Wednesday, March 23, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Corned Beef and Cabbage

 Every year for St. Patrick's Day, I make a huge pot of Corned Beef and Cabbage, then can up a pressure load to have for easy meals through out the year.
This year, I worked on St. Patrick's day, so I did this on the day after.  Also, I decided I didn't want to can the meat at night, when I was full of food and tired, SO, I put the briskets in my roasting oven the night before!  Here are the 7 briskets cooked up in the roaster -- it takes about 1 brisket per quart jar. Cover with water to cook.

I pulled out one brisket at a time and laid the fat side down on a plate. Then cubed the meat down to the fat.  Then I used tongs to pick up the meat and put in the hot, clean jars.  The fat, for the most part, stayed on the plate unless I cut too far.

 I put the fat pieces into another bowl to make a yummy snackie for the pups. :o)

Here you can see my canner on the stove. I usually use regular sized lids for corned beef, although last year I filled a couple wide mouth jars with larger pieces of corned beef. That was good, too, but this easier, I think. Fill the jars with meat, then add the cooking water to 1/2 inch from the top.
Look at the cool silicon funnel my mother bought me!  It 'collapses' down flat for easy storage in a drawer.
Put hot lids and rings on the jars, then pressure for an hour and a half.
And here are the completed jars. YUMMY!  I love to open a jar of corned beef and eat it.  It tastes just as good then as it does on St. Patrick's Day!!

After I canned up my 7 briskets for a pressure load, I added a couple briskets, cabbage, potatoes, onions, and carrots to cook the rest of the day for dinner.  My canning was done BEFORE midnight!  I like doing it this way.


I had some mushrooms and peppers from a good sale and decided to make kabobs.  I cut up some rib steaks into bite sized chunks and various veggies out of the fridge: peppers, mushrooms, onions, squash.
Then, I put in my Tupperware marinater, which I LOVE.  Anyway, I was going to pour a bottle of Italian dressing over the top, but the kids wanted teriyaki sauce.  I usually make teriyaki with meat on the skewers, but no veggies, but thought I'd give it a try.  Nathan 'lit' my grill by taking a shovel full of coals out of the furnace and putting in the grill! LOL  Anyway, the coals were ready to use as soon as I was ready to cook (I made them early in the day so they could marinate for a few hours).  Then I grilled for the first time this year! Yummy.
I got this recipe when I was a teenager from the mother of kids I used to baby-sit.  The kids were Tony, Trestoni, Tara, and Tiana -- but I cannot remember the mom's name or the last name! They lived in the same court as we did in Millington. Anyway, I loved this recipe then and my kids love it now.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup salad oil
2 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons dry mustard
6 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Mix together and pour over meat.  (The recipe says to soak the meat, then skewer it: I skewer the meat then soak it -- sometimes I have to snip the bamboo skewers so they fit in my Tupperware marinater.  I also always double or triple this recipe as it is for 1 1/2 lbs meat and I cook more than that. :o)
You can also put pineapple with the meat. And, as I discovered, it is not bad with other veggies, too!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Mr. McBride's Soda Bread

I never met Mr. McBride, but he was apparently a well loved, and highly respected educator.  He, I believe, was the principal at Scranton School, in Cleveland, where I worked: he retired before I moved there.  Cleveland has a large Irish population, and this was Mr. McBride's recipe that everyone made every year at St. Patrick's day.  And the recipe came to me, too, so I've added it to my traditional St. Patrick's Day feast.

Start with 2 cups of raisins.  I had both regular raisins and golden raisins, so I started with a cup of each.  I put them in a colander.
Run hot water over the raisins to wash them, then drain them well.  I just left draining in the colander while I mixed up the flour.

 Prepare a skillet by greasing it. I just used a stick of butter to grease my skillet.   Sometimes I cook this in a round cake pan. Sometimes I use my round skillet.  You can also use a 2 quart casserole dish.

Preheat the oven to 375*
 In a bowl, mix together 4 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon baking powder.
I mix it with a pastry cutter, then blend in 1/4 cup Crisco with the cutter. (I don't use much shortening, so find it easier to keep a few pre-measured Crisco sticks in the fridge -- easy to measure, too-- just cut off 1/4 cup!!)  When the Crisco is blended in, add the raisins.
In a separate bowl, beat an egg then add a teaspoon of baking soda and 1 1/3 cup buttermilk.  (I didn't have buttermilk, so I put about 2 ounces vinegar in the bottom of my measuring cup then added milk up to 1 1/3 cup to make soured milk.

Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture, then turn out on a floured counter and kneed it just a little bit.  Shape it into a ball, then press it down in the skillet or casserole dish.  Take a sharp knife and cut an X about 1/4 deep across the top of it.  Then dust with flour (I forgot this part, but it still looked good!!).

Bake until brown and baked through, about 55 minutes.  Remove to a cake rack. (especially if you cooked it in a skillet -- I discovered that it keeps cooking in the pan and gets a little done if you forget and leave it in).

Cool before serving.  At dinner, I poured some broth off the corned beef over my chuck of bread (we 'break the bread' rather than cut it) and it was DELICIOUS!!


 I could not believe my luck when I found bacon on sale at Ramey's. They had a 10# box of bacon on sale for $15! 

Our family LOVES Yoder's Bacon, so I thought I'd give it a try. 
 The Yoder's Bacon comes in a regular sized can and seems to contain the equivalent of 3 # of bacon per little can.  You slide out the parchment paper, unfold it and have about 3 layers of yummy bacon to heat and serve. 

Shooting for that scenario, I laid my bacon out on full sized parchment sheets to fold in half and roll up.  I was thinking large mouth pints (equivalent to Yoder's can), but ended up with large mouth quarts.  Wish I had enough large mouth 1 1/2 pint jars: that would be PERFECT for this project.

 Folded and half and squeezed down into the jar, my parchment paper stuck up a bit, so I just pushed it all down into the jar.

I have no idea how Yoder's gets all that bacon in their cans!!  I was able to get approximately 1# of bacon per quart jar (as opposed to their seemingly 3# per pint jar!! -- I tell you, well worth the price, especially if you love camping!!).

Anyway, this will be so much more worth it because of the great sale price I found!  When this box is complete, I hope they still have some more, so I can do it again!!  This will be soo handy to have camping -- no need to have bacon taking up cooler space! Maybe I'll take my egg powder to make scrambled eggs instead of fresh eggs, too -- save cooler space PLUS, Nicolas only eats scrambled eggs anyway.. maybe he won't notice the difference. LOL

 I decided that I didn't like squishing the parchment paper down into the jars, so for the next jar, I cut the parchment to fit.  The parchment pieces I used were about 6x38.. and that seemed to work just fine!

Rather than folding the bacon, I decided to cut it, too.  Yes, I used scissors!  Worked just fine.

Here are my cuts bacon pieces ready to roll up.  So I just rolled up and put in the jars.  There is space around the bacon in the jars because I couldn't get more in than the size of the lid opening. If I could find more 1 1/2 pints, they are tapered -- the jar is the same size as the wide mouth opening. I'll see what I can come up with.  
 I put a little extra water in the canner because I almost ran dry when I made my liver the other day.  My jars floated -- probably because of all the air space.  If I didn't let my weight on the canner giggle so much, I wouldn't lose as much water.  I do NOT recommend having floating jars -- it could cause them to break.

Cook at 10# pressure for 90 minutes.
 Here are the jars fresh from the canner.  Luckily, I had no broken jars.  They have all sealed and look wonderful!  There is a layer of fat which congeals when cooled.  There is also some 'bacon broth' under the layer of fat, which I think will make a yummy breakfast gravy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Creole Chicken and Grits

OK, the picture doesn't do this justice, but this was a hit with the family, and it can be a totally shelf stable recipe!

First, put 1/4 cup dehydrated onions, 1/3 cup dehydrated celery, and a handful of dehydrated bell peppers in a 2 cup measuring cup and fill to the top with boiling water. Let this soak while you make the roux for the meat. To be totally shelf stable, I would rehydrate freeze dried chicken chunks, here, too.. be sure and save the water from both the chicken and the veggies as you will need the liquid in your recipe. I used frozen chicken, but know the freeze dried would be just as yummy.

In a large pot, heat 1/4 cup oil. Then add 1/3 cup flour and stir to cook/brown for ten minutes or so. Keep stirring so it doesn't burn. I then added a couple cloves crushed garlic (for shelf stable, rehydrate garlic with the other veggies or use garlic powder). Drain the veggies, saving the liquid, and add to the roux.  Cook and stir until hot. Stir in a small (6 oz) can tomato paste. Stir in 2 cups reserved liquid (you may need to add more water) Add 1/2 Tablespoon homemade cajun seasoning (or your regular creole spice).  Splash in some worchestershire sauce  and lemon juice (about a teaspoon each). For shelf stable, omit the lemon juice or add about 1/2 teaspoon citric acid.  Put on a lid and cook until the chicken is done.

While this is cooking, make a pot of grits.  I used quick grits (I know, sorry, but I got them at a really good price and couldn't resist!!). I heated up 2 1/2 cups milk (for shelf stable, use reconstituted dry milk) with a teaspoon of salt. When it was hot, I added 1 1/2 cups quick grits.

When the chicken was done (maybe 20 minutes?), I spread the grits on a platter and topped with the creole chicken.  Hubby said it wasn't too spicy as he expected, and my daughter loved the grits in it.  I loved having Cajun food today even if we don't have Mardi Gras around here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Homemade Cajun Seasoning

I broke about 5 of my home grown and dehydrated chilies in half and poured out most of the seeds. I also added approximately the same amount of my home grown and dehydrated cayenne peppers.  I put these in my food processor with a couple tablespoons each of paprika, garlic powder and onion powder.  I then added about a tablespoon each of salt, black pepper, white pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, and sugar.

I then blended on high until all ground and mixed.

Be sure to wait a couple minutes before opening to give the 'dust' time to settle -- you wouldn't want to breathe any hot spice into your lungs.

I found this 'sugar shaker' at the dollar store. I thought it would be perfect for my homemade seasoning because of the big holes. I was imagining the large pepper flakes like you get at the pizza parlor for this, and I may do that yet, but I ended up grinding it pretty fine, so the larger holes would not have been necessary.

I guess my next project with my dehydrated chilies and peppers is to grind them into larger pieces for pizza.

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Home Canned Liver

With all that liver that Mark brought home (a little bonus from the man he's working for) I had to think of something to do with it. I made a BIG batch of liver and onions and still have over half the liver left.
SO, I decided to can it for easy meals later when I don't have time to cook.
I cubed the liver and did a quick stir fried in oil until the pieces were brown, but not completely cooked. I did not add any seasoning while cooking because I added salt to the jars.
I put the liver in pint jars, added 1/2 teaspoon un-iodized (canning) and a scant 1/4 cup boiling water.  After wiping the rims of the jars, I put hot flats and rings on and put in the canner. I pressure canned my jars for 1 hour 15 minutes at 10# pressure.
I ended up with 9 pints of canned liver.

I floured the liver before frying and putting in the last jar.  The recipe just said to fry a bit before canning and I wasn't sure if you rolled in flour (which I always do before frying) or not.  So I only did one jar with flour. It looks good, but is the only jar that seeped out.  And it looks more mushy rather than the cubes in the other jars.  I guess I'll see how it tastes one of these days if it doesn't go bad. But I am glad to have some more 'food storage'.

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Liver and Onions

Mark came home with a large bowl full of liver, so I decided to cook some up in my crock pot.
This is so easy and delicious.  I sliced two onions and put in the bottom of the crock pot. Then I cut some liver into bite sized chunks.  I put about a cup of flour, a teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper into a gallon sized zip-lock bag then added the liver. I shook well to coat and laid the liver on top of the onions.
I mixed 1 beef bouillon cube with a cup of hot water and poured that over the top.
Since I was running late (it was almost noon), I put my crock pot on HIGH to have it ready for dinner. I served with mashed potatoes .

If you did this in the morning, you would just put it on low for the day.  The top picture is the floured pieces on the bed of onions in the crockpot. The bottom photo is the finished product.

I have always liked liver and onions and am very thankful for children who are not too picky with their food because they ate this up!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

FRUGAL GRANNY: Another bag of deals!

 Another good day at Walgreens: which is about time, since I have goon there 3 or 4 times this week trying to get some of this stuff and they were OUT of it!!

So, my take:
5 pairs of socks
1 baby wash
1 anti aging vitamin
1 nose spray
1 20ct Ibuprofin
1 Colgate toothpaste

PLUS, I received a $3 register reward to use toward my next purchase!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I hope you can see the details in this. I have made my own pattern of the Nauvoo Temple to use on my embroidery machine and am making a Temple packet for Nathan.  The material is actually very white -- the picture shows too gray, but I guess that helps you see the details.  I think my next one will be the Dallas Temple, where Mark and I were sealed.

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: London Broils??

One cut of meat I used to buy often at the West Side Market (boy do I MISS that place!!) was a London Broil.  It was like a huge steak and I would treat my family to these.
Last time we butchered, I asked the processing plant for some London Broil cuts.  When I picked up the meat, I noticed the packages were thin, and thought it was just a thin London Broil (the ones I used to buy were THICK).
I finally thawed these out and when I opened the package, THIS is what was in them.  I would NOT call this a London Broil, but it looked interesting.  It looks to me like some round steaks rolled up with the fatty side in the middle, then sliced.
I decided to saute these in butter with some fresh mushrooms. I added a couple pressed garlic bulbs and a little salt.  I served them with homemade cheese-garlic buns. YUM.
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