Fancy Molasses

Just a quick post.  I want to talk about molasses.  I know ‘sugar’ gets a bad rap, but did you know there are aspects of ‘sugar’ that are good for you?  Besides good solid energy.

It’s true.  Let’s take a moment to look at molasses.  Molasses is made from cane sugar.  Not a man made substitute but it is actually a whole food.

One tablespoon of molasses a day gives you 5% of your daily need i potassium, 2% of your needed daily calcium, 4% of your daily needs in iron and 5% of the carbs you NEED to survive.  (yes you do need carbs for your heart to beat and your brain to work).

Did you know that brown sugar is actually normal sugar and molasses?  The darkness of the brown sugar depends on how much molasses is put in.

I use pure organic cane sugar at home.  And honey, we are big on honey.  All of my bread is made with pure Ontario Posch honey. Which is the closest you can get for pure organic honey.

So, rethink your sweets.  Stay clean, stay whole and ENJOY!!! Thank you for dropping by…always appreciated.  Leasa

 

fancy molasses

 

Home Stretch…

Today I washed and labeled the near end of this season’s preserves. Tomorrow I’ll do a few jars of mint jelly and in about a week I’ll catch up with my broths, chicken and beef.  For now, I will concentrate on getting caught up with my company books and household chores.  I also want to paint the rec room.

I am happy that Peter has decided to build me a pantry on the main floor so I won’t have to precariously carry all these jars down those stairs.

I have taken inventory of my stock downstairs and here’s what it looks like; Tomato sauce 5 quarts and 24 pints. Tomato juice 3 quarts and 1 pint, whole tomatoes 5, 1.5 quart jars, crushed tomatoes 51 quarts and  1 pint, salsa 25 250 ml jars, pasta sauce with meat 18 pints, vegetable soup 16 pints, 3 pizza sauces (2017), corn 68 pints, green beans 55 pints, sweet pickles 18 pints, beans tomato sauce 6 pints, chick peas 6 pints, sandwich slicer pickles 5 pints, bread and butter pickles 10 pints (2017), chili con carne 4 pints, onion soup 7 quarts, dill pickles 24 quarts, beef broth 4 quarts, pickle beets 5 pints, reg. beets 3 pints, chicken soup 10 pints, mushrooms 13 half pints, navy beans 11 pints, salmon 8 250 ml, roast peppers 7 pints (2017), green relish 5 250 ml, zucchini relish 8 pints, pinto beans 3 pints, jams various kinds 28 250 ml, dilly beans (2017) 3 pints, peaches 10 pints (2017).  And we’ve been eating from the garden since June. Then there’s my freezers….haha

So worth it.  So very worth it. NO PESTICIDES and grown with love. ❤

 

MUSHROOMS!

I love mushrooms.  I add them to stir fries, sauces, as a side dish or make creamy dreamy mushroom soup.  I know I’ve probably done a post in the past on mushrooms…but my, aren’t they worth two?

I find it frustrating while making a sauce or planning a dish that needs mushrooms only to find out the ones you have, have turned or you are simply out.  That’s why I try to keep some jars home canned.  250 ml jars, pressure canned, 10 lbs pressure, 45 minutes. (Bernardin)

I still buy fresh, but have my trusty jars on hand just in case.  I manage to go through these fairly quickly.  They were on sale, .98 cents for half pound of very fresh mushrooms.  I processed 8 pounds!

Ingredients: water, mushrooms.

If you ever decide to pressure can, send me a note and I’ll try to help you through the first time jitters!

Thanks for visiting, Leasa

Canning Season Winding Down

This year’s garden was a huge success!  I lost track of how many tomatoes I’ve processed this year.  I’m guessing at least 800 pounds.  The paste tomatoes were so meaty, that I turned them all into a sauce that I let simmer down over night.  You go through a lot this way, but the sauce is so very versatile. Open a jar add onion powder, pepper, salt, sugar, garlic powder, cook it down a bit more and you have ketchup.  Or add garlic powder, sugar or honey and some oregano and you have an awesome pizza sauce.  Use it in your spaghetti sauces, soups, stews, as a baking sauce, anything goes.  That is why I stopped processing tomato sauces for ‘just one thing’ and leave it as a blank slate for winter cooking.

20180926_104932

I run two pressure canners and two water bath canners as needed.  My only wish is that I had a larger stove.  Well I make it work with an extra hot plate on the side.  I follow only tested safe recipes and use common sense.  The following pictures capture some of this year’s bounty:

I think my pantry has well over 600 jars of fresh goodness from the garden.  I haven’t done a final count.  Tomorrow is mint jelly day.

Thank you for visiting.

Chili Con Carne home canned!

Hello everyone!

I know I have not been posting enough lately and for that I do apologize.  I hope in the meantime you’ve found some inspiration through my many cooking adventures here.

Today I wanted to share a bit of my love of home canning.  Every year we grow a large garden and I stay extremely busy either freezing or canning that garden.  Even though it’s more work, I love a good home canned product.  Right from the onset though, I would strongly advise that all home canned goods should be from tested approved recipes where you will find them either from Bernardin, Ball or the National Center for Home Food Preservation.  All three are easily found on line.  Ball and Bernardin are one and the same (Bernardin is the Canadian branch of Ball) and they have some excellent book available to buy.

Home canning like our grandmothers did, are not safe methods and today we know better.  Not only is botulism a huge risk but other bacterial and viral illnesses are as well.  You might say my great granny never killed anyone, but we can’t know that for certain as many illnesses that cause death are in fact food borne.  This is something I see as fact and do not debate.

If you are interested in safe home canning, you might like to check out a face book page called Safe Canning by the Book on Debbie’s Back Porch.  There are others, but please don’t go to any rebel groups or groups that never use safety practices no matter what they say.  Imagine your child or loved one with 10 days of diarrhea…

Anyway, here is my latest canning fun:

 

chili con carne

Chili con carne from the national Center for home food preservation
http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_05/chili_con_carne.html . We absolutely love this recipe! One thing you’ve got to try, make your favorite macaroni and cheese and gently stir a jar of this in, heat through and you will not believe the flavor! It’s like where have you been all my life?

I’ve doubled the recipe which gave me 17.5 pints (500 ml) jars.

Hope you enjoyed this and thank you for visiting!  ~Leasa

Footnote: even if you don’t can it, try the mac and cheese idea with any chili con carne!  A fabulous taste sensation!

Beef Rouladen

This is the time of year for dishes like beef rouladen.  Time to spend in the kitchen, time to make your house smell like home.  This dish is not spicy, never meant to be but, having said that, if you are used to a lot of spice you can always jazz this up to suit your taste!  I posted this and got approved on Allrecipes so therefore I will simply provide that link.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.  Thank you for visiting my page. If it doesn’t open from here, simply copy and paste.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/236037/ontario-beef-rouladen/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringContentType=search%20results&clickId=cardslot%203

 

Fall is coming, School is About to Open. It’s SLOW COOKER Season!!

We’ve had some glorious cooler weather here in Southern Ontario and being so busy trying to bring the garden in, freezing, canning I took the opportunity to warm up the slow cooker!  What a delightful tool for the busy households that want to maintain a healthy diet.

When we got home from a business meeting yesterday, the wonderful fragrance of this hit us when we opened the door:

 

beef stew

This was without a doubt the best most delicious tender beef stew possible.  (no bias here, eh?)  Of course we used my home made bread to sop it up.

Recipe (adjust volume to need and likes) I did for a hungry family of four as we love left over stew.

Ingredients:

5 medium sized potatoes, peeled and halved.

2 medium sized onions quartered

Carrots as you please, I had these lovelies fresh in my garden

Peas to please.

2 stalks of celery cut rough

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp ground thyme

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder or fresh garlic chopped

1 bay leaf

1 cup of wine, I use rose’ or white as I find red too over powering

1/4 cup water and a heaping tbsp of corn starch.

2 cups of good quality beef broth, use low sodium or no salt as it’s always better to add your own salt to taste.

1 good pound of stewing beef.

Method:

Put the meat, celery and onions in the bottom of slow cooker.  Always start a slow cook with potato and carrots on top so they don’t over cook on you. The liquid does not have to cover them!  Add the carrots and potatoes.  Add the liquid.  Start the cook on high and turn to low when the liquid starts to bubble at side.  Or, if you won’t be home, just start it on low.   Now, just leave it alone.  Let it cook all day, 6 to 10 hours.  If you have one you can preset,  set it for 8 hours and then let it go to ‘keep warm’

Now, it’s time to serve, boot heat up to high.  Wait 10 minutes, mix the water and cornstarch.  Carefully stir into the stew until you get the consistency you like.  (some people don’t add any and like the watery broth, which is good too)

Remember, stew is what it means to you.  You can add or take away whatever you like.  Sometimes I add parsley chopped.  But, you also don’t want to over power it or over crowd it.  Also, don’t add things that will go mushy.  Corn is always nice to add…. Have fun playing with it.

What else is nice about the slow cook is that you can get all the ingredients ready at night, toss it in (in the right order) in the morning, turn it on and supper is ready when you get home!!

Thank you for visiting!

Leasa