It’s Apple Season

Beautiful Honey Crisp apples!

Beautiful Honey Crisp apples!

We have a big Honey Gold apple tree on our property that produces the most delicious apples in the world. They are crisp and sweet with a tiny burst of tart mixed in. They bake up into amazing pies, crisps and applesauce. Last fall our kids and their families pressed the apples into cider. Oh my! What a treat that was! I make my apple cider with cloves, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks and orange slices. Everyone loves it. Scroll to the bottom to find the recipe.

Making apple cider will definately become a new family tradition, for sure!

It was a perfect October day to make apple cider

It was a perfect October day to make apple cider

Every one had a job to do.

Every one had a job to do.

We borrowed a wine press from the vineyard down the road from our place.

We borrowed a wine press from the vineyard down the road from our place.

Reminds me of a joke. How many men does it take to...

Reminds me of a joke. How many men does it take to…

It's Ella's job to play with the leaves.

It was Ella’s job to play in the leaves.

It's Uncle Dan's job to hold baby Lincoln.

It was Uncle Dan’s job to hold baby Lincoln.

Ok. Pretty simple stuff. Apples go in...

Ok. Pretty simple stuff. Apples go in…

Crank some pressure on the apples and make them release their juice...

Crank some pressure on the apples and make them scream UNCLE!…

Out comes the nectar.

Out comes the nectar.

Mission accomplished! Beautiful, sweet apple cider for the holidays.

Mission accomplished! Beautiful, sweet apple cider for the holidays.

Heart & Harvest Honey Gold Mulled Cider
2 quarts apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
5 whole allspice berries
1 orange sliced thin
Place the ingredients in a pot on the stove and bring to a simmer.
You’re welcome.

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The safe, natural way to clean fruits and vegetables

Bubble Bath for Chives

Bubble Bath for Chives

I grow and purchase a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to use in the making of my infused vinegars. I used to throw them in a sink full of clean water, swish them around and believed they were clean and safe to eat. Wrong!

Doing my research, I’ve discovered a better way to remove pesticides, toxins and that waxy substance on fruits such as apples. I’ve been a Shaklee product user for 40 years. Their Basic H2 cleaner has always had a home under my sink. I’ve now discovered that by using only 1/4 teaspoon in a quart of water, I can rid my produce of all the nasty things that may cover my produce that I purchase from non-organic sources. Basic-H makes water penetrate dirt and grime more quickly while then rinsing away easily and leaving no toxic residue.

So that’s why you see suds in my herb baths. Perfectly safe and sound. Just rinse it all after its bath.

I feel so much better now that I’ve discovered a better means to rid our food of the ‘nasties’.

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Making Sauerkraut

Have you ever been to the State Fairs in Alaska? The vegetable category is over the top! Because of the nearly 24 hours of daylight the state enjoys in the summer, fruits and vegetables grow to gargantuan proportions.

Our green cabbage have hit gargantuan proportions also. We decided that we, being the good Germans that we are, will make sauerkraut for the first time ever. All the on line YouTube videos featuring people making kraut in their own kitchens is testimony as to how easy it is. We shall see…

Starting with approximately 30 lbs. of raw cabbage we set about our fermenting journey…

The head of cabbage awaits its execution

The head of cabbage awaits its execution

Whoa! 10 pound cabbage!

Whoa! 10 pound cabbage!

Shred it up in thin slices

Shred it up in thin slices

We worked in 5 pound batches to make it easier

We worked in 5 pound batches to make it easier

Add 3 tablespoons canning salt to each 5 lbs. of shredded cabbage. Salt helps draw out the moisture and starts the fermentation

Add 3 tablespoons canning salt to each 5 lbs. of shredded cabbage. Salt helps draw out the moisture and starts the fermentation

Mr. K is a kraut stirring ninja

Mr. K is a kraut stirring ninja

All beat up and packed down. We're going to cover with a towel and set it in a corner. In three days we will peek in.

All beat up and packed down. We’re going to cover with a towel and set it in a corner. In three days we will peek in.

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Roasted Beet Salad with Orange and Mint

Our garden beets have been growing like weeds, we can’t eat enough of them to keep up. This one salad, however, I will never tire of. It is so fresh and clean and oh! so yummy! I love how the tartness of the herb wine vinegar plays off the sweetness of the oranges and beets.

Please excuse my less than lovely photography. I’m a better cook than photographer!

Roasted garden beets with oranges, onion, mint and herbed vinegar

Roasted garden beets with oranges, onion, mint and herbed vinegar

Roasted Beet, Onion, Orange and Mint Salad

12 baby beets (6 large beets)
2 navel oranges, mandarins or clementines
Sweet Vadalia onion (halved lengthwise and thinly sliced)
10 fresh mint (leaves coarsely chopped)
kosher salt
black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
Herb infused white wine vinegar

Cut the tops from the beets, leaving four inches of stem and root attached. Place in boiling water or bake in oven until a knife blade inserted goes in easily. Throw in a cold water bath to cool. Remove root, stems and skin using a paper towel.

Cut beets in 1-2 inch chunks. Place in a bowl.

Slice desired amount of onion thinly and add to beets.

Slice off the rinds of the oranges with a sharp knife; starting at the top and slicing down to the bottom; removing all the white membrane stuff. Then slice in wedges. Add to beet bowl.

Chop up a handful of mint leaves.

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Add a light splash of vinegar to the mixture, a little at a time, to taste. Same thing with the olive oil.

Mix gently. Refrigerate a hour or so.

Enjoy

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