It’s been a while since we last peeked into the kitchen. Plenty has been happening but it’s usually gone before I get around to finding my camera and/or it’s so dark out the photos are dark and dreary. Thus, the few things I did manage to snap a pic of are frequent kitchen repeats that gave me ample opportunity.
Above: Apple Jelly, without pectin; this one is a money saver too as it uses up apple scraps. I found this recipe in Preserving in Today’s Kitchen but instead of using crabapples I use cores, peels etc. And I don’t use a microwave. Here’s my revised instructions.
Cover fruit scraps in enough water to cover well and simmer at least 10 minutes. I like to go longer- till the apple pieces are soft and can go through a food mill. Exact amounts don’t matter but as a guideline use 1 1/2 cups of water for 3 cups of scraps.
Strain the juice and measure. For every cup of juice use one cup of sugar and one Tablespoon lemon juice. Bring this mixture to a rapid boil until it thickens and gels. Then you can can it or just pour it in a jar and use out of the fridge. Apple jelly is great on toast, sandwiches and pork roasts to name a few. I run the rest of the scraps through the food mill and bake with the resulting applesauce – unless I give it to the chickens or pigs.
Chicken broth : the crock pot makes a low mess 24 hr bone broth easy. It also works on the stove top or wood stove. We’ve been going through a lot of it these days with all the soup I’ve been fixing for the winter colds going around. I also use a lot of chicken broth cooking other meals. When a dish only calls for a little bit of chicken broth I use some chicken broth “ice cubes”. These store well in the freezer and there’s no worrying if you can actually use up all that broth.
These grain free pumpkin whoopie pies from Deliciously Organic where great too. Very filling with all the protein from the nut flour. Next time I’ll process it in my food processor. I find that blending the nut flours in with the other ingredients (especially eggs) gives the finished baked good a much smoother texture. I’d also cut back on the salt.
And another way to use up apple scraps: fruit scrap apple cider vinegar. I use Sandor Katz’s fruit scrap vinegar recipe found in Wild Fermentation. Essentially 1/4 cup sugar to one quart water plus scraps. Let ferment a few weeks then strain out apples. I add a mother and let it age.
We’ve also been enjoying various versions of venison and/or pork sausage. Homemade sausage from our own pigs seasoned with herbs I grew and dried served with eggs from our chickens and fresh milk from our goats takes breakfast to a whole new level! I’ve been trying out different types of sausage: breakfast, Italian, andouille. When I use just venison I add a little bacon dripping too. It keeps the meat moist and adds flavor. I usually form patties, although hand rolled sausage “links” don’t work out too bad either. I have to get some casings one of these days! I’d also like to try some dry curing. Mmm salami!