Posted in From Scratch, Pork, Soups & Stews, The Hungry Hen, Uncategorized

Fancy Shmancy Sausage, Mushroom, & Tater Soup


Fresh Sausage, Mushroom & Tater Soup – Gluten Free (also), The Crowin’ Hen.

With this one, you can use Fresh Country or Fresh Italian Sausage. I chose my Spicy Italian for this go-round but you go where your tummy leads you. If you don’t have FRESH, and can’t get your claws on any, then that’s a shame because I wish everyone could try fresh sausage. Don’t worry,. though. Just use your favourite brand of store-bought.



  • 2 Ilbs Fresh Sausage (Italian or Country. I think some people call Country, Breakfast Sausage too.)
  • 3-quart jars Red Taters, diced.
  • 1 can of Condensed Milk
  • 1 Sweet Onion, diced
  • 1 Orange or Red Pepper, diced
  • 1 can of Spinach, drained, or 10 0z frozen–thawed and drained. You can also substitute Kale.
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1- 8 oz package Baby portabellas, sliced
  • Water or Chicken Broth or powdered Broth mix
  • Butter– 1/2 stick or less. REAL butter.
  • Garlic Powder (or crushed cloves), Salt and Pepper to taste.



  1. Fry your sausage. Crumbled. When done, remove from pan and drain either in a strainer or on napkins. DO NOT RINSE. You want to keep the seasoning and flavour of the Sausage.

  2. While that’s frying, or once its done, dice your taters. Now, you dice as big or small as you want. The reason we are using Red is so that you have that option. Red holds it’s shaped better and doesn’t turn into mash like russets have a tendency to do. If there is another tater like, Red, that you have, which will hold it’s shaped, substitute for that.

  3. Once you are done dicing, add them to a bowl full of water and squeeze the lemon juice in. Toss in the rest of the lemon if you’d like. And let them soak while you dice everything else up. This removes excess starch and the lemons keep the taters white.

  4. Once everything else (except sausage and spinach) is diced, add them and the drained taters to your pot. DO NOT saute your mushrooms and onions before hand. You want all that flavour in the stock you are about to make.

  5. Pour in the can of condensed milk and then enough water/broth to ALMOST cover the veggies. ALMOST. You don’t want to fill it all the way up. The veggies add juice, too. You want it to look about like this or slightly less.



  1. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the taters are nice and tender.

img_1649.jpg7. Now, at this point, taste your broth. It should have a strong mushroom flavour. In fact, you may fall in love with that taste and decide not to add the spinach– which will sweeten it some. It’s a two-option meal, here.However, if you are going to add it, now is the time, along with your sausage. Also add your Garlic Powder, (or clove)m salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 15-25 minutes until the flavours are bloomed and all is hot.

Some notes….

Notice how I didn’t add a thickener to this? Don’t need one. As it cools, and because of the way we did the broth, it will thicken up on its own.

Also, optional, you can add some diced Green or Spring onion (Scallions) before serving. Some sprinkled cheese is good as well or eats it as is. I will warn you, though, even though there is no Gluten, this is a very fulfilling dish. Might make you lazy. May make you want to kick back in front of the woodstove and take a nap, lol. Or, it may give you the warmth you need, that stick to your bones kind of warmth so you can tackle a day outside in the cold weather.



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.


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.


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!


Posted in Canning & Preserving, Soups & Stews, Uncategorized

Canning Tater (Potato) Soup

It’s that time of the year again. Summer takes a final bow and slinks away into the dying deep. A familiar chill creeps through the air. Leaves begin to turn and collectively fall. Golden, Burgundy and Russet hues vibrantly burst in midair until they blanket the ground we stand on. That being said, as a brisk wind blows and we tighten the grip of our sweaters, I begin to crave comfort food. Today, I began to play around with Tater Soup. It’s an inexpensive Classic. We are Canning it, though, so the cream portion of the recipe, we won’t add until we heat the Soup up for serving.

I’m going to break this down into 4 Quart Jars. I will give you the bulk of the Recipe, first and then I will tell you what I put into each Jar.

The Bulk…

  • 4 Jars
  • 7-8 Potatoes (Use what you have or what you like. I had Russet, so that’s what I used.) Peel and cube.
  • 3/4 cup of Shredded and Chopped Carrots
  • 1 Large Sweet Onion, Diced
  • 3 Stalks of Celery, chopped fine
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped fine.
  • Pickled Jalapeno (optional)
  • Seasonings: Salt, Lemon Juice, Paprika, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Powdered Chicken Broth, Pepper (Optional)

NOTE: Add your potatoes to a bowl full of salt water while you cut up the rest of the veggies. This will bleed out most of the Starch.

Per Jar, Layered….img_0718.jpg

  • 2 to 2 & 3/4 cups Taters
  • 1/4 cup  Red Pepper
  • 1/2 to 1/4 cup Celery
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Carrots
  • 1-2 pickled Jalapeno (optional)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cupful of Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 TBSP powdered Chicken Broth
  • Optional : Pepper



Layer all ingredients and seasonings. Then, add hot water. I only add enough Hot Water to cover the Vegetables. This is because I add cream when I heat and serve it. Less broth, the more cream you can add. Wipe your rims and then Pressure Can 11 lbs of Pressure for 20 Minutes. When you go to eat, add a cup of cream. If you want a thick, chowder like broth, mix a tablespoon or two of cornstarch into the cream before adding it.


Other Herbs and Seasonings you can add: A dash of Nutmeg, Rosemary, Cayenne, Red Pepper Flakes, Basil, Thyme or Sage. When adding herbs, remember, when Canning, it can amplify the taste. So don’t go crazy unless you’ve done it before.

Before serving, you can also add a hand mixer to blend till smooth. That will give it an Irish soup feel but I prefer it chunky.

Update: For Adults, this isn’t so bad. An Adult can add cream, cornstarch (or flour)…whatever an Adult wants. Against all Canning- Police rules and regulations, though, I am about to experiment and make some with cream and cornstarch within because for teens or people in a rush, adding things when heating isn’t the most convenient. So be on the lookout for that recipe.

I will say this, though, by adding veggies straight to the jar, it gives flavor a big ol’ punch! For example, usually when cooking a big pot of something, certain veggies become lost in the mix. But adding them to a jar, raw– pow! This happened with the red pepper I added to this soup. You can REALLY taste it. So when creating my recipe for the “creamed”, I’m going to adapt for that. Stay tuned….


Posted in Depression Food, Pork, Soups & Stews, The Hungry Hen, Veggies w/ Meat

Split Pea Soup

0e0ebc60-aa8c-4fce-9548-60eac4bcbd5e Not everyone makes this anymore but when I was growing up, it was one of very few things my mother threw together. She learned it from Grandma and Grandma learned it from those before her. Its really simple to make. Inexpensive. Not the prettiest dish, which is why I didn’t even bother putting a picture of my own on here. I used one from Betty Crocker, although the recipe I am using comes from an old, vintage Cookbook called, Cookbook: Nutritious Cooking the Waterless Way. This was put out by Ekco Prudential back in the 1950’s. One of my favorite yard sale finds. Anyone who frequents this blog knows, I dig the vintage cookbooks because the ingredients were simple, as were the instructions, and everything was from scratch. Verses now, we have all of these processed ingredients, which I’d rather get away from.

And while this particular recipe can look kind of unappealing in a pot, I think it’s important to include. Its simple, filling, great for the frugal and easy to make from scratch. It does taste great and to be honest, you can jazz it up as far as looks go by adding big chunks of carrots, celery or whatever your heart’s desire. My Grandmother and them weren’t into pretty. They were into filling the stomach in a way that was as cheap as possible. My Grandmother, who grew up during the Depression, was famous for cooking on a dime. This may have been one she would have called Depression Food.



  • 1 cup Dried Split Peas
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 quart Water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 cups Milk
  • Small Ham bone, Bacon Rind or Salt Pork
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Carrot, chopped


Wash and pick over dried peas. Cover with water and allow to stand and soak over night. (If salt pork is used, it should be cut in small pieces and browed.) Place soaked peas with an additional 1 1/2 cups of water in a 3 quart vegetable pan, over MEDIUM heat until cover vibrates or vapors escape, then reduce heat to LOW and simmer 2 hours. Remove ham bone and put remainder through a steamer – strainer pan, using masher to puree. Add milk and a dash of pepper to puree. Heat and serve. 8 servings.


Note: Now days we have hand mixers, etc. instead of steamers or strainer pans. You also don’t have to puree this. My Grandmother never did.



Posted in Historical, Other, Soups & Stews

Historical Recipes: Philadelphia Pepper Pot

file8321273931326It was the winter of 1777- 78 and an unrelenting one at that. Add War to surreal brutal temperatures and dire conditions, and you can well imagine why moral was a bust at ol’ Valley Forge. One thing was more certain than the hunger pains, desertions were at an all time high. That bein’ said, it was no surprise when George Washington decided he needed a way to lift the spirits of his soldiers and he needed to do so with great haste. But how?

Wasn’t like he could give everyone a weekend leave and free trip to the warm and toasty Bahamas. And since Spring wasn’t just around the corner, he did the only thing he could think to do….order up a fine, comfortin’ meal, hopin’, no prayin’ that would boost moral.

Problem was, a lack of food was on the “Everything Pretty Much Sucks” List. Who could tell George Washington, no, though?

Certainly not his Cook, who knocked the cobwebs off his cupboard, scratchin’ his dear head until he finally came up with a soup that would literally, go down in history. It’s ingredients may have been modest – Tripe, Peppercorns and scraps – but it’s fame would tremendous. Somethin’ to write home about. Some, mind you, would even say it was this soup which helped win the Revolutionary War.

This ex post facto dish would be called, in honor of the cook’s hometown, Philadelphia Pepper Pot.


  • 3 pounds Tripe
  • 1 knuckle of veal with meat left on
  • 2 pounds marrowbone, cracked
  • 2 large Onions, sliced
  • Soup bouquet of: several sprigs parsley; 1 bay leaf; 2 sprigs of thyme or 1/2 tsp. of dried thyme; 1 carrot cut in chunks; 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of Allspice
  • 6 whole Cloves
  • 4 Potatoes, diced fine
  • 2 tsp. Marjoram
  • 2 tbsp. chopped Parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dumplings (recipe below)


  1. Wash and clean Tripe. Put Tripe in a kettle along with 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6-7 hours until the Tripe is very soft.
  2. Cool Tripe. Once cool, cut into very small pieces. Pour Broth into a Container.
  3. While Tripe is cooking, put Veal knuckle in another kettle with 2 quarts of water.
  4. Remove Marrow from Marrowbone with a knife or spoon.
  5. In a saucepan, add Marrow, onions and sauté until tender. Add this to the Marrowbone kettle.
  6. Add soup bouquet, red pepper, allspice, and cloves and cook over low heat for five hours.
  7. Cool the Veal and its broth until it can be handled enough to chop meat off the bone. Discard bones but cut meat very small. Add meat to chopped Tripe.
  8. Put meat in a container and all broth in separate containers. Refrigerate overnight.
  9. Next day, discard fat from the Tripe and Veal Broth.
  10. Combine all broths. Add both chopped meats, diced potatoes, marjoram and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over low heat for 45 minutes. Add parsley and drop dumplings in broth. Serves 12

Dumpling Ingredients

  • 1 cup sifted all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. shortening
  • about 6 tablespoons milk


  1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Add shortening and mix.
  3. Gradually stir in milk with fork making a soft dough.
  4. Drop by tablespoon into simmering soup, (cook all at once).
  5. Cover tightly and cook 15 minutes. Serves 6

If you serve soup the next day, make fresh dumplings.

Posted in Chicken, From Scratch, Historical, Soups & Stews, The Hungry Hen, Wild Game, Guineafowl, Birds, etc.

Historical Brunswick Stew

(From the American Heritage Cookbook)

file8321273931326Unbeknownst to most of us now days, there has been an ongoing lay-of-claim to this well known recipe. The all out feud has been between Brunswick County, North Carolina, and Brunswick County, Virginia. Unfortunately, an undisputed documented case happens to be in Virginia’s favor dating way back to 1828. The story goes, Dr. Creed Haskins, who was from Mount Donum, was a member of Virginia’s State Legislature. During this time, he was the sponsor of a political rally and he wanted something very special to serve.  Turns out, he had his heart set on a squirrel stew made  once for him by Jimmy Mathews – squirrel being the primary ingredient in Brunswick Stew at one time. Creed loved the stew so much, he couldn’t think of anything better to serve. Now while chicken has come to replace the “squirrel”, believe it or not, Brunswick stew was to Political Rallies (held by both Whigs and Democrats), Family Reunions, Cockfights, Tobacco Curings and pretty much every other Virginia Gathering during that time, what Turkey is to Christmas and Thanksgiving (now days). In honor of that, I give to you the historical Recipe—leaving the Squirrel optional unless you’re from the South and happen to have a mess of Squirrel lying around. winks

Remember, these recipes are from scratch—meaning EVERYTHING is from scratch. Back then, people couldn’t just pop by their local grocery store for a can of whatever.

Brunswick Stew

  • Two 3 pound Chickens, cut into pieces
  • 2 pounds shin bone of Beef or Veal
  • 1 Ham bone from a baked Virginia or Country Ham
  • 1 Squirrel cut into pieces (optional)
  • 3 quarts of Water
  • 1/2 cup of Sugar1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 2 tablespoon of chopped Parsley
  • 2 sliced Onion
  • 4 cups of chopped Tomatoes (without skins)
  • 2 cups of chopped celery (can use tops)
  • 2 cups of Butter Beans or Lima
  • 4 cups of Corn
  • 1/2 cup of Butter
  • 1 pod crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse Black Pepper
  • 4 large Potatoes, pared and boiled until tender


  1. Put chicken, beef or veal bone, ham bone, squirrel, water, sugar, bay leaf, basil and parsley in a large soup kettle. Cook over a low heat until meat is tender and falling off the bones.
  2. Remove meat from broth and cool.
  3. While meat is cooling, add onions, tomatoes, celery and beans to the broth. Cook until beans are tender.
  4. Once meat cools, remove it from the bones. Cut into small pieces and add it back to the broth.
  5. Add corn.
  6. Simmer for ten minutes and then add butter, red pepper pod and black coarse pepper. Add salt to taste.
  7. Work potatoes through a ricer or blender, then, stir into stew. Stir constantly for 15 minutes until the mixture is the consistency of mush. Serves 20.

NOTES: Now a days, people don’t stir or work their soups into “mush” so much as they did in 1828. So feel free to leave that part out.

Posted in Back in the Day, Chicken, From Scratch, Soups & Stews, The Hungry Hen

Cream of Chicken Soup

This one has been stashed in our From Scratch filing cabinet — Recipes cooked from scratch — not from a can, or prepackaged, not processed or made to reheat in a snap.

1950s woman cleaning, homemaker, housewife, Chronically Vintage_thumb[2]Ever wonder how in the heck they made this stuff BEFORE it sat on a grocery shelf in a can? We take so many things for granted, what our mothers and grandmothers went through just to put a meal on the table. There is an art to it, I think. It can certainly be measured by love — a love for family, those who we cook for and what steps we are willing to take for them. What Grandma and Momma were willing to take for us. How the heck can we get away from the stuff that is conveniently easy or quick — that we are told may not be that healthy for us — if we don’t even know how it was made?

All I can say is, let’s thank our Great Grandmas, Great Aunts, or whoever it was in our past that cooked from….scratch. Thank you.

Cream of Chicken Soup

  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 5 tablespoons of flour
  • ½ cup of finely chopped chicken
  • 3 cups of seasoned chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup of light (half & half) or heavy cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste.

In a 3 quart pan, melt butter over medium heat. Blend in flour. Gradually add chicken broth, stirring until smooth. Bring to a boil, add remaining ingredients.

Side Notes: If we are doing this from scratch, then that means we have to make our own broth and the chicken, back in the day, would no doubt be leftover from another night. Chicken Stock or Broth—well, that recipe is coming soon. winks

Ekco Prudential Cook Book Nutritious Cooking the Waterless Way PaperbackThis recipe was

taken from the

 Ekco Prudential Cook Book

Nutritious Cooking the Waterless Way Paperback – published in 1964

How did I come across this cookbook? Yard sale girlfriend! Found the mother load of vintage cookbooks! Been in heaven ever since!