Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chocolate Gravy, YUCK!!

Hubby is a true southern boy and I am a true Yankee girl. Our kids were born Yankees but you would think they were born and raised southern with the way they love Chocolate gravy. I am the only member of the family that hates the stuff yet I am the only one that cooks it. How in the heck did that happen?? LOL

Anyway the other day hubby wanted Chocolate gravy and biscuits for breakfast so I got roped in to fixing him some. Here is the results.

As you can tell by the steam rising off them they are good and hot. Now if only I could figure out the health benefits of eating them. I have been trying to figure that out for over 35 years and still no closer to knowing then the first time I learned to make them. Hubby's dad taught me how to make them.

What is surprising is that I am a chocoholic and I can't stand Chocolate gravy. Could it be the creamyness of the milk that I am missing since Chocolate gravy is made with water instead of milk? One may never know but as long as it makes hubby happy to have his Chocolate gravy and biscuits who and I to argure. :)

Canning fresh caught Salmon

Hubby and his brother went salmon fishing on Thursday. Here is a couple of pictures of their catch. They were really proud of their catch of the day. :)

The biggest one was a female and she was loaded with eggs. The smaller one is a male. The guys cleaned and filleted the fish so all I had to do was can it. First I soaked the fish in a brine of one gallon cold water mixed with a cup of canning salt. Then drained it for 10 minutes. I then cut it up into jar size pieces and packed it in half pints jars really tight leaving a one inch headspace. I processed them for an hour and 40 minutes at 10 lbs pressure. Here is a couple of pictures of the finished product.

Looks pretty good doesn't it? And think of the savings! A 6 oz. can of skinless, boneless salmon costs around $2.49 where I live. After I factored in the cost of the salt, water, lids and gas for the stove I figure it cost me around $6 to can it and I got 13- 8 oz jars of skinless, boneless salmon. Not a bad deal is it?

I didn't factor in the cost of gas for them to go fishing, the cost of their fishing license or the cost of bait because they were going go fishing even if they didn't catch anything. LOL They are going back in a few days to see if they can catch some more. I am hoping for 4 more to can.  I can see a lot of nice salmon patties in our future. :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hot Roast Beef Sammies-YUM!

We love hot roast beef sammies with mashed potatoes and gravy. Its one of our favorite comfort meals on a cool fall night or cold winter evening. Add some hot maple glazed carrots and a side salad and you have got yourself one nice tummy warming meal.

I made the roast beef sammies and gravy from a jar of rump roast that I sliced and canned in beef broth last year. A quart jar of the meat will feed 4 adults unless you gave got one 6ft 4 inch hallow from the legs up, son in the house. Then you are lucky is there is enough for 3 adults. LOL

To can the rump roast, I sliced in half from one side to the other because it was too thick as is. Trimmed off what little fat was on them then sliced each half in to 1/4 thick strips. I browned them all in just a tiny amount of olive oil then drained the slices on paper towels to remove as much of the oil as I could. I had made up a beef broth earlier using low sodium beef soup base. I put the strips in quart jars then covered with the hot broth leaving a 1 inch head space. Wiped down the rims and placed the lids and rings on the jars. I then placed the jars in the hot water that was in the pressure canner, put the lid on and processed them for 90 minutes.  As you can see from the picture above what little oil and fat that remained floated to the top and semi hardened. It didn't hurt anything.

When I opened the jar to made the hot roast beef sammies I scooped out the fat and then just poured the broth into a skillet, added two cups water because the broth was a little to strong, brought it to a low boil and then added a slurry of cornstarch and water. Once it started to thicken I added the meat in carefully as I didn't want it to fall all apart. I let it simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. When I was ready to serve it I laid 2 pieces of bread on the plate and cut them in half, I removed the top slice, using a slotted spoon I place some of the meat on top of the first slice then added the top slice. Scooped the potatoes between the two halves and then ladle gravy over both. It was yummy and the family didn't leave any left overs. :)

This was my last jar of home canned rump roast so next time I catch rump roast on sale again I will have to buy 4 or 5 more to can. I love having home canned meals at the ready for those days I want and easy cook day. :)

Attack of the Poison Ivy Brigade

As you can tell by looking I was attacked by the Poison Ivy Brigade. They were sneaky devils! I have spent the last 40 years outsmarting them but finally this fall they got smart and sought revenge with a vengeance on the mean evil lady that has been ripping them out by her bare hands for as long as she can remember.

I guess they didn't like being evicted from their warm and cosy home at the back of our garage. It ticked them off to have their roots ripped out of the nice warm earth and their long reaching tendrils off the back of the garage. They must have really loved having their roots in up next to the coolness of the cement of the garage floor and the morning shade they had each morning and the warmth of the sun each after noon.

I don't blame them for loving their home. But you would think after being evicted every year for the last 17 years they would have given up and found a new home. But not these devils. They are bull headed and persistent. Quite like the meal old lady that keeps trying to evict them for good. She will not give up her fight with the poison ivy brigade and she has sworn to all who will listen that next year she will be back to fight again only this time she will bring more weapons to the battle. She will never way the white flag of surrender. She vows to keep battling the brigade until she renders on to them the ultimate defeat and they move on to greener pastures in some one else's yard.

In the mean time she is nursing her battle scars and taking notes on war strategy so that next year she is better armed to do battle once again the Poison Ivy Brigade. She may be covered from her head to her legs with her battle scars but she is stubborn and bull headed she will return to the battle and sooner or later she will triumph in the end. War may be hell but winning the battle is sweet!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Prepping for survival in a post SHTF world

I do not hide the fact that I belief that life as we know it will soon end on earth and we will be forced to live much like our ancestors did back in the 1800's. Even Hollywood seems to think that now with the rash of survival type shows that they are coming out with. Shows like Revolution, Last Resort and of course all the end of the world movies like 2012.

Personally I am not a believer of the Mayan calendar and a lot other far fetched ideas that some people have but I do believe that because of what is going on between nations today that things will happen that will shut down the world's power grid and force us all back into a world of darkness. Money will be worthless, cars will no longer run, stores will no longer be opened. There will be no way to buy what you need nor will you have a good chance at finding it since looters will be running rampant because they did not prepare.

But there is even more good reasons to do everything you can do to prepare for survival. Mother Nature is a prime example of why it is good to always be prepared for survival. Earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, ice storms, blizzard and more can take out power for weeks, close stores and gas stations for weeks, Freeze water pipes, contaminate the local water supply, ruin crops and more. All which can result in unprepped people having next to nothing the way of resources to survive until things are back to normal. That is not something I want for my family. So I do what I can to prep for my family in hopes that they will be able to survive until the world returns to normal or a new normal sets in.

A big part of my prepping includes owning a prep/survival group so that I may gain and share knowledge with others that are like minded. We talk about everything to do with survival from learning how to cook over and open fire to how to raising our own meat animals, to gardening and perserving our harvest. If you are interested in learning more about prepping for survival or if you have knowledge that you would like to share I would like to invite you to join

Its a good group to join and you find lot of friendly people who are like minded when it comes to prepareing for a future that may be completely different than what we live in today. I hope to see you there.