Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Corn on the cob season is here!  When you’ve had your fill of eating it fresh this is a great way to eat it all winter. If you are a fan of cream corn you will love this!  You will never buy a can of that mystery corn again.
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You will need 3 dozen cobs of corn.  If the cobs are small you may need more.  These were large so it was the perfect amount.  Shuck (peel) the corn and remove as much of the “hair” as possible.
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In a very large kettle, bring water to a boil.   I use my canner, it is the perfect size.  Add about a dozen cobs to the water and cover.  This is called blanching and it is necessary to stop the enzymes.  All fruits and vegetables contain enzymes that, over time, break down the destroy nutrients and change the color, flavor, and texture of food during frozen storage. Corn requires a brief heat treatment, called blanching, in boiling water or steam, to destroy the enzymes before freezing.  Set a timer for five minutes.  I like to do this outside on my gas burners because my stovetop cannot handle these large kettles.
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After five minutes, remove the corn.  To keep the process going. add another dozen cobs and set your timer again for 5 minutes.  You will be very busy during this process so don’t be trying to run and change the laundry.
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Immediately dump the corn into very cold water.  Rub the cobs to remove any hair left.  Your next pot of cobs should be done so get them and repeat.
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I like to add ice to the cobs to get them very cold.  They need to be cold to the centers before you can cut the kernels off.  If you do it when it is still warm your corn will get a funky taste.
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Cut the kernels from the cob.  I like to use a very sharp knife.   Be careful not to cut into the cob.  You don’t want that tough cob in your corn.
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Then scrape the cob with your knife to get all the good juicy stuff!
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If you’re not comfortable with a knife, they make these corn cutters.  This one is from Pampered Chef.  I tried it and it really works!  But I went back to my knife because I guess I’m old school.
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You will end up with about 24 cups of corn.  I use my black turkey roaster pan for this.  It seems to be the perfect size.  If you don’t have one, you may have to use a couple of smaller roaster pans.  Add one pound of cut up butter. 
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And then pour in one quart of half and half.  You must use the half and half and not milk! 
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Give this a good stir and then put into the oven at 325 degrees for one hour.  Stir every 15 minutes.
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Remove from oven and stir one last time.  It should have thickened up a bit.  Go ahead and eat a spoonful, you won’t regret it!  Now this must cool to room temperature.  Stir every once in awhile to speed the cooling process.
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Spoon into freezer containers.  Use whatever size is suitable for your family.  For just us two, I do about a cup.
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Label and freeze.  When next January rolls around and you pull one of these from the freezer, you won’t regret the work it took to make it!

3 dozen corn cobs   (about 24 cups cut up corn)
1 quart half & half
1 pound butter,cubed
Blanche corn and cool.  Cut corn from cobs.  Add butter and half & half to corn and mix.  Bake at 325 degrees for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature.  Put into freezer containers and label.
So I find this law at work: When I want to do
good, evil is right there with me. – Romans 7:21


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The carrots in the garden are ready to start eating and this is one of my favorite ways to fix them. 
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Start with some fresh carrots.  You can certainly use store bought carrots too. 
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Scrub the carrots and then slice about 1/4 inch thick.  You will need 4 cups of sliced carrots.
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Melt 1/4 cup butter in a skillet.
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Add 1/3 cup brown sugar.
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And a tablespoon of maple syrup
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A few drops of vanilla and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
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Stir this all together and simmer for a minute on very low heat.
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I like to put the carrots in boiling water for about 4-5 minutes to start the cooking process. Drain off the water.
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Add the carrots to the sauce and stir.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes on low heat.  Do not cover the pan because you want the liquids to escape.
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Keep the temperature as low as possible but you want it to simmer.  Try not to overcook the carrots, you don’t want them to get mushy.
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These are so good.  This was just enough for the two of us. 
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4 cups sliced carrots
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla
Boil carrots for 4-5 minutes, drain.  Melt butter in saucepan.  Add brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and salt.  Stir together and let simmer over low heat for a minute.  Add carrots and let simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.
Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.Isaiah 40:26

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Requested by:  Joni Rae
We live in the Northwoods of Wisconsin where we are often referred to as hicks.  This is not far from Upper Michigan  where the people are known as Yoopers.  Up in this area this dish is called a barbeque. I think its an up North thing.   Some may call it a sloppy joe.  Our relatives in southern Iowa don’t call it a barbeque or a sloppy joe, to them its a made-right.  No matter what you call it, they are delicious!  It’s an easy hamburger dish that feeds a lot of people.  When we have company for the weekend I like to make these ahead of time and have it on hand for a quick and easy lunch.
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Here’s what you will need:  hamburger, onion, celery, tomato soup, vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, chili powder, salt & pepper
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Brown two pounds of ground beef in a skillet. 
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I like to use this fun gadget to chop the hamburger up into little pieces.  We like it that way.  Have I ever told you I am addicted to kitchen gadgets?  I did discover that I may need that thingy that makes cute lemon curls.  Anyone know where I can get one?  Anyway back to the recipe……
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Take two stalks of celery and one medium sized onion.  You can chop them up into pieces or if you have finicky eaters in your house who panic when they see something that might resemble an onion in their food try this:  Put them into a blender or food processor, add a little water and liquify them.
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It turns into a thick green liquid.  Pour it into your hamburger and stir it in.
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It will literally disappear into the meat.  Whalla!  No more onions or celery for them to pick out!
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Now add two cans of tomato soup.  I just use two pints of my home canned tomato soup.   Here’s how to make your own soup:
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Stir in 2 Tablespoons brown sugar.
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And 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar.
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And 2 Tablespoons of ketchup, I may have more like half a cup here.  We like the ketchup.
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Now season it with 2 teaspoons of chili powder, a teaspoon of salt and some pepper.
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Let this simmer for at least an hour.  The flavors really come together with this hour of cooking.  And it thickens up nicely.
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Served on a fresh homemade bun along with a russian dill pickle, its a perfect lunch.
And one last photo:
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Hannah was back in the kitchen with me.  She loves taking pictures of herself with the camera.  I wonder which auntie showed her how to do that!

2 lbs ground beef
1 onion
2 stalks celery
2 cans tomato soup
2 tsp chili powder
2 T vinegar
2 T brown sugar
2 T ketchup
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the
devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to
devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Monday, August 2, 2010


Beans are one of the easiest things to preserve.  I prefer them frozen over canned.  The flavor is much better and the process is so simple.  The only downfall is you need to have room in your freezer.
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Start with some freshly picked beans.  I like to combine the green and yellow ones.
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Fill a large kettle about 2/3 full of water.  I picked up this blancher a few years back and absolutely love using it.  Put on the stove and bring the water to a boil.
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While your water is heating, snip the ends off of the beans.  You can cut them up or leave them whole.  I prefer the whole ones.
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Once your water is boiling, add your beans.  You only want to add about 3-4 cups of beans at a time. This pot has a strainer part that fits right inside the main pot so I just fill it about half full.
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Plunge the beans into the boiling water and set a timer for 5 minutes.  This is called blanching.  You must blanch your beans because this stops the enzymes and prevents them from turning to mush. 
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After five minutes, pour the beans into very cold water.  I like to add some ice to speed up the cooling process.  You want the beans to be very cold.
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Next strain the beans to remove as much water as possible.  Now you can either put them into freezer bags in the amount you need for a meal or freeze them individually on cookie sheets, just like we did with the berries in the post on freezing berries.  I like doing it this way because it allows me to just take out the amount of beans I need.  If its just the two of us I only need a handful but if the whole crew is here I can take out more. 
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Once they are frozen, place in gallon freezer bags.
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And here’s a cool trick I learned to remove all the air from the bag.  Close the bag leaving a small opening.  Insert a straw and suck the air out of the bag.  Quickly remove the straw and close the rest of the way.  Happy Freezing!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father
of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. –
James 1:17