Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mish Mash

A gardener's review of "Gnomeo & Juliet".  Yawn. . .  My three year old grandchild  loved the really big "TV" screen, the incredibly loud volume and most of all the popcorn.  When gnomes were being broken aka killed, she was very frightened and didn't catch on to the concept:  gluing back together meant they lived.  Heard parents talking about it but most kids just sat there.  Yawn . . .   As far as the reviewer who said it promoted "green space" - well - so does a green crayon on white paper, but come on lady.
. . .______________________. . . 

Hope you all had a great valentine's day.  After a spinach salad at Rizzi's on State in Peoria, we headed around the corner for some antiquing.  I enjoy scouting out old books and today found one called "Freezing & Canning Cookbook" from 1963 Farm Journal readers.  Tells how, why and chats.  Then includes recipes.  Good old-fashioned farm women recipes. 

These recipes show how much our culture has changed especially in what we plant and harvest and what we consider good food.  Let me share a few:

Elderberry, Gooseberry and Mulberry Jams and Jellies.  The last time I worked with any of these berries, it took H O U R S and H O U R S just to pick those little babies.  I have all of these growing wild in the back woods and I'm happy to share with our birds. 

Others:  Liver Kabobs.  Sun dried corn.  Spicy crab apples.  Poke Greens.  Sassafras Root harvesting.  Sauerkraut preservation.  Grape Ketchup.  Gumdrop Bread.  Pickled Quince.  Sugar Curing.  Minted Onion Rings.  Old Fashioned Rag Pickles.  Lard Cake.  Boysenberry Jelly.  Keep in mind every recipe is for dishes that can be frozen or canned. 

The majority of recipes sounded just as good today as they sounded in the early 1960's.  Good, healthy (well most and a good use of our natural resources.  Some of the recipes bring back memories of when I canned more.  

In keeping with my January article "G is for Geranium", I'll give you the following recipe:

Apple-Geranium Jelly

6 C     Apple Juice
4 C     Sugar
12       Rose geranium leaves

Prepare juice by removing stem & blossom ends of tart, red apples (5 pounds).  Slice and put in kettle with water, barely to cover.  Cook until very tender.  Turn into a jelly bag and let juice drip into bowl.

Measure 6 cups juice into large kettle; bring quickly to a boil.  Add sugar, stirring until dissolved.  Boil rapidly until dissolved.  Boil rapidly until jellying point is reached.

Quickly place 2 small (or 1 large) rose geranium leaves in each hot jar.  Skim jelly and pour into jars; seal.  Makes 6 half pints.  They add the note:  If apples are not tart, test juice for pectin before making jelly.

And the farm wife comment:  "Gourmet shops report splendid sales of this old-fashioned delicacy."

. . . ..._______________________... . . .       

Side note:  Atkinson Township, Henry County, Illinois, is planning to start a Community Garden (much like a Victory Garden) this spring.  If you are interested in helping with this project, call:  309-936-7117 and leave your name and number.  

~ ;-)    

On the other hand, if you want to know how to cure tongue, render lard, or smoke fish - I've got the directions.  And I find this quote strangely appropriate:  “In the end, we conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.”  -Baba Dioum


  1. Awesome blog! What email can we contact you at if we have a question?

  2. Hello "cbfalcon", You can post a question in this format (comment section) or list your e-mail address and I will respond to you personally. Thanks for your kind comments. Diane

  3. cristy@lemkeanderson.com