Wow, this week has flown by. I realized with the rush trip to see my grandchildren I did not actually post last weeks post until today. So today you will get two for the price of one. LOL. Sunday night I made a quick trip to Naperville to watch my grandchildren. I got there Sunday night and Heidi and Bill headed out Monday morning after getting all the kids off to school. Usually I have the day while everyone is in day care or school, but this time the youngest had RSV and was home with me. I had brought beans to shell but figured I wouldn’t get much of this done this trip. The last time she was sick she was my little snuggle bug. This time she was very independent and seemed to enjoy her time playing alone without having to compete with her brothers for toys. I read a couple books but after putting food in the crockpot was bored and decided to bring in the beans I brought to shell while the kids were in school. I ended up getting them all shelled before supper that night when Heidi and Bill got back. My biggest surprise was how the little ones all wanted to know where grandpa was. They have gotten used to him coming with me and in the past when he hasn’t come they were left with me for several days. The surprise was that the youngest grandson when picked up at preschool asked if I was staying tonight with him. I told him no that grandpa missed me and I was going to go back to the farm tonight so grandpa would not be lonely. He then came to the conclusion that he should come with me to the farm so we both could see grandpa. I let him know that if he could wait we would both come see him soon. LOL. That he wanted to come to the farm shocked me because he is usually a home body.
Mom and Dad were home when I got home from picking him up at the preschool. After the little’s were all tucked in and we said our goodnights and good byes and I headed out. I missed most of the traffic leaving for home after 8 PM. I was home before midnight and got in a rhythm of shelling beans and making applesauce the rest of the week.
Wednesday I spent part of the day with my cousin and the little dear in the picture was one of a twin that has been coming to visit her this summer. She lives in town and said she has never seen their mother. Her and a neighbor give them raw oatmeal.
Friday I decided to make one of our favorites Caramelised Onion, Butternut Tikka Masala and wondered what it would be like canned. I often need a quick and easy meal with all we do here on the farm. Here is my recipe. I discovered it canned beautifully and it will become a staple on my shelf in the root cellar.
Caramelized Onion Butternut Tikka Masala
One butternut squash pealed and cubed in 1 inch cubes
I onion diced
2 cans drained and rinsed chick peas
1 can light coconut milk
½ teaspoons garam masala spice
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl put squash, chick peas and onions. Then drizzle one or two tablespoons of the cream on top of the lite coconut milk over the veggies. Mix this in to well coat them. I use my hands for this but you can use something else if you want. Sprinkle with spice and salt and mix to evenly coat veggies with spice. Put a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spread your veggies out into an even layer. Place in the 400 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes until they are golden brown and well caramelized. While this is cooking make your sauce
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon garam masala spice
1 tablespoon grated ginger
10 cloves of garlic minced
½ jalapeno minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pint tomatoes
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Rest of the coconut milk
Put a dutch oven on your burner turned on to medium heat, then put your dry spices in and wait until you can smell they releasing their aroma. Then add the ginger, garlic, jalapeno and tomato paste. Stir this all into a paste quickly then add the remaining ingredients and turn your heat down to low to simmer until the veggies come out of the oven. Stir the veggies in and allow to simmer a bit more before serving. This is good served over rice or with a flat bread. I also like to can this. When canning turn the heat off when you add the veggies to the sauce. Then put it in pint jars and pressure can on 10 lbs. pressure for 1 hour. It is nice to have on hand for a quick meal that tastes like you were in the kitchen all day.
Friday morning I discovered the fall raspberries were ready to pick and made my rounds in the garden. I found all kinds of goodies. A couple ogen melons were ripe, and the cantelope was ripe. I ended up digging some sweet potatoes for veggie burgers too. It was a busy day in the kitchen cooking and trying to clean as I went. I ended up with 36 veggie burgers from 1 sweet potato plant and part of my bean harvest.
Saturday was a wonderful day. I had apples pealed Friday night and made applesauce and picked raspberries and made a small batch of sugar free jam. Here is the recipe I used.
Sugar Free Raspberry Jam
1 ½ cups crushed raspberries
12 drops liquid stevia
1 T Lemon Juice
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Crush raspberries and measure out. Sprinkle and stir in pectin slowly so you don’t get a clump of pectin in your jam. Add other ingredients and bring to a boil that boils even when stirring. Boil 1 more minute turn off heat and when it stops bubbling skim off the foam on top and put in a bowl for a special treat. Then pour the remaining jam in 4oz. jars clean the rim and put on lids according to manufacturer’s instructions. Water bath for 10 minutes then turn of the burner and let it set for 5 minutes before taking it out of the water bath 1 T Ball Real Fruit Low sugar no sugar pectin.
When I was picking raspberries something kept happening over and over. I would reach into the vines and place my fingers on what appeared to be a ripe berry from the outside looking in. I know to let it ripen if it does not easily roll off of the vine when roll the fruit with my fingers. I was in a hurry and several times continued to pull even though the berry was not rolling off. Each time I ended up with one almost ripe berry and 2 or 3 green ones that would now not be able to mature into ripe edible fruit. I had killed part of my harvest in my haste. After the second or third time this happened I started to see a connection in my spiritual life. How sometimes in my haste I say or do things before their time. If I want to have a more fruitful life I need to better listen and learn from my Father in heaven when and how to harvest.
In the afternoon a long time friend came and we picked apples to take to the cider mill. It sure was fun picking with friends and it will be fun taking them to the mill. We did not make the 10 bushels we were going for but got 7 bushels from our trees. My friend brought a half bushel from hers and we bought a couple bushels of cider apples from Bender’s Orchard. They have the best apples in our area. So with bought apples we are close enough. I have another bushel of apples with bad spots or that were on the ground that I will use to make apple sauce the first of the week because they will be cooked and kill any germs found on the ground. I just cut out the bad spots and use the good. I am glad this will be the last batch of applesauce I make this year. I am happy for the bountiful harvest as we just ran out of applesauce before it started, but my hands are ready for a rest from pealing and coring apples.
Today is Duane’s Birthday and though we both got the other’s present earlier in the year we still celebrated today with a meal at Cassa Grill after church. We then took a walk in the mall and I am planning on enjoying the rest of my day with him. God is good and we are blessed here on the Wade Homestead.