Tag Archives: Arkansas

Visit my 2013 Gardening Blog

Today, imagine 50 to 60 degree days, the grass is turning greener, the undergrowth in the woods or your yard coming up green and lush covering the ground, daffodils showing their sunny yellow blooms, and the local Wal-Mart and Farmers Co-op getting their gardening centers ready.  This is what it is like here where I live and it has caused me to have gardening fever.  So…

The 2013 gardening Blog is located at

http://arkansasfarmerette2013.wordpress.com

Come garden and preserve with me this year.

The 2013 Planting Calendar is posted. You’ll find the link to it at the top of the page above the large picture.

Hope to see and hear from you all this year.  Here’s hoping this summer’s not a scorcher again.
REMEMBER to “Follow” this years blog; it is separate from last years.

Canning Recipes

I was looking through one of my mother’s old cookbooks today and found some canning recipes to share.  The book is called ‘The Lily Wallace New American Cook Book’ printed in 1941.

While these recipes do not call for a boiling water bath, I would do it just the same, for at least 10 to 15 mins.
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The Boiling-Water Bath
     For processing acid foods, the water bath is the most generally saisfactory method in the home.  The water is boiled in an open vessel or in one in which the top is not clamped down.  In processing fruits and other acid food in the water bath, be sure that the jars are far enough apart and that the rack on which they are supported is so arranged that the water can circulate freely under and around them.
     Have the water in the vessel or canner boiling before putting in the jars of food.  In order to keep the glass jars from breaking they must be preheated in water or filled with hot food.
     When the jars are in the vessel or canner, see taht the water come over the tops at least 1 or 2 inches.  Add more boiling water as needed to keep this level.
     Count time as soon as the water begins to boil vigorously.  Keep the bath boiling constantly during all of the processing period.
     As soon as the processing time is up, remove the glass jars from the water one at a time and place on a towel in a draft-free place.  Do not tip or shake the jars until they have cooled and sealed.

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Chili Sauce

4 quarts chopped and peeled tomatoes
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 small hot, red pepper
3 Tbsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. white mustard seed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
2 1/2 cups vinegar

     Combine the vegetables, salt, and sugar, and cook until the mixture begins to thicken. 
     Add vinegar and whole spices, in bag, and cook until the mixture becomes a thick sauce.
     Pour into hot jars and seal immediately. 
  NOTE: Drain juice from vegetables before adding vinegar.  This will shorten the cooking period.
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Bread and Butter Pickles

6 quarts sliced medium cucumbers
1 1/2 quarts vinegar
6 cups sugar
6 onions, medium-sized, sliced
1 cup salt
1/2 cup mustard seed
1 tablespoon celery seed
1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper

     Combine cucumbers, onions, and salt and let stand 3 hours.  Drain.  Combine seasoning and vinegar and boil.
     Add cucumbers and onions.  Heat to simmering and pack hot.  Be careful to avoid boiling as that makes pickles soft.  Pack while hot in clean jars and seal immediately.
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Chutney

24 ripe tomatoes, medium-sized
6 onions, medium-sized
3 red peppers
3 green peppers
12 tart apples
1 pound seedless raisins
1 cup celery. cut fine
2 quarts vinegar
3 cups sugar
Salt

Chop vegetables first and then the apples.  Cut celery. Combine ingredients and cook chutney until it is thick and clear.  Pour immediately into clean hot jars, and seal at once.

 
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Strawberry Jamin’

This morning I was up early even though the alarm wasn’t set.  I was treated out the kitchen window with the site of a deer and her baby up in the field behind the garden.  The little deer scampered and ran all over the field.  So cute.  The mama grazed for quite awhile before moving along into the tree line.  With the lack of rain I’ve been wondering where they’ve been getting a drink.  Our spring dried up a couple of weeks ago. 

Speaking of deer, last Wednesday morning I was suprised to see two bucks up in the same field.  They were grazing and playing together.  I couldn’t help but wonder if they were the set of twins I saw two years ago.  I scanned the field for other deer and was even more suprised to see another small buck and a 6 point Stag.  He stood so majestically looking down toward the house I was in awe.  These are the times I wish for a large camera with a zoom lense.

Last Monday my friend gave me more green tomatoes (yeah.).  I mentioned in a earlier post that I’m supposed to be making, friends request, Green Tomato Relish but I didn’t have all my ingredients last week.  No excuses now.  I immediately prepped the green tomatoes, chopped up the cabbage and put them in the fridge till the next day.  On Tuesday I got off work early so as soon as I hit the door I started making the relish.  Again the recipe and pics are here

http://arkansasfarmerette.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/green-tomato-relish/.  I ended up with 4 pints and 4 half pints.  The half pints were for me and the pints went to my friend.  Thursday when I took them to her she asked, “I’ll probely be picking more green tomatoes next Tuesday do you want them?”  Ah…SURE! :O)

I made Oatmeal Hermits cookies before breakfast today.  I wanted to get them done while it was cool this morning.  These are neat drop cookies made with Karo syrup; my first time making them.  Easy to mix together and good for ya oatmeal how could you go wrong except for the brown sugar and syrup.  Ah we all need some “sweet” every once in a while. In honor of that I added chocolate chips.

Oatmeal Hermits

Here’s the recipe:
Oatmeal Hermits – A Karo® Vintage Recipe
Corn syrup keeps these soft cookies moist for several days.
Yield: 3 dozen cookies

2 cups quick oats (not instant)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp, salt
2 tsp. Argo® Baking Powder
1 tsp. Spice Islands® Ground Saigon Cinnamon
1/2 cup Karo® Dark Corn Syrup
1/2 cup Mazola® Corn Oil
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
Mix oats, brown sugar and raisins in a large bowl; add flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon and mix well. 
Whisk together corn syrup, oil and eggs in a small bowl.  Add to dry ingredients and mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned around edges.  Remove cookies to wire rack to cool.

Variation:  Try substituting 1 cup chocolate chips for the raisins.  Omit cinnamon and add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract to the corn syrup mixture.

Today I’m making strawberry jam. Yesterday Wal-Mart had them on sale for 98 cents a pack.  What canning nut could resist?  Not me!  I bought 5 packs and then after cleaning them up I wanted more so…my brother and sister-in-law are picking me up 5 more packs and some more No Sugar Needed Pectin later today.
(Note from later today: Sister-in-law called and the 98 cent strawberries are all gone; price up to $1.98 so I told her not to get them.)
 
In the meantime…
Simply Sweet Strawberry Jam
   Oh what a mess I made…in the kitchen.  Dad and I are cutting back on sugar so I wanted a recipe that called for Splenda.  I found just what I needed on their site.   I doubled the recipe and made 6 half-pint jars with about 1/3 c. left over.  Don’t do like me a forget the water in the recipe.  I couldn’t tell if it made a difference in the taste.  I am hoping it doesn’t make a difference in the jam “setting”. 
BTW, a pastry blender works real well to crush/chop up the strawberries.

Recipe From  http://splenda.tastebook.com/recipes/1397108-Simply-Sweet-Strawberry-Jam
Strawberry Jam
3 cups  prepared strawberries (buy about 3 pt. fully ripe strawberries)

3/4 cup  water
1 box  SURE-JELL For Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes Premium Fruit Pectin
1/2 cup  SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated or 12 SPLENDA® Packets No Calorie Sweetener

1. Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Fill boiling-water canner half full with water; add jars and water to cover. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Place lids in water to cover in a small saucepan; bring water to a simmer. Simmer until ready to use. Remove and drain jars and lids, one at a time, as needed for filling.
2. Cut strawberries in half; crush using potato masher or food processor. Place exactly 3 cups of crushed strawberries in a large saucepan; stir in water. Gradually add pectin, stirring until blended.
3. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) over medium-high heat.  Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener, stirring until SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener dissolves. Skim off any foam with metal spoon. Allow to stand for 5 minutes to minimize separation of fruit and liquid.
4. Ladle hot jam into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4-inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on rack in canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil.
5. Process 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing center of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)  Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Once opened, store refrigerated and use within 2 weeks.
Yield: 3 half-pint jars

After making the Jam I used my canning Boiling Water Bath to dunk some tomatoes in to make them easier to peel.  I have so many on the table I needed to peel and cut them up to put in the freezer.  I was just finishing when…
I had so many plans today, but I didn’t get but a few of them done.  At noon I ended up taking my Dad to the emergency room.  His new knee replacement, 3 mos. old, was hot and swollen.  We were told that all is well with the knee, no infection he could find.  The ER Dr. consulted with Dad’s orthropedic Dr. and decided to do a fluid withdrawal of the fluid around his knee to check for infection that way.  We’re to call on Monday to set that up.   So back at it tomorrow.  Tonight I write, post and watch TV.

IT RAINED HERE AT MY HOUSE TODAY!!!  YEAH!!!

Historic recipes – PICCALILLI

    I am an avid recipe collector and I love to read recipes and recipe books.  Searching the “recipe web” (pun) one day I happened across Feeding America (The Historic American Cookbook Project) 
http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/index.html      This site has over 50 cookbooks for people to read.  Each cookbook has a regular text page or a PDF to download.  As a recipe nut I love to read how people used to cook and compare to today’s cooking practices.  Of course there is the true orginality to a recipe that intriques me; meaning ‘this is how they used to make it’.
    Last night I looked through a few of the historic cookbooks and copied some of the canning recipes. 

Today I’ll post one and tomorrow I’ll make a long post with more of the canning recipes.

This recipe is from JENNIE JUNE’S AMERICAN COOKERY BOOK
BY MRS. J. C. CROLY, (JENNIE JUNE.)   1866

PICCALILLI
Use all kinds of vegetables that may be pickled. Slice cabbages, and pull cauliflowers in bunches, put them on earthen dishes, sprinkled over with salt, and let them stand three days to dry. Sliced cucumbers, green tomatoes, gherkins, radish pods, onions, beans, nasturtiums and anything you like that may be pickled, put it into salt and water one day. The next day dry them; take a few at a time and scald in brown vinegar, and when all are scalded, set the vinegar away. To four quarts of brown vinegar, put a quarter of a pound of ginger, two ounces of allspice, quarter of a pound of shallots, two ounces of tumeric, and boil slowly half an hour. Take some boiling vinegar, and mix eight ounces of flour of mustard and pour it into the vinegar and spices; it must not boil after the mustard is put in. Put the prepared vegetables and spices in a large jar, scatter some brown mustard seed among the mixture, and stir it up well in the jar. If at any time it should become too dry, add cold boiled vinegar; for the vegetable must be kept covered with vinegar mixture. Cover the jar air tight and set in a cool place.

Green Tomatoes

Hoping everyone’s week went well.  It is still HOT here.  I was told that last night at 9:00p.m. it was 92 degrees outside my house.  The air conditioner is getting a workout this summer.  We’re promised scattered thunderstorms this weekend and I am ready; even a quick downpour would be nice.
    1:30p.m.  A friend of mine gave me some green tomatoes to make my Green Tomato Relish, but I don’t have any Tumeric or whole mustard seeds and I forgot to buy the  (AH!  I hear thunder!) cabbage.  So I decided to make my fave Green Tomato Pickles with Onions; espically since the tomatoes are in the fridge, salted and drained.  I’ve been making these for 5 years now.  I love it when, at the end of the season, someone says “come get all these green tomatoes before the frost gets them”.   You’ll find the recipe and photos for my Green Tomato Relish on last years garden Blog.  Here: Green Tomato Relish
http://arkansasfarmerette.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/green-tomato-relish/


Here is the recipe Green Tomato Pickles with Onions recipe I make:

1 gallon sliced tomatoes – 16 cups
2 cups sliced onions
1.4 c. canning or pickling salt
4 c. vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
3 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon mustard seed

1.  Slice tomatoes and onions,  Sprinkle with 1/4 c. salt and let stand 4 to 6 hours.  Drain.
2.  Heat and stir sugar into vinegar until dissolved.  Tie cloves, allspice, celery, and mustard seeing a cheesecloth or spice bag.  Add to vinegar with tomatoes and onions.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent sorching.  Tomatoes should be tender and transparent when properly cooked.
3.  Remove spice bag.  Fill jars and cover with vinegar solution.  Leave 1/2-inch headspace.  Adjust lids and process in boiling water bath canner; 10 minutes for pints, 15 minutes for quarts.
4.  This recipe yields about 9 pints.

Notes:  I like my tomatoes and onions chunky so I quarter them.  I split apart the onion layers so they will cook better and you’ll get more in each jar that way.
 
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Oh yeah I mentioned thunder eariler in this post…

RAIN!!!  It has been raining nice and slow for an hour and the temp is so much cooler.  Yeah!!!

Canning Potatoes and Corn Relish

6-30-12
The potato plants are drying out at different times; some are still green and some have been dry for a week or more.  This morning at 6:30 I went up into the garden and dug up 17 of the dry plants.  Believe me hunting in the dirt for potatoes is not easy work.  I think I only sliced through 3 potatoes with my shovel.  After an hour of digging the sun starting coming up over the tree line and I was getting tired so I stopped; covered in sweat.  There are still about 15 or so dry potato plants to dig up and I’ll be out there in the morning doing it all over again.
   
Once I finished with the potato digging I decided to make my corn relish before canning the potatoes.  This is a recipe I made up.


Southwest Style Corn Relish

Makes 2 pints

2 cups fresh corn
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp canning salt
1/2 c. cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. cilantro
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. lime juice

Place all ingredients in an enamel or stainless steel pan. (A large stainless saucepan is big enough.)
Bring to a boil and let boil for 15 minutes.
While relish is boiling get your jars and boiling water bath ready.
Fill jars with hot relish and place on your lids and tighten the rings.
Place in boiling water bath. (Remember the boiling water should cover your jars by 1-inch.)  Leave in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Remove jars; sitting them in a draft free place.  Wait for the lid popping sound and you’re done.

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 After putting the relish away I canned 4 quarts of the potatoes I picked this morning.  The recipe and instructions I used came from my Kerr Canning Book.

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7-1-12
    Dug up more of the potato plants this morning; 18 today leaving 10 green plants up in the garden.  Dug up another wash tub full.  I canned another 4 quarts.  There were lots of little ones attached to the large potatoes and some small ones so I decided to put them away in pint jars for stew this winter.  I don’t know why I insist on putting myself through all this work.  I guess I just can’t throw good food away.
    To prepare the little ones I stood at the sink using my dish scrunchy and rubbed all skin off each one under running water.  I had to trim off each one.  Potatoes have a tendency to turn brown after they’ve been peeled for a while so I place them in a bowl of cool water with a squirt or two of lemon juice.  I always rinse them before I place them in the jars.  I do the same lemon water soak with my cut potatoes I placed in the quart jars.

It was a busy weekend and I could use a day off now. :O)  I will say I enjoyed myself.  I LOVE TO CAN.  Have I mentioned that?
The weekend was a hot as the week and the fields, woods,and creeks are drying up.  I heard they have banned fireworks in our county and the next one (Fort Smith,AR’s county).  Guess the 4th won’t be much of one unless we get a good soaking rain for a day.  We’ve deer on our property that graze in our field behind the garden and drink from a spring just down below the hill from our house.  We’ve seen generations of these same deer over the years and one doe has had several sets of twins.  Dad and I went out for supper this evening and on the way in we saw four of them by the spring.  They just stood there and looked at us as we drove by.  I saw the buck in the back field last Thursday.  It was the first time I’ve seen him in the open.
     Well enough about the pretty deer.  Hope everyone had a GREAT weekend and the same for the week to come.

In The Garden

Quick post:
     I’ve picked 10 tomatoes so far but the plants are full.  I’m afraid to let them ripen fully on the vine because of the “sucky bugs” You know, the ones that suck the juice from the tomatoes.  I’ve no idea what they are. ? I dislike using it but I sprinkle Sevin Dust on the tomato plants. 
     I also picked 3 more bell peppers that are green, not orange.  I’ve one plant that I have left the bell peppers on longer than the others and they are not turning ornage either.  The sun has partically baked them with a sun spot.  As I said in an eariler post I can’t eat green bell peppers so I’ll be giving these way.
     I’ve yet to get gas for my new (replacement) tiller so the garden is a bit grass.  I am thankful that most of the grass growing amoungst the plants is crabgrass so it is easy to pull up.
The potato plants are still greenish; there is one in the garden that is still flowering.  I can’t believe that, but there it is. :O)
     I was watering the green beans and picking them at the same time Friday night.  I only got 3 pts. and one 1/2 pt.  So far that makes 13 1/2 pts this year.  The plants are still lush, green and flowering so I’ve hopes yet of canning more than 30 pts.
     The weather is supposed to turn HOTTER (100 degrees plus) with no rain in site for next week.  I see the water bill going up. :O)
     When I water tonight I’m going to put some 10-20-10 fertilizer around the plants.  They look like they could use it.

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May YOUR garden produce beyond your expectations.