Monday, July 7, 2008

Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam and the New Community Garden Neighbor

So, I have a new neighbor in the community garden. I am envious. Her collards look much better than mine and I started a week earlier than she did. She had this huge rhubarb plant in the front row and my husband and I commented several times to each other earlier in June that she really needed to cut those seed stalks comes up off soon. Well, last week I stopped to chat with her and comment about how lovely her collards looked compared to mine and she just so happened to mention that nasty rhubarb plant. I told her that we loved rhubarb and having been making bread and pies at home from the plant we have in our front yard. She told me that she didn't have a clue about how to use it and if I wanted it that is was all mine.

Long-story-short....Thursday, July 3....I took down those seed stalks, butchered her plant with precision and made Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam. YES...I gave her a 1/2 pint for her kindness, along with the recipe. I can't take credit for the recipe, but it is yummy and will taste like a burst of sunshine in the dead, cold, and dark winter of the interior.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam

Makes approx 9 – ½ pint jars

Recipe from “Cooking Alaskan, By Alaskans” . pg. 471

1 lb. rhubarb, sliced thin
1 ½ cups mashed strawberries (I used a food processor to chop)
6 ½ cups sugar
1 pouch liquid Certo pectin
¾ cup water

Simmer rhubarb in ¾ cup water until soft (about 10 minutes or less). Add to the rhubarb the strawberries and sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard one minute (stir constantly). Take off the heat, add one pouch Certo and mix well. Pour into hot sterilized jars, adjust caps and process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Fattening Up 4 Winter!

OMG! I have been delving into old forgotton cookbooks since Lisa left and am beginning to bulge at the seams. Do you know I actually have a cookbook called "The Pinto Bean Queen Cookbook"...Yep...I inherited it from my grandmother Sadie when she passed away. It was created in Cortez, Colorado and actually has a pie recipe that touts itself to be the BEST mock Pecan Pie west of the Mississippi!

Aside from that...I came across a recipe that I loved from my days in Cloudcroft and from my good friend Jann Hunter. The recipe comes from her mother who I think is Dutch or German or comes from Wisconsin.......sorry if I am wrong. They call it Grandy "G" Bread and it makes, by far, the BEST dinner rolls I've ever had. You just can't help but slap some butter on one of those puppies when they come out of the oven. They simply scream to be eaten immediately! This recipe makes a whopping 26 buns so serve them up at your next party or holiday dinner!

Grandy “G” bread
1 24 oz. cottage cheese, 4% milkfat
½ cup honey
¼ cup butter
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. soda
½ cup water
3 to 3 ½ Cups Unbleached Flour
1 ½ cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 pkgs. dry yeast
2 eggs

Place first six ingredients in microwave bowl. Nuke until very warm but not enough to kill the yeast (3:33 minutes but microwaves vary.)
Measure into a mixer bowl:
1 Cups Unbleached Flour
2 pkgs. yeast (or 1 TBSP plus 1 tsp. on yeast)

Pour warm cottage cheese ingredients over flour/yeast.
Mix in: 2 eggs, beat with a flat or whisk beater for about 5 minutes. Change mixer blade to dough hook.
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour
Beat this for 7 to 9 minutes with the dough hook. (May need to add more unbleached flour (about ¼ cup).)

Pour dough onto pastry cloth (yes, I said "Pour" because that's kind of the consistency of it) which has been spread with about ¼ cup flour. Using the edges of the pastry cloth, knead in the flour on the cloth.)

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Turn the dough into the bowl, cover and allow to rise until double or more. Punch down, Pour out dough (Yes, it's still pourable) onto that pastry cloth. Divide it in half. With a rolling pin covered with a stocking, roll out pockets of air to about ¾" thick.

Cut with about 3 1/2" round cutter (I use an old green beans can) Place on greased cookie sheet about ¼" apart. Cover and allow to rise again to double. Repeat with the other half of dough.

Now for the nice part. Bake buns at 375 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Cool (if you can without eating them right then and there with loads of butter!).
These freeze well. Just wrap them in packages of 2 in plastic wrap, put them in Ziploc bags and freeze.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Moose Stew

This recipe has been modified a few times....My mother made this with hamburger meat. I adapted it to my moose meat. It is good just the same.

2 lbs. hamburger (or ground moose)

1 head of green cabbage (sliced thin, or you can by the ready made sliced stuff)
5-6 large potatoes, skinned and diced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 Large Can V-8 Juice
3-4 carrots, skinned and sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and meat in a little veggie oil.....add all the other ingredients and simmer until done (about 2-3 hours) serve this with some crusty bread.........This is a lovely cuddling kind of dinner with your favorite babe. There is nothing better than a hot, hearty soup, a good movie and a light blanket and/or a little fire.

Sushi Salad

Ok....Long time since my last post. I've been busy with company and other stuff.

I'm back. Tonights fare is just a simple country meal of Barbecue Chicken, Steamed Kale, last years canned Potatoes with Butter and Sour Cream, yellow corn on the cob cooked on the grill, and a salad of Mixed Greens, Cucumbers, fresh Radishes from this year, and Green Onions with some freshly baked Croutons.

I miss Lisa. I don't have a lot of friends and it is ALWAYS a pleasure when she stays at my house and keeps me company. Just talked to her and Juan. What a delight. They are a charming couple and I miss that interaction. Hope they will come and explore the delights that AK has to offer. Few choose to completely commit...but those who do are NEVER sorry. This truly is the NEXT FRONTIER.....I'll never leave here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Midnight Sun Run

Just signed up for the annual Midnight Sun Run. Have entered my sis-in-law who will be here visiting at the time too. No matter what the weather it will be terrific. It's always an accomplishment! Something about seeing those folks on their lawns, drinking beer, listening to music...the bands playing as we run/walk/crawl by...It's exciting. Then, we will go home and collapse for about 5 hours, pop up and enjoy our summer sun again...who sleeps this time of year in AK? NOT ME!!!! Tonight is leftover Moose Roulade and Collard Greens from the garden last year...oh yes, and I made a fresh Raspberry/Rhubarb pie this morning to go with (cleaning the freezer out of last years Raspberries and my rhubarb was ready to pick).

Moose Roulade

1 Moose round steak, tenderized and cut into big pieces
4 cups sourdough bread, dried and cubed
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup diced onions
salt, pepper
poultry seasoning to taste
1/4 cup onions
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup Au Jus Sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup dry red wine

Boil the chicken broth and spices, add dried bread cubes. Take off heat, cover and allow to absorb. Meanwhile, tenderize moose steaks and cut into serving pieces (fairly large). Place approx. 1/4 cup stuffing into the center of the moose steak, roll up in a jelly-roll fashion, and secure with toothpicks. Brown moose in a non-stick skillet, remove to a baking dish. To the remaining skillet add, 1/4 cup onions and allow to cook to translucent, add 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup Au Jus Sauce, Approx. 1 cup of water/or broth and 1/2 cup dry red wine. Cook to a nice gravy consistency...can also add sliced mushrooms. Pour gravy over moose rolls and bake covered at 400 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

Raspberry/Rhubarb Pie

2 Cups Raspberries
2 Cups Diced Rhubarb
1 1/2 cups Sugar
3 T cornstarch
1/4 cup Tapioca
1 Tablespoon Butter, diced for the top
2- 9" pie shells

Mix together the raspberries, rhubarb, sugar, and cornstarch in a saucepan. Cook on stove until it becomes nice and thick. Take off heat, add tapioca and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Place raspberry/rhubarb mixture into a pie shell, top with 1 T butter, top that with the other pie shell, flute the edges, bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes or until berries begin to bubble and pop and the shell is golden brown.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Last Class

I'm sitting in my last Web 2.0 class. It rained all night and everything is soaked. I think I've created a mosquito breeding ground by leaving the potting mix in the baby pool. At least I don't have to water the garden today. I don't feel very good this morning so I think I'll go home after class and just be a computer geek.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

May 30, 2008

Class yesterday was great. I learned about Wikis and feel I can do that easily enough. I've wasted too much time and haven't had the opportunity to learn about these things until now. It's another beautiful Alaskan summer day! Even though it was cold when I got up (5:30 and 32 degrees) the sun was shining and the birds were flitting to and fro carrying away the treasures I put out for them in bird feeders around the porch. All is quiet and perfect with the world right now. I hear Jim slurping down his sourdough pancakes with chokecherry syrup. Music to my ears.

Chokecherry Syrup

*Do not crush the seeds (they contain cyanide and are poisonous).

To one lb. of chokecherries, cover with water and boil 15 minutes until soft. Strain through a jelly bag or strainer.

4 cups Chokecherry Juice
4 cups sugar or Splenda
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 package powdered pectin

Mix and boil ingredients for 2 minutes. Process jars of Chokecherry Syrup in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Grilled Portabello Mushrooms Stuffed with Halibut and Artichokes

4 green onions, diced fine
2 cloves garlic diced
Roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 TBSP butter
¾ lb Halibut cut into 1” cubes
2 Portabella Mushroom caps
½ cup Artichoke hearts, bite sized pieces
¼ Cup Pinot Gris or other good white wine
1 TBSP Parley, chopped
1/3 cup cream
2 tsp. cornstarch
¼ cup Mayonnaise
¼ cup Sour Cream
2 tsp. Lemon Juice
Dash Thyme

Marinate for Mushroom Caps:
¼ cup Olive Oil
1 ½ tsp. Chopped garlic
Fresh ground Pepper
½ tsp. Thyme
Marinade mushroom caps for at least 30 minutes. Grill mushrooms turning every 4-5 minutes until seared on both sides and tender to the touch (about 20 minutes). Meanwhile, Sauté onions and garlic in butter in a non-stick pan for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, halibut, parsley and white wine. Cover and simmer on low 10 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon, reserving liquid. Add to the remaining liquid, the cream blended with cornstarch to make a thickened sauce. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice and thyme. Stir to a creamy consistency. Add cooked fish and artichoke hearts. Heat through. Spoon over mushroom caps and bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes

Learning as I go

Blast! I had to start this page all over again. I'm a newbie blogger and just haven't mastered this yet.