Posted in Beef, Canning & Preserving, Carnivore, Chicken, From Scratch, Other, Pork, Rabbit Recipes, Soups & Stews, Uncategorized, Wild Game, Guineafowl, Birds, etc.

How to Make Bone Broth/Stock

broth3Allot of flavor to this one, so beware. In fact, once you do taste how good this is, and how easy, you may never touch store-bought brands again. That being said, this is easily customize-able according to your personal tastes. So, I’m going to give you the basic 411 on how to make it, explain how you can adjust it, and then let you go from there. One thing is for certain, though– you won’t ever throw out bones again. Not until you’ve made this!

 


This can be made with ANY and EVERY kind of meat/bone out there. Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Beef, Rabbit, Deer (Venison), etc.


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Different scenarios….

Now, say, you haven’t cooked any meat yet. Say, you are wanting to make something like Chicken Soup or a Cream of Chicken Soup. (I have a great Cream of Chicken, Mushroom and Kale Soup Recipe made with Bone Stock I’m about to post!). Put a whole chicken in a pot of water– I usually put enough water in to cover the bird– and cook until meat is tender enough to pull off of the bone. Pull the chicken out, let it cool enough to work with– pull meat off. Put the meat to the side. Put the bones (and DON’T worry if there is still some meat left on them) on a pan and stick in the oven under the Broiler. Brown. Flip and Brown.


Why are we browning them? Flavor. To Brown is to Flavor. Memorize that.


Once the Bones are brown, add them back to the pot, add more water if need be, bring to a boil and then Simmer about 4-6 hours. Some add it to a Crockpot and let it go all day. You do what’s easiest for you.


Once done, STRAIN the Bones from the Liquid– and what you have is, Liquid Gold.


 

Another scenario is what to do with Bones you’ve already cooked or cut the meat off of. Like, left over Turkey bones, Deer bones, etc.


 

Again, brown under a Broiler and then simmer, simmer, simmer.

 


If the Bones are from an Uncooked Carcass, no worries. Brown them and simmer, simmer, simmer.


Now, some are against browning and that part is ALL up to you. If you don’t like to Brown, then just cook.


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Options: Broth v/s Stock

 

You can add Veggies and herbs to the water– carrots, celery, peppers, garlic, onions, whatever you like. You don’t have to chop them perfectly. Some people don’t even peel. They just toss em in. You can roast them under a broiler or just toss. They will all be strained in the end.

Now, the strength of your Bone Broth will depend on Cooking Time. I cooked my Liquid down once– by a lucky accident. By doing so, I realized I created something of a Condensed Stock. So, I added it to smaller Jars and then Froze it. This will be used by adding more Water, or for my Cream based Soups, etc. It’s REALLY Potent.


That brings us to the last bit…preserving. Depending on how much I have, depends on how I preserve it. Some, I add to Jars (leaving 2 inches of head space for expansion) and Freeze. Some, I add to Jars and then Pressure Can 11Lbs of Pressure for 70 minutes. (Times depend on rules YOU follow.)


Any questions, YELL!

 

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Posted in Canning & Preserving, From Scratch, The Hungry Hen, Uncategorized

Corncob Jelly & Molasses

P9030473.JPGWhat in the world do we do with all those Corncobs? I was giving them to the hogs but after catching glimpse of two Amish Recipes, I’m now thinkin’ twice.

Corncob Jelly

  • 12 Freshly Shelled Corn Cobs
  • 3 Pints of Water
  • 1 pkg. Of Sure-Jell
  • 3 cups of Sugar
  • Red Food Coloring

Heat 3 pints of water. Break Cobs into small pieces and add to hot water. Boil for 35 minutes. Strain 3 cups of Juice. Add Water to make 3 cups if need be. Add Sure-Jell and sugar. Bring to another boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add a few drops of red coloring. Pour into Jars and Seal in a Hot Water Bath for 5 Minutes.

Corn Cob Molasses

  • 15 Clean, Fresh Corn Cobs Broken up
  • 1 gal water
  • Sugar
  • Red Food Coloring
  • ½ gal light corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp. Baking Soda to keep it from sugaring

Bring Cobs to a boil. Boil 2 minutes or until water is pink or amber colored. Strain and measure water. Add as much sugar as measured water. Bring to a boil until thickened. Add corn syrup, vanilla, red food coloring and baking soda. Check occasionally by taking out ½ cup and cooling to see the thickened consistency.

Posted in Canning & Preserving, From Scratch, The Hungry Hen, Uncategorized

Dandelion Jelly

file000125728323This recipe came out of a Cookbook that didn’t belong to me. I believe it was Amish or possibly, some sort of Folk. Regardless, I thought it was one worth saving because Dandelions actually have healing properties as I pointed out in another article, HERE.

Regardless, the recipe and instructions were as follows….

You want to pick the blossoms, and only the blossoms, and not the stems, early in the morning. The reason is, this would help avoid some of the bugs, like ants, which apparently love Dandelions too.

Once you have a Quart, boil in a Quart of water for 3 minutes. Drain the Blossoms from the Juice and use 3 cups of that liquid with 1 tsp of lemon or orange extract, 1 box of Sure-Jell and 4 ½ cups of sugar. Cook according to the Directions on the Sure-Jell box and Can accordingly unless you’re freezing or devouring right away.

Posted in Back in the Day, Canning & Preserving, Food Facts, From Scratch, Hen Cackle, Historical, The Scoop from the Coop, Things to Crow About, Uncategorized

Water Bath or Pressure Canner? And a Vintage Water Bath Chart.

1304176654-hey-who-s-the-designer-here-before-after-design-talk-oyxnog-clipartAre you like me? Ready to pull hair and scream over this whole: Water Bath or Pressure Canner debate? I feel you. I really, really feel you. And I can even understand why newbies to Canning are so freaked out. It’s not like the “Canning Police” and the “FDA” attempt to ease our mind any. They have more Do’s and Don’t’s than Grandma and her switched did.

 


And for those of us who were raised on our previous Ancestors, and how they did things, that’s a real struggle. I’d like to see the “Canning Police” or the “FDA” tell my Grandma or one of my Great Aunt’s how to Can. I’d love for them to say….


  • “You aren’t allowed to Can Potatoes”
  • “You aren’t allowed to Can Tomatoes in a Water Bath and if you Can, which better be in a PC (Pressure Canner), then that better have added Acid in it.”
  • “No Onions allowed!”
  • “Stick to a recipe to a T. If it calls for four cloves of Garlic, you better stick to 4 cloves. If not, you will kill the whole family.”

And last but not least….

  • “Best not EVER use a Water Bath to Can meat!!!!!”

My Grandma would have beat down the entire government. Canning police? Wouldn’t be a switch left on the tree.


Still, today, in nearly every Canning Group out there, the Nazi’s still shake a finger and the FDA is still beating fear into the Masses. And while I WILL NOT tell you what you can or can’t do, I did stumble onto this cool little vintage chart of rules for Water Bath Canners that probably swam around in every kitchen back in Grandma’s day. And I will offer one bit of advice. Not a demand,. Not a threat, just advice….

If you are Canning, do what you feel most comfortable with. I’ve used a Water Bath for everything before I finally bought a Pressure Canner a year ago. I don’t add acid to my Maters. I Can potatoes religiously. And the only difference I can offer you is this one:


PC’s Can in a shorter amount of time. Example: Canning Green Beans in a Water Bath Canner can take up to 4-41/2 hours. In a PC, 25 minutes.


Yep, that’s it. If you are on unfamiliar ground where Canning goes, a PC may make you feel safer but for those of us who were taught by Grandma and those before her, we also feel just fine the Water Bath way. So when it comes to Canning, so what the hell you want. Ask for advice by finding a great support group but a great support group doesn’t bleed and spew nothing but fear. If a Jar is bad, you will smell it. Sometimes you will see it but in case your glasses are fogged that day, the smell will tell you. That’s always worked for me.

And if a recipe calls for 4 cloves of Garlic, don’t think the entire family will die if you add 10. For the love of God, folks, stop trying to duct tape everyone into the same box. winks


 

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Posted in From Scratch, Historical, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes, The Hungry Hen

The Buckhorn Inn House Dressing

IStsducc2cmcp81000000000When I was a kid and my Momma moved us back to Virginia from North Carolina, goin’ out to eat was a treat…one that came fewer than the risin’ of a  Blue Moon. When we first came up, we stayed out in Craigsville where Grandma was married to her second husband, Maxie. There, they both had a match box for a trailer. To be truthful, I don’t think they make things that small anymore. Maxie was usually gone—Gone Drinkin’—and most times when he was back, him and Grandma spent fightin’ up a storm – about him bein’ gone off drinkin’. Their fightin’ never bothered us kids none, because we actually liked ol’ Maxie. He was a man rarely seen and of very few words but when he was around, he wasn’t grouchy like most adults were back in them days. lol. He never took a strap to us or made us shush because even our breathin’ got on his nerves.

Now, while Maxie and Grandma had their problems – if he had taken her with him, I’m sure all would have been right in her world—but as I said, he was good to us. Once, I remember him makin’ her drive us out to Highland County, just because Maxie had a hankerin’ for some bread. That bread is still famous around these parts. It’s a heavy Yeast Bread that some might call Depression Food. The trip to Highland was just the icing on the cake. Maxie decided to surprise us with a trip to the infamous, Buckhorn Inn, which is actually on out there in Churchville, Virginia.

Yup, it’s still there and at the time of writin’ this piece, it’s for sale. More on that later, though.

That day, some of us cousins piled up in Grandma’s little ol’ Chevette while she drove Maxie and the rest of us wherever he wanted to go. Tons of windin’ backroads, skyscrapin’ mountains and too-many-to count-pit-stops for Maxie, who had to relieve  himself all too often of all that Old Milwaukee beer. snickers

Once it was all said and done, though, Maxie treated us to a buffet supper at, The Buckhorn Inn, located at 2487 Hankey Mountain Hwy, Churchville, VA 24421. Now, while I can’t tell you what in the world the food is like now, I can tell you it was all home cooked and delicious back then. Not that Maxie would have known it that night. He kept tellin’ the Waitress he wasn’t eattin’ because he had bread and beer in the car, lol. Still, he sat there patiently with a drunken grin on his face while we scoffed all that food down and got him more than his money’s worth. 

ISat48r2n4tip10000000000The Buckhorn Inn, built in 1859, is rumored to be haunted, not that the ghost stories frightened anyone off from eattin’ there back in the day. I think the ghost or one of them is a soldier?  Here are the claims of a Psychic and Paranormal Investigation done there. I can’t raise my right hand and swear on any of that. But it is interestin’ for those who crave somethin’ ghoulish. As I said above, it is FOR SALE. Sadly, since I was there as a kid, it has passed through the hands of many, many Owners. Some good, some not so great. Shame. Its in great shape and has awesome potential. Way above my price range but if there are any filthy rich gazillion-aires out there that just want to throw some money my way, I’d be happy to take the place on, lol.

Now that I have drug you down memory lane, let’s get to the point of this article. Few years back, while stummblin’ around my husband’s hometown of Deerfield, Virginia, I got my hands on a cookbook published by one of the church’s out there. (Deerfield Church of God) Inside was a recipe for The Buckhorn Inn’s House Dressing. That took me down memory lane, which made me just drag you down kickin’ and screamin’ and well, now here we are… to the recipe bit. I’m not sure if those who own it now use any of the old recipes, but here’s one for history’s sake. Enjoy. It’s a simple one but who knows, you may like it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 cup Oil
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar

Directions

Stir all ingredients well and put in a Jar for storage. Refrigerate.

Note: I just add it all to a Mason Jar, put lid on, and shake for dear life.

 

 

Save

Posted in Bread, Rolls & Such, From Scratch, Mine v/s Theirs, Pork, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes, The Hungry Hen

Ham & Cheese Yeast Rolls

One great thing about Facebook & Pinterest – the recipes. The bad thing about those recipes, many get you excited only to leave you feeling miserably disappointed. Money doesn’t grow on trees, so wasting bucks on ingredients creating something that doesn’t taste all that great, well, that’s a huge kick in the gut.

Luckily, we learn from experience and while that doesn’t mean we just give up on trying new things, it does mean we can spot, “what wont work”, head on. I did that the other night when someone on my Friend’s List was showing up a cool video of something that reminded me of Cinnamon Yeast Rolls, but instead of the Cinnamon and Sugar, they were rolled up and baked with Ham & Cheese. In their version, the recipe called for one of the many kinds and versions of “Canned Biscuits.”

I HATE BREAD DOUGH THAT COMES FROM A CAN. You can call it biscuits, pizza crust, croissants, rolls or whatever the hell you want to call it. It all tastes the same – processed yuck. That being said, I thought this was an incredible idea minus the Canned Yuck. So, last night, I sat down and whipped up a version of MY OWN HOMEMADE YEAST BREAD DOUGH to make this heavenly, Ham & Cheese Comfort Food treat.  AND, I know many of you are limited on time. You don’t have time to knead, let rise, then knead again only to let rise again. So we are going to use RAPID DRY YEAST and we are only going to KNEAD ONE TIME. Ready?

The.Crowin.Hen.Ham.Cheese.Yeast.Rolls

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Eggs, Beaten
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup of Honey (Some people prefer a little sweeter than others. So your choice. Either 1/2 cup or 2/3 cup)
  • 3 Individual packs of RAPID or INSTANT DRY YEAST
  • 4 1/2 cups of unbleached Flour
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of Salt
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of warm Milk (heated to 110 degrees)

 

Filling

  • 1 Pound of Black Forest Ham (I get my sandwhich sliced.)
  • 1 pack of sliced Swiss cheese (10-11 slices)
  • 4-5 slices Deli American Cheese
  • 1 Glass Pan

 

Directions

In one bowl, whisk together the dry yeast and 4 cups flour. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat eggs. Add salt and let dissolve.

In a glass measuring cup, heat milk in a microwave with butter. If you make it too hot, no worries. Just let it cool down a bit before you add it to the yeast. And don’t stress over it being a perfect 110 degrees. A degree here or there should kill it.

Add honey to milk and then all ingredients (egg, salt) to the flour and yeast.

Begin to mix. Adding a bit of flour of you need to until dough pulls from edges. Take to the counter and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is nice and smooth. Dust the counter and your hands with the 1/2 excess flour and look, if you end up using a bit more, don’t panic. It is what it is. If you think you have used way too much, rub Crisco on your hands and begin working the dough. This helps to make it elastic and workable without using more flour.

Let dough rest for about five or ten minutes.

Next step, with a rolling pin, roll the dough into one big rectangle, like so…

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Next, lay the ham out over it…

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Then, the Swiss cheese and lastly, fill in the gaps with the American.

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Roll the dough up placing the seam side down.

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Slice

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Place in glass pan

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Cover with a warm towel – I usually pop one in the dryer and sit in a dry, warm place.

Let them rise to double or triple their size. Depending on the temperature of the house and the ham & cheese, this could take an hour or two. Maybe less. Last night, it was raining here so it took a few hours. The key to light bread or one of them, is letting it rise long enough. Some people panic and go by directions. If it says 40 minutes, they let it rise for 40 but sometimes it takes longer,,,,

Once it has risen, bake in an oven 375 or 400 degrees until golden brown. Brush tops with butter OR the sauce below (if you use the sauce, bake it with it on.) and serve HOT.

These are out of this world. If you try them, please tell me what you think.

 

Here is a sauce that went with the recipe/video that I found on Facebook. Me and the kids didn’t like it because its sweet, although my husband loved it. If you don’t want the sauce, don’t use it or brush the inside of the dough with mayo—or nothing at all. We had some with nothing and it was delicious. Nothing else needed. NOTHING.

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick of melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds.

Mix together, brush tops of rolls before you bake.

 

Again, this is a hot, amazing roll that can stand on it’s own or go great with soup or anything.

Posted in Chicken, From Scratch, Salads, Seasonings, Sauces, Dressings & Mixes, The Hungry Hen

Jalapeno, Bacon Ranch Dressing on a Grilled, Rotisserie Chicken Salad

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This will take some steps but its really simple. My kids love it and it took me YEARS just to get them to eat a salad. Plus, the Dressing, is my oldest Son’s crack. He uses it on everything. EVERYTHING. And you can work it out to suit your level of spiciness. Also, there are two options with the bacon, which again, you can pick to suit your tastes.

Now, while we all love to skip steps or throw in our own curve balls, please try this with the ingredients I have listed below first especially where the Dressing is concerned. If later on, you want to go with a store bought brand in a bottle, go ahead but just try my way first. I honestly don’t think you’ll regret it,

Let’s start with making the Dressing, first.

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You will need….

  • A box of Hidden Valley Ranch Mix.

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  • 1 Mason Jar
  • 1 Cup of Mayo
  • 1 Cup of Milk (Fresh or Canned Milk. I like Fresh.)
  • 4 Strips of Bacon Fried extra crispy and cooled. (NO BACON BITS. Try Actual Bacon.)
  • 4 TBSP of Hot Pickled Jalapeno Peppers. If you use Medium or Mild, you may want to use 1/4 cup. Remember, if you are playing with Heat, go small before you go big. After this sits in Fridge for awhile, the Heat GROWS. Keep that in mind. Use Pickled because the Brine adds a zip to this recipe.

Directions

Add Mayo, Milk and Ranch Mix in Mason Jar. Seal with a lid and give it a good shaking. Grind the Jalapeno Peppers in a Food Processor and then add to the Jar—shake again.

As far as the Bacon, you have two choices here. You can add the crumbled Bacon to the Dressing—keeping in mind that the Bacon, no matter how crispy, will go soft. If you don’t mind soft Bacon, then go for it. If you want Crunchy Bacon,  add a little to the salad just before serving.

Store in Fridge for an Hour before serving.

Now, For the Chicken and Salad …..

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This will make 4 Large Salads.

You will need…..

  • 4 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • McCormick Perfect Pinch Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning

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  • 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt
  • 1 Head of Leafy Lettuce
  • Flaked Parmesan Cheese
  • Grill
  • Optional: Sliced Cucumber, Diced Fresh Apple (If everyone will eat this, use it. If not, Don’t. My kids wont but I will, so I just add it to mine and not to theirs.)

Directions

Put Chicken Breasts, frozen or thawed, in a bowl of water (enough to cover them) with Salt and Vinegar. Let Thaw or Marinate for a few hours until no longer frozen or you’re ready to Grill.

Throw on the Grill, using Rotisserie Seasoning on both sides. (Don’t be shy!) Cook until juice runs clear.

While they are cooking, cut up lettuce and if you are using Cucumber or Apple, cut those up too. Sprinkle a little lemon Juice on the apple and it will not turn brown.

Once the Chicken is done, slice in thin pieces. Season some more if you’d like.

On a plate, lay a bed of Lettuce and Cucumber or Apple. Lay out the Chicken. If you didn’t use the Bacon in the Dressing, crumble some now and sprinkle it on. Sprinkle with the flakey Parm Cheese. Drizzle with Dressing and Serve.