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Friday, July 4, 2008

The Blessings Flow!

I don't know if I wrote about my pressure cooker desire. I want one so bad! I spent days scouring the internet for one and checked all the stores in town. I was even ready to send off $300 to a crappy website that wouldn't even load or show the shopping cart to get one but just couldn't justify spending sooooo much money. That's basically when I decided to get the freezer.

Well, we have a friend who is moving away and she ~gave~ Veronica her pressure canner. Can you believe it? GAVE! And I can use it when I want, whoo hoo!! I also found out there are several ladies at church who have them and probably don't use them. I'm in canning heaven! Last night all the things I could can were dancing in my head; pumpkin, squash, beans, peas, meat, soups and on and on. I can't wait! I'm defiantly going to need more jars, lol!

I also found out earlier this week that I can use the grain mill at church any time I want. No one uses it anymore so it's basically free access! Of course I'll let people know I have it in case anyone wants to use it, but it has not been touched in the 11+ years I have been going to church.

This morning I labeled and boxed up most of the jam after checking the seals and taking the rings off (only one didn't seal, but I think it was the jar). Here is a great site for free labels (you can even type your info onto them and print them off). I want to put little circles of fabric with ribbon on them to make them look homey :)

Later today I plan to do some freezer cooking. Mark can never find anything to take to work and there are plenty of days that I don't feel like cooking and want something easy. I am going to make lasagna if I have noodles. If not, I am going to make Mexican lasagna. Can't remember if I posted that recipe or not but I will when I make it. I also want to make chili, tortillas, and lots of dough. I may freeze some pre-made pizzas, pizza pockets and maybe some plain dough as well. We sometimes like garlic fingers too :). I posted a donair sauce recipe below.

I just got off the phone with Veronica. Strawberries are $1.99 a quart at a local Fruit and Vegetable stand! I'm going to get another flat, whoo hoo! I think these I will mostly cut up to freeze and dehydrate some of them since they make a nice snack. This way we can have good cheap berries all year (although nothing compares to the taste of fresh).

Yesterday I made some unbaked cookies. The kids LOVE these. Ethan couldn't stop eating them, lol! They're great for chocolate cravings since they're so quick to make, even though they aren't the healthiest but when you really want chocolate, you don't care! BTW, I've heard these called many names but I always think of them as "Frogs". I don't call them that because the kids look at me funny and it may be offensive without my knowing it :o

Unbaked Cookies

1-1.5 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. butter/margarine
1/2 c. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix the above ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove from stove. Add in 3-4 cups of oatmeal. Drop on lined cookie sheets or put in muffin tins (this is what I do). Keep in fridge.

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Alternate SUPER-THICK Sauce Recipe (confirmed to be excellent)

* 2/3 cup canned sweetened condensed milk
* 1/4 cup white vinegar
* 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Follow the same instructions as above, except that you really need to stir for a long time to get the condensed milk and vinigar mixed properly. Do not be alarmed. Stirring this recipe for a long time will not make it thin. Leave set for a few minutes and you will be able to turn the bowl upside down and none of it will pour out.

This is the best donair sauce ever! It is my favorite, but we don't always have sweetened condensed milk on hand. I can't find the recipe I was using but this makes a good substitute for the milk:

MAKE SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK

Commercial sweetened condensed milk is made by evaporating a mixture of whole milk and sugar until a creamy, thick consistency, much like that of honey, is achieved. It is used in pies, candies, frosting, and ice creams to add extra richness. Now you can make sweetened condensed milk at home using nonfat dry milk solids. This recipe yields about the same amount as 1 (14 oz.) can of the commercial type and can be made for a fraction of the cost. Preparation is suprisingly easy. You can make it in an instant in your blender and keep a supply stored in the refrigerator until needed. 2/3 c. sugar 1/3 c. boiling water 4 tbsp. melted butter

Combine all ingredients in container of electric blender; process until smooth. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Yield: about 1 1/4 cups.

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