Monday, June 30

Canning Rabbit Meat

Rabbit is quickly becoming the new white meat.  Prices in stores vary greatly but I have seen prices range between $10.00 to $18.00 per pound!
Rabbits are efficient meat producers meaning they provide good meat without high cost or much waste.  Also efficient in that rabbits, using the same amount of food and water that a cow needs to produce a pound of meat, can produce six pounds of rabbit meat.

Rabbit meat is mild flavored, tender, high in protein, low in fat, low in cholesterol, low in sodium and low in saturated fatty acids. 
And, comparing it to beef, pork, lamb, turkey, veal and chicken, rabbit has the highest percentage of protein, the lowest percentage of fat and has the fewest calories per pound, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Remember, rabbit meat can only be pressure canned.  Water bath method does not produce high enough heat or pressure to kill any and all bacteria that could lead to botulism and food poisoning.  Make sure to read the directions that came with your pressure canner before starting.

Thursday, June 26

How To Make Grape Juice

Ripe grapes in Michigan
Homemade Grape Juice
A few years ago my daughter's mother-in-law Julie gave us 2 cases of grapes.  I decided to come up with something to do with all those grapes besides just eating them and making grape jelly, so I made grape juice.

Recently I have been getting grapes from our neighbor’s vines for free but I noticed this spring they removed all their vines and the trellis they were hanging on.  My heart sank. 

To have our own supply I have planted 5 grape vines in the last 3 years. Three are doing very well; two are struggling, but hopefully we will have our own grape harvest.

Wednesday, June 18

Lemon Ice Box Pie

An old-timey favorite, simple to make and simply delicious. This is a great summer dessert to share at BBQs and gatherings.    

Fluffy and creamy smooth with a refreshing hint of lemon and the tropics, this will become one of your summer time favorites.

Lemon Ice Box Pie is considered by many to be a southern dish, but I can remember my mother making the most wonderful Lemon pies when I was little in central Ohio.  

Ice boxes date back to the days of ice harvesting which ran from the mid-19th century to the 1930s, or until refrigerators were introduced into the home. The Ice box had hollow walls and were packed with blocks of ice to keep food cold. It is most likely this pie recipe was created around that time.

Sunday, June 8

Strawberry Schnapps

Homemade Strawberry Schnapps
Its strawberry season in many regions and sometimes we pick more than we know what to do with.  And we’re not the only ones.  On a couple blogs and pages I follow there is always a question posted as to what to do with all these strawberries!  The usual answers are posted; make jam, jelly, flash freeze for desserts, and use in smoothies.  I added why not make Schnapps?  I got many replies asking me to please post the recipe, so here it is.
This schnapps has a delicate, aromatic taste and a beautiful red color.
For the best results and flavor, use fresh fully ripe strawberries. You can use store purchased strawberries, but farm fresh have a richer sweeter flavor and aroma and just produced a better end product.

Wednesday, June 4

Thomas Jefferson and Monticello

Thomas Jefferson,  circa 1800
Recently while driving the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway my husband and I stopped to visit Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.  

Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, third president of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia.  He was a public official, historian, philosopher, inventor and plantation owner.

He was born on April 13, 1743, at the Shadwell Plantation located just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, and had five siblings. 

His father Peter Jefferson was a successful planter, surveyor and cartographer who produced the first accurate map of the Province of Virginia.   Having inherited a considerable estate from his father, Jefferson began building Monticello (pronounced “Monti-chello” like the musical instrument) when he was twenty-six years old.