HOMESTEADING AND GRANDMAS RECIPES
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PRAIRIE REPUBLIC FOOD SOLUTIONS & AG HOME RECIPES GRANDMAS KITCHEN
Make Your Own Vinegar
Dried fruit and/or botanicals
Take a 1-quart jar and fill it 1/3 full of dried or freeze-dried fruit or botanicals of any kind.
Add distilled or filtered water leaving a 2-inch gap from the top of the jar. Cover the jar opening with cheese cloth or a paper town and keep in place with a rubber band.
Put this jar out of the way and check back on it in a week to 10 days. Look for bubbling as wild yeast will have found it’s way in and the fermentation has started. Check on it in another 10 days and see if it smells like wine. Check in another 10 days and if it smells like vinegar, strain off the organic matter and jar your vinegar. Just put a normal lid on the jar. This will store indefinitely and never go bad.
This vinegar can be used for food or also to purify water. 1 oz vinegar to a gallon of water will make water safe to drink with little cause for concern. Personally, I love making fruit vinegars using raisins, strawberries, or all kinds of fruit. mango is really good.
One caution if a green mold forms during fermentation throw it out. A white scum on the top can just be removed with a spoon and is fine.
Our last recipe was about making butter, after you strain the butter fat solids, you have fresh buttermilk leftover. Now this is delicious as is. Who wouldn’t like butter taste milk but there is more we can do with this.
We can culture this fresh buttermilk. The reason we want to culture some of this is because you can use cultured buttermilk to make cheese, it is the natural substitute for mesophilic cheese making cultures you buy, therefore saving money and once again eliminating artificial chemicals from your food, Cultured buttermilk is also used in making yogurt and is part of the base for ranch dressing. Who doesn’t love ranch dressing.
Take your fresh buttermilk and remove the lid from your container and replace it with a paper towel or cloth. I use a jar ring to keep it in place. Set it on the kitchen counter or any table for 24 hours and it will turn cultured because natural yeast in the air will interact with it and culture it. After 24 hours it will have a slightly sour taste that we associate with cultured buttermilk. Put the regular lid back on and place it in your fridge and it will keep for about 2 weeks just like your fresh buttermilk and fresh butter.
equal parts mayonnaise and cultured buttermilk
salt, pepper, onion power and garlic powder to taste
That’s it, easy and delicious. I make small batches of this as it only takes a minute and just use it as I make it. Fresh ranch dressing lasts about 4 days in the fridge.
You can add blue cheese or Roquefort crumble to make blue cheese or Roquefort dressing. It really is that easy.
Two Cup Tea Pot:
2 tsp dried sage leaves crushed
½ tsp dried stevia leaves crushed
1 lemon, cut lemon into thin rings
Boil water in kettle and pour over loose herbs in tea pot,( I have a two cupper) let sit for a few minutes then add the lemon rings to steep gently with the tea. Strain into your cup and enjoy.
HOME MADE CREAM CHEESE
The cost of cream cheese has gone through the roof, like everything else. It’s fast, cheap and easy to make your own cream cheese at home. No, you don’t even need a cow.
8 cups full fat or whole milk
1 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp of salt (to taste)
Butter cloth (you can use a simple cotton cloth of any kind)
Heat milk to boiling in a nonreactive pot so that would be stainless steel or enamelled pot.
As soon as the milk boils, take it off the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir the lemon juice in and then let the pot sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Place you butter cloth or tea towel over a colander placed in a larger bowl. You can pour everything from the pot through the cloth or you can use a slotted spoon and skim the curds out of the pot and into the cloth. Either way what will be left in the cloth will be the curd.
Pull the corners or edges of the cloth together and twist the cloth to force the rest of the liquid (whey) out of the curds. Once you have gotten the liquid out move the colander to a second bowl, open the cloth and put it back in the colander. Pour cold water over the curds and twist and squeeze again.
Take the curds and put them in a blender or food processor add the salt and mix for a minute or two and the curds will be smooth and turned into cream cheese. Put in a container with a tight-fitting lid. The cream cheese will last for 7 days in the fridge.
Save the whey if you want to make caramel sauce and or ricotta. We can talk about that another time.
Cranberry Cream Cheese Turnovers
Cranberry sauce recipe:
16 oz fresh cranberries
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 orange
1 cup raw sugar or local honey
Put the cranberries into a pan on medium heat for the stove top. Add orange juice and sugar or honey. Heat until the berries are popping and a pink foam form. Keep cooking until the foam is gone, add your zest and take off the heat. Allow to cool.
1 cup pastry flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter or lard
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sweet buttermilk
1/8 tsp salt
Shred the cold butter or lard and mix into the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Put in the frig for 20 minutes.
Bring back out and add the sweet buttermilk and form into a dough. Put the dough on a floured surface and roll out to 1/4-inch thick.
8 cups of whole fat milk, raw, if possible,
5 tbsp lemon juice
1 pinch of salt
2 pinches of raw sugar or honey
Bring milk to a boil in a nonreactive pan (stainless steel, or enamel) turn off heat and add lemon juice. Let sit for 10 minutes. Line a colander with butter cloth. (unbleached muslin).
Set the colander over a larger pot or bowl. Pour the curd and whey into the butter cloth. Add cold water until not too warm. Pull up the edges of the butter cloth and squeeze out the liquid.
Put the cheese ball that is left into a blender. Add salt and sugar. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes.
Cranberry Cream Cheese Turnovers
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/3 cup cranberry sauce
egg wash (1 egg 3 tbsp of water beated together)
Take a lightly floured ice cube tray and place a 1/4 in thin pastry sheets over it and gently press into the depressions. Add 1/2 tsp cream cheese and 1/3 tsp cranberry sauce into each presession.
Along the edges of the dough brush egg wash. Take a second sheet of pastry dough 1/4 thick and place on top of the 1st pastry crust. Roll a rolling pin over the top to seal. Trim off excess.
Turn the ice cube tray over and the dough should pop out. Cut out each mini turnover and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush with egg wash and bake in a 350 degree oven until golden, about 7 to 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy.
1 oz pickling lime. This can often be found at the hardware store or anywhere canning goods are sold
1 gallon distilled water. This can also be purified or filtered
Farm fresh unwashed eggs. The amount will depend on your container.
Containers can be food grade buckets, or glass jars. I use 1/2 gallon glass jars.
Mix your pickling lime and water. Pour about 3 inches worth into your container. Add the eggs to make sure they sink and are fresh. Continue to add your lime water and eggs until your container is full or you run out of eggs. The lime water should cover the eggs.
This will preserve your eggs for up to 2 years without needing to do anything else. I keep my eggs in a cool shady place such as my pantry. Take eggs from your container as you need to use them. Wash the eggs before use.
BONE BROTH WITH HERBS:
1-2 bags (depending on size) Beef Bones, knuckle, etc…
Soup pot big enough to fit the bags of bones usually a 8-10 quart stock pot
Cover bones with water and let the pot come up to a boil where there will be foam that rises. Skim off the foam and turn down to a simmer or low boil and start to add your herbs, garlic, onions/leeks:
Dried or fresh herbs:
Dried Lovage: A good handful or about ½ cup
Fresh Lovage: 3 stocks with leaves on about 7 inches long when cutting from the plant
One large yellow onion cut into chunks or 1 large leek with the greens chopped in as well.
With leeks rinse the green stock well as dirt can be trapped in this part, you’ll see if any is left when chopping it on a chopping board.
1-2 Heads of garlic (garlic cloves make up a head of garlic so some garlic will have 3-5 cloves or more) Just depends on your taste for garlic. Garlic can be quite strong in flavor such as some of the varieties of Red Russian and some have a buttery quality like Rocambole. If you have issues digesting garlic it can be omitted from soup making. When garlic is growing you can trim the scapes, which are the long, green stem part that starts to twirl and use these in your soup as an alternative to garlic. About 3-5 scapes around 6 inches long are good.
Garlic is very good at cleansing the inner environment so parasitic entities can no longer take root. It also helps with circulation and is a general tonic for almost everything. I’m a bit bias, as I come from a family of garlic lovers so again if you have any issues with garlic add a different herb like bay leaf (helpful with digestion) and omit the garlic.
Add a tabsp of high quality full mineral salt like Himalayan, Real Salt or various Sea Salt suppliers etc…
I usually cook this at a simmer all day and sometimes all night straining out the bones and herb bits the next morning. Beef broth is usually a golden color and you will end up with a good inch of fat at the top creating a fat cap that acts as a second seal when in the fridge. If this cap is not broken the broth can be kept refrigerated for about a month. I usually freeze extra and keep one to two, quart jars in the fridge for morning broth.
The meat that is strained from the broth is generally still viable for a quick stew. Add some cooked garden veggies and you’ll have a quick meal for a few days, or freeze together with a bit of broth to have on hand for those nights when cooking feels impossible.
Grated Ginger and turmeric work great in beef broth as well either added during the broth making process or after grated in fresh. About a ½ inch nob each.
- Chop one cup of garlic and add to a clean glass Ball jar.
- Add 2 cups vodka (or organic apple cider vinegar) and screw the lid on.
- Write the contents and date on the jar.
- Shake the jar every day or so for 3 weeks.
- Once 3 weeks are over, strain out the chopped garlic and
- Store the tincture in dark, labelled dropper bottles in a cool, dark area.
Garlic Tincture Dosage:
The recommended dosage of antibiotic garlic tincture for adults is four to five drops of tincture once a day. I have taken 5 drops (yes, that is all you need!) a day in a 4 oz. glass of water 2 times a day when I wasn’t going anywhere, but no more than that.
Contraindications and side effects:
- This tincture is not recommended for people on blood thinning medications
- Garlic tincture is not recommended for those suffering from anti-coagulation disorders
- You may experience dizziness, nausea, and sweating after excessive intake of garlic tincture (ie. more that the recommended above)
- Garlic tincture may cause menstrual changes
You can avoid garlic breath by eating a few leaves of any chlorophyll-rich herb afterwards like:
2.5 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter (frozen)
1 cup sweet buttermilk (not cultured if you can make or find it, cultured if you can’t)
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F
In a bowl place your 2.5 cups of flour, Grate 1/2 a cup of frozen butter into your flour and toss together. Put the bowl in the frig for 10 minutes.
After the flour/butter is chilled add your buttermilk and stir just enough to barely incorporate.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. and gently press together with your hand into a 9x 5 rectangle and flatten to 3/4 of an inch. Fold and repeat 5 times, be gentle with the dough.
Then cut biscuits, you can use a jar, a glass, or a biscuit cutter. It doesn’t matter and place the biscuits on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
1/4-pound mild sausage
1 cup sweet butter milk (cultured buttermilk if you can’t get sweet)
1 cup cold water
old bay seasoning
In a cast iron skillet break up and cook your sausage, if you don’t have cast iron use what you have. When the sausage is cooked to your liking, remove it from the pan. In the same pan add the cornstarch or flour about 1/2 tsp and mix with the fat left from the sausage until it is a paste then add the water and the buttermilk plus your seasonings. Bring to a boil stirring the whole time. Remove from the heat when it’s slightly less than you want as it will keep thickening on its own.
Serve over biscuits or anything else you may like.
for 4 servings
4 avocados, halved, pitted, and diced.
¼ small red onion, finely chopped
½ jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro(10 g), finely chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a bowl combine mashed avocados with onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper, mix well and serve
1 whole chicken
1 roasting pan
1/4 pound of butter
These are my favourite spices to use but certainly use what you would prefer.
Heat oven to 400 F
Wash the chicken
Sprinkle the spices inside the chicken and half the butter. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken with spices and place breast down in the roasting pan. Place the other half of the butter on top. Cook in the oven for 2 hours, removing the lid for the last 30 minutes to brown the skin. It’s done when the meat is falling off and all juices run clear.
After you enjoy what you want from this chick for your first meal, pick off the remaining meat to use for a stir fry, chicken salad or anything else you might like for another meal.
Take the bones, left over skill and pan drippings and put them in a large crockpot, fill the crockpot with water and set on low for 24 hours. After that time strain out any solids and set them aside as cat food. The bone broth you just made is delicious as it is already spices as you like your chick and you probably have almost a gallon of broth to use for soups, gravy and all kinds of extra meals. I freeze, can or freeze dry my bone broth for storage.
Pro-tip: Boil potatoes in your broth for extra flavour and nutrition. Any savory recipe you have that calls for water, you can use bone broth for added flavour and nutrition.
For me, I buy chicken wholesale or buy live chicks for about $3.00 each and raise them, let them breed and keep replacing themselves so my chicken becomes free. Raw chicken meat from free chickens is great dog food just don’t give them the bones.
I get cream when I milk my cow but you can also buy heavy cream. It’s nice to start with about a quart. You can do less if a quart is too expensive or if you don’t use butter that much.
Let the cream sit out of the frig for about an hour so it is cool but not cold. Pour into a large mixing bowl. You can use a blender, food processor, a blender, or in a jar with a marble. I like a mixing bowl and my hand mixer. The main thing is to be able to agitate the cream.
Blend on high for any appliance/mixer you choose. If you are using a jar with a marble in it shake the jar. You will see your cream turn to whipped cream, then butter cream and finally separate into yellow butter clumps. Pour off the liquid, that is your buttermilk and it is delicious (think of butter flavoured milk)
Take the butter clumps and add ice and cold water, press the butter clumps into a ball and squeeze, the water will cloud. Pour off the water and do this again and maybe again until the water stays clear. Put your butter in a mold or just wrap it in parchment or butcher paper. You can put it in the frig and it will last about a week. Or put it in the freezer and it will hold for months and just take out what you need to use, You can add salt if you like your butter salted as well.
Why go to the trouble to do this. Because it tastes way better than what you can buy, and there are no preservatives added. If you do have a milk cow it’s also a free product from your cow.
Tea for our current times, this is something I’m just trying out to see what the overall effect will be when faced with stressful situations, as we find our selves in these days.
1 tsp Horsetail loose herb: Natural silica to fortify our structure
1 tsp Ginkgo Biloba loose leaf: Help the brain function
1Tbsp Spearmint loose leaf: Synergistic effect (bringing together all the other herbs) and I like the taste of mint
1 tsp Milk Thistle loose leaf: Help for the liver
1 tsp Green Tea loose leaf: Full of antioxidants
Combine all in a tea pot and pour boiling water over and steep for 5 minutes. Sip in a relaxed atmosphere and visualize any disharmony within your body dissolve and fully being deported out of your body, mind and spirit.
HERBAL VINEGAR OXYMEL
(Mixture of herbs with vinegar and honey)
Base of 500ml Raw Apple Cider Vinegar with mother in it (mother is like a living ferment like sourcrout)
- Fresh sprigs of Thyme 3-8 depending on size of cuttings and taste for thyme as it is quite strong in flavor, really good for sinus/throat/lung congestion
- 1-2 Cloves of garlic, chopped to release antiseptic properties know as allicin, add to vinegar mixture
Shake gently everyday for two weeks in a cool, dark place and then strain contents (Herbs/garlic) out to compost and add to the now herbal vinegar:
- ¼ Cup Raw Honey, local, if possible, as the neighbourhood terroir will be in the honey, which helps communicate to your body what the environment is going through and different pollens from flowers, trees will also be infused in the honey adding their benefits as well. Mix this into the vinegar mixture. It will dissolve into the vinegar over time, but you can shake daily for a while speed up that process.
This can be taken by the tsp or tablespoon depending on requirements for health as both a preventative and at the onset of symptoms of itchy, scratchy throat or just generally feeling unwell. You can mix this into a salad as well or drizzle over fish in place of lemon.
Other herbs that work well in oxymels are peppermint, oregano, sage, lavender, basil, lemon verbena, stevia etc…
Nobs of grated ginger or turmeric can be used instead of garlic or add a few dried spices such as clove or cardamon when creating an oxymel.
Ginger and turmeric are anti- inflammatory and work well in cases of stomach upset, as do clove and cardamon.
Having your own herbs growing in your home and garden is a great way to begin working with them. You’ll get to know which ones work better for your body at certain times. Peppermint might be needed for calming the mind one day and then the next time might be needed for digestion. All herbs have amazing qualities for helping our bodies to be nourished and well.