Falling Leaves


Fall Colours

Fall Colors by Russ Osborne

Happy Thanksgiving! I have been mulling over all that I have to be thankful for. Life can certainly be a challenge but as I live and breathe, I have more to be thankful for than this blog could contain. I may be disturbed some days but I have happiness and contentment.

Fall has come and gone. The leaves are gone and even though we should already have snow, we have been blessed with a few more moderately warm days. I have to admit, I was hanging on to it for dear life this year.I’m actually one of those people who loves snow and winter. Fall is still my favorite with Spring being a close second.

I’ve been foraging as usual. I picked up hickory nuts and laid them on my patio table to dry for at least two weeks. When they drop from the tree, they have a hull around them that is segmented and as it dries, it will separate and fall off or you can pry it off. It is dry between the hull and the nutshell. Once they dry outside for the two weeks then I bring them in and put them on trays and dry some more.

Juglans Nigra, Black Walnut

Black Walnut By: nipplerings72

There is two black walnut trees by the road here where I live and the green hulled nuts fall in the road and cars run over them and crack the nut shell out of the hull. Inside the green hull is a lighter brown substance (as seen in the picture below and on the right) that turns to a dark brown looking substance that Walnut Stain for furniture refinishing is made from. Once the hulls are run over a few times, the nut in its shell separates from the hull and the yucky stain that you don’t want to touch with your hands. You will be stained like a piece of walnut furniture If you don’t use rubber gloves when picking the walnuts up. These get dried for two weeks also.

Black Walnut, Juglans nigra ....#15

I have trouble cracking them but one of my sons (muscle man that he is) cracks them and puts the nut meats in Peanut Butter Jars to save for our baking needs. We love them and free is so much better than the expensive prices in the store. The baking increases in the fall which means the house always seems to have some good smells going on. For thanksgiving I made Banana Bread but not just your run of the mill banana bread…I saw America’s Test Kitchen make the Ultimate Banana Bread. Take a look on You Tube at this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=DtokStgEQKM&feature=endscreen

Here is the Recipe:

ULTIMATE BANANA BREAD ON AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN SEASON 11

ONE LOAF  BAKE AT 350 DEGREES FOR ABOUT 1 HOUR IN A GREASED 4 X 7  LOAF PAN. (made for Thanksgiving 2012)

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl:

ONE LOAF                                                                         TWO LOAVES

1 3/4 flour                                                                          3 1/2 Cups

1 tsp Baking soda                                                            2 tsp. Baking Soda

½ tsp Salt                                                                           1 tsp. Salt

Mix wet ingredients in one bowl :

1 Stick Melted Butter                                                      2 Sticks Melted Butter

1 tsp Vanilla                                                                       2 tsp. Vanilla

2 Eggs                                                                                   4 Eggs

¾ Cup Brown Sugar                                                        1 ½ cups Brown Sugar

5 Bananas Micro waved on High 5 Minutes         10 Bananas Micro waved on High 7  Minutes.

½ Cup Toasted Walnuts (add at the end  mix)     1 Cup Toasted Walnuts (add at end to mix)

Take Bananas (5 for one loaf and 10 for 2 loaves)and put in bowl covered with plastic wrap with holes poked in it and microwave for 5 – 7 minutes on high, drain liquid from bananas into saucepan and cook on high heat, watching and stirring occasionally till it’s reduced ( ¼ cup for one loaf and ½ cup for 2 loaves) and add back to the drained bananas and mash together till smooth. Add the rest of the Wet Ingredients to the bananas.

Mix together with the dry till there are no big  lumps but not too much so it doesn’t develop gluten.

Add ½ or 1 cup toasted walnuts and mix right at the end of mixing.

Grease Loaf Pan and add dough to pan. Peel 1 banana on a diagonal and put down each side overlapping

Sprinkle 2 tsp Sugar over the top of the loaf

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour..rotate half through. Cool for 15 min before slicing… Yum!

This is awesome banana bread.

Well there is lots of cooking going on here. My family is coming tomorrow. I love it when they come. I hope you all have an especially good day with your families. We are so blessed. Savor every moment.

I know I’m not writing as much right now but I’ll be around when I can. Stop by and visit when you can. Have special times with your family and I will see you soon.              Jan

Almost the Middle of August!!


NO! NO! IT CAN’T BE! IT’S THE MIDDLE OF AUGUST!  HOW CAN THAT BE?

Pole Green Beans August 13, 2011

I’ve been very busy for the last month. My mind was definitely somewhere besides on my blog. Been busy with family things and then a recuperation period because of exhaustion but now I’m starting to feel a bit better. I need to refocus and tell you what’s going on with me.

First … our garden … has been doing very good once we treated the conditions of the drought with two garage sale soaker hoses. Once we did that, the beets, carrots, pea pods, and beans have blossomed nicely supplying our table with a wealth of vegetables.

One thing we learned about beets. They like watering and like their leaves trimmed back and in doing so the growth is redirected to the root part of the plant. Once we regularly harvested the beet greens to eat, the beets got bigger and bigger.

The broccoli has been awesome although it doesn’t look like the broccoli I buy from the store. It has looser head clusters. The taste is very good though. It is starting to go to seed. Pea Pods have just finished producing and I picked the first dried pod from the vine.  I will be actively collecting seeds from all the plants for next years planting.

A friend ask me what I thought was a good winter cover crop to plant on your home garden plot. I have been around farms a good bit and so winter rye came to mind but I decided to search and see what info I could find.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds is a site I’m fond of for getting information that is valid. http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-6578-fall-green-manure-mix.aspx

http://www.johnnyseeds.com Fall Green Manure Mix

The link above describes a mix of seeds that can be planted on garden spots (usually farmers plant a field of it) to enrich the soil and plow under in the spring before planting. It’s called Fall Green Manure Mix and is a ready-made mix comprised of winter rye, field peas, ryegrass, crimson clover and hairy vetch. Vigorous late summer growth provides winter erosion control. The peas, clover and ryegrass will winter kill to provide organic matter and soil cover. The hairy vetch and winter rye will regrow in the spring to provide nutrients for crops to utilize.  That’s one option as well as any one of the selection in the mix or buckwheat. I really enjoy there site for all kinds of garden questions.

Mother Earth News is the other site where I looked to see what they had to say. Here is that article and the address where you can find it.


Preparing Your Vegetable Garden for Winter

10/14/2011 10:17:22 AM

By Mary Lou Shaw

Tags: winter gardencompostroot cellarautumn plantingMary Lou Shaw

Every gardener probably has a different version of the “best” way to prepare a backyard garden for the winter. Because our Ohio garden is large, and each year is different in climate and crops, I find that our garden goes into each winter with a little different variation of preparedness. Winter preparations occur over several weeks, but perhaps the following suggestions will give you ideas that you can try now and in the years ahead.

One thing that most gardeners will agree upon is that it’s worth the effort to clean out all the old annual plants. Some of the vines and climbing plants will die on their own and can be hauled to the compost by now. Others like tomatoes will wait for a hard frost to die. I’m in no rush to clean out crops if I can still get some green tomatoes or a sweet pepper or two. However, when the season is over, cleaning out the dead plants prevents the build-up of disease and harmful insects. The heat of composting will kill them.

The dead plants and weeds that you clean out from your garden in the autumn become valuable additions to your compost. Don’t worry about knocking all the soil off the roots. Soil contains microbes that will boost the decomposition of your compost. The compost recipe is “two-parts brown and one-part green. Dried leaves, pine needles can be added to the dead plants to provide the “brown.” Kitchen waste, grass and still-green plants will help provide the “green” component of your compost recipe.

If you don’t have room for a compost pile outside your garden area, consider digging trenches in your garden where you can bury this debris along with the other compost ingredients. After one trench is filled and one area of your garden cleaned out, dig another trench for the next area. This will compost and enrich your soil for the next year.

There are lots more options for your garden before you say good-bye to it until next spring. For one thing, if you plan ahead, your garden can continue to provide food through much of the winter. Kale and collard can be planted in the heat of August and then ignored until cold-sensitive plants have died. Carrots can be planted about late August or September and then covered with straw and not harvested until frost has sweetened them.

The garden is also a good place to create a “root cellar” of sorts. Plants don’t have to be deep in the soil to be protected from the cold. If you have cabbage in the garden that you would like to save for the winter months, dig it up now with the roots attached. Next, dig a hole to put it in, head-first, with the root sticking out to mark the spot. (You might also want to mark the spot with a stake in case you have high snow). When you dig it up this winter, you can remove only the outside leaves and have a perfect cabbage. Potatoes and carrots can also be dug now and preserved with a mound of straw and dirt above them.

Depending on where you live, you might still have time to put in some plants for next year. Spinach is planted four to six weeks before frost and then covered with straw for a late winter or early springtime treat. It’s time right here to plant garlic, rhubarb and shallots for next year’s harvest.

Some people say that soil should not lay bare through the winter because top soil will be lost to erosion. The best solution for this is to plant a cover crop (see the photo for an example of a buckwheat cover crop as well as compost rows). Cover crops can do more than hold your soil in place. Some plants can also serve as “green manure” when tilled back into the soil next spring. You want crops that will break-down readily, and buckwheat and rye serve this purpose well. A good source of cover crop seeds is Johnny’s Seeds.

Another purpose of cover crops can be to enrich the soil while they hold it in place. Legumes do this best because their roots have nitrogen-fixing nodules. Red clover is my favorite for this purpose because its stems don’t contain silicone and therefore breakdown readily in the soil in the springtime. Other clovers are difficult to get rid of when you’re ready to plant your crops.

The granddaddy of all cover crops is a mixture of buckwheat, red clover and turnips. The buckwheat feeds the bees, holds the soil in place, suppresses weed growth and breaks down readily after a frost. The red clover enriches the soil, suppresses weeds and also helps to hold the soil. And the turnips? After the buckwheat dies, you can protect them with a bit of straw and have turnips to eat throughout the winter!

I have one more way that I am getting our garden ready this fall, but it is next springtime that I have in mind. Last spring was so wet right up into June that it was difficult to get into the garden to plant seedlings. The only parts of the garden that I was able to plant were the rows that I had already laid out with compost and straw-paths the previous autumn. I am therefore getting my daily work-out now by hauling compost, cart-load by cart-load, from the compost pile in the meadow to the garden. Who knows what next spring will bring, but with every part of the garden in a different stage of preparation, some part might be “just right.”

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/the-happy-homesteader/preparing-your-vegetable-garden-for-winter.aspx#ixzz23P3BKYwa

This article suggested the use of your garden spot as a composting spot and also using it like a cold cellar for root crops like beets, turnips, parsnips, carrots left in the ground to pull up as needed from a late planting. I would like to try what they said about cabbage. Pull up the head, roots and all, dig a hole and place the head upside down in the hole leaving the roots exposed. When you need it, go out and dig it, clean off the outer leaves and wash and use it for whatever recipe you need it for.

Rhubarb Swiss Chard out of my garden.
We’ve been eating it..see the trimmed stems?

Ready for last picking … Rhubarb
From my Garden

Mid August progress of the Wild Strawberry Patch. See the Volunteer Squash at the top of the Strawberry Plants?

The patch started in the spring with 12 little plants! I think they’ve spread!

Hey you gardeners out there, what do you do with your garden plot in the winter? I would love to hear what you have to say about all this. I really have not done anything with ours in the winter except for composting right on the plot. Darnell has gone out when snow melts from the soil and chops everything up and mixes it in the soil. We are planning to purchase a tumbler composter sometime in the future. I think this year we will try planting beets and other root crops and leaving them in the ground to pull up as needed. We will continue composting in the walking paths  I just love gardening. It makes for awesome meals all year-long.

Thanks for letting me think out loud. I am in a constant state of brain storming. My husband and I love trying different things. Stop by and visit again.  See you soon,     Jan

Live and Survive Within 25 Miles of Home


 

Please Shop Local

You  know, I spent the last couple days shopping within 25 milesof home. We have been only buying what we absolutely have to purchase and for sometime we have bought meat when it’s on sale and purchasing extra to freeze so that we don’t have to buy meat every week. I also have Vegetarian Meals also. We have friends that bring us things from time to time which helps a great deal. Our garden and the church garden has supplied much for our table. The local farms and farm markets supply the rest. I love giving my money to the local farmer and not to CA, WA, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and China or some other foreign country when it’s in season here. I see these states or countries constantly at the grocery store. It isn’t that I don’t want other countries to have my money.The reason I feel this strongly about this is the jobless rates here in the US. As a loyalty to my fellow countrymen, I want my money to benefit my local community. If things were better, I would have no thought about spending money for the benefit of any another country.

Soaker Hose for the Garden

During the summer months, there are so many things available to us locally. Fish from the lake is one thing that we are able to do to stretch our food budget. It provides a tasty choice for us and is restful, stress relieving, and enjoyable. I have not tried it yet but I have thought about frog legs and turtle as a food source that we could try in the meat area. As for vegetables and fruits, as different crops come to harvest, if I buy locally, it keeps our local economy going and provides food for us all year-long by freezing and canning. I bought corn on the cob and was able to put some in the freezer. The drought has been hard on our farming community. We were having trouble getting our garden to produce. My husband went to a yard sale and bought 2 soaker hoses for $4.10 and we laid them up and down the rows in the garden. Our beets and carrots went crazy and they grew to amazing sizes. I just love what comes from the garden. Very healthy and so good too.

Our grand-daughter went with us to the farm markets.

Watermelon with yellow flesh

Watermelon with yellow flesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They had a melon cut open on display. it was a small size watermelon with a yellow insides. We gathered corn and a regular sugar baby watermelon. We were at the checkout when she came carrying the yellow watermelon that was cut in half up to the check out wanting to buy it. I said to her, “I don’t think they want to sell that one. That’s so people can see what it looks like inside.” Then I turned to the woman who was helping us with our purchase and said, “I think my grand-daughter wants this and a spoon!” She just laughed with us. We did bring home one of the yellow fleshed watermelons and it was delicious.

We went to another farm market and bought eggplant which we don’t have in either garden that we get our veggies from and blueberries along with a few other garden goodies. In the summer, I need two refrigerators to keep up with the vegetation that comes through our house. Again, I am so thankful.

There is a potato farmer that lives about 8 miles from us. We like to buy our potatoes and onions there. When fruit comes in season, Darnell will help me can some for the winter. Tomatoes are something we use a lot of all year-long, so we need to can some of them.

Food and Farmguide

I was looking on the internet, and saw that if you search for “food and farm guide” and put your zip code, town, state or county, almost always, you can find a guide to find local resources. I looked under my county name here in Michigan and found this site: http://vanburencd.org/farmguide. Here is the actual print download for this guide: http://vanburencd.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/FOOD-GUIDE-2012_1.pdf

I even found Food and Farm information available for the UK at this site: http://www.bigbarn.co.uk/ and I imagine many countries have those resources available online. Please support your local community by purchasing what is needed for your family from resources within 25 miles of your home.

I hope this is helpful to each of you.

Come and visit me again as I journey along the garden path.      Jan

 

Grammie is happy!


Yes…absolutely! Grammie is happy! My daughter and grand-daughter came to visit from out-of-state and I am so happy. I wish I had more strength… I feel rather exhausted but I am happy. Several other grand children have been here to visit so my cup is full and running over.

First Big Fish at Age Seven

Grampie is in the kitchen making Smore Cupcakes. There is more chocolate on their faces than in the bowl. Here is the recipe from Bakingdom (http://bakingdom.com/2011/08/smore-cupcakes.html). There is not long to wait. The smell is tantalizing. Yummy!

There has been lots of swimming, drawing, movies and playing angry birds. What a bunch. Love them all. Wish all  9 could be here all at once.

Bugs Bunny

Our grand-daughter went with Grampie and they picked beets, carrots, and swiss chard out of the garden. I got it all cooked and in the refrigerator this morning ready to eat.  One other grand-daughter looked just like Bugs Bunny with the carrot with all the greens still on it. She ate it all gone. I showed them how you cut the greens off the beets, boil them in salted water till they are tender. Set them off the stove to cool and then you can just squeeze it and the skin pops off and is ready to eat. I want all my grand-children to love veggies.

I hope you all are having good summers and if you have family any distance away, I hope you are able to get together for a visit.

The Pastor and his family brought us green beans out of the church garden. I fixed enough to go with supper. Thanks so much for that.

Our whole supper was free. Everything was out of the garden and the fish was out of the Lake. I love that.

Come visit when you can. I will always enjoy it.    Jan

The Full Picture


Wild Onions~Remember These?

Remember when we found these wild onions? They were so good and fresh! Now I’m going to show you the next step.

Dried and Gone to Seed Wild Onion

Here is the wild onion gone to seed. The whole plant has dried and those ball-shaped flower heads have dried reveling many seeds for next years provision. The dried plant from flower tip to onion ball at the bottom measures 2414″ long.  We have carried these home and will plant them in a place where the can provide us with onions every year without and labor of planting. Work smarter not harder! This is the full picture of the life of a wild onion. This is so exciting. Simple Pleasures as I love life. 😉

Stemmed, Twice Washed Turnip Greens Ready to Cook

I went to church Wednesday and brought home more turnips and the greens. I am altering the way I did the greens last time since I love my hubby and want him to enjoy them too. He says things so rarely that I know that the stems left in to cook were not appetizing to him. I stripped the leaves from the stems and have contacted a dear friend that know so much. She is 94 so she has had lots of time to figure things out. I haven’t heard back from her yet. Turnip greens have a bitter taste caused by the calcium they contain. I rinsed them twice and cooked them in heavily salted water since I haven’t heard back.

When I looked online, this is one response to the question:

But not that bitter! Seasonal means after the first frost is the best time to pick the greens, the smaller leaves are better and more tender.
I never heard of cooking longer helping with the bitterness; you just have more tender greens or overcooked greens .
Cracker Barrel or country cooking serve pepper sauce consisting of small hot peppers pickled in vinegar to put on the greens so I guess vinegar or an acid helps with the bitterness. There is nothing wrong with adding a spoon of sugar or to taste–At any time in the cooking process, even the end. It definitely takes care of the bitterness.
Mustard greens have a stronger flavor than turnip greens but not an unpleasant bitterness. It’s okay to cook them together. Both cooked down much more than collard greens.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/284194   Interesting!!

I did see a recipe I would like to try:

TURNIP GREEN CASSEROLE
Printed from COOKS.COM

1 (15 oz.) can Bush’s chopped turnip or mustard greens, drained (Or Freshly Cooked out of the garden)
1 tsp. sugar
Salt, pepper to taste
1/2 of (10 1/2 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. wine vinegar
1 tsp. horseradish
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Bread crumbs
Grated cheddar cheese
Blend all ingredients together except crumbs and cheese. Spoon into casserole. Cover top with bread crumbs and cheese and bake one hour at 350 degrees. Serves 6 to 8.NOTE: This dish multiplies well for a big crowd.
I figure that this is more of a Southern delicacy so I checked and found this recipe on http://www.southernliving.com/food/kitchen-assistant/turnip-greens-recipes-00417000072384/

Southern Turnip Greens and Ham Hocks Recipe
1 3/4 lb. ham hocks, rinsed
2 bunches fresh turnip greens with roots (about 10 lb.)
1 Tbsp. sugar

1. Bring ham hocks and 2 qt. water to a boil in an 8-qt. dutch oven. Reduce heat, and simmer 11⁄2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender.

2. Remove and discard stems and discolored spots from greens. Chop greens, and wash thoroughly; drain. Peel turnip roots, and cut in half.

3. Add greens, roots, and sugar to dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 45 to 60 minutes or until greens and roots are tender.

So I’m learning that,

  1. These might be better picked after the fall frost and pick the smaller leaves.
  2. Vinegar and maybe some hot sauce are possible additions that help.
  3. Cooking with meat or beans is a good thing.
  4. Sweetening can be added.
In the last post, Harvest, I told how I cooked them the first time:
Here is how I fixed the turnip greens. I cooked 4 pieces of bacon till crisp. Set them aside to drain. Put the twice washed and chopped greens (8 cups)in the pan and just started frying them for a few minutes turning every once in a while. Add 1 cup water, salt (1 tsp), balsamic vinegar to taste, and a tsp honey then stir it and put the lid on and let it simmer on low till stems are tender. Crumble the crisp bacon and mix it into the greens.
I did leave larger stems on and cooked them so I changed that this time. The next day I mixed some of the greens with bean soup in equal parts and saw a definite improvement in them that way. I remembered having them that way growing up in West Virginia and served with cornbread.
Today I will take the cooked greens and make something, I hope good, out of them.
We had beet greens yesterday. They are much sweeter and very good.

Beet Green with Balsamic Vinegar, Lemon Pepper, and a Pat of Butter

Darnell loves beet greens.. 🙂 Me too!
Does anyone out there have a special way you fix them? I would love to hear from you. I’m always interested in learning.
See you next time,   Jan
Fill in your Name, Email, Website if you have one, and leave a comment. I would love that.

Harvest and Sharing


Pickling Cucumber Beside Angel Wing Begonia

It rained yesterday and broke the stretch of unbearable heat.

Very Small Cucumber Started Where Flower is Brown

Heat makes me sick and I find it very hard to function during stretches of very high, unbearable heat. It’s very hard on the garden and the plants looked as frazzled as I felt. Darnell goes out right at dusk and even sometimes after dark to water the garden and our flower beds. I’m amazed at how quickly the grass looks fried when the heat doesn’t let up. After the rain the cucumber in the picture above perked right up. At the bottom of the picture at the right, see the very small cucumber where the browned blossom has died. There will be a cucumber where each flower is. Yea!! Can’t wait.

Heard from my friend and blueberries are ready. Fruits had a rough time this year because of the 80 degree weather in March and then some freezes later than usual. She got 5 pounds for between 11-12 dollars. We will go get blueberries soon because I’m not sure how much damage was done to the crop.

We have a garden at our church. Pretty good size one. Thursday the pastor and his wife came and brought me turnips with the greens, chives, peas and raspberries and blackberries. I live the farthest from the church, I think and I can’t always make it to the services. I appreciated so much that they brought things from the garden out for us to use. They know I will put it all to use and it won’t be wasted. We are trying to have 0% waste. I even take the parts of veggies that I don’t chop up and cook it to make vegetable broth for soup and other uses.

Here is how I fixed the turnip greens. I cooked 4 pieces of bacon till crisp. Set them aside to drain. Put the twice washed and chopped greens (8 cups)in the pan and just started frying them for a few minutes turning every once in a while. Add 1 cup water, salt (1 tsp), balsamic vinegar to taste, and a tsp honey then stir it and put the lid on and let it simmer on low till stems are tender. Crumble the crisp bacon and mix it into the greens. They have a bitter taste which is because of the calcium content. Vitamin content is similar to Kale so it’s very healthy. My husband didn’t like the stems and you can trim the leaves and leave off the stems. On Wednesday, Darnell made the best bean soup so I took the left over turnip greens and the last serving of the bean soup which was pretty thick and put one on either side of my bowl / plate. I ended up kind of mixing it up and eating it together. It was so tasty. I remembered then eating it that way when I was growing up with some good cornbread. That is an awesome way to eat greens like turnip or kale greens.

I can’t do peas the way I always heard you should do them.
On the side of the pea that is rounded outward, I cut the tip.

Cut a slim cut right down the side so that when you are done the pod is open and you can see the peas.

It is easy to open then and you break them from the pod into the bowl.

I got the peas out of the pods so we can have them with lunch tomorrow. I will put them in a steamer insert for my sauce pan. Only put enough water so that it doesn’t come through and touch the peas and it said to cook them covered for 2-3 minutes, but it took more like 5-6 minutes. It’s very quick. Salt if you want to and possibly melt a pat of butter in them. They will taste so fresh and good.

We washed and froze the berries.  The turnips I can wait a bit before cooking them. We had omelets with chives and cheese this morning. I just love having fresh vegetables. You know exactly whats in them especially if no pesticides are used.

I hope you are all enjoying fresh produce. It takes a little effort but the benefits are huge.

What are you growing in your gardens or picking up at the farmer’s market? Do any of you have different things you do with turnips or greens? Are you growing anything different in your garden? I would love to hear about it. We all learn something everyday if we share with one another.

Have a wonderful day!    See you next time,   Jan

French Onion Soup and Dish Soap?


I made French Onion Soup.

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup (Photo credit: Sam Howzit)

Here is the recipe. It will serve 2 or 3 people. 1 large onion (larger than a baseball, smaller than a softball) 1 tsp. sugar 1 TBS. margarine or butter 1 TBS olive oil 1 TBS Garlic minced 1.5 TBS Italian Seasoning 1 quart beef broth or vegetable broth Mushrooms However many you want  I just put about 5 button or crimini mushrooms, sliced French or other tasty hardy bread, 1 slice for each bowl. 1 c. Parmigiano Cheese Shredded or whatever white cheese strikes your fancy Directions: In a 12 ” fry pan, heat butter and oil til medium hot . Add onion, chopped in larger chunks and stir it for a minute or two  Add sugar, stir, then turn down to low or 2 setting and cover with a lid. Check it periodically and stir. Your goal is to brown the onions which is carmelizing it. That is the reason I added 1 tsp of sugar, to aid in the carmelizing process. When you think the onions are just about ready, add garlic and mushrooms and Italian Seasoning. Stir and add broth. simmer with the lid on and set on as low a setting as you can keep it simmering very gently for 15-20 minutes While that is finishing, put the slices of bread under the broiler and toast on both sides. When the second side is done add the cheese and melt and slightly brown. Put each slice in a bowl when done. Soup should be done by then so ladle it over the toasted, cheesy bread and serve. It was extra yummy. We added a slice of meatloaf and a salad with blue cheese dressingto accompany the soup. It was enjoyed by everyone.

Lunaria annua www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/money_plant.htm

Guess what? I discovered what the plant in the one barrel is that I didn’t recognize. This is one of the plants that Darnell foraged from the side of the road. It’s a money plant! It bloomed several times with those awesome purple  flowers and they had faded.

Lunaria_annua_flowers
Ph credit: http://www.wikipedia.org

Yesterday we went out to walk and the plant had these disks on them and then we knew what it was. I love the way the creator designed it. Those green disks contain the seeds and they eventually will turn tan and look a little papery. It is an interesting looking plant.

Lunaria_annua_seeds 
Ph cred: http://www.wikipedia.org 

      The disks are green when you first see them and then turn a silvery with a double layer of papery shell. The plant is biannual. I will re-seed itself and you can collect some of them. When you handle them do it carefully. You will remove the top layer of paper and then the seeds are exposed. Make sure you are over a table where you can let the seeds drop and then collect them. They can be planted in the spring after threat of frost is past or in the fall after it’s cold.

The “silver dollars” are the seeds and they will plant themselves or you can collect part of the coins and harvest the seeds. They can be planted in the spring after the treat of frost is done. You can plant in the fall after it becomes cold also.  There are two layers of paper in the seed pod. The outside layer you have to remove in order to reach the seeds. Do this job over a table and remove the top layer of paper to expose the seeds and some will fall to the table. Dislodge the seeds that are still stuck and let them set on a plate or tray then package and date an envelope then put the seeds in it to store.

Well, necessity is the mother of invention!

Grated Bar Soap
Dove Tangerine Ginger

We have had a lot of medical bills which on occassions causes a pinch in the budget. I am very good at penny-pinching and looking ahead so we almost always have the supplies we need. Somehow I missed backing up my supply of dish soap. When I realized it was not going to make it to our next shopping event, I started mulling over how I would wash my dishes! This is usually when I say, “Well, there must be a way to make it myself!” I head to the computer with a determined look on my face ready to search “to the death”  till I find the answer. Well…the computer never fails to amaze me and at least to give me ideas. I had to find an answer that did not require me to spend any money.

Boiling Hot Water, Bar Soap Grated, and White Vinegar

Here is what I found:  There were  three recipes. Numbers 1 and 2 required purchasing castile soap  but number 3 I could do.

Here is the directions:

Recipe #3: Solid Soap Shavings You can save even more money by making dish soap from leftover pieces of bar soap! Just be sure to chop them into very fine pieces first. 1. Place 2 cups of soap shavings into a large bowl. 2. Add 2-3 cups of hot water and let it sit overnight to soften. 3. Stir the mixture until it becomes smooth. Add more water to reach the desired consistency. 4. Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice or white vinegar to help fight grease. 5. Shake well before using.

I made a few changes: I took a bar and used the grater to make the small pieces. I always change the recipe. I added the boiling hot water and stirred with a wooden spoon. When it was mostly smooth, I added white vinegar. I need to let is cool. It will thicken as it cools. I will let you know if this is something that I can live with. Now that I’ve started …I’m encouraged.    Just looked … it’s thickening!

http://www.diylife.com/2009/08/03/how-to-make-your-own-dish-soap/

My pictures and facts About the plant came from various resources:

http://www.wikipedia.com

http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/money_plant.

I took the pictures during the soap-making process.

The site from Illinois is awesome and lists too many to number of plants, insects, trees, and shrubs in this North Central area That includes Illinois and Michigan.I know you will enjoy this site full of information.

It’s time to close for today. I feel good about learning skills that will help me save money day to day and in an emergency. Tell me your tips for keeping on top of the things that are needed for everyday. I would love to hear about it.

Come visit again,   Jan

Tying Up Loose Ends


What a nice week……with varied temps and some rain. Today it was sunny and 70 degrees. The perfect day.

This was a week of tying up loose ends.

Pictures 1 & 2.

All the Red Clover Blossoms and leaves are dried and bagged.

I will harvest more soon.

1. Half-Filled Gallon Bag Red Clover Blossoms

2. Half -Filled Gallon Bag of Clover Leaves

Worked carefully to not waste anything in the leftovers in the frig.
Browsed through the corners of my mind for creative recipes.

Set up the payments for the June bills.

I Read over and over parts from the book: “The Blood Sugar Solution”.
Battled with myself over what I read.
Since the book isn’t mine; Typed the tests from the book, that help in making health decisions.
Made notes that will help me remember important information later from the book.

I am rather befuddled by some of the things in the book. As usual I will have to blaze my own trail and find my own ways to come as close as I can to do what they’ve described. I agree with so much in the book. In treating disease, they approach it in looking at the  whole body and finding the balance in 7 key areas as they relate and work together in the body. There is a correlation between all the preservatives, dye, pesticides, hormones and other polluting factors and how it affects our body. This isn’t just for diabetics though. I would recommend this to anyone who cares about their health.

I will find a way.

3. An End Stalk of Celery That I’m Re-growing

Picture 3

This picture shows the end of the celery stalk after we ate the stalks. I just put the stalk end in the container with a quarter-inch of water and basically forgot about it. One day it caught my eye and I saw it was growing. I will plant it in the dirt this week. I first told you about this in a post called, “Gratitude and Contentment and How Gardening Helps!”

I sat the container in the pot that contains a pickle especially made for pickling. The pickles will be smaller so I thought it might work in a hanging basket since the pickles are smaller.

4. Flower Bed with a Pink Rose

Picture 4 and 5

I wasn’t outside this week much.

When I went out I discovered that aphids had attacked all of the roses. I have a pink, a white, and a red rose. I had no way to treat the plants and couldn’t go get something ,  I was told by a friend that orange oil could be used to repel the aphids. I have some face cleanser that is all natural ingredients and has a major amount of orange oil  in it. It’s Burt’s Bee Orange Oil Facial Cleanser. I figured I would try it so I put a nickel size spot in a spray bottle and put just a little hot water in with it to dissolve it, then filled the bottle with cooler water. I shook it up really good and sprayed the roses all over. It seemed to work but I didn’t want to use all my face cleaner for that so when we went into town, I got some Whitney Farms 3-in-1 Rose and Flower Care.

5. Close-up of the Pink Rose

Picture 6. This flower bed is flanked on either side by half barrels. One has Lettuce planted in it. I made a salad this week with this lettuce and radishes from the garden, then added cucumber, tomatoes, celery, and onions.

6. Lettuce, One Marigold, One Nasturtium

The other barrel has a plant I don’t recognize that has purple flowers, zinnias that haven’t come up, and hen and chicks. I don’t have a picture of that one.

7. Daisies


Picture 7. This is a raised bed and I have one on either side of my back door.  This bed has Daisies, Snow on the Mountain, another ground cover that is silvery in two tones. There was a field down the street where they brought in fill-dirt. Evidently there were daisies planted in the place where the dirt was picked up because these are cultivated daisies. My husband pulled them up in that field and brought them to me and planted them in my garden. What a sweet guy, going to the free flower store to bring me flowers! You don’t need money to show someone you love them.

8. Echinacea and ONIONS!

Picture 8.

This is the bed on the other side of the back door. I have Echinacea and Onions

English: Echinacea purpurea blooms in a flower...

Echinacea Blooms   Wikipedia

will be hidden behind them. The picture from Wikipedia shows what the Echinacea will look like blooming. My youngest son and his girlfriend gave me the glass sculpture that you can see part of it. It’s made out of glass plates and green vases. I love it! This is just a little of our flower beds I don’t want to talk your arm off so I will say adieu for now. Hope you have a good week.Come and visit again.

Jan


Gathering Red Clover


Today, my husband and I walked near our house and harvested Red Clover.

English: Trifolium pratense, Fabaceae, Red Clo...

Trifolium Pratense (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

To identify it, look for leaves of 3 and occasionally 4 and have a lighter green chevron on each leaf as you can see in the picture. They grow anywhere from 2″ to 16″ tall so they are easy to pick out of the other weeds.The chevron shape on the leaf makes them easy to distinguish from other weeds  and of course, when they are blooming, they are crowned with a purplish globe-shaped blossom that is hard to miss. The blossom is purplish or pinkish so they call it red clover. That makes a lot of sense. Right?

What are they used for?

The red clover is from the pea family. It’s scientific name is Trifolium Pratense.  There are articles that claim it is a food. It can be used in salad preparation both the leaves and the blossoms. You can dry it and make a tea to drink. The reading I’ve done indicates it has medicinal properties. Last but not least you could till it under the soil and increase the nitrogen content.

To pick just the blossom, slip the stem between your first two fingers  so you are cupping the first set of leaves and the blossom. Hold on to it with your thumb and pull up and it pops off rather easily.They were pretty plentiful and in just a short while we had gathered a small bucket that measures almost a gallon.

First thing I did was wash them, drained them in a colander and laid them out in a single layer on a towel the dry off a bit. I separated the blossom and the leaves and put them on different cookie sheets and gave them more time to dry. Before I quit for the day, I cut a round piece of parchment paper and laid a single layer of greens on it. I set my microwave to 5 minutes @ 40 % power  and when I took them out they were dry. After the first plate, you can reduce the time to 4 minutes @ 40% power. I divided it into 6 load and the plate got rather hot.

Washing the Clover

 
 I swished the clover around in the water to get the dust to drop to the bottom of the sink

After Draining in the Colander, Drying on a Towel in the Sink

I had towels in both sinks and a large one on the counter to accommodate the amount of Red Clover we gathered.

Clover Blossoms

I had a more than enough to fill a full cookie sheet.

Leaves and Stems from the Red Clover

Ready to dry the leaves and stems.

One Load Ready to go into the Microwave on Parchment

Five minutes @ 40% power for the first load and Four minutes @ 40% for every load after that. Once I had them all dried, this is how they looked:

Dried Clover Leaves

I spread the Blossoms out on a cookie sheet and left them to dry over night.

I plan is to use them for tea, infusions, and grind up some of the leaves to make a flour. While I can’t eliminate White and Wheat Flours with Red Clover Flour, and can at least lower the amount I am using. Once I get the blossoms completely dried, I will be able to store them in a good sealing jar or container for my use when I need it.

I’m glad for the variety you can find in nature.

I will let you know if I do anything interesting with this foraged and stored item.

Come and visit again,

Jan

Let me know what you know about Red Clover. I would be very interested to hear from someone who has already experience using Red Clover.

Could you tell me any special concoctions you have made with it.

Shopping in the Wild


Hi, Darnell and I have been out at it again. Finding things of use that God created @ The Free Grocery Store. Darnell brought home a few wild onions and one wild carrot. Yes we progress slowly. It’s wise to do that. Haven’t done anything with the carrot but it’s in the crisper just waiting.It looks kind of gnarly, doesn’t it but I bet it will taste better than it looks.

Wild Carrot & Wild Onion

Then he went back and gathered a bunch of onions.

Bunch of Wild Onions

After they were washed, I  took the roots and outer skin off. The green parts that were tender, I chopped up, put on a baking sheet, and put in the convection oven @ 170 degrees F. and dried them for an hour. I can store them for use in cooking in the winter. The bulb part, I used to make a salad dressing.  It reminded me of Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing which I really love. Here is the recipe for my onion dressing.

Jan’s Onion Dressing

1/2 cup wild onion bulbs

1 cup olive oil

1 heaping Tablespoon minced Garlic

1 Tablespoon Basil

1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning Spice

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Put all ingredients into a blender. Pulse untill dressing is combined and the consistency is  finely minced.

Put in a jar and store in the refrigerator.

We had a salad for supper and it was so good!

The next harvested thing is the wild carrot and I am going to scrub till I remove the surface root hairs off it. I will sample a thin slice raw to see if it could be used in a salad then steam the rest sliced to see how it tastes cooked. I need to see if the center core of the root is woody. I think this is a young one so it may be tender. I will have to see.

The next found food we brought home, we found on the way home from a trip to town. We have a 55 gallon aquarium and we are going to give it to our oldest son for them to set up. I know the grand-children will enjoy it. We had about 20 fish and we had a pump crisis and lost all but 2 fish. A large Tin Foil Barb that was about 8″ long and a Spotted Plecostomus that was about 6″ long. My grand-children are going to  want to pick out the fish themselves so we took the two fish that were left to an Aquarium Store and they took them and will sell them to someone who wants that kind of fish. We have enjoyed them and I am going to miss them. The sounds from the Aquarium of water falling like a waterfall, I will miss also.  We are trying to simplify a bit and that’s good.

As we were coming home, Darnell spotted some Asparagus growing wild on the side of the road. He stopped and picked it. He didn’t find a lot but it was enough for us to add a nice vegetable to our supper and we could savor the treat. It was delicious. I washed it and put it on a cookie sheet and put it in the oven after I drizzled a little olive oil and sea salt on them and tossed them to coat it all over them. At 350 degrees F. they cooked for about 10-12 minutes. When I took them out, they were crispy tender and so fresh and good. I love it when you can cook something that has picked such a short time earlier.

Sunday is Mother’s Day! I miss my Mom but I have a wonderful Step-Mom. She is such a good Mom and I know I didn’t make it easy for her. My Mom died when I was 13 and I was pretty hurt, mad, and a few other things. I felt pretty ill prepared for her death and wasn’t ready for the changes that lay ahead. I think I gave everyone a hard time. I truly regret that. Especially when I became a Mom myself and understood what a hard job (layered with love and joy) it was. I was deeply thankful that I could turn to God for answers I didn’t have. I know He gave me wisdom many time and gave my children short memories when I made horrendous mistakes. …. and they lived through it all. They just don’t have enough training for the hardest job in the world.

I want to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you have a wonderful life and I applaud your creativity. I feel honored to have met some of you. You are enriching my life. Thank you! Thanks for joining me as I journey along my garden path.  Come again soon.   Jan

Love and Kale and My Battle


What are whole foods?

Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little

Whole Foods

My Husband’s Favorite Department(Photo: Sifu Renka) 

as possible, before being consumed. Whole foods typically do not contain added ingredients, such as salt, carbohydrates, or fat.[1] Examples of whole foods include unpolished grainsbeans, fruits, vegetables and nonhomogenized dairy products.[2] Although originally all human food was whole food,[2] one of the earliest uses of the term post-industrial age was in 1960 when the leading organic food organization called the Soil Association opened a shop in the name selling organic and whole grain products in London, UK.[3]

  • (It could make a difference between some people living and dying.)

The term is often confused with organic food, but whole foods are not necessarily organic, nor are organic foods necessarily whole.

The United States Food and Drug Administration defines whole grains as cereal grains containing thebranendosperm and germ of the original grain.[4] Federal Dietary Guidelines issued by the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion in 2005 recommended the consumption of at least three servings of whole grains each day, as there is evidence that they help cut risk of cancer and heart disease.[4]

Whole foods

My Favorite Department  (Photo: parislemon)

“Diets rich in whole and unrefined foods, like whole grains, dark green and yellow/orange-fleshed vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, contain high concentrations of antioxidant phenolics, fibers and numerous otherphytochemicals that may be protective against chronic diseases.”[1]

A focus on whole foods offers three main benefits over a reliance on dietary supplements: they provide greater nutrition for being a source of more complex micronutrients, they provide essential dietary fiber and they provide naturally occurring protective substances, such as phytochemicals.[5]    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_foods

  • I told you that I was trying to buy things at the grocery store with 5 or less ingredients but that is just a baby step to me eventually buying only whole foods. (For me and not my husband) It is amazing to me how hard that is when you have family members who only want refined foods. When you show my husband healthy foods, his reply is often ewww gross! It’s healthy! We have been together a long time… we give and take. He has made some amazing changes and I salute  his courage!

Here is the address of the site where whole foods are listed. It is titled: The World’s Healthiest Foods.  http://whfoods.org/foodstoc.php

You can click on any of 127 foods listed as the world’s most healthy and find out what their

A bundle of kale from an organic food co-op.

A bundle of kale (Photo: Wikipedia)

benefits are, how to prepare it so you lose less of the nutrients and last but not least, what nutrients are contained in them. Please go there and check it out. This site is awesome!  Here is a sample. Probably one of the most nutritious vegetables, I believe is Kale. There are a wealth of incredible nutrients in it. For instance, Kale has 1327% of the required daily requirement of Vitamin K. That is only one nutrient. Kale has 21 other nutrients in it. The top three are K, A and C. in one cup cooked Kale that only has 36 calories. That is a super-food undoubtedly. This is only one example. I hope I’ve convinced you to go check it out. Besides the nutrient information you will find recipes after they convince you that it is a good thing!

  • At the same time I’m telling you all this, I will show you my humanity! I live with a junk-food junkie. I can’t tell you how  hard it is to eat healthy with his influences around. For me to live, I need to eat right and he just doesn’t get it.
  • The way we are raised to eat is so ingrained. I don’t expect him to change but I need me

to be strong and I’m having such a hard time with being strong.  I’m having such a pity party! Those sweet potato fries are calling and I’m such a wimp.

I’m glad we love each other, my husband and me, and …like I said…my battles with food are one day at a time….

It’s onward and upward…… Come again,    Jan

The info from the site: http://www.whfoods.com, check it out and let me know if it helps you make decisions about the whole food you want to put in your life. It certainly did me. Inch by inch, life is a cinch….just keep going onward and upward.  Bye.

Chicken of the Woods


2012.4.30 Chicken of the Woods

Laetiporus is a genus of edible mushrooms found throughout much of the world. Some species are commonly known as sulphur shelfchicken of the woods, the chicken mushroom, or the chicken fungus because many think they taste like chicken. The name “chicken of the woods” is not to be confused with the edible polyporeMaitake (Grifola frondosa) known as “hen of the woods”, or with Lyophyllum decastes, known as the “fried chicken mushroom”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laetiporus

Wow! About 23 inches and over 13 inches deep. We were so excited!

I checked to see if the was any other mushroom that looked like this that was poisonous on the internet. None!

I cut a piece of the mushroom and laid it on my skin to watch for a reaction. None!

Took pictures of this monster. I had never seen one except on the internet.

Darnell walks the dog most of the time. Her name is Miah. They walked way out back of our place and to the edge of the woods. About 4 steps into the woods he saw the mushroom, larger than life clinging to the side of a maple tree.

This is what I read at this site: http://americanmushrooms.com/edibles4.htm

David Fischer, Author of Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America (1992, Univ. of Texas Press)

SULPHUR SHELF MUSHROOMS GROWING ON ANY CONIFER TREE (PINE, HEMLOCK, SPRUCE, FIR, LARCH/TAMARACK, ETC.), EUCALYPTUS, OR LOCUST TREES SHOULD NOT BE EATEN! Also, as with a number of wild mushrooms and many other foods (e.g. shellfish, peanuts, and milk products), some individuals have allergic reactions to this particular species. (That’s why it was important to identify the tree. Oak or Maple is fine.)

Few edible wild mushrooms are considered as exciting a find as the Chicken Mushroom or Sulphur Shelf. It has a unique mushroomy flavor and a slightly grainy, meaty texture, and a single dead tree or log will often produce ten, twenty, thirty or more pounds! Because of its texture, the Chicken Mushroom or Sulphur Shelf is a fine candidate for fresh-freezing, so such a large fruiting needn’t go to waste. The trick is to cut the Chicken Mushroom or Sulphur Shelf into pieces of appropriate size for the cooking pan before freezing (blanching is not necessary) and, most importantly, when you’re ready to use some, do not thaw them first: have the cooking pan heating before you even open the freezer door!

Sauted Chicken of the Woods Mushroom with Garlic and Onion

On to cooking and the taste test:

I was doing a sample for taste testing so I kept the amounts small.

1 cup Chicken of the Woods Mushroom, chopped

1 tsp. Garlic, minced

1/4 cup Onion, minced fine

1 tsp. Chicken Soup Bullion (Paste)

Olive oil

2 Tablespoons Flour

1 cup Milk

Using a Cast Iron Pan heated to medium with a tablespoon of olive oil, add chopped Chicken of the Woods mushroom. Cook till starting to brown. Add onion and garlic and continue saulting till oil is absorbed.

Add more oil

add flour

Added chicken bullion paste

and milk and let it simmer Season with Salt and Pepper to taste. Continued to be a little  rubbery but did get a little better.

This is an experiment and I read several places and this appears to be the  common way of cooking it.  You can serve over toast or  rice or potato.

We cautiously tasted it. It tasted good but did have a slightly rubbery texture to it.

While I know I will continue my search as to how to prepare it, I know this was a good start. Darnell and I both ate what I prepared and neither of   us had any reaction. Next time we will eat a little more. From all I read, when foraging it is good to add things into your diet gradually so that is what we will do.

How to Harvest the Chicken of the Woods

This is exactly the way this went today. We harvested it without knowing how to do that. We used to say in WV, ” I got the cart, the horse before”. That is what we did. Next time we will do the harvesting right.  You are supposed to not break it from the tree with your hands which we did. Take a knife and just cut the outer rim of the mushroom. Pick the smaller sized ones. This in itself may take care of the rubbery texture since this was a very large one. Next time we will harvest the smaller one. Since they said that it could be frozen with no preparation beforehand, we froze the rim of the mushroom. I will try again another day to see if I can improve the texture either just by picking a smaller one or by how I cook it

This was such an exciting adventure!

These are the jewels of life, to get to experience things out of the ordinary.

So glad you were here so I could share the experience.

Come on over anytime.     Jan

The other mushroom you may see growing near where the Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms is growing. It is called the Hen of the Woods Mushroom. It looks like a Hen with her head tucked under her wing. It has a feathery look to it. Check out another picture of the Chicken of the Woods Mushroom. Looks like shelves on the tree.

Hen of the woods mushroom

                                                              Laetiporus gilbertsonii
Chicken of the Woods
Sulfur Shelf Mushroom

Discovery of May Apples


I am on a journey of discovery! My eyes have been reborn and as poor as my sight is,

May Apple Plants on the Forest Floor

I am seeing things I never saw before. It is an absolute delight.  We were on a stroll and came across a plant I didn’t know what it was. It had a single stem and a large leaf that looked like a patio umbrella with 8 points on it. Under it hung a little green object that I wondered if it would develop into fruit or some kind of seed pod. We cut one stem and took it home and put it in a vase.

The search began as I dug through my vocabulary to find the right words to describe it. Ultimately words must lead your direction down the search engine path to the destination that will tell you “All” things. 🙂 I tried everything I could for several days. I was feeling CRAZY! I am an information sponge and everything in me craves new information. Finally I found a site that gave up the details I was searching for, after several rabbit-trail diversions and here it is:    http://livingafield.com/Index.htm

It has headings like, edible plants, medicinal plants, etc. Under edible plants you will find May Apple or American Mandrake. http://livingafield.com/Plants_Mayapple.htm

It was listed under edible plants on this site. The ripe fruit can be eaten raw, cooked, or made into a jam or jelly. It can also be used to make a lemonade-like drink. It actually looks like a small lemon.

You may have to gather for some time to use in recipes. I’m going to try freezing them till I have enough. From this site I found some recipes   http://www.schools.lth5.k12.il.us/bths-east/mayapple.html

May Apple Plant with Single Flower

May Apple Chiffon Pie

The pie is greatly improved by first cooking the may-apple and pressing the pulp through a colander, then let the pulp stand 20 minutes. Soften 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Dissolve the mixture, add 1 T lemon juice, and a dash of salt. Chill until partially set. Fold in a package of whipped  cream, pour into a graham cracker crust and chill thoroughly.

May Apple Marmalade

Cut off both the flowering and stem end of the may-apple and quarter into a large pan. Simmer for 15 minutes and use a colander to get the pulp. For two cups of thick pulp, add 1/2 package of Sure-Jell and 2 3/4 cups of sugar. When the mixture boils and thickens, pour it into jars and seal.

May Apple Cider

A good drink is made by peeling and chopping chunks of  the may-apple into a large bowl. Add sugar and let the mixture set to draw out the juice. Mash the mixture and run it through the colander. Now, add a jigger of this liquid to a glass of lemonade for a pleasant iced beverage. Others prefer to add half of the juice to a half portion of grape.

Some more information:

The name, Podophyllum, comes from the Greek podos (foot) and phyllon (leaf), which alludes to a fanciful resemblance of the leaf to an aquatic bird’s foot: hence, the seldom used common name of duck’s foot. More often, it is known as mayapple (our native mayapple blooms in May). The beautiful but exceedingly toxic plant has several other perplexing common names that lend themselves to confusion: wild lemon (presumably because the ripened berries resemble tiny lemons), ground lemon, devil’s apple, hog apple, raccoon berry, Indian apple and American mandrake.

You can read more:

http://www.herbcompanion.com/Herb-Profiles/MAYAPPLE.aspx#ixzz1tIC2Py9N

I’m just discovering these things in nature. Do any of you out there have information that would be valuable to others about using this plant? I found this intensely interesting and am looking forward to trying to use this resource.  While it isn’t a major providing source, it brings variety into the food mix. I happen to like variety.

I’m looking forward to your comments. Thanks for letting me share my discovery with you. Stop in again soon and visit.  I am continuing my quest to find all the edible resources at my disposal. It’s awesome to discover God‘s worldwide free grocery store. Help me search and tell me what you have found. You are always welcome to come along my garden path.  🙂    Jan

NOTICE: Nothing is edible except the fruit. Handling of the plant itself should be kept to a minimum. Pick the fruit and leave the rest alone. 🙂 Want everyone to stay safe.

Mayapple fruit

May Apple Fruit

Mushrooms and Strawberries :-)


What an exciting day!  The sky was a beautiful blue and the temperature was comfortable.

I’ve been walking everyday I can. Some days I’m too weak but I try to walk even if it’s just a little. Today was one of those weaker days but I went with my husband for a small walk and we were rewarded with the most amazing discovery. We found a morel mushroom. After I got back home, Darnell, my husband went back there and looked more hoping to find enough for a meal. He searched several areas but came home empty-handed. Bummer!! On the bright side we did find one huge mushroom. It’s almost as big as my hand. I’m making us an omelet with ham, mushroom, tomato, and  cheese so we can savor that wonderful find.  I know we will enjoy it. There is enough there for us to share. I’m glad!!!

Wild Strawberry Plant with White Flower

After a little rest, I went for another walk to where I found the wild strawberries. Only one plant had a bloom on it and it was white which is the sign it is the right one. There is a fake strawberry plant. It is not  poisonous and is edible. Called  Wood Strawberry, has yellow flowers, and a similar fruit that has no flavor. I was glad the plants I dug had the white bloom. I left ample dirt around the roots so as to not disturb the growth process. They say that the strawberries that they produce are smaller than cultivated strawberries but are much more flavorful. I may not get any this year because of moving them but I’m a patient woman. I waited till the third year before I could fully harvest the rhubarb that I planted from roots given to me by good friends. Here in the middle of April, we picked from one plant enough rhubarb to make Rhubarb Bread. It flopped terribly but tastes delicious. We can eat it with a spoon.

What is wonderful about sharing plants is that every time I look at those rhubarb plants I think about the friends who gave it to me. I have another friend who gave me  Rose of Sharon bushes. When I look at them, it gives me a chance to pray for them and ask God to bless them and care for them. What they gave me is treasures that produces joy in my life. I love those gifts.

It will probably be a while before I can bake a Rhubarb Strawberry Pie. It’s a work in progress. It will be worth the  wait. We all have to wait for things. I’ve heard that things that we have to wait for usually produces something lasting that is of value so  how about we wait together. Come and visit.         Jan

What things have you gathered, pampered and waited for? Tell me about your experiences.

I’m in learning mode always so any contribution will be welcome. Leave a comment. 🙂

Learning to Forage


It’s been so nice outside and when it is, I find anything I can do so I can enjoy the weather. It’s been chilly but not bad. Before it rained a few days ago, I planted zinnias and marigold seeds. We planted more plant starts out in the garden too. The rain helps them get started better than watering. Why is that? Is it that it is more natural? I just know that I am always glad when it rains. It cleans and waters and makes all things fresh.

Carya glabra

Hickory Nuts

I found a hickory tree near by with tons of nuts strewn under it. I brought a few home at first and cracked and tasted them. The nut meats were so sweet and good. I found them hard to crack and not have a million little pieces so I went to the internet and started searching for a way to get the nut meats out in more whole pieces. We are so spoiled. Factories crack them with a machine and you go to the store and buy packages of nuts without any little pieces. I have a very patient friend in Arkansas who gathers black walnuts and saves the nut meats. She has jars and jars of them but they are all in little tiny pieces. I love them and when she gives me a jar, I know how many hours of work went into gathering those precious gems of flavor  and nutrition. I am going to have to develop my persistence and tenacity to forage food from around me. It definitely takes patience and determination. I watched a few videos that showed a man cracking these nuts and taking out whole nut meats. He cracked it all over with a hammer or a stone, like a boiled egg and then gently picked the shell off piece by piece.That’s my goal.

Queen Anne's Lace (Wild Carrot)

I gathered dandelion greens early this year before they started blooming. I was told that they aren’t good after the blooms start. They were delicious. That wasn’t hard.

I spotted some wild onions  and wild carrots. I knew about the onions before and had heard of the carrots but had never investigated them. I don’t know that I will gather the roots of the wild carrots but if I ever needed to I could now. The research I did said they are not tender, sweet and good like their garden cousin. The big surprise was that the wild carrots was a plant that I have always called Queen Anne’s Lace. I never looked at the leaves because of the beauty of the bloom. I wonder what God was thinking when He put the one small purple dot in the middle of the bloom? You will see these along the road or in a field. The blue flower is Chicory and the roots can be roasted and ground to use as a coffee substitute.

Ever use pine nuts in a recipe. I have a couple Sicilian recipes that have them in them. I had no idea where they came from nor why they were called pine nuts. Now I know that they are little seeds hidden under every scale of the pine cone. I read that you pick them up off the ground or pick off the tree when they are tight together not more opened.

They are high in protein and fiber but after you get them out of the pine cone you still have to crack a shell similar to a sunflower seed from around the nut.

After I gathered them, I wrapped a cookie sheet with foil to protect it from the sap, and baked them for an hour at 200 degrees. Amazingly the scaled started lifting apart so the seeds could drop out. The pine smell while I did that was very pleasant.

It is good to know how to do these things. I do know that some things, I will probably not do on a day-to-day basis because of how hard it is. I want to become proficient at it so that what things are worth it to me to do… I will do and the rest I will store in the recesses of my brain for a rainy day when it might come in handy. That makes good sense, doesn’t it?

When all six of our children were home, we didn’t have a lot of money. I’m sure there were times when they felt it but I tried very hard to focus on things much more important than money.  We used what we had in the most creative way we could. I focused on the things in life that are free. Nature, God, Music, Books, and felt wealthy for all that was available to us. I don’t regret one day of my life. It is a gift!

Thanks for dropping by, Love having you visit and come again,                                                     Jan

P.S.   Had to show you this idea for the garden. I saw it on http://www.gardeners.com. It is an awesome way to save space in the garden. It shows it for cucumbers but I think it could be used for any of the smaller spreading crops like squash or muskmelon. There is a wealth of  great ideas available.

Cucumber or Vegetable Trellis

Yogurt~New Day~New Way!


Made Yogurt Tuesday. Tried something different.

Yogurt Straining Tools

Took a plastic container that was almost a gallon size. (Ice Cream Pail)

INGREDIENTS :

1 Quart 2% milk  (4 cups)

3 & 3/4  cups warm water

1 & 1/3 cup dry milk powder

1 cup dry milk powder (this is extra ~ more that what you need to make a Quart of Milk with dry milk powder)

Mix all above ingredients with a whisk

1/2 cup yogurt with live cultures Set out on the counter to warm to room temperature when you start the project.

(Use either yogurt from the store that says it has live culture in it or if you make yogurt save a half cup from the last batch)

DIRECTIONS:

Put container in the microwave and  set it for 7 minutes. It was bubbling when the time was up. Set it on the counter to cool.

It will depend on the power of yours, how many minutes it will take. Mine is 1000 Watts so I set mine for 7 minutes

I use a candy thermometer to keep track of the temp so I laid that in the large container of  milk and watched for it to drop to 110 degrees. I think it was about an hour when it reached the goal temperature. The 1/2 cup of yogurt will be room temperature. Put it in a bowl that will have enough room so you can whisk in a cup of the 110 degree milk .  I took two soup ladles of milk and whisked it quickly into the yogurt. Pour it back into the milk in the larger container whisking all the time. I found a good smaller size cooler chest and poured the milk into a container. It needs to fits but have room for another container. I pre-warmed the cooler chest by putting a jar of very hot water in it with the lid on to raise the temp of the container. Once it was warm, I placed the milk mixture in the cooler chest with a lid on. In the extra space I have a microwave heating pad that I warmed up and put in a ziplock bag and placed in there beside the other container. You could also use a jar with very hot water in it. Put a towel between the jars. Close it up and cover it with a blanket for extra measure. I totally forgot about it till the next morning.

I love it in the morning when you get up to something nice.

Straining into Large Bowl to Collect Whey

I use a plastic strainer and line it with a cotton cloth that I have rinsed out so it’s wet. I poured all the yogurt into the lined strainer. Saved the new whey in a bowl under the strainer and just let it set for a couple of hours.

I save my whey to use in the place of buttermilk in recipes. If I have whey in the frig that I haven’t used. I pour it out, wash my container and put the new whey in it and back in the frig. This way it is always fresh. I also limit how much I save to 4 cups. (1 Quart).

Final Strain Over Pie Plate in Frig
Results: Greek Yogurt

After it drains setting on the counter for a couple of hours, I just put a pie plate under the strainer and put it in the frig. Let it continue to drain the rest of the day. Put into containers then and put in the frig. This amount makes three 16 oz. containers of greek style yogurt. You could cut this recipe in half and it would work also. We use all of ours for beef stroganoff, condiment on baked potato, just to eat plain or with fruit, blended with frozen fruit for smoothies. Lots you can do and I make mine about every 2-3 weeks and it keeps quite well for that amount of time.  I thought you might like this easier process to make your own yogurt.

Thanks for stopping by,

Jan     🙂

Vinegar~The Cheapest Wonder Substance on Earth


A couple of years ago we ran into a problem at our house. Darnell told

One of Many Brands of Vinegar

me that his toe nail was thickening and discolored. This was about the time I had a cyst on my toe that was pretty painful so I decided to have it removed. I went to a foot doctor and had that done and then ask her what she does for the fungus that had developed on Darnell’s toe. She gave us a prescription and we went on our way. Nothing like hanging out your laundry in front of God and everybody!!! For the last year Darnell has used that and it ran out recently. He said he didn’t see any difference in his toe except that it seemed to not get any worse.  When we went to our primary Doctor in January, Darnell ask him about it and he said He could prescribe a medication that is very expensive and would be hard on the liver. That was definitely out.

My usual reaction when there is a problem is to dive into the computer and find suggestions for an answer. Everything I read is taken with a grain of salt. I’m not the person that jumps off a cliff or to try anything without it being a reasonable sense to what is said. It has to be safe. I went to several sites and started reading:

http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/article_377.shtml

http://www.grandmas-wisdom.com/toenail-fungus.html

http://www.wikihow.com/Cure-Toenail-Fungus-With-Vinegar

I got the following paragraph from this site:  http://www.myhomeremedies.com/topic.cgi?topicid=266&page=2

Easy cure: Get some cotton balls, apple cider vinegar, athletic tape. Tear off enough cotton ball to cover the nail you want cured. Dip the cotton ball into the apple cider vinegar until it’s saturated. Place the saturated cotton ball over the area you need fixed and tape it in place with the athletic tape. Your nail will get soft after the application so use a nail file to scrape off soft nail. Do this in the morning and before bed for as long as you need. Be vigilant and the infection will go away soon. Just make sure you file off the dead nail as you go and you’ll be clear in no time depending on the infection.

This is what Darnell did only He used gauze pads and taped it on his toe at night before going to bed. We knew it was working after one night. It is amazing. When we tried it …I wasn’t really expecting it to work but knew it couldn’t hurt anything.

As I was searching for the toe nail cure. I found lists everywhere that proclaimed the virtues of vinegar as the answer for “everything from soup to nuts”. it will clean everything. It has all kinds of medicinal properties as well.

I looked on Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar).

Here is a link to Reader’s Digest who has been gathering information for years.  http://www.rd.com/home/150-household-uses-for-vinegar/ They listed 150 uses for vinegar.

I am trying one of the uses I discovered. Having to do with diabetes, they said  that it could help in regulating blood sugars. One of the sites was Wiki that talked about that. The following two paragraphs are from Wiki:

Blood glucose control and diabetic management

Prior to hypoglycemic agents, diabetics used vinegar teas to control their symptoms.[22] Small amounts of vinegar (approximately 25 g of domestic vinegar) added to food, or taken along with a meal, have been shown by a number of medical trials to reduce the glycemic index of carbohydrate food for people with and without diabetes.[24][25][26] This also has been expressed as lower glycemic index ratings in the region of 30%.[27][28]

Diet control

Multiple trials indicate that taking vinegar with food increases satiety (the feeling of fullness) and, so, reduces the amount of food consumed.[29][30] Daily intake of 15 ml of vinegar (750 mg AcOH) might be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity.[31]   

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar#Blood_glucose_control_and_diabetic_management)

Here is a site that I found many interesting things:

http://www.apple-cider-vinegar-benefits.com/home-remedies.html

From what we have read repeatedly on the internet, scientists have measured ninety different substances in apple cider vinegar such as thirteen types of carbolic acids, four aldehydes, twenty ketones, eighteen types of alcohols, eight ethyl acetates etc. It also contains important minerals, trace elements and vitamins as well acetic acid, propionic acid, lactic acid, enzymes, amino acids as well as roughage in the form of potash and apple pectin.

Apple Cider Vinegar contains minerals and trace elements such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, copper, iron, silicon, fluorine. An alternative to drinking apple cider vinegar may be to take potassium supplements, as potassium is known to absorb excess fluids (ie, mucous) in the body. Drink lots of water if you take potassium supplements so you don’t get dehydrated! Potassium, by the way, lowers high blood pressure.

Apple Cider Vinegar’s vitamin content includes Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Provitamin beta-carotene, Vitamin P (bioflavonoids).

AMAZING!

Well I know for sure that a mixture of vinegar is good for cleaning windows, helping your dog stop itching, taking the sting out of sunburns, cleaning soap residue out of your washer or your hair, alleviates flatulence or reflux, makes buttermilk by adding to milk, and many more things than I have room to name. All the claims I can’t guarantee but it seems to be a very valuable resource for under 2 Dollars for 1 gallon. Buy a gallon and do some reading and put it to your own test. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I knew it was a good thing but I didn’t know to what extent. Thanks for visiting me as I journey along my garden path. Come again soon,

                  Jan

Modus Vivindi…a practical compromise


Image representing SparkPeople as depicted in ...

Free Site for Life-Changing Help

I heard once that if you have something about yourself that you want to change,you must do that thing the new way 7 times for every time you have done it the old way. That is staggering! When I thought about how many times I chose to disregard good common sense about food, it’s a bit overwhelming. I’m telling you this so you understand where I was 17 months ago. At that time I was searching for information for my friend about carbohydrates. I knew very little about carbs. 29 years ago when I became a diabetic you avoided “sugar” and counted calories. As I found sites with good directions about eating carbs, I was learning as I passed it on to her. Site after site, I gathered and one of the sites caught my eye. The site was Spark People (www.sparkpeople.com). When I was done, I went back to check it out. It’s free so I started the registration process. I put in all the normal info you give out to register and then the medical and physical questions started. It was a little intimidating. It was taking me places I didn’t even want to think about. They ask for my weight and height and they ask me to take my measurements. This was definitely not a place I wanted to go.

Weight has always been something I struggled with… or not. By that I mean that there were times I didn’t care what size I was. I just wanted to be happy and have fun. After trying every diet known to man or woman, beating myself up mentally, and dealing with depression for longer than is good for anyone, I had decided I wasn’t beating myself up anymore because I liked myself except for my weight. The debate had to end. And I was in that state till I started with Spark People.

My background  is southern barely. I am from West Virginia and my family excelled at cooking and every event in our lives was punctuated with food. I don’t think any of it was ever low-fat, low carb, or low anything else. I didn’t hear anyone discussing health in connection with nutrition. If you liked it and it made you feel good, you ate it.

My Dad loved to eat. In my family eating was an event, a celebration, the fun you looked forward to. Now I know this is strange but then I thought it was normal. In the summer, my dad would get a cantaloupe, cut it in half, take the seeds out and fill the hole in the middle with ice cream. He would eat the ice cream and the cantaloupe bowl it is in. I’m sure I was trying to keep up with him. Anything to do with a special meal was enormous. There was lots of food around. As I grew up I was always plump but close to somewhat reasonable.  There was a 15 year period that would expose my modus vivendi though. The family teaching and experiences growing up, along with my lack of enough knowledge or discipline, caught up with me when I got married and started my own family.

Not long after I married, I became diabetic.  I was immature and unprepared for everything that I faced. As the onslaught of battles came my way, all the internal demons involving diabetes and my weight raised “its ugly head”. My depression increased and five years into this struggle I decided I would be happy with myself no matter what size I was..

SparkPeople.com Featured Motivator, December 2...

SparkPeople.com Featured Motivator

After Spark People gathered the basic information, they told me how to use the site to track all that would help me to change my life. They set my calorie amount based on my current weight not based on what a women of my age and height should be. They didn’t want me to jump off a cliff but to just start developing some healthy habits. After a time you can alter the amount of calories, etc. You list everything you eat and it tells you what it provides for you nutritionally and tells you the calories, carbs, fats, and proteins. But the focus isn’t on the calories or the carbs, They just want you to be honest with yourself. Put down everything you eat, good and bad. Then they start sending the information that is needed for you to decide you want to have a life-style change.  They don’t want you on a diet. They want you to change you life in the easiest way possible with all the support they can give. The site sends you informative and encouraging articles constantly. Today they sent me one called,

“9 Simple Tricks to Eat Less.

1. Enjoy every bite!   “mmmm~ummm” my quote not theirs

2. Use smaller plates, cups and bowls.

4. Know your pitfalls.

3. Pre-portion your food.

5. Keep a food journal.

6. Use the proper plate method

7. Pack in the protein

8. Doggie bag it

9. Eat Breakfast

I must have been using my brain for a hat rack, since these are basically common sense. What was I thinking. These tools are so excellent in helping you fight the things that stand between you and success. Just 2 things from the list will guarantee some weight loss. Use a smaller plate and use the proper plate method. Go and read the whole thing though because the list isn’t good till you read it all. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id1386

Exercise is required to see a change. I believe that but I am physically not able to exercise like a normal person. When I went to the section they had to help you set up a schedule of chosen exercises, I figured I was tough out of luck, In the search line, I typed seated exercises and it pulled up a full section with things I could do. They showed me after I viewed a normal week of eating, how to set my intake amount so that even without activity, I could lose weight. I was reassured that what I was committing myself to was actually possible.

What is really amazing about this article is that 17 months ago, I didn’t knew a lot about what to eat.  I thought I knew but it was a scattered cosmic clutter in my brain. Now when I read an article all of the pieces are in place. The knowledge is there, the desire is there, and the encouragement is there. In 14 months I lost 60 pounds and have kept them off. In the last 8 months I have had 3 eye surgeries. I can see out of one eye not bad and at this time I’m blind in the other eye, only seeing light and contrast. There is the possibility I can have surgery this summer and improve that some. I am looking forward to many things and one of them is to be able to walk some so I can start taking off more weight. It is … I can’t even tell you how wonderful it feels to succeed after 30 years..  I feel like a different person

The reason I’m encouraged, is that I have changed my life-style and my whole thought process and in so doing, even though I’m a foodie,  I know that this can be a permanent change. That seems diametrically opposed! But it’s not. The YoYo scenario from the past that was so dangerous physically and mentally, is not the established norm now. I feel in my heart that I will, in a very slow, healthy way, take the amount of weight off that is needed. In the end, I may not weigh 100 pounds because I will continue on this exploration till I find the spot where I am contented, healthy  and happy. I don’t have a modus vivendi because the opposing things that pulled me in two different direction have now made peace. I can lose weight, be healthy and still love food. If this describes you, then come with me down my garden path. If you every have a question or you have information you want to share, please feel free to comment. I would love to hear from you. I know we can learn from one another.

Thanks for stopping by,

Jan

Yogurt, Ice cream, and a Busy Weekend


This was such and exciting project! I was so happy with how it turned out. It is very creamy and I added a teaspoon of raspberry preserves to it.What an Awesome Breakfast!!.  

Here is the recipe:

8 cups Milk – any form 

Milk Warming in the Crock Pot

1 cup nonfat dry milk powder

1/2 cup store-bought yogurt (it must say “with live active cultures”)

2 Tablespoons Honey or sugar to feed the culture 

 Tools Needed

A Crock Pot that holds a little over 8 cups or more.

A Candy Thermometer

Colander and Bowl to catch liquids

Piece of cotton cloth that will fit down into the colander and hang over the sides enough so you can strain the yogurt

Towels or smaller blanket

Directions:

1.Take the 1/2 cup yogurt and put in a 2 cup container. Leave set out on the counter so that it is room temperature.

2. Place 6 cups milk in the crock pot and turn it on to low setting. Take 1 cup of dry milk powder and add gradually as you actively whisk the remaining 2 cups of milk in a bowl. Mix till smooth.Add Honey or sugar of choice. Add back to the milk in the crock pot. With the lid on, heat this way for 3 hours.  Check the temperature midway through and toward the end of the time. The range you are aiming for is 150 to 180 degrees. I sometimes start mine of high and lower it  after an hour.

Keeping The Yogurt Warm

3. When you reach the target temperature, turn it off. Check every hour.Note your temperature and watch for it to drop to between 110 – 115 degrees.When it reaches that temp, do the next step.

4. Take out 1 cup of hot milk (110 degree). and drizzle it into the yogurt slowly using a whisk. Once it’s mixed, add the mixture to the crock pot. Put the lid back on and cover the crock pot with several towels. (to keep it warm and draft free.Check the temperature every hour for  a few hours keeping it at the 110 temperature. If it drops below that  temp, turn on the crock pot to warm for about 5 minutes then turn it off.Continue keeping it covered and warm. do this till you go to bed for the night

 The Towel Wrapped Crock Pot will just sit until you get up in the morning.On Sunday morning when I got up, I was happy to see a                                                                                                           good batch of Yogurt waiting for me

5. The Whey is the liquid you see in the pot with the yogurt.

Looks Like Yogurt

This has to be drained off so that you have a thicker yogurt.

Take a colander and set it in a bowl that will keep the bottom of the

colander up out of the liquid. The liquid will drain quickly at first.so

drain off and empty the whey into a storage jar and refrigerate.

  

Draining the Whey

Put the Colander in the refrigerator with a bowl under it to finish

draining. I left it in there about 6 hours and the product that emerged

is the consistency of Greek Yogurt.

.

            

 

 

Isn’t this super looking Greek Yogurt? Believe me, it tastes

Great Results!

really good and you can use it to eat like Greek Yogurt and as

sour  cream, where ever you use it, for cooking, and making

awesome smoothies.It takes a day more or less. If you are busy that

will be hard..

If you are busy but at home … it can be done. I make cottage

cheese by the same method using rennet instead of yogurt starter.

I hope you will try this and get to enjoy the spoils of your labor.

Now you say, weren’t you telling us about an ice cream project? What happened to that? The base Chocolate Ice Cream ~ done without an ice cream maker ~ Recipe, is unbelievable! So far our sugar-free trials have failed but we aren’t giving up yet. I think soon I will go ahead and give you the ice cream recipe that takes regular sugar and when I have news about the sugar-free project, I will let you know.

I hope you enjoy the Yogurt recipe as much as I have. As a diabetic, this is a great tool. The nutritional information for 6 oz. of the Greek style yogurt is approximately:  Calories – 80    Carbohydrates – 6   Protein – 15. If you take 6 oz yogurt and 1/2 c. frozen strawberries, unsweetened combined in a blender with a little splenda. Like the snap of your fingers.. dessert around 119 calories and 16 carbs. Such a treat. These kinds of food tools are helpful to help control your blood sugar and also to give you variety in the diet.

Thanks for stopping by my garden path, Like we say in West Virginia, ya’ll come back, hear?!!!

Jan

Sugar Free ~ Yea!


I had a delightful evening yesterday. I have been diabetic for 29 years. My oldest son turning 40 this

Yummm ~ Ice Cream!

year has signs that maybe he needs to watch what he eats so he can avoid the problems the disease brings with it.

We both love ice cream like life itself so that’s something we definitely wish to keep in our repertoire for happy days treats. I stumbled on a recipe for homemade ice cream that you can make without an ice cream maker. I have a rather small kitchen, I’d say about  the size of a postage stamp. My appliance garage is filled and besides, if I got one, it would be expensive!

I was delighted as I set out to try this challenge. I made chocolate chunk ice cream with pecans. Yummmmmm!!!  It was a definite success. One of my grand-daughter said. “It is better than any in the store!” Jeff, my son and I, were talking about the ice cream and it made him drool. It is wonderful but it’s not sugar free. I have a small cone of it which is roughly shy of 1/2 cup. It is acceptable to eat it occasionally. I do ok with that but he finds that his urges for ice cream are far more frequent than mine and of course he wants a mammoth-size serving to be satisfied.

We became foodie chemists looking for the perfect answers to our question. We started digging and found a recipe and altered it a bit but it’s texture was just not right. It was a bomb but will still work as

a base for milk shakes. We both were scratching our heads and looking for a solution. From the original recipe, the ingredient needing to be replaced was Sweetened Condensed Milk. There are recipes out there for sugar free replacements for that. Tweaking the recipe with the research finds. As we prepared it, holding our breaths, it looked very promising. Tomorrow is D-day and I will let you know how it turns out. The camera is going to get into the act and soon there will be pictures for you to see. I’m very encouraged. The calculations on the recipe drops the carbohydrates by two-thirds and the calories by one-third. We aren’t done tweaking yet!

Right now I am working on the blog content but the camera is definitely getting into the act very shortly. We will update you on the results of our experiment in a day or two. See you soon.

Thanks for stopping by,

Jan

Journey Along the Garden Path

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