February 26, 2010

March Can-Jam Challenge.....

I fully understand that the word 'challenge' means....  
"A call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, special effort, etc."
"Difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to the one engaged in it."   (Definitions taken from

As those of you who read my blog know, I have accepted a challenge to can something every month with the Tigress Can-Jam !! The fruit or veggie is given to us at the end of the month for the following month and we have about 3 weeks to complete the challenge! It has been fun! As you may remember January was citrus and February was Carrots.

Here's the new challenge for March:  ALLIUMS! Now, I don't know about you, but I didn't even know this word. Thankfully, Ashley, the one who made the choice and author of  Small Measures  explained it to us; ONIONS, SCALLIONS, CHIVES, LEEKS, SHALLOTS, GARLIC etc. Remember our rules...  must be canned using the water bath method! I've already begun my search...  :) 

Check back mid-March to see what I've come up with! This challenge will be intersting for sure!  (I wonder what they will come up with for the rest of the months?!)

February 22, 2010

Honduras More Pictures Part 2

Here is the team...   front is Daniel (Honduran dentist and nephew of Paz) and Debbie. Standing middle row L to R is Zeke (Honduran friend) Roger, Ron, Sue, & Paz (Honduran Dentist & church planter) and the back row L to R is Austin, John, Pete and Audrey!
  Arriving from the airport with all the bags packed full of clothes, medicines & supplies!
I'm having a hard time placing the pictures so that I can type and explain them to you!! The above pictures show you the terrain of a 2+ mile hike the team had to make each morning & evening for 4 days to get to the villages while carrying all the supplies up & down. (They did have the use of a couple of mules to help!) This village had seen NO MEDICAL or DENTAL clinics ever in the past! They saw over 130 people the first day! At the end of the day the team would hike back down to a cinder block church where they stayed the 3 nights. They had no electricity & no running water, so they also had to carry in water & food supplies for themselves along with the medical stuff & clothes etc. Tired but well satisfied by the end of each day....    As you can see in the top few pictues above, they were able to drive a little ways up the road, but then had to walk the remaining couple of miles. You can see the road/path going up into the mountains! The last couple of pictures above show the church they stayed at and their friend Rebecca (a Honduran native) that served as the cook for the team! You can see inside the church (below) the sleeping area. A few of them had bugnets over their sleeping bags & blow up mattresses. They saw one scorpion, a stick bug (that Austin JUST told me he picked up to remove from inside!) geckos, army ants and a kissing bug! (YUK!)
Pete, Roger, Ron, Zeke and Austin are preparing some of the medicines for the clinic. They bring down Sharpies & snack baggies to write on and give out the antacid, vitamins & antibiotics etc. They also had liquid medicines; cough syrup, paracite medicine and liquid tylenol & vitamins for babies! In the picture below you can see Debbie talking with one of the mothers and her young son. They told me that of a man that had had a broken leg for about a month, but with no money and no way to see a doctor, he just had to deal with it. They were able to get to him and help bring him back to the clinc so that he could see the doctor. His leg was swollen, darkened and you could see the break. I'm not sure what happened with this man... he obviously needed surgery. The team had it set up for him to go to a hospital, but I'm not sure of the outcome. What a blessing it was to each of the team members to be in Honduras! Debbie had brought her laptop with her along with the clayanimation movie of Jesus in Spanish!! She set it up and the children flocked to see the moving pictures! (And the adults too!) They had NEVER seen a television, never mind a computer before! They were the first in their families & village to see such a thing! This tool was awesome in sharing the gospel! 

February 16, 2010

While We Are On The Topic of Carrots....

While we are on the topic of carrots for month of February, I thought I'd share another reicpe with you! :) Pete's 88 year old aunt lives next door to us (Ok, in the farmhouse across the field from us). She and I share 'canning creations' and recipes. She has literally hundreds of cookbooks, some of which date back a LONG, LONG time! When Pete got home the other night from bringing in her wood, he handed me another recipe card for 'CARROT PIE'! I kid you not....   I've never heard of such a thing, but I set out to make it today!  Here is the recipe....  and the results!


9" unbaked pie shell
1 1/2 Cups carrots, cooked & mashed. About 1 pound.
2/3 Cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 Cup sweet milk
1 Cup milk
3 TBsp flour

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl or in a blender. Pour into the unbaked pie shell and bake at 425* for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350* and bake until set.

(Side Note: Not knowing for sure what 'sweet cream' was, I looked it up online.... the conclusion; it would be the cream that rose to the top of the milk container of FRESH milk. You'll find that alot of 'older recipes' use this term... today, we'd use either heavy cream, evaporated milk or Half & Half.)  
            I can't wait for dinner!! This pie smells delicious!

EXTRA NOTE:  Everyone really liked the pie! It was similar to a pumpkin pie in texture and flavor! I used only 1 cup of 1% milk and added a little bit more flour. Next time I would be sure the carrots were mashed a bit more... perhaps pureed so that there are no little chunks of carrots. But, in all honesty, it didn't matter to anyone but me.  :)

February 15, 2010

FEBRUARY CAN JAM "Carrot Salsa" & "Carrot Relish"

Our February Can Jam challenge is CARROTS! After looking through a few recipes, I found two that screamed TRY ME! "Carrot Salsa" and "Carrot Relish".  I started with salsa.                   


8 Cups tomatoes (skinned)
2 Cups onions
1 Cup green peppers

1 Cup seeded jalapenos (WEAR GLOVES, adjust amount for hot or mild. Recipe is for medium.)
6 cloves garlic (crushed)
1/4 Cup cilantro 
2 Cups carrots (shredded)

2/3 Cup lemon juice
1 TBSP salt
1 tsp. white pepper  

I cut the recipe in half and I also used LESS jalapeno peppers to make a mild salsa! I've never used cilantro before... I wasn't sure what to do with it, so I chopped it up on the
cutting board and added it to the bowl!
Boil the ingredients, simmer for 20 minutes removing any foam that collects. Ladle into clean, sterile pint size jars. Add lids and rings. Process using the water bath method for 20 mintues!! Yields 6-7 pints!
This salsa looks very chunky!! Can't wait to try them...

(Side Notes: I cut the recipe in half making almost 3 pints. I opted not to skin the tomatoes, instead I finely diced them. I cut and squeezed 1 lemon which turned out to be 1/3 cup of fresh juice. And finally, I did not add the white pepper since we tend to like things on the mild side!)

"Carrot Relish" another fantastic use of
shredded carrots! 

18 carrots (shredded or chopped)
4 green peppers
4 red peppers
2 onions
1/2 head of cabbage
1/2 cup of salt
3 Cups sugar
6 Cups vinegar
2 TBSP mustard seed
2 TBSP celery seed

Finely chop all the vegetables and mix together. Pour the salt over them and let stand for 1 hour.

Drain the vegetables and then add the rest of the ingredients (vinegar, sugar, spices) in a large pot and bring this to a boil. Place in sterilized jars, seal with lids & rings
and process in a water bath for 20 minutes.

Check to make sure the seals are good and store at room temperature!

(Side Notes: Again, I cut this recipe in half. I find it wiser for me
to do this until I know we like a new recipe. Instead of using
mustard seed I used 1 tsp.of ground mustard. The spice
cabinet must have finished off the mustard seed that I
was so sure was in there! Results... the brine isn't
as clear as it would be using seeds, but the flavor is good!)

I've had alot of fun with the February challenge!! 
 THANKS for 'making' me climb further out of the box concerning carrots!   :)

February 14, 2010

Home From Honduras .... PART 1

Austin, Audrey & Pete had a wonderful trip to Honduras!
They arrived home about 3AM on Tuesday, February 2nd!
A common sight... can you imagine seeing this coming down the road?!
Pete and Audrey are washing the hair of a few young girls.
Austin helped with the pharmacies again during the clinics!
TWINS!  Aren't they adorable!

Audrey took over 600 pictures this year and I will get more of them to
share with you! They had a wonderful trip. This year it 
was a bit different because they spent three nights camping
out in a church in the moutains with no water or electricity.

February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

 Just thought I'd share an awesome experience with you!
Today, I went to one of the local bank's branch offices to
cash at check at the drive thru. When the teller had finished
the transaction, she put my envelope in the drawer
and said 'Happy Valentine's Day'. It was sooo cool to
 have a place of  business give their customers a treat!
It made my day!

Happy Valentine's Day to you!
Remember, this isn't the ONLY day in the year to show love,
It is ONE of the 365 days that we should be doing it!

February 3, 2010


Here's another new adventure to check out..... the art of dehydrating fruits & veggies! I was looking online to see if I could find any second hand dehydrators when Pete reminded me that we had one! (I thought we had gotten rid of it years ago!)

I found it right where he said it would be! Now, I need to clean it up and RE-try this whole dehydrating process! I liked the idea years ago, but had too much on my plate to give it much attention! Food storage could take up so much LESS space, and space is a huge commodity around here!  I'd like to try something easy like blueberries, mushrooms or peppers.... I'll keep you posted!  :)

UPDATE!!!  We cut up mushrooms and started the process of drying today! For the first three hours they are suppose to be at 95* and then the final 4-10 hours at 125*!!  This is what they looked like when we started it up......

Seven hours later this is what they look like....  and they have a couple more hours to go!

What would normally have fit, all cut up, into 1 gallon sized zipper bag, is now almost filling 1 quart sized zipper bag and is storable (without the possibility of freezer burn) in a cool, dark place like a pantry shelf!

(Recommended 60*F in an air tight container, ie: zipper bags or tightly sealed glass or plastic containers!)  Now on to batch number two!

10 Grain Artisan Bread Master Recipe.... You just HAVE to try it!

Here's the first of my whole grain bread attempts!

10 Grain Artisan Bread Master Recipe
(Makes four 1 pound loaves. This recipe can be easily doubled or halfed.)
Recipe taken from issue number 237 of Mother Earth News

2 Cups 10 grain hot cereal  (Bob's Red Mill brand) uncooked
3 Cups white whole wheat flour  (I use King Arthur's brand)
2 Cups unbleaches all-purpose white flour
1 1/2 TBsp yeast (2 pkts)
1 TBsp kosher salt  (or to taste)
1/4 Cup vital wheat gluten (found in natural food stores)
3 1/2 Cups lukewarm water

NOTE: I used 2 Cups white whole wheat and  3 Cups white flour thinking thinking that the bread may not be so heavy when baked.
1-2 TBsp seed mixture for the topping of each loaf as you wish (I like sunflower seeds, but you can use flaxseed, caraway, sesame, poppy seed, anise, nuts or combinations etc.)

Using at least a 5 quart bowl or other (non-air tight) lidded container combined all of the dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon or whisk.

Add the lukewarm water and mix without kneading. You may need to get your hands wet to get the flour thoroughly blended but I find that a wooden spoon does a sufficient job.

Cover (again, not air tight) and allow the dough to rest and the yeast to work until it rises and collapses (or flattens on top). Usually, this should take a couple of hours on the counter.The dough can be used immediately or refrigerated and used over the next week!

On baking day, dust the top of the refrigerated dough with flour and then lift up a handful of dough about the size of a grapefruit, roughly 1 pound and cut it off. Dust the ball with a little bit more flour and quickly form a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all 4 sides as you go. Elongate the ball into an oval and place it on a floured or cornmeal covered pizza peel or flat cookie sheet (with no sides). Let the dough rise for about 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450* approx. 30 minutes before baking time. Place a baking stone lightly covered with corn meal on the middle rack and an empty roasting pan on a rack below.

Just before baking, brush the top of the crust with water and a pastry brush. Now, slash the loaf with a sharp knife making three or four 1/4 inch deep parallel cuts on top and sprinkle with the seeds of your choice.

With a quick jerking motion of the wrist, slide the loaf off of the pizza peel onto the hot baking stone and carefully but quickly pour a cup of HOT water into the broiler pan and close the oven door. Bake for 30 minutes until rich brown and firm. Allow the bread to cool a bit before slicing it.... YUMMY!

NOTE: This was my first attempt for this recipe.... the bread had great flavor but was still a bit heavy. I think I needed to use a smaller amount of dough and/or let it rise a bit more or cook longer! It's still in the 'experimental' stages!!