This week, I dried apples for the first time. This is a simple preservation technique, and I’m not really sure why I never did it before. I wanted to make these delicious sounding Apple Pie Caveman Bars from Civilized Caveman, and it called for dried apples. I actually looked for dried apples at the grocery store, but we didn’t find any. Then the light bulb kicked on and I remembered that my dehydrator was actually meant for drying things, not just making yogurt. Continue reading
My husband loves his yogurt. He loves it so much that he makes it himself and eats nearly a quart each day at work. Yes, a quart. He credits it with curing his persistent toothaches and with boosting his immune system. I’m not sure if others have similar results, but he has definitely noticed an improvement. Today I am going to walk you through how we make raw milk yogurt in the dehydrator. It is only one of many ways, but it works very well for us. Continue reading
What could be better on a gloomy fall day than chicken pot pie? Especially if it is made with your own chicken. This is a recipe that is fairly simple to make, and tastes oh so good. It is perfect for potlucks, too. Continue reading
Despite my not planting any, I harvested a few pumpkins this year from my volunteer garden. Since the killing frost a few weeks ago, they have been sitting on my counter taking up space and waiting to be processed. Today I finally got around to tackling at least some of them. I started with three large pumpkins, two small pumpkins, and a Hubbard squash. The three large pumpkins are now in the freezer as purée, ready to become pies. Continue reading
Last month I bought a bushel of Cortland apples that were on sale from a local orchard. My kids were in an apple phase, when they would eat apples faster than I could bring them home. Of course, the moment I brought home a whole bushel, they lost their ravenous appetite for apples. So now I had a huge bag of apples just sitting around, waiting to be eaten. They got bruised as we moved them hither and thither in the kitchen since they had no assigned home. Finally, I took the whole bag and sorted it by whether they were bruised or not. There were at least three times as many bruised apples as not. So I began doing what any sane person would do. I started making apple crisp pudding. Continue reading
When we first started dating, my husband cooked beans and rice for me while we were out on a picnic. Over the years, this has become a staple in his lunch box. It is simple to make and inexpensive. This recipe will make 6 man-size lunches, or probably 8-12 family servings. This is a great stand alone meal because it has protein, carbs, veggies, and fat. Continue reading
My hard-working husband has to get up most mornings at 2 am to get ready to punch into work at 4 am for a ten-hour workday, and if he is lucky, it will only be five days instead of six. This makes breakfast very important for him. It will fuel him through the morning until his 11:30 lunchtime. Since I cannot get up with him at that ungodly hour, I make sure to have soaked oatmeal as ready as possible for him when he gets up. It takes only 5 minutes in the morning before he can eat. Continue reading
Pancakes make the perfect Saturday morning breakfast. They invoke images of country kitchens, melting butter and warm maple syrup, and family sitting around the table together. The problem with pancakes is that they are difficult to digest. My body actively tries to prevent me from eating most pancakes by tightening up my esophagus and making it hard to swallow. My mother and daughter also have similar reactions to similar foods. I am loathe to give them up, though, so I was delighted when I discovered soaked flour pancakes. They are similar to sourdough pancakes and with a couple of minor tweaks, you can use the same recipe.
Soaked flour pancakes
Soaked flour pancakes and standard pancakes share many of the same ingredients.
Here we have white whole wheat flour, farm fresh milk, baking soda, butter, eggs and raw apple cider vinegar. Variations include exchanging the milk and vinegar for sour milk, or using sourdough starter instead of the flour, milk and vinegar. I have been known to take a bottle of raw milk and leave it on the counter overnight to sour specifically to use in pancakes and other baked goods. Raw milk sours and is still perfectly edible (if not palatable), pasteurized milk spoils and is unusable. Never use pasteurized milk that has spoiled. Sour raw milk, on the other hand, is still healthy and edible even after two months in the refrigerator. For more information on raw milk go check out A Campaign for Real Milk.
Start the night before
The key difference between standard pancakes and soaked flour pancakes is when you start them. Soaked flour pancakes need to be started 8-12 hours before you want to eat them. I start them when I get ready for bed. Take 2 cups of flour, a scant 2 cups of milk, and 2 Tablespoons of raw vinegar. If you don’t have vinegar, you can use lemon juice, or whey. Mix these all together in a medium to large bowl, and cover to keep out curious pets, or anything else that might be interested in sharing your food. Check the consistency and adjust the flour or milk as needed to get a consistency just slightly thicker than you want your final batter to be. If you have sourdough starter, then just feed it so that you will have approximately 3 cups of starter available for morning.
In the morning
In the morning, melt 1/4 cup of butter over medium low heat.
While you are waiting for the butter to melt, add two eggs and stir to combine. This is a great way to involve your kids. Five-year-olds adore cracking eggs, then wiping their hands on their pajamas. Mine has been cracking eggs since she was three.
If your butter isn’t melted yet, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and stir it in.
Once your butter is melted, stir it in, too. The order you add the ingredients is not important, but I like to add what I can while I wait for the butter to melt. In the hot summer, sometimes the butter is ready fast, so the eggs and/or the baking soda can go in after. It really doesn’t matter. If your batter is too thick at this point, you can add milk one tablespoon at a time to thin it out a little. If it is too thin, logic says to add flour one tablespoon at a time, but that flour would not have the benefit of the overnight soak to make it more easily digestible. I will leave that up to you.
Start the cooking
This is how I need to set my stove. My griddle spans two burners. I have a large burner in front and a small burner in the back, and the opposite on the other side of the stove. In order to provide the same BTUs, I have to set the small burner a little higher than the large one. Start with a medium-low setting for your griddle and fine tune it from there so that your pancakes turn golden brown instead of either burning with a gooey middle or dehydrating instead of cooking.
Once your griddle is hot (test it by seeing if a few drops of water sizzle on it), pour your batter on. I use a quarter cup measuring cup.
Your pancakes will start to develop little bubbles on the surface when they are almost ready to flip. Standard pancakes develop lots of bubbles, but these only make a few. If you wait for a lot, you will burn them. While you are watching for bubbles, also keep an eye on the edge. It will start to look dry and cooked. This pancake is just moments away from flipping.
Flip all of your pancakes and cook on the other side. The second side won’t take as long as the first side, so don’t go checking your email at this point.
When the second side is done, stack them all up on a plate and refill your griddle with more batter. Fend off the kids who will want to poach them all instead of waiting until they are all done. You can put them in the oven with the oven light on, or set to the lowest setting with the door open to keep them warm.
Today I want to share a family recipe that I grew up on. It is called Red Bunny, and I suspect that it is derived from Welsh Rarebit. I don’t know the actual origins of this dish, but I do know that no one outside my family seems to have ever heard of it. It is a good quick meal when you are just throwing something together, if not particularly balanced. It is no worse than mac and cheese, though. And this has vegetables. Sort of. Continue reading
I usually try to post deep and meaningful things on Sundays, but I need to come clean here (see what I did there?). Being deep and meaningful takes work. So today I am posting a recipe instead. A recipe for laundry soap. I have been making my own laundry soap for nearly ten years now. It saves money, saves time, and saves the Earth. Continue reading