Monday, August 20, 2012

Hubbard Squash and Pumpkin Custard

Green Hubbard Squash and Baby Pam Pumpkin
Opened and ready to take out the seeds to bake
The Hubbard squash and the pumpkin pureed together
Ready to bake as squash/pumpkin custard

I got one little pumpkin so far from the garden. My husband went out to pick cucumbers and found a green hubbard squash that was ready too. I decided that I had had my fill of savory squash recipes lately so I thought I would see what the internet recommended for the use of these two things in a dessert. I found someone's recipe for hubbard squash pie and I decided that sounded like a good idea. I modified it a bit because I mixed my pumpkin with it. I used the recipe on a can of pumpkin I had in the pantry but used my squash and pumpkin instead.  I roasted them and then pureed them together adding eggs, evaporated milk, sugar and pumpkin pie spices. I didn't want pie so I poured the mixture into 4 of my baking bowls. They baked up just like pumpkin pie filling, but I guess since there is no crust I made custard. My husband and I think they taste great! I love coming up with ideas to use up my garden vegetables.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fireside Sunset

Sometimes there are very pretty sunsets that we watch while we have our backyard campfires. This was during one we had this week.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Making Mountain Pies

I grew up camping with my family. My mom would always make apple filled Mountain Pies on our trips. I still love having campfires and we always make Mountain Pies when my sister visits. Tonight, Eddie and I decided to make them for dessert at our campfire. I have an old Mountain Pie iron and  I had a can of apple pie filling. The Mountain Pies are made by heating the iron in the fire a little. Butter is then melted in each half of the iron. A slice of bread is placed on one side. The pie filling and a bit of cinnamon is put on the bread. Another slice is placed on top of the filling and the pie iron is closed.  The iron is held in the fire until both sides of the bread are well toasted. The pie is then ready to eat after about ten minutes of cool down time.  I have made pies with cherry filling and pizza filling. For the pizza pies we use pizza sauce, shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese and pepperoni if wanted. You can make grilled cheese, hot meatball, hot ham and cheese or any combination that you would make in any grilled sandwich or panini.  The Mountain Pie makers can be purchased with camping supplies. Coleman makes one. I prefer the heavy duty ones from my childhood and I hope the one I have lasts a long time.

Ingredients for apple filled Mountain Pies
The apple pie is ready to cook.

The pie is toastng nicely in the pie iron.

The pie is ready.

Cooling and almost ready to eat.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ed's Recent Projects Wood and More

Below are a few of the recent projects Ed has completed. We have a lot of things lying around that need finishing to become new items. He decided to get started on some of them. He has more planned. I might have a few planned for him too.

Eddie painted this old tool box and added wheels. We will use it in the living room as a coffee table and for storage.

These were free chairs from a clean-out Eddie did with my Dad. He lightly sanded them and made new seats with scrap wood and material. They are now in our gardenside cabin.

Eddie made this sign and rack for the newly seasoned cast iron pans. This is on the wall between our kitchen and living room.

This shelf is made out of reclaimed barn wood from a barn Eddie tore down. The sides are red. It is above my night stand in our room. We have put two tractors on it that Eddie made, along with radios and bottles that he found.

This sewing machine stand was from a clean-out Eddie did. He painted it and added a thick reclaimed board for the top and put a few coats of polyurethane on it. It is part of our gardenside cabin decor.

 Eddie made this rustic table with reclaimed and scrap lumber. He put several coats of polyurethane on it to make the top shiny and protected. This table is also in the cabin.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cooking With Cast Iron

In my last post I showed how we re-seasoned our old cast iron skillets. We used them for cooking breakfast and dinner yesterday on the open fire.  The bacon and eggs were delicious. I loved the rustic look and smoky taste my same old bacon had.  The chickens were very curious and got too close to things a few times. For dinner we made bacon cheeseburgers and they were delicious. We sat outside and had a picnic with the burgers and corn on the cob from our garden.  We plan to do this often now.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Seasoning Old Cast Iron Skillets

This project started when Ed read an article in the current Countryside magazine called "Rusty Gold."  It was an article about rescuing old cast iron pans. We happened to have six old skillets lying around.  His friend gave him a set of three skillets and his parents had given him a set of three skillets the same size as the other set. So with six pans and a sand blaster, he went to work.  Some sources say not to use a sandblaster because it may decrease the value of the pans...but we aren't selling them. We are going to use them.  After sandblasting them down to the metal, they were coated with lard, and baked at 450 degrees for 45 minutes.  Ed used a stove that is in his garage to do this so there would be no smoke in the house.  After the pans cooled for an hour, they were coated with vegetable shortening and baked again.  At this point they had a nice black shiny coating. We have decided to use one set in the house and one for outdoor fire cooking. Ed made a set of hooks to hang them on so that they are handy to get to and add a little touch of country to oour kitchen decor. It is recommended to cook high fat foods the first few times they are used until they get a really good seasoning on them.  We used two of them on the open fire to cook breakfast this morning. I will post about that tomorrow!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Drying Sage in a Food Dehydrator

I grew sage in my garden this summer.  I have three sage plants that are all producing a great amount of leaves. I use it fresh in some recipes but I have way too much to use now.  I harvested some of it this week and used my food deyhdrator to dry it for future use. It took 24 hours in the dehydrator for the leaves to be ready. The instructions in the dehydrator suggested breaking it so it dries faster, but then not crushing it after it is dried until it is time to use it. This makes the flavor better. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Garden View Cabin and Greenhouse

 This little cabin sits on our property next to my huge vegetable garden. It did not start out to be this big or for this purpose. Here is how an idea evolved. My husband and I love to scrounge things and we have a lot of old wood and windows stored in our barns that he has collected from jobs or the roadside. We were talking about building a small potting shed for me to start my seeds in for gardening.  This changed into the idea of using some of our many collected old windows for one wall to make it more of a greenhouse. The idea kept evolving. He had done two recent demolition jobs where he kept the materials. One was tearing down an old deck and the other was tearing down a barn that had caved in due to snow.  Now this was going to be a huge greenhouse using the deck as the floor, reclaimed barn wood for the sides, and reclaimed barn tin roof for the top. He built the basic greenhouse and it was 8 x 16 feet. Last summer it was done and I used it to extend my growing season with several potted herbs and vegetables.  The inside was not finished off and it was for the purpose of gardening.  We had two friends visit from Rhode Island last summer. They rode here on their motorcycles and decided they would camp-out in our greenhouse. This was the start of phase two of the greenhouse project.
  Our friend jokingly put in his request for some upgrades to the "hotel" and said he would come back to stay again during the next summer. So, we went above and beyond is requests by adding insulation, walls, paint, carpet, beds, tables, mirror and even air conditioning. We added a deck area to sit and look out over the garden too. 
     My husband and I camped out in it one night and it was a very cozy rustic atmosphere making it feel like we were really camping.  Luckily we had the house nearby for facilities. Our friend was a little disappointed when he was coming to visit and we had to tell him that the cabin was not available for him. My husband's parents were also here during that same time (for my son's graduation) and they had "reserved" the cabin.  He came back several weeks later with his son-in-law and grandson and all three of them were able to stay in the cabin.
     Our plan is to have this as a multi-use building now.  In the fall I will move some plants in to extend the season. In the spring I will start my seeds and put them in the "greenhouse" I will not be making a mess in there now as I would have if it were just a potting shed. My husband plans to put vertical shelves up the entire window wall for the growing plants. The project evolved into a great Garden View Cabin and Greenhouse.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rural Vegetable Stand

Today I opened a roadside vegetable stand to attempt sell off some of our garden produce and egg abundance. I have been doing my personal best to eat cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes and eggs every day, but I can not keep up with the harvest. I do a lot of freezing and I am making unique dishes almost every day, but there is too much. I am giving the vegetables and eggs away to family, but thought I might make a little money on the produce to help pay for things that we can't grow ourselves.  My husband and I painted  a couple of signs to face in each direction on our road.  We live on a well traveled rural road and I am hoping  for some "home-from-work" customers today.  We put up our white EZ-up tent that we have from our days doing craft fairs. We put several signs up and I placed my vegetables on the table.  I am using a peanut butter jar with the "Country Honor System" for payment. There is no time to sit at the stand. Tomorrow I will use a nice tablecloth to make it more inviting!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Antique Fair Filming Market Warriors


  Today my husband and son and I went to the Washington County Fairgrounds Antique Fair. Go to the site to see many photos! It is a huge show held in May and August. We took my son this year since he has a new interest in antiques and picking. While we were there we noticed that there were camera crews. It turned out that they were filming an episode of the new Market Warriors for PBS.  We watched them for a little while and are looking forward to watching the episode when it airs to see what they found.  Below are a couple of the little treasures my son bought. He bought a WWII commemorative belt buckle, a coffee tin, an old cologne bottle, an old liqueur bottle, and a Japanese 100 yen coin (not pictured). We had a great time but the 97 degree heat was a bit tiring!

 We all had a great time and are looking forward to the shows again next year! In the meantime we are finding some local auctions to go to.