Pepper Powder

Do you know what makes a mom happy? This was a call from Chad recently:

Chad:  You know what I really wish you would make for me?
Me:  What?
Chad:  If it isn’t too much trouble and when you’re feeling better.
Me: OK . . what do you want? (With Chad, you never ever know what he might be wanting!)
Chad:   Last year you gave me some sweet pepper powder and I’ve used almost all of it!
ME:  That’s easy! I can do it!

He went on to tell me that he wanted a really big jar of it this year but I told him several smaller jars would be better. 

Sunday I picked enough peppers to fill one dehydrator. For the sweet pepper mix, I used banana, bell, pimento and added just a couple of jalapeno peppers just to give it a bit of a boost.

For all of them, I cut out the core and seeds and chopped them, obviously into big chunks.

Peppers

Peppers

Half the dehydrator had sweet peppers and half had hot peppers – jalapeno, poblano, chili and tabasco peppers.

Peppers

Peppers

Once dried, they went into the Vita-Mix. I took the container outside and dumped the peppers into it.

Peppers

Peppers

Then I brought the container in and ground the peppers. If you’re doing this, be sure to let it sit for a while before taking the lid off. The powder is fine and it’s floating around this stuff will take your breath away. If I’m doing more than a small batch (this is a small batch), I wear a particulate respirator. These respirators are so good to have around. Vince uses them when it’s dusty and he’s cutting grass or when he’s chipping cedar for mulch or sanding or anything that generates dust or . . particulate. I use them when dealing with powders in the kitchen that can be irritating. They’re very good to have in your supplies if you’re a prepper.   Full Disclosure:  They’re a 3M product.

Pepper Powder

Pepper Powder

Next they were sifted to get out any big chunks. The sifter is placed inside the canning funnel and those are placed inside the jar.

Sifting Pepper Powder

Sifting Pepper Powder

The powder was put into a half pint jar with a 

Jar with Herb Shaker Lid

Jar with Herb Shaker Lid

These lids are great because close tightly, they flip up for shaking. The holes are big enough to let roughly chopped pieces through . . like basil, oregano, rosemary, etc., but a gentle shake is all it takes for the finely ground pepper.

Shaker

Shaker

The Herb Shaker Caps can probably be found locally but, if not, you can order them here.

Herb Shaker Cap

Herb Shaker Cap

This blog post is long . . pictures are bit. I assure you that it took me longer to write this post than it took me to make the pepper powder, not counting the dehydrating time!

 

Vince’s Face!

It was priceless. About 5:30 p.m., I crawled out of bed. Vince was sitting in the recliner, playing on the computer. I looked at him and said “What’s for dinner? I’m starving!”

Dinner? Had he even thought about dinner? Did he realize I was not cooking, nor was I going out to eat? No need for him to think of any of those things because Vince knows I have everything covered . . food is never an issue for us.

He said “What do you want me to do?” so I had him come into the kitchen with me.

1.  Get out the rice cooker. Measure 1-1/2 cups rice, pour water up to the line, add a little salt. Turn the rice cooker on.

Rice Cooker

Rice Cooker

Speaking of rice cookers, I know this one is terribly expensive as far as rice cookers but it is so amazing. I’ve used it for 4 or 5 or more years and I use it for steel cut oats, as well as rice. It cooks sushi rice, brown rice, green rice, white rice . . perfectly every time. It rinses clean . . never a single grain sticks. It’s the Zojirushi NP-HBC-10 model. This is one of those things that if I had to replace it tomorrow, I would buy the exact same model without even doing any further research . . that’s how much I love it!

OK . . back to dinner!

2.  Then I had him follow me over to where our canned food is stored. Filled jars are put back in their cardboard boxes and stacked. I knew there were several 12 packs of filled quart jars on top of the gumbo jars so those had to be moved. We grabbed a quart of gumbo and a pint of dehydrated green onions from the garden.

Dinner in Jars

Dinner in Jars

3. Pour the gumbo in the pot. Turn the fire on.

Gumbo

Gumbo

4. Dump a few green onions in the gumbo and simmer til hot.

Gumbo

Gumbo

5. Peel and cut up a fresh from the garden tomato! Serve up the rice and gumbo!

Dinner

Dinner

The rice took about 20 minutes to cook. The gumbo took about 5 minutes to heat up. I wish you could taste how absolutely yummy it was and how amazingly convenient to have on a night when I didn’t feel like cooking.

From the quart of gumbo, Vince had one large bowl, I had one medium bowl (photo above is my bowl) and there was almost a pint left over.

Leftover Gumbo

Leftover Gumbo

You can bet I’ll always have jars of homemade gumbo in my pantry.

 

Rye Bread

We both love rye bread and I’ve tried several recipes through the years. This one is our favorite. Yesterday, when I wasn’t feeling like eating much, I thought . . I want rye bread so I made this. Here’s my very favorite way to have rye bread . . next to a sandwich or peanut butter on rye toast!  :)

Start with a slice of rye toast. Add mozzarella cheese and stick that under the broiler til the cheese is melty.

Rye Bread

Rye Bread

Add a bit of chopped fresh basil.

Rye Bread

Rye Bread

Add sliced tomatoes, fresh from the garden, of course! Salt and pepper to top it off.

Rye Bread

Rye Bread

A yummy and fairly healthy snack.

Rye Toast with Cheese, Basil and Tomatoes

Rye Toast with Cheese, Basil and Tomatoes

 

 

Swedish Rye Bread
Yields 2
A moist, dense, slightly sweet rye bread. Makes amazing toast.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 c. brown sugar
  2. 1/4 c. dark molasses
  3. 1 T. salt
  4. 2 T. shortening
  5. 1-1/2 c. boiling water
  6. 1 package active dry yeast
  7. 1/2 c. water water for activating yeast
  8. 2-1/2 cups rye flour
  9. 3 - 4 T. caraway seeds (to suit your taste)
  10. 1 T. orange zest
  11. 3-1/2 - 4 cups all purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 c. warm water. Set aside.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, molasses, salt and shortening. Pour boiling water over mixture and stir til sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add rye flour to brown sugar mixture and stir til well blended. Add yeast, caraway seeds and orange peel, continuing to stir/beat til smooth.
  4. Begin adding all purpose flour, a little at a time, to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead, continuing to add flour until dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Place down in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover and let rise until doubled . . about 2 hours depending on the temp in your kitchen.
  6. Preheat oven to 375º.
  7. Punch dough down. Divide into two equal parts. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Shape into 2 loaves. Place in greased loaf pans and let rise til the dough has risen a couple of inches above the sides of pan.
  9. Bake in preheated 375º degree oven for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º and continue baking for another 15 minutes. If top begins to brown, cover the top with a foil tent.
Notes
  1. .
Adapted from Homemade Bread from editors of Farm Journal
Adapted from Homemade Bread from editors of Farm Journal
Patchwork Times by Judy Laquidara http://www.patchworktimes.com/