Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Cayenne and Thai peppers have turned mostly red after hanging to dry for about 1 month. I removed the red peppers from the stalks and placed them in my dehydrator to complete the drying. The green ones were brought inside to continue the ripening. The Thai  peppers are used whole and I will grind the Cayenne peppers to make Cayenne pepper!

Monday, October 29, 2012

In my September 29, 2012 posting, I described how I made my fall sauerkraut. Yesterday the fermentation for 1 month was  complete so I packed the sauerkraut into 2 clean quart jars and installed washed canning lids and placed the sauerkraut in the refrigerator to keep and use this fall and winter. To use, remove the amount you want to serve and drain and dispose of the brine. The sauerkraut can be used cold, or if you want it heated for sandwiches, simply cover and  heat in the microwave. To serve heated as a side dish, add a small amount of water to the sauerkraut and heat in a sauce pan, stirring to prevent scorching. Sauerkraut can also be fried in a buttered skillet. When brown on one side, turn over and brown the other side. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Last night was Oktoberfest dinner. I made the bratwurst, and sauerkraut on the right and a guest brought the spaetzle and red cabbage on the left. Guests also brought apple streudel for dessert (not shown). See earlier posts for the making of the sauerkraut and bratwurst sausages.

I also served Marzen beer and brown mustard that I had made as shown in earlier posts. I also had a bottle of Gewurztraminer that I made in 2010.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall is garlic, gray shallot and multiplying onion planting time so today, with a break in the rain, I was able to plant mine. I set out 56 Roja Garlic, 6 gray shallots and 6 multiplying onion starts. These will be ready to harvest next summer. The picture below shows the location of the bulbs before they were planted.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Today was sausage making day. I made 29 bratwurst sausages to serve at Oktoberfest dinner on Saturday evening. You will need a meat grinder and sausage stuffer to make this sausage.

1 cup whole ice cold milk
2 large eggs
1 cup soy protein concentrate*
1 1/2 teaspoons ground white pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground mace
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons applewood smoked sea salt**
1 pound ground veal
7 pounds pork shoulder blade steak (When cut up and de-boned will yield 5 pounds)
1 strand of 30 mm clear edible collagen casings*

* available from Butcher & Packer Supply Company, Madison, WI
** Available from My Spice Sage, Bronx, NY

The first step is to cut up the meat in 1 inch cubes leaving some fat but discarding any bone and tough parts.

The next step is to grind the meat using a 1/4 inch grinder plate.

Then mix all of the ingredients together. I used my mixer but you can do this by hand.

Stuffing was next. First I cut off 2 inches from the sausage stuffing tube so that the end diameter would be nearer the size of the casing before installing on the grinder. Next load the stuffing tube with casing and cut it off. Turn on the mixer and start feeding the sausage into the grinder to stuff the casings. Hold the casings on the stuffing tube so that the sausage casings fill. When the sausage length is achieved, twist the casing to seal off the sausage. Continue until all of the meat is stuffed. Note: This takes awhile. If you have a hand operated sausage stuffer use it as the mixer sausage stuffer does not work very well.

29 finished bratwurst ready to freeze or refrigerate!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

                    Last night's dinner guests were served lasagna with salad and apple pie for dessert.

The lasagna was made using tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs for my garden.

The apple pie was made with Jonathan apples from Kimberly, Idaho.
Both of these recipes are in my soon to be published cookbook: Dad's Home Cooking, Traditional Recipes for Preparing Healthy Family Meals.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall weather is vegetable beef soup making time. I made this soup using tomatoes, turnips, potatoes, green        
beans, carrots, onions and parsley from my garden. It hit the spot on a cool cloudy fall day!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I picked the last of my winter squash from my garden today. I will probably freeze some since this is too much squash to eat now.                                                
To freeze winter squash, wash and cut in half. Remove the seeds and pulp and discard. Cut the squash meat into 1 inch squares and cut off the outer rind. Boil the cut-up pieces for about 10 minutes until they are soft but not mushy. Drain and cool quickly in ice water. When cool, drain and mash using a potato masher and pack into pint or quart freezer bags and freeze. These will be used for a cooked winter squash side dish or for pumpkin pies this winter. I can't wait!

Monday, October 8, 2012

 My garden still has lots of jalapeno peppers, so I thought I would make some nachos with cheese, chips and these peppers, chopped onion and chopped Roma tomatoes all fresh out of my garden!

                                    Anyone for nachos? These are ready to go under the broiler.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How about this Northstar sweet bell pepper growing in my garden that is now turning red! They are very meaty and tasty.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I picked my Serrano Tampiqueno peppers this morning. The seeds were started indoors on April 2, 2012 and the 2 plants were set out in the garden on May 26, 2012. The maturity time on these peppers is 85 days which is longer than most of the peppers I plant, but they did fine probably due to our nice warm and dry September. They are very hot either green or red. When they are all red, I will dry these whole in the dehydrator and use them in chili and other spicy dishes.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Every year I save a few large mature bean pods and allow them to dry so I can thresh out the seed and save it for use next year to plant in my garden. I plant a green pole bean and a bush yellow bean so I keep the seed separated. Beans will not cross-pollinate  so they can be planted next to one another. They also are non-hybrid, thus I can save the seed, provided I keep the weevil out.
I keep the seed beans in labeled and dated envelopes and store with my other seeds for use next year. Any extra beans are mixed together (in a paper bag) and kept in the kitchen to be used to make bean soup! This year the extra was about 1 pound of beans.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Halloween will soon be here. Want to make caramel apples from scratch? You will need a candy therometer.
                        1 dozen freshly picked crisp apples of your choice
                        1 dozen candy apple sticks
For caramel:
                        1 large can condensed milk
                        2 cups sugar
                        1 3/4 cups white corn syrup (I use Karo)
                        4 teaspoons vanilla
                        2 cubes butter
                        1 cup cone dipping chocolate
                        1 cup chopped nuts (peanuts, walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts)

1. Wash and dry apples and insert the sticks. Set aside.
2. In a heavy sauce pan over medium high heat, add all caramel ingredients except vanilla. Stir constantly until the thermometer reads 210 degrees F. Reduce heat to medium and continue stirring until thermometer reaches 248 degrees F. Remove from heat.
3. Add the vanilla and stir.
4. Dip the apples into the warm caramel to coat, then set on a sheet of wax paper to cool.
5. When cool, dip the apples in warm cone dipping chocolate and then into nuts. Return to wax paper to cool.