Archive for the ‘Recipes and Cooking’ Category

Giving Your Home Canning As Gifts – Jalapeno Jelly Recipe

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Even us hillbillies celebrate holidays that call for gifts; you know the kind of celebrations where we all get out our shoes to wear! Home canning opens up many possibilities for gift making. The projects are affordable while yielding high quality unique foods. With a little extra planning during the harvest season, you can stock up on a supply of charming, yummy, and downright unique gifts to pass out for holidays and birthdays.

When deciding what to can for gifts, first consider the tastes of your recipients. Let the likes and dislikes of your friends and family guide your selections.

Buy some fancy canning jars. In the small half pint and pint sizes, you can usually find crystal cut jars that are prettier than the plain glass jars. Also some jars have decorative lids. Purchasing pretty jars will enhance the appeal of your home canned gifts.

Gift giving also gives you a chance to experiment. A staggering variety of home canning recipes exist. Some are strange but might actually be good. If a recipe that you would like to try catches your eye, but you’re not sure if you want to end up with eight jars of it, then use the recipe for gifts. This way you can try it and give the rest away. Even if you don’t like something, someone else might. You can try several recipes and create sampler gift baskets with sauces, relishes, jams, chutneys, marmalades, salsas, etc.

I’ve included a canning recipe for jalapeno jelly. I’ve been told this is quite tasty, and I think I’m going to try it this year when the jalapenos are ready to pick. Because jalapeno jelly is not something you particularly need a lot of, it is a good home canning project for gift giving. Keep a jar or two for yourself and give the rest away. Also jalapenos are easy to grow and do not cost much if you need to buy them.

Jalapeno jelly home canning recipe

Yields about 5 half pint jars

12 ounces jalapeno peppers, stemmed and seeded
2 cups cider vinegar, divided
6 cups sugar
2 3-ounce pouches liquid pectin
Green food coloring (optional)

Prepare and sterilize your canning jars and lids.

Puree the jalapeno peppers in a blender or food processor with 1 cup of cider vinegar. Blend until smooth. In a large saucepan combine the jalapeno puree with the remaining cup of vinegar. Add the sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 10 minutes. Then stir in the liquid pectin. Return to a hard boil for 1 more minute. Stop the heat and stir in the food coloring if you want to use it. Skim off foam.

While the jelly is still very hot, pour it into the jars and leave 1/4 inch headspace. Clean the rims and put on the lids and bands. Process the jelly jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Then remove the canner lid and wait 5 minutes before removing jars.
As usual let the jars cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Jalapeno jelly is good for sauces and adding to cheese and crackers. And whenever you think something would benefit from the addition of something sweet and spicy, give it a try.

For detailed instructions about how to can food, visit my website Canning Local. It has canning recipes and links to other resources.

How To Find Affordable Produce – Home Canning

Friday, June 11th, 2010

by Tracy Falbe

Home Canned FoodPreserving your own food with home canning techniques is no longer the dying art of grandmothers and church ladies. Younger people and families are reviving home canning, but you need fresh food in bulk in order to preserve it.

So, how do you get the produce without spending too much?

Growing the food yourself is the obvious, but not only answer. Home gardeners have been canning their fruits and vegetables for generations. Planting a garden and putting in some fruit trees are definitely rewarding. You will get the freshest and most convenient produce this way, but you probably can’t grow everything you want. Time and space limitations often restrict your ability to produce in quantity as well, but you do have options.

Farmers’ markets are expanding all over the country and they offer you a great way to buy fruits, vegetables and other produce. Check your local daily or weekly newspapers for ads and articles about farmers’ markets in your area. The markets are often located in downtowns, so check with your chamber of commerce or downtown business associations for information about farmers’ markets. The website has a searchable database of farmers throughout the United States that may be helpful as a starting point too.

You will likely find that you have more than one market in your area through the summer. While you’re at the market, you will be able to meet growers of the types of food in which you’re most interested. Growers often open their farms to the public, and you can find out if you can connect with them directly outside the market venue. They often have bulk deals at the farms. At the market, expect to pay retail prices. Sometimes the prices are better than the supermarket, but you will still be at the retail level.

You-pick or U-pick farms are also widespread. These operations are popular for berries and fruits. You can find them through ads in local publications and signs on the side of the road. Sometimes your vendors at the farmers’ market have u-pick operations too, so be sure to ask. You can get a great price on produce at the u-pick farms because you are supplying the labor and transportation.

I just paid $1.50 a quart for strawberries by picking them myself. The work was a little dirty but otherwise a fairly pleasant activity. It actually felt nice to be out there with other people harvesting food.

People have been doing this since we were wearing fig leaves, and the experience had a natural and serene quality. If I had to do it all day, the work would have been backbreaking, but it’s a nice outing for an hour to get food for your family at a great price. You will certainly gain a deep empathy with the underpaid people who have to put in long days harvesting the food sold at the supermarket.

Another emerging way to find produce is If your community has an active Craigslist be sure to frequently scan the ads in the farm and garden category. This will alert you to deals on local produce, markets, and u-pick farms.

Road side stands usually have decent prices as well. The produce tends to be very fresh because the stands are often right next to the fields.

You can reasonably expect to find good prices on fresh produce during peak seasons. With a little effort you can find the best growers and obtain quality food for home canning.

When I picked strawberries the other day, I paid $12 for 8 quarts. This would have easily cost $24 at the market, so I gained a 50 percent discount with under 1 hour of labor. With that 8 quarts of super fresh strawberries, I put up 18 half pints of jam, made a strawberry crisp dessert, and froze about a quart of whole strawberries to use in a pie later. I put in a big day of work, but all that jam will last my family for months and taste better than anything I can buy.

This is the basic recipe for Canning Strawberry Jam:

  • 5 cups strawberries
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 package fruit pectin powder
  • 7 cups sugar

Fill and heat a water bath canning kettle. Bring the water almost to boiling, at least 180 degrees F and sterilize 8 to 10 half pint canning jars and new lids in the hot water. Set them aside on a clean cloth.

Then in a big sauce pan, add the strawberries and lemon juice. Crush the strawberries with a potato masher while heating to a boil. Once you have a nice berry mash, thoroughly stir in the pectin. Bring this to a hard boil that cannot be stirred down. Then stir in the appalling amount of sugar. Keep stirring until you reach that hard rolling boil again. Maintain the boiling for 1 full minute and then shut off the heat.

I usually let the jam cool for 5 to 10 minutes and stir it a couple times. Turn the heat back on for your water bath and start filling your jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe clean the jar edges and put on the lids and bands. Once the water bath is boiling, lower the jars into the water bath and process them for 10 minutes. (If you’re at elevations about 1,000 feet, you may need to process longer. Look for directions specific to your area.)

Remove the jars from the water bath and set them on a counter to cool for 12 to 24 hours. Do not disturb them. You will likely hear the lids pop shut within minutes of taking them out of the water.

You can get many jam and jelly recipes like this one out of the box of fruit pectin. For complete information about home canning and more recipes, please visit and bookmark my website Canning Local

Instead Of Frying, Use A Griddle

Monday, May 24th, 2010

You might ask why do you need a griddle for cooking food. There are a lot of uses for a griddle and cooking is one of the primary ones. Griddle cooking is preferred recently because you are going to be able to make healthier foods. What exactly can you cook with a griddle? We use the griddle to cook foods like hamburgers, hotdogs, vegetables, seafood and many more.

In regards to home cooking, there are generally two kinds of griddles. You might use a griddle that you place on your stove-top, or you can use an electric griddle that you plug in and place on the counter-top. If you possess a food business, there are a good deal of commericial griddles on the marketplace these days.

You now need to make a decision which griddle is best for your needs. Both of these types have their benefits and disadvantages. It all will depend on on your certain circumstances and what you prefer. One particular person might love the electric griddle while another person just can’t get any use out of it. The stove top type griddle  is a good choice for a person that has already have a stove top. If your stove top uses gas, then it will save you some money than a separate griddle that uses electricity. The stove top type also saves you space in your kitchen. Stove top griddles may also be referred to as gas griddle.

If you need to take up even lesser space but still have the cooking quality and efficiency of a griddle, you could possibly choose a round griddle skillet for the stove. It looks like a skillet but has no lip so that you can use it as a griddle. This is good for smaller space room and for persons that just lives alone.

Electric griddle on the other hand is a good choice for bigger families. It uses your counter space so that your range top has more space and your burners can be used to cook other food items. An individual can plug it away from the stove.

There’s no right or wrong griddle to use. If you still are not sure, go to your kitchen and look around. Check to see if you have enough space for the electric type or if you don’t have enough then go with the stove top type. Pick the one that you prefer, then you can start cook your favorite dishes.

Combat the Winter Cold With Some Warm Comfort Foods

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Hot Soup websizeWe’ve had record low temperatures around here over the past week. There was even a good chance of snow Thursday that didn’t pan out (to the dismay of my daughter). Regardless of snow or no snow, this chilly weather has me in the mood for some warm comfort foods.

By far my favorite dish this time of the year is a steaming pot of chicken and dumplings along with some warm homemade biscuits right out of the oven. It’s food to warm your body and soul.

My husband on the other hand prefers a bowl of vegetable and beef soup (homemade as well of course) and a big slice of cornbread. Not bad either, but chicken and dumplings are still my favorite.

Other good winter comfort foods are stews and any type of hardy soup. I like soups in the winter time not only because they are nice and warm, but also because of the extra liquid they provide. I always have a hard time drinking cold water this time of the year and at the same time the heat in the house tends to dry out the air. Eating plenty of soup along with drinking some tea will help combat dehydration while also warming you up from the inside.

How about you? What is your favorite winter comfort food? I’d love to hear what you like to cook this time of the year.

Good Cookie Recipes – Just In Time For Christmas

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

If you are a HBHW regular, you already know that I’ve been busy organizing a Virtual Cookie exchange and it is finally ready. You can check out all the delicious cookie recipes that have been submitted by quite a few of my blogger friends here:

Here are just a few of the yummy recipes you will find on that page.

  • Chocolate Thumb Print Cookies
  • Nut Horns
  • Lemon Drop Cookies
  • Almond Bars
  • Tiny Green Wreaths
  • Chocolate Goobers
  • Basic Spritz Cookies

and many more… all in all you’ll find links to over 35 cookie recipes there. I asked each person that participated to share her favorite cookie recipe, so you know all of these will be absolutely wonderful.

Christmas Cookies

Making Muffins This Sunny Sunday Morning

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Banana MuffinsGood Morning! I hope you are having a wonderful Labor Day weekend. I don’t usually post (0r work for that matter) on Sundays, but I thought I’d share our muffin making with you this morning.

On Friday I shared how I had gotten my priorities all wrong and as a result had a pretty lousy day and wasn’t a very good mom either.

Remembering my friend Nicole’s motto “The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short”, I’ve been making an extra effort to just hang out and spend time with my daughter.

Today I thought I’d share that you don’t have to make any major changes in your day to accomplish just that. Take making a weekend breakfast for example. On Sunday morning I ususally make some muffins or pancakes.

This morning it was just me and my girl (Daddy is sleeping in). I asked her to pick what she wanted for breakfast and her choice was banana muffins. It worked out perfectly because I had two bananas laying on the counter that were about to go bad.

Instead of sending her off to play while I whipped up the batch of muffins, I had her do most of the mashing, measuring and stirring. Sure it took a few minutes longer that way and there is a bit of a mess on the kitchen table, but all in all, it didn’t take more than an extra 10 minutes and we had a blast making these together.

Here are a few pictures:


I started by having her mash up the bananas with a whisk, then helped her measure and add the sugar and oil. Here she is stirring those in.


Next we added the yogurt. The little bit of extra left in the yogurt container made a great snack for her while we waited for the muffins to bake.


Stirring in all that flour is a lot of hard work. By the way – don’t you just love my flour container? It’s an old oatmeal box. It works perfect for scooping out flour and is a lot less messy than dealing with a flour bag.


Here’s the batter in the muffin tins. One of the things I love best about this banana muffin better is that there’s no egg in it, so it’s perfectly save to let the little ones lick the spoon and bowl clean (which is what my girl was doing while I was snapping this picture).

They are baking up right now and I’m pretty sure they’ll be the best muffins we’ve ever eaten.

Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

Food Preparedness Ideas

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

The following is an email from a HBHW reader in response to my article on Emergency Preparedness. She shares some recipes and ideas that may come in very handy.  Thanks so much for sharing them Michelle. Enjoy! – Susanne

In your current issue, you had some ideas on being prepared. My church put out a booklet on food preparedness and there are a couple of recipes that I wanted to share. I have tried both and was amazed at how easy they were and how well they worked. NO ONE in my family knew the difference when I put them to the test.

Preserving Eggs:

Carefully crack each egg into an egg separater that has been placed over a small bowl. After the egg separates, place the whites into 2 sections of an ice cube tray, and place the yolk in another bowl. Repeat until you have 4 yolks in the bowl. Then, using a fork beat the 4 yolks together with either 1/8 tsp salt OR 1/2 tsp sugar. Pour the yolk mixture into 4 sections of the ice cube tray. (Your tray will have 8 whites and 4 yolks.) Place in freezer and freeze. After they are frozen, place the contents into a Ziploc freezer bag and store.
TO USE: Place the cubes in the fridge overnight to thaw. 2 whites and 1 yolk will equal one fresh egg.


Canning Butter:

Heat pint jars (without bands) in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes. One pound of butter will slightly more than fill one pint jar, so if you melt 11 lbs of butter, heat 12 jars. While the jars are heating, melt the butter SLOWLY (in a large kettle) until it comes to a boil. Using a large spatula, stir the bottom of the pot often to prevent scorching. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Place the jar lids in a small pot and bring to a boil, leaving to simmer until needed.

Stir the melted butter from the bottom to the top with a ladle or measuring cup with a spout and handle. Carefully pour the melted butter into the heated jars through a canning funnel. (less mess) Leave 3/4″ head space in the jar.

Wipe the tops of the jars, then place the hot lids on and screw on the bands tightly. Lids will seal as the jars cool. The butter will separate into three layers: foam, oil, and milk solids. Once the lids “pop” and seal, shake the jars to mix your butter. Do this every 15 minutes or so, until the butter retains more consistency throughout the jar. (This may take up to an hour or longer.) When just slightly warm, move jars to the refrigerator. Check and shake every 10 minutes until they are hardened in the jar. Once hardened, leave in the frig for at least an hour.

Canned butter should store for 3 years or longer on a dark cool shelf. It does not need to be refrigerated once opened IF used within a reasonable amount of time.

NOTE: I bought unsalted butter for .99 lb and then added my own salt to it. Recommended amounts to add are 1/4 tsp per cube of butter. You can add more or less to suite individual tastes. When we used this, we used it on things such as toast or other items you could spread it on. You could also use this in place of butter-flavored shortening in your basic food storage

These recipes have been great for me and I hope that your readers will also find them useful.
Michelle T.

Contest – Win A Copy Of Dining On A Dime

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

To help us celebrate the launch of the Hillbilly Housewife Club (more on that in another post), Tawra from Living On A Dime is giving away a hard copy of their popular Dining On A Dime book. Yep, she’s  going to ship an actual book to one lucky winner.

The rules are simple. To enter, simply post a comment below. One entry per person. No need to post your email address in the body of the comment, but be sure to use a valid email address in the email field when you post. You can post comments to enter from now through Monday April 20th at 11:59 pm. I will randomly select a winner from all entries on Tuesday.

By the way, you can also order a copy of Dining on a Dime for 50% off here… it’s part of the famous Living on a Dime Mother’s Day sale, and these books make a great gift for a mom, a new bride, a child going of to college or just about anyone that likes to cook. You can order print versions here.

Good luck!

Save Money In The Kitchen With Smoothies

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

By Carrie Lauth

We’re all looking for ways to save a few pennies while still feeding our families healthful, nutritious food. One of the ways you can do that is by learning how to prepare your own smoothies.

How can smoothies save you money? In my home, smoothies are a great way to use up those last small bits of food that would otherwise go to waste.

That half eaten banana discarded by your toddler?
That half a serving of yogurt the baby couldn’t finish?
The last bit of oatmeal that got cold and congealed in the pan?
The jelly left in the “empty” jar?

All these make great additions to a smoothie. Here are a few ideas:

- Add a little milk to an “empty” jelly or peanut butter jar and shake vigorously. Place in the blender with a little ice, frozen fruit and perhaps a banana to make a fab PB&J smoothie.

- Use cold, leftover cooked grains to thicken smoothies. Rice, oatmeal, cream of wheat – use up to a cup in the blender to thicken a smoothie and add additional nutrition. You may want to add the grains and liquid first and blend for awhile until smooth before adding the other ingredients.

- When your children leave half eaten fruit lying around, chop it and place into a container in the freezer. When full, dump in the blender with a little vanilla yogurt or milk – enough to get the blender blades rotating and maybe a little honey for sweetness. Blend to make a delicious shake.

- Did your child turn up his nose at his spinach or other greens? Throw them into the blender with frozen berries and make a “supergreen” shake. I’ve noticed that I can add a LOT of leafy greens before my children even notice their flavor. It’s a great way to sneak in more veggies to a picky kid’s diet.

Smoothies are easy to experiment with. Some of my kid’s favorites were recipes we created on the fly with whatever we had lying around. Familiarize yourself with the basic smoothie “formula” and then get busy trying new creations. One way to make this easier is with the Smoothie Recipe book. It contains 50 smoothie recipes to suit all tastes, costs only $7 and has lifetime free updates!

Chocolate Chip Cookies From The Freezer

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

I’m making a batch of chocolate chip cookies today. Both my daughter and my husband (and of course me too), love a cookie and a glass of cold milk for an afternoon snack.

I don’t have to tell you that cookies are best when they are still warm from the oven. What I usually do is make a big batch of cookie dough and then take about half of it and bake it as usual. The other half, I’ll drop on a baking sheet just like I would if I where to bake them, but then I stick the cookies sheet in the freezer. After a few hours, I take the frozen “blobs” of cookie dough out and store them in a freezer bag. Then whenever I’m ready, I take them out and bake them up.

As far as baked cookies go, they can be frozen as well. Just take them out and thaw them on the counter for about 15 to 20 minutes. For warm cookies, microwave the thawed cookie for a few seconds or stick it in a toaster oven (not your regular toaster though).

chocolate chip cookies

chocolate chip cookies

Here’s my favorite recipe for these freezer chocolate chip cookies. So yummy. I end up making these at least twice a month.

Freezer Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter or margarine (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 375F.

Get out a bowl and combine the flour, salt and baking soda.
In another bowl cream your butter or margarine. Add the sugar and continue creaming until it is light and fluffy. Add the eggs and stir until you have a smooth mixture. Stir in the vanilla.

Slowly add the flour mixture and stir just until it is well combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix them into the dough.

Scoop the dough out about 2 tablespoons at a time and set them 2 inches apart on your baking sheet.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until they are golden brown on the edges. Cool them on a rack.

To bake them from frozen cookie dough, do not preheat your oven. Stick the frozen chunks of dough on a cookie sheet, put it in the oven and then turn the oven to 375. Let the cookies bake for about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Vinegar Cobbler – Depression Era Recipe

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

In response to the depression era recipes we’ve been talking about here on the HBHW blog, Geri S. send me the following recipe. I haven’t had a chance to give it a try yet, but it sounds yummy and is of course very inexpensive.

Susanne – The Hillbilly Housewife
Here is a depression-era recipe that has been handed down in our family from my Great Grandmother. It’s not for everyone, but apparently there is a special gene in our family that causes us to like this stuff. It’s a dessert:

Vinegar Cobbler

1/2 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar
One recipe double pie crust

Mix first three ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let this boil for about 2 minutes, then thicken with a paste made from flour and water (about the consistency of thin gravy). Boil for a few minutes again, until thick. Turn off heat and let cool a little. (Doesn’t have to be cold.)

Line a glass or porcelain baking dish (sides and bottom) with pie crust. Pour enough filling in to cover the bottom. Cut the remaining pie crust into strips. Place one layer of strips over the filling in the pan. Top with more filling. Put one layer of pastry strips lengthwise in the dish, and the next crosswise. Keep alternating pastry and filling until dish is full enough. Better not to be too full, or it will boil over in the oven. Bake until done.

**Great Grandma’s recipe notes that she is not sure of the time or temp because she has not baked one in her new stove but once, and that was a long time ago. We usually bake it at 350 for 35-45 minutes.**


Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Good morning and Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

After sending out the special St. Patrick’s Day edition of the HBHW newsletter, quite a few HBHW readers sent in some really good sounding recipes. I thought I’d share them with you this morning. Here they are:

As an ex-pat Texan, I can tell you I love St. Paddy’s day. It’s just about the only time I can find cleaned brisket at a reasonable price, or at all. Brisket? That’s the meat that Northern folks cook pickled around St. Paddy’s day. In Texas we cook brisket a bit different. There are lots of different ways. My way is to take that spice packet and shove it to the back of the spice drawer for using on pickled cucumbers come summer time. Then I pat dry that lovely chunk of brisket, rub it all over with a variety of spices and a few herbs. Lay it on a thin bed of thinly sliced onions. Wrap it tight in aluminum foil. Pop it into a 13 by 9 pan and into a slow oven (250 degrees) for 12 to 18 hours. After about 12 hours, open the foil and drain off the juice, then wrap it back up again and bake for a few hours more. If you want, you can throw in some smoky barbeque sauce before you do so. Now, if you have a handy smoker, use that instead of an oven for a more authentic taste, and skip the sauce. Yum! Now that’s good St. Paddy’s day food!

Chris, Texas/Idaho Snowbird, currently in Virginia
This is my own recipe for Cabbage that I make along with
my Corned Beef. Its VERY easy and VERY good! From a True Irishman!!

Take 1 cabbage cored and clean off any unwanted leaves.
Take a cake pan,  and two sheets of aluminum foil, folded
together lengthwise, so that it can cover the cabbage when
you’re ready. It will look like one of the old Jiffy Pop popcorns
when you are ready to bake.

I spray the pan with a nonstick spray, can cut the cabbage
in half if you wish.

Peel off cabbage leaves and layer the bottom of the pan, “cups up”
so the cabbage will hold the butter.
I use 1 stick of butter per medium head of cabbage. Take
a Tbl of butter, cut in 4 to 6 pieces and layer around in the cabbage.
lightly salt and pepper, then a layer of cabbage “cups down”, again
with the butter, salt, and pepper.

Continue layer after layer until all the cabbage and butter has been used.
Now you know why it took two sheets of Al foil to cover.
Seal the cabbage with tightly and bake at 350 degree’s for 45 min to 1 hour.

I pull it out, open a corner, and snitch a piece!! Hey gotta make sure its
good enough to serve. Take it out when its to your level of doneness.
Longer if you like it limp, shorter if you like it to hold its shape.

Have been making it like this for years, and very rarely ever have any
left overs!!

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Shawn M.

You know, dollar for dollar the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal of corned beef and cabbage just can’t be beat. I use my slow cooker and it takes very little prep time. All the supermarkets have the ingredients on sale – corned beef, cabbage, and red-skinned potatoes. Just compare the prices and shop for the best deals. My family loves corned beef so I buy and freeze as many as I have money and room for. Get an extra cabbage (they keep a long time) for slaw and extra potatoes for making mashed red potatoes with skin on – so nutritious. Slice the potatoes before cooking and mash with some fat free milk and butter (or margarine). Potatoes are a great source of potassium and cabbage is loaded with vitamin C.

Carolyn S.

The Sensible Shopper©

Las Vegas, NV

In these difficult times this is a good “stick to the ribs” meal my
Irish Grandmother made for her big family. It goes a long way. Try this
inexpensive meal that tastes great on a cold night.

Cabbage & Noodles

1 small to large head of Cabbage (small chop)
depending on the size of your family
1 large onion (chopped)
3-4 Tablespoons Bacon fat or oil
1/4 cup water
Salt & Pepper to taste

I bag of noodles or bow ties (Farfalle)
(whole bag for a large family, smaller amount     for a smaller
family. Should be more cabbage
than noodles.

Place these ingredients in a fry pan. Fry slowly until some of the
cabbage browns just a tiny bit. Add 1/4 water. Lower heat to simmer.
Cover with a lid to allow the cabbage and onions to steam until soft and
the water has evaporated..
Meanwhile cook the noodles until done, Drain, and add to the cabbage.
Toss and serve.

I add crumbled crisp bacon or sliced Kielbasa to the cabbage and noodle
Sometimes I raid the freezer and add some chopped Dill from my garden.

Jeanne J.

Hi Susanne — great newsletter!  But one thing I noticed, some of the recipes called for corned beef — either deli or brisket.  My husband makes his own! I don’t know which recipe he uses, but I know he found it on  It’s very easy but I think he said it takes about a week.

Corned beef can be quite pricey in the store, but it’s the typical deal: it was originally a poor family’s food.  A cheap cut of meat is corned (sort of brined with water, salt and seasonings) to make it more tender and flavourful.  But as usual, it became a trendy food and soon stores and shops started carrying corned briskets — and it was no longer cheap.

It’s the same thing with chicken wings — when Fred and I were kids, the butchers used to give these away to poor families (my grandpa was a butcher, his mom was a widow with eight kids to raise) because they couldn’t sell them!  These days, Fred and I only treat ourselves to wings when they’re on as a lost leader.

One comfort food dinner we ate for years was chicken giblets and gravy on rice.  We take in rescue dogs, and with giblets being so cheap, we were always able to buy plenty.  The dogs just loved it and we did too.  But just in the past couple years, we haven’t been able to find giblets anywhere.  There are packages of chicken hearts and packages of chicken gizzards — but no mixed, which was the giblets.  And the price of both the hearts and the gizzards has soared. Some steak is cheaper! I’m not sure what happened. (…although I’ll note that this came about right after that big pet food scandal with the melamine contamination from China — perhaps these parts are now being scooped up by pet food makers??)

And last year, I read an article in the New York Times about whole restaurants in NYC based on serving pork picnic shoulders and such!

Maybe in the future, we should keep mum about the tastiest foods we can afford on our budgets, eh? ;-)

Ottawa, ON  Canada

Frugal Recipes From World War I

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Here’s an email I received from HBHW reader Jennifer M in Minnesota. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the recipes and tips as much as I have. Thanks again Jennifer for taking the time to type all this up and for sharing those family recipes with us. – Susanne

I am not sure if you could use any of these, but I have time this morning, so I thought I would write some up.
Some of these where big hits during WW1. and were still used later in hard times. ( when I got married as a teenager by grandmother Betty, gave me a large cook book, and she wrote recipes in all the spare pages. I think she was really worried that we wouldn’t be able to feed ourselves because we were so young, so her ole survival mode kicked in. I am glad she did though, it helped us out a few times, When we were young, poor and in love.

WW1 Eggless, Milkless, Butterless Cake

1 cup water
2 cups raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup lard (shortening)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Place water, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, lard (shortening), nutmeg and salt in a saucepan and mix. Place on heat and bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes. Allow to cool, then sift together the flour, baking soda and baking
powder. Stir into cooked mixture.
Place in a greased loaf pan and bake at 350F for one hour.

This next one is AWESOME, its a ritz cracker “apple pie” I remember it tasting just like apple pie.

Ritz Mock Apple Pie

She made this every Christmas and Thanksgiving, Easter too I believe.

Pastry for two-crust 9-inch pie
36 RITZ Crackers, coarsely broken (about 1 3/4 cups crumbs)
1 3/4 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Grated peel of one lemon
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Roll out half the pastry and line a 9-inch pie plate. Place cracker crumbs in prepared crust; set aside.

Heat water, sugar and cream of tartar to a boil in saucepan over high heat; simmer for 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and peel; cool.

Pour syrup over cracker crumbs. Dot with margarine or butter; sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll out remaining pastry; place over pie. Trim, seal and flute edges. Slit top crust to allow steam to escape.

Bake at 425°F for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden. Cool completely.

Crazy Cake.
She made this for all of our birthdays.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cold water
1Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together into a 9 x 13 inch ungreased cake pan. Make three wells. Pour oil into one well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third well. Pour cold water over all, and stir well with fork.Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Scalloped Corn
1 can cream corn
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
enough crumbled saltine cracker to make a semi-thick mixture when stirred into the above.
Bake at 350 for about 30 min till nice and puffy.

And I remember one dessert was to put stale bread in a coffee cup and pour enough coffee over it to make it moist and mold to the cup. They would then invert the cup and sprinkle with a little sugar for a quick dessert.

I hope you didn’t already know all of these lol, anyways, I had fun writing it out, good memories.

Oh and I wanted to add something, not really about food, but my Grandmother always used the mesh onion bags to make scrubbies for dishes, she would take the mesh bag and cut it, then stuff and old rag or a piece of a cut up no longer good towel, and shove it in the bag and sew it up, it works really good. I still use them.

Jennifer M from Minnesota

Cooked Bread – Frugal Recipes From The Great Depression

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

This is a great recipe for using up old, stale bread.

Cooked Bread

Cut a thick slice (or two) of old stale bread and put it into a shallow dish. Heat some water until it is boiling. Pour a little olive oil on your bread, then sprinkle some salt on it. Pour a little water on the bread and allow it to soften up. Then mash the bread with the side of a spoon (cut it into little chunks) and add more salt to taste.

According to Clara this is great for kids and old people who don’t have teeth :)

Simple Bread – Frugal Recipes From The Great Depression

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

This is part two of the peppers and eggs video. Here Clara makes her own homemade bread using flour, yeast, water and a little salt and sugar to taste.

Simple Bread Dough

Pour 5 lb of four into a large bowl. Make a little well in the middle of the flour. Crumble 2 oz of yeast into the well and pour a little room temperature water into it and stir to dissolve the yeast. Slowly add more room temperature water to the dough and start working it until you have a proper dough. Form the dough into a ball and allow it to rise in the bowl. Put a towel over it.

After the dough has risen, divide into seven to eight parts, roll each into a loaf and put it into a loaf pan. Allow it to rise again. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Use a knife to cut a slit along the middle of the bread to make it look pretty, then put the bread in the oven and bake it until it starts to look “rosy”, then bake it just a little more. From the video it looks like she bakes the bread until the top is lightly golden brown.