Tag Archives: homemade

The Frugal Musician picks a grand supper

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I thinned my turnips yesterday and was delighted to discover succulent tiny fruits underneath the ground. I have great hope my turnips will indeed survive my insecticide-less garden. I did have to spray hot sauce and water on the turnip leaves about a week ago to discourage some little bug that was having a holey field day.

I brought my thinnings in and gave them a good dunk in some soapy water and toss them into an iron skillet with a tiny bit of olive oil to cook. I snipped the tiny turnips into the mix as well.  I gave them a nice dose of water occasionally and a nice splatter of apple cider vinegar at the end of cooking. Because the greens were young, I only cooked for 15 minutes.

Cornbread. I love it. I cannot make it. My mama makes the BEST cornbread in the world. It is a FLAT cake, crisp on the outside and perfect on the inside. She kept telling me she makes it with just water and cornmeal, a fact I have always had trouble believing. Mama wasn’t available to chat me through the cornbread process, so I went online and found recipes for Hot Water Cornbread.

The following recipe makes a small skillet of cornbread. Keep the corncake as thin as possible. If this is over a half-inch thick, the middle will not cook in the skillet.

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal, 2 tbsp flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, enough boiling water to make the mixture like thick soup. Mix everything together and pour into a small iron skillet coated in hot oil. I used a tsp of oil and wiped it around the skillet and this was just enough. When you’re cooking this think PANCAKE and you’ll know when to turn and cook the other side. I let my cornbread cook on med low heat for about 15 minutes. You really have to watch it.

My meal was scrumptious. I LOVE eating from my backyard. How about you?

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The Frugal Musician is in a pickle

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As the cucumber vines played out (as they say here in Virginia when something has reached the end of its usefulness), I admonished myself yet again for not learning the fine art of pickle making. After all, last year I had tracked down canning jars and pickling spice, intending to preserve my cucumber abundance.  But I never got around to having a free day before the cucumber vine shriveling up and died away. So my jars sat gathering dust, silently waiting for spring.

Last weekend, with a pile of cucumbers on my table, I discovered quite by accident a recipe for Icebox Pickles. No canning equipment, no sterilizing and steaming the jars on a day that had already reached 97, no special rings, seals, magic or canning incantations were necessary.

I now have 10 jars of adorable pickles in my fridge. And I love them.

Icebox Pickle Recipe

7 cups cucumbers, thinly sliced

2 cups sugar

1 cup white vinegar

1 tsp salt and 1 tsp celery seed

Bring sugar, vinegar, salt and celery seed to a boil. I did this in a glass bowl in my microwave (reference the above mentioned 97 degree day). If you’re boiling this on the stove, you must use a teflon or glass type pot. Anything else will pit due to the vinegar. The glass bowl in the microwave worked perfectly.

Let the mixture cool and prepare your jars. I used Kerr mason jars as well as a few glass mayo jars. I washed and rinsed my jars well before packing the pickles. After the mixture cools, pack cucumber slices in the jars and press in tight. Pour mixture over the pickles and seal with lids. Store jar in fridge.

This recipes says they keep indefinitely. I can’t imagine keeping mine over a couple of months. I love pickles. I could eat a jar over the course of a day or two…