Search for Foxgrapes

I started down our wooded path to look for foxgrapes.
I don’t know why I call them foxgrapes. I guess foxes like them.
They are sweet and make a great juice. They grow wild in our woods.

There were signs of fall all down the path.

This little guy was there the last time I visited which was three days ago.
I moved him to a safer place to keep from running over him with the tractor
when we mow the path next week.

I sat for a spell to rest.

This honey bee was busy nearby.

A butterfly socializes with the bees here.

I finally found some grapes. They were so high in the trees with a thicket all around.
Mother Nature knows how to protect her bounty. I could only reach one lone grape.

Here is my harvest along with a load of pictures.

Maybe next trip will fare better.


Pumpkin Seed -Weekend Herb Blogging

My pumpkins have ripened premature this year so I have quickly
turned many into puree for freezing, canning and using later.
The others will soon follow suit.

I’m not sure why they have chosen to ripen
so quickly, but I am determined not to allow them get ahead of me.

While I have used pumpkin in all sorts of ways in my life, I
realized I have never before used the seeds for
anything other than replanting.

I jumped to the task of learning a little more about using pumpkin
seed and to use these.

I have learned that all pumpkin seed is edible. They can be
hulled or left unhulled.

I left mine unhulled.. how many hours are in a day anyway?

The first thing to do in using them
is to wash and dry them on paper toweling.

I read I’m suppose to boil them in salted water. That sounded
easy. So into salted water they went, hulls and all while I stirred for
about 10 minutes. I then drained them to toast.

They need oil to toast and I elected
to use butter.

I drained the seeds and mixed them with a little butter.
( I guess about two tablespoons melted).
Then place them on the foil lined sheet.

I baked them at 350 for about 35 minutes, I stirred them once.
They smelled so good roasting.

They are tasty and nutty little snacks with
quite a bit of crunch. You can use them in salads, dressings, sauces,
casseroles, soups, and baked goods.

Since I didn’t hull mine I chose to make a
granola, which I’ll never duplicate being thrown together
in a run of cleaning up on low kitchen staples.

It turned out good in spite of the hodgepodge. It is making a great tasting cereal with milk. Why didn’t I write as I threw?

Pumpkin seeds are said to contain L-tryptophan which
helps remedy depression.

You can read more about pumpkin seeds at this link-
13 Ways of Looking at a Pepita – By Rachel Forrest
and while your at it check out more Weekend Herb Blogging posts
at Anthonys Kitchen The Bachelor Cooking Blog

If you would like to participate in the next WHB visit Kalyns Kitchen
and check out the WHB Rules at Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Happy Blogging!

Lake Time

The past months have been a bit hard on my family and me.

I have taken in my ailing, aging, spinster aunt in March of this year. It has been such a confining period. She is to a point she can’t be left alone.

In other summer lake time was taken from me.

I love to waterski and cook. If I could do them both together it would be such a blessing.

A lot of my gas guzziling ways were cut back just to provide more gas for our boat. I get lake time! Today I get sunburn time!

I have hired a sitter one day a week to help with aunt care and light cleaning.

Look out lake! Here I come!

Make Soup Not War- Vegetable Stock

Here is a great book I refer to in my own personal game of utilize and making war with the world system.

My endeavors have started a freezer bag that looks like freezer garbage.

I fill it with onion tops and scraps, carrot peels, tomato ends, bell pepper scraps, even that scrap of garlic I pull out of my garlic press.

I fill it with any vegetable garbage that doesn’t need to be blanched to freeze.

I make stock with garbage, instead of war with my disposal and utilize what might have ended up in the trash or garden bed.

When I get a full freezer bag I simply throw the contents in a pot and cover with water. Add a few fresh herbs as desired, salt (personal preference) and a few peppercorns then bring it to a slow boil. Skim the top and bring it to a simmer for a couple of hours and skim as necessary. Don’t bring it to a boil again and if you use a pressure cooker time is cut dramatically.

To cool plunge the pot into ice water. I never skip this ice bath because it is what keeps the temperature in the cooling process from that bad bacteria stage. Strain the stock well and fill one and two cup measures to freeze for recipes remembering your headspace for freezing.

Some things that will ruin stock.
Anything from the cabbage family.
Don’t use –
Brussel Sprouts
Boc Choy.

Tomato is often thought to overwhelm vegetable stock so I try to keep the tomato ends limited. I also limit the garlic press mess because of personal preference.

I can always turn it to chicken stock by freezing that whole chicken scrap roasted on Sunday. Just add it to the veggies.

Of course the taste will differ with each batch according to the scraps, but I love variety!

So make soup and not war child!
Flower Power! (or should I say veggie power?)

On Canning

On Canning

There are some basics like-

don’t reduce your pickle brine with water because of the acid levels
boil, boil, boil all utensils and jars..don’t boil your seals, just scald them. The minute the jar stops boiling plunge the seal in with it
watch your head space,seals, and that your jar rims are clean

I did knock over a jar one year and didn’t catch that the seal broke, but it was very easy to detect when opening.

Just follow the recipes.

There are some really great canning sites on the net with all the info anyone would need.

People have been canning for eons.

I don’t understand why anyone would be afraid of it, but some are.

Hell’s Kitchen

I appreciate Kate’s comment on my blog about Gordon Ramsay. It goes as follows.

In Anthony Bourdains book A Cooks Tour he has a whole chapter devoted to premier chefs, and one of them in Gordon Ramsay. In England he is considered the chef to work for, and his staff has been with him forever, a true mark of a good chef. Yes, hes tough, but he is that way because of the high standards he sets for his food and his people. The reason Americans dislike him so much is simply because they dont understand that mentality. (according to Bourdain)

It gave me “food” for thought. This American, for one, does not dislike Ramsay as Kate gleened from this book.

I understand that the aspiring contestants on Hells Kitchen probably sign all sorts of legal garble denying their right to human dignity in the name of fame, fortune, and recognition.

My thoughts are that in spite of this that if Ramsay were an employer in the USA and treated employees in such a manner he would end up in court for employer abuse.

Now Ramsay’s chefs might be self contractors thereby not employed by Ramsay in the true use of the word.

In my eyes however abuse is abuse, and even a self contractor would for the sake of self respect sue his pompous ass.

Then again it all could be an act for the sake of entertainment. I wouldn’t know but could only guess.

What people won’t subject themselves to for the sake of a buck amazes me.

Hot Dog Pate and Jailhouse Cooks

Hell’s Kitchen is a blast with it’s catfish cavair and hot dog pate.

All the pretence and palates like cow’s behinds as Ramsay called it.

I know I would have loved the hot dog pate. I make a hot dog sandwich spread that I, and only I ,eat around my house.
I’m sure the dogs would love it if I would part with it.

I bet I could have told it was hot dog too.
Now the catfish cavair might have been a hard one for me.

I wouldn’t last in Hell’s Kitchen a minute.

I can just imagine… Ramsay smacks my hand and screams…”Use butter and not margarine you donkey!”

In reality I do love butter. but I’m not a snob over a pat of butter. I consider myself bi-social. I’ve dined at the Ritz Carlton and I’ve eaten popcorn in a mosh pit.

Ramsay might not make it in the mosh pit.

Recipe MeMe

I have accepted a meme I found at 80 Breakfasts since I am new to the blogging scene.

From where do you obtain the recipes you prepare?
All over.
How often do you cook a new recipe?
I try so many new I don’t have time to repeat unless I fall in love or in convenience.
Convenience very often wins out over love.
Where do you store your favorite recipes?
Mostly my computer and stuck between the pages of cookbooks.
How large is your recipe file? Is it organized? If so, how?
Large enough. Not so organized except on the computer. I haven’t had enough time to put all on my computer.
What is the oldest recipe in your to try pile?
Oh gosh! I have a reprint of an 1879 cookbook. Do they count?
Are you ever going to make those recipes in your to try pile?
Maybe if I live until the year 2050.
Do you follow a recipe exactly or modify as you go?
I do modify usually, unless I am doing a review.
What is the one new recipe that youre scared to try?
I don’t have any that scare me. I might scare them however.
Tag at least one new food blogger for this meme (new as in only been blogging a few months)
This might take me a while since I haven’t been here long meself. T tagged Kate In The Kitchen ..not sure if it is a new blog however,
Tag at least one food blogger you visit but have never interacted with.
“ditto” same as above..but I will try. I found and tagged Random Thoughts…also found a good looking avocado recipe I will try today!