Just Peachy: Peach Recipes, Part Two

Hello! Welcome back to more “Just Peachy: Peach Recipes, Part Two”. It’s been a bit of a workout trying to find you some more peach recipes. Like I said last week, I can find a ton of recipes for apples, cherries, and even lemons… but not so with poor peaches.

We will kick off our peach recipes with Gloria Roemeling who got this recipe from Larissa Caspersen, who got this recipe from Jana Top, who to this from Evonne Top. Phew… this is a bit like Dutch Bingo, but Recipe Bingo instead. Enjoy!

Peach Dessert- Gloria Roemeling

Image by MrGajowy3 from Pixabay

This recipe has THREE layers. Ready, set, go!

CRUST

  • 40 Ritz® crackers
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter

-Sidebar… Recipe gossip says that Larissa Caspersen makes a different crust. She makes a sugar cookie crust instead. So you could give that a whirl. I have no further directions about that… WAIT! I just received a text back from Gloria. Here are Larissa’s sugar cookie directions via text:

“Except for the bottom layer, I buy a tube of sugar cookie dough and press it into the pan, bake for 12 minutes, and let it cool. Then add the middle and top layers as the recipe says.”

Larissa Casperson

Middle Layer

  • 1- 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1-8 oz. Cool Whip®

TOP Layer

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup white syrup
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 c. water
  • 1- 3 oz. box Jell-O®
  • 6-7 peaches, peeled and pit removed, sliced

Directions

Mix crust together. Put in a 9×13 GREASED pan. Bake at 350° for 6 minutes, then cool. OR, you can go recipe rouge, like Larissa, and use a tube of sugar cookie dough and follow her directions above. Mix the middle layer and spread on COOLED crust. Cook the top layer until thick and add the peach Jell-O®. Cool until lukewarm. Add the 6-7 fresh peaches sliced. Spread this on top of the refrigerated middle layer. Place this all back into the refrigerator, chill well and serve.

Image by katyveldhorst from Pixabay

Peach Dessert- Kathy Nordmeyer, St. Genevive’s Catholic Church, “Country Cookery” cookbook, Rosary Society, 1983

  • 1 large can sliced peaches (1 lb. 13 oz)
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 c. walnuts
  • 1 c. flaked coconut
  • 1 stick margarine (sliced thin)- I’m going to say butter, cause everything is better with butter- GO DAIRY!

Butter a 9×13 pan. Cut up the peaches into small pieces. Then put the ingredients in order as they are listed above. Making a layer of each item. Slice thinly the stick of margarine (or BUTTER) for the top layer. Bake at 325° for 45 minutes.

Peach Cream Pie- Irene Lahey, St. Genevieve’s Catholic Church….

  • 1- 9 inch unbaked pie shell
  • 3-4 peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup Coffee Rich® OR fresh cream
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla

Put the peaches into pie shell. Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over peaches. Nuts on top are delicious. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350°. Serve with whipped cream.

Frozen Peach Slices

DO NOT SCALD the peaches. Simply peel, pit and slice. Make a juice of 3 cups of sugar, and juice of 4 fresh oranges. Stir juice and sugar well, mix juice, sugar and peach slices in a glass or granite dish( WHAT IS A GRANITE DISH?- I tried looking this up and didn’t find anything… hmm!), and allow to sit 2 hours at room temperature. Pack in freezer containers and freeze. These peaches are just like fresh peaches and can be used over ice cream cake or as a sauce.

I looked high and low for a peach cookie recipe to share, but sadly, I found nothing. But I can share the website and direct you there. Martha Stewart has a lovely “Fresh- Peach Drop Cookies” recipe. You can catch the recipe here. As usual, Martha always lends her baking talents to any fruit.

Coming Up!

I’ve had lots of fun scouring the internet, reading books, and collecting conversations about food. I hope you’ll be looking forward to some interesting topics coming up in what remains of 2021. I do have some “Friesland Stories” left to tell, along with some interesting foodie interviews, holiday cooking and baking fun, great foodie holiday gifts to give, Recipes of the Strange, Cheap Skates Corner, as well as an in-depth investigation in fermentation and much more!

I, as well as my editor and the rest of the “writing gang” sure appreciate your support of the Edgerton Enterprise. Without readers, we don’t have a paper. Thank you! Till next time. Here is to good food, good friends and a good life.

Just Peachy: Peach Recipes

Alright! It’s my fault. I should have been “on the ball” when I saw peaches advertised at the store. I could have sent this out earlier to meet your peach recipe need. But, alas… I did not. Today, though, I am thinking about it, and isn’t that “just peachy”. Stay tuned for some peach recipes for the pile of peaches you bought.

Peaches are August’s favorite fruit. Lots of folks can’t wait to sink their teeth into a sweet ripe peach. I think the most fun is biting into a peach and letting the juice drip down. Georgia is known as the “Peach State” but South Carolina and California are the top peach producers.

Interestingly enough, peaches are still hand-picked. Once picked they are sent through a hydro-cooler, which is an ice-water bath. The ice-water bath prevents the fruit from ripening further. From there it goes into a “de-fuzzer” to remove all the fuzz. Each peach is sorted for size and blemished peaches are culled. Peaches make it from the tree to your local store in three days!

The average peach tree lives for twelve years and annually produces 66 pounds of fruit. Peaches were originally found in China, but we can thank the English settlers who brought the peach tree over on their second and third trips to America. Peaches are either “freestone” or “clingstone”. Meaning they either freely release the pit or the peach pit clings to the fruit.

Recipes to enjoy

Gather around friends. I have to be honest and say overwhelming, in most cookbooks, there is NOT a lot of recipes for peaches. Many recipes for apples (like a ton of recipes), pumpkin, and cherry, but the ole peach, like the cheese in the song “The Farmer in the Dell”, the cheese, or peach, in this case, stands alone.

Peach Jam- Kerr Home Canning Book, 1943

Cut well-ripened peaches into small pieces. Put into a large kettle without the addition of water. Cook slowly for about 20 minutes or until peaches are slightly softened. Measure peach pulp and for each cup of peaches add 1 cup of sugar. Return to fire and cook until of desired consistency. Pour into sterilized KERR Jars and seal while hot.

This next recipe comes to us via an un-named cookbook because somehow I lost the cover and the first 22 pages of the book. But I do know it was from Iowa, it has a light blue back cover. I’m thinking it was from a church group in Sheldon, Iowa, typed out on ye ole typewriter … that’s all I got friends.

Peach Coffee Cake- from the kitchen of Mrs. Wes Elgersma

Ingredients

  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 tsp. lemon flavoring
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. flour

Directions

Mix. Arrange 2 cups peaches on top and sprinkle with 1/2 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes. This is a large recipe. Put in a cake pan.

– Mrs. Elgersma sounds like she didn’t mess around with her baking. In almost military fashion you had better mix, arrange and bake! And side-note- it’s large use a cake pan. I got a good chuckle… I like recipe writers that are bossy.

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

Fresh Peach Pie- from the “Recipes, Remedies and Hints”, circa 1982

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh mashed peaches
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Cook these four ingredients over low heat till thick and clear. Pour over peaches that have been sliced into a baked pie crust. Put in refrigerator several hours before serving. Top with whipped cream. Can use graham cracker crust.

Peach Sauce- Michele Bruxvoort

Ingredients

  • 10 peaches, skinned. You can either cold skin them and remove the pit or score each peach, drop them into a boiling water dip for 30 seconds, followed by a 10- second ice water bath, and then skin and remove the pit.
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice- I prefer fresh- squeezed, but if you don’t have fresh lemons use 1 tablespoon lemon juice concentrate. The lemon juice prevents your peach sauce from discoloring.
  • 1/4 cup sugar- I don’t like to sugar up my sauce. I like to have it as natural as possible. I suggest tasting your peaches first and decide. If they are a bit tart, then add a bit more sugar as you see fit.

Directions

Cut up your skinned peaches. Taking a large tall pot, fill the bottom with a little bit of water, add the cut peaches and bring them to a simmer over medium heat and cook them for 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally so they don’t burn to the bottom. Once cooked add them to your blender, or use an immersion blender and blend till smooth. Return the peach puree to the cooking pot and add the lemon juice and sugar. Reheat till the sugar dissolves, this will take approximately 10 minutes. After thoroughly reheating your peach puree, I pour into canning jars, seal, and process.

Friends! I ran out of space, but not peach recipes… so see you next week with some more peach recipes! Till then. Here is to good food, good friends and a good life.

Rummage Sale Cookbooks I Couldn’t Resist: Part Two

This week we continue our adventure through “Rummage Sale Cookbooks I Couldn’t Resist” and tackle some great home remedies for skin and face. Some of these home remedies are, in a word, risky… so I wouldn’t suggest trying them. Simply enjoy reading what folks used to try as home remedies “long ago”. I guess it’s true what they say sometimes “the cure is worse than the sickness”.

We will kick off part two with some risky remedies …

Kerosene home remedies

Image by (El Caminante) from Pixabay
  • Kerosene cleanses and heals cuts and prevents infection.
  • Kerosene applied over any burn removes pain and soreness, and doesn’t blister.
  • Kerosene in water to wash out head lice.
  • If you stepped on a nail soak your foot in kerosene.
  • A teaspoon of sugar with just a drop of kerosene for a sore throat. Kerosene is good to heal small cuts or scratches.
  • Gargle with kerosene for a sore throat.

Now, I think it’s only fair to give you a little background on kerosene. Kerosene got its start in Persia, where they, according to the Grow Youthful website, “distilled crude petroleum fossil oil into hydrocarbon fractions, taking off kerosene, bitumen (tar) and other fractions”.

The Persian’s used kerosene for heating, lights, and medicinal purposes. I guess you could say it was their all-around “go-to” product. It is still used today by many poor “non-Western” countries where “Big Pharma” doesn’t have as much of a hold on the population.

Kerosene is powerful:

  • Powerful antifungal and antiviral
  • Treatment for parasites throughout the body. Eliminates parasites including worms in the blood and bowel.
  • Kills bacteria, especially mycoplasma (bacteria without cell walls). Eliminates pathogenic microbes from the blood and bowel. Especially useful for eliminating CWD (cell wall deficient) microbes while not harming normal gut bacteria.’

I think I’d be okay with dabbing some kerosene on ringworm, but not so sure I’d drink it… yikes! However, the jugglers/flame throwers are avid users of kerosene. But enough of kerosene! Let’s get to some facial treatments.

Beauty treatment home remedies

  • Take yellow carrots, scrape them and fry slowly in fresh lard till brown. Drain off the lard and melt 1 tablespoon of powdered resin. Stir well, put in a jar and when cool, mix in 1 tsp Sulphur. Apply each day. The cure will be speedy.
  • Mix 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice with 1 tsp honey and rub into skin. Let it remain 20 minutes, rinse with warm water then cool water. Pat dry. Use daily until the condition improves.
  • Equal parts cumber juice and witch hazel. The mixture removes skin oils and as a bonus, tightens pores. Improve diet with Vitamin B-rich foods and Brewer’s yeast.
  • Don’t use soap if you have dry skin, instead increase vitamin A-rich foods. Wash with oatmeal milk and treat to avocado facials.
  • To get rid of warts apply milkweed milk or juice from a dandelion plant several times. It works, I know. – BTW the “I know” isn’t me… -M
  • Place one grain of flaxseed in your eye which will help push the object stuck under your eyelid out.
  • Use salt after having hands in dish or scrub water for a length of time. Try using salt to keep them smooth and white. First wash your hands with soap and water. While wet, rub with a handful of dry salt. Rinse with clear water. Do it constantly for pleasing results.
  • Almond meal to soothe sensitive skin: one handful of almonds in 1 pint boiling water, and let stand with lid on until skins shrivel. Then dry nuts overnight. Grind them into a fine meal. Apply with fingertips, rinse and pat dry.
  • Vanilla is good for sunburns.

A Few “strange things” for home remedies

Image by flockine from Pixabay
  • If a hot pad for children or a person is unsafe, heat a large catalog in the oven, turning a group of pages at a time until the entire book is heated through (an iron can also be used). This stays warm for hours.
  • Wind a string safely around the little finer to stop a nose bleeds.
  • For irritation of skin on open areas of the body such as arms, legs, and back… use a warm milk and bread wrap poultice with a gauze bandage, put onto irritated area and rewet with quite warm milk each hour or two. I do this about four or five times in about ten hours or so. The swelling and irritation will come out of the bandage. This is also very good to draw out a boil.

I hope you enjoyed our little dive into the “Remedies, Recipes and Hints”. Aren’t some of those home remedies dandy? Next week I will have some great peach recipes for you. I should have been more “on the ball” with peaches coming into Edgerton Food Center… better luck next year I guess. Till next time, here is to good food, good friends and a very good life.

Resources:

Rummage Sale Cookbooks I Couldn’t Resist

About two weeks ago I was at my neighbor’s rummage sale. As I weaved in and out of the crowd, I could spy a stack of books at the back of the garage. Trying to contain my excitement and play it cool (just in case there were other cookbook seekers) I moved as quickly as possible to the pile. SCORE! Add this pile of SIXTEEN cookbooks to the rummage sale cookbooks I couldn’t resist.

Top of the heap was circa 1982 “Remedies, Recipes and Hints” by the Pipestone County Senior Citizens. Towns participating in this fun cookbook were: Edgerton, Jasper, Holland, Pipestone, Ruthton, and Woodstock. Its cover is a lovely yellow with someone’s drawing of a “Maitre D'”. I believe this person contributed to the rest of the book’s artwork and that makes it special. All credit is given to the contributors.

Let’s begin with some great home remedies of yesteryear. The more I read about home remedies, the more I understand folks had to use what was available to them. In addition, going to the doctor was expensive and not close by. Some of the remedies seem very harsh, but wisdom and trial have produced some effective measures which may not be seen as “acceptable” in our time. Enjoy this trip through home remedies, and my occasional commentary.

-Disclaimer- I don’t recommend using these remedies. But you’re gonna do, what you’re gonna do. Carry on!

Colds/Chest Rub

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
  • Coal oil, turpentine, lard, mix and rub on chest for a cold.- I guess the lard was redemption in this recipe.-M
  • Warm camphorated oil and rub chest and put on flannel clothing.
  • In a small jar, put equal parts of turpentine and lard melted together. If one shows a sign or hoarseness, give the neck and chest a vigorous rubbing with this homemade liniment.
  • Boil onions with milk together, drink the hot milk.
  • 1 cup water, juice of 1/2 lemon or teaspoon frozen lemonade and 1 teaspoon honey or sugar.
  • For flu and bad chest colds, congestion: Fry onion peelings and all. Put in cloth bag. Apply to chest and back. Relief very evident in several hours.- Probably the relief came for everyone in the house when you finally left!-M
  • Place 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and a little cream in a cup. Fill cup with hot water, drink and cover up in bed to keep body warm.
  • 1 tablespoon flour, mix 2 tablespoons dry mustard and 1 egg white to form a past. Add water to soften if dry and spread between two layers of cloth (muslin or white flannel)and place on chest for 30 minutes or more. But DO NOT LEAVE ON TILL SKIN TURNS RED.- Seriously, mustard is very powerful, you’d turn red quickly, followed by blistering. Be really careful.-M

Cough Syrups/Sore Throats

  • Mix three parts honey and two parts lemon juice. Put in a pan and slowly bring to a boil, stirring often. When cool, take a spoonful in the mouth and let it slowly trickle down your throat. Just a teaspoonful of pure honey, slowly melting in your mouth will help a sore throat.
  • For coughs that won’t let up, try a cold wet cloth applied to the throat usually gives relief especially at night. Also, a spoonful of melted butter sometimes helps.- Take that Mary Poppins!-M
  • Do for colds. Make onion syrup. Slice onions in a small amount of water, simmer, and cool.
  • Boil 1-pint water, juices from 2 lemons, add four tablespoons honey. Drink as hot as you can.
  • Fry onion in lard, warp in cloth, wool is best. Pin around the neck while warm.
  • Two tablespoons of honey mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar and stir well.
  • Take equal parts of lemon juice, honey, and water and dissolve it and drink it warm. Helps relieve cough and sore throat.
  • Two tablespoons medicinal glycerin. Cook one lemon for 10 minutes in a little bit of water. Squeeze pulp and juice into an 8-ounce measure. Add glycerin, fill the remainder of the measure with honey. (VERY GOOD).

Hiccoughs- hiccups

  • Suck on a slice of lemon.

Tranquilizing Nightcap

  • Mix one-ounce dry mint leaves (natures digestive), 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves (natures tranquilizer), and 1 teaspoon sage leaves (natures sleep producer). Mix and keep in a tightly closed jar. Use 1 heaping teaspoon to 1 cup boiling water. Let steep one minute. Strain. Sweeten with honey and sip. The amazing tranquilizing effect, with no side effects.- You brandy people were probably pretty disappointed with this one.-M

Friends! I am going to have to stop here, but we will continue next week with part two of some great home remedies. Till next time. Here is to good food, good friends and some interesting home remedies.

Preserves – More Amazing Canning Recipes!

Let’s get started with more canning recipes. I sure hope you enjoyed the uniqueness of last week’s canning recipes. I don’t think these recipes will disappoint either. All credit is given to the KERR home canning book circa 1943. Enjoy!

Cherry Sunshine Preserves

  • 1-quart sour cherries
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup

PLACE a cup of cherries in saucepan and cover with a cup of sugar. Alternate the layers of cherries and sugar, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Thouroughly mix the corn syrup and bring fruit to boiling point. Boil 15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Pour into a crock* or enamel vessel* and let stand 24 hours, stirring occasionally. This will be much improved if the crock is covered with glass and set out in the hot sunshine for a day, stirring once or twice or turn the cherries over. Pour into sterilized KERR Jars without further heating and seal.

*Let’s quick talk about crocks and enamel vessels. I would be VERY careful about using any “old” crock ( ex:Redwing crocks) or enamel vessels. I would instead choose to use cooking pots that are “non-reactive”, meaning that when you place a liquid (like vinegar- acidic) into a reactive pot, the acid in the item encourages the metals in the pot walls to “leave” and become a part of the liquid. Leaving a metallic taste in your food item.

Non-Reactive cookware:

  • stainless steel
  • enamelware
  • glass

Reactive cookware:

  • aluminum
  • copper
  • brass
  • iron

Here are a few sites you can check into for help with using an old crock or enamel vessel:

Watermelon Rind Preserves

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

SELECT melons with thick rinds. Peel off all green portions, using only the white part of the rind. Cut into small dice. Soak in mild saltwater overnight (1/2 cups salt to 1-gallon water). Remove from the saltwater and cook in clear water for about 30 minutes or until tender. Drain well. For 4 pounds of the melon rind: make a syrup of 9 cups sugar, 8 cups water, 4 lemons sliced, and add 4 teaspoons stick cinnamon, 4 teaspoons cloves (tie spices in a cheesecloth bag) Boil the syrup and spices for 4 minutes before adding the rinds. Add rinds and cook until transparent and clear. Remove spice bag, pour into sterilized KERR Jars, and seal.

-I am going to try this recipe as well. I bet you could use cinnamon candy-like “Red Hots”. Might be fun to serve at Christmas time?!

Next up, some fun tomatoes recipe and it is VERY unique, at least to me. I have NEVER heard of Tomato Butter. Get set for an interesting recipe!

Tomato Butter

Image by LoggaWiggler from Pixabay
  • 4 quarts stewed tomatoes
  • 7 cups of light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice

COOK very slowly until thick. Pour into sterilized KERR Jars and seal while hot.

Pear Butter

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

WASH pears. Do not peel. Slice. Add small amount of water to start cooking. Cook until very soft. Press through colander. To each cup pulp add 1/2 cup sugar. (Spices may be added.) Cook to a paste, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Pour into sterilized KERR Jars and seal while hot.

Peanut Butter

Image by Couleur from Pixabay
  • 4 quarts Virginia peanuts
  • 2 quarts Spanish peanuts
  • 8 teaspoons salt

ROAST peanuts uniformly brown.- Side bar, here is an article and a great tutorial on how to roast peanuts:

Cool, remove red skins and tiny hearts. Use a nut grinder or finest blade of food chopper to grind peanuts. Add salt and grind 2 or3 more times until the mixture does not feel grainy between the fingers. Pack closely into clean KERR Jars, filling to within 1 inch of top. Put on cap, screwing band firmly tight. Process in water bath 60 minutes at simmering temperature (180° F.) The Virginia and Spanish peanuts must be mixed to prevent too much oil in butter. Make butter often rather than making a supply for several months.

Milk

AFTER straining the fresh milk allow it to stand until animal heat disappears. Pour into clean KERR Jars to within 1/2 inch of the top of the jar. Put on cap, screwing band firmly tight. Process in pressure cooker 10 minutes at 10-pound pressure, or 60 minutes in a water bath.

And last, but certainly not least is this unique dandy… BRAINS. Enjoy

Brains

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

SOAK in cold water to draw out the blood. Remove membranes. Sear in hot fat. Season to taste. Pack into clean KERR Jars to within 1 inch of top. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the pan gravy. Put on cap, screwing band firmly tight. Process in a pressure cooker, 60 minutes at 15 pounds; or water bath 180 minutes.

Friends! Won’t that be something? Canned brains at Christmas! I bust a gut at the “Season to taste.” There isn’t enough seasoning in the world that would get me to eat brains. No sir! I hope you enjoyed this “little taste” of the KERR home canning book circa 1943.

Till next time, here is to good food, good friends and a canned brains free life!

Canning History III: Unique Canning Recipes!

We can’t get through summer without publishing some canning recipes. Unless you are me. I try to do most of my canning in January and February when I am looking for a warm kitchen; mostly pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, and chili base. I am a fan of Mrs. Wages and seldom use a “recipe”. I have some great canning recipes to share with you, so go grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy some canning recipes. [Did you miss Part 1? Part 2?]

Unique canning recipes

Continue reading

The History of Canning II: Don’t Mess with Botulism!

I left you last, hanging in canning history with a resurgence of canning in 1970! But we simply must head back to 1915 when Alexander Kerr teamed up with Julius Landsberger. These two gentlemen, along with many other Americans, are why “I LOVE AMERICA!” and its freedom for invention in the environment of capitalism.

Kerr had developed an idea of taking the metal canning lid and permanently attaching a “gasket”, which Landsberger had invented. Running with this idea, Kerr invented the metal disk that had the gasket attached and added the threaded ring. Thus the two-piece canning lid was born and this is what most of us use today.

You gotta get crafty

Now that you’ve all had a quick history lesson on canning, we can get to the real situation at hand- shortage of canning lids. Once COVID-19 hit and Americans seemingly retreated into their homes, it sparked a resurgence of many hobbies and one of them was canning and preserving.

This ignited a large-scale depletion of metal canning lids. Kerr or Ball canning lids, it didn’t matter, the shelves everywhere were wiped clean. Shamefully, there were folks that decided to hoard every box of canning lids they could find. That left those of us who didn’t hoard canning lids in a bit of a bind. Now, what do we do? Enter Harvest Gaurd reusable canning lids!

Now because lots of folks reading this article in the Edgerton Enterprise are Dutch, some would be terribly tempted to try re-using the old canning lids just to save a buck. DO NOT DO THAT! Canning lids are strictly meant for one-time use and you risk potentially poisoning yourself, friends, and family with clostridium botulinum. You can read about it in-depth here.

Clostridium botulinum is an anaerobic, rod-shaped spore-forming bacterium that produces a protein with characteristic neurotoxicity. Under certain conditions, these organisms may grow in foods producing toxin(s). Botulism, a severe form of food poisoning results when the toxin-containing foods are ingested. Although this food illness is rare, its mortality rate is high…

https://www.fda.gov/food/laboratory-methods-food/bam-chapter-17-clostridium-botulinum

Don’t mess with food born botulism

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Food born botulism can be deadly. In 1931, at a quiet family dinner party in North Dakota, twelve people consumed some improperly canned food products and died. Yes, you read that right, D.I.E.D died! But that’s not the only outbreak, in 1977, was the largest outbreak of botulism resulting from the improper canning of jalapenos resulted in fifty-nine folks at a Mexican restaurant becoming ill with botulism. That’s gotta put a sting in their “Pure Michigan” slogan.

Mayo Clinic reports:

Signs and symptoms of foodborne botulism typically begin between 12 and 36 hours after the toxin gets into your body. But, depending on how much toxin was consumed, the start of symptoms may range from a few hours to a few days. Signs and symptoms of foodborne botulism include:

Difficulty swallowing or speaking

Dry mouth

Facial weakness on both sides of the face

Blurred or double vision

Drooping eyelids

Trouble breathing

Nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps

Paralysis

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/botulism/symptoms-causes/syc-20370262

The treatment for botulism is with an antitoxin which stops the botulism toxin from doing further damage. Whatever damage has been done to your body/systems generally takes a long time to heal and possibly may never heal. You may need to stay in the hospital or nursing home depending on the severity of the toxins damage.

Now that I’ve hopefully scared the pants off you. Every home economist reading this has given a quick and stern nod- DO NOT RE-USE CANNING LIDS!

Harvest Guard and Tattler

Photo by Michele Bruxvoort

I have two great options for you to try. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any major differences so buddy up with a friend and one of you tries Tattler, and the other Harvest Guard, I personally pick up the Harvest Guard® because my Heritage Cooking Course recommended them and, of course, offered a ten percent discount to members to try them- yep, I’m Dutch.

I will enclose some YouTube videos for you to peruse as well:

I know I am testing the patience of those wanting canning recipes. I promise, next week, I will give you a bunch of great canning recipes. Also, as a little teaser, my pesky childhood neighbor boy Eugene Streekstra, now a grown man with a family, will be sharing some of his best recipes and a sneak peek at life in the wilds of Montana. Stay tuned!

Canning History!

Canning season is upon us! I can’t talk about canning without there being a canning history lesson. Join me as I take us on a little “canning history adventure”. So buckle up friends. Here we go in our DeLorean with Michael J. Fox, aka “Marty McFly”. Dr. Brown has set the time for 1795 and we are about to take off and drop in on Napoleon Bonaparte.

Necessity is the mother of invention

Napoleon and the current war he was fighting, soon found frustration in keeping his army of men fed. Frazzled by the constant travel, rotting food rations, molding hard bread, or no food at all, Napoleon offered a reward for any person who could invent a way to preserve food.

Roughly fifteen years later, a gentleman by the name of Nicolas Appert wins the award which was twelve thousand francs. During the previous fifteen years before winning the award, Nicolas was a chef and worked tirelessly over that time period experimenting with ways to preserve food in glass jars for easy transport.

Appert’s method was based on the premise that food stuff such as vegetables, jam and soups could be preserved by first sealing them in a jar and then holding the jar in boiling water for several hours. All the air had to be sucked out of the jar to create a vacuum which would prevent bacteria from decaying the food. The jar would then be sealed tightly with a cork, wire and sealing wax to complete the process.

https://www.famousinventors.org/nicolas-appert

Nicolas noted (I love this part) that he really didn’t understand how it works, but that it does. Don’t you just love that?! He experimented enough to know what failure was and what success was, and that he could time and time again reproduce that success.

Nicolas (like all successful people) went on to write a book (See, back then is no different from now) which became a wild bestseller. The book was called “The Art of Preserving All Kinds of Animal and Vegetable Substances for Several Years“. Oh man! Substances! Animal and vegetable substances… I got a kick out of that.

With his recent windfall of cash, between winning the money award for inventing the glass jar food preservation method and his best-selling book (No Amazon necessary!), Nicolas opened a bottling plant that preserved food for the soldiers, using his method. This bottling plant lasted one hundred years and closed in 1933.

Looking to improve the canning game

But mankind never just settles for good enough, and in 1810 enter the tin can via Peter Durrant. Recognizing that glass jars can break, he decided to make a tinned version. This version was a cast iron that can be sealed by tin. Durrant, an Englishman, kept the Royal Navy fed with his tinned meat cans.

Whether it was glass jar canning or the cast iron tinned cans, the challenge was getting the water to boil faster. Somehow someone introduced calcium chloride, which made the temperature of the water rise faster, thus cutting down the time needed for sterilization of the jars and cans from boiling water. Genius!

From there. the idea of canning spread all over the world. The USA picked up the “Ball jar” and ran with it. Here is a quick rundown of a “Who’s Who of Canning”:

  • 1812-Robert Ayars opens the first American cannery
  • 1858-John L. Mason patents the Mason jar
  • 1884-The Ball Corporation starts manufacturing glass jars for home canning
  • 1903-Alexander H. Kerr and the Kerr Glass Manufacturing Corporation create a home canning supply business
  • 1914-Smith-Lever Act creates the official position of Home Demonstration Agent

Here’s a portion of the Smith-lever Act that created community classes:

SEC. 2. [7 U.S.C. 342] Cooperative agricultural extension work
shall consist of the development of practical applications of research
knowledge and giving of instruction and practical demonstrations of
existing or improved practices or technologies in agriculture, uses
of solar energy with respect to agriculture, home economics, and
rural energy, and subjects relating thereto to persons not attending
or resident in said colleges in the several communities, and imparting information on said subjects through demonstrations, publications, and otherwise and for the necessary printing and distribution
of information in connection with the foregoing; and this work shall
be carried on in such manner as may be mutually agreed upon by
the Secretary of Agriculture and the State agricultural college or
colleges or Territory or possession receiving the benefits of this Act.

https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/Smith-Lever%20Act.pdf

This, if I am to understand correctly, is the genesis of the Home Economist Agent that each county, of each state, has. Let’s get back to our canning timeline!

  • 1915-Alexander H. Kerr is granted patent for his two-piece disposable metal canning lid
  • 1917- In steps the U.S. Department of Agriculture-pressure canning is the only safe way to process low-acid foods
  • 1943- Canning hits its peak. More than four billion cans and jars processed! WHOA!
  • 1945- Refrigeration hits the scene and all but elminates canning
  • 1970- Canning sees a resurgence with the use of home pressure-canners

Aw shucks! My word meter is loudly protesting my continuance of this fascinating timeline of canning history. Stay tuned friends! Till next week! Here is to good canned food, good friends, and a good life!

Once In A Blue Raccoon: Part Two

I left you last week with the story partially told of “Once In A Blue Raccoon”. Since then, if you have seen a blue raccoon, it has been at my house. In my pond. Swimming or drowning… it’s up for debate. But make a mess he or she did!

I had gone to bed around 9:30 pm, on the evening of June 9th. I left the water fountain on. Fairy lights were on as well, which I think was the major attractant to the raccoon. As if to say “Come take a dip, wreck my fountain, pull out the hose and drain the pond, leave the pump running; please.” Sigh.

In the early morning hours, after making coffee, of course, I slipped onto the deck to read and reflect when I took note that I did NOT hear my pond fountain or turtle spitter. Hmm. But I did hear a strange hum. So I sprang from my chair ran down the flight of stairs and found my pond had only inches of water left inside. The fountain lay hanging outside of the pond, the pump running with no water being pumped. The hose from the turtle spitter was completely detached.

The Crime Scene

Image by Sascha Barth from Pixabay

I didn’t realize it at first, but I was walking through the evidence. I had rushed to the aid of my poor pond pump, ran right over the body outline, and shot across the door stoop to unplug the pump electrical cord. Had I been watching where I was going I would have seen it. But I was far too concerned that my pond pump was shot.

After unplugging the pump electrical cord, I reached into the nearly empty pond and felt the pump. It was warm, but not hot, so I felt reasonably confident the pump would survive. I picked up the spitter hose that led from the pump to the spitter and reattached it. Grabbing the garden hose I began to fill up the pond.

As the pond began to fill, I let out our dog Tucker. Tucker immediately was on the case and began to sniff and sniff around the yard. Up over here and then down over there. In circles, out of circles till it dawned on me that he was following the scent of the raccoon.

As I followed Tucker following the raccoon, I could see raccoon paw prints on the driveway. They were cute, blue paw prints with splishy splashy drops alongside the footprints.

The bigger picture began to unfold as I stepped back and saw the blue body outline on the deck cement landing. Ah-ha! This is where he got out! Bet he thought he was going into some raccoon swim pool. Probably told his friends to “Wait in the shallow end where you can sit.” Then he went to the deep and got more than he bargained for. Took one big dive and hit the pump box, got scared, and tangled himself in the turtle spitter hose. And that friends, is where “the wheels fell off”- total mayhem.

Help I’m drowning and I can’t get out

Image by Andreas Hoja from Pixabay

Once the raccoon entwined himself with the hose, he probably realized it was going to be “live or die”. I’m sure a frantic swim began with raccoon arms flailing, raccoon screams, and chittering. Yanking and pulling at the hose and the fountain. Till all was disassembled and his “friends” decided trouble was afoot as the water was quickly being drained and so they promptly left.

Then after realizing he could stand in the water (this probably has described a few of us at the lake-we’ll say no more), calm returned, and with some exhaustion, he pulled himself out and laid on the patio cement landing. Let’s mark this as Crime Scene one and two. Pond and patio landing.

Crime Scene three will be the wandering trail on the grass, as the raccoon contemplated his near fate and vowed to never swim in the pond again. Crime Scene four will be the paw prints on the cement driveway leading up to the stoop under the patio.

That leaves us with Crime Scene five. Crime Scene five is another place of rest. Foot paw prints on the driveway leading up to the stoop. This is where our miscreant sits and eats my cat’s cat food, as he realizes his fur is blue… BLUE?! How in heaven’s name did I get blue fur? Ah… life choices have a way of catching up to us, sometimes leaving a mark- or dye in this case.

Book’em Danno

Image by waldiwkl from Pixabay

I hope the raccoon community got a good laugh as he returned home to the tree. But as I am reading about raccoons, they, like opossums, live a solitary life; getting together for spring rituals and then parting company. We humans mostly see mother raccoons and their kits.

I imagine he hid till dark and then headed for the nearest creek to begin the vigorous fur scrubbing to get the blue out of his fur. I and the rest of the house got a good laugh out of my raccoon tale. It’s good to have something to laugh about when the stuff of the world is so serious!

Till next time friends! Here is to good food, good friends, and a good dye job!

Once In A Blue Raccoon…

You might be asking yourself, “Hmm… Once in a Blue Raccoon?” What kind of recipe exchange is this? Well, friends, today it is not recipes, it’s a story. And yes, it very definitely is about a blue raccoon. Truly, if you see a blue raccoon it belongs to me; rather it has been at my home.

How does a raccoon get blue? Well, for the most part, it was very easy for the raccoon’s fur to turn blue. But getting the blue out of his/her fur, well, that’s another matter altogether. But thankfully, I do not have to concern myself over getting the blue dye out. Trying to bathe a wild raccoon to rid him or herself of blue-dyed fur would probably prove to be a daunting task. I would be up for the said task. If you’ve raised children, then the relation to raccoons probably isn’t much of a leap. I say that chuckling because as I help raise my grandson, there are days I wonder if he isn’t a part raccoon.

Raccoons equal mischief…

I told you way back, many articles ago, that I helped my DNR Wildlife Rehabilitator friend raise two batches of raccoon kits. I’ve had some experience feeding raccoons and you can always count on the following :

  • It will be very messy
  • Lots of reaching, grabbing, patting
  • Chewing with mouths open
  • Eyes looking everywhere else but their plate
  • Dumping over of all dishes
  • Touching someone else’s food
  • Growling

There. Have I not described what happens when you teach a baby through early toddler years to eat? Maybe not such much the growling. That comes from the adult supervisor- grr! Well, we have to laugh, don’t we? Life gets pretty serious and we must find our humor in everyday life and living it.

Here is the part where we enter the story of “Once In A Blue Raccoon”… not to be confused with the movie “The Blue Lagoon”. There is no Brooke Shields in my story, just some mischievous raccoon who was temporarily turned blue for his indiscretions.

Pipestone County Sherriff’s Report

Photo by Michele Bruxvoort

You won’t see this story listed under the “Pipestone County Sherriff’s Report”, but it should have. The offenses?

  1. Trespassing
  2. Criminal Mischief
  3. Indecent exposure
  4. Vandalism

First, you must know that last year we installed a small pond under our patio. A very nice little pond with a turtle spitter, fountain, hosta’s, rocks, and various other flora. A nice windchime and this year’s new addition… solar fairy lights. All very peaceful and relaxing.

In order to stop having to drain the pond every 3 weeks to scrub the walls and clean off the water tubbing and fountain to free them of algae, I found this handy product called “Nature’s Blue Pond Dye“. Note it said “Pond”. It acts as a shield, preventing the light from penetrating and growing the algae. After receiving this dye I read the directions. Okay, this is concentrated. I need to be careful. Done.

Carefully leaning over the flora, I turned the cap off and tried to gently… GENTLY pour just a little when SPLASH! Out came a good fourth of a cup. NUTS! In seconds the pump pulled the blue dye into the fountain and like a Fourth of July color salute, my fountain shot out the most intense patriotic blue. My eyes quickly switched to the turtle spitter and he too began to spit forth a stream of patriotic blue! I gave a quick salute to the color show. It was Memorial Day weekend, so I felt justified in my patriotic display of blue.

And now, the rest of the story

I had gone to bed at 9:30 pm, on the evening of June 9th. I left the water fountain on. Fairy lights were on as well, which I think was the major attractant to the raccoon. As if to say “Come take a dip, wreck my fountain, pull out the hose and drain the pond leaving the pump running please.” Sigh.

Okay, friends, I will have to leave you in suspense! Till next time. Here is to good food, good friends and interesting life!