Turkey, so much good

This Thanksgiving we smoked a 20# turkey, ate a bit off the top for dinner and then I go to work putting the rest of it to good use. Normally I pack away all the meat that is somewhat easy to remove for sandwiches and such over the next few days, and then grab out my big ol’ cast iron cauldron/stock pot and put all the bones in, cover with water, add in 1/2 cup of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar and let it simmer for 12 to 24 hours to make a real good stock for turkey noodle soup & turkey stew. This one bird will feed us another 5 or 6 times. 🙂

Smoked Turkey

I can’t wait till we are smoking our own home raised turkeys to feast on during the holidays, that is the plan for next year. So for this turkey I rubbed the outside of the turkey with olive oil, sage and thyme, then injected garlic-turmeric infused butter into the meat whenever we’d go out to baste it. Turned out amazing, super juicy, tender and smoked to perfection.

Turkey Stock

This picture was taken right after I picked the carcass clean of the choice meat. The remaining meat and bones when in here, including the neck, gizzard, liver and heart.

 

After picking all the choice meat off the bones I put all that was left in my cast iron stock pot, covered with water, added in 1/2 cup ACV and will let it simmer for 12 to 24 hours. I am amazed at how using the bones in this way makes the best soup stock I’ve ever had, and how since we have moved out here all 6 of us have been enjoying vibrant health. None of us has been sick at all, and that is saying something. When we lived in Oregon, before I learned to do the many nourishing traditions I have learned during this time, we’d have colds, flu and all kinds of bugs sweep through our family several times per year. Now, nada.

 

Sweet Potato Cookie Recipe, and Happy Thanksgiving!

This is our 2nd Thanksgiving in Missouri, and our first at home doing our own thing. I am thrilled to be creating traditions now that will reverberate each holiday season from here on, and hopefully pass down to my children. Here is what we are up to.

Sweet Potato Cookies
makes about 18
adapted from the recipe on pg 530 of “Nourishing Traditions”

1 cup cooked sweet potato or squash (I cook mine in my dutch oven at about 300F for about 40 minutes or till soft)
1/2 cup butter/lard, softened
3/4 cup honey/maple syrup/sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
optional: you can add 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 pecans, I don’t.

Place all ingredients except pecans and raisins in a large bowl, and blend well, then fold in the nuts and raisins if you are adding them. Form into walnut sized balls and place on buttered cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for about 20 minutes. After 5 minutes in the oven you can press cookies down lightly with a fork. Let cool completely before removing to an air tight container for storage, or enjoy fresh. They are quite soft, and are more like muffin tops than cookies, but hey… 🙂

From Scratch Pumpkin Pie

Yesterday our friend called us and offered to give us a whole trailer load of pumpkins, some were too far gone for eating making great compost and chicken supplements, but a few of them were worthy of using to make my first from scratch pumpkin pie. I plan to finish the pies today and put them in the freezer and save them for thanksgiving. So now I will share my recipes for the pumpkin pie filling and also the pie crust, which is the same pie crust recipe I used for the apple pies I made before. (https://earthenstewards.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/apple-pie/)

Pie Filling:

First I found a succulent ripe pumpkin, it was about 10″ diameter, and looked a lot like a jack-o-lantern variety, only much smaller. I washed the outside of it, broke off the stem, and then cut the pumpkin in half. Scooped out the seeds and stringy guts in the center. Then I put the seeds aside to wash and save to plant next Spring. I then cut the halves into smaller chunks and arranged them in my cast iron dutch oven, and put it in my preheated 300ºF oven, and let it cook for around 40 minutes or more. When I smelled that rich sweet aroma of pumpkin cooking I opened up the oven and dutch oven and started poking around with my fork. The flesh was super soft so I pulled it out and let it cool on the counter. Later when cooled enough to touch, I separated the pumpkin meat from the skin. I noticed that the pulp/meat was very juicy, so I decided to strain the mush overnight. The next morning I put the mush back in a mixing bowl, and blended using my little hand blender. I gathered the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar (I used raw sugar, as I like the big brown crystals)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups of whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a separate bowl I added the ingredients listed above and mixed well. Then I set mixture aside, preheated the oven to 425ºF and began on the pie crusts.

Pie Crust:

Gather together-

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup tallow/lard
  • 12 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/4 to 3/4 cups of ice cold water

In a large mixing bowl mix together salt and sugar. Add lard/tallow and break it up with a pastry cutter as you start to coat it all up with flour 1 cup at a time till it gets crumbly, then add the rest of the flour. Add in the cubed cold butter and work it into the flour with hands or pastry cutter. Work quickly before butter softens, work it till it’s crumbly. Add ice water a 1/4 cup at a time mixing until dough forms, work into a ball. When it comes together stop working the dough or it will get tough. Divide dough in half and flatten it slightly to form a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes. On a floured surface roll each disk out into a circle about 1/4 to 1/2″ thick,  1o to 11″ wide to make a 9″ pie. I used my round cake pans to bake these in, as I don’t have pie dishes yet.

 

I put the crust in the pan, made sure it was gently stretched/pressed into the corners and then added the filling to 2/3 full. Then I trimmed off the excess crust around the edges, and put them in the oven. I baked the pies for 15 minutes at 425ºF before lowering the oven temperature to 300ºF for the remaining 40-60 minutes. You want to cook the pies till a toothpick or butter knife comes out practically clean.

 

Now I plan to let the pies cool, and freeze them till Thanksgiving. Done!

 

Rampage of Gratitude to kick off the holidays ❤

I am giving my thanks to the most beloved people in my life through cooking us up a feast this Thanksgiving, so we can share good grub and make memories together this holiday season.

I’m thankful for my desire and inspiration of keeping my family healthy, and my growing knowledge of yummies I am able to make for them.

I’m thankful for how I find myself creating delicious health art in the kitchen for us/them to nourish with and enjoy!

Even the treats I make with trusted ingredients from scratch, which gives me a satisfaction that is indescribably alluring to keep me at it each day.

It is my pleasure to accomplish new nourishing baking skills and learn through trial and error each day.

I love that we are the kind of family where my kids are growing up on a 99% from-scratch-diet, where my children see and help their mama prepare and make daily nourishing traditions for them.

I’m thankful to be learning and sharing these traditional skills that my children can someday hand down to their own children and grandchildren that will enrich all our lives with vibrant health for generations to come.

Rabbit Stew Recipe (So Good!)

My first Rabbit Stew was incredible! The kids were begging to have the left-overs for lunch today 🙂

One 3.75 lb rabbit made a stew that will feed us 3 times, I was able to store 2 meals worth of stew in the freezer for future dinners after eating a big helping the first night.

Recipe: I started first thing in the morning, took my big stock pot, put the dressed rabbit (bones and fat intact) in the stock pot, filled the pot with water and 1/4 cup of raw apple cider vinegar, and one coarsely chopped medium red onion and about 10 cloves of garlic, chopped and smashed. I put the flame on med-high till it began to boil, stirring occasionally. Then I turned the heat down to low and let it slow cook all day, half the day with the cover on. By early evening (around 4pm) the meat was falling off the bones nice and easy, so I picked out all the bones, added chopped carrots, celery, chopped potatoes, a cup of rice and some noodles. Then I added salt, pepper, turmeric, parsley, a pinch of rosemary and let the noodles and rice finish becoming tender. Then I threw together some from scratch biscuits.

I read many recipes for rabbit stew and all of them called for chicken stock, well I wanted to taste the rabbit, not chicken so I made the stock from the rabbit bones. DELISH! I can officially say, Rabbit Stew is my favorite! Still tastes a lot like chicken, just slightly different. Hard to put a finger on how it’s different, it just is. lol

This time of year homemade soup stock is so healing and great for the immune system, I love homegrown!

 

Here is a picture of the stew I made out of the rabbit soup.

Rabbit Stew & Dumplings

Orange Muffins

orange muffins

Orange Muffins Recipe~
(adapted from a recipe on pg 222 of ‘Better Homes and Gardens: Complete Step-by-step Cookbook’ printed in 1979)

For one dozen muffins.

Gather together:
3 medium oranges
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons cooking oil (coconut)
2 cups flour (white non-gmo)
3/4 cup sugar (I prefer organic raw sugar, the big brown crystals)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sifted powdered sugar

Technique:
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees Feirenheit
Put your cupcake liners into the cupcake pan.
Shred peel from 1 orange; researve.
Squeeze juice from all oranges.
Measure 3/4 cup juice, 1 teaspoon of the peel, egg, and oil, mix well in a medium bowl.
In a separate large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
Add in orange mixture, stir till just evenly moistened.
Turn into cupcake pan, filling each cup 2/3 full.
Bake 20-30 minutes, check with toothpick till it comes out clean.
Cool.
To prepare glaze:
blend 1 tablespoon of reserved orange juice and the rest of the orange peel with powdered sugar.
Add more juice to make of drizzeling consistency.
Drizzel atop cooled muffins.
Enjoy!

 

These turned out SOO good, the big raw sugar crystals just burst in your mouth with each bite, and that wonderful orange flavor is just divine at breakfast time 🙂