Soggy Potatoes

Garlic helps hide any flaws in the taste area.
V's Do-Ahead Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
16 servings 
Serving size: 192 g
Calories per serving: 224

5 lbs sierra gold potatoes or 5 lbs red potatoes, diced with peel 
1 cup water 
1 cup butter, cut into chunks 
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder (optional) 
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
1 1/3 cups milk, warmed 
Place the potatoes, water, and butter into a slow cooker.  Season with salt, garlic powder, and pepper.  Cover, and cook High for 3-4 hours.  Do not remove the excess water from slow cooker. This adds to the creamy texture. 
Mash potatoes with a masher or electric beater, adding the desired amount of warm milk to achieve a creamy consistency.  Keep warm on low until serving. 
Potatoes keep consistency for a couple of hours after mashing. Just keep the lid on the slow cooker and serve directly from there.

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Crabapple Jelly

We hacked back a tree loaded with crabapples.  I couldn't bear to not use some of them so I pick crabapples off the cut branches.  The rest were hauled away.  Sniff.  If I had known the jelly was going to be so good I would have picked the rest.  It would have taken me weeks but I maybe would have possible kind of done that.  I didn't have enough juice for a second batch so I threw in some canned peach juice that had been sitting in the fridge for about a month.  It was still wasn't enough. Tart cherry juice topped it off. 

Apple or Crabapple Jelly 
From Sure-Jell
Makes 10-12 cups 

7 cups  prepared juice (buy about 5 lbs. apples or crabapples

5 cups  water

1 box  SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin

1/2 tsp.  butter or margarine

9 cups  sugar, measured into separate bowl

IF USING A CANNER, BRING boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer. See alternative open kettle method below.

WASH jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.
REMOVE stems and blossom ends from unpeeled washed apples.  Core apples; cut into small pieces. Not necessary for crabapples.  Place in large saucepan; add water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 min., stirring occasionally. Crush cooked apples; cover and simmer 5 min. Place three layers of damp cheesecloth or a jelly bag in large bowl. Pour prepared fruit into cheesecloth. Tie cheesecloth closed; hang and let drip into bowl until dripping stops. Press gently. Measure exactly 7 cups prepared juice into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot. (If needed, add up to 1/2 cup water for exact measure.) 

I highly recommend using a Nutri-Steamer.  It is so easy compared with the above method.   All you do is place the washed crabapples in the basket, steam them for 90 min. then collect the juice. 

STIR pectin into juice in saucepot. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
LADLE immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. With a small spoon skim off remaining foam.  Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly.

Here I just flip the jars upside down (open kettle method) and let them cool for 12 hours.  Flip the jars over and test seals.  There will be space at the bottom with this technique.


Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 5 min. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.) 

Fifty Cent Soup

I found some soup I had I bought on clearance for 50 cents.  It expired in 2008.  This was a perfect recipe for it.  
Easy Beef Sandwiches
Serves 6

1 pound seasoned deli roast beef
1 can of beef broth
Provolone cheese

Place beef and broth in a slow cooker.  Heat on low until warm, about 20 min.  Place on a roll.  Top with cheese.  Use the juice for dipping the sandwich in, if desired.

Tang Turkey

Hey, I had no juice in the house.  I was desperate.  Ok lazy.  It tasted good but did have a weird orange glow about it.  I used the recipe here and substituted Tang for apple cider.  The Tang mix was brown though, just like apple cider.  I can't decide if this is a new low or a new high.  

Onion Greens

My onions bolted and flowered this year due to the freaky weather.  Apparently this is not good.  But I'm smarter.  I'm going to take all the onion tops chop and freeze and them. Or freeze them whole and use them for flavor in soups and stocks.