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Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter

Whether it conjures up a crusty, flavorful loaf of bread or a bubbling crock of flour/water starter, sourdough is a treasured part of many bakers’ kitchens. But where does the path to sourdough bread begin? Right in your own kitchen, with your own homemade sourdough starter.

Sourdough baking is as much art as science. The method you’ll read here for making sourdough starter isn’t an exact match for the one you read on another site, or in a cookbook, or in your great-grandma’s diary

Getting it started takes a lot of steps, but once its established, its easy to maintain and use.

1 cup (113g) whole rye (pumpernickel) or whole wheat flour

1/2 cup (113g) cool water

 

To feed your starter

 

scant 1 cup (113g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1/2 cup (113g) cool water (if your house is warm), or lukewarm water (if your house is cool)

 

Day 1: Combine the pumpernickel or whole wheat flour with the cool water in a non-reactive container. Glass, crockery, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic all work fine for this. Make sure the container is large enough to hold your starter as it grows; we recommend at least 1-quart capacity.

 

Sourdough Starter – Step 1

Stir everything together thoroughly; make sure there’s no dry flour anywhere. Cover the container loosely and let the mixture sit at warm room temperature (about 70°F) for 24 hours. See “tips,” below, for advice about growing starters in a cold house.

 

Day 2: You may see no activity at all in the first 24 hours, or you may see a bit of growth or bubbling. Either way, discard half the starter (113 grams, about 1/2 cup), and add to the remainder a scant 1 cup (113 grams) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, and 1/2 cup (113 grams) cool water (if your house is warm); or lukewarm water (if it’s cold).

 

Sourdough Starter – Step 3

Mix well, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for 24 hours.

 

Perfect your technique

How to make sourdough starter-1

BLOG

How to make your own sourdough starter

BY PJ HAMEL

 

Day 3: By the third day, you’ll likely see some activity — bubbling; a fresh, fruity aroma, and some evidence of expansion. It’s now time to begin two feedings daily, as evenly spaced as your schedule allows. For each feeding, weigh out 113 grams starter; this will be a generous 1/2 cup, once it’s thoroughly stirred down. Discard any remaining starter.

 

Add a scant 1 cup (113 grams) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water to the 113 grams starter. Mix the starter, flour, and water, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for approximately 12 hours before repeating.

 

Day 4: Weigh out 113 grams starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat step #6.

 

Day 5: Weigh out 113 grams starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat step #6. By the end of day #5, the starter should have at least doubled in volume. You’ll see lots of bubbles; there may be some little “rivulets” on the surface, full of finer bubbles. Also, the starter should have a tangy aroma — pleasingly acidic, but not overpowering. If your starter hasn’t risen much and isn’t showing lots of bubbles, repeat discarding and feeding every 12 hours on day 6, and day 7, if necessary — as long as it takes to create a vigorous (risen, bubbly) starter. Note: see “tips,” below.

 

Sourdough Starter – Step 8

Once the starter is ready, give it one last feeding. Discard all but 113 grams (a generous 1/2 cup). Feed as usual. Let the starter rest at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours; it should be active, with bubbles breaking the surface. Hate discarding so much starter? See “tips,” below.

 

Remove however much starter you need for your recipe — typically no more than 227 grams, about 1 cup. If your recipe calls for more than 1 cup of starter, give it a couple of feedings without discarding, until you’ve made enough for your recipe plus 113 grams to keep and feed again.

 

Sourdough Starter – Step 10

Transfer the remaining 113 grams of starter to its permanent home: a crock, jar, or whatever you’d like to store it in long-term. Feed this reserved starter with 1 scant cup (113 grams) of flour and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water, and let it rest at room temperature for several hours, to get going, before covering it. If you’re storing starter in a screw-top jar, screw the top on loosely rather than airtight.

 

Store this starter in the refrigerator, and feed it regularly; we recommend feeding it with a scant 1 cup (113 grams) flour and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water once a week.

 

Tips from our Bakers

Why do you need to discard half the starter? It seems so wasteful… But unless you discard starter at some point, eventually you’ll end up with a very large container of starter. Also, keeping the volume down offers the yeast more food to eat each time you feed it; it’s not fighting with quite so many other little yeast cells to get enough to eat. You don’t have to actually discard it if you don’t want to, either; you can give it to a friend, or use it to bake. There are quite a few recipes on our site using “discard” starter, including pizza crust, pretzels, and waffles, and even chocolate cake. If you’re still uncomfortable dealing with discard, though, try maintaining a smaller starter: the smaller the starter, the smaller the amount of discard.

 

Why does this starter begin with whole-grain flour? Because the wild yeast that gives sourdough starter its life is more likely to be found in the flora- and fauna-rich environment of a whole-grain flour than in all-purpose flour. What if all you have is all-purpose flour, no whole wheat? Go ahead and use all-purpose; you may find the starter simply takes a little longer to get going. Also, if you feed your starter on a long-term basis with anything other than the all-purpose flour called for here, it will probably look different (thicker or thinner, a different color) and act differently as well. Not to say you can’t feed your starter with alternate flours; just that the results may not be what you expect.

Canning  Chicken (Raw Pack Method)

Canning  Chicken (Raw Pack Method)

Canning  Chicken (Raw Pack Method)

4 whole roasting chickens or 35 assorted chicken pieces

8 whole bay leaves

8 teaspoons lemon juice

8 teaspoons salt (optional)

8 teaspoons dried parsley or 8 teaspoons dried cilantro

 

Remove fat and skin from chicken pieces. Have sterilized hot quart canning jars ready. Have damp hot cloth ready to wipe rim of jars. Seals should be hot in water. Lay out the chicken pieces in groups for each jar. Pack each jar half full. Add to each jar, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp parsley or cilantro. Fill the jar with hot water. Leave at least 1 1/2 inch head room. Wipe jar rim with damp clean cloth. Place seal and ring and tighten. Have the pressure cooker ready, fill the jars in the rack, lower the rack. Please the lid on the pressure cooker. Pressure cook 15 lb. pressure for 90 minutes.

 

DO NOT LEAVE THE KITCHEN. You must adjust the heat to stabilize the pressure and maintain the 15 lb pressure. This is not hard to do. When 90 minutes have passed. Turn off the heat, take off the burner or leave on, let it cool naturally. Do not remove the pettcock, the pressure gauge. Let the steam go out naturally. Take the jars out, place on a towel, out of drafts. Let seal.

Canning Spaghetti Sauce

Canning Spaghetti Sauce

Canning Spaghetti Sauce

10 lbs fresh tomatoes

3 tablespoons oil

4 1⁄2 cups onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1⁄2 teaspoons oregano, crushed

2 bay leaves, crushed

1 tablespoon plain non-iodized salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper, crushed

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon celery leaves, minced

 

Peel, core and chop tomatoes. Combine with remaining ingredients in heavy saucepan. Simmer 2 hours stirring often until desired consistency. Pour into hot jars to 1/2 inch from top. Wipe jar top and threads carefully with damp cloth making sure they are thoroughly clean. Put on lids and bands. Place in water canner with at least 2 inches of hot water over tops of jars. Bring canner to gentle boil and process 30 minutes. At end of processing time, remove jars to draft free area to cool at least 12 hours. Inspect each jar to make sure it is sealed, remove bands and wipe with damp cloth. Label with date and store.

Canning Raspberries

Canning Raspberries

Canning Raspberries

4 C. water

1 -4 3⁄4 C. sugar

1 1⁄2-3 lb. berries

 

Use 1 C. sugar for VERY LIGHT SYRUP; 2 C. sugar for LIGHT SYRUP; 3 C. sugar for MEDIUM SYRUP; 4 3/4 C. sugar for HEAVY SYRUP. Boil sugar& water together for 5 minutes& skim, if necessary; keep hot but not boiling. Wash fruit, drain& fill hot sterile jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Bring syrup to a full boil& cover berries with syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove any trapped air bubbles (I use a chopstick to do this) & adjust lids. Process in a boiling water bath, 10 minutes for pints or 15 minutes for quarts.

Canning Pizza Sauce

Canning Pizza Sauce

Canning Pizza Sauce

4 pints

25 -28 tomatoes

2 large onions, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 tsp. olive oil

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. cracked pepper

1 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. parsley, chopped

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. rosemary

1 tsp. celery seed

2 tsp. salt

1⁄2 tsp. summer savory

 

Peel and puree the tomatoes. Mince the onion and garlic. Put olive oil in deep pan and sauté the onions and garlic until transparent. Add the tomato puree and the rest of the ingredients; stir well to blend. Cook on low until mixture is reduced by ½, stirring occasionally. This will take 1-1/2 to 2 hours. When sauce is done and nicely thickened, ladle into hot pint size jars, clean the rims of the jars, and seal. Process for 25 minutes in water bath.

Canning Navy Beans (Easy Method)

Canning Navy Beans (Easy Method)

Canning Navy Beans (Easy Method)

1 1⁄2 cups dried navy beans

1⁄2 teaspoon salt (optional)

 

Put 1 1/2 Cups Dry Navy Beans in each quart jar. Add salt as desired. Fill Jar with boiling water to 1 inch from the top. Put on lids and rings. Place in canner with hot water. Pressure can at 10 lb. pressure for 20 minutes. Beans will continue to soften when you use them in either your soup or for baked beans.

Canning Baked Beans

Canning Baked Beans

Canning Baked Beans

8 pints

 

2 lb. dried navy beans

1⁄2 lb bacon

1 -3 large onion

2⁄3 cup brown sugar, packed

4 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons mustard powder

1 cup orange juice (optional)

2⁄3 cup molasses (I use Grandma’s molasses which has a higher concentration of sugar)

 

Soak beans in 3 quarts of water, (make sure they are covered!) for 12-18 hours. Drain but do not rinse. Return beans to pot and cover with 3 quarts of fresh water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer until the bean skins begin to split. Drain the beans, reserve the liquid. Transfer the beans to a 4-quart or larger covered baking dish. Chop the bacon and onions. Add them to the beans. Combine the brown sugar, salt, mustard, and molasses in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the reserved bean liquid (or 1 cup orange juice and 3 cups water). Pour the sauce mixture over the beans. Don’t stir! Cover the beans and bake them in a preheated 350-degree oven for 3 to 3.5 hours. The consistency should be like a thick soup. Adds more liquid if the beans become too dry. While the beans are baking, prepare your canning jars and two-piece caps (lids and screw bands) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep the jars and lids hot. Ladle the hot beans into your prepared jars, leaving a 1-inch headspace. Release any air bubbles with a nonreactive tool, adding more beans as necessary to maintain the proper headspace. Wipe the jar rims; seal the jars with the lids and caps, hand tightening the bands. Process your filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 1 hr 20minutes (pints) or 1 hr 35minutes (quarts). After the pressure in the canner has returned to 0, wait an additional 10 minutes, and then carefully open the canner lid. Remove the hot jars with a jar lifter. Place them on a clean kitchen towel away from drafts. After the jars cool completely, test the seals. For added safety, boil the contents for 15 minutes before tasting or eating. (If you follow accurate canning protocol, that should not be necessary!). It takes a big pot to make this so if you want to double it, prepare two separate pots. My canner only holds 5 quarts so it can only hold a single batch anyways.

Canning Cuban Black Beans

Canning Cuban Black Beans

Canning Cuban Black Beans

2 lb. dried black beans

2 cups onions, chopped

1 cup bell pepper, chopped

6 teaspoons garlic, chopped

1 1⁄2 tablespoons salt

1 1⁄2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon oregano

1⁄4 cup cider vinegar

1⁄2 lb salt pork

 

Sort dry beans. Soak overnight in water. Drain beans, add new water covering by 2″, and bring to a boil. When boiling begins, remove from heat and set aside. Sauté onion, pepper, and garlic in olive oil until onion is glassy. Add remaining spices, salt and vinegar to the sauté pot. Sterilize 8-pint Mason Jars. Add 1/4 cup of sauté mixture to each jar. Chop Salt pork into small pieces and divide into eight “piles”. Put one “pile” of salt pork into each jar. Add 1 slightly heaping cup of black beans to each jar. This should leave about 1 1/2″ headspace in jar. Do not overfill with beans. They expand a lot during processing. Overfilling will cause jars to leak in canner. Top off each jar with bean juice, leaving 3/4″ headspace. Put of lids and process 1 hour 5 minutes at 10 psi. After processing, remove from heat and allow canner to return to ambient pressure of its own accord. Remove and cool jars. Needs to age a month or so to blend flavors. When serving, it is normal to add a bit of water, since water boils out during processing. Serve ladled over rice and add a dollop of sour cream.

Quick Sides

Quick Sides

Quick Sides

Organic Baked Beans

 

Sauteed Spinach with Garlic

Add l tablespoon olive oil to a large skillet. Swirl around l halved garlic clove, cut side down, to infuse the oil. Remove the garlic clove. Add a shake of red pepper flakes and 12 ounces of fresh spinach. Stir as the mound of leaves gradually wilts way more than you ever think it will. Add a hefty pinch of salt and black pepper. Snip the spinach leaves with kitchen scissors while still in the skillet.

 

Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Mint

In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and l tablespoon unsalted butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add cup slivered almonds and cook for 2 minutes, or until they darken slightly in color. Add 2 cups trimmed green beans and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice and a few pinches of salt and remove to a platter. Sprinkle with chopped fresh mint.

 

Tomato and Avocado Salad

Halve l avocado, remove the pit, peel, and cut into chunks. In a medium bowl, toss with about 1V2 cups halved grape tomatoes, 3 chopped scallions (white and light green parts only), a generous drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, a spritz of lime juice, and chopped fresh cilantro to taste.

 

White Beans and Spinach

In a medium skillet, sauté a halved garlic clove, cut side down, in a few glugs of olive oil. Let it infuse the oil for a minute, then remove. Add 2 tablespoons chopped onions (or shallots or scallions—white and light green parts only) and a shake of red pepper flakes and cook until the onions are soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in l can of rinsed and drained white beans (such as Great Northerns or cannellini). Add a handful of thawed and well-squeezed frozen spinach, lightly mashing the beans and spinach together. Add salt and black pepper and stir. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

 

Sugar Snap Peas and Radish Salad

In a medium bowl, toss together 2 cups of the sweetest sugar snap peas you can find (trim off the ends if it’s not too big of a pain); l radish, sliced into thin coins; V4 cup chopped fresh mint; a squeeze of lime juice; sea salt; about 1 tablespoon chopped scallions (white and light green parts only); and a tiny drizzle of olive oil. This is best in the spring when the snap peas are peaking.

 

Corn with Butter and Cotija Cheese (or Parmesan)

Boil shucked sweet com for 5 minutes. Spread butter on the corn while the corn is still hot and sprinkle with cotija or Parmesan cheese. If it is peak com season, forget the cheese and eat boiled corn on the cob with butter and salt only. Anything else is, obviously, blasphemy.

 

Quick Creamed Spinach

Thaw a box or bag of frozen spinach by placing it in a colander and running warm water over it for a few minutes. Press down on the spinach to squeeze out all the liquid. In a small frying pan over medium heat, add l tablespoon olive oil and small onion (chopped), salt, black pepper, and a few red pepper flakes (optional, as always). After 5 minutes, add the spinach and toss with the onions until the spinach is heated through. Sprinkle in 1 to 2 teaspoons flour and stir. Add Vs to V2 cup milk (nonfat, 1%, 2%, whole … any kind but chocolate!), depending on how creamy you like your creamed spinach, and a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg. Stir until heated through.

 

Green Beans with Ginger and Garlic

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat, along with 2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger, 3 to 4 chopped scallions (white and light green parts only), a shake of red pepper flakes, and salt and black pepper. Cook until the ginger and scallions are soft and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add 3 cups trimmed green beans (or haricots verts) and 1 minced garlic clove. Cook, uncovered, until the green beans are tender but still crispy, about 4 minutes.

 

Buttered Peas with Mint

In a large skillet, melt 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1V2 cups thawed frozen peas. (You can run them under warm water to accelerate the thawing process; just try to dry them as much as possible before proceeding.) Heat until w armed through. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint and salt to taste.

 

Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli

Preheat the oven to 4OO°F. Separate l head of cauliflower and l head of broccoli into florets. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the florets in olive oil to lightly coat. Season with a shake of red pepper flakes and salt and black pepper to taste. Spread out on the baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables look crispy but not burnt. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the vegetables and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.

Cheesemaking Queso Blanco / Paneer / Farmer’s Chees

Cheesemaking Queso Blanco / Paneer / Farmer’s Chees

Cheesemaking Queso Blanco / Paneer / Farmer’s Cheese

Queso Blanco is meant to be used right away in its crumbly form, or it can be pressed with weights to form a cheese that can be fried.  Acid used will impart a little flavor, try different ones, such as champagne or red wine vinegar. Note that ultra-pasteurized milk will not work, it has been heated to 280, and has no cultures.  This will work with goat, sheep or cows’ milk.  Again, will have a slightly different flavor.

1 gallon milk

¼ C. vinegar lemon juice or lime juice

Salt to taste

Heat the milk slowly in a large pot to 185-190 degrees F. Turn off the heat and stir in your acid – vinegar, lemon juice or lime juice – a spoonful at a time, stirring, until curds form and separate from the yellowish whey. If it does not separate int curds and watery whey within a minute, or the whey looks milky, heat a bit more. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Set a colander lined with cheesecloth over a bowl and strain the curds from the whey. Discard the whey or keep it for other uses. Add salt at this stage, if desired, and stir. Stir the curds up a bit and let it drain for 10-20 minutes. For firmer cheese, wrap up the ends of the cheesecloth and continue to drain an hour or so. Hang over the sink faucet, or on chopsticks or spatula that spans the top of a tall pot.  After 4 hours, unwrap cheese and chill in refrigerator. For dense cheese, place a weight over the top of the wrapped cheese (or cheese that has been placed in a cheese mold) that will press it for several hours, until it is packed.  After chilling you can slice or cube the cheese, use in cooking, fry or serve fresh.

Ways to Enjoy Fresh Cranberries

Ways to Enjoy Fresh Cranberries

Ways to Enjoy Fresh Cranberries

 

Cranberries have a special place in my heart.  The best place that I lived while growing up was perched on the edge of a cranberry bog in a tiny town in northwest Washington, near the coast.  (My love of blueberries started back then too, with several bushes in the back yard).  It wasn’t that we ate them; I don’t think we considered them food at my tender age, hah! but on the bog was a magical place to grow up.

In a smoothie: Freeze a bag of fresh cranberries, then whirl some with frozen blueberries, vanilla-flavored yogurt, orange juice, and a little honey.

In pancakes or muffins: Substitute 3/4 C. fresh cranberries and 1/2 C. chopped dotes for each C. blueberries in your favorite pancake or muffin recipe.

In a granita: Simmer 2 C. water, I C. fresh cranberries, 3/4 C. sugar, and 1 tsp. grated orange peel until cranberries pop. Puree in a blender, strain, and freeze until firm, then scrape with a fork to create fluffy crystals.

In dressing for roast poultry: Add a handful of fresh cranberries, some chopped apples, toasted pecans, sage, and a little maple syrup to a bread stuffing mix.

A fresh cranberry salsa over cream cheese.

In chutney: Cook fresh cranberries with some golden raisins, brown sugar, a little cider vinegar, minced ginger, star anise, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and pepper for about 5 minutes.

Cranberry Ice: Place cranberries into the bottom on a bundt (or other decorative) pan, add water and freeze. A decorative floating ring to spice up a holiday punch.

Cranberries are too tart for most people to want to eat them out of hand, but you can sweeten them and use them along with other fruits in a fruit salad or toss a handful into a lightly sweetened smoothie. Chop cranberries and toss with sugar, then allow to macerate briefly if you would prefer a sweeter taste. Try stirring sweetened raw cranberries into yogurt for a healthy breakfast or even tossing a few on top of your morning oatmeal.

Holiday Cocktails:  Bourbon & Cranberries, Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

Their tart freshness is good for cutting through rich savory dishes as well, like pork chops or sausage meatballs.

Cranberry Grilled Cheese

Cranberry & Goat Cheese Crostini

Campfire Cooking Ideas

Campfire Cooking Ideas

Many foods can be cooked without using traditional cooking utensils such as pots, pans, or Dutch ovens. Novelty cooking methods include cooking directly on coals or rocks, cooking food inside of food, cooking using green sticks, and cooking using only aluminum foil.

Possibilities include the use of an orange as your “pot”. Slice an orange in half so that the stem end is not in the middle of your cooking vessel. Remove the orange sections and eat them immediately! Place a ball of ground meat in the middle of the shell to which you have added a bit of onion, perhaps some green pepper, and some salt and pepper. Place the filled orange shell directly on the coals, and cook for 15-20 minutes.

If you were eating breakfast, you could use the orange peel as an egg-cooking device. Crack one egg into each half of the orange shell, and place each shell directly on the coals. The eggs should be ready to eat in approximately 10-12 minutes.

A whole onion could be used to cook the above two foods instead of the orange. Cut the onion in half, and remove enough of the onion’s middle so that you have a shell which is about 3/8” to 1/2” thick. Place the foods in the half and cook just as before. The time required to cook your mini-meatloaf or eggs should be about the same as with using the orange peels.

How about some corn on the cob cooked right on the coals? Peel the corn shucks (the green outer layer) about halfway down the ear of corn. Remove the silk, which is the stringy threadlike stuff right next to the corn kernels. Moisten the corn with a little bit of water and replace the shucks. Place the ear of corn on some coals and cook for 5 minutes. Rotate the ear of corn one half of a turn and cook for 5 additional minutes. A little bit of butter or margarine, and a touch of salt, and you are ready to go!

Cooking with nothing but a paper bag? Sure, and here is how! Get a lunch sack sized paper bag and a pointed stick. Place a strip of bacon or two in the bottom of the paper bag. Break an egg in the bag over the bacon strips. Begin rolling the bag from the top down with 1” folds until halfway down. Push the pointed stick through the rolled end of the bag and hold the bag over the coals. Grease from the bacon will coat the bottom of the bag. The egg should be done in about 10-12 minutes. Keep the bag from getting too close to the fire as the grease is quite flammable. When ready, you can eat right out of the sack!

If you want to try an easy dessert, try this one. Cut a wedge-shaped section out of the length of one banana. Place marshmallows and chocolate chips into the cavity of the banana. Wrap the banana in foil and heat over coals for 4-6 minutes. Unwrap and put some pineapple pieces, cherries, or chopped nuts over the banana and you have the trail version of a banana split.

In terms of supported or suspended cooking methods, why don’t you try one of these options. Make yourself a batch of biscuit dough just as instructed per the Bisquick box or similar product. Find a green tree limb maybe 1 to 1 1/2” in diameter. Clean the bark off of the limb, and carve a couple of grooves around the limb to make the surface somewhat rough. After mixing the dough , roll or pat the dough into a strip 12-18” in length, 2” wide, and about 1/4” to 3/8” thick. Moisten the stick (spit), and begin wrapping the dough in a diagonal pattern around the spit leaving a slight space between the wraps of dough. Press the dough gently as you wrap so that it will stick to the spit. Suspend the spit over a bed of coals and cook until golden brown. Keep rotating the spit as you cook so that the bread will cook evenly.

If you like shish-kabobs, you can use a sharpened stick as your skewer. Find a green stick, perhaps 18” to 24” in length and remove the bark. Use a hardwood like oak, hickory, or ash if available as it will likely not leave an aftertaste with the food. Wood from cedar, pine, or other evergreens may leave an undesirable aftertaste due to the high levels of resins and pitch in these particular woods. Cut pieces of beef from skirt steak, or other such cuts, into 1” square chunks. Cut an onion into quarters and a green pepper
into wedges. If you want a little different flavor, also gather about 16 good sized chunks of pineapple. Begin threading these different items onto the green stick in an alternating pattern, such as beef, pepper, onion, pineapple, etc. Repeat this pattern until you and/or your other members use up your ingredients. Cook over hot coals, and rotate the stick regularly so that the food cooks evenly. The kabob should be ready in 15-20 minutes if you regulate the heat appropriately.

If you have a sweet tooth, try this recipe. Select a good cooking apple such as a Jonathan or a Rome. Use a sharpened stick by pushing the stick into the apple until secure. Place the apple 2-3 inches over the coals, and roast the apple until the apple skin is easily removed. Remove the skin (be careful, it’s hot!), and then roll the apple in a small bowl filled with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Begin roasting the apple again until the sugar melts and forms a glaze or coating over the apple. Remove the apple from the stick and
eat your “apple pie on a stick”!

Why You Need to Save Bacon Grease Like Gram Did

Why You Need to Save Bacon Grease Like Gram Did

Pop popcorn in bacon fat.

Make Caesar salad dressing with bacon drippings in place of the olive oil.

Fry chicken using four parts peanut oil and one part bacon fat.

Add about 1 T. of bacon fat per pound to raw hamburger, ground turkey, or venison meat before frying or grilling the patties.

Fry liver and onions in bacon fat.

Use bacon fat to make gravies and roux.

Sauté onions, carrots, and/or garlic in bacon fat for vegetable soups.

Use bacon fat to cook refried beans and sunny-side-up eggs.

Stir l to 2 T. of bacon fat into pots of boiling white beans, polenta, grits, or rice.

Sauté sliced brussels sprouts in bacon fat.

Add bacon fat when boiling water to cook or blanch green beans.

When baking russet potatoes, coat the skin with bacon fat before putting the potatoes in the oven.

Cook hash browns in bacon fat.

Sauté chopped Swiss chard and other hearty winter greens in bacon fat.

Fry sliced tomatoes in bacon drippings (great on sandwiches).

Use bacon fat when making skillet corn bread; you’ll get a crunchier crust.

Substitute a T. of bacon fat for other fats in single- crust pies.

If you have dogs, add it to their dog food for better flavor and digestion. Not to mention is helps keep their coats shiny and healthy.

When baking cornbread (or any other bread) use it to grease the baking pan or skillet before you add the mixture.

Add it to those green things we like to call “veggies” while you’re cooking. This way you don’t really need to add much salt, and it gives the veggies a hint of delicious porky flavor.

Use bacon fat in place of margarine for certain recipes. Get crazy and experiment. You will only find your favorite recipe by having fun with it!

Use it while frying up potatoes, steaks, shrimp, onions, eggs… practically anything you can think of frying up. Except for zombies. Don’t use bacon grease to fry up a zombie.

Add bacon fat into cream cheese to make as a sauce for different dishes. It tastes delicious poured over squash, broccoli, steaks, and potatoes. Also works well in gravy recipes.

When making pancakes, instead of using oil, use bacon grease. So genius.

Add into soups when you’re cooking over the stove- it will give your soup that extra hint of delicious savory flavor.

For an even tastier turkey sandwich (or any other lunch meat), lay warm liquid bacon grease on a plate to form a very thin layer. Lay your turkey slices (or whatever meat you like for your sandwiches) on top of the grease to just lightly coat the lunch meat. Then simply add to your sandwich. You may do this with your cheese if you would like too. This method is so tasty you won’t need to use mayonnaise. You can also use the bacon grease to fry up that sandwich after you’re done putting it together!

Uses for Spaghetti Sauce

Uses for Spaghetti Sauce

Uses for Spaghetti Sauce

To flavor baked fish and keep it moist, bake fillets or whole fish in spaghetti sauce. Add a few olives, some herbs, and some citrus zest for more flavor.

For a quick sausage or steak sandwich, pan-fry your favorite sausages or thin-sliced top round sandwich steaks in a skillet. Remove the meat, then sauté sliced onions and peppers in the pan. Add your favorite spaghetti sauce and return the meat to the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes then serve on steak rolls.

To mix up a quick marinade for Southwestern-style chicken, combine 1 C. marinara sauce and 1 tsp. pure chile powder such as ancho chile powder.

Or use a blended seasoning such as chili powder. Use to marinate 1 pound chicken parts in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours.

For a speedy pizza, spread 3/4 C. spaghetti sauce over a prepared pizza crust (such as Boboli). Or for individual pizzas, use four pita bread rounds. Add 1 C. shredded mozzarella and 1/4 C. grated Parmesan if you like. Add any number of other toppings from anchovies to zucchini. Bake at 450°F until the cheese melts and is lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

To keep beef burritos moist and flavorful, brown 1 pound ground beef along with 1 chopped onion, 1 seeded and chopped red bell pepper, and a few chopped garlic cloves. Stir in 1 C. marinara sauce, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, and 1/2 tsp. chili powder. Simmer on low for 15 minutes and serve with tortillas, shredded cheese, and salsa.

If you need an instant simmering liquid for clams or mussels, use jarred spaghetti sauce. Doctor up the sauce with saffron, white wine, fresh garlic, and/or chopped fresh herbs.

For a one-dish chicken meal, cook seasoned chicken parts in olive oil in a deep skillet until browned all over. Remove to a plate and keep warm, then add onions and bell peppers to the skillet and sauté until tender. Add mushrooms, thyme, red-pepper flakes, and fennel seeds and cook until the mushrooms begin to give up their liquid, about 5 minutes. Pour in jarred spaghetti sauce and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan, cover, and simmer until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork. Serve over noodles.

To get a jump-start on the sauce for braised meats, use spaghetti sauce as the base. Most sauces include the same ingredients you would be braising with anyway, such as onions, garlic, and tomatoes.

To make gazpacho when you don’t have fresh tomatoes, use spaghetti sauce. Combine the sauce in a food processor along with fresh orange juice, cucumber, bell peppers, scallions, cilantro, and a little hot-pepper sauce. Pulse until the vegetables are just chopped. Thin with a little cold water, if necessary, then refrigerate the soup for 3 hours and serve chilled.

Uses for Soy Sauce

Uses for Soy Sauce

Uses for Soy Sauce

To give steamed rice a savory flavor, add 1 tsp. soy sauce to the cooking water.

For a delicious glaze on roasted pearl onions, mix together equal parts soy sauce and molasses and toss with the onions before roasting.

To make a quick Polynesian sauce, stir together 1/3 C. soy sauce, 1/2 C. pineapple juice, 1 can (5 oz.) crushed pineapple, and 1/2 tsp. hot-pepper sauce. Add to cooked vegetables or meat as a stir-fry sauce or serve over roasted pork, chicken, or fish.

For an Asian-style glaze, mix together 1/4 C. soy sauce or teriyaki sauce, 6 oz. Dr. Pepper, 1 tsp. hot-pepper sauce, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, and 1/2 tsp. ground ginger. Boil over high heat until reduced in volume by about half and thickened to a syrup, about 10 minutes. Brush over baked ham during the last 20 minutes of cooking.