Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Food Storage Update

8 pts jalapeno slices

2 qts jalapeno slices

4 pts & 2 half pits of grape jelly made

4 half pints apple jelly made (this one didn't set up so now I need to see what I can do with it) Any ideas???

Also got some squash blanched & frozen & 3 gallon bags of bell peppers.

Today's kitchen tasks:

Make 2 loaves bread & 1 batch sandwich buns

Make granola

Make 1 batch cookies

Get stew going in the crockpot

I figure since it's going to be in the 90's and I'll have to run the big oven I may as well get several things done at one time. Mostly I use my little electric oven out on the porch during summer. The crockpot is run outdoors mostly too!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Well, we picked our first 4 red tomatoes yesterday. So as for my plans next week...I'll probably be up to my eyeballs in tomatoes. That's when the real fun begins..cough...lol
I was trying to decide if I wanted to buy a tomato press, or food processer for my tomatoes this year since my blender is barely moving.
We decided on a blender called the Ninja. It's a biggie with 3 blades in it. I'm hoping this will do the job. If not, an express order on a press will be going out to amazon.
Hope ya'll have a good day!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Barley & Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe

Do you eat barley? I have to admit this grain is one that used to rarely be seen on our menu. Did you know there is such a thing as quick barley? So maybe not as totally healthy as the regular stuff, but it's still good for you. Fiber is one of the main things that our bodies are usually missing. When you don't get much fiber things tend to not "move" as well through our bodies. So we are trying to add much more whole grains to our diets.

So how to use barley? My favorite way is in soups. Add some into vegetable soup, beef soup, chicken soup, also you can use barley in place of rice in some recipes for a change.

The other night we had stuffed bell peppers made with barley where I would normally have used rice. No one ever said anything. They just ate them & even my daughter who normally doesn't care for that ate it!

Here's the simple recipe.

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Barley

4 bell peppers
1 cup cooked barley
1/2 lb ground pork (or beef)
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. chopped garlic
salt & pepper
1 pt. canned tomato sauce (or tomato soup)

Wash, seed, & cut bell peppers in half legnth wise. (to make 8 little pepper bowls)
Set in a casserole dish.
In a bowl mix meat, onion powder, basil, garlic, salt, & pepper.
Then stuff a handful into the pepper.
Pour sauce on top.
Add about 1 cup water to the pan to soften the peppers & so they won't stick.
Bake in 350 oven for about 45 minutes or until meat is done.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Getting ready...

So I'm getting ready for canning & preserving season.
Today I picked 10 yellow squash from the garden. Tonight I'll use a couple of them in our chicken stir-fry over rice. The rest will probably be used later this week. After that I'll make up some squash dressing casseroles to freeze. --We don't care alot for frozen squash sliced up so I would prefer to do it as casseroles and also shredded up for squash fritters. yum!
My plans this year are similar to last year.
I plan on freezing the following:
soup & chili starter (made with peppers, onions, tomatoes & italian seasonings)
bell pepper (sliced & chopped)
onion (sliced & chopped)
corn on the cob
Also frozen tomato paste in ice cube portions (as suggested by one of my readers)
purple hull peas
blueberries & blackberries

tomato products (plain sauce, pizza sauce, pasta sauce, whole, salsa, & tomato juice)
whole kernel corn
creamed corn
green beans
potatoes (for quick parsley potatoes & potato salad)

Blueberry jam
Blackberry jam
Apple butter & jelly
Peach jam

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Let the preserving begin...

I had a package of pectin in the pantry from last season so I made some apple jelly!

Picked some some bell peppers & squash from the garden. Stuffed bell peppers & squash fritters for supper tonight!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sheltering question

Today I am going to take a minute to get "deep." I have been asked in the past & then recently again about sheltering our children. For one thing I really don't think just because we homeschool our children automatically means we "shelter" them. In fact there are some times I wonder if I should have done it more.
With the world we live in there are so many things that used to be considered "bad" or "unspeakable" that are just accepted as "normal" these days. It sadens most Christians including myself.
I have been forced to teach my children about some things sooner than I would have due to things being put around us. Teenage pregnancy, unwed mothers, homosexuality, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, favoritism, etc. I'm not claiming to be perfect either, I have my own faults too, but the above sort-of just fell into our laps through extended family.--None of which go along with God's word.
So for sheltering, I've had to address these questions from the children on a "need to know" basis. --I won't lie to my children so when a question comes up I answer it honestly & try to put it into words they could understand at the time but with no "extras" added in. We do however refer to the Bible with explainations for why we should or should not do things so this has helped.
Anyway while I will not picket or fight with some of the people mentioned above, after years of trying to do what I thought was best we have had to cut ties with some.
Another question I get is how are you claiming to be Christian but judging these people. Well, the way I see it is they have to see their own sins. I don't hate these people, I feel for them as lost souls. We pray for them but this does not mean putting my children or myself in their lives daily. We are called as parents to protect our children's hearts. We also have to protect our own.
I've been caught up in the gossip game with others in the past. Even if I didn't technically SAY anything, the fact that I listened & didn't walk away or say something to change the subject was my fault. When we are around people like this after a while I have seen changes in myself. I start to look at people more critically, take things too personally, and this does nothing but put me in a bad mind. Our children are the same.
In an AOP devotion I read today it says this:
"Although we are to reach the lost with the love of Christ, God exhorts us to remember that we are his temple (2 Corinthians 6:16)There's only one way to reach the world yet remain separate & holy to God. We must yoke ourselves to Him "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me. (Matthew 11:29a)"

Lord, Please forgive me for giving in to sin
Please help us to teach our children your rules & laws & not give in to the lies of the world.
Help us to be good examples & a witness to you.