Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Cooking Good Day

Good Saturday morning.  Today is supposed to be much warmer  than normal.   It is rare we in the Ozarks have 'normal' weather. 

I had great plans yesterday to go with the farm manager (DH) when he went to check the cows.  Of  course that didn't fit with his plans.....the old ATV needed gas, needed air in the tires, etc.  I told him to get it ready asap.  We will see this morning how impressed he was with that request.  I haven't been out on the farm in a  very long time. 

I went back to turn the chickens out and found my temporary fence was laying flat.....it looked like something had pushed it in toward the chicken pen.  I did not turn them loose.  I think  we may give them  free range  of the back gardens today.  I want to observe the Beagle to be sure she won't bother them first.

Kris was talking about comparing the fresh, free- range eggs with penned chickens and we could see the difference.  Mine have been confined to bare dirt since our "helpers" quit.  So they really haven't  been exposed  to grass for more  than 3 or 4 days  but I tested this morning and Max could pick out the grass ones over  the others!  I know the penned ones are absolutely fresh and free of drugs, but I feel sure the darker the yolk the better for you the egg will  be. 

OK,  since I couldn't survey the farm, I went back inside and  made chicken and rice soup with the last of the thawed broth and some other leftovers including rice from the evening before's stir fry.

It was very simple.  I diced a remaining chicken breast (from the evening before), tossed it into the soup pot with the broth and rice.  I diced a carrot and a potato and let all simmer until  done.  I am so proud of myself for using leftovers.  I did toss in a few peas right at the last.



While the soup was cooking  I made a small batch of Pear Honey.  I have a Kieffer pear tree and about  all it is good for is making pear honey!  It is a tart and very hard pear.  It is also supposed to be very blight resistant and it is not!

I picked 6 very large pears and let them ripen inside for several days.

Pear Honey

4 cups ground pears
1 cup crushed pineapple (not  drained)
l cup sugar for each cup of fruit.
I also added just a tad of the pineapple juice left in the can to get it started.

Put all in  a heavy bottomed pan and cook very slowly on low or simmer until clear and soft.  It will be thickened by this time.  It takes quite a while.  I used my smallest burner on the gas range with a  simmer plate and just stirred occasionally.

I don't remember it being as pink as this batch was but it turned out nicely and we had it for breakfast on frozen biscuits from yesterday morning.  I always freeze half the biscuits uncooked.

I used my maslin pan.  I don't know how I managed all those years without it.



Once cooking began: I see it is clear here, don't know when it turned pink......



 and finished product.  (Note: I have lost my jar lids so I
 didn't actually seal these but refrigerated them instead) Yes, one jar is half empty after testing yesterday and breakfast this morning.



It mounds nicely on the biscuit,


The only other thing I did was start another bottle of vanilla.  I bought my beans from a new source (Martha Stewart recommends them so they must be good, right?)Beanilla.  I just ordered two packages of 10 each.  The other bulk order didn't last the year  they were supposed to even sealed tightly in a jar.  I had to toss several that were very slimy and  soft!  At the price of the beans, you don't want  to do that often.
 

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