Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Peppermint Bath Salts

Peppermint Bath Salts are fun and easy to make.  My kids help me make these to give away as presents for Christmas.  It is fun to make them look like a peppermint stick.  All you need is some bath salt tubes, Epsom salt, peppermint essential oil, and some red food coloring.



First split your bag of Epsom salt between two bowls.  I add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to mine.  Then put peppermint essential oil into each.  I put about 20 drops.  To one add enough red food coloring to get the shade of red you like.


Now you are ready to fill your salt tubes.  To fill hold the tubes at an angle.  I used a funnel and put in a tablespoon of salt.  Alternating colors until the tube is filled.  Pack the salt in tightly.  You will need to top them off after the settle a little. 
Add a tag and a pretty ribbon and you got a great gift or stocking stuffer.

One bag of Epsom salt made 18 bath tubes.  Depending on the size of your tubes you should at least get a dozen out of a 4 lb bag of salt. Click Here to find a great place to find containers. They have all sizes and the prices are pretty reasonable. 



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Canned All Fruit Mince Meat

I still have apples left so I was trying to think of something else to make with them or can with them.  I love the taste of mince meat but not everyone likes the meat and suet in it.  I haves seen a lot of recipes for All Fruit Mince Meat.  This is great to use as a pie filling or you can use it to make cookies and many other things. 

I pulled out an older cook book that I normally forget about.  It is a cookbook written by someone from the upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is called Mrs. Chard's Almanac Hollyhocks and Radishes.  It has a lot of old simple recipes.

I will give you the original recipe and let you know what I change to make mine. I just used what I had in my pantry or what I had canned.

The original recipe is called                                                                         
  Venison Mincemeat with Cider
3 pounds lean venison, cooked
1/2 pound beef suet or butter
3 quarts of chopped green apples
3 pounds of raisins
1 pound currants
2 cups canned fruit with juice (i.e. cherries, plums, pineapple)
3 cups sugar
3 cups brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 quart apple cider                        
                                                                                                                    
The way I made it

All Fruit Mincemeat
 I looked in my pantry and                                                                                                
 pulled out all the dried fruit
I had blueberries, cranberries,
 dates, and raisins. This added up
to about 2 quarts of dried fruit
I used 2 cups crushed pineapple that  was canned.
 3 cups sugar
 3 cups brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
 2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vinegar
1 quart white grape juice (that I canned)
I added enough chopped apples to fill my large
 crock pot.


I left it on low for 4 hours while I was away.  When I came home I switched it to my large kettle to finish thickening it up.  It was getting late and I wanted to get it canned before midnight.  I cooked it another 2 hours  until it was nice and thick. 

 
I put it into pint jars and followed my canning book recommendations for canning fruit pie filling. I left 1 inch head space and  processed in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes for quarts or pints.
 

I ended up with 12 pints of All Fruit Mincemeat.  The original recipe says it yields 10 quarts.  I tasted it and was very pleased with the taste.  Nice and sweet and I love the spice.  I can't wait to use it in some cookies or pie!!


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