Eggs-travagant Dining On The Homestead

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It’s that time year – eggs running out my ears.  Now that’s a word picture, huh???  Anyway,  I thought I’d share a couple of things I do with eggs besides fry them along with some observations about cooking and storing this easy-to-produce homestead protein source. Continue reading

Mustard

Yesterday I tackled a tiny piece of the mustard patch.  We planted this garden late in the fall, not certain if anything would stand the winter.  However, we knew for certain that seeds won’t grow in the package so we threw them out there.  In the last few weeks of brighter sun and sometimes warmer weather they’ve Continue reading

The Heat Is On

After experiencing the most lovely, cool spring I can remember (God truly is gracious in our time of need) I believe summer has arrived.  The first clue is that everyone in the house is “dewy” by early afternoon, except David who is generally drenched and salt encrusted. Temperatures have been in the mid 90’s, but that’s better than 110. Continue reading

Canning Bacon

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First, the disclaimer:  The USDA does not recommend canning bacon and has determined the practice to be unsafe.  Once again, nothing you see me do on this blog should in any way be construed as a recommendation that you do the same.  I make my own decisions.  You’ll have to make yours.

That said, here’s how I can bacon.

Continue reading

Oran’s Omelet

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My grandson Oran likes to cook and to create recipes.  Yesterday it was an omelet, Oran’s Omelet.  It all started when he found some Egyptian Walking Onions down by the creek.  We had cleared some out of the garden and thrown them down there.  No need to plant them, they plant themselves.

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Next we cut some fresh asparagus and lamb’s quarter and just a little fresh sage.

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2 farm fresh eggs, a couple of teaspoons of sour cream and a bit of butter rounded out the ingredient list.  Oran went to work.

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After tasting we decided that Oran’s Omelet was delicious, easy to make out of home grown incredients, and indeed merited a place in the recipe file.

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Not A Recipe For Wild Rabbit

 

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So, as per the last post, after a days chilling I had a wild rabbit to cook.  I searched online for a recipe.  Now, I love recipes and cookbooks but I rarely use them other than for research and reference; therefore, this is not a recipe for cooking wild rabbit.  It’s just how I did it. Continue reading

Biscuits

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Biscuits are a homestead staple.  We eat them often around here so I thought I’d share my recipe and some hints.  I make a small batch, usually just enough for the two of us for breakfast and lunch or for all of us for breakfast if the grandchildren are here.  The recipe can be easily doubled or more. Continue reading

Potato Yeast Bread

But first, from a 1932 Home Comfort Woodstove cookbook:  Advice To Young Cooks

“A convenient place for everything, and everything kept in its proper place is one of the big secrets in saving steps in preparing a meal.  A small table, kept clear of everything except the particular material and utensils being used, is most indispensable to any cook.  Before commencing to cook, Continue reading

Canning Quail And Other Game Birds

*Disclaimer – The government provides specific standards for home canning.  The University of Georgia website has a comprehensive collection of government approved canning methods.  Our methods may not be government approved and according to the government may not be safe.

The cold weather has finally set in and we’ve had a busy week.  We were gifted with about 15 pounds of frozen quail by a lady who was cleaning out the freezer for this years hunting harvest.  We don’t hunt them ourselves as we’re concerned by the decrease in the quail population we’ve both seen here in Oklahoma over the last 30 years, but since these would have gone to waste we took them gratefully.  They were vacuum sealed and of good quality.  Since we live off grid and don’t have a freezer, we chose to preserve the birds by canning.

We checked 3 references.

  • The Canning, Freezing, Curing & Smoking Of Meat, Fish & Game by Wilbur F. Eastman Jr.
  • Stocking Up III by Carol Hupping
  • My mom’s old Ball Blue Book

Each verified that small game is canned in the same manner as chicken and other poultry.  Either a hot pack or cold pack can be used.  In hot packing the meat is cooked medium done before packing in jars and adding water or broth.  In the cold pack method the meat is packed raw in to the jars.  Salt may be added but no additional water is used.  The jars are heated (unsealed) in a hot water bath until the contents reach 170 degrees at which time the lids are secured and the jars processed under pressure.  We chose the cold pack method.

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Quail is usually hunted with a shotgun and the first step in preparing the meat is to remove any remaining shot pellets, any bone fragments and any feathers that have been driven into the flesh by the energy of the shot.  Most hunters skin the quail and many only keep the breast, although the legs make tasty little fried drumsticks.  Our grandson Oran loves then.

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We packed 6 to 7 breasts per quart jar, and in retrospect could have easily made it 9 or 10 per jar.  1 teaspoon of salt was added to each jar.  We placed the open jars in the canner, on a rack with water up to within 2 inches of the top of each jar.  Heating to 170 degrees took about an hour.  The rims were wiped and the lids and rings placed.  Following the directions we had, we processed at 15 pounds pressure for 90 minutes.  In pressure canning, 10 pounds is used at sea level and the pressure incrementally advanced up to 15 pounds with increases of altitude.  We’re at about 1,000 feet here and according to recommendations we could get by with somewhere around 12 pounds pressure, but we use a weighted gauge canner that is pre-set for 15 pounds.

The finished birds settled some in the jars, but they all sealed.  In the same batch of birds we also had several chukkar or maybe prairie chicken (not exactly sure which) that we preserved in the same manner.  We’ll use the canned meat in dishes like quail and gravy, quail and stuffing, quail and rice or in soup with dumplings.