Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Columbus Day!

Here it is, almost the middle of October already. This is my last school year with my son home, and it's going by so quickly. Friday, he went to visit one of the universities he's interested in attending. He came home excited and so full of chatter. He has a couple more universities he wants to look at before he makes his final decision, but right now he's really leaning towards this one because of both the course of study they offer and the small college atmosphere. DH went to Penn State, and said he wished he would have more of the atmosphere they found at this university. I guess that means that DH approves of our son's choice :)

We buy our milk at a local dairy that uses no growth hormones and raises their cows as naturally as possible. When we go to the dairy, we pass by a few farm stands and a local produce stand, and up the road from the dairy is a nice Mennonite food and dried goods pantry where I buy such wonderful items as farina in bulk. This week, my husband and son went on the milk run, and on the way back, they stopped at the produce stand to get some apple cider. The carry the unpasteurized apple cider and will refill your jug for $1 less than shelf price. Then they stopped at one of the farms that I get pumpkins from. I asked them to pick up two, and told them they should run close to $1.50 for a nice sized pumpkin. Two is a decent amount for us, especially since I also put away squash for using like pumpkin. Well, they came home with 2 plus 3 additional ones since they were only $1 each! I guess they are hinting they want me to put up a little more this year :)

I have put the new pressure cooker/canner to work. I tried corned beef and cabbage in it. I liked the taste, but the meat texture was different than doing it the conventional way. The vegetables, on the other hand, had a nice flavor. I also canned some broccoli soup this weekend. Since the pressure cooker is only 10 quarts, I can only put in 4 jars. It's nice when I have just enough to do a batch, or to test a recipe to see if I really want to stock the shelves with a large canner full. Since broccoli is on sale this week, I'll be trying the soup tonight to see if the family likes it. It will work in nicely, as my daughter has her annual dr. check today, so we won't be home until almost dinner time. It will just be a quick heat and we'll have ham & swiss on homemade bread along with it.

I dug out the old sourdough pancake recipe that my mother had received with her first Herman. The people that gave Mom the starter introduced us to the world of sourdough when I was little. Sadly, there was no internet or any real sources for finding recipes that worked with Herman, so Mom got bored with the couple of recipes that we had, and found that Herman was not worth the work of keeping him going. I'm so much more fortunate, as I have the world's cookbook at our fingertips!

Mom's Sour Dough Pancakes

1 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 cup sour dough starter
1/2 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together. Cook on greased or buttered skillet.

Another sour dough recipe Mom made a lot was for cookies. I should pick up some peanuts and make these with the kids sometime.

Sour Dough Chocolate Chip Peanut Mounds

1 cup sour dough starter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup soft butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 1/2 cups flour
2 cups salted peanuts
6 ounce package chocolate chips

Cream together sugar, shortening and butter. Add eggs and vanilla. Comine with sour dough. Mix well. Sift together salt, baking soda, and flour. Add to sour dough mixture. Fold in peanuts and chocolate chips. Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten dough with bottom of glass that has been greased and dipped in sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

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