.

Lots of turkey

Corn tortillias

three cheeses

The sauce mixed up and coming to a boil.

The sauce at a boil.

The sauce boiled and then simmered for 15 minutes with one healthy dollop of sour cream added. Skins are dipped in the sauce to soften and then filled with turkey and cheese.

Assemble enchilada's
Layer in a baking pan, cover with more sauce and some cheese.

Once a month cooking at it's finest - what else would I do with so much left over turkey???

Canning Coleslaw

Shred the cabbage using a kraut cutter or mandolin, be sure to keep your fingers out of the way!

Mix carrots and onion in with the shredded cabbage and then sprinkle salt over the mixture and allow to sit for an hour.

Slaw after sitting for one hour with salt.

Slaw in jars ready for the syrup to be added.

Syrup for the slaw is ready, make sure you completely melt the sugar and the syrup is clear.

Syrup added to slaw. The slaw starts to wilt as the heat from the syrup settles in the jars.

Remove bubbles using a canning stick or spatula.

Slaw after 20 minutes of processing in BWB.

Dh decided to experiment with this batch and added the slaw to the jars and then added the syrup - the end result was floating slaw! Next time we'll add the slaw to the syrup and then to the jars!

Potato Bins

I have twelve pototao bin shelves now, these sit on top of a palett that sits over a gravel filled dirt area in our basement floor. That's Angel our sheltie in front of the bins.

Holes were drilled in the end boards of each bin shelf to aid in air flow, we used 1 x 2 inch fencing for the bin bottoms.

Dh stapled lathe to the bottom of the bins to make them easier to pull out and push back into place much like a dresser drawer.

He used 1 8 foot 2 x 4 to make each bin.

Gamma Seals

What is a Gamma Seal? It is a screw on lid that one puts onto a plastic food grade bucket for long term food storage. NOTE: Make sure you really want the lid on your bucket because once you hammer the ring onto the bucket, use a rubber mallet, it's there for good! You'll have to destroy the bucket to get the ring off.
WalMart has these in stock in various stores around the US for $4.38 each. If your WalMart isn't carrying them tell them you want them and here is the sku #076939714027