Sunday, February 28, 2010

How to Prepare Chicken Feet

My friend, MotherofBlessings raises chickens for meat and eggs, and also allows me to purchase some and she raises them for me. She blesses us so much! When butchering time comes, we come out and help with all of them.

This year, we used a different approach to the butchering and just skinned and pieced the birds. It was quicker since we didn't have to scald or pluck the birds, or mess with gutting them. However, since they weren't scalded, we had to prepare the feet at home. I took pictures, so you could learn how to prepare feet for using in broth. They really are the secret ingredient for a truly mineral-rich broth!

Here's my plate of feet before processing:

First you need to scald the feet in boiling water. Boiling water loosens the outer layer of scaly skin.

Next, remove the feet and let them cool just a bit. I only scalded two at a time, since they need to be hot for the next step.

Rub the foot and leg briskly with your thumb and forefinger. The thick yellow layer should peel off very easily. Also, remove the sheaths that cover the claws. You didn't know the Lord made removable covers for chicken toes, did you? Everything that touched the ground while the chicken walked comes off and you are left with a sparkling clean foot. The white thing on my ring finger is a toenail sheath.

Repeat till you have a plate of clean, ready-to-use feet. Some people clip off the toes with a sharp knife to allow more gelatin to escape. This is optional. I get a great, solid broth without that step.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Homemade Pancake Syrup

Here's another pancake syrup version:

Pancake Syrup

4 cups brown sugar
1/2 c. molasses
2 cups water
2 tsp. vanilla

Bring sugar, molasses, and water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Good Morning Smoothie

Good Morning Smoothie!

1-2 bananas
1 orange
2-3 + large kale leaves
2-3 + large Swiss chard leaves
a handful of spinach
1 cup frozen strawberries or blueberries
1 ½ cups water
2 Tbs. ground flaxseeds

Blend and enjoy! Serves 3-4

Monday, February 8, 2010

Honey Lemon Apple Jam

Honey Lemon Apple Jam

12 cups chopped apples
2 cups lemons juice
1 cup honey
5 cups sugar
1 envelope of liquid pectin
zest of three lemons

Prepare your canning pot, as well as seven pint jars, lids and rings.

Combine the chopped apples and lemon juice in a large, heavy-bottomed pot (an enameled Dutch oven works well here) and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the apples have broken down. When you’ve got a nice, chunky applesauce, add the honey and sugar and stir to incorporate.

Bring the fruit to a boil and cook for at least five minutes at a roll (watch out though, it will bubble and depending on the size of your pot, can get a little splashy). Add pectin and boil for a few minutes more, to active the pectin. When it seems nice and jammy, turn off the heat and stir in the lemon zest.

Fill jars, wipe rims (this jam is sticky, so you may need to add a bit of white vinegar to your towel, to help ensure a clean rim), apply lids and screw on bands. Process in a boiling water canner for ten minutes (if you are above 1,000 feet in altitude, adjust your processing time accordingly).

I found this at Food In Jars. I'm looking forward to trying it!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Turtle Cake

This recipe was a well-loved dessert that my husband's grandmother served for special occasions. I am serving it for Superbowl Sunday dessert.

Turtle Cake

1 pkg. German chocolate cake mix
3/4 c. butter
1 c. canned milk
1 pkg. (14 oz.) caramels (unwrap before mixing cake)
1 c. chopped pecans (we leave these out)
1 c. chocolate chips

Combine cake mix, butter and 2/3 cup of the canned milk; mix well. Press half of the mixture into 9 x 13 inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.Melt caramels in the 1/3 cup of canned milk and pour over the baked cake. Spread evenly. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate chips over caramel mixture. Put rest of cake mixture over top and spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Freezing Hamburger


When I buy meat, I buy it in bulk packages, usually between six and seven pounds each. I weigh it on my handy kitchen scale (you do have a handy kitchen scale, don't you?) and divide it into 1 1/2 pounds portions. I usually cook one portion up right then, and freeze the remaining ones.

I put them into gallon sized freezer bags and press them flat, making sure the corners are filled. Easy as pie! I lay them in the freezer flat. When I need to thaw one, I place them in the sink and run a bit of hot water. They are thawed in just ten minutes or so!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Doctor's Sourdough Bread Photo Tutorial

Here's a handy photo tutorial of this recipe. :)

The Doctor’s Sourdough BREAD

1 c Sourdough Starter
2 c Warm Water
2 c Warm Milk
1 Tbsp Butter
2 1/4 tsp SAF Yeast
1/4 c Honey
7 c Unbleached Flour
1/4 c Wheat Germ
2 Tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Soda

OPTIONAL: Add 1/4 c wheat bran, 1/4 c oat bran, 1 c whole wheat, rye, or kasha flour (adjusting the white flour volume) to increase the dietary fiber.

Mix the starter and 2 1/2 cups of the flour and all the water the night before you want to bake. Let stand in warm place overnight. I cover it lightly with a folded towel or plastic wrap.

In the morning, it should look bubbly, foamy and a bit larger in bulk than it was the night before.


Next morning mix in the butter with just-warm milk and stir in yeast until dissolved.


Add honey and when thoroughly mixed add to the starter mixture. Mix in 2 more cups of flour (I'm using wheat and rye) and stir in the wheat germ and oat bran (if you are using it).




Sprinkle sugar, salt, and baking soda over the mixture. Gently press into dough and mix lightly. (I blend it in using the 'momentary' pulse a few times.)


Allow to stand from 30 to 50 minutes until mixture is bubbly.


Add enough unbleached flour until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Then place the dough on a lightly floured board and knead 5 minutes until a silky mixture is developed.


Portion and form into loaves, place in well-greased loaf pans 9 x 3 size or in French bread pans.



Let rise until double, about 2 to 3 hours in a warm room. I usually allow the french loaves to rise in the oven at 100 degrees for an hour, and let the loaves rise, covered, on top of the stove.





Place pan with 3 c water in bottom of oven for steam.

Then bake in hot oven, 375-400 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes. Remove from pans and place loaves on rack to cool. Butter tops of loaves to prevent hard crustiness.

Light crust for me....

Darker crust for my husband:

Makes 5-6 1-lb Loaves (I have had it make up to 7 pounds of dough on a wet day. Yield will depend on many factors, including weather and humidity.)