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Of Viands and Victuals

Subdeacon Joe

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2 hours ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

Doing that, the butter will separate into its natural 20% water, 80% fat, and milk solids. Or do you just soften the butter?  Easier said than done.


You're poaching the garlic in the butter.  It takes out the sharp garlic bite.  I stir it several times as it cools in the jars.  

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10 lbs ground beef (aka, hamburg)
3 cloves garlic (do not be tempted to add more because raw garlic when pressure-canned can be overwhelming)
1/2 onion
2-3 T light brown sugar
1&1/4 tomato ketchup
1 plastic package of saltine crackers (buy a box of saltines and use one of the plastic packages inside)
1 T parsley
1 t yellow mustard (powder)
1 t pepper
2 t salt
8 eggs
Prepare your jars and lids and bands per instructions in the above link on canning principles. Keep lids submerged in hot water to soften the rubber seal.
Combine everything in a bowl.
Mix all ingredients well
Pack tightly in clean jars. I like adding a little at a time and stomping to pack tightly.
I used a french rolling pin inside a plastic bread bag (so the wood does not touch the meat)
Leave about 1&1/4 inch headspace. Try to eliminate air pockets as much as you can.
About an inch and a quarter headspace
Wipe rims to make sure no pieces will get trapped between the lids and the rims. Apply the bands just finger tight. This will allow for air to escape but still help prevent liquid or pieces to get through. Too tight and you will prevent air to escape, hence, not creating vacuum. The air trapped may also pose a problem with microbes trapped that will not be heated enough to get killed.
Screw on the bands just finger-tight.
Place in the pressure canner with cold water. This is to prevent shock. Turn on the heat, close the canner tightly without the weight. Once steam escapes, time for 10 mins to help create vacuum in the canner. This allows for even heat distribution.
After 10 mins of steam escaping, you might notice that the gauge shows the pressure going up from 0. Put the weight on the “nipple” to help increase the pressure inside. Steam under pressure will create the right temperature necessary to kill the microbes inside the jars within the specified/recommended time frame.
Let pressure reach 10 psi before turning your heat down. On my gas stove, #4 setting keeps that pressure at this level. If I go down, the pressure might not be maintained. When that happens, the countdown begins anew.
Set timer with the pressure kept at 10 psi for 90 mins minimum.
Once done, turn off the heat and let cool down naturally. Do not remove the weight. I usually go to bed by this time then remove the jars the next day. I wait about 24 hours before testing for the seal. Look for jars that did not seal (the lids are still popped up instead of down); refrigerate these and consume within two weeks. (All of mine sealed properly.)
Test the seal by removing the bands then lifting the jars by the lids. The lid should not come off.
All lids are concave – sealed!
When ready to consume, the juice might have solidified and not allow for easy sliding of the meatloaf out of the jar. Reheat slightly in the microwave or hot water to melt the juice.
The meatloaf shrinks in size so it moves away from the glass jar walls.
This will then make it easy to slide the meat out.
Slides out of the jar if you melt the juice first
You can eat right out of the jar or pan-fry to reheat brown the outside.
Tips: Store these in a dark, cool, dry room. Do not bother to reapply the bands. This will help you spot the bad ones easier because if you improperly have canned this and the Botulinum bacteria survived and thrives inside the jar (because of anaerobic and high pH conditions), they will create gas (no more vacuum), which will push the lid out. However, once you open a good jar and have leftovers, place the lid back on. Consume the leftovers within two weeks.




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Quarts? They look like quarts in the picture, and the time given is for quarts, but you need to specify.


You said wipe the rims. I wipe the rims with a paper towel soaked in white vinegar. The vinegar will remove any grease from the meat that's on the rim. Wiping with a dry cloth will smear it but not necessarily remove it.

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Dried Vegetables   General Tips

A week ago we bought a bag of dried vegetables to play with.  Mostly with the thought that sometimes we want a few more vegetables in a soup, or as a backup if we forgot to get something we were low on.  It has carrots, celery, onion, green onion, garlic, I don't recall what else.  Lisa has been using it during the week to add to her lunches since she can't do much cutting.  Yesterday I make a crockpot beef stew that came up kind of thin.  Instead of doing the usual work flour into butter and then add it to the stew to thicken it I added a scant half cup of the dried vegetables.  Not only did it thicken it up nicely, but added more flavor to it without adding starch or fat.

I'm thinking of grinding some of them up and mixing with cream cheese for a spread or with sour cream as a dip.

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Potato water for bread 


for many reasons I decided to make my own bread. Basically I am not thrilled with paying the ever increasing prices for something that I really didn’t want. I’ve made bread before but I wanted a better loaf. One link I found mentioned potato water, boil spuds, save the water to be reused.it does not keep for long without spoiling.


So,  being the nerd that I am, I kept notes. I made mashed potatoes and saved the water, never added salt to the water. I reduced the discarded water to three cups and saved them. They will spoil in the fridge so it is best to freeze in eight ounce containers. I use delis as being the most convenient and cheap “Tupperware”.


when preparing to make bread, thaw one container. I do recipes where I need a cup of water, I use a deli of potato water.


Voila, I get what I want.

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5 hours ago, Alpo said:

I did not watch the first video, but the second video - where she is canning meat using water bath - that woman is asking for botulism.


Both use a water bath.  I know that the current recommendation says pressure.  Even for jelly for cryin' out loud.  Their grandmothers and mothers, as well as the ladies themselves seem to have survived.   

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On 10/29/2022 at 8:02 PM, Subdeacon Joe said:

pressure.  Even for jelly for cryin' out loud. 

No.  Water bath for jelly (high sugar) and high acid food like maters.  In the olden days people used to waterbath green beans but they added vinegar to the jars.  Meat?  No way unless you really don't like your family.

Edited by MizPete
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My mother told me about larding sausage.


When they butcher a hog they would make sausage, and her mother would fry it. And they had a barrel. They would pour in a half inch or so of hot lard and let it solidify. Then they would cover the solidified lard with sausage patties. Pour in more liquid lard. More sausage. More lard. They would continue this until the barrel was full. Then start another barrel. And all year long they would go out and dig down to the top layer of sausage and get out enough for breakfast and bring it in the house and warm it up. And nobody died from it.


I don't think I would want to do that.

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By Sean Dietrich


I don’t engage in controversy. But sometimes I have to. And this is one of those have-to moments.
Namely, because I feel it’s my duty as a citizen of this country to bring important matters to the forefront of a national discussion. And by “important matters,” I am, of course, talking about putting sugar in cornbread.
The other day I was reading one of my mother’s favorite magazines. This magazine is a respected publication. A standard in homes across the southeast.
I speak of a magazine which my mother reveres. She used to read this magazine aloud at Bible studies, baby christenings and baptisms. A periodical which shall remain nameless, but whose title rhymes with “Louthern Siving.”
The article stated, quote, “...The cornbread we consider our best, includes fine yellow cornmeal, butter, and a touch of sugar.”
I read this recipe aloud to my mother. My mother nearly choked on her dentures.
“Sugar in cornbread?” she gasped. “What’s this world coming to?”
Mama had to be calmed with cream cheese and pepper jelly.
Listen. I don’t like to cause problems, and these are only my opinions, but putting sugar in cornbread is a lot like going to church naked. Sure, it can be done. But don’t expect anyone to ask you over for dinner.
Cornbread is a sacrament to my people, often served with fried chicken, pintos, collards, hocks and greens, or stew. It is a savory dish. It’s not supposed to taste like purple Skittles.
If the good Lord had intended for humankind to eat sweet cornbread, he would have given us all insulin pumps.
And yet this problem persists in America.
Only a few days ago, I visited a restaurant in Franklin, Tennessee. It was one of those fancy joints where waiters and waitresses walk like they’re in need of fiber supplementation. The waitress brought me a hot basket of sweet cornbread.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” I said to the waitress. “There’s something wrong with my cornbread.”
“What’s wrong?” she said.
“Well, I think the chef spilled a box of Duncan Hines into the batter.”
“No, sir. We put sugar in our cornbread.”
“Why would you do such a thing?”
“Because our chef is from Chicago.”
For the love of Earnhardt.
Listen, I try to be a team player. I try to be a good person. I don’t have many overdue library books. I stay at the Holiday Inn Express when possible. But this is an affront.
The church ladies I descend from take their food very seriously.
When I was 6 years old, for example, Miss Henrietta Marcel, at the Baptist church, accused my grandmother of adding too much paprika to her deviled eggs.
After church, someone mysteriously slashed the tires to Miss Henrietta’s Buick. Nobody ever figured out who did it, but a jar of paprika was found wedged in her the exhaust pipe.
And while I’m on the subject of food, there is another item I’d like to bring to public attention.
Yesterday I went to a large chain restaurant which shall remain nameless but whose name rhymes with “International House of Pancakes.” I ordered country fried steak. When my food arrived something was off.
My steak came with white gravy.
Too often, restaurants mislabel “chicken fried” steaks as “country fried” steaks. And while I love both kinds of steaks, to confuse “chicken fried” and “country fried” is a lot like confusing Brigitte Bardot with Eleanor Roosevelt.
So I called my aunt Muffin for advice and asked her to weigh in on the “chicken fried” versus “country fried” dispute.
Aunt Muffin is an excellent cook. And not to brag, but my aunt Muffin’s fried fare is so legendary she was recently kicked out of the American Heart Association.
“What’s the difference between chicken fried and country fried?” I asked her.
Aunt Muffin was happy to reply.
“Chicken fried steak is a quality cut of beef, THICK battered, fried, topped with WHITE gravy and prayed over by at least three Church of Christ parishioners.”
Whereas, according to Aunt Muffin, “country fried” steak is made with cheaper cuts, THINLY battered, then topped with BROWN gravy, and in her opinion, unfit for scrubbing oil stains off driveways.
Now, I realize all this chicken-fried business might sound like splitting hairs. But among my folks the art of frying is sacred. Aunt Muffin went on to tell me there are four distinct styles of culinary frying.
There is “deep frying,” which is what KFC does; “pan frying,” or “shallow frying,” which is how you cook pork chops; “smother frying,” the only way to cook squirrel, rabbit, or quail; and “hell frying.”
Which is what happens to all people who put sugar in their cornbread.


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Bonfire Night    Gingerbread    Molasses

It's almost Bonfire Night!  Time to make your
Parkin Cake


Yorkshire Parkin
1 1/2 cups medium oatmeal , see NOTE
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon Mixed Spice
Homemade Mixed Spice Recipe (recommended)
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups Black Treacle (can substitute dark molasses) **See NOTE about the quantity
1/4 cup Golden Syrup (there is NO substitute, it is completely different in flavor than corn syrup)
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons lard (optional, can substitute butter)
1/4 cup candied/crystallized ginger , finely diced (optional)
1 large egg , lightly beaten
2 tablespoons whole milk

Generously grease an 8x8 inch baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Place the medium oatmeal in a large bowl along with the flour, spices, salt and baking powder.

In a medium saucepan add the brown sugar, black treacle, golden syrup, butter and lard (if using). Heat the mixture until the sugar is melted (don't boil it) and remove from the heat. Let it cool for 5 minutes.
Pour the hot mixture into the dry mixture and stir well to combine. Add the candied ginger, egg and milk and stir well to combine. The batter will be liquid and sticky.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake 70-80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. The cake should be fairly firm but springy.  Let the cake cool in the pan.  Invert the cake onto a platter. Peel off the parchment paper. Cut the parkin into squares.
Place the squares into an airtight container and let it sit for at least 3 days before eating.  The oats will soften, the treacle and golden syrup will fully penetrate and soak through the grains, and the flavor of the spices will fully develop.
*OATS:  The form of oats traditionally used in parkin is not rolled outs, they're what we call steel-cut oats in the United States, "medium oatmeal" in England and Irish oatmeal in Ireland.  Whole oat groats are dehusked and can either be milled into a fine, medium or course "oatmeal."  Parkin calls for medium.  An easy way to make "medium oatmeal" per the British definition, is to take steel-cut oats and pulse them briefly in a food processor until they are broken down but not to a fine flour, you want some small chunks to remain.
*HOW MUCH BLACK TREACLE?  Yorkshire parkin traditionally uses black treacle (molasses) whereas Lancashire parkin uses golden syrup.  Many modern recipes cross regional lines and use some of both.  What the ratio is comes down to personal preference.  If you prefer a traditional Yorkshire parkin with a very deep, robust flavor use more black treacle.  If you prefer the flavor to be a little lighter, substitute more golden syrup for the black treacle.  If you're not sure, go with less treacle and more golden syrup than what this recipe calls for (traditional Yorkshire parkin produces a very bold flavor that you may not be used to). 
*An important key to making parkin is to LET IT SIT FOR AT LEAST 3 DAYS BEFORE EATING.  The resting time is what develops both the texture and the flavor of the cake and is essential.  So don't be impatient, let time do its intended job!  

British Mixed Spice



  • 1 tablespoon quality ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground mace
Edited by Subdeacon Joe
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I never heard a chicken fried steak until I was in my thirties. Maybe it's cuz Mama was from Nebraska. But she'd get a cheap cut of cow and beat the hell out of it with one of them meat beaters that looks like a vibram boot sole. Then she would dredge it in flour and fry it. It was served with brown gravy, but it wasn't a thin gravy like you put on rice or potatoes. It was a thick gravy, like milk gravy, but it was brown.


We were never told whether that was country fried or chicken fried or what. It was supper.


Then I started seeing similar appearing pieces of meat in restaurants, and it came with milk gravy, and they called it chicken fried.

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Delicata Squash   Main Dish   Vegetarian (That will cause half the people to stop reading right there)

Roasted Stuffed Delicata Squash

For The Squash

2 delicata squash that are similar in size

Extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon divided

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg


For The Filling Mixture


1 cup farro

Kosher salt

1 shallot chopped

2 green onions white and green parts, trimmed and chopped

2 garlic cloves minced

⅓ to ½ cup walnuts

⅓ to ½ cup hazelnuts

⅓ cup dried fruit such as cranberries or raisins



 Heat the oven to 425 degrees F and position a rack in the middle.

Wash the delicata squash and dry well. To make it easier to slice, place them (whole) in the microwave and warm for 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully remove them from the oven and slice each in half length-wise (use an oven mitten or wait until the squash is cool enough to handle). Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds making a cavity for the filling (discard the seeds or you can clean and roast them for later use).

Brush the flesh, cleaned side of the delicata squash with olive oil (including the cavity). Season with kosher salt. Mix the ground cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl, and season the delicata squash with ½ of this mixture.

On a large baking sheet, arrange the delicata squash halves, flesh-side down.

Roast in the heated oven for 25 minutes or until fully cooked and tender. Using a pair of tongs, flip the squash over and return to the oven for just 5 more minutes.

While the squash is roasting, prepare the filling. First, cook the farro in boiling salted water according to package instructions (mine took 2 cups of boiling water and 20 minutes of cooking time. Farro should absorb the cooking liquid. It is ready when it is tender and somewhat chewy).

In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, cook the shallots, onions and garlic over medium heat, tossing for a bit, until softened (3 to 5 minutes). Season with kosher salt and the remaining nutmeg and cinnamon. Add in the nuts and dried fruit, and cook until warmed through. Add the cooked farro and toss to combine.

Assemble the stuffed squash. When the squash is ready, transfer the squash halves to a serving platter. Spoon the farro filling into each squash cavity. Serve!



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Pastry  Sweets  International



Pets de Sœur



3 cups flour

6 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

½ cup shortening

1 cup milk

1 egg




2 tbsp butter

1 cup brown sugar




2 cups brown sugar

2 cups water



Make the dough by mixing all the dough ingredients together.

Put some flour on counter and roll dough to about ¼" thick.

Spread butter over dough and sprinkle brown sugar.

Roll the dough like a jelly roll and cut into medallions about 1" thick.

Put into 9" x 13" pan. Then cover with syrup.

Cook at 350°F for about 25-30 minutes.

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Fried Cornmeal Mush

I got this recipe from my sister from my Mom’s cookbook. Betty Crocker Cookbook 1976. She made this long before she got that cookbook. 

This is something my Mom made when I was a kid. I do not like cornbread, corn muffins, pretty much anything baked using cornmeal, but I loved this stuff with maple syrup.  
Basically you cook up cornmeal in water. 
Put it in a greased bread pan and chill in the fridge. 
The next day you slice it up, fry it up then cut into thin strips, lay it out on a plate, add butter and syrup and you have a really good inexpensive breakfast. 


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Mushrooms   Leeks    


Greek Style Mushrooms and Leeks – Manitaria Giahni



1 pound 500 grams white mushrooms sliced

1 pound 500 grams leeks sliced in rings (the white part)

5-6 spring onions sliced the white part

2/3 cup olive oil

1 cup grated or crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Salt/pepper to taste





In a large pot add the olive oil and sauté the spring onion at medium to low

heat for about 2 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and leek and a bit of salt continue sautéing for another 3-4 minutes.

Add the tomato and the tomato paste and stir, and then add just enough hot water to partially cover the vegetables.

Cover the pot and simmer (it should not be boiling for about 30-35 minutes). It should not be watery.

Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Sprinkle with parsley and freshly ground pepper and serve.

I would serve this over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.  Hmmm....be good over potato perogi.

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Sweets   Desserts   Cookies  Oatmeal   Nuts  Raisins   Dried Cranberries

This is a modification of a receipt that I got I don't know where.  It's V 2 because when I made it by the original the cookies spread out like you wouldn't believe.  I also cut back on the sugar and increased the flour. 


Best-Ever Oatmeal Cookies V. 2



1 c. butter, softened

1 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. granulated sugar( use 1/3 to 1/4 cup)

2 large eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour(1 ¾)

1 3/4 c. rolled oats (I used a cereal bend of about 7 different things, mostly rolled oats.  And increased to about 2 1/2 cups)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (at least 1 1/2 tsp)

1/2 tsp. kosher salt




Preheat oven to 350º and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat with hand mixer until light and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix until evenly combined. Add flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and stir until just combined.

Fold in desired mix-ins. Scoop (2) tablespoon-sized* balls of dough and place on baking sheets, about 2” apart. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool on wire racks then top as desired.

Cut back on sugar, add some flour, increase cinnamon. If you have it use an oatmeal, almond, cinnamon cereal mix.
ADD INS: orange flavored dried cranberries, golden raisins, (total about 1 1/2 cups), chopped pecans,
black walnuts, (total about 1 1/2 cups).  for these I just reached into the bag and grabbed handfuls or poured several palmsfull of the chopped nuts.  


*I use an #30 disher to portion it out.  


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Vegan   Delicata Squash   


A little something I tried for dinner tonight.


Everything Roasted Delicata Squash

Heat oven to 425F.  Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil.

1 Delicata Squash

2 to 3 TBS Vegetable or Olive Oil

¼ to 1/3 cup McCormic’s Everything Bagel Seasoning (or your favorite Everything seasoning with a good dose of salt)*
1/3 cup Green Box Grated Parmesan Cheese.

Wash Squash, trim ends, cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop out seeds and cut across in slices 1/8 to ¼ inch thick.

Put Squash in large bowl, add Oil, toss to coat. 
Add Everything Seasoning and toss well to evenly season the Squash Slices.
Add Grated Parm, again toss to coat.

Spread evenly in pan trying not to overlap slices.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes, flip slices, bake another 15 to 20 minutes. (time may vary)


*if on a salt restricted diet obviously use salt free, or if using a salt free and not on a salt restricted diet add salt to taste.

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Chocolate Gravy


3/4 cup granulated white sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

3 Tablespoons self rising flour


2 cups milk

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons butter


Mix the first three ingredients either by sifting or whisking in a bowl until no lumps remain.  Add milk and stir until smooth and fully incorporated.  Transfer to a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until desired thickened consistency is achieved, usually 7 to 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, mix in butter and vanilla.  Serve warm over biscuits, waffles, pancakes, toast or what ever your heart desires.

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I have been wanting molasses flavor in a dessert.  I thought of Shoo Fly Pie, or maybe Molasses Crinkle Cookies.  Browsed for molasses recipes and found

Molasses Brownies


8 Servings

Molasses Brownies

1/3 cup (75g) butter, melted

1/3 cup (80g) powdered sugar

1/3 cup (95g) Porto Rico molasses

1 egg, well beaten

2/3 cup + 1 tbsp (105g) flour

1 cup (125g) pecans, cut in pieces

( I added about ½ tsp each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger)


Step 1/2

Combine the ingredients by mixing them together in the order stated in the list of ingredients.

Step 2/2

Transfer the batter into individual and greased baking trays, place one pecan half on top of each, and bake for 30 minutes at 180°C/350°F, or until baked.

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