Country Traditions

December 11, 2010

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's game recipes The Guardian

Filed under: animals, family, herbs, recipes — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 10:06 am

Bouquet garni: thyme, bay leaves, sage

Image via Wikipedia Bouquet garni

Game soup

After you’ve enjoyed your roast pheasant or partridge, don’t just throw out the carcasses; instead, use them as the base for this tasty soup. It makes a great starter and is just the thing to pour into a Thermos to sustain you through a winter walk. Serves six, though it doubles or triples up very well.

Carcasses of 2-4 game birds
1 bouquet garni (made up of 3 parsley stalks, 2 small thyme sprigs, 1 rosemary sprig, 1 bay leaf)
6 juniper berries, crushed
8 black peppercorns
200g celeriac, cut into 1cm dice (save the peelings for use in the stock base)
2 large carrots, cut into 1cm dice
3 parsnips, cut into 1cm dice
Leftover scraps of meat pulled from the carcasses (optional)
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the carcasses in a large pan, pour in enough water to cover by about 4cm, bring to a bare simmer and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. After 15 minutes, add the bouquet garni, juniper berries, peppercorns and a small handful of well-scrubbed celeriac peelings. Cook at a very gentle simmer for three hours, topping up with water if it gets a little low. Strain the stock through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean pan. Bring the stock to a vigorous boil and reduce until it has a good depth of flavour. Add the vegetables, any leftover meat, if using, and the thyme, and simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with good bread.

The River Cottage Everyday iPhone App, featuring seasonal recipes, tips and videos, is now available to download from iTunes. Go torivercottage.net for details.

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December 9, 2010

Directions for Making a Greenhouse | eHow.com

Filed under: wisdom — Tags: , , — dmacc502 @ 7:07 pm

Wash and dry your soda bottles, removing all labels and adhesive. Discard or recycle the caps; you won’t need them for this project.

2

Poke the blade of your utility knife into the center of each bottle. Cut the bottles in half widthwise, so you have a bottom and a top. Fill the bottom of each bottle with about 2 inches of sand. This helps with drainage later.

3

Cut your seed flats into square sections of four wells each, using scissors to snip the connecting plastic between wells. Fill the wells with soil and poke your finger about ½ inch down into each well.

4

Place a seed in each hole and cover it with soil. Place each square of seed wells down into the bottom of its own bottle. Water the wells with about a cup of water for every four wells.

5

Match up a bottle top with each bottle bottom. Slide the cut edges of each bottle top down into the bottle bottoms. The edges of the bottle tops should touch the seed wells seated in the bottle bottom.

6

Set your bottles in a sunny, temperature-controlled area. The bottles surrounding the seed flats will contain heat and moisture, creating a warm, humid atmosphere for your seeds. You may cluster all of the bottles together on one table or set them around your home. Just make sure all of them remain warm and well lit.

via Directions for Making a Greenhouse | eHow.com.

Directions for Making a Greenhouse | eHow.com

Filed under: crafts, wisdom — Tags: , , — dmacc502 @ 7:05 pm

Wash and dry your soda bottles, removing all labels and adhesive. Discard or recycle the caps; you won’t need them for this project.

2

Poke the blade of your utility knife into the center of each bottle. Cut the bottles in half widthwise, so you have a bottom and a top. Fill the bottom of each bottle with about 2 inches of sand. This helps with drainage later.

3

Cut your seed flats into square sections of four wells each, using scissors to snip the connecting plastic between wells. Fill the wells with soil and poke your finger about ½ inch down into each well.

4

Place a seed in each hole and cover it with soil. Place each square of seed wells down into the bottom of its own bottle. Water the wells with about a cup of water for every four wells.

5

Match up a bottle top with each bottle bottom. Slide the cut edges of each bottle top down into the bottle bottoms. The edges of the bottle tops should touch the seed wells seated in the bottle bottom.

6

Set your bottles in a sunny, temperature-controlled area. The bottles surrounding the seed flats will contain heat and moisture, creating a warm, humid atmosphere for your seeds. You may cluster all of the bottles together on one table or set them around your home. Just make sure all of them remain warm and well lit.

via Directions for Making a Greenhouse | eHow.com.

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For those who can – Winnipeg Free Press

Filed under: canning, gardening, Vinegar — Tags: , , , , — dmacc502 @ 6:50 pm
Inside a canned food factory. Engraving by Poy...
Image via Wikipedia

What can I can?

Fruits (including tomatoes) are the most popular, along with preserves like jams, jellies, pickles and relishes. Fresh veggies, and things like meat, fish and poultry are also possible.

What’s the deal with acid?

Canning foods are either deemed high or low-acid. Low-acid foods are things like meat, fresh veggies (except tomatoes) or milk, and high-acid foods include fruits, pickles, and jams. The amount of acid affects what method you should use to can safely — pressure canning for low-acid foods, boiling-water canning for high-acid.

What do I need?

Proper jars, a jar lifter or rack, a small spatula to deal with air bubbles, a wide-mouth funnel, a boiling water or pressure canner, and a well-tested recipe. Remember that some methods, like ‘open kettle’ canning or the use of paraffin wax, aren’t agreed upon as safe by all experts.

How long should jars be boiled?

That depends on factors including the type of canning, jar size, type of food and even altitude — which is why it’s important to stick to the recipe.

How long will it keep?

Home canned food should be eaten within a year.

via For those who can – Winnipeg Free Press.

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For those who can – Winnipeg Free Press

Filed under: canning, gardening, Vinegar — Tags: , , , , — dmacc502 @ 6:49 pm
Inside a canned food factory. Engraving by Poy...
Image via Wikipedia

What can I can?

Fruits (including tomatoes) are the most popular, along with preserves like jams, jellies, pickles and relishes. Fresh veggies, and things like meat, fish and poultry are also possible.

What’s the deal with acid?

Canning foods are either deemed high or low-acid. Low-acid foods are things like meat, fresh veggies (except tomatoes) or milk, and high-acid foods include fruits, pickles, and jams. The amount of acid affects what method you should use to can safely — pressure canning for low-acid foods, boiling-water canning for high-acid.

What do I need?

Proper jars, a jar lifter or rack, a small spatula to deal with air bubbles, a wide-mouth funnel, a boiling water or pressure canner, and a well-tested recipe. Remember that some methods, like ‘open kettle’ canning or the use of paraffin wax, aren’t agreed upon as safe by all experts.

How long should jars be boiled?

That depends on factors including the type of canning, jar size, type of food and even altitude — which is why it’s important to stick to the recipe.

How long will it keep?

Home canned food should be eaten within a year.

via For those who can – Winnipeg Free Press.

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How to make fragrant, delicious Christmas gifts – Telegraph

Filed under: decorating, farming, gardening, herbs — Tags: — dmacc502 @ 6:44 pm

Colourful potpourri - How to make fragrant, delicious Christmas gifts

Image 1 of 3
Colourful potpourri is sure to delight any friend over Christmas Photo: TONY BUCKINGHAM

As the pantechnicons start to gather in the drive, ready to transport our worldly goods from Suffolk to Whitstable, thoughts of additional ballast in the form of received Christmas presents suggest that my wish list should be composed of edible offerings.

 

Presents from the garden are always welcome. From harvest time onwards, we gardeners are rarely seen without gifts of jars of chutney, bags of apples, bottles of home-brewed plonk or surplus veg.

During the season, beekeeping friends travel with a jar or two of honey and I always sally forth smugly with a box of eggs. With a little thought and flair with packaging, your presents will always be appreciated.

via How to make fragrant, delicious Christmas gifts – Telegraph.

December 7, 2010

How to Compost: Hot and Cold Methods

Filed under: composting, gardening, wisdom — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 4:45 pm
A picture of compost soil

Image via Wikipedia

Composting is a method of recycling naturally decomposing matter. Ingredients, size of the pile, local weather conditions, and your maintenance habits will affect the outcome. Note that shredded leaves, chipped wood, and chopped food scraps generally decompose more quickly than whole or large pieces.

Hot, or Active Composting

The quickest way to produce rich garden humus is to create a hot, or active, compost pile. It is called “hot” because it can reach an internal temperature of 160°F (140°F is best) and “active” because it destroys, essentially by cooking, weed seeds and disease-causing organisms. The size of the pile, the ingredients, and their arrangements in layers are key to reaching that desired outcome.

Size: A hot compost pile should be a 3-foot cube, at minimum; a 4-foot cube is preferred. The pile will shrink as the ingredients decompose.

Ingredients:

  • One part high-carbon materials (shredded, dry plant matter such as leaves, twigs, woody stems, corn cobs)
  • One part high-nitrogen green plant matter (green plant and vegetable refuse, grass clippings, weeds, trimmings, kitchen scraps—but avoid meat, dairy, and fat) and good-quality soil

Pile the ingredients like a layer cake, with 2 to 4 carbon materials on the bottom (twigs and woody stems here will help air to circulate into the pile). Next, add a layer of soil. Add 2 to 4 inches of nitrogen-based materials, followed by soil. Repeat until the pile reaches 2 to 3 feet high.

Soak the pile at its start and water periodically; its consistency should be that of a damp sponge.

Add air to the interior of the pile by punching holes in its sides or by pushing 1- to 2-foot lengths of pipe into it.

Check the temperature of the pile with a compost thermometer or an old kitchen thermometer. A temperature of 110°F to 140°F is desirable. If you have no heat or insufficient heat, add nitrogen in the form of soft green ingredients or organic fertilizer.

If a foul odor emanates from the pile, flip the compost to introduce more air. And consider: Did you add meat or dairy products? Remove and discard them, if possible.

Once a week, or as soon as the center starts to cool down, turn the pile. Move materials from the center of the pile to the outside. (For usable compost in 1 to 3 months, turn it every other week; for finished compost within a month, turn it every couple of days.)

Cold, or Passive Composting

Cold, or passive, composting uses many of the same type of ingredients as hot composting and requires less effort from the gardener, yet the decomposition takes substantially longer—a year or more.

To cold compost, pile organic materials (leaves, grass clippings, soil, manures—but avoid dog, cat, and human waste) as you find or accumulate them. Bury kitchen scraps in the center of the pile to deter insects and animals. Avoid adding meat, dairy, and fat. Also avoid weeds; cold compost piles do not reach high temperatures and do not kill weed seeds. (In fact, weeds may germinate in a cold pile.)

Compostable Goods

In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, any of these items may be added to a compost pile:

  • Coffee grounds and tea bags
  • Dry goods (crackers, flour, spices)
  • Eggshells
  • Hair
  • Nutshells
  • Pasta (cooked or uncooked)
  • Seaweed
  • Shredded paper/newspaper

http://www.almanac.com/content/how-compost-hot-and-cold-methods

Recipe: homemade vinegar pickles gifts holidays

Filed under: herbs, Vinegar — dmacc502 @ 1:32 pm
Italian olive oil, both oil and an oil bottle ...
Image via Wikipedia

Pickles

Confetti Pickles

To make easy, all-purpose sweet and colorful pickles, drain the contents of the following, reserving the juices, which you can combine in one container: 1 small jar each of mixed sweet pickles, kumquats in syrup, red maraschino cherries, and sweet gherkins, and 1 can of pineapple chunks. Mix the solids thoroughly, and spoon into clean decorative jars. Add enough of the mixed juices to cover the contents of each jar, and seal. Although they can safely be left unrefrigerated for several hours or even overnight, attach a colorful label advising that these pickles be stored in the refrigerator.

Vinegar

Vinegar should be made in sterilized glass jars or bottles, with metallic or plastic screw-on lids, caps, or corks. To sterilize empty jars, boil in water for 10 minutes. Also, sterilize lids in a boiling water bath or according to manufacturer’s instructions. Vinegar should be labeled and dated, and stored in a cool, dark place for use within 2 months. Or, store it in the refrigerator and use within 6 to 8 months.

Raspberry Vinegar

In a glass container, combine 1/4 cup of crushed raspberries with 1 quart of white distilled vinegar. Let sit overnight at room temperature. Strain through a fine sieve into a decorative bottle, and add several perfect whole raspberries. (Packaged frozen raspberries work fine and usually have plenty of whole as well as crushed berries.) Add a colorful tag recommending it to be used alone or combined with olive oil as a salad dressing.

Fiery Pepper Vinegar

Lace brightly colored hot peppers into decorative bottles. (If you have some that are too large to fit, quarter them lengthwise or cut them into strips.) To each bottle, add a few black peppercorns, a peeled garlic clove, and a small slice of fresh ginger root. Fill to the top with white vinegar. Seal the bottles, and store for at least a week in a dark place.

 

via Recipe: homemade vinegar pickles gifts holidays.

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Recipe: homemade vinegar pickles gifts holidays

Filed under: herbs, Vinegar — dmacc502 @ 1:31 pm
Italian olive oil, both oil and an oil bottle ...
Image via Wikipedia

Pickles

Confetti Pickles

To make easy, all-purpose sweet and colorful pickles, drain the contents of the following, reserving the juices, which you can combine in one container: 1 small jar each of mixed sweet pickles, kumquats in syrup, red maraschino cherries, and sweet gherkins, and 1 can of pineapple chunks. Mix the solids thoroughly, and spoon into clean decorative jars. Add enough of the mixed juices to cover the contents of each jar, and seal. Although they can safely be left unrefrigerated for several hours or even overnight, attach a colorful label advising that these pickles be stored in the refrigerator.

Vinegar

Vinegar should be made in sterilized glass jars or bottles, with metallic or plastic screw-on lids, caps, or corks. To sterilize empty jars, boil in water for 10 minutes. Also, sterilize lids in a boiling water bath or according to manufacturer’s instructions. Vinegar should be labeled and dated, and stored in a cool, dark place for use within 2 months. Or, store it in the refrigerator and use within 6 to 8 months.

Raspberry Vinegar

In a glass container, combine 1/4 cup of crushed raspberries with 1 quart of white distilled vinegar. Let sit overnight at room temperature. Strain through a fine sieve into a decorative bottle, and add several perfect whole raspberries. (Packaged frozen raspberries work fine and usually have plenty of whole as well as crushed berries.) Add a colorful tag recommending it to be used alone or combined with olive oil as a salad dressing.

Fiery Pepper Vinegar

Lace brightly colored hot peppers into decorative bottles. (If you have some that are too large to fit, quarter them lengthwise or cut them into strips.) To each bottle, add a few black peppercorns, a peeled garlic clove, and a small slice of fresh ginger root. Fill to the top with white vinegar. Seal the bottles, and store for at least a week in a dark place.

 

via Recipe: homemade vinegar pickles gifts holidays.

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