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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Making Turkey Stock

     Anytime that I cook a turkey, I save the carcass to use again to make turkey stock.

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Don't you love the rich, dark color of homemade stock?


     The first thing you need to make turkey stock is a whole turkey carcass.  After Thanksgiving, we saved ours so I could make stock.  Get a really large soup pot and add the turkey carcass and water. This was a really large turkey so I added 2 full gallons of water to the pot so the bones and all were completely covered in water.  I then added 1/2 cup of vinegar.  The vinegar helps to draw out all of the nutrients out of the bones.  Allowing the vinegar to do the work of softening the bones makes the stock so much more mineral rich.  It leaches out magnesium, calcium, and potassium!  Soak for about an hour.

      Now the fun part, add in the veggies and herbs you desire.  I often will save the ends off of carrots and celery and throw them in the freezer until I have enough for stock.  If I buy an onion and don't use it all, it goes into the bowl for stock too.  Any veggies you have on hand or want to buy can go into the pot.  I always add in celery, onions and carrots and then whatever else I feel like at the time.  Today I added in 1 large onion, cut in half; 4 stalks of celery (cut in 1 1/2"-2" pieces); 3 leeks cut up into large sections; a small handful of mushrooms; and a 1/2 bag of baby carrots I had in the fridge.  At this point add in some spices too.  I added in parsley flakes, sage, garlic powder, salt & pepper.   Sometimes I add in thyme but I was out of it today. 

Making homemade turkey stock, how to make turkey broth, how to pressure can stock, what to do with turkey carcass after Thanksgiving, pioneer recipes

   Turn the stove onto high and bring the mixture to a boil.  Skim off any foam that is on the top and discard.  Turn the stove down.  We have an electric stove and turned it down between 1 and 2.  Cover the pot and allow to simmer 12-24 hours.  We let ours go overnight.

      Remove from the stove and using tongs, remove the bones and discard.  Now use a fine mesh colander, strain the veggies out.  I feed the veggies to the turkeys and chickens.  They love them.  At this point, I place the strained stock into the fridge.  I leave it there all day and night.  The next day, I scoop all the fat that is congealed at the top. If you have a carcass from a home raised bird, you can leave the fat in it if you want.  Some leave it and some remove it.  They say there is good immune building nutrients in the fat so it is a matter of preference.   

      Now you can freeze or refrigerate the stock or can it. If you put it in the refrigerator, it will last 5-7 days.  In the freezer, it will last a year.  If you pressure can it, it can last at least 3 years on your pantry shelf.  It tastes so wonderful I doubt it will be there that long before you use it up.  :-)

     First, sterilize your jars.  Wash your jars and bands thoroughly.  I then place mine on a cookie sheet in a warmed oven until ready to use (at least 30 minutes).  I then bring my stock to a slow boil and pour them into the sanitized jars.  Fill with hot broth and leave a 1" head space.   Wipe the rims with a clean dishtowel soaked with vinegar and then put on a new lid.  Tighten according to manufacturer's recommendations.  At this point you are ready to can them.  Process following your pressure canner's instructions.  I pressure canned this stock at 11 pounds of pressure for 25 minutes and made 5 quarts of delicious turkey stock.  Mark and date your jars and you are finished. 

Making homemade turkey stock, how to make turkey broth, how to pressure can stock, what to do with turkey carcass after Thanksgiving, pioneer recipes


A few notes:
  • You can use raw meat or cooked meat when making stock.  You can even mix some of each.  Since it is cooked for so long (simmering at least 12 hours) all the germs should be killed so it is safe to do so.
  • Other than parsley, avoid using other green veggies.  They end up making the stock taste bitter.
  • If you prefer to add no veggies, that is fine too.  The veggies add gorgeous color, some flavor and extra vitamins and nutrients but you can make just bone broth if you prefer.  
  • You can use this basic recipe for chicken stock; beef stock and fish stock too.  :-)  The good thing about beef stock is that the beef bones can be reused 3-4 times to make stock over and over.  After making beef stock, dump out the veggies and can your stock and then add the bones to a pot again, add in the vinegar and start the process over again.

It flavors soups or my Southern Cornbread Dressing very well.


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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Homemade Country Corn Bread Dressing

     This is my cornbread dressing recipe that I have been making for many, many years.  When I go to potluck dinners, this is one of the dishes they always request I bring.  It is similar to many others out there but each one is tweaked just a bit different.  This is mine.  I hope you enjoy.

Homemade Cornbread Dressing

 1 (9"x13") pan prepared cornbread
2 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
48 oz. chicken broth or turkey broth
1/2 c. diced celery
1/4 c. diced onion
2 T. butter
1 1/2 tsp. sage

         
Homemade Country cornbread dressing, Corn bread dressing recipe, pioneer recipes


    In a skillet, melt the butter and then sauté the celery and onion until soft.  Do not caramelize.  Prepare your cornbread.

Homemade Country cornbread dressing, Corn bread dressing recipe, pioneer recipes



     In a large bowl, crumble up your corn bread and then add in the softened celery & onions, the sage, shredded chicken and the broth.  Stir well.

Homemade Country cornbread dressing, Corn bread dressing recipe, pioneer recipes


     Spray the cake pan that you cooked your corn bread in and then pour the dressing mixture into that pan.

Homemade Country cornbread dressing, Corn bread dressing recipe, pioneer recipes


Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Corn bread dressing recipe, Homemade Country cornbread dressing, pioneer recipes

Corn bread dressing recipe, Homemade Country cornbread dressing, pioneer recipes

Be sure to read my post about how to cook a Turkey Breast in the Crock Pot!

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Silly pictures

   I won an Ipad Air 2 last year and it allows you to take some pretty silly pictures. Just thought I'd share them with y'all to make you smile.  These are all of my daughter, her husband and her oldest son Phineas (6).  Enjoy!
















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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sharing some memories

       I recently had my daughter and her family down for a visit from Nebraska.  It was a lovely visit...in fact, one of the best visits we have had.  She is 25 and has been married to Seth since 2009 and they have 3 sweet boys.  Phineas is 6, Hayden is 3 and Declan is 2.  One reason for their names is because she said she always wanted a PhD and now she has them (from the initial from each of their first names).  ;-) 

    


 
This is Phineas feeding and petting Cooter and Dainty Girl.


     This is Phineas being pulled by Grandpa after finishing up some of the farming chores.  


     This is Hayden.  He truly already has that middle child attitude.  He gets mad at his momma here and it is so funny. 


   Since we only see them about once a year, we celebrated Christmas on this visit.  These are pics of the boys opening up the presents we got them and playing with the stuff. 


Hayden and Declan playing with the "pretend play" food.
Hayden had very good imagination even at such a young age and "chewed" the play food well.

I love Declan's little chubby cheeks.

Declan has something Hayden wants.
Brandy & Seth

My 3 kids.  Ronny (11), Brandy (25), & Bubba (17).
Fun at the park.
Ron being "King of the World" at the playground.
Declan, 2.




Thank you for allowing me to share and I hope you enjoyed looking at the pics.  

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Repurposing Old T-shirts

     We strongly believe in reusing and repurposing items.  We live on a fixed income and make do a lot of the time.   One way we save money is by not buying tissues.  Instead I make "sneeze rags" from old t-shirts.  I have all of our friends and neighbors give us their old t-shirts they would normally trash and I cut them up into sneeze rags and "personal cloths".

    A personal cloth is a fancy way of saying emergency TP.  If we ever run out of toilet paper, we will use these instead.  They are cut out of super soft t-shirt material and would be used in place of toilet paper.  I always keep a big supply of toilet paper on hand but if we should get snowed in or some other emergency should happen, I like having other options.  And for those of you saying "gross" or what have you, it is no different to me than having to wash out a cloth diaper which I have done many times.

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A t-shirt given to us by a friend.  Their child had outgrown it and it did not fit anyone in our household either.

      The "sneeze rags" we have been using exclusively in our home for over a year.  I just fill up a coffee can with them and if you need one, you use it and when you are done, put it into the dirty clothes hamper.  Again, no different than washing a hankie.  :-)

    When it comes to making these, the older and more worn the t-shirt, the better and softer it is.  I start off by cutting off the neck area of the t-shirt and the sleeves.

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Remove the neck area and the sleeves.


    Next, cut a strip of fabric that is about the same size as a normal tissue.  Sometimes I make them a bit longer and sometimes I cut them square like a handkerchief.  Just cut them as you like.  Be sure to cut off the hems and any rough area.

personal cloths, sneeze rags, repurposing, repurpose ideas, how to recycle old t-shirts, frugal living tips
One of the sneeze rags.


  I usually cut up the front of the t-shirt and use them for sneeze rags and I cut up the back of the t-shirts for personal cloths.  The personal cloths I cut up a bit larger.  Generally I cut the personal cloths about the width of a wash cloth and about 12" long.

personal cloths, sneeze rags, repurposing, repurpose ideas, how to recycle old t-shirts, frugal living tips
One of our personal cloths.


   From a youth large t-shirt I generally can make 5 personal cloths and 6 sneeze rags.  I just cut them up as I watch a movie or in between doing stuff on FB or online.  I store the sneeze rags in a large coffee can in each bedroom and in the living room and the personal cloths I store in large coffee cans and keep them under the sink in each bathroom.

I also make my own Homemade Air Freshener that is even better than Febreze!!!!

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Ozeri Tower Fan

 ***I received this product in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.***
    

      The Ozeri Tower fan is by far the BEST fan we have EVER owned.  I cannot believe how well it works.  Even on the lowest setting it out blows some of the fans we have had when they were blowing on their highest level.  This fan not only works well it is stunningly beautiful.  It really does look like an accent piece to our home.


Ozeri Tower Fan,


        Not only does this fan run great but it is so very quiet.  Even on high with all 3 fan blades spinning, you can barely hear it.  One feature that I really love is the remote control.  As many of you know, I suffer from many chronic illnesses (Multiple sclerosis, Gastroparesis, diabetes, & heart disease) and there are times I just do not have the energy to get up and down.  I hate relying on someone all the time but with this remote, I can turn the fan off and on by myself or control one of the other many options it has. 

Ozeri Tower Fan,


      With this fan, there are 3 different fan blades with 3 settings (low, medium and high) with 9 levels of customized airflow.  It also has a timer so you can program it to run for a certain time and then turn itself off.  It can also oscillate.  There are more features that we are finding each day!  It is also remarkably easy to clean too. 

       The customer service by this company is unrivalled.  They were quick to get the product out to me and answered all of my emails quickly and professionally.  I would highly recommend the product and company !  


 
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