I have been “off-line” lately due in part to the immanent birth of our daughter’s baby. (And that cooking & canning classes have really booked me up, along with our bed & breakfast. I am pleased to announce the birth of twin granddaughters!! Photo to follow soon.
Category Archives: pressure canning
This Week’s post is written by a guest blogger: Jessica Rabe.
I would like to apologize. I am a guest blogger today, and I accidentally published something while trying to link. This is why I don’t have much to do with technology 🙂
With Valerie is in Kansas for a week to help with an ill family member, I have the pleasure of being a Guest Blogger for Bygone Basics. First, I’ll introduce myself, and then, I’ll let you read what you came for in peace 🙂
My name is Jessica, and I’m Valerie’s oldest daughter. Mom, jokingly calles me her Scullery Maid. I’ve been helping with the heritage kitchen whenever I can, and I love *almost* every minute of it. (I mean, who truly enjoys the cleanup?)
Waste Not, Want Not
Have you ever thought about all of the trimmings you throw away, or even toss on the compost? I never really did either, but it turns out the answer is: A lot! Recently, Valerie and I stumbled upon a wonderful blog post: Five Packaged Foods You Never Need To Buy Again by Jane Mountain. I’ll be the first to admit that I got a bit carried away in my excitement. My second favorite part of the Bygone Basics is learning how to take food as far as it will go, so the idea of saving the trimmings, bones, and juices really got me excited.
You mean….. I can use garbage to make all the soup I could ever hope for!!?
(For those wondering, my favorite is the health aspect. There’s just nothing like using raw closest-to-nature products, and the only drawback is cost. Hence my excitement!) Imagine my shock when Valerie told me that she already knew all about this. It’s so easy, why weren’t we already doing this? (Her answer was that she found she got great eggs from the chickens by feeding them the trimmings.) I figured we can do both….first make the soup stock and then feed the skimmed off, boiled stuff to the chickens. Worked like a charm! We got four times the product from our food. ate the carrot, peelings and ends went into making stock….and the the chickens got everything strained out of the stock…and we got our eggs. NOTE: chickens didn’t get the bones…those got composted.
After about a week of saving, we had enough to start making a meat/vegetable stock. (I’m still waiting to make just veggie stock. There is much anticipation for a huge mess and a delicious way to squeeze every last drop of goodness out of these vegetables .) It sure isn’t a pretty process, and it takes a lot of time to boil down. But really, we just did other things while it simmered (sure smelled good). I have to tell you, I don’t see any future need to buy soup or bullions.
Now is the time
During the summer, everyone is rushing to get their produce in jars before it spoils. There’s really no time to try out any of the fancy recipes you dream of doing when it’s a race against time. However, winter is the perfect time to start unsealing some of those jars and making that spaghetti sauce, or to try any other experiment you’ve always wanted to try. Such an urge grabbed Valerie just last week, at the same time we were doing the meat stock. She began breaking into some canned basic tomatoes, herbs she’d dried, and threw a few fresh ingredients in there. This is also a great way to turn disappointment into satisfaction. Amanda and myself had messed up a bruschetta recipe…she added that too…a perfect way to put some good use to those still-good tomatoes. The result was a delicious pasta sauce that’s also healthy! (My favorite part.)
Remedy from Ukraine
In December, I returned home from spending a few months in Kiev. I was there teaching English, and honing my Russian language abilities. Of course, I ended up sick a couple of times, and so my host family made me some “tea.” Surprisingly, it was as easy as putting some lemon slices in some hot water, and squishing the juices out of them with a spoon. It went down so nicely. What a great way to give your immune system a boost! This is the time of year when people begin to get sick, and this is a great, simple home remedy to drink before or after you start feeling poorly. Stay healthy!
Contact Valerie today by calling (231) 740-4065, or emailing ICan@bygonebasics.com to ask about the February classes, (click to here check them out) put in an order, or schedule your own Experience. Be sure to visit the newly redesigned (and easier to navigate Bygone Basics website. www.bygonebasics.com
For a lack of a better title to this post….
Sorry for the obviousness of it. But I do have new news.
Actually it is a few links to new news.
For the most recent newsletter, read it by clicking here
Even better….Bygone Basics just posted the NEW Calendar of Special Events!! I’m very excited and plan to hold these sessions with approximately 6 – 7 people. By keeping it small and personal, it will be a blast …and a half! 🙂 Click here to access the website page that holds the calendar. You’ll see how to view the calendar at that point. It is as easy as….pie. 😉
We have been asked to be part of the Holiday Home Tour here in the White Lake Area. I asked three times if they were sure. (they’ve now been dutifully warned) You see…. I believe in Christmas as a time of faith, food, family, and fun. It is not about how much gold and lights I can get on a pine tree.
Christmas at Amanda’s Bequest and of course, Bygone Basics, is filled with stringing popcorn and cranberry garlands. Making pine cone and fruit ornaments. creating evergreen decorations. All while music and goofy fun is had. And the food…oh boy, the food is made in abundance and flavor to get you through until next Christmas in your memories! (A side note….I refuse to decorate anything until Thanksgiving has had its deserved attention and the home tour is on December 4 so WOW, we’ll be busy!) More on this tour in the near future…
Lastly, we are still waiting to learn the outcome of our Special Use Permit request to make Amanda’s Bequest into a Bed & Breakfast. The public hearing/planning commission meeting is next monday night at 7:30 pm in the Montague City Hall. I’m all aglow with nerves and “what-ifs” But, I guess I put my faith hat on and keep moving forward.
Until next time….Have a wonderful November.
Be sure to rate this note with stars (at the top) … and of course, share it with friends. We really do appreciate it! I look forward to seeing you in a calendar event or two! Better yet, schedule your own private heritage culinary experience with Bygone Basics and get the holiday spirit in a wonderful way. They make great gifts too. (click the logo at the top right to go to our website and learn more.)
Yours Truly In the spirit of Thanksgiving,
Just letting you know that I’m still here. I’ve …well…you read the title of this Blog….a bit overwhelmed by life. It is truly amazing, but gets crazy too, doesn’t it?!
Lately, I’ve been putting by everything that doesn’t run faster than me. And if I can find someone who will do a bit of hunting for me…well then…all bets are off on that too. We also have had a lot of Bygone Basics guests come to learn how to make these heritage recipes themselves, while immersed in old-farmhouse style atmosphere and tools…they are always surprised how easy old-fashioned baking and home canning really is. Especially when I show them (if they wish to know) how a few of today’s tools can speed things up with out reducing the quality of the food.
I’ve also added pies to my line of baked goods that you can order through the Bygone Basics pantry. Right now a lot of various types of apple pies are going through the ovens. Pumpkin pies are following in popularity.
I’ve submitted an application for a Special Use Permit to turn our old manse into “Amanda’s Bequest – A Heritage Immersion Bed & Breakfast.” More on this in the future.
As the season changes into autumn and the weather is colder, so is my house (because when I’m the only one in it I can put on a sweater and I hate high fuel bills).
Did you know that in the past, home baking served a dual purpose? Food was baked, not only for the table, but also to keep the house warm.
I follow that principle as well. Lately, I’ve been baking squash for pies, breads, and savory dinners. Squash is such a nutritious and versatile fruit. It is just as tasty in desserts as it is in the main meal. It is surprisingly cheap and easy too. Here’s my simple treatment of it:
Cut the squash in half or smaller if it is really large (by squash, I refer to pumpkins and other winter squash such as acorn, Hubbard, and butternut). About 4-5 inch chunks are good. Don’t worry about peeling, just wash and cut up. Remove the seed portion with a spoon easily once it is cut.
Line a large pan (cookie sheet or 13×9) with foil and spray or wipe with oil. Place the squash cut side down. Place in oven (as many racks as you can fit for maximum energy use) at 325 F. Bake until fork slides easily into squash to shell. This may take two or more hours and is dependent on ripeness, variety, and cut up size of squash (smaller pieces cook faster). Really easy right? I must warn you, it will start smelling really good towards the end and you will want to serve some of that for dinner!
Once soft throughout, take out of oven and cool for 15 minutes. Use a knife or spoon to scrape the flesh from the shell. At this point it is perfectly useable in recipes and for dinner. I take it one step further. I press it through my cone shaped food mill with a wooden pusher (that is ages old, but works like a charm!). That takes all of a few minutes. You can use any type of food mill you have. Voila! Yellow Gold!
Make pumpkin pie using eggs from your free range chickens (I do anyway); serve it with butter (or bacon grease) and salt/pepper for dinner; can it for future yums!! It makes great sweet breads and even baby food. You can even add brown sugar and butter for a great “Thanksgiving sweet potato” taste…
I promise to look the other way if you decide to add marshmallows to the top.
If you didn’t have the space to grow squash, it is incredibly reasonable to buy this time of year and stores until you have time to bake it. I’ve even been known to bake the flesh of my jack-o-lanterns on Halloween eve. Why not? I’ve already gone through the work of removing the seeds and since I carve my pumpkins the day of Halloween, it is still fresh. Waste not – Want not.