SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
Houzz Logo Print
scarlettfourseasonsrv

Country Comfort Food/What's Cookin?

It feels cold here, and supposed to get down to 48 degrees overnight. Brr!

I thought I'd start a new thread since the "What did you have for dinner from the garden" one was getting lengthy. With the weather changing, I don't know about y'all, but I'm starting to crave comfort food. That usually means something HOT from the oven.

Didn't feel good today, so I really wanted something easy. I still have plenty of luscious tomatos from the garden. (Oh, how I wish they would last all winter!)

Well, what I fixed was so easy and so comfort food....

Tomato gratin

I buttered a small deep casserole, and started layering some slices of tomatos, sprinkling each layer with salt and pepper, and dots of real butter. Then I topped the layers with buttered bread crumbs with a few thyme leaves mixed in, and baked it at 350 for about 30 min. When it was done, I put it in a bowl and mixed it all together so the bread crumbs took up the tomato juices, and ate it with a spoon. This was so good! I'll be making this as long as the tomatos last, and figuring out a way to make it with my canned or frozen ones.

It really was a comfort food and so easy.

Barbara

Dawn and Carol, from the other thread:

You're spagetti sauce, (from the new gadget) sounded yummy, and Carol, your mixed TexMex casserole is one I'm going to have to try!

Comments (46)

  • scarlettfourseasonsrv
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Mulberryknob
    I didn't miss your take on the zucchini fritters, just neglected to mention it in my kudos to you good Okie cooks. It did sound interesting and good. Especially with the cornmeal and adobo mixed in. We can always play around with recipes, and nothing is etched in granite. Like I always say, you have to know the rules before you can break them.
    Now, I'm wondering if I couldn't make sort of a fritter with chopped green tomatos, plus feta, cornmeal, egg, etc. Does that sound too weird?

    Barbara

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Barbara,

    Go for it! It could be just the best-tasting meal and you won't know if you don't try.

    The cold weather is getting me into more of a baking mood. I don't bake a lot in summer, but really do in fall and winter.

    I also think the cooler weather is bringing out the Little Red Hen in me like crazy. I'm struggling to process a huge mound of peppers, but at the same time loving every minute of it. Yesterday I processed over 200 sweet bell and mini bell peppers for fall/winter cooking. Some are sliced and frozen for eventual use in fajitas, stir fries, beef pepper steak and similar meals. Others are chopped and frozen in 1/4 C. packages (small snack-size zip-locks inside a gallon-sized freezer zip-lock) for cooking.

    I also have oodles of stewed tomatoes and both sliced and chopped onions in the freezer, and containers of homemade chicken stock frozen as well. When I am in the mood to cook this winter, I'll be able to go to my deep freeze and pull out all kinds of garden goodies to use.

    Sometimes in the summer and fall when I am feeling overwhelmed with the harvest, I have to remind myself how happy I'll be to have all this "stuff" put up and waiting for use when winter arrives.

    I wish the tomato harvest could continue all winter too. That's one reason I grow so many bite-sized ones and dehydrate them by the hundreds. By winter, I always have several thousand dehydrated tomatoes (each is about the size of 1 to 3 raisins, depending on how big they were to begin with). I eat them by the handful in winter, toss them into salads or even rehydrate them.

    I have tried to grow winter tomatoes inside, but they don't get enough sunlight/heat to make it worthwhile--their flavor isn't that great and certainly not good enough to make growing them worthwhile. (sigh)

    Dawn

  • Related Discussions

    What Is Your ''Comfort Food''?

    Q

    Comments (39)
    Mostly simple food from one's childhood, then. Makes sense. When I'm down, I eat nothing. I wonder what that says about my childhood. Who knows what I'd eat if there were a death in my family. So far, there's been none, except my grandfather who passed away at 100. I can't recall eating after that. SWMBO has had a lot more death in her family. She has many times more family than I do, a profusion of siblings and cousins and nieces and aunts. Gotta love those Catholics. They don't have the superior Chinese genetics (wink, tease). And, I tell you, the health care in their little corner of western Washington is abysmal (okay, maybe I'm being unfair, but it sure isn't impressive). Everyone who can afford it goes to Seattle for serious treatment, SWMBO's sister goes all the way to UCLA, but for most folks, that's not an option. Finally, since I am feeling ornery (try getting on a plane in Portland at 7:30 am, sleeping five hours inflight, forcing yourself to go to sleep at a normal hour in NYC, and now wide awake at midnight - I'm about ready to get dressed and go out for a walk) I don't get the bathtub thing. SWMBO loves her bubble baths, I won't get in a bathtub unless I'm sick or injured. P.S.: For those of you with trainable husbands, I recommend starting with a latte in the bathtub. Then you can work him up to full meals. Worked in my house :-(
    ...See More

    Whats everyone cookin this week?

    Q

    Comments (26)
    Since going back to work after having Dan, I do as much of my cooking and preparation on Sunday for the week as I can. I can't be bothered to 'cook' after work. This also saves clean up during the week usually. I've also been trying to use up stuff I already have one hand so that has guided my choices this week. I spent less on groceries this week than I have in ages. Monday: Spaghetti and Meat Sauce, breadsticks The meat sauce and spaghetti are both cooked and stored separately. I will heat them both up after work while I cook the bread sticks (frozen) in the toaster oven Tuesday: Smothered Chicken and Rice I cooked the peppers, onions and mushrooms today. I'll marinate the chicken the Tuesday morning before I leave for work. I'll cook the chicken on the Griddler (or maybe the the gas grill), top with the vegetable mixture and some cheddar cheese. It's a knockoff of something I've had in a restaurant. I'll heat up the rice that I cooked today and add some seasonings to it. Wednesday: An Asian pork medallion recipe that's quick enough to cook after work with ramen noodles (not something I cook a lot but Nick loves them and since we're already having rice on Tuesday, it's something fast and different). Egg rolls in the toaster oven. Thursday: Hot dogs with sauerkraut, French fries. We always have salad on hand too. Friday we leave for Great Wolf for the weekend.
    ...See More

    Fall comfort food?

    Q

    Comments (29)
    You can come and cook on mine Ruthie, or better yet, just bring an appetite and you can scoop something out of our dutch.LOL In winter when the stove is going 24/7, we cook on it 3 or 4 days a week. It's cooling off here, but not to the point of the stove being used. I envy people that can make a decent chicken and dumpling, but my soups are good and potroast is probably my favorite comfort food.
    ...See More

    Week: 31 Comfort foods or comfort memories?

    Q

    Comments (33)
    And Happy New Year back at'cha! Wish you all the best in these next months. :) Pit Update: Saturday a friend of a friend came and took both of them. She's mature, got a good job, owns her home with a big yard. She's keeping Bobby (aka puppy-boy) and her neighbor is taking sweet Maggie (aka puppy girl). These were the happiest, sweet dogs. Turned out to be clean, trained, house broken, curious, and just joyful. Someone dumped them, I'm sure, but they were house dogs. Perhaps breeders, but definitely house dogs. It was interesting. All the time they were here, they never left the yard. When I went out, they were right beside me. Bobby, would play catch with a 6' 4x4. Throwing it in the air, standing on it and trying to pick it up. Made it difficult for me to sort out a load of reused lumber, which had nails in it. It had to wait. He was a JOY. What a energetic puppy he was. He'd sit and kinda roll backwards with his feet stuck out in front of him, like puppies do. Didn't quite lift his leg. Hasn't earned his man card yet. Although they always wanted to ride in my car, they didn't want to go with her. (Leaving me? Awwww) But once in the car, they settled in, with their heads poking out between the seats to look out the window. The only time I'd see Maggie get excited was when wheels turned. Cars, trucks, bikes. She'd bite at them from underneath the door, vs. from the front. Scared me she'd get a tooth stuck and be crushed. I mention this, because the week before I had to get 2 new tires. Saturday night when I came out of work, I had a flat. Grrrrr. Had myself towed to my car place. He called me the next morning and asked if I'd hit anything, or was out in the field, etc. [wait for it] There were 2 puncture marks, one torn, in the sidewall of my new tire. So.... I guess Maggie is successful in her mission of killing All Things Tire. Got my living room painted. It is Beeeuuuuttiful. Even moreso without the crap stacked to the ceiling. Ceiling is Glidden 'Natural Wicker' and the walls are Duron/SW 'Tinderbox.' I just picked up the paint for the bookshelves. All this room needs is trim. and maybe some curtains. Well, maybe not. So I have 2 rooms done, -trim. This is very, very exciting! Leaves 7 rooms to go. Drywall, finishing, paint, trim. As a dear friend once said, "Baby Steps." Well, it's only 10 years this year from that stupid fire! Baby enough? Have a great, warm day. Eat those beans and rice if that's your thing, or just watch football. (Got my MI State U sweat shirt on, just for my sisters.) Take care!
    ...See More
  • soonergrandmom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dawn, Everytime you start talking about your small dehydrated tomatoes, I start thinking about making bread with fresh chopped basil and chips of those little tomatoes in it. I have never made it that way, but I just keep thinking about doing it. HeeHee Will have to do one.

    Barbara, I bought a package of meat at Walmart that is in links but is pre-cooked. They had two kinds and I think one said it was beef sausage, but the one I bought says country sausage. It is Walmart brand, 3 pound pack, pre-cooked, packed in shrink wrap, and it was either $7 or $8. I took a few links and sliced them length-wise then then sliced them about 1/4 inch thick. I made a big pot of thick potato soup with garlic and onion added, then added in the cooked sausauge slices. In the bowl, I dumped in plenty of grated cheddar cheese. Oooh, talk about comfort food. That's the kind of food I crave in cool weather. It's warmer today tho.

    I think it will even be dry enough for a little garden work this afternoon. I have an area along the fince line that needs to be pulled out while the ground is still wet enough to let the roots come out too. I also want to plant a few seeds in my raised bed. Hope to get some spinach growing in that before it gets too cold. I am not ready to give up the garden season so I hope Ole Man Winter stays away for awhile.

    Dorothy, Your fritters sounded good too.

    George, The pumpkins look great. I don't think I have ever grown one. Pumpkin is not a favorite food of mine, but DH loves pumpkin pie. My children all love them as well so I always make them for the holidays. I lose more pie plates that way, because they take home the ones that aren't eaten, because they know I don't care. I told my daughter the other day that I was going to raid her cabinets and find my corning ware pie plates. Of course, we weren't at her house when I remembered them.

  • gldno1
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This makes me remember a question I have been meaning to ask you all.

    All my mom's people were originally from Tennessee and North Carolina and I think some of the things they cook came with the families from that area.

    One thing that is a favorite of mine in cooler weather is chicken and dumplings. The dumplings are what I love! and they are what I wonder about. We make them just using chicken broth, salt and pepper, and flour....no leavening agent at all and only the fat from the chicken broth. Rolled out thin, cut in strips about 3 to 4 inches long by 2 inches wide and dropped in the boiling broth. I have never heard of anyone making them this way. They always are a biscuit like dough not those rubbery ones like we make (and love). They are not a noodle because no egg is used.


    What about you all? Do any of you make them this way?

    Just curious.

  • scarlettfourseasonsrv
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have made chicken and dumplings that way. That's one of DS fave comfort foods. It's made so the dumplings are so rich with chicken broth they literally 'slide' down your throat. That's country cooking from way back!

    Carol
    It sounds like you made a classic cheese soup only with some links added. Smoked sausage? I really like cheese soup. Well, to tell the truth, I like most any kind of soup, especially when the weather turns off chilly. There's nothing better. It'll soon be chili making time. Does anyone else have neighborhood or family chili tastings where you all get together over steaming bowls of hot chili?
    Carol, if you don't especially like pumpkin, what about pumpkin or winter squash soup made Mediterranean style? Maybe served with some of that crusty basil and dried tomatos? I might have to have a go at that.
    From what I understand you're not supposed to can pumpkin. I don't now how in the world I'm going to use mine up. DS won't touch it.

    Barb

  • ilene_in_neok
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think this is a regional thing, too.

    What we in our family call Chicken and Noodles is flour, egg, some salt and maybe a little water if you're trying to feed extra people, rolled out thin, sliced into strips about 3" long and maybe 1/2" wide, dropped into boiling chicken broth. They expand a little when they cook and they can be a little rubbery if they are rolled out a little too thick. My mother was taught to cook this by my dad's German great-grandmother. I'm told people in other parts of the country call these "sliders", but then people in yet OTHER parts of the country call small little hamburgers "sliders", so......

    Chicken and Dumplings, to us, is biscuit dough, dropped onto the surface of the boiling chicken broth, and covered with a tight-fitting lid till the dough is cooked through and fluffy. If you don't have a tight-fitting lid, these can be kind of gummy, but when made right they are fluffy and so yummy with extra chicken and broth spooned over all.

    Now that the weather is getting coolish, I'm starting to get hungry for a bowl of chili. I think I'll make a pot for supper tonight!

    Let's don't forget -- with that first frost lurking in the near future, we need to all get our mouths ready for fried green onions, served with fried chicken and milk gravy!

  • gldno1
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ilene, the biscuits is how I do Chicken pot pie. I bone the chicken and sometimes/sometimes not add diced potatoes, peans and carrots with biscuits on top.

    I did chili the other day. We eat it all year long.

    Here is another comfort food: I forgot I had a chicken defrosted to bake so put on a huge pot of white beans with a leftover ham bone and some ham bits. Baked the chicken anyway the high heat method. Now I have tomorrow's dinner taken care of. The beans require some sweet cornbread and a cold glass of milk....nothing else.

  • soonergrandmom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I make chicken and noodles instead of dumplings. One cup of flour, one teaspoon of salt, one egg, and about one half egg shell of water. Don't laugh, that's how I measure it. LOL Someone taught me that long ago, and I don't even remember who it was. It wasn't my family because they all made dumplings instead of noodles. Some of the younger ones make noodles like I do, but they learned it from me.

    Last night I had a roast pork sandwich with mustard and a handful of sweet basil leaves instead of lettuce. Actually I had to have two.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Other than the spaghetti sauce, I'm not cooking much from scratch this week. After spending all day canning, pickling and dehydrating, I don't want to cook a meal!

    Another day or two of canning, pickling, jellying and dehydrating and I should "run out" of peppers. Then I can return to my normal cooking routine.

  • soonergrandmom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Barb, No it was pretty classic potato soup with sausage added. The sausage said it was pecan smoked, and it is good.

  • ilene_in_neok
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Glenda, chicken pot-pie for me is chicken and mixed vegetables in a chicken-broth gravy, between two pie crusts! LOL

    Carol, now that you've reminded me of it, that's how several members of my family added the water to their noodle recipe, measured in the egg shell. And that makes me think of my grandmother, Anna. She never owned measuring cups or spoons. She measured things in her hands, or in common things around the kitchen, such as coffee cups. She measured her vanilla with the lid of the bottle it came in. So for sure she probably used the egg shell to measure some things as well.

  • soonergrandmom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I had a friend who said that her grandmother made several things that she really liked so she asked for the recipes. When she got the recipes they read, add on handfull, two glugs, three pinches, etc. I don't know why I do the egg shell bit, but I do....and I have been guilty of using the vanilla lid as well, but normally I measure. LOL

  • mulberryknob
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I learned to make cornbread from my grandfather. When Granny went almost blind from cataracts he took over the cooking. He bought canned refrigerated biscuits but when he bought a cornbread mix he said, "Whoever mixed that got confused and thought they were making cake." Grandpa didn't like sweet cornbread. He made his cornbread with buttermilk. 2 cups bm, 2 eggs, 2 cups cornmeal 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp bkng pdr and 1 tsp soda. He melted either 1/4 cup butter or crisco--I always use butter--in a cast iron skillet in the heating oven while he mixed the batter, then poured the melted butter into the batter and poured it all into the hot skillet. This makes a wonderfully crusty soft centered cornbread. I still make it this way with corn that I grind myself. You wouldn't believe the difference fresh organically-grown ground corn makes. Oh wait, I'm talking to people who know the difference between garden tomatoes and store bought so you probably would believe it.

    I thought Grandpa devised this recipe until I was looking through Mom's old Betty Crocker cookbook and there on the cornbread page with a couple other recipes was Grandpa's cornbread. It even said "from Arkansas". The only difference I make is that I do add a 1/4 cup of freshly ground seven grain flour, cutting the corn meal 1/4 cup. I go to my parents' house once a week and cook a big meal and at least every other week I cook this cornbread for them.
    It goes with just about anything, but especially beef stew or chili.

    And the best beef stew and chili is made with homemade beef broth. My grandfather--a very wise man--once said that people were making a mistake throwing bones away. We need the minerals and cartilage. So when we have our beef buchered we ask for the "soup bones" to be returned to us instead of being left. Then in the winter I put the canner on the woodstove and boil bones for a couple days. You wouldn't believe what a difference it makes...oh wait.

  • soonergrandmom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dorothy, We don't make sweet cornbread either. In fact, my husband likes it when I don't grind the corn quite as fine as the kind you buy. I don't have any corn right now, (unless you count 40 lbs of popcorn) but need to get some. Do you grow a special corn for grinding? I bought Yellow Hickory Dent Corn from Baker Creek for next year. I don't normally grow my own so I really didn't know which one to choose. You and George need to give me lessons. I think he grows one to grind into grits.

    Somewhere along the way, I learned that when you boil anything with a bone that you should add a tablespoon of vinegar because it breaks down the calcium in the bone and moves it to the broth. That may be an old wives tale, but I do it anyway, especially if I am using a ham bone for beans.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Y'all are making me want to plow up still more land so I can grow a dent corn and grind it into fresh meal for really good cornbread. Where does it end, where does it end?

    I make and freeze my own chicken and beef broths and stocks too. I usually do a lot in early fall for winter cooking since I make a lot more soups and stews in the cooler seasons.

    Dorothy, you're right. I think we do "get it" when it comes to how much better 'fresh' and 'home-grown' and 'home-processed' is in comparison to store-bought. A lot of people, though, have no idea. Most Americans have no idea where the food really comes from and how it is processed.

    My dad always liked sweet cornbread too, and I am not sure I've ever met a cornbread I didn't like. We ate breakfast at Cracker Barrel last Sunday, and they had a cookbook that really caught my eye. I almost bought it......and I don't remember the name of it, but it was a cornbread cookbook! Just think how much fun you could have working your way through that book and all the recipes.

    One of my aunts used to always make cracklin' cornbread using pork cracklings. You don't see cracklings in the stores much any more either. I guess it is not 'politically correct' to buy, sell or eat cracklings because they are so fatty. Being healthy sure takes some of the fun out of eating.

    Dawn

  • soonergrandmom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think it takes a commitment to eat healthy, and it surely takes one to grow your own food. LOL I mentioned earlier that I taught a class last week on saving on your food budget. One of the things I did was I had an empty cold cereal bag with the nutrition facts on the bag and the price. I had a box of farina and a box of outmeal and their prices. I put a cup of the cold cereal in a ziplock and crushed it. I had cooked a cup of outmeal and a cup of farina and had them in bags (a sandwich bag, a quart bag, and a gallon bag). It makes a pretty obvious picture which is the best deal moneywise, and then we talked about nutrition.

    I had made up a biscuit mix and from it I had made garlic cheese biscuits and a quiche. The quiche had 1/2 pound of italian seasoned turkey that I found at Walmart for $1 a pound. I made a loaf of artisian bread that was about a third wheat, and a sandwich loaf that was half whole wheat. I talked about gardening and perserving food. Another lady that spent her life as the president of a bank talked to them about money usage. The biggest problem is that the young ladies who really need the help are not the ones that show up for the training. Guess they will have to learn the hard way.

    I don't grow the type of gardens that many of you do but we sure do eat a lot out of it while it is producing. If I have extra, then I do can or freeze, but my major purpose has always been to eat it while it is fresh and in season. As I have said before, I think I may need to do more next year. You ambitious gardeners make me look like a real loser.

  • gldno1
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Another good tip for them would be to try the generic brands.
    DH practically lives on oatmeal since his heart attack in 2004, but it was just recently we decided to try the generic one.....lots cheaper and exactly the same quality!

    Some generics aren't as good a quality but a lot of them sure are.

    I was raised poor so I know all these tricks and have cooked that way almost all my married life. Nutrion-wise, I try to never buy anything in a box, including cake mixes.
    I tell my kids that by the time, you open the box, add oil, add eggs you might just as well measure the dry ingredients and end up with a better, healthier product.

    You have touched on a subject very dear to my heart: real food! I even have a milk cow! don't laugh............

    I could go on for hours on this subject.........but won't.

  • soonergrandmom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We did talk about store brands, mostly Walmart because that is what we have here. I buy a lot of dairy from Braums and for a long time their milk was less that Walmart. Last week it was a few cents higher than the GV store brand but much less than the non-store brands. Another advantage is that if I only need milk, bread, and eggs, I can go there and spend $20, but if I go to Walmart I will spend $100. I also told them to shop the outside aisles. That is usually fresh fruit and veggies, meat and dairy and the processed stuff is in the center. It's expensive enough to feed your family without buying all of the processed things. I don't make everything from scratch (anymore), but I do make a lot of things. I am a sucker for Trail Mix bars so I always buy those. I usually have them in the kitchen, in my car, in my purse, etc. That is my "quick carb" emergency food as well as being my favorite snack. They are expensive for what you get, but I am paying for the convenience in this case, and I love nuts, raisins, cranberries, outmeal, etc. so it works for me. Also, I am only feeding 2 people so my budget isn't as tight as when I had a house full of children.

  • mulberryknob
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I don't raise my own meal corn--just sweet corn--but buy it in bulk and keep it in the freezer or frig. The grinder is at Dad's and he has an extra frig, so keep a good sized bag of corn, wheat, and 7 grain in it and share the meal and flour with my folks.

    Yes, it is a shame that so many young people don't know how to eat cheaply but healthfully. As a mother of four on a budget I made it my aim to learn. Then the kids all grew up and, feeling deprived because they didn't get enough chips, ice cream and cold cereal, all started eating junk and gained weight. (And we weren't purists. We did eat those things, just not every day.) Sigh... only the daughter with children has really taken my lessons to heart. Other daughter married a man raised on convenience food and adapted his mother's cooking style. Sons married women who eat convenience food and don't want to change. Sigh...

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Carol,

    You said "You ambitious gardeners make me look like a real loser." No ma'am, absolutely not, no way, no how, not now, not ever! Are you kidding me? Nothing could be further from the truth. You do so many amazing things with food that you inspire me! Did you know that? If you didn't, I'm sorry I haven't said it before.

    I have always just considered myself a 'dabbler' with the veggie garden. How else could I plant 400 tomato plants and give away most of the produce? The last 2 or 3 years I've become much more serious about growing fewer tomatoes and more of everything else. Of course, last year's taller garden fence has helped too because it means that we're getting the whole harvest instead of fighting the deer for it. Still, even though I've always grown veggies and fruit, I've basically been happy to eat in season and then, if there's a little surplus, to put up the rest for later. So, most years, that means onions and potatoes, green beans and sweet corn, tomatoes and peppers. Sometimes squash and zucchini, or maybe cucumber pickles depending on what I planted. I've never tried "hard", though, to put up oodles and oodles for winter.

    Last year, I read Barbara Kingsolver's AMAZING book "Vegetable, Plant, Mineral", and it changed my life. The book is her account of her family's efforts to eat locally for one year, both by purchasing only food raised locally and by raising as much of their own food (including their own chickens and turkeys) as possible at their home in the Appalachian Mountains. It is an amazing account, and all the more so because it includes recipes and accounts of their gardening/harvesting/putting food by. I love this book so much that I have read it 4 or 5 times and just keep re-reading it.

    After reading the book, I decided to get more serious about raising more of our family's food, and have had very good results this year although I need more fenced, improved soil in order to raise more if I am really going to make a serious effort to raise as much of our veggies, fruits and grains as possible.

    There are lots of days where something from our garden is a part of virtually every meal, and sometimes lunch or dinner is entirely from the garden.

    I think a lot of us could raise most of our food (like George and Jerreth do, and Dorothy's family too), if only we tried...and if the weather cooperated a little more. LOL So, I am going to get more serious about it and intend to spend the winter months working on expanding the improved soil area so I can grow more. Then, all we'll have to do is fence in whatever area I plow up and improve. I'm thinking that with the rainier year we'll be having with El Nino, I won't spend half the winter chasing firefighters all over the county with food and drinks, so I might get a lot more outside work done than I have the last 4 winters.

    Glenda, I'd love to have a milk cow or goat, but honestly think I have all the animals (spoiled dogs, cats and chickens) I can handle as it is. The cats are great at keeping the area around the house and garden rodent-free, which thus keeps us fairly snake-free, so they earn their keep. The dogs are great at chasing rabbits, barking, sleeping and playing ball. Still, they do provide a certain security element....there was a rash of burglaries in our neighborhood a few years ago and our home was not hit....and I give the dogs credit for that.

    We buy a lot of generics too and I think they taste just as good. We used to buy lots of processed foods, but I'm really working at not doing that nowadays. I like making food from scratch and knowing exactly what is in it. A cake made from scratch is so much healthier than one from a mix...and so are muffins and bread and pancakes and everything else.

    Next week I am going to make catsup and mustard. It all is part of trying to raise more of our own stuff and make more of our own.

    I've noticed that so many of the young women nowadays have no idea how to cook from scratch and their families eat so much processed food and so much fast food. They complain about how their food budget eats up their paycheck, but you have to wonder why that shocks them if they eat at least one fast food meal every day! Even when I was very young and single and lived in my own apartment I cooked from scratch and the food was so much better than the fast food my friends lived on.

    I'd like to think that one positive that is coming out of the current 'economic crisis' is that more people are growing their own food and learning how to prepare meals from scratch with it. I forget how much veggie seed sales were up this year but it was 25% or 30% or something close to that.

    The whole "locavore" or "eat local" movement encouraged by Slow Food and other organizations is monumental too. I remember the first "ark" of heirlooms that Slow Food listed was small, and now there are so many more 'endangered' foods in the ark and so many more people eating them and it gives us hope that heirloom veggies and fruits and heritage livestock will survive and on a much larger scale.

    The Farmer's Market trend is encouraging too. Although Marietta's recent attempts at a Farmer's Market have not done very well, there are other local Farmer's Markets near us in Ardmore and Gainesville, and a huge one in McKinney about an hour away from us, and that's a great trend.

    I remember when I was a kid in the 1960s lots and lots of people still had fruit trees and berries, veggie gardens and even backyard chickens and some raised rabbits for meat. Then, for 2 or 3 decades, all that seemed to go away, although some of us just kept on growing our own. Now the pendulum is swinging back again. So, y'all, even though a lot of us are doing what we've always done, suddenly we're "trendy".

    I've linked the Slow Food website and you can look at the Ark of Taste. I know that some of us are growing some of these endangered varieties.
    Dawn

    Here is a link that might be useful: Slow Food Ark of Taste

  • southerngardenchick
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    GREAT THREAD, LADIES! I just love food talk! That's the main reason I decided to garden, my love of cooking.

    On the topic of young people not knowing how to cook from scratch or eat healthy...here's my theory on what happened. My Mom grew up helping in my Grandma's garden, plus working in the cotton fields. She also did alot of cooking and canning, being the oldest of four girls. When she got her own family, she rejected that way of life VEHEMENTLY! LOL! Why keep that up when you could go to the store and buy what you need? I'm sure that's what happened with alot of the Mom's of my generation. Lots of info and family traditions have been lost this way. Shame.
    I've always been fascinated with the "old ways".. and thought I'd be putting them to use in my life. SUCH good memories, watching my Grandma make grape jelly or pickles. The smell of fresh cut cukes and vineagar is still one of my fave smells (put THAT in a candle... LOL!). When my Great Aunt Hettie passed away when I was eleven, they gave me her OLD Betty Crocker cookbook... which I still treasure and use today.

    In fact, when we got in a bad financial situation and had to pull ourselves out of it, it was THE OLD WAYS that saved us. I had to stop asking my mother for advice and go to "What would Grandma do?". I'm lucky I'm semi intelligent, so I could fill in the gaps of what Grandma would've taught me. Lots of people don't have their Grandma's to teach them how to live life more simply.

    The trend is coming back around, like Dawn said... they're calling it "food craft" now... LOL! This is a fun trend to be a part of! Truly, I feel much better eating something I created from my garden than something I just bought... more rewarding. I tell everyone it has better karma too!

    NOW, I will share a recipe! I found this lovely lady on Youtube who has a few videos of Great Depression Era recipes! She's 94 years old, the same age my Grandma would be if she were still with us... :). So last night we had Pasta and Peas. Just two potatoes and one onion, diced. Cooked untill soft in a bit of oil. Add a can of peas (I did frozen ones, like them better), and about half a bag of cooked pasta! SIMPLE AND YUMMY! My youngest LOVED it! I did hamburger patties with a mushroom gravy to go with it. GREAT MEAL.
    Ya'll keep up the talk, I'm sure listening!

    Beth

  • scarlettfourseasonsrv
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Beth
    Wonderful comments!And I might add that ALL the ladies on this thread are not only good cooks, but savvy in the ways they not only grow and process as much food as they possibly can, but have the wisdom to know that access to store bought food is not only the least healthy option for their families, but may not always be as easily available in the months and years to come.
    Food prices are going up, and there are already reports of food shortages world wide.
    Although I don't have nearly the growing space as some do, I have still grown some corn for making into cornmeal. And I have ordered some organic hard white winter wheat. Even if I can't grow any large amounts of it, at least I have the seed. And I've also ordered enough buckwheat to make a 'pancake patch'. Doesn't take very much ground to do this as with wheat, and buckwheat is a superfood. NO GMO for me if I can help it!
    I think most of us could survive if we had to on what we could grow, and what we've learned to grow, and still learning. Some of the DH's hunt, fish or trap. My DS could use some lessons from George on trapping.
    I wish I could have a milk cow, or even a milk goat, and chickens. Right now, that doesn't seem to be an option.
    Barbara

    Here is a link that might be useful: Food Shortages Predicted

  • soonergrandmom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well Dawn, I'm not doing much to help with the things on their list other than Mortgage Lifter tomatoes. I would like to find Trail of Tears Beans and plant some of those. I see Wyandotte chickens sometimes up here, but then I only live a few miles from the town of Wyandotte and the tribal things. I think they are really pretty chickens and I wouldn't mind having some. Even then I would probably just have a few hens and no rooster so I wouldn't be doing anything to keep the breed going.

    I have enjoyed reading about these people and all of the things they do. Of course they live in California so the weather is a little better for year round gardening.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Path to Freedom

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Beth,

    I agree with you that a certain generation of women rejected the gardening/food preserving that so many of us are addicted to. My mom was one of them. She grew up poor in the country and, if they wanted to eat something, they had to raise it. When she got married in the 1950s, the very last thing she ever wanted to do was to raise or preserve any food. She was all into commercially canned veggies and fruits, the miraculous 'new' (well, they were new at the time) TV dinners, SPAM (I hate it), etc. Luckily for me, my dad loved raising fruit and veggies and canning and cooking, so I learned from him!

    Near the end of my dad's life when all 4 of us kids were spending time with him at the hospice, we were reminiscing about our childhood while eating in the hospice's family dining room and we got to talking about dad's cooking. My younger brother (who was 40 years old at the time) said that our mom wasn't much of a cook during the week, but that the food on weekends and holidays was SO much better. That cracked me up! Why was the food so much better on weekends and holidays? Because Daddy did the cooking! Somehow, I guess my brother didn't realize that Dad was NOT in the kitchen helping Mom on weekends and holidays....HE was cooking and she was helping him.

    Once, when I was an older teenager--maybe 15 or so--my mom told me that the reason my grandparents had a big garden and fruit trees was because they were 'poor' and 'had to' raise their own food. That was my first clue that they were 'poor'. I always thought that they were rich because they always seemed to have everything they needed. They always had a deep freeze packed with food and tons of canned food and meals at their house were always fantastic with tons and tons of delicious food. I don't really think my grandparents actually were poor--I just think my mom had a warped attitude towards raising/preserving your own food because she resented 'having to' do it when she was a kid. I cherish my memories of time spent on my grandparents' farm when I was very young. Even though they always had a big garden even after they sold the farm and moved to town, it is the memories of the farm that I remember best.

    I have female friends here who are in their 60s and 70s and have that same attitude towards gardening/preserving. They spent their entire childhood 'slaving' in their parents garden or on the family farm and then had to help put up/preserve the food too. Consequently, they hate gardening and food preserving because of it. Isn't that a shame? They are amazing cooks, as many country (and city!) women are, but they just don't want to do the work associated with raising the food.

    Barb,

    I think we are one huge volcanic blast away from food shortages, and of course all kinds of weather issues could cause similar problems. I always try to have six months worth of human food on hand in case anything bad happens. You never know.....

    I've even been stocking up a little more than usual in anticipation of a huge flu outbreak. If the H1N1 flu starts running wild this winter, I want to have enough in the pantry and the cellar that I can avoid the stores as much as possible simply to avoid all the flu germs.

    If we had real food shortages, my dogs, cats and chickens would have to learn to hunt up their own meals because I don't keep a big stockpile of pet food.

    Carol,

    I grew Trail of Tears for a couple of years and really liked it, but I didn't save any seed and I don't remember where I got it. I think I found the seed at a nursery in Grapevine or Fort Worth, but it is readily available from many seed companies. I believe it was one of the varieties saved by Oklahoma's Dr. Wyche who also saved Dr. Wyche's Yellow tomato.

    I love the Path to Freedom website and think what they have done/are doing is simply amazing.

    Dawn

  • gldno1
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am letting my Trail of Tears beans dry for seed. I should have some to share. E-Mail me if you want to try some. I was very impressed with them and the new 'tan' one that grew in with my Kwintus. I think they are the only two I will grow next year. They were never stringy at any point;beautiful black seeds. Now I am hope they didn't cross with my Kwintus or the tan one. If they did, will the seed be black this year or a different color?

    I think another reason the trend for less food raising is more and more families have both parents working full time and live in town on very small lots. Now you understand my sweet Mother worked in a laundry and came home and canned and froze things from Dad's garden in a low-ceilinged house with no air conditioning. We kids had to garden and I hated it, but have had a garden since we began our family and I quit working way back in the 1960's.

    The one thing I haven't done but have considered is buying a grain mill and wheat berries and grinding my own flour. They say it begins loosing food value the minute it is ground but the berries will stay fresh indefinitely. That really appeals to me. I haven't bought a loaf of 'store' bread or buns in about 2 years now.

    I think what really got me started on nutrition was the classes we attended when DH had the heart attack. It was mostly based on choosing foods with low fats and sodium though. I have Nina Planck's book Real Foods but never have read Barbara Kingsolver's. I have read her novels though. I am a firm believer in non-hydrogenated fats. I have even rendered my own lard when we buy a hog. I would make butter, but my Shorthorn just isn't up the that task.

    I began making our own soap over a year ago just for fun and now won't use anything else.

    I always read the label on everything and it has been an eye opener! Did you know it is impossible to buy just plain old cream......without additives to 'stabilize' it for whipping? I even tried Braums...no plain cream. I am secretly looking for a Jersey milk cow but DH is unaware...and I will have to keep it that way!

    This is an interesting discussion. I rarely find anyone as crazy as I am about food.

    Glenda

  • soonergrandmom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dawn, Thanks for the nice words. I like to cook and I have always thought it was because I love to eat. I almost never run out of ideas. When I do, I say, I didn't cook and we're eating out tonight. DH knows it is time to choose the place and head for town.

    Today I am making a "mixed fruit" pie. We bought some nectarines, peaches, and apples in Arkansas the other day and the peaches and part of the nectarines needed to be used. I cut up the fruit, put some butter in an iron skillet and grilled the fruit. I threw in an apple also and while it was cooking I made a quick pie crust. Dumped it in and added a little brown sugar and a little flour and some thin pieces of butter, then put on a top crust with a little cinnamon sugar on top. It smells so good.

    When it comes out of the oven, I will be baking that basil and tomato bread I have been thinking about.

    It is so pretty here today and the temperature feels so good. I picked beans earlier, and put in some broccoli and brussel sprout plants where I could find a few empty spots. I am sure I have more than I need, but the transplants were just sitting there, so decided I would plug them in. I also planted some more lettuce and spinach in a raised bed.

    I think that I improved my cooking and sewing skills when I was young because I had a full time job and a house full of kids, but I still had a need to be creative. Cooking and sewing gave me a creative outlet and still made me feel like I wasn't wasting time because I could make a useful product. Remember - all of we working mothers were on a guilt trip in those days. LOL

    In January, I got a new son-in-law, and shortly after that he was standing in my kitchen talking to me one day. He watched me dump a 5 pound bag of flour in a bowl and start mixing. After he walked away, I started laughing to myself and thinking how weird that must have looked. When he came back in, I told him that I really wasn't using all of that flour for one meal. He said, "Oh no, since I starting going out with Robin I have seen more flour than I ever saw in my life." She laughs at him because when she starts to make something, he says, "You mean you can make that at home?" I think he thinks he has died and gone to heaven.

    Oh, and I know Barbara is going to ask, so this is why I was dumping the flour in the bowl. LOL

    I make biscuit mix rather than buying the stuff in the yellow box. I mix 2 cups of vegetable shortening with a five pound bag of self rising flour. I work it in with a pastry blender until it is well mixed. That's all. I keep it on the cabinet in a tall gallon storage container. When I want to make bisquits, all it needs is milk. I normally make mine with buttermilk so I stir a little soda into the mix before I add the milk, but since I use the mix for other recipes, I prefer to add the soda just before the buttermilk. The self rising flour already has the baking powder and salt, so it makes biscuit making a breeze. Some times I don't even roll then out, but just oil my hand a little and make them into biscuit shapes. I always melt a little butter in the microwave then mix it with a little oil in the bottom of the pan anyway, so it's easy to keep my hands oiled while I handle the dough.

    Now that was my quickie bread. When I make "real" bread, I grain the grain..........yeh, I know George, I could grow it first, but I'm not going to. LOL

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Glenda,

    I agree that so many of today's young women don't have the time or energy to garden and can after putting in a full work week at the paying job and then trying to do all the house work and family stuff too. Before I quit my job in 1992 to do the whole stay-at-home-mom routine, I never felt like I kept up with the housework or the gardening as well as I needed to.

    The smaller size of lots does hurt too. Our son and daughter-in-law have found a house they are thinking of buying and it has a one-acre lot. They haven't said a thing about having a garden or fruit trees or berries, but I bet they'll have one someday. They both grew up in gardening families and I think having fresh, tasty food from your own garden is something you get used to and want to have when you're older, even if you don't do it during your busy 'young married' years when you have small children.

    I started making soap (and paper!) when we still live in Ft. Worth in the late 1990s, and thought I'd keep it up after we moved here, but I underestimated how much time is required to maintain a significantly larger piece of property. I'd like to get back to making our soap though.

    Carol,

    You're welcome, and you know the words were straight from my heart.

    What time should we arrive for dinner? Or, we can come after dinner and help y'all eat up that pie. LOL

    I was thinking of you this morning when I was looking for a canning recipe and stumbled across a recipe for homemade bread that had sun-dried tomatoes and something else yummy in it. The something else might have been parmesan cheese or rosemary or something. I was thinking to myself "Carol would make this bread!"

    Speaking of homemade bread, I am ready to make the leap and purchase a grain mill and start baking bread again. I used to do it a lot (and so did Tim!) but it fell by the wayside as the fire department took over more and more of our lives for the last four winter fire seasons. Because I am anticipating a wet winter and fewer fires, I want to get back to baking our bread, so I'll start a separate thread about what kind of grain mill y'all would recommend.

    It was gorgeous here as well and it was so nice to have almost a full day of sun after we got off to a foggy start early this morning. I picked tomatoes, black-eyed peas, okra and jalapeno peppers (but only enough peppers to make poppers tomorrow!). Except for the jalapenos, all of it is going into the freezer or dehydrator for winter. I have been in Little Red Hen mode for weeks and weeks lately, and the cool weather has kicked me into high gear.

    I only have one quart of habanero peppers to deal with tomorrow and then my long strange pepper trip that I've been on this week will end. The smell of dehydrating habanero peppers was so strong in the house today that I could hardly stand to be inside and 'escaped' outdoors for as much of the day as possible.

    If all my food preserving and harvesting works out tomorrow as planned, I shouldn't have to pick a thing again for about three days. That will be a welcome break to weed and do other things, including improvisinging a sturdy shelf unit of some sort down in the tornado shelter to hold the 120 or so jars of home-canned goodies that are down there now.

    Carol, you know, we were on a guilt trip in those days and it was very stressful. For years, Tim and I worked opposite schedules....he worked nights and I worked days so Chris wouldn't have to go to day care, and it was hard because we didn't get to see each other a lot. My parents covered for us when our work schedules overlapped. As soon as we got to where we could afford it, I quit....Chris was just ending his second grade year. One thing that struck me was just how many of the women I knew at work told me they wished they could stay home and raise their kids too, because they felt like they weren't doing a very good job of parenting because of the need to work full-time. And, you know, I thought they all were fine parents and they were very devoted to their children and didn't miss any school events or ball games....but still they were consumed with guilt! We were the generation who were told we could "have it all" and you know that we did have it all....all the stress of having a career AND a family, all the guilt that the career was suffering or the family was suffering, etc. I think it is even harder for young women nowadays. There are so many single moms struggling to support their children and there's also the economic issues that affect everyone. Although it probably didn't seem like it at the time, I do think life was simpler and less stressful for everyone even just 10-20 years ago.

    Your new son-in-law cracks me up. It is funny when someone is exposed to a "from scratch" family if he/she has grown up in a "from a box" family. The first time I cooked fresh-from-the-garden green beans for our son's then-girlfriend (not the young woman he recently married, but a previous girlfriend), she was shocked at how good they tasted. She said "I didn't know green beans could taste like this." It make me laugh, and I told her she'd lived a deprived life. (I did cook them southern-style with bacon and chopped onions and lots of black pepper, and it was almost a religious experience for her. LOL)

    I like the idea of the Biscuit mix. I may do that this fall as soon as life slows down and I can stand in the kitchen for 10 minutes without some sort of produce staring me in the face as it awaits processing.

    C'mon, just give in and grow some of your own grain....you know that you want to! And, if you don't want to, George will just keep after you until you break down and do it.

    Dawn

  • owiebrain
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I LOVE this thread!!

    I'm starting some homegrown chicken to simmer in the crockpot over night so I can make noodles (with homegrown eggs and freshly ground flour) in the morning and have a big ol' pot of soup with fresh herbs & veggies from the garden by lunchtime.

    I started getting sick a bit last night and am now feeling rather slammed by it. *whimper* I've been taking elderberry & vitamin C, etc since this afternoon when I finally admitted I might be human. LOL

    And salsa from the garden, nice and hot! Salsa is a comfort food for me and I've always claimed it helps cure flus and colds.

    Oh, the chicken soup reminds me: Anyone know where I can buy Buff Orp hens (or chicks) here in the southeastern corner of the state or even western Arkansas? We'd like to add some to our flock but aren't having any luck finding any.

  • soonergrandmom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    If you want to order chicks they are available at lots of places online. I'll link one of them. The only place I ever see chickens for sale is at the Farm and Ranch stores in spring and at some of the swap meets/flee market things. Sometimes during the fair you can check with those that show chickens if you want something special.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Murray McMurray Hatchery

  • owiebrain
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yep, I know about the online hatcheries but I appreciate it anyway. :-)

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Diane,

    Do y'all have any of the Tractor Supply Company stores or any Orshlein's farm stores near you? We got our Buff Orpingtons at one of those two this past April or May. They only have chicks for about a 6-8 week period in spring though, and their first batch of chicks (and turkeys, ducks and geese) usually arrive 2-3 weeks before Easter every year.

    Dawn

  • owiebrain
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Nope, just an Atwood's and a farmers' coop and neither has a selection of much. Thanks, though! When it's meant to be, BOs will just fall into my lap. LOL

    Diane

  • chefgumby
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I couldn't help but join in on this thread now. I've noticed that I enjoy talking food in the presence of gardeners these days rather than the company of "foodies". In my line of work, I'm bombarded with what's "in" or "happening" in food culture. I find it quite ironic that what I always thought of as the natural way of doing things has become "trendy" all of a sudden. Still it becomes harder and harder to can food the "proper" way anymore or even buy raw milk (the only milk for real biscuits and gravy IMHO). Am I correct that raw milk is illegal to sell? Absurd! When I first began visiting farmer's markets several years back, I was asking around about fresh milk, cheeses, and meats. We had to be escorted to a hidden trailer in a "secret" place where the "contraband" was kept. LOL. I felt like I was buying drugs in New York City.
    Anyway, I suppose the new "foodie trend" is a good thing for the most part. Hopefully, more people will grow up eating fresh produce and know the joys of local meats and grains and the like. I'm trying my best to raise children that are aware of where their food comes from and what it takes to put a fresh meal on the table. I'm tickled to death when my son goes out to pick "pickled okra" in the garden, or when the neighbor boy says our homegrown maters are "better than Subway's". LOL. I admit I have a serious brown thumb, but my children hopefully will never realize!
    Carol, I do the EXACT same thing for my biscuit mix, except I usually do about 2 lbs at a time. I also make a brownie premix that only requires a few extra things. And of course the perfect partner for those biscuits is raw milk gravy. (again IMHO)

    And of course y'all have piqued my interest in grinding grain now. Enablers! Y'all are the best really.

    tonight it's we're puttin' up pesto in the freeze and drying tons of herbs. Herbs are easy for a brown thumb like me! Dale

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dale,

    I do think it is illegal to sell raw milk, so the obvious answer is that you need a milk cow or a goat. : ) Is such a law necessary? Heck no, but who has the money and the lobbyists in Washington D.C.? The commercial milk producers--that's who, so all the laws are written to favor them. As people who like to grow our own food, one fact we need to keep in mind is that the commercial agricultural establishment DOES NOT want us growing more of our own food and eating less of theirs and they are NOT our friends!

    Do you know why it is fun to talk food with gardeners instead of with foodies? Because we KNOW where food actually comes from as well as how difficult it can be to get that food from the planting stage to the harvest stage.

    Before I started growing as many veggies as I grow now (and I'm talking about 20 or 25 years ago) I would look at food at the Farmer's Market and think it was too expensive. Now that I really understand how much work is involved in growing and harvesting that food, I think it is too cheap....I wouldn't sell my veggies for the prices some market growers charge.

    If you haven't read the Barbara Kingsolver book "Vegetable, Animal, Miracle", I recomend it highly. It is about her family's attempt to eat locally and to grow as much of their own as possible for one year, and it is fascinating. There's also some wonderful recipes in the book and on the website.

    It is ironic that "the old ways" are suddenly trendy, isn't it? I don't quite know what to make of it all, but I hope the trend of people wanting to grow their own, preserve it, cook with it, eat locally, support CSAs and Farmer's Markets, etc. turns from 'trendy' to 'normal'.

    I need to harvest herbs too. I haven't done much of that yet because I've been bogged down in tomatoes and peppers.

    Dawn

    Here is a link that might be useful: Animal, Vegetable Miracle Website with Recipes

  • mulberryknob
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It is illegal to sell raw milk unless it is certified. There is a dairy in Claremore that sells certified raw milk, as well as cream and cheese. It's only a 20 min drive from my daughter so she buys for her family there but isn't allowed (by DHS rules) to serve it to the children in her daycare. They also won't let her serve homemade yogurt even if it is made with pasturized milk, or anything home canned.

  • gldno1
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We had a Grade A dairy from 1993 until 2004 and drank our milk straight from the bulk tank! I missed that good milk so much, that I talked DH into letting me buy my registered Milking Shorthorn cow! I know we are very fussy eaters, but I couldn't drink 'store' milk unless it had food to go with it. It left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. I am not saying it was bad or bad for you, just not that good delicious flavor I was used to.

    That being said, I would not drink raw milk from just any source! I have seen Grade A dairies that I wouldn't want to drink their raw milk! Before I would buy raw milk, I would visit the set up and look for cleanliness and healthy cows!

    It is illegal to sell raw milk in 18 states. Now the others probably have lots of rules about inspection, etc., that I am not familiar with.

    I found this regarding where you can buy raw milk in Oklahoma.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Weston Price Foundation

  • southerngardenchick
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I was watching Iron Chef last night and Mike Symon did a dish with heirloom tomatoes... thought of ya'll! LOL!!!

    I'm so curious to what a homegrown chicken tastes like! Real milk, all of that! Someday... someday... I will have my own chickens and at least a goat or two!

    On the topic of busy mom's... I'm a member of three different parenting/social networking sites (yeah, kinda over did it... lol!). Every site has a gardening group, and you'd be surprised how many working mom's have put in gardens this past year. From big ones to just little plots! It is the "foodie" trend, everytime they mention heirloom produce on Foodnetwork it peaks someone's interest. I'm tickled to see it happen! I figure for every ten people that jump on the trend, maybe half will make it a way of life. That's better than nothing, huh? :)
    Buying locally is just how we tend to do things around here, when able. I know a butcher that sells locally grown beef and pork. STILL no local milk, all the dairy's in my area sell their milk to the big dairy in Jonesboro. For MANY years we bought our fish from one of the local fish farms, but now they're freezing and shipping their fish across the country! DANG IT. I keep telling my husband and oldest they got to start fishing more now... LOL! We also have a shrimp and crawdad farm that's just opened up lately... but they want a pretty penny for their product.
    Question? How many of ya'll eat wild game? Last year we had a friend who brought us about 15 ducks over a period of time... was my first foray in cooking wild duck. I roasted them with rosemary and a bit of real butter on them, and red onions shoved in them. LOVE that taste! BUT, I don't know how risky it is to eat wild game. Have had venison in the past, but not often. I didn't let my little guy eat the duck, for fear of what might happen. We've been promised another load for this year if he has another good hunting time... what do ya'll think? Safe to eat?

    Oh, and Dawn? I've read a few books on soapmaking, and it really interests me (along with candle making). Got any advice on how to do it cheaply? Maybe a topic for another thread? :)

    Ya'll have a good day! Tonight's meal will be a chicken noodle soup done up with a grocery store chicken. I don't know what a homegrown one tastes like, yet I still feel I'm missing out... LOL!

    Beth

  • soonergrandmom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Beth, I think the ducks would be safe. Our daughter in Arkansas has a husband and son that love to hunt and they hardly buy meat at all. They use venison, turkey, duck, and geese and probably other things I don't remember. I am not a big wild game eater but I do eat quail and have plenty in my freezer. The quail I eat now is not wild but when I was a child my dad was a big bird hunter so we always had quail. I have plenty of fish because I live on Grand Lake. Sometimes (rarely) my DH fishes, but if not, the neighbors bring it to me anyway. Right now I have about a dozen bags of catfish and a bag of bass in my freezer. I also have a couple of bags of big shrimp that came from Louisana. My husband's friend went to visit his wife's family and brought them back for us.

    I said I probably have a dozen bags of catfish, but that may not be true. My daughter loves it so usually takes a few home with her. LOL We can always get more. Sometimes we have a neighborhood fish fry, but a lot of times I just cook the fish in my George Forman grill for DH and I.

    The wildlife in Arkansas is unbelievable to me. We were driving down the road one day and I thought the field had snow in it, until it moved. I told my husband to stop, and as we pulled over, the geese started to rise near the road and then just a wave of geese followed from the entire field. There were thousands of snow geece in that one place. He wasn't surprised because he grew up there, but I had no idea that there would be that many flying together. That was down near Batesville, I think.

    My husband would deer hunt every year if I would use the meat, but I just don't like it much. I think he is going elk hunting this year, and that's a different story.

    I doubt that I will ever have a goat. LOL My husband was reading something to me last night that someone was giving away Pygmy goats. He would love to have one, but we certainly don't have a place for anyting like that. If we had one, we would only use it for cheese, because we are not milk drinkers. He is allergic and I just don't like it much. I can sometimes drink a half gallon of chocolate milk before it expires. Because of the sugar, I can only drink about a half a cup at a time, but since I need the calcium, I do drink a little. Oh, and that is one thing I do buy name brand, because none is as good as Bordens.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Beth,

    When I started raising heirloom tomatoes 15-20 years ago, people thought I was crazy to grow such odd things, but now they are super trendy, aren't they? Lots of fancy restaurants even list the variety of tomato used in their recipes right on the menu. For example, instead of just featuring tomato soup it might say Sungold Tomato Soup (although Sungold is not an heirloom, it is an exceptionally well-loved and trendy tomato). One of the huge trends the last ten years or longer (definitely longer on the west coast) is for restaurants to have their own gardens and raise their own veggies, or at least some of them....especially heirloom tomatoes and herbs.

    For soapmaking, the best way to do it inexpensively is to grow plants, like yucca, that you can use to make soap the old-fashioned way. And, if you or anyone you know, renders their own meat, that's how you get your lard. (You also can use yucca fiber in papermaking.) If you want to do things the old ways, watch for the Foxfire books. The original one has the soapmaking section in it, and I'll link it below.

    I'm too much of a sissified city woman (it is NOT my fault I was trapped in the city the first 39 years of my life) to like wild game, although I do like venison jerkey, so someone else will have to advise you about wild game. I think that as long as game is field-dressed properly and prepared properly, it ought to be perfectly safe.

    Y'all I was in food heaven today.....spice and herb heaven, produce heaven, heirloom tomato heaven, and winter squash and pumpkin heaven. Our day trip to Ft. Worth was amazing and I brought home some wonderful stuff. A few of the stores there have all kinds of amazing heirlooms that weren't available just a few years ago. It was so much fun, we might go back tomorrow. I'll have to write about it on a separate thread.

    Dawn

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Beth,

    Ooops! I forgot the link to the original Foxfire book. It tells you how to do things the old way, including soapmaking.

    If you watch for it, you might find it at a garage sale, Friends of the Library book sale, used at Amazon, etc. There was a whole series of books after the first one.

    Dawn

    Here is a link that might be useful: Foxfire

  • chefgumby
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    All wild game is safe enough to eat, providing of course you trust the hunter and their meat processing technique. People have done it for thousands of years and here we are today!
    Dawn, I thought you of all people would be "game" for gnawing on some wildlife....oh, say a barbecued cougar leg? :)
    (if that's bad taste i'm sorry couldn't help it)

    Dale

  • soonergrandmom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Bar-B-Q cougar leg. Dale, you can stop that now, Scot is back in town and your harassment shift is over. LOL

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dale, That reminds me. Tim and I were making the long drive home from Fort Worth....and he was driving so he was paying more attention to the roadway than I was. We were somewhere between Denton and the OK/TX border. I vaguely noticed a dead animal in the roadway and kind of said, "Hmmm, was that a coyote or a dog?". (My mind was wandering.....I had visions of heirloom tomatoes and squash dancing in my head.) Tim said "It was a tiger." I almost laughed out loud, and then I realized from his tone of voice that he was serious.

    So, I said, "Um, c'mon, a tiger.....well, there is that tiger sanctuary in Wise County (west of where we were driving)...maybe a young one escaped." And then he said "It was orange and it had spots." So, I told him, "Not a tiger dear." (LOL) He responded "It was orangeish and it had spots like a leopard or jaguar."

    Now, y'all, I have no idea what it was, but he's usually pretty observant and I wasn't paying attention and he didn't want to turn around and drive back down the interstate to see it again. I suggested it might be a bobcat (it would have been a huge bobcat though, if that were the case) or a young cougar....or an escaped exotic pet.

    I guess we'll never know what it was....but it was dead at he side of the road and he thinks it was a spotted cat of some sort. I wish I'd been paying more attention, but I was daydreaming and planning the next batch of tomato sauce (Chunky Tomato Basil, I think) and the next batch of pickles.

    So, Dale, we continue to be plagued by odd wildlife, even when we're not at home. I've never cared for Bar-B-Q'd cougar. I'm a Texas native, so my Bar-B-Q HAS to be beef....no ifs, ands or buts.

    Dawn

  • gldno1
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dawn, it's like the new "green" thing going. It isn't new at all and back in the 70's when J.I. Rodale began his movement it was called Organic! I have some of their first books published.

    I guess whether is it green or trendy or real food, it is a good thing if it can get people interested in eating high quality, good, local food grown without unnecessary chemicals or genetic altering. Back then lots of people thought of Mr. Rodale as complete nutcase!

    I must admit the new 'green revolution' makes be a little crazy. What a marketing delight for the huge corporations.

    I envy you the trip to the spice place. I see KC has one and I have plans to visit if and when we ever can leave the farm to visit our daughter.

    Looking forward to the post about your second trip.

    glenda

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Glenda,

    What you said is so true, and for decades now, if you say you eat or garden organically, a lot of people instantly lump you into that whole 1960s-hippie-back-to-the-land-movement (not that I mind that). Even when we moved here in 1999 and I put a big organic veggie garden in the front pasture, between the road and the house, everyone thought I was crazy.

    The old farmers and ranchers couldn't wait to tell me how I was doing stuff wrong and was going to fail. They didn't think much of my wide raised beds, narrow paths, hay mulch, companion plants ("you're wasting space on weeds") and (horrors!) my reliance on manure and compost instead of liquid fertilizers. When I refused to use pesticides, they gave up on me. One even said to me "You probably do yoga and eat granola". (I do! LOL) They also weren't impressed with the appearance of my heirloom tomatoes, which were the wrong colors, too lumpy and bumpy, etc. You know what, though? Every now and then over the years one or another of them has asked me about an organic solution for this or that, so I've won over a few of them.

    There are aspects of the green movement that bother me, including the way the government dumbed down the organic standards and allow practices which devoted organic gardeners never would use, but for which the commercial industry had lobbied. I do think a lot of the green news we hear has more to do with marketing than with doing anything for the right ethical reasons.

    Still, I do see lots of folks (many of them right here on this forum) who are quite serious about gardening in the most healthy way, eating organically when possible, etc. That gives me hope that we're realizing there's a better way to raise food and take care of Mother Earth too.

    The spice place made me nuts, but in a good way. I didn't want to leave. Tim just stood in the pepper room talking on his cell phone while I put bag after bag in the basket. At one point I handed him the basket to hold for me while I was looking for the turmeric, and he headed for the cashier's register, thinking I was done. I had to chase him down and say "Wait, I'm not finished yet!" LOL Silly guy. Just because the basket was full, he thought I was finished shopping.

    I want to know why Fort Worth has all these interesting food places now---they didn't have them when we lived there.

    Dawn

  • southerngardenchick
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks ya'll... I will eat my ducks this year with no reservations! My Mom is a bit paranoid, says that wild game is dangerous to eat because of possible diseases. But our friend has been hunting and eating his ducks for years with no ill effect... so I feel better about it. Wild duck meat is YUMMY.
    My husband is more of a fisherman, which is fine by me. He just hates cleaning the fish! I told him if he'd just catch 'em, I'd look for a video on YouTube and learn how to clean them MYSELF... LOL! Totally worth it to me.

    Dawn,
    Neat books! Making soap AND dressing a hog? LOL! Sounds like my kind of reading! I didn't know Yucca was used in making soap, DH has been wanting to grow some. Now I have more reason too! I don't know anyone who renders... maybe that butcher I know... I gotta check now.

    Ya'll have a good day! :)

    Beth