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Thursday, August 29, 2013

An Old Wagon for Rolf

On a recent trip I came across this old wagon sitting in front of an antique store. It reminded me of my talented cooking friend Rolf in Germany who has built his own chuck wagon.
Rolf and friends are very interested in the "Old West" so I pulled into the shop and snapped a few pics of the wagon.

Looking at the wagon brought thoughts of who and how many people rode in this. I had visions of the wagon loaded down with children, heading to church, or to town for goods.
It was pretty interesting. :)

After checking out the wagon I couldn't resist peeking inside the store to see what other interesting goodies they had.

I ended up buying three cast iron pots that I don't really need....but they were inexpensive and I will put them to good use. :)

Rolf if you ever come to the U.S. you need to check out some of the antique stores. I think you would like them!  :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Rustic Lamb Stew on the Grill

The kind folks at Char-Broil asked me to come up with a fall lamb dish on the grill. When I think of fall, I think of comfort foods like stew. This is an easy dish to make, it's all cooked on the grill. If you don't have a side burner on your grill, kick one burner up to high heat and let the pot simmer there.

I grill a mix of cubed veggies...

simmer beef stock, seasonings and the grilled veggies while the lamb cooks....

combine grilled lamb with veggies and simmer til heated through..

It's tummy warming comfort food. :)

If you get the time, please check out the recipe on the  Char-Broil Site

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Salsa Time

I've been doing a lot of canning this last week. It's a bit of work but really worth it when the snow flies.

This has been my favorite salsa recipe for a long time. It belongs to one of my best friend's mom. Thanks again Mrs B.! :)

I start with 15 to 20 ripe tomatoes (some tomatoes are larger than others)
10 to 20 jalapenos (seeded or leave seeds in for more heat)
2 cloves of garlic
3 green bell peppers
2 yellow onions
and salt to taste

dip the tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes to loosen the skin. You can also bag the tomatoes, place them in the freezer overnight. The skin will slide right off.

ready to peel...

I peel and dice the tomatoes by hand, saving all of the juice.

then grind the peppers, jalapenos, garlic and onions...

add them to the tomato pot. Salt to taste.
Let the salsa simmer on medium low heat for about one hour, the sauce thickens a bit while simmering.

Fill hot sterilized jars with the salsa, wipe the rims with a clean cloth, then top with a lid.

I keep the lids in hot, but not boiling water...

The water bath canner holds 7 jars at a time. I fill the rack then lower the jars into the water. Make sure the water covers the top of the jars by at least 1".

For this recipe I process the jars for 15 minutes. Check your canner instructions for your area.

The jars cool on the counter....

This is good stuff for chip dip. I can make a meal out of tortillas and salsa. :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Canning Green Tomatoes for Frying

It's that time of the year again, I've gone into squirrel mode. :)
Fried green tomatoes are one of my favorites and having them on hand during the winter is a nice treat for me.
more canned green tomatoes

I remove the stem end and slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick.

Fill hot sterilized jars with the sliced tomatoes. To each pint jar add a pinch of kosher salt and 1 1/2 tsp of lemon juice. For quarts add 1 TBS of juice.

Fill the jar with room temperature water, leave 1/2 inch of headspace.  Run a knife around the edge to remove any air bubbles, add more water if needed. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth and top with the lids.

My waterbath canner holds 7 jars so that's how many I prepare at a time.

Lower jars into the canner, making sure there is at least 1 inch of water covering the jars. For my area I process for 40 minutes. Check your canner instructions for your altitude.

Let the jars cool on the counter...check to make sure the jars seal before storing.

To cook the tomatoes, I drain them, season with salt and pepper. Dredge in regular flour, dip in an egg/milk bath then back into a mixture of 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup cornmeal and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and panko bread crumbs for crunch.

Fry until golden and crunchy.

They're a good substitute for regular green tomatoes during the winter.

The weather has been pretty nice here. Had more rain than usual this summer so the grass is almost belly high on the calves. Looks like the livestock might do alright this winter. Hope everyone else is having a nice summer! :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Long weekend

I left home for a few days. It was nice to get away but it's good to be back home!

Everything is green around here and I found a turtle heading for high ground (another sure sign of rain). :)

Also found a new wild flower that I'm not familiar with.

Looks like there was some traffic down my road while I was gone. :)
I want to post a few pics from my trip as soon as I get the time. The tomatoes are ripe so I'm elbow deep in canning right now.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chickenfried Steak, Biscuits and Skillet Gravy for Breakfast

Couldn't decide whether to make biscuits and gravy or chickenfried steak so I made both!

Heated up a couple of skillets on the old wood burner. The skillet on the right is a new one. A light weight cast iron skillet. Just wanted to see if they do as well as good ole regular cast iron. 

made some biscuit dough...

Seasoned some tenderized steaks with salt, pepper and garlic. Dredged in flour, dipped in an egg wash and re-dredged in the flour before frying.

Formed the biscuit dough into large rounds....fried them in a small amount of oil on the low heat side of the fire so they would have time to rise while baking.

After chickenfrying all of the steaks and using up the biscuit dough.... I made a skillet gravy.
Added flour and seasoning to some of the steak drippings, then stirred in milk til the gravy was smooth and bubbly.

melted butter in the old skillet and fried a few eggs...

The biscuits were huge! Filled the whole plate...

Topped the biscuit with a chickenfried steak and smothered with skillet gravy...

Added two fried eggs and called it good.

Two things... ok maybe three.
It was pretty tasty,
The new light-weight iron skillet worked pretty well.
no I didn't eat the whole thing. :)

I think I'm missing campfire food! Hope to go before snow flies. :)