Cowboy beans

1 pound ground beef
1 c chopped onion
1 c chopped green pepper
3/4 c ketchup
3/4 c barbecue sauce
6 T packed brown sugar
3 T molasses
3 T prepared mustard
1.5 t salt
1.5 t pepper
2 (16 oz) cans pork and beans
2 (16 oz) cans kidney beans, drained
1 (16 oz) can butter beans, drained
1 (16 oz) can pinto beans

Brown the ground beef. Add onions and green pepper and cook until tender. Place in slow cooker.

Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker. Cook on high for 1 hour, reduce to low and cook 2-4 hours.

I could add 30 oz of more beans and still have a favorable meat-to-bean ratio, however my slow cooker does not hold that much.

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Rhubarb sauce

My friend BFW inspired me to make and can rhubarb sauce for the first time. Here are some quick notes:

I used a recipe from the University of Minnesota Extension found here https://www.extension.umn.edu/food/food-safety/preserving/fruits/canning-rhubarb/

The only ingredients are rhubarb and sugar!

We combined 14 quarts of chopped rhubarb with 7 cups of sugar to make 15 canned pints and one scant quart of sauce for immediate use.

Both Mom and George lead me in the canning process. Mom helped out with the harvesting and washing. I’m pretty good at chopping, provided I have a good knife.

I haven’t opened any of the canned sauce, but it appears to be a success thus far.

Orange spice cake

Sunflower in ice 20 Feb 2018

Sunflower in ice 20 Feb 2018

I made a cake! Mostly. Until just now I didn’t realized that I made the cake twice without the “soak.” That indicates that I should try again!

Cake

3 c cake flour
0.5 c almond flour
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
0.5 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
0.5 t cardamom
0.5 t allspice
0.25 t ground cloves
0.125 t ground nutmeg
1.5 c sugar
1 stick softened unsalted butter
0.5 c applesauce
3 large eggs
1 c milk
1 T vinegar or lemon juice
2 t vanilla
1 t orange extract

Preheat over to 325 F. Combine flour, almond flour, and all dry ingredients except the sugar in a bowl. Mix well. In a separate bowl combine sugar and butter until smooth-ish. Add remaining wet ingredients and mix well. Incorporate dry ingredients into wet, without over mixing. Pour in three greased 8-inch round pans.  Bake for 45-50 minutes.

Soak

1/2 c orange marmalade
4 T rum or orange juice

Warm the marmalade enough to melt. Add rum. Brush the soak on the cake.

Frosting

12 oz skyr (Icelandic cultured dairy product)
1 c powdered sugar
1 pt whipping cream

Whip the skyr and powdered sugar until well mixed. Add the whipping cream and beat to soft peaks. Frost the cake.

In all honesty, I didn’t make the frosting either. However, that was a choice rather than an outright omission. This recipe was adapted from The Sons of Norway Viking December 2017 issue. They called it Festive Orange Spice Cake. I’m guessing that the soak and frosting make it festive!

Mushroom soup

1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
2 c chicken broth
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 to 2 bay leaves
2/3 c finely chopped celery
1/4 c finely chopped onion
3 T cooking oil
4 to 5 c sliced fresh mushrooms (about 1 pound)
2/3 half-and-half or milk

Melt butter in a 2 qt saucepan. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in broth. Add salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally. In another saucepan, saute the celery and onion in oil until tender. Add mushrooms, cook until tender. Add this to broth mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 15 minutes, siring occasionally. Add cream and heat through. Discard bay leaves. Serves 4.

February is a great time for mushroom soup! I clipped this recipe from a magazine in the 1990’s. Attributed to Elsie Cathrea of Elmira, Ontario.

Oatmeal spice cake

Roll the presses! I made food! This recipe is made from a combination of two different cakes recipes.

1 c rolled oats
1.25 c boiling water
0.25 c butter
0.5 c white sugar*
0.5 c packed brown sugar*
2 eggs
3 T plain or vanilla yogurt
1.5 c flour
0.5 t nutmeg
0.5 t cinnamon
0.5 t allspice
0.25 t ground cloves
1 t baking soda
0.5 t salt

In a small bowl, stir oats into boiling water. Set aside to soak.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray oil on the bottom and sides of an 8×8 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, cream together the white sugar, brown sugar and butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs and yogurt. Combine flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, baking soda, and, salt. Add these dry ingredients to the egg mixture stir just until moistened. Mix in the soaked oats. Pour into the prepared pan, and spread evenly.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

* The recipe that I began with called for 1 cup of each type of sugar. This was too sweet. One-half cup of each produces a good cake. Adding three-quarters white sugar will make the cake sweeter and may improve the cake structure (it is a little dense).

The spices are good in this cake. I may try it again with 50% more nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves.

I recently tried this Cauliflower Rice Stuffing and found it to be good and not as different from other dressings as I would have guessed. The mushrooms tie everything together and I would likely skip this recipe if I didn’t like mushrooms. Two heads of cauliflower is a lot of cauliflower, but there were a reasonable amount of leftovers when I made it for just George and myself. I would make this recipe again, perhaps with the additions of grated carrot and dried cranberries.

Car camping

tent, fly, stakes
tarp/ground cloth
cot
sleeping bag
flat sheet
pillow
duct tape
camp chairs
wood camp stool
cook kit

utensils, spatula, can opener
knife
water bottles
dish soap, dish rag, dish cloth, dish pan
hot pads
cutting board
coffee pot

milk can
cast iron pan
dutch oven and lifter
matches, lighter
stove and fuel
grill
axe and Sierra saw
shovel
tp
cooler
water cooler
flashlight, headlamp
bug dope
day pack
clothes line and pins
wet wipes
paper towel

canoe
paddles
PFDs
anchor

No wonder that the truck is full when we’re ready to go!

Practice

It’s been a long time since I’ve tried to sew clothing from scratch. With clothing so inexpensive at thrift stores, there is really no reason to, except I’m picky about the color, texture, and fit of my clothes. (Not that you’d know that by looking at me!)

Photo of pattern and shirt front

Pattern and shirt front

So I gave it a whirl, or at least part of a whirl, and the shirt ended up being too big. As I sewed, I felt that the shirt would be too small. Almost the next moment, it would grow to a huge size and then back to my UW-Platteville size.

The placket went together perfectly. Well, almost. There were no puckers and the top stitching was top notch! Somehow I made it one placket width off center though. Oh well, it is a busy print, and the front is pleated. (Another note to self: vertical pleats are not good for me.) Then I went on to put the collar on. It was too small, either from the same error that caused the placket problem, poor cutting, or both. I was about to make a new collar and put it on (because this would be the right time to do so; easier than doing it with sleeves and sides seams in place) but then the size kept growing and shrinking in front of me. I added the sleeves and side seams (no puckers or gaps, thank you very much) and tried the shirt on. It’s at least a size too big. I guess that is better than a tiny shirt, but only for my ego. I’m done with this shirt.

I’m not too discouraged, but my next projects will be adapting a couple of pairs of pants from the thrift store. I should try this shirt thing again before another 25 years pass and I don’t remember my mistakes. Just in case I don’t get back to it before my memory fails me, I’ve made a few notes for myself below.

Next time I will compare the measurements on a shirt that fits me well to the pattern before cutting it out. My body measurements did match the XL size on the B6099 Butterick pattern, but the shirt didn’t fit me. I was careful with the seam allowances.

Body measurements chart in pattern

Photo of back of pattern envelope

Note the Easy designation. Read the directions carefully anyway. It may help get the placket on center!

The button hole feature on the sewing machine is easy. Make sure the button is in the presser foot however, or you will end up with one really big button hole. (The busy fabric will disguise this.)