I’ve already confessed to you my love of strawberries and canning season with my strawberry shrub recipe. With strawberries still in season, I’m trying to preserve as much as I can. I started out with your classic strawberry jam but as soon as word got out that I made homemade strawberry jam, it was gone. Seriously… how can a gallon of strawberry jam disappear in a week? I asked the boys where it went to and they convinced me that we must have some sort of strawberry jam starved honey badger in our neck of the woods that unlocks our kitchen door and goes through our pantry at night. I’m sure that’s what it was. Anyway, I decided to kick it up a notch with my next batch of jam. A twist on the classic, if you will. A sweet jam that will bite you back. Introducing, the strawberry chipotle jam! Or as I call it, “Sweet, Spicy and Everything Nice-y Strawberry Jam!”
Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some freezer pizza. I love it. Jack’s, Tombstone, DiGornio, I love em’ all. Get in my face! But some times I gotta branch out. Stretch my food legs ya know. There’s a time and a place for everything, and freezer pizza fills many food voids. It’s great for the really hungry, but really lazy, or the really drunk, or really tired. One food void that freezer pizza does not fill, is for the really hungry, but really bad ass. And it just so happens, that’s how we roll (in our minds).
Strawberry season is here! You know it’s summertime when strawberries are ripe for the picking. And although we’re not growing our own this year, we’re looking forward to starting our own strawberry patch next year. I feel like they’re one of the most versatile foods known to mankind. Alright.. maybe that’s a stretch but you can do so much with them when it comes to preserving. Is it bad that I went to the market to buy strawberries just so I could preserve them for later? Did I also mention that I love canning season? I love canning/preserving so much that I actually refer summertime to “canning season.” You know, like fall time, wintertime, springtime, canning time. My first canning adventure this year wasn’t a jam or jelly but a strawberry shrub. What the hell is a strawberry shrub anyway?
Last week I started a new series all about my adventures in cooking for boys. Last week was all about beef and blue sliders, this week I’m giving you a recipe for the morning after. You know the drill, everyone comes over in the afternoon, drinks well into the evening. Maybe the party moves from the porch to the swimmin’ hole and we gather around a giant bonfire. Maybe there’s another beer run. Maybe a push-up/arm wrestling contest. Maybe that’s followed up by a real wrestling contest. Maybe everyone strips down to their skivvies and jumps in the creek. Maybe an entire handle or two of Jim Beam is consumed. Maybe some Jagermeister as a night cap. Maybe some folks don’t make it back to the house. Maybe they just sleep wherever they fell down. I mean…maybe. No matter how the night goes, the morning always ends up the same… the kitchen is trashed and all of the boys are slowly starting to wake up, and crave bacon like zombies craving brains.
When you live on a farm with a bunch of boys, they’ll probably want to invite their fellow dude friends over. All the time. And you might suddenly realize that it’s Saturday afternoon and you have to feed a small army of hungry boys who eat like they’re pregnant with twins. However, when you’re the lady of the house you don’t have the time to spend all day slaving away in the kitchen. There’s chicken to feed, weeds to pull, guns to shoot, etc. Also, boys will use up every single dish, pot, pan, fork and knife just to make one meal then leave it in the sink. Am I right? When I found out that I was once again cooking for boys this weekend, I had to come up with a solution. So here’s a recipe that I whipped up that will satisfy the craving of a bunch of hungry boys, will allow you to get out of the kitchen and not leave you with a dozen dirty dishes. Enter the beef and blue sliders…
We love our bagels around here. Savory bagels, sweet bagels, bagels with schmear, bagels with meats, bagels in the morning, bagels for lunch, bagels here, bagels there, bagels everywhere. In fact, two of my favorite eateries happen to be bagel places. The Ripple Bagel and Deli in Indianapolis and Bergen Bagels in Brooklyn. While I was on this homemade bread kick I figured that I’d take it up a notch and try making bagels. So on Friday night at about 8:30pm, after a long week of work, I decided to open up a bottle of wine and give it a go. Sounded like a good plan to me!
Baking bread has quickly become one of my weekend rituals. Wake up, make coffee, check on the chickens, feed the dog and start making bread. I love it because I love to cook/bake, and baking my own bread means one less thing to buy at the grocery store. It’s cheaper and tastes better too. It also fills up the house with amazing, wondrous aromas and makes me feel like a real empowered female homesteader that’s going to meet the day and kick some ass. But I hate it because baking is a science and I didn’t do too well in science class. And also because as soon as I take it out of the oven, I have a 170 lb vulture named Dave who swoops down and eats most of the bread before the weekend is over and I have to make a second batch.
Wintertime is finally here. It’s drab outside, it’s windy, it’s cold. To prevent the winter blues from getting to my chickens, I decided to make them a flock block substitute. They’re really easy to make, more nutritious and are more cost effective than the flock blocks you can buy in the store. You can make them out of virtually anything you have in your pantry. I figured, if I can make it then why should I buy it?