Confession – I never heard the term “schmaltz” until sometime in the last decade. Growing up on the farm, rendered poultry fat was prized for cooking and baking, but I didn't realize it had a name other than chicken fat, duck fat, goose fat, etc. Thankfully, I've had a chance to rediscover this wonderful cooking oil, first, with poultry fat from a friend, and more recently, with chicken fat from our first flock of broilers. In this post we'll talk about what schmaltz is, how to make it and how to use it. [Read more…]
Would you like to add some cheerful fall decorations without breaking the budget? I have nine pumpkin decorating ideas that you're going to love. We'll create nine different ideas, all for under $10! You can combine fresh pumpkins, flowers and herbs from your garden with common pantry and craft items to brighten any room. [Read more…]
A root cellar is a great option to include in your food storage plan, since they require no energy to use and require very little maintenance. It’s great if you can build in a root cellar when your home is under construction, but it’s also possible to add a root cellar to your basement, or build one outside your home. Root cellars are a great low-cost, no-energy way to store food and extend the shelf life of fresh produce. [Read more…]
In recent years we've been blessed with an abundance of walnuts from a neighbor each fall, so I enjoy trying out new walnut recipes. This recipe for Maple Candied Walnuts from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen is lovely and couldn't be easier. They make a tasty and unique gift, but are easy enough to be a special treat any time of year.
Harvesting walnuts is a part of our fall routine most years. We don't have walnut trees yet, but our neighbors have black walnuts and English walnuts. I normally use the black walnuts for their hulls to make black walnut tincture, and use the English walnuts for their nut meats.
Both types of walnuts have a tough green outer hull, but the hulls on English walnuts usually split open and are easy to slip off. Black walnuts require more effort to hull, and their shells are thicker and nut meats smaller. English walnuts have thinner husks and shells, and are easily cracked with a lever style nut cracker. In this post I'll talk about harvesting English walnuts, picking the fresh nuts and drying them for storage in the shell. We'll also cover the best way to store nuts out of the shell.
Note: The maple candied walnut recipe has moved here.