Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Freezing Green Peas

Peas, like most other vegetables are very easy to freeze.  I think that is why most people choose to freeze over canning.  I make my decision based on personal preference.  I love canned green beans and I hate them when they are frozen. Most of my vegetables I like better canned.  There are a few though that I prefer frozen.  Peas are one of those vegetables that I think taste much better when they are frozen. 

To start shell your peas.  This is the hard part.  I had no clue how many peas I had when I began shelling them.  I only picked one row of peas, but they were loaded.  I actually sat through 1 1/2 movies while shelling these peas!!  So they went in the fridge until I could get them frozen.  I had two of the 2 lb margarine tubs completely filled.  I had a third one that was half filled which we ate for dinner the next day.

1. Peas ready to go into the boiling water

2. Bring water to a boil

3. Place peas in your boiling water and blanch for 1 1/2 -2 1/2 minutes
This depends on the size of your peas. I like using this pan because
it has a strainer basket.  It is a lot easy it get your peas out that way.

4. Drain peas and place in ice cold water.  I use
my clean kitchen sink with ice packs in it.

5. Once the peas are cooled put them in a colander and allow to drain well

6. Put your peas in freezer containers.  I like to use these reusable containers
when I am freezing pints. I use freezer bags for quarts. We don't use
a lot of peas at one time so the pints work great. 

I was so tickled that I got 6 pints of peas to put in my freezer.  We normally only get enough to eat some fresh and maybe freeze a pint or two.  We have another row that is almost ready to pick.  My mom will pick this row to put in her freezer!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Black Raspberry Pizza

I make this dessert all the time.  The recipe is for strawberry pizza.  But I also use it for black raspberry and also red raspberry.  Whatever I have a lot of.  The black raspberries are getting ripe right now in our area.  They are a week or so earlier than normal.  I guess it is our warm winter and very warm spring that has made a lot of the fruit  in our area get ripe earlier than normal.

I found this recipe in one of my taste of home magazines.  You can find it on line here.

I cheated though and used black raspberry jam instead of making a syrup with the fresh black raspberries.  When I make black raspberry jam I remove a lot of the seeds. So I wanted to use this instead of making a fresh syrup and having a ton of seeds in it.  So I just heated it up a little and pour it on my pizza.  It tasted fantastic and of course there isn't any left!

I decided to freeze the black raspberries that I had left.  I still have a lot of black raspberry jam left over from last year.  (Which is odd, my husband normally devours it on top of ice cream) So to freeze black raspberries I put my washed raspberries on a cookie sheet in a single layer and freeze.  Once they are frozen I put them into a freezer bag or container and pop them into my freezer.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Red, White, and Blue Popcorn

I saw the recipe for this on Phemomenon. She posted the recipe on a blog hop back over Memorial Day Weekend.  I saved the recipe to use when I had time.  My friend is having another show this weekend and I decided to make some of this to try and sell at her show.  The Red, White, and Blue will go great with the 4th of July coming up real soon!!

Old Fashion Candy Popcorn
2 cups sugar
2/3 cups whole milk or half and half (I used half and half)
2 tablespoons of corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vanilla
4 - 5 quarts of popped popcorn (the original recipe calls for 12 cups. I found I had way to much syrup for the popcorn so I added an extra quart or two)

In a saucepan bring the sugar, milk, corn syrup, and salt to a boil over medium heat.  Cook and stir until the syrup is at soft ball stage.  My candy thermometer has soft ball stage set at 235 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Take off the heat and add your vanilla.  Stir and add food coloring if desired.  The blog that I got the recipe from divided the syrup into three different containers and added the food coloring.  I made three different batches and made each batch a different color. 

Pour the syrup over the popcorn and stir until completely coated.  Pour onto wax paper and spread it out and let dry.  I found this took an hour or so.  Once my different colors were all dry I tossed them together and bagged up to sell. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Greenhouse Part 2

The new greenhouse is coming along nicely.  A little over a week ago we spent the morning putting on the plastic.  What a job that was!  It took 5 adults to get the plastic on.  It was really neat how they did it.  I was one of those five adults so I don't have pictures of the process.  I will have to get the pictures from my mom's camera to post pictures of the process.  We tied tennis balls to the plastic and hooked rope to it.  Then the rope was thrown over top the green house to the other side.  Then with four people pulling at the same time and one person on the inside (me) with a long stick with a glove on it the plastic was pulled up over top.  I used the stick to unwedge the plastic in any spots it got stuck while they were pulling it over.  Once the plastic was over we had to stand at each end on some scaffolding to pull it tight and to secure it in. 

The morning we did it the temperature was a little over 60 degrees Fahrenheit at 9:00am. We put a thermometer in the greenhouse and by 10:00am the temperature had climbed to 98 degrees Fahrenheit inside the greenhouse!!

You can see the big pile of plastic still in front of the greenhouse. This was taken
shortly after we got it attached on the ends and at the sides on the bottom.

The plastic makes the greenhouse look smaller.  But this
picture with my family members in it does show the size it really is!

I like this picture of the side.  It looks so nice.  The sides have two
layers of plastic on it.  The raised garden in the foreground has onions
with peas on the right end.  It is now all weeded out and looks great!

The plastic is trimmed off of the front. It has been tacked down and
the opening for the fans and door has been cut out.

The have fans been installed as well as a water hydrant.  I will have to get more pictures soon and share them.  My dad did put two gourd plants in there that day.  He just had to have some plants in his greenhouse.  Even though it is not finished yet!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

French Rhubarb Pie

Our assistant pastor and his wife had us over for lunch on Sunday.  She served this pie and it was absolutely delicious!!  My son who is a pie eater just loved it.  He ate two pieces of it.  We told him he couldn't have seconds during dinner but she offered him the last piece later on in the afternoon.  She knew he wanted it and let him finish it off. 
She was kind enough to give me the recipe.  The crumb topping caramelizes on top.  The combination of the sweet topping and the tart rhubarb is Divine!!

To make the pie combine 1 cup sugar, 2-3 cups of rhubarb (I had a larger pie plate so I used 3 cups) and 1 large eggs.  Pour it into an unbaked pie crust.  Our rhubarb is a green variety.  It is green with a tint of red to it at the bottom of the stalks.

Mix together 1 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour, and 1 stick of butter.  Mix with a pastry blender until crumbly.  Pour over the top of the pie.

Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.  Drop the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 35-40 minutes. 

I only had dark brown sugar so my pie is a little darker than the pastor's wife was.  We couldn't wait to try it so we had some warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It was just as scrumptious as the one we had on Sunday!!

French Rhubarb Pie
1 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon of vanilla
2-3 cups rhubarb
1 large egg
unbaked pie crust

1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter

Mix sugar, vanilla, rhubarb, and egg.  Place in pie crust.  Mix with a pastry blender brown sugar, flour, and butter.  Place on top of pie.  Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Drop heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 35-40 minutes. 

I am linking to Frugal Days Sustainable Ways

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Oatmeal Milk Bath

If you have a family member who has had the chicken pox or has eczema then you have probably used the Aveno oatmeal bath.  It is wonderful stuff.  It is soothing on the skin and helps with itching.  The only thing is it is expensive.  When my son was young we needed it every night.  His eczema was so bad that he needed something to calm the skin and relieve the itching.  So I found this recipe on line.  It has been so long ago I don't know where I found it. 

I make it all the time and have a constant supply on hand.  I use it a lot in the winter when my son's skin is real dry with the heat.  This time of year I use it a lot too.  When my son is outside playing in the grass, trees, and weeds I make him take a bath at night to wash off all that pollen.  He uses the oatmeal milk bath to help with itching and to calm down and moisturize his skin too!  He loves it and says it makes his skin feel good.

I sometimes add essential oil to it and put some of it in small bags to give away.  I normally put enough for one bath in a bag and give it in a spa basket. 

The recipe is easy and very simple to make.

Oatmeal Milk Bath
2 cups nonfat powdered milk
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup old fashion oatmeal (not the instant kind)

Put the oatmeal in a food processor and process until finely ground. 

Add the rest of the ingredients and process until well blended. 

That is it!! Store in a air tight container.  To use put 1/4-1/3 cup into your bath.  Mix it up well.  Soak and relax!!