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....I make corn bread waffles and serve them with raw cheese and stews (eg chili, beef stew, etc once a week in the wintertime. I just use a cornbread recipe and add an additional egg and a little more oil.

Aug 17, 2007
FarmSchooler in Home Cooking

I Have Discovered the Universal Condiment

I have always used unrefined sea salt. This is a ferment! Thats the difference. Its a living food that will keep in the fridge for the better part of a year and still retain the crispness of a fresh veggie. Its is tangy like a kimchi would be.

Ive done this to banana peppers and to serrano peppers.....and all the varieties of kraut too of course.

Yep, fermented anything is great. Check our Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz for more ideas along these lines :o)

TTFN - Dona in OK

Aug 17, 2007
FarmSchooler in Home Cooking

World's best Brownies?

What we call "Gran-gran's Brownies" (my grandmother; 1917-1993) are super simple, but yummy.

2/3 butter
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c sugar
1/2 c water
3 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1/4 tsp salt

Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes.

Trick to the best brownies is to mix the batter only enough to combine all the ingredients. Butter is in smal chunks. What I glob into my greased & cocoa floured brownie pan "almost" looks unmixed.

Whether they are the WORLDS best or not is irrelevant, they make my kitchen smell like my grandmas. They are HER recipe. A friend reported making them with equal measures of sucanat and whole wheat pastry flour. She loves the revised recipe. Im sure I will eat them at her house one day. For now, I just plan on lots of good raw milk and probiotics the week I make these - lol.

Aug 17, 2007
FarmSchooler in Home Cooking

Chicken Soup: How important is the meat?

I know what you mean about a grandmothers recipes being precious and nothing to be messed with. In all my seeking regarding what is REALLY good for my families health, I cant bring myself to change HER brownie recipe. It and my kombucha are the only things I keep white sugar for now days - lol.

My kitchen journey began at age 10 when I would call my granny (d. 1993) long distance (my parents were divorced and mom worked all the time), tell her what was in the cupboards and while she was making my grandfathers dinner, she would help me make dinner for my mom, my brother and myself. She gradually helped me learn to collect recipes and to keep a list of staples to shop for when mom would drop me off at the market to do the weeks shopping. I loved it then and I love it now. Feeding people is a special thing. All of my children know how to cook a full repitoire of good meals, even my 9 yr old. My husband cant cook a stitch and doesnt want to - lol. My sons will be very special husbands. Actually one 13 yr old son is currently reading Jacques Pepin's "The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen"

Our nation is coming in to some precarious times I think. I hear about our fragile economy all the time it seems. Someone pointed out the other day that we are at a place not at all unlike the Soviet Union just before their collapse and we are in just as much denial as those folks were too. About 2 years ago now I went searching for an accurate understanding of how foods have been preserved & prepared before all the modern disease became so rampant.. Combine both those thoughts and a friend expressed my sentiment just this morning...."learning to cope with whatever comes in the way of land
stewardship, hard times, and putting food on the table. My own approach
isn't about "weathering the storm" but adapting to permanent decline in
corporate groceries, health care, and work. Growing our own means less
vulnerable to food inflation and less need for ripoff medicine. Growing for
market means more buying local, less fossil fuel burning, and more income
independence from the system. Count me in."

Boy (at age 47) I miss my grandma.

Aug 17, 2007
FarmSchooler in Home Cooking

What are your staples?

I buy Bonito Flakes and make a really simple easy fish broth that really does add alot to recipes.....a smoky element to whatever I use them in. Opening & smelling the bag when first opened, reminded of smoked turkey.

1 c Bonito
2 c water
1/4 AC Vinegar

Cover & simmer several hours and skim the top just before transferring to a storage jar.

My staples:

* FRESH: Free Range Eggs, Raw Milk, Raw Cream, Raw Cheese
* PRODUCE: Garlic, Carrots, Beets, Cabbage, Spinach, Green Beans,
Peppers, Celery, Onions, Squash, Potatoes, Broccoli, Tomatoes, Apples,
Grapes, Blueberries
* MEAT: 100% Grass-fed Beef, Buffalo, Chicken, Goose & Chevon. Wild Fish.
* NUTS & SEEDS: Native pecans, Sunflower Seeds. Unhulled Sesame.
* GRAINS: Oats, Wheat, Flax, Brown & wild rice.
* OILS: Coconut, Red palm & Olive oils, Coconut Milk.
* SEASONINGS: Honey, Unsulph Native Sorghum, Sucanat, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Sea Salt, ACV, Turmeric, Curry, Cumin, Cayenne, Caraway, Poppy, Basil, Oregano, and many more.

Aug 17, 2007
FarmSchooler in Home Cooking

banana peppers - what to do with them all?

Sophia, Thats what we do also. They make pizza great also. Brining is WAY easy. I bring a quart of water to a boil w/ 2 T sea salt. While its cooling, I clean and chop my peppers and fill my wide mouth quart mason jars. Then I ladle the cold brine over the top to cover the peppers and put a plastic lid on the jar hand tight. I did a real pretty jar of these whole, with red onion rings and garlic cloves too.

Aug 17, 2007
FarmSchooler in Home Cooking

What would you do with a dozen peaches?

Id hand one to each of my children and say "Eat, and thank God for the goodness of His creation!" But then I LOVE simple & pure.

Aug 17, 2007
FarmSchooler in Home Cooking

Anyone preserving, canning or putting food up these days?

Traditional canning actually destroys the live enzymes in our food, leaving them little more than colored stuff. As mad as everyone gets when I suggest such a thing, it really does produce nothing but dead foods that then require we add other enzymes to our diet to help our bodies deal with the over abundance of simple carbohydrates..

With allergies, I would suggest he needs ALOT of probiotics. But you dont need to go buy pills. I have been fermenting much of my garden this year. I use lemon/lime occasionally but as a rule just whey (made by allowing RAW milk to culture and separate into curds and whey), sea salt, water and herbs. When I strain the separated products the proein solids that are left in the towel can be seasoned to make a wonderful fermented garlic bread spread!

This sort of preserving doesnt require canning or refrigeration, so no heating up the kitchen. You just follow the recipe, put a lid on each jar hand tight and stick it in a kitchen cabinet. I did green beans a month ago and served them for dinner last night and they were YUMMY. Im just beginning to get creative w/ fresh herbs. Its a learning curve for everyone. So sad the way we have been conditioned to use only s/p most of the time.

I now consider ferments a required part of every meal...fat + protein + ferment + raw veggies + milk. For breakfast I love slices of grass-fed brisket (sliced thin as bacon and fried in coconut oil) w/ eggs & LA kraut and a glass of milk. Very satisfying and stick with you.

A taste for ferments is an acquired thing....try all and pick favorites and stick with them. As your body becomes accustomed to them it will crave more.

medicinal kvass = (beets + sea salt + water; a daily 2oz dose promotes liver/digestive function)
green beans = (beans + oregano + garlic + whey + sea salt + water)
garlic = (oregano + garlic + whey + sea salt + water)
cucumbers = (dill + garlic + whey + sea salt + water)
serrano peppers = (cilantro + whey + sea salt + water)
cabbage (LA kraut) = (cabbage + oregano + carrots + garlic + whey + sea salt + water)
green tomatillo salsa = (my recipe contains lime juice)

....then of course I also do the milk kefir and kombucha ferments. Im learning to make cheese (which is one of the ways people preserved milk out of season in times past).

See: Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz and/or
Keeping Food Fresh by Claude Aubert

Aug 17, 2007
FarmSchooler in Home Cooking

Chicken Soup: How important is the meat?

No, you werent imagining things at all. Getting the majority of meat off the bones is wise. The meat will have no flavor if you cook it much longer than that. It helps if (after youve removed the meat) you add some raw cider vinegar to the pot too. That pulls all the good minerals from the bones & marrow (2T to 4 qts of filtered unchlorinated water). Then go ahead and let it simmer for 24 hours. Stir it and crack the bones as you can. I make chicken stock from my own chickens at least twice a month and freeze it in 1qt sized freezer containers. NOTHING is more healing than a good soup stock. Its what I call a REAL convenience food. Without the collagen from these bones & feet our bodies cant even function correctly. I know thats not what the media would have you believe, but its TRUE none the less. Good stocks actually HEAL. Finding good ingredients is the biggest challenge for most however.

This summer I was noticing the difference between a neighbors pastured poultry and my own free range poultry. My birds are a heritage breed and not a inbred variety like his. Mine eat only bugs and grass and his still require 80% of their diet be commercial GMO/Soy laden feed. I may have to cook a few more of mine, but I feel better knowing what theyre eating and that they havnt been genetically designed to grow at an enormously unnatural rate.

I watched my geese in the yard the other day and noticed they spend MOST of the day walking around eating grass. Youd think they were cows. They really do almost constantly eat grass. I have 2 ganders that will go in the freezer about 3 months. Our goose laid eggs fr to weeks last spring and all of a sudden one day she came struttin through the front yard with 6 goslings behind her. I have been watching them grow all summer. Ive never fed them a thing. Gonna be yummy. Naturally, preditors got two of the six. But next season (with 3 geese on nests) we should have atleast 18 goslings to watch all summer and them process for our freezer and for neighbors that want to trade produce Dec 1. I haven't cooked a goose yet, but I know I will make stock of the carcass after each meal. Its just what you do, when your feeding a family with what God Himself provides. ~ TTFN, Dona

Aug 17, 2007
FarmSchooler in Home Cooking

Popping your own popcorn

I use my cast iron skillet (Griswold #10 w/ lid) and coconut oil for popping on my electric stove. I salt & butter the inside of the big silver serving bowl and toss in the freshly popped corn as it comes out of the skillet. then I "fluff" it (just like tossing a salad) to butter it. That way I dont end up with a few mushy pieces and others that have no butter. I typically use sea salt & homemade butter as well. Its a family movie night favorite.

Aug 17, 2007
FarmSchooler in Home Cooking

Tomatillo Salsa

Hello, Im Dona....a married, mom of 6 on 15 acres in NE OK. Im new here and dont quite know how to post a recipe to a file anywhere. This looks like a fun place though.

I make an awesome green tomato salsa every fall that is fermented. I have used green tomatoes and tomatillas with equal success. I dont peel anything when I make this salsa...mostly because the produce all comes straight out of my chemical free garden. When you open the jar the fermentation causes it to bubble, just like its boiling, which is admittedly sort of freaky. But its so good - and good for you! The recipe I use is my families version of a recipe in "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon. I make a super Latin American Sauerkraut out of that same cookbook. A month ago I fermented part of our green bean crop too (oregano, whole garlic, liquid whey, sea salt & water). It was SO easy.....and I didnt have to heat up the house. I did 14 qts and just stashed them away in the cabinet. We had our first jar for dinner tonight (1 month later) and they are excellent. That recipe comes from "Keeping Foods Fresh". My biggest kitchen goal is to revive old world food preservation (pre-canning & refrigeration) Nothing adds life to a meal like living foods. So, if anyone is interested, where do I share the recipes?

Aug 16, 2007
FarmSchooler in Recipes