Thursday, September 18, 2014

Zucchini Jam

What to do with all that zucchini you have froze, canned, dehydrated, made breads, pies and all kinds of stuff well make some jam.

Start by cutting and deseeding your zucchini. Then grate your zucchini. I grate a lot so I can do several batches at a time.
Put 6 cups grated zucchini in a pan and add 1/4 cup lemon juice. Cook for about 10 minutes until the zucchini is clear. 

Add 5 1/2 cups sugar and 1 can of crushed pineapple.[ If you want a real firm jam you can add a package of sure-jell. It will set up with out but not as firm]
 At first it will look like it isn't enough liquid but it will be. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. .  

I do strawberry, peach, berry blue, grape, and orange, they are all good but my favorite is the peach and strawberry. 
Zucchini Jam
6 cups grated zucchini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 package sure jell [ optional]
5 1/2 cups sugar
1 can crushed pineapple
2 3oz or 1 6oz box of any flavor jello
Put grated zucchini in a pan and add lemon juice. Cook for about 10 minutes until the zucchini is clear. 
Add  sugar and crushed pineapple.[ If you want a real firm jam you can add a package of sure-jell. It will set up with out but not as firm]
 At first it will look like it isn't enough liquid but it will be. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
Turn heat off and add Jell-o.
Stir then bring back to boil for 1 minute pour into hot sterilized pint or half pint jars and put hot lids and rings on.  Process in a boiling hot water bath for 10 minutes.


Monday, September 15, 2014

300 Dollars A Month Challenge, Goals, and Menu

I have to admit this is a little harder then I though it was going to be. I have always tried watch how much I spend, but never really realized just how much extra I spend with out even thinking about it. Although part of it is I do spend extra on sales so I don't have to pay full price later on. So how did I do this week?

I spent 87.72 at City Market  They had Sure Jell [Store Brand] for 1.39 so I bought 20, They also had cereal on sale for 1.49 if you bought 10. I use these for snacks for the kids sometimes. They also had cheese on sale 3 16 oz. packs for 10.00 so I got 6 will put these in the freezer.
At Wal-Mart I spent 45.48 I needed a couple new pitchers. 2 coffees and I bought a couple boxes of Fruit and Grain bars for the girls to eat in the mornings And some frozen Burritos for after school [I know bad bad] I just haven' t had time to get some stuff made hopefully this week.
Bountiful Baskets I spent 58.00 on 3 baskets and a jar of Apple Cider Vinegar.
As you can see I got a lot out of my baskets this time.
Tomatoes, Bell pepper, broccoli, plums, lemons, corn, onions , chilies, lettuce, banana's, Japanese plums, and apples,
I also got a bottle of Vodka for 11.89 to use in tinctures.
2 more boxes of Green Chili for 40.00

So That is what I spent this week
87.20 City Market
45.48 Wal-Mart
58.00 Bountiful Baskets
11.89 Vodka
40.00 for Green Chilis
For a total of 242.57 for the week.
so with last weeks total of 99 dollars that puts me at 341.57 for the month so I have 858.43 left for the year. Already over my limit for the month As I said this is a lot harder then I thought it would be. Going to have to make a few more changes in the way I do things I guess.

This is what I picked from the garden this week. In a couple weeks I think I am going to have a bunch so I need to be very caught up on things.

21 pounds of bell peppers
50 pounds of tomatoes
13 pounds cucumbers
Was able to get a couple bags of dill and a small mess of green beans from some friend.
This weeks menu
Macaroni and tomatoes
French Toast
Chicken Soup
Grilled Cheese
Tuna Sandwich's
Will have Fruit, veggies or what ever I have on hand.
Crock Pot Chicken Fried Steaks
Beef Noodles
Smothered Burritos
Cheese Burger Pie
Swiss Steak.
As with lunch sides for dinner will be what ever I have and want to fix.
For breakfast I have homemade pancakes, French toast, and waffles in the freezer. Also have oatmeal, cream of wheat and eggs to choose from.

My canning total this week
14 qts Rotel
18 pints Plum Raspberry Jam
40 pounds of Green Chilies roasted and in the freezer.
4 pints pickled radishes
5 quarts pickled cauliflower
3 gallons bell peppers in the freezer [ I put these in 1 cup bags]

I made 3 gallons of powdered laundry soap, and a couple gallons of washing soda.
Hopefully this will last a while.

This Weeks goals

I got all the tomatoes, peppers, plums, green chilies, radishes, and cauliflower all put up. 
I haven't got to the zucchini yet is at the top of my list for this week.
It rained a little on the one day this week I could of worked in the yard so that and the herbs are still on the list.
I still haven't got the camper cleaned out have got to get that done.
The mending has also been put off I will try to work on it this week but very doubtful it will get done.
With  all the tomato's I will make  salsa, the peppers into the freezer, pickles made from the cucumbers, all my zucchini mad into jam, pie filling and shredded for breads, the plums into jam, the broccoli and lettuce [what we don't eat]  dried for green powder, corn in the freezer, apples into a pie, lemons juiced and canned then the peels dried.
I need to get the yard done before I can put out fall stuff so hopefully this week.

I have also got to start on Joleens homecoming dress. I have told the girls that if I make their dresses I will buy all the fabric and stuff to make them but if they want a store bought they have to buy then themselves. So Katie wants to buy one and I will make Joleens
Well another busy week planned maybe I can get the biggest portion done.

Have a Great Week.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Navajo Fry Bread and Navajo Tacos

We love Fry Bread although I don't make it as often as my family would like. Mine is ok not as good as my Step Moms or my sister's but passable and I use a mixer and a roller instead of by hand and then patting it out by hand, never could get the hang of it. [ My Step Mom says my hands are the wrong color haha]. Any how here is how I make it.
Navajo Fry Bread 
4 cups flour
2 Tbs. baking powder
1 1/2 tea. salt
3/4 cup powder milk
1 1/2 Tbs. shortening
2 to 21/2 cups very warm water
You can mix this by hand or in the mixer.
First add all you dry ingredients.

Mix together
Then add your shortening [you can use lard if you want] and mix.
After the shortening is mixed in slowly add your water it needs to be very warm not so hot it burns your hands but almost hot.

Mix or knead until  a soft dough is formed then knead or mix for a few more minutes.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a flat ball.

Grease your bowl and put the dough back in.

Cover with a warm damp towel and place in a warn place to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Pinch off medium apple sized balls.
Pat out with hand or use a rolling pin to about 1/8 to 1/16 of an inch you don't want it to thin or it will be crunchy. 

Put about 1/2 inch of shortening in you pan and heat to almost  smoking [needs to be very hot]. cook until golden brown then turn. 

and cook until golden brown on the other side.

 Let sit a few minutes before serving so they can soften a little.

For Navajo Tacos put a piece of bread on a plate and cover with Chile then top with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cheese. Yummy Yummy.
Sometime when I fix mine or smaller kids I will tear the bread before I cover with chili, then you don't have to try and cut it when all put together.   

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pickled Radishes

If you have an over abundance of radishes here is a way to use them and not let them go bad.and they are sooo good. and really easy to make. I use a lot of my over large radishes that are starting to get a little soft and are to big.

What I do is slice them into pint jars then see how many I have before I start the brine.

First slice thinly slice the  radishes and put into pint jars
Then for every pint you need
1 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup red wine vintage
2 tea. salt
1/4 cup sugar

put in sauce pan and bring to boil until sugar is dissolved remove from heat and pour into jars with the radishes put hot lids and bands on. Now you can put in the fridge and use with in a month or you can can it in a  water bath for 10 minutes.
It is best if allowed to sit for a couple days. The red will leach from the radishes and turn the vinegar red and the radishes will be all white.
I had some brine left over, and some cauliflower in the fridge from my bountiful baskets so I decided to pickle the cauliflower I will let you know in a few days how they turned out. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

300 Dollars a Month Challenge, Menu and goals.

I was over at budget 101 the other day and they are trying to only spend 200 dollars a month. Well I got to thinking about that and decided I would give it a try , only I am going to go with 300 a month [which would be 1200 for the rest of the year.]for every thing I buy except for day care supplies and my canning jars. I will not include the canning jars because they are more of an investment then a expenditure. The reason I will do 300 instead of 200 is I will also work on my food storage with this 300. I have the garden and will try to make everything from scratch.

This past week I spent 59.00 at Wal-Mart I did buy 2 loaves of French bread for pizza which I could of made from scratch but was in a hurry. I also got 10 cans of tomato paste a gallon of vinegar  and which I need for my salsa that I am canning. And ne I bought 2 cans of coffee {yes I know that isn't very frugal but it is one of my bad habits] I don't know if my family would be able to stand me with out my morning coffee haha. The other 3 things strawberry extract which I was out of and didn't have to use in my syrup the other day, a vacuum belt and T.P..

I also got 2 boxes of green chili to can, they were 20 dollars a box.

So in all I spent 99.00 dollars that leaves me with 201 dollars for the rest of the month.1101 dollars for the rest of the year.

This is what I picked from the garden this week.
55 pounds tomatoes 30 pounds cucumbers, 10 pounds bell peppers, 8 pounds of radishes and 1 small zucchini.
How are your gardens doing?

Our zucchini plants didn't do any thing this year so Andy's boss has been giving us their large ones [ do you know how wrong it is to have to ask for zucchini?] these are the ones they gave us I didn't weigh them but there is a lot.

I do have to admit it is a little challenging to try to spend a small amount there was a few other things I thought about getting but didn't because it would more then likely run me over at the end of the month.
So do you think you could just spend  200 or 300 a month on your grocery's ?

So this weeks lunch menu is
mini cheese pizzas and fruit
Chicken noodle soup and crackers
Pancakes and bananas
PB&J with fruit
Mac and cheese

Andy will get leftovers from dinner the night before.

Dinner menu
French bread pizza
Navajo Tacos [recipe here]
Pork chops
Mexican Steak
Chili mac.

 I will add sides to these depending on what I have.

For breakfast I have homemade pancakes, French toast, and waffles in the freezer. Also have oatmeal, cream of wheat and eggs to choose from.

Canning and preserving for this week
7 qts Turkey Broth
10 pts Corn Cob syrup
24 pts Frozen Corn
16 pts Cactus Pear Jelly
1 qt & 1 pt Corn Silk Tinture
12 dried Limes
1 Watermelon dried
6 Celery Stocks dried

This weeks goals are
All the tomatoes into salsa and canned, pickled radishes from the radishes, the bell peppers put in the freezer, I also have a case of plumes to get worked up I will make plum raspberry jam with them, all the zucchini worked up I want to freeze some and make jelly with some and some bread.
Green chili roasted and canned.
I still need to finish cleaning out the camper from week end before last.
Have some things that need to be planted in the yard.
Several herbs that need to be harvested and dried.
Back yard mowed and weeded.
The girls got their new cheer uniforms and they both need to be taken up a little.
Mending Andy's pants.
I am trying to make some  spaghetti strap shirts for the girls [ they wear these under all their shirts.].
Pantry and fridge cleaned out. How on earth a fridge get so ucky is beyond me.
Fall decorations put up out side .

Hope everyone has a great week looks like I will have a busy one.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Corn Syrup with Corn Cobs

Well I just finished 4 cases of corn I canned 3 cases and froze 1 case. Then I took the cobs of the last case and made syrup. It is very easy but just to warn you it doesn't taste like store bought corn syrup. I does have a little corn taste to it if it is plain but if you add a flavoring it is really good it seems give the flavoring a boost. So don't throw away your cobs make syrup also keep your corn silk to make a tincture [ I will post how to do that next.].

First take you cobs put in a pan and cover with water then bring to a boil and simmer for a couple hours.  

After cooked remove the cobs from the water the strain. I use a gallon jar with a clean knee high stocking attracted to the top with a rubber band or If I can't find a rubber band I just pin a piece of elastic together to use. so any how I strain the juice and pour back into a pan. 

Then I add my sugar It is a two to one ratio 2 cups liquid to one cup sugar I had 16 cups of liquid so I added 8 cups of sugar. I like a thicker syrup so I do add a couple extra cups of sugar. Bring to a boil and then simmer for a few hours until you have the desired thickness.

After it has thickened up you can use as is or you can add some flavorings. I pulled out 8 cups of liquid and added 2 teaspoons of maple flavoring,
To 4 cups I added 1 teaspoon of orange extract and 2 drops red food coloring and 2 drops of yellow,
To another 4 cups  added 1 teaspoon of raspberry extract and 2 drops red food coloring, 
I was going to add strawberry extract to the remaining 4 cups but realized I was out so I decided to experiment and added a teaspoon of almond extract to 2 cups of syrup and 1 teaspoon of butter extract with 2 drops yellow coloring  to the last two cups the butter flavored was real good and I will probable  do some of it again the almond was ok but not that great.  

Put in pint jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes be sure to adjust for your altitude I have to process mine for 25 minutes.
The food coloring is optional the only reason I use it is I process all mine at the same time and use the color so I can tell them apart when done. 

They sure turn out pretty.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

23rd Annual Bean Pickers Blue Grass Music Festival

Every Labor day weekend we put on a bluegrass music festival at the point. People come from all over to camp and play music. We cook breakfast every morning  for everyone on a large grill that is set up outside to cook pancakes, omelets, and bacon for everyone. I make the pancake mix from scratch and the bacon we use the large packages of bacon ends and pieces so it isn't as expensive as using regular packs of bacon. Then for dinner it's a pot luck we  deep fry a turkey  [ we buy these in November when on sale and keep in the freezer ] make potato wedges and cook up a big mess of squash so with all the other food it's pretty good. 
I had to come home everyday this weekend though so it made for a very long weekend. I had to pick up my bountiful baskets Saturday so as soon as breakfast was done and  cleaned up I came home, then went to town I had a friend pick it up but I had to go to her house to get my stuff. Then I had to do some errands and go to Wal-Mart by the time I got back home I just had a few minutes to put a few things up and get back out to the point to start dinner. 
Since I didn't have time to put things up I had to come back home Sunday to put stuff up.

I didn't get as many pictures as I had wanted to,was just so busy I only got a couple of some of the players and these were taken kind of late after most of the people had left or gone to bed for the night.