Category Archives: In the Kitchen

Homemade condiments add a gourmet touch to almost any meal

By Linda Gabris

Nothing tickles the taste buds better than a squirt of mustard on a roasted wiener, relish on a burger, ketchup with French fries, horseradish on a slice of roast beef, or a spoon of chutney to crown a venison curry. These are just a few of my family’s favorite condiments that we use almost daily in our house to make our everyday meals so much more marvelous!

Of course, I should mention that my “condiment-crazy” gang isn’t exactly gung-ho for store-bought condiments because they are rather bland when compared to my homemade specialities.… Read the rest

Feta cheese

 By Melissa Souza

 
As a child I remember my Yiya having balls of curds draining around her kitchen. She was from “Greece’s Old Country” as she called it. Her homemade feta cheese was maybe the best thing I have ever tasted. We used to sneak big chunks of it as it was aging in her fridge. We lost Yiya a few years ago, but keeping her recipes alive for my own children has always been very important to me.… Read the rest

Add spice to your life with fire cider

 

Fire cider is a traditional folk elixir that has been lovingly brewed and used by generations of people across the world as a preventative medicine. Although the special ingredients differ from region to region, person to person, and even harvest to harvest, the core recipe remains fairly standard: raw apple cider vinegar, raw honey, onions, garlic, horseradish, hot peppers, and ginger, all combined then fermented for a minimum of two weeks and sometimes for over a month.… Read the rest

Apple pie brandy

 

Here’s to thee, old apple tree,

That blooms well, bears well.

Hats full, caps full,

Three bushel bags full,

An’ all under one tree.

Hurrah! Hurrah!

Each year I wonder what to do with my abundant apple harvest. There’s the usual juicing for cider and canning for juice, pies, and applesauce. I dehydrate some and cold-store others for winter eating. Then, with an eye to holiday gift-giving I make Apple Pie Brandy. It tastes like apple pie in a glass!… Read the rest

Avoiding botulism when canning food

By Joe Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP

 Home canning is a great way to have good things to eat, even in the coldest of winters, and more and more people are learning this useful skill. Indeed, Jarden Home Brands, which makes Ball canning jars, saw a 30 percent increase in sales last year.

Home canning techniques are much advanced from its beginnings about 180 years ago, with many scientific improvements that make it an excellent way to preserve food for later use.… Read the rest

Bean and pumpkin soup

By Ilene Duffy

I really enjoy spending quiet time in my vegetable garden. Preparing the soil in the spring, planning where the vegetables will go, turning the compost pile and finding tons of worms, even weeding to keep a tidy garden are all enjoyable tasks. Then in the fall, after everything gets harvested, my husband, Dave, helps me turn the soil over and gather leaves to spread and churn in to prepare for the winter rains.… Read the rest

Farmer’s cheese

By Miranda Rommel

Cheese: it’s delicious. Cheese making is a skill that’s been practiced for thousands of years, but for many home cooks it can seem mysterious and complicated. But it doesn’t have to be intimidating. Forget the special cultures, rennet, or dark caves. If you’re a newbie cheese maker, this is a great recipe for getting your feet wet and has lots of room for creativity.

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Zucchini: The most versatile fruit in your garden

By Tanya Kelley

I still remember chuckling as a dejected looking young couple, their arms loaded with weapons-grade zucchinis, walked out of our church last summer. Earlier that day, they had carried in the same number of zucchinis, obviously hoping to foist them off on some other (already zucchini-glutted) church members.
I chuckle, because I was in their shoes once. But then I figured out that zucchini is the best fruit in the garden. Fruit? Yes, fruit.… Read the rest

Make homemade butter — without owning a cow

By James Kash

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Butter is one of the milk cow’s best by-products. Good on a hot biscuit with jam or as the secret ingredient to your finest meals, butter is one of the most useful products in your kitchen. Traditionally, butter was made after the cow’s milk had set and some of the cream from the fresh unhomogenized milk rose to the top and was scooped off. It was then saved and collected until a churnin’ was ready to go.… Read the rest