Tag Archives: Things I like

the trash…………

13 Dec

trash……..everybody has it in some form or another, but do you know how to “make the trash”?

The name cracks me up, it’s the most unappealing “name” for a treat on the planet, but once you know what it is—ya gotta have some. It’s like Lay’s potato chips, you can’t eat just one.  Thirty years ago, our precious Nana and Maw would make it in a garbage can, hence the name “trash”.  Now don’t be all grossing out or anything, they had a brand new plastic can specifically for “making the trash” and it never got used for anything else.  Every Thanksgiving we would receive a large plastic tub of the stuff and it would last until well after the new year, return the tub and you get more next year.

This is one of our favorite “family traditions”, so I thought I would share.  Hope you enjoy.

The ingredients:
2 large boxes Cheerios
3 boxes Rice Chex
3 boxes Corn Chex
2 boxes Shredded Wheat (do not use Wheat Chex — they burn)
2 bags skinny Pretzel stix
1 X-Large box Goldfish
2 small bags Fritos
3 bags Oyster Crackers
2 boxes Wheat Thins
2 boxes Cheddar Squares
3 pounds toasted nuts(Pecans, Cashews, Walnuts & Peanuts–toast in the oven on 200 degrees for about 20-30 minutes)
Canola Oil
Lee & Perry’s Worcestershire Sauce
Garlic Powder (do not use garlic salt or it will be way too salty)
Lowry’s Season Salt (use Lowry’s–the off brand taste a little different)
Large Plastic Tub (for mixing cereal)–or if you just really want to, you can use a new/clean garbage can
Large Metal Pans (for baking)

Measure out the following and set aside:
2 1/4 cups Canola oil
6 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
6 Tablespoons Garlic Powder (mixed with) 3 Tablespoons Lowry’s Season Salt

At this point you have two choices:
1. Throw all the cereal, nuts and crackers into the “garbage can” or Large Plastic Tub and mix well. Remove in “batches” to finish off with seasonings.
OR
2. I prefer to do all my mixing “1 batch” at a time. This way I am more in control of the combination of ingredients in each batch, plus I don’t end up with a tub of cereal sitting around if it takes me more than one day to finish, as it usually does. The following directions are for 1 batch at a time.

For mixing 1 batch at a time I use a 4″d X 12″w X 20″l metal pan. I add 1 layer of each cereal at a time followed by the rest of the crackers and toasted nuts…

Start with Cheerios

Start with Cheerios

Add other cereal and goodies

Add other cereal and goodies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wash your hands really good and use them to mix it up, just makes it a lot easier.  Also makes it a lot more fun if you have a helper doing the pouring so you don’t have to get everything in the kitchen covered in Canola oil.  Once you have the pan almost full of cereal, crackers and nuts;  poor 2 1/4 cups of Canola oil over the top, immediately followed by 6 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce then; mix, mix, mix, toss, toss, toss, stir, stir, stir really well until everything is coated all nice and shiny.

Coat well with Canola Oil

Coat well with Canola Oil

Make sure there is no oil pooled at the bottom of the pan

Make sure there is no oil pooled at the bottom of the pan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprinkle about 1/3 of the dry seasoning mix you set aside earlier (6 TBSP garlic powder and 3 TBSP Lowry’s) over the top and mix, mix, mix, toss, toss, toss, stir, stir, stir until well incorporated, repeat 2 more times.

Garlic and Lowry's mixed together

Garlic and Lowry’s mixed together

lightly cover with seasoning

lightly cover with seasoning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture here is just after sprinkling seasonings on top and before the mix, mix, mix process.  Make sure you are mixing, to the point that each piece has a little seasoning and no piece is drowning in it.

You can bake it in the large pan if you wanna go that route, it does take a little longer to get everything toasted.  We split ours into 2 smaller pans to make it easier to toss and makes the process go faster.  So, “split the batch” into 2 smaller pans and pop it in the oven at 200 degrees F.  Set the timer for 20 minutes, when the timer goes off take the pans out, stir the trash around a little, and put the pans back in the oven rotating them each time.  Repeat the process  5 more times for a total baking time of 2  hours.  The goal here is to get everything “toasted” so at the end of baking each piece should have a crunch to it.  When baking is completed remove from oven and dump trash out on a paper covered table to cool.

divide into 2 pans

divide into 2 pans

Trash 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I have 1 batch (split into 2 pans) in the oven, I am mixing up batch #2 in the larger pan.  This way, as soon as batch #1 comes out of the oven I am ready to go with batch #2.  The total ingredients listed above makes about 6 batches which is ridiculously way more than any one family needs.  Then again you can put it in little tins or mason jars to pass out to family and friends, send some to out-of-town relatives,  give the college kids some to take back to school after the holidays, or whatever.  Nana and Maw would always make this at Thanksgiving and it would get nibbled on throughout the entire holiday season right through until New Year’s Eve.  Yes, it last that long if you have it in an airtight container.

Trash 9

If you don’t want or need this ridiculous amount of trash it can be cut down very easily.  Just remember this:  “1 batch” is approximately 2 1/2 gallons of dry cereal, crackers and nuts.  To each “1 batch” you will need 2 1/4 cups Canola Oil, 6 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce, 6 TBSP Garlic Powder and 3 TBSP Lowry’s Season Salt.  Otherwise you end up with this:

Trash 10Yes, we are crazy for the trash!  Today I will be making “trash bags” for all the kids to take home and a few to mail out to relatives.  The rest will be consumed in large quantities during the two-week period we have Christmas company.

Merry “Christ”mas everyone!

Amazing little things…..

11 Jul

The last several weeks have been a little hectic with canning everyday, trying to get the new chicken yard completed and weeding the field.  So much so that I haven’t taken the time to really look around.  This past weekend I was de-tangling weeds from pumpkin vines, and laying them in the rows so Kenny could then take the riding mower and cut between the rows.  We do all this because he is procrastinating on buying the equipment we need that attaches to the back of the tractor enabling you to get the job done in a fraction of the time it takes to do manually.  It’s not that we “can’t” buy the equipment, he just can’t stand to let go of the $$$.  We must spend time “looking around and getting the best deal”.  That’s easy for you to say Fred you are not the one weeding 2 1/2 acres!

Anyway, so I am out there untangling weeds and I begin to notice bees, big bees, little bees, bumblebees, long slender bumble-bee looking things (as long as a fifty cent piece) I have never seen before in my life.  Everywhere!  Hhhhmmmm, I’ve been bugging Kenny lately (no pun intended) that we need our own bee hive.  Fertile, productive farms have bees, it ensures pollination of whatever you are growing, plus you get all that wonderful honey, which of course you can bottle and sell.  He doesn’t wanna fool with bees, it’s too much he says.  In a moment of shere frustration he succumbed and said if I wanted to mess with the bees “I” could get some.  Generally when this sort of thing happens I jump at the chance before he changes his mind, which he usually does when his brains begins to focus in on what I asked for.  This of course is how we ended up with the chickens.  However, I don’t particularly like the idea of the occasional sting bee keepers risk when caring for their charges, but I want the honey.  I know a tad lazy but I’m just not into self-inflicted pain.  So, I am now on the hunt for a bee keeper to “keep” the bees for me, at least until I am way, way, way more comfortable with what is involved.  At this point you are probably thinking, hey your field is full of bees you just said so, why do you still want more?  Aaaahh, but those bees do not belong to me and I have no idea where they are hiding the honey they are making with my pumpkin pollen!

As I am running all this through my mind whilst attacking the weeds I also notice the blooms, blooms and more blooms.  Ya know, I’ve never seen a pumpkin blossom before,  and didn’t have a clue what they would look like.  They are awesome, they are huge, and I just found out the “male” blossoms are edible.  How cool is that?  Now if I can just figure out which ones are male…….

Absolutely beautiful!  And we have the beginning of our pumpkins:

Aren’t they just the cutest little things?

and then it hit me…………….I get to take care of, fret over, worry about, pick bugs off of, weed and feed these adorable little boogers (and about 600 more) for a whole nother 81 more days, until we harvest and then another 92 days until they are all sold.   Yes, yes I know that is a quess-tamation.

The truth of the matter is, it’s pretty cool to look out the window into the field and see all those yellow blossoms, knowing that each (female) one is attached to a little growing pumpkin.  It’s life and it’s amazing and I guarantee you this did not come about because two atoms collided together somewhere out in the great beyond.  And this is just one small little blossom, one teeny tiny pumpkin among so many other amazing bits and pieces of life.  I look at this and have to laugh at the simplicity of the atom theory, come on – Where do you think those two little atoms came from anyway?

Today I pray that each person who reads this blog, “be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  (Eph 3:19)

New Chicken Yard

6 Jul

I’m waiting on a batch of boiling hot (220 degrees) fig jam to cool off a little before I ladle it into the jars and start canning.  Actually I am waiting on the lids to boil cause I forgot to put them on, so we wait.  I got a lot accomplished today and that always feels good, ya know.  I started my day bright and early working on the new chicken yard and spent 4 hours in there weed-eating the jungle of grass that has grown up since the first time I cut it (right before we started the project).  It was so tall I had to go over it twice and rake up the cuttings in between.  Yea I know that’s pretty tall.  The girls didn’t like it much either.  This may sound nuts but I want to plant some bushes and maybe one or two dwarf trees in there to give them shade and an interesting place to live, plus plants bring bugs and chickens love their bugs don’t ya know.  Once that was completed I spent another 2 1/2 hours worked on getting a tarp over the whole thing to give them some temporary shade until I can do the landscaping (okay that cracks me up–I am going to do “landscaping for the chickens”, really?).  It took a fishing pole and about 20 or 30 trips back and forth, and inside and outside before I got  the job done (by myself).  I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out………

What do you think?  I left some of the grass tall just to give them something to hide in or play in or whatever chickens do in the day.  In the middle there are several nice size pieces of a fallen tree, nicely rotting with bugs and stuff.    Ooooh, gotta go…….be back shortly

Lids were done so I had to go ladle out the jam and get them in their hot water bath.  I still have figs left so I thought I would make a second batch since I am already in the swing of things.  Got that started and didn’t have enough figs………..You know what I love about living here, that I could just go out there and pick enough ripe figs to make enough for a second batch of jam.  How awesome is that?

We recently joined a Farmers Market to sell whatever produce we have on hand.  Somehow I am the coordinator, not sure how that happened but hey it’s all good.  I went to the first one a couple of weeks ago without produce mainly because I wanted to get a feel for what went on behind the scenes at one of these things and also because all the produce we had at the time was like needing to be “put up”.  Last week I went with tomatoes, cherry tomatoes eggplant, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, fresh figs, homemade chili sauce and homemade salsa. Okay so like I need to be a little more organized next week cause it was a pain in the butt getting set up, other than that it was pretty fun.  Visiting with other small farmers, talking to customers, yep a good time was had by all.  We did pretty good selling for our “first” farmers market, and my chili sauce was a pretty good hit.  Of course it helped to have samples out for people to “taste test”.  At first I was a little nervous you know cause what if somebody tastes something you literally spent hours making and they hate it. What do you do?  What do you say?  It’s a dilemma.

Well while I was trying to write this post I’ve made two batches of Fig jam and I have to say it’s damn good.  I might just label it “Damn Good Jam”.  We’ve already decided to have homemade biscuits with warm fig jam for breakfast, yummy!  Checking out for now my people, have a very Blessed night and sweet dreams!

It’s only July

2 Jul

I’m having my first cup of coffee at 7:00 a.m.  I got up a little while ago and turned all the window units off just to hear the quiet.  The darn things have been going full blast for weeks now keeping the tomatoes cool, and this week a house full of company.  Since Sunday I have put up 38 pints and 12 quarts of tomatoes.  That may not seem like a lot but I did it all around breakfast, lunch and dinner with a house full of company.  Saturday morning I got up and finally rotated all the chickens around.  The main flock went into the new coop/run, then I cleaned out and hosed down our original coop to make room for the meat birds that hatched in April, separating the hens from the roosters and put the hens in with the main flock.  We still have a few things to do to the inside of the coop but for now they have a roosting pole and several nest boxes so the fru fru part can wait until after the 4th of July.

That done I cleaned myself up from chicken chores and went to check the garden:Those are 5 gallons buckets!  Bring the haul into the house, and sort through what is on the table needing to be canned,

Oooooookay……………………………

Put a pot of water on to boil.  Wash all the tomatoes.  Did I mention that daughter #1 (Je), daughter #2 (Ja), daughter #4 (Er), and grandchildren #1 (jo), #2 (re) and #3 (ro) are all here visiting while the menfolk go a fishin? Did I also mention that none of them know how to can?  Blanched, cored and peeled all the tomatoes and thought hey what the heck let’s make some salsa.  Got that going about the time the guys got back from fishing, which puts us with Kenny home, along with son-in-law #1 (Jo), son-in-law #2 (Re) and boyfriend #4 (Ky).  So that would be 7 adults and 3 toddlers in the house with only 1 canner.  Are we having fun yet? LOL, I really am laughing cause it is a tad chaotic in here with everyone trying to visit, kids running all over the place and tomatoes everywhere you look.  I am now 8 pints of salsa down with a million tomatoes to go.  I did what anybody else would do, I broke out the Tupperware and shoved those tomatoes in the fridge.

Sunday morning I got up and decided to make some chili sauce with some of the tomatoes in the fridge.  This is a recipe that has been in the family forever and has been called chili sauce forever, although I am not sure why.  It is a condiment served to go over peas.  Any kind of peas, cream peas, field peas, black-eyed peas, it goes over peas.  One year I labeled it “pea sauce” and the man had a cow, insisting it was “chili sauce”.  But why I say, you don’t put on chili?  I do not understand this, I just make the stuff and can it like a good country wife.  While that is simmering on the stove it’s time to say good-bye to all our kiddos and the house goes from full to empty in a flash.  Chili sauce takes 6-8 hours to simmer so I go out to check the pumpkin patch since I have not been out there in a week.  This is what I see:I don’t know what this is, but it’s everywhere!  I mean like unbelievably everywhere!  I see a new tractor implement in the very, very near future, but for now I will have to cut this away from the plants that are in danger of being swallowed up by this whatever it is.  By rough estimate there are at least 30 some odd pumpkin plants being overtaken.  Today I will be picking tomatoes, picking figs (yep) and trying to tackle this job.  I must be crazy because I actually am going to enjoy my day.

If anyone knows what type of vine this is let me know, you’ll save me a trip to the extension office.  Hope everyone has a blessed day!

Golly Ma Cha

20 Jun

This morning as I was preparing 85 tomatoes to run through the canning process, my mind began to wander through our upcoming events, the chores that needed to get done in preparation of said events and the limited amount of time involved.  At some point the wandering keyed in on one particular thing so I took the opportunity to make some plans in advance.  Hubby doodle and the boys will be leaving next Wednesday for Lake Calcasieu(Cal-ka-shoo) in Louisiana, to partake in a little fishing and exploring expedition.  This of course means that at some point in time “I” will have the house (and the stove) pretty much to myself.  Well not exactly–daughter #1 and grandchild 1 & 2 will be here, however daughter #1 does not cook when she is visiting so I still get the stove.  Strange as it may seem, this is very exciting news for me as the man of the house has a thing for cooking.  He is also somewhat of a nutrition freak and gets a little pissy when I want time at the stove to fix some good old-fashioned comfort food.

There is this one dish that I love to make whenever he is out-of-town, which is a rare thing because for the love of money the man just won’t leave town for nothing.

Many moons ago, when I was but a child, my mom came home late from work one day all in a panic because she was of course late getting supper on the table.  We ate promptly at 5 p.m., no sooner and no later, religiously.  Racing into the kitchen she began to brown some ground meat on the stove, she put another pot of water on to boil some spaghetti and grabbed a bunch of cans out of the pantry.  Now there were some rules we always followed when mom was in a tizzy, one was never question what she was doing and never, ever get in her way.  On this particular day all us kids decided to keep a low profile in the living room even tho we were starving to death and chomping at the bit to eat supper.  All of a sudden we hear mom scream from the kitchen like there was a boogie man in the house or something.  We all jump up and run in there to see what was the matter only to be shooed out by dad who had also gone in there to see what the heck was up.  They have a little pow wow and soon enough things quiet down.  We finally sit down to dinner and all mom can do is apologize for ruining our dinner, the dreaded anticipation of eating what we thought would be a charred meal was horrible to say the least.  Glancing around the table it was evident that everyone had the same thought, that no matter what was served it would be the best meal EVER!

One by one she serves each plate and we give each one a questioning look as each blob filled plate is passed around.  Tentative smiles are on everyone’s face as if to say, golly ma this looks, um good?  Finally someone has the nerve to just come out and say, “Well what is it?”  Mom of course, begins to cry and says she was planning on making spaghetti and meat sauce but she was in such a hurry she wasn’t paying attention to the cans she took out of the pantry.  She just opened them up and threw them in the pot.  It wasn’t until she went to stir them all together that she realized she had opened a can of beans instead of tomato sauce.

Okay, um, ssssooooo, what you’re saying is that we are having spaghetti and meat sauce with beans.  Not just any beans either, those would be red kidney beans.  Okay.  Slowly we begin to give this new dish a taste, and another and another.  Miraculously this was not as bad as it sounded, it actually didn’t taste like spaghetti and meat sauce at all. We began to praise at her culinary genius for fixing what was potentially a terrible mistake, she insists we are just saying that to make her feel better, we continue because after all it really is very good.  We assure her this is a “do again” meal, but what do you call this blob with the beans.  So, what do we know we were 8, 9 and 10 ,we named the thing Golly Ma Cha, which I have to say is a whole lot better than Blob with Beans.

This is comfort food from your childhood.

This is what I am making for dinner on Wednesday.  Want the recipe?  Here goes:

Golly Ma Cha

1 pound ground meat          1 medium onion, chopped          1 medium bell pepper, chopped          1 can diced tomatoes          1 can Rotelle          1 can red kidney beans          1 (16 oz.) package spaghetti noodles          salt, pepper and garlic to taste          1 large package Kraft American cheese slices (warning do not substitute any other form of cheese, we have tried and it does not work)

Boil spaghetti noodles for 8 minutes, drain and set aside.  Brown ground meat in a large pot, drain grease in colander then return to pot.  Add chopped onion and bell pepper, saute until onions are tender.  Add diced tomatoes, Rotelle and red kidney beans, simmer for 20 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.  Turn burner to low.  Fold in Spaghetti noodles until well incorporated.  Layer top with Kraft American cheese slices. Cover until cheese is slightly melted.  Serve with salad and garlic bread.

Sometimes, when I am really in a cheesy frame of mind, I let that first layer of cheese melt really good, stir it all together and add another layer of cheese.  But you have to be in a really cheesy mood to do that.

Now on the rare occasion that I dare to make this when that old man is home, the only way I can enjoy “my” dinner is to make him this alternate version:

Just before adding the spaghetti noodles I take out about 4 or 5 heaping ladles of the meat mixture and put it in a separate smaller pot.  To this pot I add another can of diced tomatoes and about one cup of spaghetti noodles.  This pot gets absolutely NO cheese.  This would be Golly Ma Cha Soup and is way much healthier than the original version but way less comfort foody.

I can’t wait until Wednesday!