Category Archives: Feed our neighbors

Cowboy Candy

You don’t have to be a Cowboy to enjoy these Candied Jalapeno Peppers. They are a combination of sweet and spicy so be ready for something extraordinary. I can only eat a few since my tolerance for hot foods is very low, but the heat eaters I share them with absolutely .. Love them!

cowboycandy

Cowboy Candy

3 lbs. Jalapeno peppers *note

2 cups cider vinegar .. I actually added another cup

1 cup water

6 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1 clove garlic per jar

*note – I also added mini sweet red & yellow peppers for color and variety

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Slice peppers and remove seeds if you desire a less spicy result. Use gloves when handling hot peppers to protect from the heat of the peppers.

Add the cider vinegar, water and sugar to a large sauce pan and heat to a boil. You will then add all the sliced peppers to this brine and stir. Let this heat up again to a boil. Ladle the peppers into your canning jars, top off with brine to within a 1/4″ of the top of the jar. Add your canning seal and process for 10 minutes in heated water canner.

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Makes approximately 1 quart and 3 pints

If you don’t choose to can, you can refrigerate for several weeks.

 

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Buttercup Squash Soup

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Before I actually started growing winter squash, I was quite intimidated by them. Glancing at the heaps of squash at the grocery stores each Fall, I would wonder “how in the heck do you cook with those?” I had not the slightest clue what was different from one variety to the next.

Fast forward into years of gardening and experimenting one by one.

I have grown very fond of this staple in our diet. First I planted and baked with Pumpkin pie pumpkins, Delicata, Acorn squash, Butternut and the newbies this year Honeynut and Buttercup.

Baking them as pictured above is the standard method we use. The squash is cut in half, cleaned out and placed face down in about an inch of water.

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After about 20 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees the winter squash is cooked and ready to eat or process further into your recipe. A bit of butter, cinnamon and/or nutmeg and you have a delicious side dish.

After seeing recipe after recipe in the magazines and online using winter squash for soup, I decided it was time to give it a try. We made Buttercup Soup and it was a Success!!

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1 Large Buttercup squash

3/4 cup coconut milk

2 cups water

2 chicken bullion cubes

2 shallots (or 1/2 onion)

1-2 tsp. nutmeg to taste

Bake the Buttercup squash, scoop out the squash meat and process with an immersion blender or use your food processor to puree.

Add the above ingredients along with diced potato, carrots, green beans along with any other addition to your liking. Let simmer for 1-2 hours stirring occasionally.

Beans You Say

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Cannellini Dried Beans

I am busy dealing with the last of the dried bean harvest for this year. These Cannellini Beans are late bloomers and the last to dry on the vine. Some may think growing dried beans is pointless since you can buy them relatively cheap at most grocery stores. I don’t use chemicals in my garden since this would harm my bees and I don’t like chemicals in my food. Another advantage is some of the beans you can grow yourself you simply can not find in the stores such as Jacob’s Cattle and Trail of Tears – two other varieties I grew this past year. Plus, believe it or not, I actually Enjoy opening each bean pod and watching the little beans fall into the harvest bowl. I find it therapeutic; time to just zone out!!

I dedicated a large space in the garden to dried beans this past year and the harvest was plentiful. I believe I still have beans left from last year so as you can see they are a good keeper. Probably one of the only crops that I can think of right now that can be kept in the pantry for a prolonged time without any other method of preserving, i.e. canning, dehydrating, freezing.

I will be fine-tuning the varieties I grow for 2017 since I plan to bring as much as possible to the Food Pantry. Less vine growers and more bush types as well since the viners go crazy and 1 or 2 varieties is enough (they do produce tons though).

Here is what I have grown in the past – Pinto, Jacob’s Cattle, Cherokee Trail of Tears, Cannellini, Rice Pea, Black, Red, Cranberry. The secret to cooking dried beans is to soak them for hours (overnight) and keep changing the soaking water … this eliminates some of the gassiness associated with beans and it works!

Alright …. more Dried Beans in the future garden plans! They make great gifts along with your favorite recipes too!