St. Pats activity

Posted March 17, 2011 by synnagain
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I had these nice, brown, free range eggs but alas I had too many.  So I decided to use up two dozen in one swoop…or sweep.  I boiled the eggs, peeled, and rinsed them in cold water.  Then I boiled up two cups vinegar, a cup of water, 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons sea salt, and pickling spice.  I packed the eggs in two quart jars and poured the vinegar solution over them.  I intend to let them sit for two weeks at least before using them in salads.  The teddy bear cookie jar belonged to my grandma.   Oh, by the way, I used red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar.

Garden Dreams

Posted February 20, 2011 by synnagain
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I was reading the local Master Gardener’s column yesterday. He was saying it’s the time of year for avid gardeners to cozy up to a stack of seeds catalogs and pick out the new varieties they went to try. I’ve done just that and have picked out a few things, at least in my head. I’m not a big carrot raiser but the new multicolor blend looks attractive. Never knew carrots came in white, yellow, orange, red and purple. Last year I planted herbs in pots. The article mentioned planting several varieties of basil, and the enjoyment of eating basil salads. I would like to ask, does the entire salad consist of basil? That would be quite a treat. I’ve looked at fruit trees: butternut, a northern apple, a sweet cherry. For decoration, the primrose lilac. And to grow indoors, mini trees in pots: pineapple, figs, olives, key limes, coffee. I have also spied in a Jung’s catalog the show lady slipper. New methods of propagation have brought this rare MN orchid into the market but at $30 per plant I’ll wait until the price goes down.

Shades of Tomato

Posted September 29, 2010 by synnagain
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It the time of year when I have to freeze a quart or two of tomatoes every day, and pick up a bucket of apples, or some will go to waste. It’s also time, if I’m going to taste fried green tomatoes in 2010, I had better make them now, before they all ripen.

Here is a good recipe for using up tomatoes:
Dice up some tomatoes, crush up a bunch of saltine crackers, and mix well. Add fresh herbs if you have them. Parsley is recommend. Mix this up and put it in a greased casserole. Top with parmesan cheese, dot with butter, and bake at 350 until you think it’s ready. Just use your common sense on proportions.

My Apples

Posted August 28, 2010 by synnagain
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Not sure what kind of apples I have here. My long held assumption was Prairie Spy but online photos and descriptions don’t quite fit. These are early, soft, and good for baking and eating–unless what you are looking for is a sour jawbreaker of an apple. These apples have a delectable, cidery fragrance that fills the entire house. The flavor is mild and tart at the same time. I picked in the good ones, and fed the others to the horses. With store bought strawberries and peaches in the house that have to be used, I am planning on making a mixed fruit cobbler this weekend.

Picking Blueberries

Posted July 12, 2010 by synnagain
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So far I/we have picked seven quarts, which involved going out to public lands twice.  It was rough walking over stumps and branches, and I have a fear of falling and not being able to get up, but my determination to get those berries was strong.  There is a scent in that type of pine forest, especially when the sun shines, that is delectable.  I heard different bird calls than usual, and caught glimpses of forest flowers in all their pastel and delicate beauty.  I brought my camera but didn’t have time to take any photos.  I also found raspberries.  Probably not a wild variety but an escaped domestic type, perhaps brought to this spot by birds.  I would like to start the winter with 10 quarts so I will be going again, and gather up some of those raspberries, a few photos, and a few more hours in the peace and quiet of the woods.

This Year’s Garden :(

Posted June 26, 2010 by synnagain
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I got a late start on my garden and didn’t plant any seeds, just purchased plants. These include tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, collards, swiss chard, watermelon. I think plants do better if you plant the seeds directly into the soil. These seem to get pummeled by rain and then the sun comes out and scorches them. I know that’s not exactly how it is but it seems that way to me. I also planted flowers, and I intend to go pick up some more herb plants for pots. I always have to try gardening each year even though sometimes it’s not a success.

African Cuisine

Posted May 26, 2010 by synnagain
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I learned from a LinkedIn group that May 25 was African Cuisine Day so I googled African recipes and found something Egyptian that sounded good.  The Egyptian civilization baked bread and cake 2600 B.C. but they probably didn’t make Keeka Baladi min Shokolata because they wouldn’t have had all the ingredients back then.

It’s very easy.  Just dump all the ingredients in a bowl, stir, and pour into greased pan, and bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  The ingredients are as follows:  2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 2 eggs, and 1 cup hot coffee.

It’s almost like a cake and although it’s rather high in fat and cholesterol, one serving provides almost a third of your daily protein and 30 percent iron, as well as 20 percent calcium and 20 percent vitamin E.   It is moist and chocolatey.  I served it with strawberries and whipped topping from a can.  Although it doesn’t taste too sweet, you might be able to cut down on the sugar amount, and use egg whites instead of whole eggs.  Try it!