Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Old World Bread

Old World Bread
I got this recipe from a friend who used it with home ground wheat flour. Very good.
Here is the original recipe the way it was given to me. 

3 1/2 cups flour (1/2 can be whole wheat)
2 teaspoons non iodized salt
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
Stir with fingers.

Add 1 1/2 cups non-chlorinated water
Stir with a wooden spoon.

Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, the longer the better.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Form loaf and place in roaster/dutch oven sprinkled with cornmeal.
Cover and cook 30 minutes.
Uncover and cook 10-15 minutes more.

What I did.
After the dough sat on the counter overnight in a covered bowl I found it was a bit sticky so I used a few Tablespoons of flour around the edges so I could get it out of the bowl and then I formed it on a parchment covered baking sheet and slashed the top. Covered it again for an hour and let it rise.

I placed the bread in a 400 degree preheated oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.

Which was perfect.

I love the idea of making the dough the night before and I think I will try to get more into that habit so there is fresh bread in the morning instead of just for dinner. Please tell me what you think.

Peace, Kirsten

 Sustainable Sanctuary 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Cookbook

Kirsten & Gary December 2008

I made a cookbook for my family as a gift for Christmas one year. It held all my recipes that I used every year. I also gave them out to all our friends. I took the file in and had the cookbooks printed out. I thought it would be nice if I put the file on here and you can print it out too.

Also, it's easy access for when ever I am anywhere else and I want to share a recipe.

Merry Christmas
Peace, Kirsten

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Swedish Pancakes

Swedish Pancakes

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter

Combine eggs, milk, flour, sugar and salt; beat until smooth.
Add melted butter to batter.
Use 1/4 cup batter on hot frill for each pancake.
(For presentation – flip and roll up pancake, serve with sauce and whipped cream).
I love them with just butter and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

makes 10

With Love,

Friday, November 27, 2015

Water Bottles

Water is good for us! We should drink lots of pure water... I do! The only thing was I was drinking it out of plastic water bottles. I was going through a case of water every week. To be honest with you I wasn't exactly worried about the plastic I was producing because... "I recycle"! My decision to look into a different way was more on the economic level... it adds up! I would go through a case of bottled water, then I would buy water at the corner store, then we would go on a jaunt and I would buy 5 more bottles at the corner store.... well, all of that was equivalent to about $600 a year. After a few years that adds up to quite a bit! Make sure you read all the way to the bottom to see what I did.

Here is the average life of a Water Bottle:


More Reading:   10 things you can do about plastic

These are now my water bottles: I fill the tea kettle and set these clear, 16 oz. EZ Cap Beer Bottles in the sink and pour the boiling water into them and seal them. They are clean for relatively soon use, they are not sterilized for long term storage. 

 Kirsten Hughes Photography
Photos by Kirsten Hughes Photography

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Kim Chee

What is Kim Chee?

Kimchi or Kim Chee is a traditional fermented Korean delicacy which is made from vegetables including cabbage and a wide range of spices and seasonings. It is the national dish of Korea and has been a staple of their food since ages.

What's it good for?

You can go to this page and read the health benefits:

When I first made kim chee, I found this recipe and used it as a jumping off point. (I had to laugh – this cook is even more loose about instructions than I am: “For amounts you can just go by feelings…”)  My family loves this. It’s spicy and crunchy and salty – a great side dish to go with meat and fish when you don’t have time to make a salad.

Kim Chee

•1 head cabbage
•3 small bunches bok choy
•3 green onions, sliced
•about 1 cup daikon, shredded (I use my veggie peeler)
•about 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced or shredded
•1.5 tablespoons Hawaiian salt or rock salt
•8-10 cloves garlic
•1″ piece fresh ginger
•1-2 tablespoons red pepper flakes (2 tablespoons makes a fairly spicy kim chee; use more or less to taste)

Chop cabbage, bok choy, and green onions coarsely and put in large bowl. Mix in daikon, carrot, and salt. Work the ingredients, pressing and smashing with the end of a rolling pin or back of a wooden spoon. This step will help the cabbage release its juices. The bulk of the greens will reduce by about half as you work it. Set greens aside; mince the garlic and ginger and stir into the cabbage along with the pepper flakes. Transfer mixture to a half gallon jar, pushing the greens down until they’re covered by juices. It will not look like you have much juice, but when you smash the ingredients down into the jar, you’ll be surprised. If the solid ingredients are not entirely covered by juices, top it off with a bit of filtered water. Cover jar with a loose cloth. Let sit at room temperature for a day, then cover and refrigerate.

This is what I did last night: 

1 head napa cabbage
1 head bok choy
3 onions sliced
1 carrot shredded
1.5 Tablespoons course kosher salt
2 cloves of elephant garlic
1/2 cup ginger bug
1 teaspoon red pepper powder
3 dried guajillo chilies - I dump most of the seeds out and don't use them in the kim chee.

Chop everything in large pieces. Put in in a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Stir it up every half hour or so mashing everything with the spoon, the idea is to make it wilt and create juice. I let it sit all night in the bowl covered with plastic wrap, stirring occasionally when I walk by it. The next morning I put it in a large glass jar and pressed down to cover all the veggies in juice. Some people leave it alone at this point. I don't, I stir it every day. You can put a lid and an airloc on it at this point but I usually cover it loosely with plastic wrap leaving a space for it to breath. Leave it out for about 5 days until you see it bubble and all the veggies have turned a bit translucent.  Pack into smaller jars and refrigerate. It's ready to eat at that point but it will stay in the fridge for up to a year (or so I am told anyway, ours would never last that long).

Other ingredients I have added the past:

raw ginger in place of the ginger bug
a Tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
6 cloves regular garlic in place of the elephant garlic

Day 3 of the Kim Chee.

When I opened it today I could hear it working. Notice the vegetables are becoming more clear. There is more liquid and it smells a bit raw. You can see that the red pepper powder has dissolved into the liquid. Keep stirring daily.
Traditionally the Koreans would put this in a dark covered jar and bury it for a month then dig it up and eat it.... yum!

Day 7 of the Kim Chee

You can see how transparent the vegetables have become. I put it in quart jars and put them in the fridge today.

Note: I started another batch of Kim Chee and it did not come to this state of fermentation as quickly as this batch did. The only thing I can think of that would cause this was the ginger bug I used. On the next batch I used fresh ginger instead. I remember reading to give your Kim Chee a kick start you can use a ferment in process such as the ginger bug or even a bit of whey left over from making yogurt.

So, while I am in the fermenting mood I went ahead and started a jar of Sauerkraut. It's an even simpler recipe.

1 med. head cabbage cut/shredded fine
1 Tablespoon kosher salt

Cut cabbage, sprinkle salt and begin kneading the mixture with your hands until it becomes moist.

I was pleasantly surprised that after I kneaded and pushed I had managed to get the whole head of cabbage into one quart jar.
I did put an airloc on it because sauerkraut tends to make the house smell a bit weird (who tooted?). We will check on its progress as we go but it will have to sit for about 30 days before it finishes it's process.  

 Kirsten Hughes Photography

Photos by Kirsten Hughes Photography
DePauw, Indiana

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Ginger - trying to grow

 Sustainable Sanctuary Living

I love Ginger, I use it in many different things. Cooking, Ginger Ale, Lotions and such.

Ginger is described here in Wikipedia. This goes into full depth of its description and uses.

My main goal is to sustain ginger, to grow it. I tried last winter but it didn't work for me. I have read about a couple of different ways to grow it and I am going to try one of them here.

January 17th, 2014

This is my just purchased rhizome along with a piece I have been working off of for the last few weeks. I chose a clean shallow dish and added cooled boiled water (to remove chlorine from the tap water) and I let about a third of the ginger rhizome stay above the water. The rhizome I picked was nice and plump and already had a few buds sticking out.

Now we wait.... I will check it every week and take a picture of its progress.

Please add any ideas of knowledge you have about sustaining ginger... this is an experiment for me.
Thanks, Kirsten

This was a bad idea.... the ginger got slimy and I threw it away.

So here we are a year later and I have another ginger rhizome with budding heads. Here is the new project:

 Its as simple as it looks... a pot of dirt... I put the ginger bulb in the dirt and covered it

Added some food....

 and water....

Hopefully it will be a happy plant....

Time will tell...

Here is the first spike, it's been about 12 weeks since I planted the ginger bulb. I will add more as I think about it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Birth Collective

Helping to make care for the woman and birthing normal again.

Services in Southern Indiana

I have met a lot of wonderful people here who have great things to share. I am adding them here for your convenience:

 Southern Indiana Homesteaders

 Walk In Float Out

on Facebook

 The Birth Collective of Southern Indiana
This is an amazing collection of support people for expectant Mothers.

Kirsten Hughes Photography

Walk In Float Out

Dry Onion Soup Mix

Dry Onion Soup
and The Farm 

I have been a "from scratch" girl since I began cooking. I was raised by my grandparents who lived through the depression and that made an imprint on their daily responses to life.

To the right is a picture of My Grandparents: Mary and Seymour.

The Great Depression era can be divided into two parts. The initial decline lasted from mid-1929 to mid-1931. Around mid-1931, there was a change in people’s expectations about the future of the economy. This fear of reduced future income coupled by the Fed’s deflationary monetary policy resulted in a Mundell–Tobin effect. This further depressed the economy until Roosevelt stepped into office in 1933 and ended the gold standard, thereby ending the deflationary policy.

One of imprints was a "make it yourself" attitude.
In my recent daily living I have come across a lot of recipes requiring Onion Soup Powder. My day to day quest to "live closer to the vine" thought process doesn't let me "buy" this type of product. I would love to tell you this is my Grandmothers recipe but it isn't, I will share some of Grandmas recipes as we go along. I have gone through recipes and adapted them into the following one:

1 cup dried minced onions
6 Tablespoons Chicken Bouillon (the original recipes use beef, feel free to do that)
2 Tablespoons (or 2 wrapped squares) Chicken Tomato Bouillon
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Making sure all of the bouillon chunks are broken up and incorporated with the other ingredients. Pour into a half pint jar and cover. Makes almost 1 1/2 cups.

The purchased Onion Soup Mix envelopes contains 4 ounces of mix. A slightly heaping Tablespoon of this mix is about one half ounce. I would probably use 7 to 8 Tablespoon to a recipe calling for one envelope.

Most of the recipes I have seen lately are calling for one Tablespoon of the mix, which would leave an open envelope in your cupboard. Aren't you glad you put this in a nice tightly covered jar?

Kirsten Mia

Photos by Kirsten Hughes Photography