GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR GREEN ONIONS

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Storing Green Onions 005Every time I go to the store to get produce I will pick up two or so bunches of green onions to cook with. They are great in cooked dishes or to make creamed onions & tops to serve over toast, use them fresh in salads. There are so many uses for them.

However if you are in a hurry and get home and put them in the fridge while they are still in the plastic bag from the store, you will get a surprise, slimy green onions. Growing up when we had spring onions from the garden, mom always had the green onions in a jar of water in the refrigerator to use as needed, they do last a bit longer. We always used the tops just like you would chives in recipes.

Storing Green Onions 002There are times when you really do not want to waste the tops, but you do not have anything you want to use the in, what to do, what to do.

Well before the dehydrator, we would chop the chives and onion tops up and place into ice cube trays, fill with water and freeze them, and then bag them up to later use as fresh in soups and stews.

Dehydrating the tops is quick and easy, 4-6 hours at 135 degrees.

Storing Green Onions 003Many vegetables can be dehydrated for use in soups, stews and casseroles, several years ago, when living in Bridgewater, I had dehydrated carrots, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, celery, onions and many other things. I also found that you can save a lot by shopping for produce sales and marked down vegetables that were still in good shape. You can enhance the flavors of what you are cooking by processing your dried vegetables into powder form and adding to soups and stews to add to the body of these dishes.

Storing Green Onions 007You will be very surprised what will fit into quart and pint canning jars once foods are dehydrated. Several examples would be and to my own surprise was sliced carrots. Would you believe that a quart canning jar will fit 25 pounds of dehydrated carrots?  I won’t begin to tell you how many pounds of dried spinach fits into a pint jar. You can make very good cream of soups by adding powdered spinach, carrots, mushrooms etc. to your cream base.

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ROAST TURKEY IN AUGUST

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Freezing Whole Citrus 042Yesterday morning in my apartment you would have thought that it was Thanksgiving day in November. Every year at Thanksgiving I stock up the freezer with turkeys, what other meat can you possibly buy for prices of 48 cents a pound, if you know of others please feel free to leave a comment.

You know I find it so funny, a friend the other day could not believe that every year I try to stock up by buying up to 6 turkey’s at Thanksgiving for the freezer, he really could not believe it. I had to think to myself this is a guy that hunts deer for the freezer and to can, butchers a beef, a hog, chickens  fishes to put up each year, never did figure out what was so funny about buying six turkey’s. I also have to say that turkeys do have a season, Thanksgiving Day, if you do not buy them at these low prices per pound, it is the only time in the year that turkey is offered at prices that low. You must strike while the iron is hot!

At times when most all meat prices are heading towards or exceeding 5.00 per pound, and yes even chicken  is a lot higher in price than it used to be.I will admit that I really enjoy turkey more, most any other month of the year than in November, in most cases if you are invited to 3-4 homes around the holiday, you automatically know what you will be having.

Freezing Whole Citrus 043Turkey is so versatile as well not only with it making fantastic broth, gravy and since most birds weight on average 15 pounds and up, you have quite a bit of meat to put in your food saver bags and will freeze indefinitely for times that you need a quick meal or casserole, meat for soups and stews. Not to mention the great broths and stocks you get from cooking off the roasted carcass. Then you can either can or freeze for future use. In short turkey is the most cost effective meat that can be bought and has quite a few uses  in the way it can be prepared.

After coming from the oven and cooling off this time, I pulled al the meat from the bones, and put in a dish to package up today for the freezer. While the bones, skin and carcass went into a larger 2 1/2 gallon lidded container in the freezer, most likely I will roast several then cook several carcasses off at a time for a richer stock to either freeze or can.

Generally I would roast a turkey every couple of months throughout the year, however this has been such an upside down year for me that all will be roasted at the end of the year like this, to make room for this years turkeys. The only thing that would have made this turkey even better is if it was stuffed with Oyster Dressing

For Further Information on Turkey, from food handling to recipes and tips. follow this link:

THE NATIONAL TURKEY FEDERATION

FREEZING WHOLE CITRUS FRUITS

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Freezing Whole Citrus 037This post is going to seem a bit out of place, seeing that it is only August, however unfortunately as much as we do not want to see it Fall & Winter is right around the corner.

A friend was talking with me the other day and said she wished that there was a way of storing citrus fruits, when they were in season for future use. Everyone gets tired of buy a bag of lemons, limes and oranges just to look in the bag and half has molded before you can get to them.

Years ago I learned from a Mennonite woman about freezing your citrus fruit. She told me all you do is put your bags of fruit in the freezer and get them as you need them. We have done this for many years. With big box stores like Costco they are in season in some country different times through the year.

Freezing Whole Citrus 038Costco also carries types of lemons, limes and oranges not commonly found in all stores, such as Meyer Lemons, Key Limes, and blood oranges. You can not buy these but for brief times during the year, and don’t always want to make endless beverages, pies and tarts while they are in season. We have even frozen grapefruits.

Defrosting – You can defrost at room temperature, or in the microwave about 30 seconds on high, will be just right. Also before slicing to juice the yield of juice will be greater if you roll the whole fruit between the palm of your hand and the counter will help in breaking down the pulp which holds most of the juice.

You will notice that you get more juice from fruits that have been frozen as well. Zesting is easier to do on the frozen fruits, whether you use a zester or a rasp style grater (like you use for nutmegs). The peel of the fruit in the case of oranges and lemons stay bight, limes vary, some varieties I have found range from light green to olive, so with any of the fruits you will have to decide if the color is appealing to you or not, however the main thing is that you can have fresh juice anytime of the year this way.

PHOTOGRAPHY, GERANIUMS & A WOODSPRITE

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GERANIUMS & WOOO SPRITE 011It has been a while since posted about my container garden on the deck, I have been under the weather from a problem in my neck around C6/C7 causing spasms and severe pain in my left arm. Thankfully after weeks and weeks of this the pain is under control and the inflammation, spasms and arm pain is under control.

There were many times that I wanted to take pictures of the flowers or do some creative photography from the tripod, however wanting to and actually feeling like are two different things. the container garden pictures are from around July 4th, the Geranium pictures were taken indoors today.

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In the next post I will have pictures of the deck as it is now, a very different place than you see in these pictures.

This afternoon I gathered geranium blossoms and took some pictures, from what was gathered.

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While I was taking pictures this afternoon this little guy poked his head out of the flowers and said that he lives in the gardens, he spends his days in the geraniums and at night he likes to sleep in the Mandevilla vines, and goes for a swim in the Ollas (the terra cotta watering vessel under the Mandevilla. He told me he was a Wood Sprite, he lives in gardens where Hummingbirds fly too. (yes I have spotted 3 hummingbirds in my deck garden. He told me that he will live in my garden as long as it is there. Then he will ride on the back of a hummingbird to the southern hemisphere for the winter!

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