Sunday, December 1, 2013

Nuts & Bolts

'Tis the season to start preparing all the yummy festive snacks…  A classic - it's always a good idea to have Nuts & Bolts Mix on hand. I'll make a huge roaster full, bag and store in the freezer. Then when we get the munchies or are having a lazy afternoon watching our favourite Christmas movies we have the perfect snack. I've also noticed that regardless of what company is over (kids or adults), they always gravitate towards Nuts & Bolts leaving the bowl quickly emptied.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 2 Hours | Makes: Lots

12 cups cheerios
6 crispex or chex
6 cups shreddies
6 ups gold fish
1 bag bugels
1 bag stick pretzels 
2 cups peanuts (optional)1 1/2 cups margarine

3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp soya sauce

- Combine all dry ingredients in large roasting pan.
- In small saucepan, melt margarine and stir in all seasonings. Bring to a boil, then cool.
- Pour over cereal mixture, stirring to coat.
- Place roaster in 250 degree oven for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Garden Harvest

Well... this is pretty much how my kitchen has looked for last several weeks. Vegetables from our garden, as well from Mr. Piper's garden down the road. As much as I LOVE all the garden goodies, I completely enjoy turning and processing into food for my family for the months to come! My freezer is full of soup, and almost all my canning jars are full! I still have a big box of tomatoes to get through this week, but I'll likely just make tomato juice; oh and fresh dill that I need to wash up and package for the freezer. But other than that, I think I'm done for this year - here's what I made:


And from my apples this year:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sweet Relish

I really wanted to make some relish with my cucumbers this year, and started searching through old community cook books (Domain's Nothing But The Best, and More of The Best which are my regular go-tos, and St. Gerard's Roman Catholic Church Cook Book which is Jason's go-to. But then I remembered my sister-in-law, Jaime, who always makes good relish! She is a Prairie Girl too, born and raised in southern Manitoba, and I believe this recipe came from her mom. Thank you for passing on to me!! Some call this a hot dog relish, but we like it on anything. Tonight, we'll be having ours with BBQ Pork!

Prep Time: 30 Minutes / 24 Hours | Cook Time: 10 Minutes | Makes: about 4 Quarts

14-15 cucumbers
4 cups onions
1/4 of a red pepper
1/2 cup course salt
5 cups white sugar
4 cups vinegar
1 cup flour
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp turmeric

- Shred cucumbers, onions & red pepper
- Toss with salt, and let stand refrigerated over night
- Next day drain out excess liquid
- Combine and heat vinegar, sugar, flour, celery seed, mustard seed and turmeric. Warm to a steam, not boil.
- Pour over cucumber mixture, stir and store/can in mason jars.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Old Fashioned Apple Cider

A few years ago, my husband started raving about and craving the Apple Cider his grandma used to make. So naturally, he called up his mom and scribbled down the recipe on a scrap of paper. Every year since, we make Apple Cider out of crab apple harvest! Our kids love drinking it cold, but my favourite is on a cold winters evening, especially around Christmas, to crack open a jar and warm with mulling spices. Mmmm... soooo good!

5 quarts boiling water
4 quarts apples
6 tsps cream of tarter

- Sprinkle tarter over washed & quartered apples.
- Pour boiling water over apples, let stand 24 hours.
- Strain through cheese cloth.
- Bring juice just to boil for 10 minutes.
- Add sugar to taste.
- Store in juice/mason jars or freeze in containers.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Apple Helps & Hints

I love old cookbooks, especially all the ones I've inherited from my grandma(s). I flip though them thinking they must have done the same thing many years ago, and it's like winning the lottery when I find a page that has been marked up by them. I've posted several "helps" from my Grandma's 1927 Household Helps book and recently found another gem, her Watkins Household Hints 1947.

Since I've been processing all our crab apple harvest, I took a few minutes to look up what I could find on Apples...

First the Helps:

To Bake Apples Quickly - Core apples and prepare for baking as usual; put them in water and boil till soft (about 10 minutes); remove, and place in a baking-pan, pouring some of the water over them in which they were boiled; sprinkle with sugar as usual. Put them in a hot oven about five minutes to brown. This requires less than one-half the usual time. When baking apples, prick the skins with a fork and they will not burst.

Apples Baked with Honey - Prepare apples just as for sugar; for six to eight apples use four tablespoons of honey and mix with one cup of fine bread crumbs and 1/2 tablespoon each of cinnamon and lemon extract. Fill apples, after peeling and coring, with the mixture and bake in a well-greased, porcelain-lined baking dish. Other delicious changes from sugar-filled apples are: Fill the cavities with hone and broken walnut meats; chopped raisins and nuts, or dates.

When Making Apple Sauce, instead of straining it, beat it with an eggbeater; it will be more fluffy and saves time. If you wish apple sauce to be smooth, add the sugar toward the last; much less sugar is require when it is added just before removing from the stove; if you wish apples to keep their shape, put the sugar in at the beginning. Adding a little lemon juice improves the flavor.

To Peel Apples Easily - Pour boiling water over apples to be cooked; they will peel much easier and it saves much time.

When Peeling Apples for dumplings or stewing, etc., to prevent them from getting brown and soft put them in a basin with cold water and a little salt as each one is cut up.

And some Hints:

Apple Corer - The small end of a funnel will serve as an emergency apple corer.

Apple Buying - Look at label for grade, variety and size. For general cooking and eating: Stayman, McIntosh, Grimes-Golden, Spetzenburge, Jonathan, Northern Spy, Wealthy, Wagener, Baldwin. Choice for baking: Tolman Sweet, Stayman, Rome Beauty, ARkansas or Black Twig. Choice for pie and sauce: Stayman, York Imperial, Rhode Island Greening, Northwest Greening, Black Twig, Ben Davis, Stark.

Apple Pie - Grate cheese and sprinkle over the crust before taking pie from oven. The cheese will melt and add flavor to the pie.

Pickling Crab Apples - If baked before dropping in syrup the apples are more tender.