Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Thinking ahead to Thanksgiving dinner...

Un-stuffed stuffing...

This is a re-post that might help you get thinking about your Holiday meals!

I realize that Thanksgiving is a few weeks from now (Except I think maybe Canada had theirs yesterday?).  I want to show you this and tell you how I do "stuffing".  After all, Christmas is not long from now (gasp!) and it might be helpful.

I have never used a recipe for stuffing and I don't actually stuff the poultry anymore.  "They" have scared me off with all the warnings about possible salmonella exposure, so now I roast the bird and bake the stuffing separately.

Here is a list of what I use:

Stale homemade bread (of course you an use purchased bread as well!)

Homemade poultry broth or stock

Chopped onion

Chopped celery


Salt and pepper

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (whole, dried and rubbed until small)

A small amount of ground poultry seasoning (be careful with this.  It is very strong.)

1.  Slice the bread, as much as you like (for 12 people I use 2 loaves) and lay it out in trays to get stale and dry out some.  You don't want it to be hard, just dried up a bit.

2.  Break the bread into small pieces into a large bowl.  Add celery and onion, as much as you like.  For this amount I would use 2 medium onions and about 5 celery ribs.

3.  For this amount, I pour on 1 cup of melted butter and enough broth to make it moist, not soggy.

4.  I never measure the seasonings.  I just put on "some" and keep tasting until I like the flavor.  Do the salt first and then start adding bits of the other things, the parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and black pepper.  When that tastes nice to you, sprinkle on a little bit of ground poultry seasoning and stir it all well.

5.  Taste it a few times and pay attention.  You will know when it tastes right.

6.  Pack it all into an oven-proof covered dish and bake at 350 for about an hour.

7.  When it is time for your big dinner, reheat in the oven, just until warm.  Serve with gravy that you make from the drippings from your roasted bird, as follows...

Remove the bird from the oven and use your baster to take out the pan drippings. If you don't have a baster, with a little help, pour the drippings out. Put them all in a saucepan. Add enough of the aforementioned broth to make the amount of gravy you would like to have. You will have to gauge the amount of thickening by how much liquid you are now using. For 1 cup of liquid, use 1 Tablespoon cornstarch or 2 Tablespoons of unbleached flour mixed in a little warm water. When it all comes to a boil, then slowly add the thickening, stirring carefully to prevent lumping. Add any little bits of meat from the neck and dice the giblets too if you like. Simmer until thick, then taste it and see if it needs anything else, like a little more salt or pepper, but it probably won't.

Leftover stuffing can be frozen and reheated for future meals.  I like to make what I call "Thanksgiving pie."  Cut up some of the leftover turkey, mix it with some leftover stuffing, pack it into a pie plate and pour gravy over it all, then top with mashed potatoes and bake at 350 until the potatoes start to brown a little bit.  We love this!

I have even filled some pie plates, as above, without the potatoes, and wrapped them snugly and frozen them for later use.  All you have to do is add the potatoes and bake.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Glass Gem Corn...

A man on Facebook sent me 5 Glass Gem Corn seeds last winter.  In May I planted them in a circle in the garden.   Since there were so few seeds, sometimes if you plant them that way, you still get decent pollination.  It worked!  I picked 13 ears of corn this afternoon.  This is a kind of popcorn, and can be ground for cornmeal as well.  I am going to hang it up and let it dry thoroughly before I try to pop or grind it.  It's so pretty!  I've looked at other pictures of the Glass Gem Corn online and they are even prettier!  By the way, there really was no insect damage to these, whereas my sweet corn had many corn ear worms this year.  The plants are very tall, and since I only had 5 seeds and got 13 ears, obviously they are quite prolific. It is an open-pollinated variety.  Here is a picture of my little harvest:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What to do with extra sourdough....

I don't wash out the jar I keep my sourdough starter in very often, but eventually, it becomes somewhat crunchy looking.  Here is what I like to do when I have extra sourdough starter.  I poured off the "hootch" that was in the jar (the dark liquid that accumulates after I neglect it for several days) and then dumped the remainder into a bowl.  After carefully washing the jar and lid, I added some water to it, because it was now too thick, and stirred that in and then took 1/3 cup of that and returned it to the clean jar.  Next, I added 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and about 1/3 cup water and stirred that altogether in the jar, put on the lid and returned it to the refrigerator.

What was left in the bowl was about 1.5 cups of leftover sourdough starter.  To that, I added:

1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
about 2 teaspoons of honey
2 Tablespoons melted butter

Then I stirred it all well.  In the meantime, I had my Belgian waffle-maker heating up.  When it was up to temperature, I baked the waffles by adding 1/2 cup of the batter each time.  On my iron, the device is heated enough when the light on the top goes out.  After adding the batter, the light will come back on and then turn off again when the waffle is done and I remove it and start another one.

Of course, this could also be made into pancakes!

These waffles are delicious and it is a good way NOT to waste that extra sourdough starter.

I serve them with butter and real maple syrup.

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Blogger is changing things soon.  If I want to link something to my blog posts, I will have to type in the whole web address.  :(  Anyway... just thought I'd mention it in case you have a favorite link on here, you might want to save it.

Here is Bloggers message.

By September 29, 2016, the Search Box gadget on this blog will only present search results from this blog. Search results from pages linked in your posts, from the Web or from the Blog List and Link List gadgets will not be presented anymore.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Dehydrating - Chapter 2

We bought a Food Saver and the jar sealer accessories and today I sealed all the jars of dehydrated foods that I've been able to put up this year.  Until I got it all organized, I had no idea how much there is and I'm very grateful!  Can you imagine how much this would be if the foods had not been dried?  A Lot.  It covers the bottom shelf in this cupboard and there are 3 rows of jars on the second shelf.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A brand new grandson!

Our youngest son and his sweet wife are the parents of a new baby boy, born yesterday evening.  I am beyond thrilled!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Winter is coming! Replacing a zipper in a coat or jacket...

I originally posted this nearly 4 years ago.  Today is September 1st, so I am thinking now would be the time to replace zippers in any coats or jackets that need it, before the snow flies!

Here you can see a perfectly good jacket. The problem is, the zipper is broken! Replacing a zipper is really not difficult, but it is tedious and takes considerable time. If your coat/jacket is nice, and/or you love it, it is more than worth the trouble to replace the zipper.

Here is the zipper I ordered over the internet here. This company is wonderful. They have everything and excellent customer service!

A closer look at the invoice:

The zipper I purchased cost $6.03 including the shipping, and so for a nice coat, you can see that this would really be worthwhile.

Now, don't be afraid. Breath. Relax. Here we go.

FIRST ~ set your sewing machine to its longest stitch length. Sew a line of stitching along the jacket opening, far enough in from the edge that you do NOT catch in the existing zipper. This is to hold everything together nicely and make the reassembly easier. Do this on both sides of the jacket.

Here I am doing the same thing on the other side:

SECOND ~ take your little seam ripper and do (carefully and don't stab yourself) whatever it takes to remove the broken zipper:

Here I've gone a little farther in the process:

Here I am removing some stitching from the surface:

And here is what it looks like with the zipper removed. Now you will see the wisdom of doing that basting line of stitches so the jacket doesn't blow up and get all weird.

THIRD ~ carefully remove all the bits of loose thread:

FOURTH ~ Thread a sturdy hand sewing needle with a doubled thread and run it through some beeswax so it will be less likely to tangle while you are sewing. Rosin will work instead of the beeswax, too, or if you have neither, find a piece of candle or even hand soap to use!

FIFTH ~ I hope you took the time to observe how the old zipper was positioned. You are going to unzip the new zipper, and one side at a time, you will put the new zipper in, and pin it in place and then hand baste it in place:

See? Here is one side basted together:

And here is the other side:

Oh, yes, and it is very helpful to have a fuzzy cat walking around under your work table at this point:

SIXTH ~ Before you sew the zipper in with your machine, zip up the jacket to make sure it is going to work!

SEVENTH ~ Now, simply, using a normal stitch length, sew along the same line where the old zipper was sewn in like this:

Make sure to replace any seams or stitching you have removed:

Be sure to remove any basting stitches. On this one, there was the nice little tab on the old zipper, so I just transferred it to the new one:

That's all you need to do! Even if it doesn't turn out perfectly, it is better than throwing away a perfectly good coat.

Please feel free to ask questions if I can help.
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