Garden Update

My potato patch before round three of mulching - we mulched it just before it started pouring!

Greens patch: Lettuce, chard, beets, turnips, radishes, carrots, and parsnips.

The hail and tornados missed us! I'm so very grateful for this!!! At present I have no way to protect my tomatoes. John has an idea and we will set it up sometime this week.

Sweet Potato, Sausage, and Kale Soup

This is what we had for dinner and it was delcious. I substituted out Italian flavored Pork Sausage for the turkey sausage and yams for the sweet potatoes which were outrageously over priced ($4.97 a pound~!) The Kale was exceptional in this recipe, it reminds me of a soup I've eaten before down south.

Making Potato Leek Soup

The remainder of the the leeks and my potatoes ready to be sliced thin.

Leeks and onions ready to be sauted with a little butter.

Some russett potatoes, I used six for this batch of soup.

Slice your potatoes thin.
Saute leeks and onions with three tablespoons of butter for three minutes - I actually saute them for about six minutes.

Take a taste and see if it needs more salt and pepper, I added more because we like it peppery.

Onions and leeks have been sauting for about three minutes and I've added more salt and pepper.
Chicken broth left over from last nights chicken canning session, I didn't strain the stuff out but no one will know it's in the soup when all is said and done.

Add potatoes to the onions and leeks.

Add salt and pepper to the potato broth mixture.

Cover in chicken broth and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.

When potatoes are fork tender blend everything using blender or food processor, I used my kitchenaid stick blender.

Add 2 cups cream or milk slowly to the potato stock.

The cream being blended with the blender stick, the heat is off so the cream doesn't curdle.

Blend cream/milk thoroughly and your ready to serve.

If you like bacon in your soup then see the previous post, this is my bowl without bacon. The recipe is from The Joy of Cooking cookbook. This made three quarts of soup, two of which I gave to the neighbor otherwise we'd be eating it for four days! The soup is very rich and is excellent on a freezing cold evening, currently the wind chill here is -28F so it's chilly here right now.

Layered Chicken Vegetable Soup

1 Cup Chopped Potato - we used Russets

Fresh Chicken Broth made from cooking the chicken hind quarters.

1/4 Cup Cooked Chicken

1 Cup chopped Carrot.

2/3 Cup. Corn

2 T. Chopped Roma Tomatoes

2/3 Cup Chopped Green Beans

A tablespoon of chopped onion is added to each jar. Dh wanted to know where the garlic was???

Each jar gets half chicken bullion cube which is placed in the jar first on the bottom.

We experimented with the layering trying to find one that was visually pleasing.

In the AA and ready to be pressure canned - 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.

Layered Chicken Vegetable Soup Recipe

Wow this is very popular so here is the recipe and the next post will be pics of what we did.

The potatos, carrots, tomatoes, and onions were raw (I soaked the cubed potatoes for four hours with a bit of vinegar) The corn and green beans were frozen.

Amounts are approximations for a quart jar:

1c cubed potatoes
1c sliced/cubed carrot (depended on the diameter of the carrot most ended up cubed)
2/3c corn
2/3c green beans
1/4c cooked chicken meat
T Onion
2T chopped fresh roma tomatoes
1/2 Chicken bullion Cube

Cover with the broth you made when you cooked the chicken meat. PC 90 minutes.

I arranged it in layers so that it would be pretty!Potato, carrot, green bean, chicken, corn, tomato, onion.

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.

Chicken Pot Pie

Fresh out of the oven, the sauce was coming up around the edges of the biscuits.

Before the bisquits were added I made the rue added the broth to make the sauce and then added the vegetables and cooked for about 10 minutes, the time it took dh to make the biscuit topping.

I used potatoes instead of boiled eggs in the recipe AND I added chopped onion, a half cups worth.
This seemed to be the right time to try our newly canned chicken and chicken broth. Let me tell you it was INCREDIBLE! Instead of using several dishes to make the pie I used my cast iron dutch oven.

Well it sorta started out that way anyway. I found the recipe this morning at Self-Reliant Yuppies but decided to wait until dh got home from work to start the pie, and I'm glad I did! Lets just say his idea of gourmet is NOT cheddar cheese filled pie crust, and he agreed with me the hard boiled eggs seemed a bit over the top so I used potato instead.

Rutabaga Dinner - In Progress

Rhutabaga Dinner - this is out of my husband's old old (1940's) presto cookbook and I'm going on memory here.

Two pork steaks, six potatoes, and two large rutabaga's

Layer chopped (one inch pieces) peeled baking potatoes on the bottomof the cooker

Add layer of peeled chopped (one inch pieces) rutabaga's on top ofpotatoes Salt and Pepper at this point.

Add pork steaks (cut into thirds) Salt and pepper meat

Add an inch of water

Cover and bring to pressure then pressure cook for 20 - 25 minutes.

Remove heat source and let cool down naturally. Serve with worthchestershire sauce (mispelled I know)

I think the pressure cooker is set permamently to 10 pounds.

Note you know your doing it right because it smells like wet dog about half way through the cooking process.

Potato Bin

John planted some potatoes in this bin with straw, this is a new experiment for us, will let you know how it turns out.

The idea behind this potato growing method is as the starter potatoes send up shoots you put more straw, and another round of wood (or tires) and you keep doing this until you are ready to harvest. This is supposed to encourage more potatoes and less vines.

Potato Leek Soup

Going camping this summer, looking for a food gift that doesn't require much in the way of cooking or can be used later or do you simply want to put some food up for a rainy day (or a blizzard) - that actually tastes good then try this recipe on for size:

I found this recipe online and changed it to make it "taste" better.

1 3/4 cups instant mashed potato flakes
1 1/2 cups dry milk powder (I used dry whole milk as it's richer)
4 T. chicken bouillon granules (originally called for 2 T. we like ours richer)
2 T. dried minced onion
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper (originally called for white pepper)
1/4 teaspoon dried chives (make sure you use onion chives and NOT garlic chives!!!)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (originally called for seasoned salt)
1/8 cup dehydrated leeks
2T. dehydrated carrot chunks (adds color)
1/4 cup dehydrated potato chunks (these can be whirled in a food processor but I didn't bother)


1.Combine potato flakes, dry milk, bouillon granules, onion,parsley, pepper and salt in a plastic bag and shake to mix (original recipe said to use a bowl to mix but I have lots of recycled sandwich bags and chose to use one of them instead). Pour into a 1 quart jar.

2. Attach the following instructions to jar (use waterproof ink on label glued to jar or card attached with a ribbon): To serve, place 1/2 cup soup mix in bowl. Stir in 1 cup boiling water until smooth.

If you want to use this in long term food storage or for camping, then put into mylar or food saver bags and vacuum seal shut. Assuming you used fresh ingredients this will keep for quite some time in a cool dark place.