Afraid To Pressure Can? It’s Really Not That Scary!

Pressure Canned Green Beans From My Garden

Those of you who regularly use your pressure canners, may want to skip this post. This is aimed at folks who are wanting to get into pressure canning, but have some concerns about safety. I used to be afraid of two things, when it came to pressure canning. The first one, was my canner blowing up like the stories I’d been told, and the second was botulism poisoning! Honestly, I feel that both of these are perfectly understandable fears.

Bread Baking For Busy People

Fresh baked sourdough (That I should’ve pulled out of the oven a bit sooner).

Hi there folks! This is part two in my bread baking series. In my last post I wrote about getting a sourdough starter going, and in this post I’ll give a basic recipe you can customize, as well as give you my “bread baking schedule” to show how I can provide my family with homemade bread, and still have a life outside of my kitchen.

Making a Sourdough Starter (Without Store Bought Yeast)!

A couple sourdough loaves I baked in December

I love bread in most forms, but I think sourdough is my absolute favorite!  I especially enjoy a crusty “artisan” style loaf, with a piping hot bowl of soup, or just plain with butter, or the entire loaf while hissing and growling at anyone that tries to take it from me…oops, did I type that out loud?   Bread, to me, is one of the easiest ways to start being more self reliant, not to mention get in touch with our “inner pioneers”!   It’s fairly inexpensive to make it yourself, and is not only healthier and tastier than store bought (in my opinion), but makes a nice gift or addition to a pot luck.

Okra, the Hairy Slug of the Vegatable World!

Believe it or not, this is a love story! (Or rather, an illustration of love) I’ll begin with a bit of background. When I was a kid, my mom, who was usually an amazing cook, made my brother and I okra for dinner. I’m sure there was more to the meal than just okra, but I was so traumatized that all I remember was the offensive vegetable. It was mushy, slimy, and hairy, none of which I found appetizing. That was my first, and what I hoped would be my last, experience with the vile vegetable! Over the years, I’ve had plenty of people tell me it wasn’t cooked right, and if I tried it cooked the correct way, I’d like it. I assumed they secretly disliked me and just wanted to trick me into eating it again, so I continued to happily refrain.

Many years (along with a few of life’s storms!) go by, and I met and married my country guy. Life was great, and he was everything I thought a man should be! That is, until I discovered he was an okra lover! (Did you hear the dramatic music in your head as you read that? Maybe I’m the only one who imagines weird stuff like that!) Ok, I’m obviously exaggerating a bit, but it was hard for me to understand how he actually liked it!
We were in the grocery store, picking up a few things for dinner, and had made our way to the vegetable section. As we passed by, my husband said “Hey, they have Okra! Sweetie, could you make me some?” Of course I laughed, because he was joking. Right? He was joking! I know this, because okra is Nasty! I mean look at all the delicious vegetables available for a person to enjoy, and he was asking for okra? Yeah, he wasn’t joking.

I began to list the many reasons (by “many”, I mean one: It’s gross!) why I wouldn’t be cooking okra, but then he did something completely unfair. He looked at me, almost forlornly, with those sky blue eyes of his, and said “Please? I love okra.”

How could I possibly say no to that? Well, I bought the okra. I got online, and found a recipe for breading and frying it (because you can bread and fry nearly anything and it will taste ok!), and I made him okra to go along with dinner. I even tried it. It was tolerable (Actually kind of good!), but more importantly, it made him happy! Seeing him happy, made me happy, so it was completely worth trying the “hairy slug of the vegetable world” one more time.