Monthly Archives: September 2014
Our first 3 ripe bell-peppers of the year. I am pleased that they did so well. I am going to make stuffed red pepper with these tomorrow. There are 9 more bell-pepper almost ready to pick. We are going to freeze these for cooking later. Next year we will plant a few more plants.
I am going to use these half ripened tomatoes for pickling.
I think that they are very colorful and will make the pickled vegetables look appealing.
This is all the ingredients for the pickled mixed vegetable that we are canning today. I don’t weight anything any more because I have made them so many times.
Don’t all the different color vegetables pop in those jars?
This is a double batch. We made 11 jars. This is our last pickles for the year. I eat these with my dinner. Just a small portion wíth my meal aides my digestion.
6 Small green tomatoes
200 g small green cucumbers
200 g green beans
200 g carrots
200 g cauliflower
50 g Horse-radish
1 liter water
1 dl salt
6 dl water
4 dl clear or white vinegar
6 dl sugar (ca 500 g)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
10 white pepper corn
( 2 dried red bell pepper)
Rinse and dry vegetables. Cut them in even pieces.
Mix ingredients for salt mixture and stir until salt is dissolved. Place vegetables in it except the horse-radish in the salt mixture for 24 hrs. Drain the salt water mixture out and rinse the vegetables off. Pour fresh water in the pan. Boil the vegetables with the Horse-radish 3-5 min. Drain the vegetables in a colander and rinse to quickly cool the vegetables off.
Make the vinegar mixture and make a cloth pouch with the bay leaf, gold mustard seeds, and 10 white pepper corns in it. I bring it to boil. Sanitize your jars and lids. Stuff the jars with the vegetables and pour the vinegar mixture in the jar leaving a 1/4 inch from the top. Place the lid on tight. Repeat until you have filled all your jars. Let them cool on a towel but make sure the jars do not touch.
My version of this recipe for one batch
The vegetables together should weight 1 kilo or about 2 lbs:
3 inch peeled piece of ginge
dill weed from 6-10 stalks using only crowns and leaves.
6 dl water
4 dl vinegar
6 dl (500 g) sugar
2-3 bay leaf
4 cloves of peeled and crushed garlic
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
10 white peppercorn
100 g fresh ginger
I sanitize my jars and have them in the sink in boiling water. I pour the vinegar mixture and place bay leaf, the majority of the ginger, mustard seeds, garlic and white pepper corns in a cheesecloth pouch that I tie off with string. I place the pouch into the mixture. I stir it until it is mixed well and let it boil. I cover the bottom of the jars first with dill, a thin slice of ginger,1/8 tsp of yellow mustard seeds and one bay leaf in each jar. Then I pack it tightly with vegetables. I can not stress enough that you need to pack it tight. Otherwise once you fill the vinegar mixture over the vegetables , they will float to the top. There will be a gap in the bottom of the jar. You waste space and use a lot more jars un-necessarily. I pour the vinegar mixture in the jars and place the lid tightly on them. I place jars on a towel and let the jars set for 24 hours before I store them. I let these set for 3 weeks in our cellar, before we start eating them.
A man and his wife had been married for going on fifty years. They shared everything, but the one thing the old man’s wife asked him never to do was look in a old shoebox she kept on the top shelf of her closet.
Not thinking anything of it, the man never asked about its contents. He just figured it was one of those things… One day, when the old woman had fallen ill and didn’t have much longer to live, she called her husband to her hospital bed and told him it was time for him to take a look at the shoebox.
The old man went home, grabbed the box, and opened it. Inside, there were two crocheted dolls and bundles of money totaling $95,000!!
“But…why? How?!” he stuttered, totally mystified by the cash.
“Right before we got married,” the old woman told her astonished husband, “my grandmother told me the secret to a happy marriage was to never argue. She said if I ever got angry with you, I should keep quiet and crochet a doll.”
The old man was touched. There were only two dolls in the shoebox – she had only been angry with him two times over the course of their marriage. He scooped his wife up and gave her a kiss.
“But where did the money come from?” He asked her.
“Oh, that?” She said with a smile, “that’s the money I made from selling the dolls.”
I have cooked from scratch all of my life, but with that said I have used short cuts over the last 20 years. I have bought Chili con Carne, Moussaka, Stroganoff… mixes as a base to make my own. I have bought dried gravy packets instead of making my gravy. I thought it was more convenient. I have bought cubed bouillon, because until recently I did not know how to properly make bone broth. If you think about it, most of those things don’t save that much time in preparing the meal you are cooking, except making your own bouillon. Then I learned about all the harmful ingredients inside these products are and have stopped using them.
I read about using herbs and spices for their health benefits and nutritional value. I learned about probiotic foods that aid your digestion and immune system…. We eat parboiled rice, high fiber bread, fish, nuts, lots of fruit and vegetables trying to eat a health conscious diet. I really thought that we were eating healthy. Then I began reading about Organic vs GMO’s. The more I read it was a no brainer to start an organic garden.
I have often wondered why our conventional diets do not meet our daily nutritional needs. I really have been against eating vitamin supplements to get my daily nutritional requirements as much as possible. I would rather get it from my diet and the original source. Recent articles that I have read have answered that question for me. Conventional farming has stripped the soil of nutrients and the food grown in it and live stock feed lacks the nutritional value. Thus we have to supplements what is lacking in our diet. The sales of these products are a multi billion dollar business. Is is any wonder why obesity has become so wide-spread? People are eating more because their bodies are craving nutrients that aren’t in their diet. They are eating the wrong diet and are often unaware of it.
Grass fed and free range animals and organically grown food have higher nutritional value. This information has only strengthen my resolve to continue reading and learning to return to the diet of 100 years ago. Lard, bone broth, quinoa and couscous just to name a few foods if they are organically grown are a better way to eat. Vitamins and supplements for the most part become obsolete.
Here is a recent article from Mother Earth News taking up the issue of traditional food movement and highlighting the nutritional value of Bone broth. I hope you find this as interesting as I have when I read it. I who am borderline for osteoporosis have started making my bone broth from now on.
Food politics of today make no sense to me. Why is it that processed food is cheaper than traditional foods? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Macaroni and cheese mix is cheaper than making it from scratch. A frozen whole chicken is more expensive than buying frozen cut up chicken thighs. Wouldn’t you think it would be the other way around? I have seen a change in Sweden’s grocery stores, which I have found alarming. Today’s markets have huge frozen precooked food section, frozen dinners and package mixes which you didn’t exist here 10 years ago much less 30 years ago. I am glad to see that trend is starting to reverse because the demand for organic fresh traditional food is on the rise. Just giving you some food for thought.
Bone broth recipe
Bones from poultry, fish, shellfish shells, beef, lamb reminients from meals can be used to make broth. You can freeze these carcasses, until you have time to boil them.
Lay the bones in cold water with 2 tablespoons per quart of vinegar (apple cider- , red-, white-, rice and balsamic vinegar and even lemon juice). Combine bones, water and vinegar in a pot and let it stand for 30 minutes to 1 hours. This helps the vinegar or citric acid leach out the nutrients from the bone. Then bring the pot to a boil remove any scum that rises to the top. I season it to my taste. Reduce the heat to a simmer (6-48 hrs chicken, 12-72 for beef). To reduce cooking time smash or cut the bone. A crock pot is excellent way to make bone broth. If desired, add vegetables scraps in the last 1/2 hour. Strain through a cheesecloth lined colander or sieve. Discard bones and vegetables.
The broth will gel which has important nutritional component. Broth may be frozen for a month or kept in fridge for about 5 days.
Autumn is here. The leaves on the trees in the forest around us are beginning to change color. It is hunting season in our neck of the woods. The garden is winding down for the year. Tonight’s temperature is a low of 3 Celsius. My cucumber plants are light yellow and brown. Hubby harvested these cucumbers as he pulled up the plants today. The plants are lying in the compost bin and I am going to make Salt brine pickles out of these tomorrow.
Great tips to stop wasting food and money.
Wasting food and money
American families spend as much as $2,275.00 every year on food that is ‘Wasted’. Food that goes into your garbage can that is perfectly good food.
Start by taking a look at your current grocery shopping, meal planning, and eating habits. Save a lot of cash and eat healthier foods. First ‘Stop’ eating out or ordering in meals more than two(2) times a month. You will save a ton of money and eat healthier foods cooking and eating your homemade meals.
Eating out or ordering in meals should be a special event. Not how you feed your family 7 days a week!
Save your unused vegetable parts in freezer bags for making homemade vegetable stocks. Save Carrot tops and tips, Mushroom stems, Celery tops and tough rib bottoms, Broccoli stems, Cabbage cores, Potato peelings, tomato parts, squash ends and peelings, turnip parts and peelings and such…
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We have been blessed with a bountiful tomato harvest this year. I wanted to try to make some sun-dried tomatoes. I found that most sun-dried tomatoes that we buy in the stores are actually dehydrated in machines not in the sun. We rarely find true sun-dried tomatoes in shops today. I went on-line and read how to make them. The finished product is our first batch that is in the glass bowl. I have already started the second batch as you can see in the picture.
I cut the blemishes off the tomatoes, after I washed them in vinegar and water bath 3 times. I sliced the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick. I seasoned them lightly with salt, garlic powder, ground oregano and ground basil. It took a little more than 24 hours for these to dry. The instructions I read said 6-12 hours. They were using plum or cherry tomatoes. I am using beef tomatoes thus the longer drying time.
* Air dry the tomatoes for two days after you remove them from the dehydrator. I placed a cloth draped over the bowl while they air-dried. You can place them in a jar with a lid. Place them jar in a dry cool dark cabinett.
* Another page I read said after two days of air drying put them in a ziplock bag in the freezer until I want to use them.
Suggestions on how to use Sun-dried tomatoes
*You can re-hydrate them in water and pat dry the water off them. You then could put them in a food processor which makes tomato paste. You might need to add a little water to them.
* You can re-hydrate the tomatoes and dry the water off and place them in virgin olive oil in a glass jar with a lid. Then place them in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.
One page I read said that if you don’t have an electric dehydrater or a solar one , that you could put the tomatoes on a deep cookie sheet and place them on your dashboard of your car. You might need to place a container under one end to make it level. How many times have you said in the summer time that your car is as hot as an oven. If you didn’t want it to smell like spaghetti or pizza just omit the oregano and basil. You would want to place your car in the sun all day. You would have to bring them in during the night and place them back out on the dashboard for a second day to completely dry them.
Look what I have harvested out of the mini-greenhouse and the Poly-tunnel today!! I am making our 3rd batch of tomato sauce and 2 batches of sun-dried tomatoes with these today.
Hubby has been busy in the vegetable garden today. He has weeded it and getting ready to put compost dirt, ash and bone meal on it. We are going to transfer the strawberries to the larger bed beside it. Later we will plant garlic for next year. I have the last of the cucumbers to pickle with green tomatoes and carrots. Then he will pull up the cucumber plants for the year.
I read on Mother Earth News today that we should not have pulled up our Celery roots and thrown them in the compost heap. We should have cut the celery and left the heart of it attached with roots and left them in our mini green house for next year. They would have survived the winter and produced again next year. I was sick when I read that. Oh well, we live and learn something new everyday. We will be doing that next year with our Celery and see how many survive the winter. This link below gives advice on storing your harvest.
Sliceofheaveninsweden has passed a mile stone 2142 views, 200 post and 74 followers. I wanted to Thank everyone who has checked out my blog and those of you who have chosen to follow it as well. I have enjoyed learning how to put up a Blog and meeting people from all over the world who share similar interest. I have learned so much from all of you just to name a few things like nutrition, environment, cooking and best of all gardening. It has been a great 8 months for me and I hope for all of you as well. I even was nominated for the Dragons Loyalty Award. I was flattered and shocked.
This picture was taken in our food cellar. These are the pickles that We have made thus far from this years harvest. I still have 6 more jars to take down and start filling a new shelf. I am pleased. We just froze today 6 liters of tomato sauce from the poly tunnel.
We are still have some jars that left over from last year as well. It is such a satisfying feeling knowing all the food we have stored is from our garden. Hubby was at the grocery store yesterday and saw that one orange cost a $1.15=8kr a piece. He stopped and took a double take to make sure he read it correctly. Hubby came back and said I guess we should start picking apple, pears and plums on the farm.