Real Food

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4/26/2016

Beautiful salads are a festive choice for special days. Make the Marinated Shrimp Salad for a Mothers’ Day luncheon, and then a variation with chicken and freshly picked snap beans for a hot summer day. Both salads are made well ahead and then marinate in the refrigerator until serving time. (Bonus pesto sauce recipe follows.)

Marinated Shrimp and Artichoke Salad Recipe

For 4 main course servings or 8 small plates

Ingredients for the dressing:

• 4 cloves roasted garlic
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tsp honey
• ½ tsp herbes de Provence
• ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
• 1 cup very best extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 finely sliced green onions, white and tender green parts
• pinch sea salt
• generous grinds of the pepper mill

Ingredients for the salad:

• 1 pound medium to large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked
• 2 (6-ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained
• 1 (6-ounce) can large black olives
• ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
• 1 can garbanzo or cannellini beans
• 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
• small basil leaves or cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

1. First, prepare the shrimp: I like a seasoned boil. Put the cleaned shrimp in a medium pot, add water to cover and then a splash of wine vinegar, a goodly shake of Zatarains, Tony Crachere or Old Bay spice, maybe a bay leaf. Bring the pot quickly to a simmer and cook just until the shrimp is pink and firm to the touch. Time depends on the size of the shrimp.

2. Drain the shrimp and immediately cover with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain thoroughly.

3. In a small bowl, mash the garlic to a paste with a fork. Add the mustard and honey, mash together, then add the herbes de Provence. Whisk in the balsamic and the extra-virgin olive oil, add the green onion and season lightly with the sea salt and pepper. Set aside while you assemble the salad.

4. To save refrigerator space, I combine the cooked shrimp, then all the veggies and olives in a 1-gallon zipper bag, then pour the dressing over and shake back and forth. This goes to the refrigerator for the rest of the day. Every hour, or when I think of it, I turn the bag over so the dressing re-coats the salad.

5. To serve, put the salad into a large, attractive bowl, do a little arranging so it’s enticing, garnish with the basil or cilantro leaves.

A loaf of really good bread with a selection of butter and cheeses rounds out this meal.

Marinated Chicken and Snap Bean Salad Recipe

Make this salad in the cool of the evening before or early morning, then marinate for hours until it’s time to serve. For 4 main course servings or 8 small plates

Ingredients for the dressing:

• 4 cloves roasted garlic or more to taste
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tsp honey
• ½ tsp herbes de Provence
• ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
• 1 cup very best extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tbsp finely sliced green onions
• pinch of sea salt
• generous grinds of the pepper mill

Ingredients for the salad:

• 2 cups cooked chicken cut in bite size pieces
• 4 cups crisp-cooked baby green snap beans
• 1 (6 ounce) can large black olives
• ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
• 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
• small basil leaves or cilantro, for garnish

Options: Add in some halved, cooked new red potatoes and whatever else is ready in the garden — maybe some crisp-steamed zucchini? Roasted peppers? Make it your own, fresh from the garden. A handful of broken pecans at serving time?

Directions:

Note: Increase the dressing recipe if you’re adding potatoes or a lot more veggies.

1. Wash and snap the green beans or leave them whole if they’re really skinny. I like to steam them for only 2-3 minutes, or you can choose to drop them into boiling salted water, but cook only until just barely tender so they have some crunch. Drain them and cover with cold water to stop cooking. Drain thoroughly. Prep the rest of the vegetables you’re using.

2. In a small bowl, mash the garlic to a paste with a fork. Add the mustard and honey, mash together, then the herbes de Provence. Whisk in the balsamic and the extra-virgin olive oil, add the green onion and season lightly with the sea salt and pepper.

3. To save refrigerator space, I combine the cooked chicken, then all the veggies and olives in a 1-gallon zipper bag, then pour the dressing over and shake back and forth.  This goes to the refrigerator for the rest of the day. Every hour, or when I think of it, I turn the bag over so the dressing re-coats the salad.

4. To serve, put the salad into a large attractive bowl, do a little arranging so it’s enticing, garnish with the basil or cilantro leaves.

To round out the meal, offer a beautiful loaf of country bread, some good butter and a selection of cheeses — perhaps a fresh berry cobbler for dessert and a big, frosty pitcher of minted tea.

Bonus: Pesto Dressing Recipe

For a little extra flavor and dressing, pass a bowl of this dressing. Multiply as needed — this is a delicious dunk for any leftover bread.

Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp Italian basil pesto (see my post, “Pesto Three Ways”)
• 1 tsp rice or white wine vinegar
• 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• dash of fine sea salt
• 3 grinds of the pepper mill

Directions:

Whisk together in a small bowl and offer on the side.

Wendy Akin is happy to share her years of traditional skills knowledge. Over the years, she’s earned many state fair ribbons for pickles, relishes, preserves and special condiments, and even a few for breads. Read all of Wendy’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.



4/26/2016

Garlic Mustard BHughey

Calling all wildcrafters and foragers — pick all you can! The usual advice is to forage lightly and with respect. Leave plants to reproduce. However, in the case of a few invasive species, it is okay to pluck with wild abandon, not allowing the plants to reproduce. One of these is garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), which is heading up right now and its unopened flowers are very similar to rapini (aka broccoli rabe) in taste and texture.

It was introduced to the U.S. as a food and medicine brought by European settlers and is first recorded on Long Island in 1868. This plant is a problem across the northeast U.S., much of the Midwest, and in scattered pockets throughout the South, West, and Alaska.

Invasive species can play havoc on ecosystems by out competing native species. Often these silent invaders thrive in foreign ecosystems, because none of their competitors came along to balance them. For example, in its native habitat, garlic mustard has 69 insects that feed upon it, in North America — none.

In the case of garlic mustard, it also has sheer numbers on its side: It can produce 62,000 seeds per square meter, and these little guys remain viable for 5 years.

When you find this plant heading up in mid to late April and May, go ahead and pull it out by the root, which you can cut off, keeping the tender upper stems, leaves, and unopened florets to eat. Eat some fresh — it can be steamed or braised — and ferment some for later.

Garlic Mustard Kimchi Recipe

Makes a little more than a pint

Ingredients:

• 1 pound Garlic Mustard, cut into 1–inch pieces
• 1 cup shredded radish
• 4 green onions, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1½ tsp. lemon juice
• ¼ tsp. dried pepper flakes (this will be a mild-medium heat, use more to taste)
• 2 quarts kimchi pickling brine for soaking (2 quarts water mixed with ½ cup salt)
• Optional: 1 teaspoon anchovy paste

Directions:

1. Soak the cut garlic mustard (unopened buds and all) for about 2 hours in the soaking brine. After soaking, drain in a colander, saving some of the brine to add as needed.

2. Place soaked mustard in a bowl and mix in all of the remaining ingredients (including optional anchovy paste), massaging as you go. Taste to check salt and pepper level. The pepper quantity will vary with how piquant you want your ferment (remember heat is brought down just a touch during fermentation). The salt level is part of a successful ferment. You want to taste the salt in a pleasing way — like a chip — but you don’t want it to be overly briny. If it needs more salt, simply add a bit of the soaking brine until it tastes right.

3. Press into jar or crock, following basic instructions for your fermentation vessel. If you haven’t fermented before, follow these methods for setting up basic jar fermentation.

This small quantity will ferment in about 4-5 days. This is strong flavored and best served as a condiment. It goes nicely over a white meat or fish. It will keep refrigerated for 3-4 months.

Kirsten K. Shockey is a post-modern homesteader who lives in the mountains of Southern Oregon. She writes about sauerkraut and life — but not necessarily in that order. She’s written a complete book of Fermented Vegetables and maintains the website Fermentista’s Kitchen. Read all of Kirsten's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.



4/20/2016

 

One day, back in the early 1950’s, in his car, my grandfather pointed out a beautiful old stone house and said “That’s Maggie Rudkin’s place, Pepperidge Farm”  I still remember that house, on the left side of the road, but can’t remember what road.  Somewhere in Connecticut, near New Canaan. 

Pepperidge Farm was the bread we always had at home. Years later, remembering their jingle, “The bread that tastes like breakfast, with honey, eggs and milk,” I started trying to duplicate that iconic bread. Finally, here is the recipe I developed with today’s flour and yeast:

‘Pepperidge Farm Bread’ Recipe

Ingredients:

• 6 cups bread flour in all
• 1 tbsp salt
• 2 tbsp instant yeast
• 2 cups whole milk
• 3 tbsp butter
• 2 tbsp honey
• 1 large egg

Directions

1. Set up the mixer with the dough hook.

2. Put 4 cups of the flour, the salt, and the yeast into the bow (salt on one side, yeast on the other, always), and give it a stir.

3. Heat the milk quite hot (about 105 degrees Fahrenheit) and drop in the butter, cut into 3 pieces. Let this stand while the butter softens and starts to melt.

4. Add the honey, stir and then pour the liquids into the flour mix.

5. Start the mixer and run a minute to begin, and then add the egg. Continue to mix until all the flour is mixed in and then knead on #4 for 5 minutes.

6. Add in the remaining flour, adjusting to humidity — you might need a bit more or less. Knead for another 5 minutes at least until the dough is smooth and well developed. You’ll want a firm but soft dough that clears the side of the bowl.

7. Scoop the dough into your buttered rising bucket or bowl, cover and let rise until doubled.  Rich doughs like this take a bit longer, so allow it time.

8. When well risen, turn the dough onto your floured kneading board. Knead by hand several turns until the dough is smooth and elastic. Divide the dough in half. Pat out each half into an oval, about 8 by 10 inches, and roll tightly to a pretty loaf shape.

9. Put the loaves into your well seasoned or greased pans, cover, and allow to rise again until doubled and rising in a curve over the top of the pan. Again, give it time.

10. Bake the loaves in a 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes until a deep gold and a thermometer inserted reads 195 degrees. Turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool.

Variation: Raisin Bread

If you want raisin bread, knead a half cup of raisins into half of the dough for one loaf. If you want the cinnamon in it, pat the dough out larger, to about 12 by 14 inches, paint the surface with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Then, roll up as above. If you like, you can brush the top of the loaf with a little milk and sprinkle with coarse turbinado sugar.

Walnut Bread Recipe

This bread is just like the bread you’ll find in a bakery in Paris, and just as easy as a basic white loaf — delicious as a sandwich bread and makes wonderful toast.

Ingredients:

• 3 cups white whole wheat flour (or traditional, your choice)
• 3 cups bread flour in all (divided)
• 1 tbsp fine sea salt
• 2 tbsp instant yeast
• 1 tbsp honey
• 2 cups milk
• 1 ½ cups broken walnuts
• 2 tbsp walnut oil*

*Note: You can substitute olive oil if you don’t have walnut. If you do purchase walnut oil, keep it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for the next time.

Directions:

1. Heat the milk to quite warm, about 100 degree Fahrenheit.

2. Set up the mixer with the dough hook.

3. Put the 3 cups of whole-wheat flour and 1 cup of bread flour in the bowl and add, on opposite sides, the salt and yeast. Give the dry ingredients a quick stir.

4. Pour in the warm milk, squirt in the honey, add the oil and use a spatula to begin mixing in the liquids. Start the mixer on “stir” until the flour is incorporated, then turn to #4 and knead for about 5 minutes.

5. Add in the walnuts, stir a bit, and then add in the remaining bread flour, holding back a little of the flour. Run the mixer on “stir” and then on #4 for a few minutes. You want a soft but firm dough that holds together. Add more flour bit by bit as needed.

6. If it seems the dough need a little “help” clearing the side of the bowl, put just a tablespoon or so more of the walnut oil down the inside of the bowl and the dough will quickly clear the bowl and, conveniently, grease the bowl so it dumps out easily.

7. When it all comes together, transfer the dough into your rising bucket or bowl. Allow it to rise until nicely doubled and puffy. This could take from ½ hour to an hour, sometimes even longer, depending on the room temperature.

8. Turn the dough out onto your floured kneading board. Knead several turns, adding a bit of flour if needed, until the dough is smooth, satiny and doesn’t stick.

9. With your bench knife, cut the dough in half, as evenly as you can. Pat each half out to an oval, about 8 by 10 inches, and then tightly, stretching a bit, roll it up to a nice, fat loaf.

10. Pick up a little flour from the board on the bottom of each loaf. Put each loaf into a greased or well seasoned loaf pan. Imbedding a walnut half in the top of the loaf makes it special.

11. Cover the loaves with greased plastic wrap or a proof cover and allow them to rise until fully doubled. Rich doughs like this take a bit longer, so allow it time. Just before the rise is complete, brush the loaves with just a little milk.

12. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake your loaves for about 50 minutes, until nicely dark gold and a thermometer inserted through the side reads 190 degrees.

13. Turn out the loaves immediately onto a wire rack. Never cut a loaf until it is completely cool. Loaves made with milk sometimes brown too fast — you can tent them with foil if they’re getting too dark.

14. Wrap the loaves well to freeze. I put each loaf or half loaf into a cheap plastic bag and then two loaves into a 2-gallon zipper freezer bag. The zipper bag can be re-used several times.

Variation: Burgundy Bread

A delicious option to walnut bread sometimes found in bakeries in France adds onions to walnut bread. Very simply, cut a large onion into medium dice, about ½ inch. Put a couple tablespoons of good olive oil into a skillet and slowly sauté the onion until nicely caramelized. Add the onion into the dough during the final machine knead and make sure it’s well distributed. This is wonderful for a hearty meat sandwich or sliced on a cheese tray.

Wendy Akin is a happy to share her years of traditional skills knowledge. Over the years, she’s earned many state fair ribbons for pickles, relishes, preserves and special condiments, and even a few for breads. Read all of Wendy’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.



4/15/2016

 

I figure, if you’re going to get all the ingredients out and make a mess, you might as well bake a lot of bread. Summer is coming, hot days when I don’t want to even think about turning on the oven. So, for a nice cold day, I binge on bread making and stock the freezer.

There are several breads I like to make. I start with the “whitest” and proceed through the darkest dough. Certainly don’t want to have to wash the bowl in between!

Each recipe makes two loaves in a standard 9-by-5-inch pan.

Basic White Potato Bread Recipe

My grandmother taught me that, when making mashed potatoes, cook one per person and one more “for the pot” but I usually add more. Might as well. I make my mashed potatoes with plenty of good butter and milk. Any left over go into baggies, approximately 1 cup to each, and those are tucked into freezer zipper bags.

Sometimes I see potatoes starting to sprout in the bin, and I’ll go ahead and cook those up and mash them. Waste not, want not — potatoes make good bread.

The night before I plan to bake, I get out as many baggies of mashed potato as I plan batches of bread. By morning, these will be at room temperature and ready to go.

Ingredients:

• 6 cups bread flour in all, divided, plus extra in reserve
• 1 tbsp fine sea salt
• 2 tbsp instant yeast
• 2 cups hot water
• 1 cup mashed potato
• 1 tbsp or so honey (optional)
• 1 tbsp or so non-GMO oil

Directions:

1. Set up the mixer with the dough hook.

2. Put 4 cups of the flour, the salt and yeast into the bowl, always putting the salt on one side and the yeast on the other — never let the salt touch the yeast before mixing. Other dry ingredients can go anywhere in the bowl. Give them a quick stir.

3. Add in the hot water and the potatoes and give it a quick stir with a spatula to begin incorporating the flour.

4. Mix on “stir” or #1 for a minute and then turn it up to #4. Machine knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes. You’ll see some strands indicating the formation of gluten.

5. Stop the mixer and add the remaining 2 cups of flour. Again run on “stir” as the flour mixes in and then on #4 for a couple minutes. The dough should be coming together. You want a firm but moist dough. Depending on the humidity, you may need to add a bit more flour, a tablespoon at a time.

If it seems the dough needs a little “help” clearing the side of the bowl, put just a tablespoon or so oil down the inside of the bowl and the dough will quickly clear the bowl and, conveniently, grease the bowl so it dumps out easily.

6. When it all comes together, transfer the dough into your rising bucket or bowl. Allow it to rise until nicely doubled and puffy. This could take from ½ hour to an hour, sometimes even longer, depending on the room temperature.

7. Turn the dough out onto your floured kneading board. Knead several turns, adding a bit of flour if needed, until the dough is smooth, satiny and doesn’t stick.

8. With your bench knife, cut the dough in half, as evenly as you can. Pat each half out to an oval, about 8 by 10 inches and then tightly, stretching a bit, roll it up to a nice, fat loaf.

9. Pick up a little flour from the board on the bottom of each loaf and sprinkle, if you wish, with a bit of flour on the top. Put each loaf into a greased or well seasoned loaf pan.

While the loaves rise, check them a time or two. If you see a big bubble on the top, pinch it carefully so you don’t have a burned blister on the top of your bread.

10. Cover the loaves with greased plastic wrap or a proof cover and allow them to rise until fully doubled. (See “Quick Tricks for the Bread Baker” below.)

11. Just before the rise is complete, make a slash or two with a lame or very sharp knife or razor blade.

12. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake your loaves for about 50 minutes, until nicely dark gold and a thermometer inserted through the side reads 190 degrees. Turn out the loaves immediately onto a wire rack. Never cut a loaf until it is completely cool.

13. Wrap the loaves well to freeze. I put each loaf, or half loaf, into a cheap plastic bag and then two loaves into a 2-gallon zipper freezer bag. The zipper bag can be re-used several times.

Quick Tricks for the Bread Baker

My favorite proofing box is a plastic “under-bed” box. It fits upside down over 3 loaf pans and is high enough to allow a full, high rise. They nest together and store easily.

If resisting the hot-from-the-oven loaves is a problem in your house, make rolls. For just one or two, you can “steal” a couple ounces from each loaf when you’re forming them. If you need more, or if burgers are on the menu, use half the first batch of dough for a panfull.

Cut the dough into pieces with your bench knife and form each into a ball, then flatten as you put them onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. If you set them apart, they’ll be crusty, close together they make soft buns.

Expect family, friends and neighbors to wander through, snatching a roll as they go!

Basic Whole-Wheat Potato Bread Recipe

I have come to really like the white whole-wheat flour. The bread tastes about halfway between white and whole wheat, but has lots of whole-wheat nutrition. I add some vital gluten to help it get a good rise.

Sometimes, for a lighter loaf, I use both whole wheat and bread flour, half and half. Kamut flour also makes a tasty loaf, half and half with bread flour.

Ingredients:

• 6 cups white whole-wheat flour in all, divided
• ¼ cup vital wheat gluten
• 1 tbsp fine sea salt
• 2 tbsp instant yeast
• 2 cups hot water
• 1 cup mashed potato
• 1 tbsp or so honey (optional)
• 1 tbsp or so non-GMO oil

Directions:

You’ll note the ingredients are almost the same as the basic potato bread. Use the directions above, adding the vital gluten with the salt and yeast. Then proceed.

Oatmeal Bread Recipe

The absolute best for a PB and J sandwich, oatmeal bread is high in proteins and iron.

• 6 cups bread flour in all*
• 1 tbsp fine sea salt
• 2 tbsp instant yeast
• 1 cup whole milk
• 1 ¼  cups very hot water
• 3 tbsp honey or sorghum
• 2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned)**
• a little melted butter for the tops

Directions:

1. Set up the mixer with the dough hook.

2. Put 4 cups of the flour in the mixer bowl, the salt on one side of the bowl, the yeast on the other and give it a quick stir.

3. If you can get scalding hot water from the tap, use that. If not, heat the water. In a 2 cup measure, stir together the water and milk (you can use all milk or all water or add dry milk if that’s what you have). Squirt or spoon in the honey and stir to mix.

4. Add the liquid to the flour and give it a quick stir to start incorporating. Run the mixer on “stir” until the flour is mixed in, and then knead on #4 for 5 minutes. You should see the beginning of gluten strands in a smooth batter.

5. Add in most of the remaining 2 cups of flour (hold back just a little) and the oatmeal, run on “stir” until the flour settles in and then knead on #4 for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl. You want a soft but firm dough. If it seems too soft or hasn’t come together, add flour bit by bit.

If the dough seems to need “help” coming together, a bit of oil or melted butter run down the inside of the bowl will make the dough clean the sides of the bowl while also greasing the bowl so your dough dumps out easily.

6. When it all comes together, transfer the dough into your rising bucket or bowl. Allow it to rise until nicely doubled and puffy. This could take from ½ hour to an hour, sometimes even longer, depending on the room temperature.

7. Turn the dough out onto your floured kneading board.  Knead several turns, adding a bit of flour if needed, until the dough is smooth, satiny and doesn’t stick. With your bench knife, cut the dough in half, as evenly as you can. Pat each half out to an oval, about 8 by 10 inches and then tightly, stretching a bit, roll it up to a nice, fat loaf.

8. Sprinkle just a bit of oatmeal in the bottoms of your loaf pans and set in your loaves.

9. Brush the tops of the loaves with a bit of melted butter and, if you like, pat on a little oatmeal. Cover the loaves with greased plastic or a proofing cover and allow the loaves to rise until doubled and puffy, prettily rounded over the tops of the pans.

10. While the loaves rise, check them a time or two. If you see a big bubble on the top, pinch it carefully so you don’t have a burned blister on the top of your bread.

11. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake your loaves for about 50 minutes, until nicely dark gold and a thermometer inserted through the side reads 190 degrees. Turn out the loaves immediately onto a wire rack. Never cut a loaf until it is completely cool.

12. Wrap the loaves well to freeze. I put each loaf, or half loaf, into a cheap plastic bag and then two loaves into a 2-gallon zipper freezer bag. The zipper bag can be re-used several times.

* If you like, you can substitute a cup of whole wheat for a cup of white bread flour for a deeper flavor.

** You can use the “quick-cooking” oats if that’s what you have, but the “old-fashioned” kind make a chewier, heartier texture. Never use the instant kind.

Wendy Akin is a happy to share her years of traditional skills knowledge. Over the years, she’s earned many state fair ribbons for pickles, relishes, preserves and special condiments, and even a few for breads. Read all of Wendy’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.



4/15/2016

 

Making bone broth out of duck feet and heads.

There is much controversy over the health benefits of bone broth, you can find articles all over the web that fall into one of two camps: bone broth is another unscientifically supported health fad or bone broth is a health booster. I fall into the second camp.

When it comes to scientific evidence, it is true that there are no studies that have been conducted on bone broth, however, there are dozens of studies one can find that have explored the health benefits of the ingredients found in bone broth. “We have science that supports the use of cartilage, gelatin, and other components found in homemade bone broth to prevent and sometimes even reverse osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, digestive distress, autoimmune disorders, and even cancer,” says Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, a nutrition scientist, certified clinical nutritionist, and co-author of Nourishing Broths.

This type of broth is a fairly new phenomenon in the west, but it certainly isn’t a new thing. Asian countries (specifically China) have benefited from the positive results of drinking bone broth for generations – improved energy & health, look younger (due to the presence of collagen), better sleep and memory, among others. At The Prepared Homestead when we hold our all-day workshop, “Introduction to Homesteading”, we serve a farm-fresh lunch, the first course is always a cup of bone broth to begin the digestion process and increase absorption of nutrients from the food we’re serving.

Bone Broth

Homemade bone broth is not complicated or mysterious. It’s pretty much foolproof. Follow basic principles: simmer 24 hours, add apple cider vinegar to help break down the bones, use organic ingredients and you’ll be on your way! Once you start making your own you will see how easy and inexpensive it truly is.

In winter I usually keep a pot of bone broth simmering because we use it extensively and it helps heat our kitchen. However, by this time of year I begin to make double or triple what we will use each week and “can it” for use in the summer. You can freeze it in baggies if you have space in your freezer and you don’t plan on keeping it for months. Any broth I plan on using within a week I store in jars in the refrigerator, it keeps just fine.

 

Basic ingredients, always use organic!

It’s very important to make sure you are using organic vegetables and bones from healthy chickens (or ducks, etc). If you are raising and butchering your own poultry this won’t be a problem, but if you are buying from a store or other farmer check to be sure it is organic. So here is the basic recipe to make your own bone broth. I usually make about 5 gallons at a time.

Ingredients:

• Chicken heads & feet (approximately 2 pounds per gallon of water). I do wash the feet in hot water and vinegar and try to take off the outer skin if it is still intact. Many times it has come off during the butchering process. I also rinse the heads and pull off excess feathers, I do not worry about getting every last feather off, you can be as picky as you want here. I usually freeze these until I’m ready to use them and just drop them in the pot frozen.

• 1 bay leaf per gallon

The next four ingredients will add good flavor and vitamins to your broth. Oftentimes I use the scraps from cooking throughout the week – the ends of the onions, carrots, celery. Don’t think you need to use whole. I do when I don’t have scraps to use. Also, I don’t always put in one whole onion per gallon. There’s a lot of flexibility here, so don’t stress over the details.

• 1 onion, coarsely chopped
• 2 carrots, chopped
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 2-3 cloves garlic
• 1 gallon filtered water
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar per gallon
• Optional: ginger, herbs, salt, pepper, soy sauce, more garlic, Tamari soy sauce

Directions

1. Place all main ingredients (not the optional) in a large stockpot or slow cooker.

2. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 24 hours. During the last 30 minutes, add any optional ingredients you want and season to taste; get creative here!

3. After the broth is done, you will want to strain it through cheesecloth or nut milk bag. I put a nut milk bag into a fine sieve and ladle the broth through it into another pot or bowl. Because the bones are broken down and soft, these are safe to give your dogs as a treat (ours love it!)

4. That’s it! Now you can drink the broth like tea or add it to any recipe that uses water.

Cooking with Broth

 

Bone broth about 12 hours into simmering.

The bones will begin to look softer and vegetables will start looking soggy and tasteless.

Here are a few ideas for you to start with, there are a ton more ways to use bone broth, you are only limited by your imagination!

• Rice – use ½ water ½ broth to ensure proper cooking
• Beans –After soaking, cook beans in broth or use it as the liquid when canning beans
• Noodles/dumplings – Cook noodles or dumplings in broth and add any meat, eggs, veggies, or herbs you would enjoy.
• Zupa Toscano – Sauté 1-pound sausage and 1 chopped onion, add to a large pot with 1 gallon broth, peel and cube 5 potatoes and add them to the pot, simmer until potatoes are cooked through. Add chopped kale, simmer 5 more minutes then add ¼ cup cream, stir and serve.

All photos by Linde Mitzel, P3 Photography  

Sean and Monica Mitzel homestead with their family on 40 acres and are using permaculture techniques and methods for the property. The homestead is a demonstration and education site where they teach workshops and raise dairy goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, and ducks. The Mitzels have planted food forests, guilds and enjoy wildcrafting and propagating plants. Sean and Monica can often be found podcasting or speaking and teaching at different events. Listen to the podcast and to learn more about the Mitzels, visit The Prepared Homestead. Read all of their MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.     


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4/14/2016

Vegetable StromboliStromboli, like its cousin the calzone, is a flexible way to combine favorite toppings and bread. I’ve been making a ham/cheese/pickle stromboli for decades now. It has become a holiday favorite. Even when the children are spending Christmas with the in-laws they request a loaf of ham stromboli. But as a vegetarian, I am always experimenting with meatless stromboli versions too.

This particular version combines favorite Italian vegetables like tomatoes, artichokes and peppers with lots of cheese. All are stuffed into a sourdough pizza dough.

What is Stromboli?

Basically, stromboli is cheeses and other ingredients like vegetables or meats, all rolled or stuffed into bread dough and then baked. Stromboli is similar to a calzone, but it is loaf shaped instead of a folded round. When sliced, each piece of stromboli looks like a spiral. Think of stromboli as a bread version of the jelly roll, while calzones are a bread version of turnovers.

What to Consider When Making Stromboli

Use your favorite pizza toppings like thinly sliced pepperoni or spinach leaves in your stromboli, but go easy on the sauce.

Sometimes I add a little tomato sauce to the filling, but often I just serve sauce on the side. Too much sauce or wet vegetables will leave your dough sticky, especially if you use a sourdough base. Sourdough adds flavor to stromboli and helps it stay fresh longer, but you can make stromboli using any pizza dough recipe.

Make Your Own Sourdough Starter

It really isn’t difficult to make your own sourdough starter. You can use the method I prefer, found on my website Make Your Own Sourdough Starter. Or follow the methods found in earlier Mother Earth News articles, including Creating Homemade Sourdough Bread From a Starter Mix, and a previous blog post, A Beginner’s Guide to Sourdough.

Sourdough Vegetable Stromboli Recipe

Ingredients

• 2 cups sourdough starter
• 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 ½ cups semolina flour
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp pizza seasoning (optional)
• ¾ - 1 cup water
• 2½ cups chopped, lightly steamed vegetables (I used a combination of zucchini, black olives, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers)
• fresh spinach or arugula leaves
• approximately 8 ounces shredded cheese (I used a combination of smoked mozzarella and gouda)

Directions

1. In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, combine the starter, flours, olive oil, salt, pizza seasoning and water. Knead until the dough is smooth and shiny.

2. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl 2-3 hours. Divide dough in half. Reserve ½ dough for another stromboli or keep for later use.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 10-by-17-inch rectangle. Spread with the vegetable mixture. Cover with spinach leaves. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

5. Tightly roll up from one of the long ends. Lightly wet seam to keep the roll together. Move to a parchment lined baking sheet.

6. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until lightly browned. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

How to Eat A Stromboli

Serve slices as an appetizer along with bowls of marinara sauce, make it a meal with a green salad, or tuck slices into your lunchbox for a change from peanut butter sandwiches.

Renee Pottle is an author, Family and Consumer Scientist, and Master Food Preserver. She writes about canning, baking, and real food at SeedtoPantry.com. Read all of Renee's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


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4/12/2016

Kvass Fruit Beverage In Jars 

 

Fruit kvass is a fermented drink that is quick and easy to make, loaded with digestive enzymes and probiotics and inexpensive to create.

 

For tens of thousands of years, our ancestors ate real meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, fats, oils, fish and fermented foods. As fermentation was their only method of preserving fresh foods for future ingestion, these particular items were probably eaten daily. Our gut biome depended upon them.

 

Fermented foods not only give us enzymes that will help us to digest our meals and probiotics to keep us well, but they make the vitamins and minerals in these foods easier for our bodies to assimilate.

 

Even though we now have the options for freezing, canning and refrigerating our crops and animal products, it might be wise to include some fermented items in our diets. Fruit kvass is probably the easiest of all to make.

 

A fruit kvass can be put together in under three minutes. It can be made with almost any fruits or vegetables — you can use lots of them or just a little bit. The produce can be fresh, frozen or dried.

 

Sometimes they can be made for next to nothing — having some watermelon with the family? Save the rind and seeds and kvass them. During the summer, you can add some purslane (a very nutritious weed) or other weeds from the garden.

 

Basic Fruit Kvass Recipe with Blueberries, Strawberries, and Orange

 

That all having been said, people often like to have an exact recipe. So we can start off with a Blueberry-Strawberry-Orange Kvass. This basic recipe yields about 20 servings.

 

Materials and ingredients:

 

• ½-gallon jar

• ½ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

• 1/3 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen

• 1 orange, cut into pieces

• 1 tsp good-quality salt (gray sea salt or pink Himalayan)

• ¼ cup homemade whey (optional)

• ½ gallon pure water, no chlorine or flouride

 

Directions:

 

1. Put the orange pieces and strawberries in the jar. Mash the blueberries a little (any time that a fruit’s skin is tough, this is a good idea) and add to the jar.

 

2. Add the salt and, if you have it, the whey. Fill with water leaving a good 2 inches of head space or air at the top. Cover tightly. Shake well. Place on the kitchen counter under a towel.

 

3. Keep shaking several times a day and release the lid just briefly at least once a day to let out the gases. After two days in a warm kitchen or three in a cool one, the mixture is done.

 

4. Strain out the fruit, eating it for the fiber if you tend to be constipated, or compost it. Place the liquid in a jar in the refrigerator.

 

5. During the day, add a splash of it to all of the glasses of water that you drink. If you are not used to ferments, start slow. Try just a tablespoon or two for the first few days and increase the amount slowly.

 

I can’t make a claim for anyone else’ health, but I do know that I have been drinking fruit kvass for a little over the past five years. In that time, I have not been sick once.

 

To view a YouTube video on how to make fruit kvass, visit the author’s website. If, for some reason, your fruit kvass looks bad, smells bad or tastes bad, don’t drink it!

 

Homemade Fruit Kvass In Jar 

Celeste Longacre and her husband, Bob, have lived sustainably for more than 35 years. They grow almost all of their vegetables for the year and preserve them by freezing, canning, drying and using a home -built root cellar. Celeste ferments much of the couple’s produce and makes her own sauerkraut, kimchee, and fruit and beet kvass. She is the author of Celeste’s Garden Delights and writes a gardening blog for The Old Farmer’s Almanac. For more information, visit Celeste’s website.
All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.








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