Freezing Baked Beans

Here is a good recipe for freezing baked beans that could be pulled from the freezer and warmed up for a quick addition to a meal. It calls for dried pea beans which include: Black-eyed and Yellow-eyed peas; Chick/Garbanzo/Ceci/Spanish peas; Split peas; or Whole dried peas. See my post from 25 May 2017, Kinds of Dried Beans #2.

8 lb dried pea beans
4-1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c salt
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 c molasses
4 onions, chopped (optional)
1-1/2 lb bacon, cut up
1/2 tsp pepper
4 qt tomato juice
2 qt water

Cover the dried pea beans with water and soak overnight. Drain and cook until soft. Cool and add the rest of the ingredients. Put into jars and cold pack 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

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Hamburger Pickle Slices

If you still have a lot of cucumbers left to pickle, here is an old Amish recipe you may want to try.

To 1 gallon of thinly sliced cucumbers, add 1 cup of salt. Cover with hot water with green food coloring (optional) added to it. Let stand for 4 days. Drain and wash/rinse and then cover with water to which 1 tablespoon of alum has been added for each gallon of water. Boil for 10 minutes, then drain. In a small cloth bag place 1 tablespoon each of whole cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and celery seed. Tie bag closed. Put in your kettle with the pickles and add 1 pint of water, 1 pint vinegar and 5 cups of sugar. Boil until transparent and put into jars and seal.

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Sunlight’s Health Benefits

I think we all realize that too much exposure to the sun can damage our skin which could lead to skin cancer although a moderate amount of sunlight has health benefits. Here are some of those benefits.

  • 30 minutes of sun while wearing a bathing suit causes our skin to produce a significant amount of vitamin D, which is important for healthy bones and a healthy immune system. If you’re not into sunbathing, 15 minutes of sun on your hands, arms and face two or three days per week provides some vitamin D benefits.
  • Sunlight also gives a boost to our levels of serotonin, a mood- and energy- enhancing hormone produced in our brain.
  • Exposure to sunlight supports your body’s production of nitric oxide, a substance that helps lower blood pressure as well as chronic inflammation, which may have a role in the development of heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
  • Remember, ‘moderation’ is the word when it comes to sun exposure, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s ultraviolet rays are at their peak. If you are out in the sun for 15 minutes or longer, wear a sunscreen with a (SPF) sun protection factor, of at least 15.

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I Need The Rake

If you have watched The Alaskan Bush People on TV you know that they use a lot of hand signals when they are communicating among themselves. They say that because of the distance over which they are trying to make their needs known, using hand signals makes more sense than trying to shout at each other. I thought the Pickle Queen and I knew each others hand signals but I was at a loss for our latest attempt to get our needs known.

We were doing some yard work after the wind and rain we had lately and the PQ went up to the house to take a shower. As she got up to the deck I realized that I couldn’t find the rake. I yelled up to her, “Where’s the rake?”

She couldn’t hear me and shouted back, “What?”

I pointed to my eye, then I pointed to my knee and made a raking motion. Pretty clear I thought. Evidently the PQ wasn’t sure and said, “What?”

I repeated the gestures: “EYE KNEE THE RAKE”.

The PQ replied that she understood and signs back. She first points to her eye, next she points to her left breast, then she points to her bum, and finally points to her crotch.

Well, there was no way in hell I could even come close to that understanding that one. Exasperated, I went up to the house and asked her, “What the hell was that?”

She replied, “EYE – LEFT TIT – BEHIND – THE BUSH.”

Makes sense to me now.

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The First Liar Doesn’t Have A Chance

It used to be that picking tomatoes wasn’t too bad of a chore. One could think about future gardening seasons while picking the fruits of this years labor. Not so this season. With two crazy individuals presently dueling to see who’s the craziest, I prefer to think about the past. While picking uncooked spaghetti sauce yesterday, my thoughts went back to earlier times when a neighbor lady asked for gardening advise.

We had a garden in the community garden plots in Watertown. Plot sizes were 20 by 30 feet so one had to make good use of the ground. We did manage to get a second and sometimes a third plot if there were leftovers that no one wanted. Everyone around always complimented us on how good everything was growing, especially our tomatoes. The neighbors who lived next door to us had their garden in their back yard, and if I must say so myself, it left a little bit to be desired.

One season, her garden was growing beautifully but the darned tomatoes wouldn’t ripen. There’s a limit to the number of uses for green tomatoes and she was getting tired of the whole situation. One afternoon as I was getting home from work she comes over and says, “Your tomatoes are ripe, mine are green. What can I do about it?”

Feeling a little cantankerous I replied, “Well, it may sound absurd but here’s what to do. Tonight there’s no moon. After dark go out to your garden and take all of your clothes off. Tomatoes can see in the dark and they’ll be embarrassed and blush. In the morning they’ll all be red, you’ll see.”

The next morning was a Saturday and as I was sitting on the deck having a cup of coffee, she came out of the house and headed for her garden. I went over to the fence and said, “Did you do as I suggested?”

“I said, well, what the heck and did it,” she replied.

“How did it work?” I asked.

“So-so,” she answers, “The tomatoes are still ¬†green but it looks like all the cucumbers are four inches longer!”

The first liar doesn’t have a chance.

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Creole Gumbo

Our okra is in its peak of production and we’re always looking for new recipes to enjoy using okra. Here’s an okra creole gumbo recipe to try.

2-1/2 c okra
1 lb brisket, diced
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs parsley, chopped
1/3 c cooking oil
1/2 c onions, chopped
1/2 lb ham, diced
2 c canned tomatoes
6 c boiling water
2 Tbsp flour
Salt, pepper, cayenne
1 green pepper, chopped

Brown the ham and brisket in cooking oil. Remove meat. Brown onions and okra in the hot oil. Add flour slowly. Stir until blended. Add the meat and remaining ingredients, stirring constantly. Season to taste. Cover and simmer slowly until meat is tender. Serve while hot with seasoned rice.

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