Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Candied Jalapenos

Well, it's a mix of jalapenos and hungarian peppers. But the basic recipe I followed is over at Tasty Kitchen: Candied Jalapenos.

Wash em up and then slice off the ends. Lots of people recommend using gloves when cutting hot peppers. I suppose that would keep my eyes from watering so much when I forget and rub my eyes.

Then slice em all up about 1/8 inch thick.
The dry ingredients are sugar, tumaric, granulated garlic, celery salt and cayenne.
Two cups of apple cider vinegar are poured over the dry ingredients and the mixture is brought to a boil.
When the mix has simmered for a few minutes the pepper slices are added. Those are simmered together for another few minutes.
Then the peppers are ladled out with a slotted spoon. The sauce is heated back up to boiling.
The peppers are packed into sterile jars and then topped with the juice close to the top of the jar.
Follow the directions for your own canner. It will depend on the canner, the size of the jars, and your altitude.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Snow to Fire!

Just three days ago everything was covered in snow.

This evening the sky is on fire to the east.

It's the burning.

The air is filled with a luscious aroma of smoke, the sounds of eager leopard frogs, and Sandhill Cranes at a smorgasbord.

Two warm days and the fields are clear. Some snow remains in the woods and in shaded spots. But the dry grassland is on fire now.

It's time to be careful and watchful.

With my historical research into Christian Holy Days and Paganism I wonder if there was a similar experience in Britain and northern Europe during this season that might be part of the background of Beltane.

So, off to the books I go.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Scanner Repair

Northern Lights Bookstore was throwing out a broken scanner that was donated. (Donating broken things, hmmm.)
I asked if I could take it and what they'd want for it. Judy said, "Just take it, Pastor. It's garbage right now."

The scanner is a Microtek Scanmaker 3800. The glass bed had been pushed down into the scanner. Probably there were other things wrong as well.

However, all it required was epoxying the glass back to the plastic frame.
Laying the glass back into the frame.
 Epoxying the corners.

We have plenty of power supplies that work as well as USB cables.

The only real problem is that there are no SANE drivers for this model. The Microtek drivers work with our old iMac with OS9.2 and with Windows 98OSR2 through Win XP Pro. No problems there, we'll just dual boot back to the old OS when we want to use it. Not bad for free.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Roma Tomatoes Dehydration/Drying Foods

I picked up a food dehydrator a couple years ago at a 2nd Hand store for under $10. I've used it for Jerky, apples, tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers of different sorts, and leaves for herbal teas and such. I did have to do a bit of repair work on it, but it has more than paid for itself.

 Here's an example with Roma Tomatoes:
These are some of the washed Roma's that Pr. and Mrs. Mark Faugstad gave to us. The other box was already washed.

I quartered the tomatoes lengthwise. What follows is a series of photos of the change over 4 days.


Day 3:

Day 4: The tomatoes no longer bend, they break. Now they're ready for the bins.

For larger round tomatoes I slice them between 3/8" and 1/2 inch, lay them on the rack and let them go 4-5 days--until crisp.

I cut apples between 3/8" and 1/2" thick for drying, dip them in a mix of apple cider vinegar and sugar, then dry for 4-5 days--until they are crisp.

Here's a shelf of green peppers. These were quartered from top to bottom and then dried for 3 days.

Canning Bear Meat

Why can bear meat? 

1) To free up space in the freezer for other things.
2) Canned food doesn't spoil when the power goes out.
3) Canned meats don't need to be cooked before they can be eaten.
4) To learn how to do it in practice.

What did I can?
The shoulders, the neck, the rump, and the lower legs. All in all about 40 lbs of frozen packaged meat. That weight is raw, frozen, bone-in.

I did cut off the nice slices from the rump for frying up over the last couple days. So, that's about 4 to 6 lbs we ate before canning.

I chose these parts because, for example, the neck is kind of awkward to trim for anything other than a roast, and that's hard to trim after it is cooked. The shoulders have a lot of tendons in them, as do the legs and the high rump.


I did two batches in our 18x12x8 inch enameled roaster.

350F until the meat falls off the bone.

Then sterilize the jars and lids.

The meat gets pulled in chunks with a fork and knife and packed into the jars while still hot.

I put a bit of broth into each jar then topped with water until they were filled with 1 inch of head space. Wipe off the grease. I wanted as little grease as possible so that the seals would hold.

In my first batch there were 3 quarts of meat, in the second batch there were 6 quarts. I placed unpacked jars full of water in the spaces in the canner to keep jars from tipping over.

The canner needs to be above 10 lbs for 90 minutes to process quart jars. After the canner gets up to pressure, it really doesn't take much heat to do this. I kept the burner down to 2 or 3 for the whole time.

I left the fat and the trimmings in the roaster and let it warm up to 290F then strained the fat and put it into a couple pint jars. Below are what remains of the trimmings.

These I put into the crock pot with the bones to make broth.

So the results here are about 1.5 qt bear fat, about 1 qt concentrated broth, 9 qt canned bear meat, and a pile of soft bones good for cats, dogs, or garden.

Each quart of meat is 3 lbs + a few ounces, so that's 27 to 30-something pounds of meat in 9 jars.

Remove the rings, wash the greasy jars, wash the greasy canner, and get the jars stored.

Wow, it sure smelled great while roasting and in the crock pot.