Wednesday, July 31, 2013

JEAN'S SUMMER SQUASH CASSEROLE


JEAN'S SUMMER SQUASH CASSEROLE

2 lbs or 6 cups summer squash
1/4 Cup chopped onions
1 Can cream of chicken soup and liquid from squash
1 Cup sour cream (may use yogurt)
1 8 oz package herb seasoned stuffing mix
1/2 Cup butter

Cook sliced squash and onion in salted water for 5 minutes., drain.
Combine soup, and sour cream.
Add squash and onions.
Mix stuffing and melted butter.
Put half of stuffing mixture in bottom of 12 x 7 1/2 baking dish.
Add squash mixture and rest of the stuffing mix on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SUE ANN'S - LITTLE PUT UP JOBS

      LITTLE PUT UP JOBS

canning can get to be a lot of work, and tiring. It always comes at once! We have less than two months to preserve a year's worth of food! so, I make little put up jobs, that are fun, easy, quick...to have for Thanksgiving, Christmas...or when the wind is howling and it is COLD and gloomy!!! These are all things we all use at some point in time....

                                          STORE BOUGHT MUSTARD ( making mustard takes a lot of product and time!!)

Mixed herb mustard- 1 c of mustard of your choice
                               1 1/2 t, each, crumbled dried tarragon, thyme, sweet marjoram (or basil), and a pinch of oregano.
                               1/2 t minced fresh, or dried chives
                               1 t finely chopped parsley(fresh or dry)
                               a splash of lemon juice
                               pinch of salt, and pepper
Mix together well...store in fridge and use on your next sandwich!!!!

                            BLUEBERRY VINEGAR
                                yields- 4-5 c
6 c blueberries, fresh, or 2, 1 lb. bags from the freezer.
3 c white vinegar
5 T sugar
Crush the berries well..do not puree them. Use only half the berries this time, for the crushing...freeze the other half for later.
Combine berries and vinegar in a 2 qt. jar, or crock, and mix well. Cover container well..few layers of plastic wrap over the top, then the jar lid, or crock lid, or plate, if no crock lid. Set mixture off to the side of your counter...out of sunlight. Stir everyday for 3 weeks.
After 3 weeks- strain the vinegar off the berries.
Stir vinegar and sugar in a stainless steel pot, bring just to simmer,simmer, uncovered, 3 mins. Skim any foam off the top(remember from your jelly making days? Sugar + fruit+ heat= foam?!). strain vinegar thru a fine sieve, with cheesecloth inside. Bottle! You can put it in separate bottles for gifts,or in quart jars for storage at home. Add a few whole berries for garnish.....
This will keep just as long as any other store bought vinegar.....on your shelf..away from heat and light....if a sludge happens at the bottom ( from the berries) it is ok...will not cause it to go bad, or kill you.Use for your salad dressings, or use as the ONLY dressing. Some people like just vinegar on their salads.
   You can do this with strawberries- add 6 T sugar. Cherries- add 6 T sugar. Blackberries, 6 T sugar- the amount of vinegar is the same. Red raspberries do not need sugar added.

                            HERB VINEGARS
Cider vinegar is best for using with herbs,and also red wine vinegar- it is all a matter of what you like.
Fill a quart canning jar with vinegar, leave a 2" head space, for shaking. using dry herbs, (you will need "bunches", not from the bottles at the store), add 1 cup, to the vinegar. Cover with a lid, shake.....store on the shelf, and shake each day for 3 weeks. Strain, and re-jar. Some people heat the vinegar to just simmer...the heat can destroy some of the herb flavoring..so..I don't do it.
Your choice of herbs are many- the favorites I use are, mint, basil, tarragon (pretty strong), dill, rosemary, oregano, thyme, savory,chives.
It is nice to have flavored vinegars on the shelf, come winter...you can make an oil and vinegar dressing, using your newly made...
                               OLIVE OIL WITH HERBS
Use a quart canning jar- fill with fresh herbs- just like your choice for making vinegar- you can add a few peppercorns to it also. Cover the herbs with oil- almost to the brim. cover with a lid, and store in a cool, dark area for a month. It will be ready then. Now, leave the herbs in it! Use the oil, as you normally would, and keep adding oil to keep the herbs covered in it.....after about 6 months or so..the herbs lose their flavoring...so, strain the rest of the oil, and use it.! You can refrigerate this oil, but it will get cloudy, because of the cold. The oil will be fine.
                                   FLAVORED SUGARS
To 1 c sugar, add 1 t dried lavender flowers, that have been broken by hand a little(they are tiny flowers)
                    add 1 vanilla bean cut in half
 These sugars are nice in tea, or anything you use that you want to have a special taste added....You can increase the recipe- the standard is the 1c to 1 t.

                                             CLARIFIED BUTTER
 while clarified butter is the creme de la creme, for cooking, frying, baking, it is also a very good preservative covering...for....
                     POTTED CHEESE
For the butter: use 2-4 sticks of unsalted butter (depends on how much you think you will need), in a pot. heat the butter to simmer, and watch it.....for 15 mins., it will bubble and look foamy, that means all the moisture is being removed. Simmer on low another 5-10 mins...do not stir.You will know it is ready when the boiling action is less and the foam looks like it is getting dry. Do not let the butter turn brown! So WATCH it.remove from the heat and let cool 10 mins- also allows the sediments to settle. carefully pour off the clear golden liquid, into a small jar, small crock for the fridge, a small anything...stop pouring when the sediment is too close to coming out with the butter. Let the clarified bitter cool til it congeals then store in fridge. The rest of the butter and sediments in the pot, can still be used in any type cooking you want. Season veggies, noodles.
                                        BLACK WALNUT POTTED CHEESE

1/4 lb.sharp cheddar(not processed cheddar), shredded
1/4 lb. Monterey Jack, shredded
6 T softened butter
2 T dry white wine
Small pinch of ground mace
1/2 c medium chopped black walnuts( they have a fuller flavor), if not, use English walnuts.
clarified butter for sealing

Beat the cheeses and softened butter together, until creamy. don't try to make it TOO creamy, some texture is nice.
Beat in the wine and mace. May need a little more wine, if mixture is not soft enough. Stir in the walnuts.
Pack potted cheese tightly into small crocks ( like the size of custard dishes- can actually use custard dishes!) Try to push it down, so there are no air pockets...do the best you can. Leave a 1/4 " head space. Cover with clarified butter! Make sure the butter touches all sides of the dish. Let cool, then store in fridge, ready in time for Thanksgiving, Christmas. Makes fun gifts. Let come to room temperature before serving. You can wrap this in plastic wrap and freeze....but, it is meant to be for some use in the next 6-7 months. Now you can tell your friends you made cheese!!!!
You can do the same technique, to make a beer cheese
                              POTTED BEER CHEESE- "RABBIT"
3/4 lb. grated cheddar cheese
1 t dry mustard
2/3 c smooth flavored beer
1 stick softened butter
1 t Worcestershire sauce
generous pinch white pepper
Salt, to taste- may not need it
clarified butter for sealing

Place grated cheese in a bowl,add dry mustard and beer. Stir mixture,press the cheese down so it is covered by the beer, cover the bowl ( I use a linen towel), let sit overnight.
Place softened butter in bowl and beat til creamy. Add the cheese mixture, Worcestershire sauce, white pepper and salt. Beat til very smooth and creamy- can use a food processor- the salt and pepper is to taste- depends on the cheese. Pack in small crocks, leave 1/4" head space, seal with clarified butter. Let come to room temperature before serving.
Neither of these cheeses tastes like alcohol, when done.......so if you are not a person that drinks..this will not be a problem...the wine and beer add to the preservation.
  FOR THE HOT DAYS.....that are behind us, we hope! But August is yet to come!!! A fun cooler.
1 c sugar
1 1/2 c water
1 c mint leaves
1 c lemon juice
1 c grape juice
12 oz. ginger ale

(if you don't have mint leaves handy...use 3 mint tea bags). Combine sugar and water in pan, simmer for 5 mins, pour over mint leaves (tea bags), add lemon juice, cover and let steep 1 hr. Strain off mint leaves, or remove tea bags. Add grape juice, and before serving, add the ginger ale. Makes 2 qts.
                  This is also the time of year to be cutting and drying your flowers and herbs. Cut Tansy and hang in bunches upside down form the ceiling to dry for winter arrangements, cut your herbs in bunches and do the same, tie and hang upside down. silver King Artemesia is ready...cut and you can form swags and wreaths with it right away, fresh, and it will dry in that shape- just hang somewhere to dry, if giving as a gift, or hang on your wall now. You can also cut it to stand in crocks, as it retains the shape easily, dries slowly and smells so earthy and woodsy! Lass all winter, I sometimes put drops of scented oils on the leaves in the dead of winter..so the room will smell like lavender or lilac. If you have Money Plant- Lumneria- it is time to cut it and separate the thin seed casings, so the "silver money" is exposed, and you can save the seed to plant in another place in the yard next Spring, or share Lamb's Ears is ready too...cut the purple flower stalks before they open, they are prettier , but you can still cut them if the flowers have opened , just shake them well to remove the miniscule seeds.....and dry, upside down. In about 2 months time, all will be dried , the stalks will be firm and they will stand upright in anything you use for a display, or arrangement.
                     

Monday, July 29, 2013

JEAN.S COURT IS OVER !!!!!!

I know I messed up the system.  I was suppose to be all the Monday's but the last one each month.  I think I will get it right next month.

We did go to court and it is over.  Edward and Katie are our Foster Children until our adoptions go through.  Finally we got to court and found out who is filing and causing us all this.  The judge took Michael and Edward in separately to talk to them privately.  Even though they are minors, he wanted to hear what they thought of their treatment at our residence.  Also took in my parents, David's parents and Grandmother Olive and Grandfather Albert.  I don't know what Grandmother and Grandfather said, but when the judge came out he said that Grandmother Olive missed her calling and she should have been an attorney - she asked better questions than any attorney on either side of this case.

The person that started this was a distant relative of Edwards that he didn't even remember.  Hadn't seen this person since he was a little child.  The people filing didn't want to take care of him, but didn't want us to either especially seeing about the Old Order Mennonites in Canada, which hasn't gone to trial yet  We are happy it is over.  Social Services will still inspect our house from time to time like they always do.

Someone asked how Katie is doing. She still misses her parents.  Her great-grandparents gave us a scrap book of pictures of her parents and family.  Usually we do not have pictures, but our Bishop allowed the scrap book for Katie.  She and Susan are like two peas in a pod, but Susan will be starting school next month, so we are taking Katie places with David and I so she gets use to Susan not being here all the time.

Katie has her chores and is doing well.  She still wonders why we don't have a car as it is faster than our horse and buggy and why she can't watch cartoons.  We explain our ways to her.  She says "oh" and just goes along with us.

David, Michael and Edward got her new bedroom set done and in her room.  We took the other set back to Martha and Joseph's.  We also got her a new mattress and box spring.  She really likes her bedroom.

We don't have to teach her English, we are teaching our German-Dutch language.  She helps us work in the garden, in the kitchen, chores in feeding the chickens, collecting the eggs, in the green houses and more.   Meetings (church) use to be long for her, but she has gotten use to it.  She has also made lots of friends.

Edward finally got his walking cast.  Now he can walk with a cane.  He still uses the wheel chair in the kitchen.  Gets around the kitchen better with the chair.

I know there are question you have asked, so I will be answering them in the next post.

Be With God,
Jean

Sunday, July 28, 2013

PIERRE'S "THE BARK" - MOUSE HAS A HOME AND MORE

Mom hadn't let me on the computer, so I thought I would get on this morning when she isn't looking.  I have so many things to tell you about.

We haven't found Bandit, my black cat buddy, that disappeared.  We don't know what happened to him.  I still miss him a lot.  All of the neighbor has looked high and low for him and we haven't found him anywhere. Maybe he has gone to heaven to be with the Lord.

Mom found a white mouse under our house, but it moved across the street.  One day it was gone, we don't know if one of the cats got it or what.  The next day, we had a white mouse with a grey face move in under our house.
He, too, had been someone's pet that had been let lose.   He would let Mom and I come right up to it.  I could sniff it and Mom could pet it, but it wouldn't let us pick it up.  Our neighbor would find it in his bird feeder eating away and then it would take a nap-still in the feeder.  He called all the Humane Society's and they said the would put it to sleep if they got it.  Neighbor mentioned it to his niece and she raises mice for pets.  She said if he could catch him, she would take it home to add with her other mice.  Our neighbor tried hard to catch the mouse.  Mouse was smart.  He would get the food, but not get caught.  Finally the neighbor caught him and his niece came over and got it.  She took it to the vet to have it checked out.  Then mouse went to her house and got a bath before he was put in with her other mice.  Mouse now is in a special LARGE cage with the other mice where he can play and is fed.  The mouse is happy and safe now.

My Mom is concerned about St. Bernard dog, Harvey.  He is very friendly, loves people and other dogs, although I bark at him, and is skinny.  The children taught him how to open the doors so he gets out and comes into the garbage behind our apartments looking for something to eat.  Mom has fed him some of my dog good.  She is not suppose to as it is against apartment rules, but she can't stand to see Harvey hungry.  His owner came to get him and told Mom that his wife doesn't like such a big dog, so he can't keep it.  He takes him to his parents, but they don't really want him. My Mom  almost said that if she had a choice between the dog or a spouce - she would have taken the dog-but she didn't.  Mom would like to find a good home for Harvey.  She prays that God will give him a great home where he is loved, fed, cared for and played with-like me.

Now about ME !!!  My Mom was suppose to get me groomed the beginning of July, but the car broke down and Mom had to get it fixed.  I really needed to be groomed.  One day, Lily's Mom called and said that the dog groomer had an appointment for me.  Mom said it would have to wait until next month.  Lily's Mom said it was paid for.  So Lily's Mom came and took me to the groomer's and brought me back while Mom was at work.  It seems a bunch of the ladies that like me  and Uncle Greg (our maintenance man) pooled their money together to pay for the bill and tip.  They won't let Mom pay them back either.  I feel so much cooler now that I have been groomed.  I thanked them all for Mom and me.

Mom is coming.  I better get off.

Love,
Pierre





Friday, July 26, 2013

MENNONITE LADY MOWING HER LAWN

Driving home from the Haiti Auction after I had left Jean and her family off, I saw this lady mowing her lawn.  She had a gas lawn mower.  I think she had the worst part to do right along the highway like that.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

SUE ANN'S BEYOND APPLESAUCE

 BEYOND APPLESAUCE

Many people know how to make applesauce, you wash the apples, core them, slice them a bit, put in a pot with water barely covering the bottom, simmer til really really soft, then run all of it thru a food mill......what comes out of the food mill is the "sauce", but, what do you do with the stuff IN the food mill? Most people put it into the compost pile.......but..I have another idea for those that like to make gifts to give, or keep.....and it is something no one else will have ! Or make, but YOU!
                            APPLE POMANDERS

Wash your apples, pull the stems, core, and cut up, as you would for making applesauce..because you NEED to make the applesauce to make these! Once you have run the cooked apples thru the food mill, DO NOT THROW AWAY THE PULP IN THE TOP OF THE FOOD MILL!!! Put the pulp in a bowl, and put in the fridge, if you are still making more applesauce.....any amount of apples is ok...this is a very loose recipe..you make with what you have....I will give you a "for instance", so you can figure how to do the spice amounts, etc.....
When you are done "saucing", you can store the apple pulp in the fridge, covered, for about 2 days...if you have to do the canning and other things.....
  Take the pulp out of the fridge, and put in a large strainer and allow to drain for about an hour....you want it as dry as possible pulp.
 4 c drained pulp, stir in a heaping T ground cloves, 1 T ground nutmeg, 2 t ground ginger, 3 T ground, or powdered orris root ( you can find this at most health food stores, some pharmacies, and can be ordered on-line also, from Frontier Herbs).  Mix well.
  Now the fun begins....get your hands in the pulp and shape into 2 " balls.....about the size of a black walnut...make them as tight as you can- they will shrink.
 Mix in a bowl: 6 T orris root, 1/2 c EACH, of ground cinnamon and ground cloves.
Roll the 2" apple pulp balls in this mixture, covering well.
This makes between 50-55 balls.
 NOW, you say...what do I do with them!!!!! For people with small spaces, get a shoe box, 2 shoe boxes, and line with with tissue paper, even up the sides a bit, place the balls in there...leave a space between them......when you have them all in the boxes, the remaining spice mix you rolled them in? sprinkle it ALL, over all the balls.....use it all up.....set the boxes in a place that gets very little light...I have used under the bed before!  Now...EVERY DAY.........turn your balls, and roll them a bit in any of the spices in the tissue...put them back, and keep repeating this every day...until they are firmly dried and fairly hard...could take 2 months.....usually around November, they are ready and I wrap them for gifts.
If you have more room, take an old screen....for a small window, place white tissue paper over all of it, lay the balls on it, and sprinkle the remaining spices evenly over, and do the same thing, turn them everyday..keep out of the light....They will look a little funky at first..maybe the first week...but stay faithful! They DO dry, they do not mold or mildew........For gifts, I wrap 2-3 in a small bag. You can use them loose in your drawers , for linens, or towels, or the unmentionables!!! I sometimes hang the bags on the clothes hanger in the closet...for winter or summer clothes...they are great in a cedar chest.....
For those wondering..Orris Root has a slight violet scent..but it actually is used for "holding" the scent of something..in this case...cinnamon, cloves....it is known as a fixative.
  SMALLER PULP RECIPE

I did the math for you! Every year is so different..so here are some figures:
            1 c pulp
             1/4 T cloves
            1/4 T cinnamon
             1/4 T nutmeg
1/2 T orris root
1/2 t ginger
     SPICE MIX TO ROLL IN:
  
     1.5 T orris root
     1/8 c cloves

           2 c pulp
          1/2 T cloves
          1/2 T nutmeg
          1 t ginger
          1 1/2 T orris root

SPICE MIX TO ROLL IN

3 T orris root
1/4 c each, cinnamon and cloves

Now..there are some that do not make applesauce but would really like to make these....go buy a jar of applesauce!!! Try to get unsweetened, and not chunky......put the store bought applesauce in a colander and let drain...yes, there is still water in it.....when you are certain it is "dry", proceed to make the pomanders the way written, above..you will get the similar product...this way is a more smooth ball, the pulp will be a bit more organic in looks....because of the peels.
It is important to remember to rotate them each day..just takes a few seconds to do....so they dry on all sides and thru and thru.......

There are lots of ideas for using these..tie them in color squares and hang on the Christmas tree...use them at Thanksgiving in a bowl, tie them in orange and yellow squares....I have used organdy bags, cotton cloth bags, squares of holiday fabric and tied with a ribbon...The point is...you are making a useful item for a waste product!! And you can use up bits and pieces of ribbon, fabric....so nothing is really a "waste"! I love making these every year.......I do for sure one batch a year...if I have time I do a second one......they will last many years in the drawers...or hanging in the cupboards.....when you tire of them...compost them!
f'

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

EDWARD'S STRAWBERRY BREAD


EDWARD'S STRAWBERRY BREAD\

1 1/2 Cups fresh strawberries, sliced (or 1 pkg 10 oz frozen sliced strawberries)
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 Teasp. baking soda
1/2 teasp. sa;t
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 9 x 5 x 3 bread pan.
In medium bowl, stir together strawberries, eggs and oil.
In Separate bowl mix remaining ingredients and add to strawberry mixture. Mix until blended.
Pour into bread pan.
Bake 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until top of bread is brown or springs back.
Serve with butter or cream cheese.

Edward made this bread from a recipe that came from his Grandmother.  Our family really enjoyed it and thought you might, too.

Be With God,
Jean

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

SUE ANN'S PICKELS

    PICKLES!

Making pickles is easy. It is a form of preserving foods...using vinegar and sugar, then canning in a hot water bath. It is important to use fresh as possible fruits, and the vinegar must be at the very least 5% strength...for success. Most vinegars, cider, and white, are usually sold at that percentage. Also, remember when salt is called for, to use canning salt, kosher salt, coarse salt, anything but table salt.
If you buy any squash, other than a farmer's market, like, at the grocery, you MUST use a vegetable brush and scrub fairly hard-not enough to remove the skin..but a really good scrub, because they have a light wax coating on them, and that prevents any pickle ingredients from penetrating and pickling well. The waxed coating is used to make the produce look good, plus it protects the skins a bit, during transit. 
You can make pickles anytime of year, as long as you have the produce! Many times, in my neck of the woods, there is always a good deal on food stuffs. around January...and I make a lot of "mixed pickles".
I will give you a lot of recipes, but remember, canning rules apply, for hot water bath, and watch the canning times at the end of each recipe. You have an imagination, you can make pickles!
                      Some one asked for sweet pickle that does not get mushy. Mushy pickles happen when the vegetable is too old, not enough vinegar has been used, or the right strength, or sugar. Also using the wrong type salt will do it too. Some people swear by using pickling lime...I have used it a few times and really did'nt care for it.....it is used mostly in making crock pickles, but can be used in regular recipes too.
       SWEET PICKLE SPEARS

4 lbs. cucumbers
3 3/4 c vinegar
3 T canning salt
4 t celery seed
4 t turmeric
1 1/2 t mustard seed

Slice ends from cucumbers and cut into spears(no need to skin).Cover with boiling water, let stand 2 hrs(gets the bitterness out).Drain, and pack spears into jars. Bring all remaining ingredients to a boil, pour over spears to a 1/4" head space. Process 10 mins in hot water bath, yields: 10 half pints. (you can also make this into pints if you want, same processing time, or qts., add 5 mins to processing.
  
Remember, recipes can be suited for what produce you have, so you have 2 lbs cukes, divide the rest in half, or you have 6 lbs. add - not everyone always has the amounts a recipe calls for..I seldom do. I do a lot of math during canning time!!! I looked this particular recipe up, and found it in 3 of my books, each book is 50 yrs apart from publishing date! I have made these always, the first sweets I do in the season, and I was surprised to see it is a standard type sweet. The soaking in boiling water plays a big part in the cucumbers staying crisp...
    
        PICKLED GREEN CHERRY TOMATOES
(for those that have a plant...for the fall when all they are are green!!! They look like olives when pickled, and taste like sour dill....good in salads.)

1 pint green cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 t dill seed
1/4 c white vinegar
2 t canning salt
1 t mustard seed

Wash tomatoes, pack in jars, add garlic clove, and dill seed
combine vinegar, salt, and 1/2 c water in sauce pan. Bring to a boil,pour into jar, 1/8" head space. Water bath- 10 mins. Yields, 1 pt. ( you increase the ingredients, for the amount cherry tomatoes you have-you can put just this one pint in the fridge, and they will be ready in a week to eat.)

                 BREAD and BUTTER PICKLES

4 lbs. cukes, cut into thin slices (the neat thing with pickles..is you make them the way you like them!!! Sometimes I make chunks and not slices)
2 lbs. thinly sliced onions
1/3 c canning salt
3 c vinegar (the same goes for vinegars..if you like cider better than white, then use that.)
2 c sugar
2 T mustard seed
2 t turmeric
2 t celery seed
1 t ginger
1 t peppercorns

Combine cucumbers and onion in large bowl, layer with salt, cover with ice cubes, cover with a cloth, let stand 1 1/2 hrs.(crispy!!)
Place remaining ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Drain the onion/cuke mix, add to the liquid, and return to just a boil. 
Pack jars leaving 1/4 " head space. can, 10 mins, yields: 7 pints.
I would pack the onion, cuke mix first, then cover with the liquid.

NOW, you say, I ran out of liquid!!!! It does happen......so...I keep a pot of hot water on the stove, simmering.....fill your jars best you can with your vinegar mix, if you think you will be a little short....even the liquid out between the jars, then top all the jars off with the water....you should not use TOO much water...or it will dilute your pickle!!! MUSHY!!!! Sometimes, I will make a half batch of the vinegar mix...to have at the ready.....in the end, when I am done filling and canning.......if I have at the very least a pint, or quart of the vinegar mix leftover, I can that too! For next year!! Just lable it so you know which pickle it goes to, sugar is not cheap!!! So try to save it if you can.

QUICK PICKLED VEGGIES
(when you have odds and ends, or find them cheap...)

2 c cauliflower florets
2 c 1/2" thick cut carrots
2 c 1" thick cut zucchini
1 c 1" cut squares green pepper
1 c 1" cut squares red pepper
2 springs fresh tarragon( or 2 t dried)
2 1/2 c water
1 1/2 c white vinegar + 3/4 c
2/3 c sugar
1 T kosher salt
2 t mustard seed

Wash and cut all veggies. Combine in a very large bowl.......Bring liquids and spices to a boil, reduce to a simmer, for 10 mins. Bring to a boil again and pour over veggies. Stir well.
Put in a large jar or several jars, let cool, then store in the fridge. stir each day, ready in 3 days.
This is a "fresh" pickle..ready to eat. more or less. You can can these...the difference would be you need to dissolve the salt in the water, pour over the veggies, then let stand...about 14 hrs...because
  there are so many types veggies involved...then proceed as usual and water bath can- 15 mins. for pints.
                                       VARIATIONS ON A THEME......of the above pickle

1 qt. 1" cucumber slices
2 c  1 1/2 " celery slices
2 c peeled pickling onions (some call them "lightbulbs")

When I do variations, like this, I will add like a t more of spice, and a T more of salt....smidge more sugar and vinegar too....a lot has to do with how much product you have to begin with..if you have ALL the above vegetables....for both pickles, then it would be 1 c salt, 4 qts. water, 2 c sugar, 1/4 c mustard seed, 6 1/2 c vinegar, - remember tho..the increases are if you hot water bath....the water and salt increase is for the soaking period. Just to make and put in the fridge, follow the regular directions....I like to make these as a "fancy" pickle..notice the different colors, and the different types cuts, to give shape presentation!!! People will just admire you for these and they are so simple to do!

                                      MELON MOONS
Why pickle just a vegetable!!  Now you can try using pickling lime! Cantaloupes need help!!!

1 qt. water
6 c melon balls ( or cubes)
1 1/2 t pickling lime
2 1/4 c cider vinegar
1 1/2 c water ( I know....2 waters mentioned...!!)
3 c sugar
2 1/2 t whole cloves
1 1/2 t broken whole cinnamon stick ( I never really did this..I just broke up a 6" stick! I mean , WHO measures a broken stick?!)

 Stir the water ( first one mentioned), and pickling lime together in a stainless or ceramic, bowl.Let stand for an hour...lime will not dissolve completely.
Meanwhile, prepare your melon balls..using a "melon baller", or small scoop.  Be sure you have cleaned all the seeds and membranes out first. You can also cut them into 1 " cubes.
Ad the melon balls to lime mixture, stir well, cover with a cloth, let stand 5 hrs. Drain off solution, rinse well with cold water, stirring gently, do this 3 times in a row.....no one wants to taste lime!!! 
On the final rinse (number 3), cover them ONE MORE TIME with fresh cold water and let stand 3 hrs. The drain them in a big colander.....lime is all gone and melons are firm.
Combine vinegar, water, sugar,in a big pot, tie cloves and cinnamon stick in a spice bag( cheesecloth), and drop in, stir well, bring to a boil over med. heat,cover, reduce heat to simmer, for 5 mins..
Add the melon balls, bring to  boil again over med heat, cover, reduce to a bubbling simmer, and cook until melon is semi translucent around the edges, and feel firm/ tender with a fork- about 1 to 1/12 hours. The timing for this stage has a lot to do with how ripe the melon is, or is not.
Remove from heat, discard spice bag. Spoon melons into pints, or half pints, cover with the syrup, 1/2" to 3/4 " head space( this is one of the few times you see a choice-has to do with the melon size...Hot water bath, 15 mins, either size jar.
Now..this looks like a lot...but it is something special only YOU can do !! And besides..while you are waiting on the soaking, etc...you can be getting set-up for canning, read a book, make some cookies!! Never a lost time in the kitchen! 
                                                             WATERMELON PICKLES
(watermelon rind)

My notes from last year, 3/4 of any size watermelon makes 6 1/2 pts.
                                      Rind of one large watermelon. You need to remove all the pink..eat it! Or use it for watermelon jelly- and all the green-you want ONLY the white, that is between the two layers.. Cut into 1" cubes(I sometimes do strips...cubes get boring!). And soak overnight in salt and water solution- 4T salt(canning) and 1 qt. water. Drain the next day..do not rinse. Make a syrup of 8c sugar,4 c vinegar ( over the years I found white to be the best),8 t whole cloves,16 sticks cinnamon ( 4" will do), and 1 t mustard seed. Tie spices in a bag. Heat syrup and spice to a boil and , then let set...15 mins(off the fire, covered). Add melon rind, and bring to a boil again, reduce to a bubbling simmer...simmer until rind is transparent.(note..watermelon is transparent, cantaloupe is translucent).
This could be about an hour...hour and a half..keep an eye on it...then pack, leave a 1/4" head space. hot water bath, 10 mins. 
I make these is half pints as these ARE special..and a little longer to make....but are so good!

Someone asked about an apple pie filling that was not so sweet...I do not can just apple pie filling.....we get so many apples at one time, I do not have the time to do that....I can apple slices....in a very light sugar syrup- you cannot get around canning anything without sugar..but you can do a very light syrup...when I want to make a pie, I drain the apples and use them..adding my spices and such as I go along.....it would be, 1 c sugar, to 2 c water.
  Someone also asked about canning poultry, which I do not do..but I can tell you about the people I know that have done it...they had farms! To begin with, and large families, and LOTS of poultry. If you are looking to can just certain types poultry, pieces of it, and you do not have a lot of it...you are better off freezing..as pressure canning it is a very long tim..example: a quart or pint, or any cut, is 85 mins in a pressure canner.....now, to me, trying to be economical, that is NOT money saving! A freezer is better..even if someone  gives you2 or 3 whole chickens.....freezer is still the best route. Now, if you want to add meat and poultry to a soup or stew.....you are still looking at 85 mins in the pressure canner, as you can the time, for the longest food you are mixing.... Canning meats only pays off..if the quantity over whelms the storage...if you have a small freezer and you get a side of beef....! 

I am not sure if I have answered all the questions that were asked on pickles......if you can grow it, buy it, you can pickle it!!! ANYTHING! Yes...anything..pickled corn....pickled onions, pickled okra....pickled pig's feet......anything. So...if you want a recipe for something, I am sure I have it, or have made it....just ask! I wanted to give you 2 basic pickles and 2 special ones..I do have another style recipe for cantaloupe pickles not using the lime..and zucchini pickles, pickled peppers, you name it..!!!




Monday, July 22, 2013

ELMER - HOW THE MENNONITE AND AMISH RELIGIONS WERE FOUNDED

In order to tell you how the Amish Religion was founded, I have to explain how the Mennonite Religion was founded.  The way was long, but I will try to make it as short as possible.

First, the Mennonites, like the Amish, are not all alike.  Most of the Mennonites dress in modern clothes-like yours, drive modern cars-like yours, and live much like you in the world.  These Mennonites still practice a non-resistance or pacifism, and refuse to participate in any form of violence.  Another group is the Old Order Mennonites, made up of Jean, David, Martha, Joseph and thousands more.  They dress plain, use horse and buggy, and live the life that Jean has told you about on here and Amish Stories.  The third group of the Mennonites is the conservative group that dress like Jean and David, but drive cars and are open to a more modern technology and church programs, but still preserve a separated lifestyle.

Now that I have you confused, again, I will tell your how the Mennonite Religion was founded and then the Amish.  Founding of the Mennonite religion goes back to the Protestant Reformation when a movement was started by Martin Luther, separating from the Catholic Church in 1517.  Reformation groups throughout Europe felt that the Catholic Church did not meet the needs of the people or the standards of God.  A small group of young adults had been meeting for Bible study and prayer at Zurich, Switzerland in 1525.  Their beliefs were that adults should be baptized on confession of faith and that they should be separated from the ways of world and state and should not take part in any form of violence.They also felt that only truly converted Christians living holy, dedicated lives should be members.  Because of these beliefs, they felt convicted to re-baptize each other.  At that time, they were called Anabaptists.

Despite the persecution, torture, and martyrdom to them by both Catholics and Protestants, the Anabaptist religion grew.  (The history of our persecution, torture and martyrdom are in a book: The Martyrs' Mirror.  This book is in most Amish and Mennonite homes.)  In Holland, a Catholic Priest named Menno Simons had been following the Anabaptists.  In 1536 Simons joined the Anabaptists.  He studied the Bible Scriptures, he also wrote and taught about community, helping others, support to widows and children, nonviolence, servant hood and peacemaking. Simons became a leader of the Anabaptists.  Over the years, the Anabaptists have accepted the name Mennonites. When migration was started to North America by William Penn for religious freedom, Mennonites was one of the first to come.

Despite what some of the Amish, Mennonites and Englishers believe, shunning was not the only reason that the  Amish separated from the Mennonites.  There were differences among some of the Mennonites when in 1693, Jacob Ammann, a church leader, felt that not all the church leaders were following the strict separation from the world.  They did not believe in the shunning, washing of feet, communion, not marrying outsiders, the way of dress and more.   Ammann separated from the Anabaptist Mennonites  and his followers were called Amish.

After migration to North America, the Mennonites now do many of the things that separated the Amish like  washing of feet, communion, marrying only members of their church and more.   Still there are differences. There is a lot more to the founding of both the Mennonite and Amish religions that I left out. but I wanted to keep this shorter.   Also, some Mennonites and Amish have never forgotten the separation history.  In some areas Mennonites and Amish keep separate, don't associate unless necessary.  I am glad that the area we live in is not that way-although we have our religious  differences, we are one with the Lord.

My next post will be on the differences of the Old Order Mennonites and Old Order Amish, today.

Trust God's Wisdom,
Elmer



Sunday, July 21, 2013

THE WALLS COME A TUMBLING DOWN !!!

In May, I had a post on about the fire on Main Street in our town.  Well times are a changing.  Many of you remember my mentioning that Mark Crane, who owned Mark's Pizza that was a total loss in that fire, called two of his other stores to bring pizzas for the firemen and firewomen.  While the fire was burning a bunch of us were talking saying it would be nice if Mark bought the properties next to his restaurant and built something there.  I don't think Mark ever heard us - but he did purchase the buildings. These buildings were torn down  and Mark is going to build a Mark's Pizza Restaurant where you can go in to get take outs or go in and enjoy dinner with room for conventions, parties, receptions, etc.  Also, Mark, is building a little park where people can eat outside or just sit and enjoy the park.  Mark founded Mark's pizza in our town in 1982,  He wanted his new restaurant where his first restaurant was, but larger so he bought the buildings.  As of now, these should be cleared and the new restaurant up in three months. I thank Mark, so much, for doing this for our village.  I know Palmyra means a lot to you, Mark, being the founding home of your business and you mean a lot to us for saving the part of our village, lost in the fire.

Marilyn

ELMER IS COMING TOMORROW TO TELL OF THE FOUNDING OF THE MENNONITE AND AMISH RELIGIONS.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

MAYBE THESE WILL COOL YOU DOWN !!!!!

Thought seeing this snow might cool us down.  While we are in the 90's to over 100 degrees, in some areas, this might remind us of what will be coming in few months.  I took these pictures last February.

I HAVE ANOTHER POST ON TOMORROW MORNING SHOWING PICTURES OF PROGRESS SINCE OUR VILLAGE FIRE LAST MAY.

Friday, July 19, 2013

GRABER'S VEGETABLE AND RAG RUG'S BARN

Many of you may remember the Graber's from the accident that Amanda had in a buggy about a year ago and that was the first time I went to their home.  I have been there several times since.  Seeing that the Miller's house isn't to far from the Graber's house, I went over there last Saturday and got pictures of the vegetables and items they sell inside their barn.   I got permission from one of the Granddaughters to take pictures.  Note, they still have the rag rugs for sale at $20.00 a piece, which I think is a great price.  As you can see, I was there late in the afternoon and a lot of their items were sold.  They are open from Monday through Saturday.

 Each of these rag rugs are handmade by Amish Grandmother, Amanda Graber.  Her Granddaughter  told me that there are a lot more in the house, in about every color.  If you wish to purchase one or more, her price is $20.00 each.  I charge $10.00 postage.  I accept Pay Pal or Postal Money Orders for rag rug and postage.  If you purchase, I will let you know when I get it and mail it.  If you wish to purchase, please contact me at:
lincolnlady1121@yahoo.com

Thursday, July 18, 2013

SUE ANN'S FREEZING VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

               FREEZING VEGETABLES

Vegetables are very easy to freeze. They last just about a year in a freezer..so the summer is a great time to plan what to put away for Winter. Most vegetables freeze well..some are not really good to do. Freezing stops the food sugars from crystalizing and beginning decomposing....it can also dry the food out, and when it is thawed, some foods get mushy, and are not flavorful at all. If you prepare vegetables IN a dish, and want to freeze it, that is easy too...and sometimes a better way to go with some of the veggies.....If you have a lot of okra, then make a huge pot of gumbo and freeze the gumbo...okra frozen can be tough, or mushy, when thawed, depending on when you picked it. All vegetables need some type of prep before you freeze.I will give you a list of a lot of the most common ones frozen. as in ALL preserving recipes, the term "salt", is canning salt.

Green Beans-   wash, snap (the pointy tips and the stem ends) ,then blanch.Some people also call blanching, scalding...same thing...quick heat shock to the food..then food is removed from it and chilled quickly. scald 3 mins, then cool immediately. I use a sink of cold water with ice cubes in it and keep adding water or ice, until the food is cold.Maybe 5 mins is all it takes.  Package, label, freeze.

Lima Beans- wash, shell, blanch 3 mins, cool, package and label, freeze.

Beets-  remove tops, wash, cook til tender, cool, remove skins, cut however you like, package, label, freeze.

Broccoli- wash, remove leave or any woody parts, immerse in salt water(like I mentioned in an earlier post), about 30 mins. rinse and drain. Blanch med. heads 3 mins., large heads, 4 mins., cool package, label, freeze.

Brussels Sprouts- remove coars outer leaves, wash, blanch small size, 3 mins, med. size 4 mins., large size, 5 mins. cool, drain, package, label, freeze.

Do you see the basic technique for freezing? It is all the same.....you really need to know only the minutes to blanch.


Carrots- carrot sections, blanch 3 mins, whole carrots, 5 mins.
Cauliflower- soak in salted water in the sink-30 mins, rinse, drain. Blanch med size , 3 mins., large size, 5 mins.

I could go on forever on what you can freeze!!! You can find it very easy on the internet, and pretty well trust what you read about freezing, as it is the easiest food prep around and does not harm the food, or you....if you forget to blanch, or cold water bath after, etc...it is one of the only food preps, that if you forget a step...all will still be ok....when thawed..... In freezing foods, you have more of a choice...questions to ask yourself when faced with 15 lbs of tomatoes......what do I like? What will I use? what do I need the most of?
If you answer, spaghetti sauce..then that one is sooo easy..wash the WHOLE tomatoes..and bag them and freeze them! when thawed..toss them in a pot to cook down for the start of your sauce. That is just one example. If you can imagine it..you can prepare the foods to freeze, for when you want to cook .....Many times I have too many things to do at once, in the fresh veggie department, so I quick freeze a lot of them..to be thought about in the deep dark winter when I am looking for something to do!!!! Much easier to freeze veggie stew ingredients separately on a hot humid day...then, on a cold winter day, I can simmer it all day !!! and warm the kitchen!
                          FREEZER SLAW
great to make -you will be the only one with fresh slaw in the middle of January!!!

1 med cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, grated
1 green pepper, chopped
1 t salt
1 c vinegar (your choice)
1/4 c water
1 t whole mustard seed
1 t celery seed
2 c sugar
 Mix salt with shredded cabbage, let stand 1 hour, drain, squeeze out excess moisture. Add grated carrot, green pepper, let stand, while you make the dressing.
 DRESSING

Combine in saucepan, vinegar, water, mustard seed, celery seed, sugar. Boil 1 min. Cool. Pour over slaw mixture. Put into tight fitting containers, freeze. Thaws quickly for use and can be re-frozen.

                                      CUCUMBER SLICES, FROZEN

8 c sliced cukes ( peel or not to peel..that is up to you)
1 lg. onion, sliced
2 T salt
(slice cukes and onions thin)
Mix well, soak for 2 hours, or overnight in the fridge. Pour off any liquid (the salt will draw the bitterness out of the cabbage....)
ADD, 1/2 c vinegar. 1 1/2 c sugar
DO NOT COOK
Package and freeze.

This is a very basic freezer pickle, you can add spices as you like, and even other vegetables-remember...that if you slice one veggie thin, then ALL the veggies have to be thin..or, if you slice them chunky, the same applies.....it has to do with all the veggies absorbing the flavorings, equally...

Yes, you can freeze whole, peeled, cooked til tender, potatoes, yes you can freeze corn in any shape or form, yes you can freeze mushrooms.....
          FREEZING FRUITS
the only thing  easier than freezing veggies~
 soft fruits are simple to do, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, huckleberries, lodenberries, etc...wash , drain, dry , then package in the amounts you will use them...the best way is to freeze a quart at a time....too much in a container, and it may not all equally freeze. I lace a square of parchment paper over the tops, before I close the lid..to help fight freezer burn...and it works. Do not try to freeze whole graes, or gooseberries.....the skins prevent proper freezing. I know people freeze grapes for soccer teams and hockey teams....but that is very short term..like, overnight!!!! For long term, the skins must be removed...burt instead of going thru the agony of de-skinning teeny grapes..make a recipe with them and freeze that...once the grapes are "changed", as in a freezer salad....the "skin rule" changes too, as they are now busy doing something else..like absorbing a liquid of some sort....Do any of you remember the "famous frozen jello grape dessert" from the 1950's? Google it and you will find it..that was the "hot" dessert of our moms' time, or, in some cases here, our grandmothers' time!!
 To freeze other fruits off trees.....the basic prep is all the same...they still need to be in a syrup pack, as if you were canning..if you don't-they will turn color, soften,become mealy. apples, peaches, pears, fall under this syrup catagory. There are so many teeny nuances to many fruits...each, would just about be a post in itself...apricots, necterines, pineapple, fall under this-and bananas too! So...if you have specific fruits....it wold be easier for me to answer you, then to list so many, that you may never even do..or see! Saves me the typing!
I was thinking on pickles..and I will do one post for them.....and separate it by crock, canning, freezing.....you have one freezer one here today..but there are more! The nice thing about the freezer..is ANYTHING can go in it...as long as you mark your containers..and remember it is in there!! I mentioned keeping a canning note book..well..add your freezer items in that too....then you can look back and see what you have...without opening the doors..and taking everything out and wondering what it is! Your notebook will tell you! I am sure I have missed someone's questions, so let me know! I will answer in the comments!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

JEAN'S APPLE COFFEE CAKE

JEAN'S APPLE COFFEE CAKE

1 21 oz can apple pie filling
2 t cinnamon
3 c flour
1 c sugar
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 c margarine, softened
3 t baking powder
3 eggs
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c chopped nuts
2 T melted butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray 13" x 9" x 2" pan with Pam
Mix pie filling with cinnamon.
Constantly beat for 30 seconds, flour, sugar, milk, softened margarine, baking powder and eggs in large bowl.
Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl frequently for 2 minutes.
Pour 1/2 into pan.  Spoon half of pie filling over batter.
Repeat with remaining batter and pie filling.
Sprinkle brown sugar and nuts over pie filling.
Drizzle with melted butter.
Bake 45-55 minutes.  Serve warm.

GLAZE TOPPING:

3/4 c. confectioners' sugar
1 T. softened margarine
3/4 t. vanilla
2-3 t. hot water

Beat together until smooth and desired consistency is reached.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

SUE ANN'S - JAMS, JELLIES, AND MORE

      JAMS, JELLIES, and MORE!

Jelly- made from just the juice.
Butters-  cooking fruit pulp til a thick spreading consistency.
Conserves- jam like, using two or more fruits. A true conserve also has nuts and raisins included.
Jams-
cooking crushed or chopped fruit til thick..usually made in small batches.
Marmalades- soft fruit jellies containing fruit pieces or peel. also cooked in small batches.
Preserves- fruits preserved with sugar so they keep their shape, syrup is like a thick jelly.
Pectin- natural "gel" agent found in most fruits, useful because it causes the product to "gel". some fruits have a lower pectin naturally, so added pectin is needed for a firm gel, either powdered or liquid , pectin is added.
Sugar-aids in preserving the food, adds to the "gel", helps with flavor and color.
Jellying Point- used to test if jelly or jam, etc, is ready to take off the fire. Lift a spoonful of liquid out of the pot, when it first starts to boil, the drops will be light in color and syrupy. Later, as it boils, the drops will fall off the spoon 2 drops at a time, then even later in the boil, the color deepens, and the drops fall off the spoon in a "sheet"- one drop after the other...connected.This is the point to take it off the firs and can.
Those are your words for the week!!! will make it easier for me to explain, as I write to you. Pectin is THE most important thing in making any of the above! Some fruits have a lot..some not so much...so you need to follow recipes as you find them, for many people have tried making these products and have found the ways for them to be made successfully. Powdered pectin is the norm, to use.....a box per each pot made...all these above products are a true one at a time type thing.....you make a pot of something, you can it..clean up, make another pot, can it, and repeat thru the day, depending on how much produce you have. These are considered "fancy foods", so they would be made last.....juices, sauces, syrups, pickles(yes you can pickle fruits!), would all be made first......and anything left, would become a jam, jelly, etc..(in the old days! How I was raised!)
Liquid pectin is used usually for REAL specialty types, like rose petal jelly, wine jelly, herb jelly- things that do not have pectin naturally.The difference between the two pectins is a density thing....you make a "sauce" with herbs...so you use a "sauce" pectin. Now, I have seen people who SWEAR by only liquid, and SWEAR by only powdered. I don't argue!! LOL! I follow recipes...!! Make my own notes...!
The premise is the same, in making all these products, you have the fruit...you wash it, you prepare it for what you want to with it, you have your kitchen set-up for canning, or freezing, or just putting in the fridge. Once you start the process...you cannot stop..so you have to have the time for this. The fruits are tossed in a pot, sugar (some recipes add the sugar first, the pectin second) is added, brought to a boil that cannot be stirred down(you are stirring constantly, I read a book during this first part..can be boring staring at a pot!), then the pectin is added all at once, and stirred again to a boil that cannot be stirred down, then boiled for however many mins. the recipe states, then off the fire, skim the foam(scum), put in jars, skim again, then can. Same process over and over...for any fruit...any type product made.
Fruit jams CAN be made without pectin, jellies, not so much. For the jams, you wash the fruit, put in a pot, with just BARELY enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, medium heat, stir and crush fruit, with the back of a wooden spoon or use -hmm...what is it called?! Gosh! I have been using my g-grandmaother's... forever...it is an old wooden tool for crushing! back of a wooden spoon works too!!  Keep stirring, and crush the fruit well....and when it comes to a boil, let it boil a min, then add sugar...and you add to taste...and example would be, I just made a 3/4 c jam batch of blueberries, and gooseberries mixed..I had just a bit of both..tail end of the bushes.....about 40 berries total..and used 2/3 c sugar. Jam making is very flexible! Then you bring it to a boil again...about a min., then off the fire, and into a container.....I had a small glass container, with a glass lid...so it went into that...let cool...then into the fridge. This whole process took me about 20 mins to make. I am including the picking, and the kitchen clean-up..so it can go fast.
Jams are always the easiest to make as you do not have to do the juicing bag...which can take a day..then jelly is another day.....jam can be all in one day. and you can mix more with jams, like I did. a few berries here, a few there..and you have created a new taste never before seen!!!!
You CAN make your own pectin, from apple peels. And , you can can it too! If you have a good apple year, making pectin is a smart thing to do and have it ready for the next year.....and still use it the same year you make it too.
Homemade Pectin-
Made from skins and cores of apples, after juicing, also can use the pulp left over from making applesauce.
Boil 2 lbs. of your apples(skins and cores, or pulp), with 4 c water, for 45 mins- set it on med heat for a slow boil for that length of time.Get all the juice out of the apples-use a jelly bag, twist it hard to get the juice, then when the pulp is dry, toss it in the compost! Take the juice you strained, and strain it again, thru fine muslin- I find coffee filters work too...do NOT press juice thru. Take that juice and boil slowly, 15 mins...and it is now pectin..to be used in a few days, or to be canned..canning time is the same for apple juice, hot water bath-20 mins.
This is only economical to make...if you have tons of apples....and an extra day to do it!!!! I have made this several times over the years...when I had the apples and the time....does not always fall together tho!!!
Hot water bath can all these products, all the water bath rules apply.....seals, rings, hot hot HOT!
Here are some recipes of fun stuff I like to make each year......apple, strawberry, etc...gets boring to make all the time! So I change it up along the way..I make all the standards..then I do these too!!

        FRESH HERB JELLIES

Basil, Tarragon, or Mint ( or any other of your favorite herb that has a semi-strong scent...Thyme, Rosemary,)
yields about 4 c....so it can be put in the fridge, or hot water bath, would be  8, half pints, or 4 pints.

2c packed , washed, drained, leaves and tender stems of herbs of your choice.
2 c water
3T lemon juice
3 3/4 c sugar
1 pouch (3oz) liquid pectin
a few drops of green food coloring if you want.

Place herb you have chosen , with water in blender and process gently...do not over process as it can make a cloudy jelly.
Scrape into a 3 qt. pot, bring to a boil, stir often, once it hits a boil, off the heat-cover and let sit for 15 mins.
pour into a very fine sieve over a bowl, let drain, pressing on the herbs...discard the herbs.
Measure 1 3/4 c of the liquid into the pot you just used(rinsed out now!)
Stir in lemon juice and sugar.Bring to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, add pectin all at once. return to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, boil 1 min.
Remove from heat, skim, if needed, add food coloring if wanted.
Jar, can,1/8" head space in jars.
The specialty jellies and jams are canned in 1/2 pt. jars, so the time would be 5 mins.

RED, WHITE, AMBER, or GOLDEN JELLY

 The flavor of this jelly depends a lot on the wine used- "Big" flavored wines do better than a delicate wine.And the title gives you a hint of the types to look for in selecting your flavors.
               yields about 6 c ( roughly 12 half pints)
3/4 c water.
1/4 c lemon juice
1 box (1 3/4 oz.size) powdered pectin
3 c full flavored wine-your choice, red, white, amber, rose
4 1/2 c sugar

 Measure water and lemon juice into pot. add powdered pectin, stir til all lumps are gone. Set over med-high heat, boil hard (cannot be stirred down), 1 min.
add the wine and sugar all at once. Lower heat, stir til sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 mins. Do not boil..do not even simmer!! Once the sugar is melted, and mixed in well...take off fire. skim foam, jar- , 1/8" head space-skim again if needed, hot water bath- 5 mins.

                          MELON MARMALADE

sometimes cantaloupes and muskmelons are cheap at the grocery..I have seen them for 99 c ! and some farm markets will sell them cheap too..if they have too many!  I make this when we have a few too many in the garden, or even in the Winter when the store has them cheap.

You can use grated lemon zest of 2 lemons, or not..up to you..we do not use it..I think it takes too much from the melon flavor.
1 c water
2T dried ginger
8c chopped melon (about 6 lbs.of melon..so weigh them at the market)
1 box powdered pectin
5 1/2 c sugar
 Combine zest, and water bring to a boil, cover, simmer til zest is soft. Uncover pan and simmer til almost all the liquid is gone.
combine zest and any remaining liquid with lemon juice, ginger, melon, in large pot. Bring to a boil and cover,simmer 10 mins,stir often,uncover,stir more often another 5 mins.
Stir pectin into mixture, bring to a full boil,stirring constantly. Add sugar all at once, stir constantly til it reaches a full boil, cannot be stirred down, boil 1 min.,Off the fire. skim foam, jar, skim again if needed.
Hot water bath 15 mins for pts., and half pts.

                                      ROSE PETAL JELLY

I love making this one! Pick your petals in the morning just after the dew has gone. Before the heat of the sun sets in.

2 qts. firmly packed red or pink rose petals ( I use my 5 c Pyrex measuring glass to collect them.)
3 c boiling water
3c sugar
1/4 c lemon juice
1 package liquid pectin

Pour boiling water over petals and steep til all color has been absorbed ,strain in a sieve, do not pres petals. Toss petals.
Place rose juice and lemon juice in pot, add pectin, stir well.Bring to boil that cannot be stirred down, add sugar all at once, stirring constantly, bring to boil again, that cannot be stirred down, boil 2 mins. Off the fire, skim foam, jar, skim again, leave 1/8" head space, can 5 mins, hot water bath.
Yields: 4 half pints. It is sooo worth it to me to make a few cannings each year..the flavor! absolutely wonderful on pancakes!

                            BANANA JAM

Another fun one when they are on sale...! when they hit 39 c a lb. here..we buy a LOT!!! They are usually 59c  a lb.

2 c mashed bananas
2 c sugar
2 T lemon juice

Put all ingredient in a pot , bring to a slow boil, stirring constantly, let boil 5 mins.
Makes 2 jars...store in fridge.
This is not the type of jam you would make for long term storage....just because of the fruit, the cost of it....But, it is a fun one to make , if you are planning  a special breakfast or want to give a unique gift....
I have another recipe for one that can be canned...if you want it, let me know..it makes twice this amount and requires pectin and sugar.

                                        HONEY JELLY

2 c honey
1c light corn syrup
3/4 water
3T lemon juice
1 pouch liquid pectin

Stir honey, corn syrup, water , and lemon juice together in pot, set over med heat, bring to a boil,As soon as there are vigorous bubbles all over the surface, stir in the pectin, boil hard( cannot be stirred down) 1 min, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Let sit 1 min, then skim foam, pour into jars, skim again, seal, 1/8" head space, hot water bath 5 mins.
Yields: 4 half pts.
These are some of my favorites....and yes, 4 half pints is worth a canning....that is why the smaller canner is a dream to have! Less water used, everything is smaller...so it is easier to handle. Even if you have a larger canner, it still is worth it, as you cannot buy any of these in the store!

 WATERMELON JELLY

always a fun jelly to make, everybody can help in the begining!
4 c watermelon, seeded
3 1/2 c sugar
2 T lemon juice
 1 liquid pectin-6oz

Process watermelon in blender til smooth.
Combine with sugar, lemon juice,bring to a rolling boil , stir constantly, add pectin, stir constantly til boil cannot be stirred down-boil 1 min. Take off fire. skim foam, jar, skim again if needed. seal, hot water bath 5 mins.
YIELDS: 4 half pints.
This is another fun one...get a huge watermelon, carve the rind off for pickling, use the meat for jelly!!!