Ham Salad

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I always try to keep a few chunks of ham when we have it for dinner to make ham salad.  I made this for lunches today with some of the leftover ham from the Split Pea soup I made last week.  It’s a great lunch or snack!!

You can see how I make our ham salad on my facebook page here:  Ham Salad

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Apple Juice (make it yourself!!)

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During apple season, I hate to waste anything.  When making apple bread, sauce, or pies I take the peels and cores and boil them to make apple juice.  There is nothing like homemade apple juice!!  It is delicious.

Depending on the type of apples you use, the color is always different but the flavor and health benefit is a plus!!  You can sweeten it with sugar, honey or agave.

You can find my recipe on my facebook page here:  Apple Juice homemade

Homemade Fondant and Pound Cake

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My 12 year old (the tween) amazes me sometimes.  Yesterday was one of those days.  She was bored with the weather being bad and declared she wanted to make homemade fondant and make our pound cake to surprise her brother when he is home from his hockey tournament.  She made the cake above.  I was amazed how she took the initiative and made this very impressive cake with his jersey and number on it.  It took her literally about 4 hours.

I don’t like fondant and will never eat a cake that has it.  The store bought fondant is gritty and normally not very good tasting and we have had some from bakeries that are not that good either as it’s thick.

This homemade marshmallow fondant was really good and SIMPLE!!!  It’s smooth, and just enough sweetness when rolled out to add a nice flavor to the buttery pound cake we make.  She used white icing glue we had on hand to attach the pieces.  It takes a bit to try and the cake came out perfect.  It will be a nice surprise for her brother when he returns late tonight!

Here are some of the pictures of her work and our recipes for our family pound cake and the recipe she used for the fondant.

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Our family POUND CAKE recipe:

3/4 cup butter (a stick and a half)
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk

Cream sugar and butter. Add egg yolks until combined thoroughly. Add Vanilla.  Mix flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl and add alternately with milk. Set aside.  Beat egg whites until just stiff and fold into batter.

Bake in well greased tube pan or cake pan (we used a 9×9 and 2 small loaf pans) for 30 minutes in 350 degree pre heated oven until just browned and toothpick test comes out clean

 

MARSHMALLOW FONDANT  (super easy to make!!)

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces miniature marshmallows (4 cups not packed, or half of a 16-ounce bag)
  • 1 pound powdered sugar (4 cups), plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Food coloring or flavored extracts, optional
  • Yield: 1 1/2 lbs fondant

Preparation

  1. Dust your counter or a large cutting board with powdered sugar. Place the marshmallows and the water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, until the marshmallows are puffy and expanded.
  2. Stir the marshmallows with a rubber spatula until they are melted and smooth. If some unmelted marshmallow pieces remain, return to the microwave for 30-45 seconds, until the marshmallow mixture is entirely smooth
  3. Add the powdered sugar and begin to stir with the spatula. Stir until the sugar begins to incorporate and it becomes impossible to stir anymore.
  4. Scrape the marshmallow-sugar mixture out onto the prepared work surface. It will be sticky and lumpy, with lots of sugar that has not been incorporated yet–this is normal. Dust your hands with powdered sugar, and begin to knead the fondant mixture like bread dough, working the sugar into the marshmallow with your hands.
  5. Continue to knead the fondant until it smoothes out and loses its stickiness. Add more sugar if necessary, but stop adding sugar once it is smooth–too much sugar will make it stiff and difficult to work with. Once the fondant is a smooth ball, it is ready to be used. You can now roll it out, shape it, or wrap it in cling wrap to use later. Well-wrapped fondant can be stored in a cool room or in the refrigerator, and needs to be kneaded until supple before later use.
  6. If you want to add coloring or flavoring to your fondant, flatten it into a round disc. You might want to wear gloves to avoid getting food coloring on your hands during this step. Add your desired amount of coloring or flavoring to the center of the disc, and fold the disc over on itself so that the color or flavor is enclosed in the center of the fondant ball.
  7. Begin to knead the ball of fondant just like you did before. As you work it, you will begin to see streaks of color coming through from the center. Continue to knead until the streaks are gone and the fondant is a uniform color. Your fondant is now ready to be used or stored as outlined above.

 

Sharing the tradition

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These beautiful mums on our kitchen table were a thank you gift from a young friend of mine.  (Lulu’s Musings should be proud of my decorated table inspired by her posts!!)   She had asked me to teach her how to can.  She made apple butter and brought it over to can at our house.

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Canning gets such a bad rap.  I hear all the time about why people don’t can because it’s so much work.  The truth is canning is not the work, it’s preparing what is going into the jars that is SO much work.

When we were finished, which took all of 25 minutes as the apple butter had been prepared ahead of time, she was pleasantly surprised how easy canning truly is.  She is going to make another batch for Christmas gifts and can them on her own.

And another canner is born 🙂

Yearly Stock Pile

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This is how we prepare for the winter months in our house.  I like to have the pantry in the basement packed full of homegrown veggies, fruits, homemade soups, chicken stock, potatoes and meat.

Years ago a stock pile was the only way to survive the winter months as you could not get to the local merchant.  Generation to generation the stock pile need has become a thing of the past.  I do not want my children to rely solely on stores and buying food they truly have no idea of the ingredients.  I want them to have the life skills to pass on to the next generation.  That is all part of my reason for continuing traditions from my past.

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Both sides of the pantry are packed and we have some other staples we keep also.

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The freezer is loaded with homemade soups, chicken stock, flash frozen tomatoes, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherry pies, blueberry pies, and meat from the butcher.  In the next few weeks applesauce, apple pies, cranberry sauce, peas and brussel sprouts will be added as well as a string of homegrown onions.

This is what living this life is all about.  Keeping the traditions and sharing them with the next generation of our family 🙂