Me

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I am a lucky Woman, I have a Husband that loves me, a beautiful grown step-daughter, a 15 yr old son and a 8 yr old son. I try to create a home that is warm and will linger with memories of Mom's cooking and being home for my children. This isn't always possible, considering they rough house, I get tired and hit the Mcdonald's drive thru and sometimes buy clean socks for them instead of wash it.... I try to do a menu plan, hang our clothes out to dry, use coupons, go to Church every week.. and pretend I am a stay at home Mom while working 40 hours a week

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fellowship,QuakkenAsh and Fried Pickles..

                   Okay- so this Saturday Brian and I ended up on a Mushroom hunt with another couple. We work with the Wife half of the couple, via Facebook, I saw her pics of these beautiful, but mysteriously named mushrooms.. QuakkenAsh. I commented on the picture that I would love to look for the mushrooms or at least learn to and we should have a picnic while we were at it too! Well, according to her Hubby, I had her at Picnic! We had a beautiful afternoon conversing and looking for the QuakkenAshes (yea- I made up the plural spelling) We had an incredible picnic, conversation and just a plain olde great time! 

                  We got home yesterday around dinner time, still full from the Greek salad, Greek Chicken sandwiches and delish mint brewed iced sweet tea and brownies, that Brian and I decided to just deep fry those QuakkenAsh up in a batter... hence my search for an awesome batter. After some searching and picking and choosing I came up with the following... I will post the recipe - with pics- but at the end of the post- I will put the actual recipe so you can copy and paste if you want. This batter works incredibly well with Pickles too- which - we did after we realized we had more batter than mushrooms and not one to waste food- we wrapped some pickle spears in paper towels to dry them and batter fried them.. I have no pics of those as I was too busy eating.

So the first thing we did was wash the mushrooms and cut the part off that was attached to the trees that you find them on....
Okay- so after alot of searching - apparently QuakkenAsh are actually Oyster Mushrooms- but during our search we decided that the name QuakkenAsh was a much cooler name since we also came up with a reason for why they were called QuakkenAsh- Quakers obviously were the first to find them on Ash Trees! 
The next step was to heat the oil- I used my cast iron dutch oven. The recipe called for 3 inches of oil, I used about 1 and a half inch of smartoil- and not to be out done by smart oil, I added 3 Tablespoons of Bacon grease and 2 Tablespoons of lard... no self respecting deepfryin person uses straight "Smart Oil" I mean seriously you are deep frying!
I just got this dutch oven so I figured this would help season it, it is an old Wagner cast iron, don't bother buying new cast iron if you can help it they are not made as well.
While I was heating up the oil, bacon and lard goodness.. Brian was making the batter. Here is an action shot of him pouring the liquid and mixing at the same time into the flour mixture.
Then once it was all mixed up well, we started adding the mushrooms to the batter using a slotted spoon to let some of the batter drip off, we added it to the oil.
You kinda gotta swish them around to get the batter all over , then seemingly to defeat the purpose, we tapped the slotted spoon on the side of the bowl

We added more than 2 at a time, this is just when the pic was snapped, we added about 7-10 at a time and used the same slotted spoon to flip them after they were a nice brown color on the one side.
And here is my handsome hubby, using a pan lid as a shield, considerin this was the first time I ever deep fried something in a open kettle, I had the heat up to high. He yelled get me something! This was the first thing I grabbed, he is kinda like 'captian America deep fryer'
I think Captain America needs a larger shield next time!

Here is the beautiful pic of the QuakkenAsh (Oyster) Mushrooms all nice and deep fried:
I suggest using this recipe because it the first thought that came to my mind as I was eating my plate of Deep Fried Mushrooms and Pickles was, I am eating a way better meal than I would ever get in a restaurant right now.. Brian or maybe it was me I can not remember now stated, "Now this here, is good eatin'"


Here is the recipe:
  • 2 cups beer - we used a can of Yuenling Lager Light- it is what we had on hand
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes 
  • About 1 to 1/2 cup of oil, 3-4 tablespoons of bacon grease,2-3 tablespoons of lard
  • 1 -2 lb whole fresh large mushroom, washed and dried or any other veggie- heck try oreos or pickles- I can bet we woulda tried oreos- if I purchased those kinda things!

Directions:

  1. Pour about 3 inches (more if needed to cover the mushrooms) of oil into a large pot.
  2. Heat until it reaches about 350 degrees
  3. Meanwhile Mix beer, flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper and parsley flakes in a large bowl.
  4. Mix until smooth and well blended without any lumps.
  5. Dip mushrooms into batter and coat well.
  6. Fry mushrooms in batches in oil until crispy and brown.
  7. Time will vary depending on temperature of oil and the amount of mushrooms being fried.
  8. I usually do about 10 mushrooms at a time and it takes about 8 minutes.
  9. When done, remove mushrooms to a plate or bowl lined with paper towels to drain off excess oil.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Whoa- What do you mean it is May?!?!?!!


        Okay- I know it has been a while since I posted anything, I am a slacker a lazy blogger! Actually I am like every other Wife and Mother- who works- I am so busy – I have a Husband who helps, but it is still a lot to do right?  
        So what do a lot of people – Mom’s who have so much to do, make Lameo New Year’s Resolutions…? Well, this year I made a super dupper non-Lameo New Year’s resolution, and here it is May and I am steadily working my way thru it and getting it accomplished!       
I Resolved to learn new skills- not lose weight, stop eating crap or quit something… Learn new skills.

 
Here are a few of the skills I want to learn on my list:
Make my own Cheese…at least 3 different kinds… Ricotta, cream cheese and Mozzarella
Make my own Laundry Soap
Make my own Fabric softener
Learn to use my Pressure Canner
Learn to Knit
Learn to use my sewing machine ( I got one second hand in awesome condition)
Learn to butcher Chickens
Learn to use my Clothes line ALL THE TIME

So far I have learned to crochet- so I am changing the knitting to crocheting! Knitting was stressing me out and I don’t need any stress.

I have the instructions to make the Laundry Soap and Fabric Softener, I got A LOT of it on Freecycle last year and I still have a few bottles left, once it is gone, I will be making it.


I am going to try the Pressure Canner soon so that I will be able to can Chicken broth and shredded meat from the Chickens that Brian and Butchered 3 weeks ago- which I might add was more fun that I want to admit!


I have to get my sewing machine to the local sewing shop for a tune up, and I have people well, a few buddies lined up to help me out with it. I have been hoarding patterns getting them at yard sales and thrift stores for 25 cents a pop.
I haven’t used the dryer except once since I the second week in March- I consider that a complete win, of course when we have 4 or 5 days of rain in a row since it got warm, we are hard pressed to not use it…
             So – it is May, how are your New Year’s Resolution’s going?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Old Recipes from and for Tight Times and Farming Women

I may have mentioned before about getting a massive amount of hand written and cut out recipes from my besties (Grace) Mom who is in her 80's- I love love love looking at them and copying them they are so easy to use and have ingredients we all use- they are such a treasure too- since I think of her mom as a grama to me- "Grammy Louise"
Does anyone else have
hand written old simple recipes that would be good in a survival situation- making ingredients from scratch with the items in season- that is what I am thinking survival is all about these days- not buying exotic foods- but what is in season and what we grow- ....or have in the cupboard- here is one I am going to try:
Stone Jar Molasses Cookies:
1 C Molasses
1.2 C shortening
1 tsp soda
2 1/4 cups flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ginger
Heat Molasses to boiling point, remove from heat. Stir in shortening and soda. Measure flour by sifting. Blend remaining ingredients by stiring. Chill Dough.Heat oven to 350. Roll dough thin- cut into shapes. bake on lightly greased baking sheets for 5-7 min and do not over bake! makes 6 doz. 21/2 inch cookies
Easy Creamy Icing:
Blend 1 c sifted confectioners sugar,1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of desired flavoring- vanilla lemon ect.and liquid to make it easy to spread about 1 TBSP of water or cream. Spread on cooled cookies with spatula or pastry brush...

Any good homesteader would have these ingredients on hand! and if you fall on hard times $$ wise- cookies make hubbies and kids happy!