Taking Time Away From Our Farmhouse

We are taking some time off from our farm to explore America.  Hope you will come along and see where we have been and where we are going

Check out our travel blog at RVing Across America

Canned cole slaw

Made 5 pints of canned coleslaw.  Read so many blogs and comments about how great the canned coleslaw is that I just had to give it a try.

One medium cabbage shredded
Two large carrots shredded
One small onion minced
Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and let it sit for one hour before canning with the syrup

The syrup recipe and the amounts I used

2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup water
3 cups sugar
2 tsp celery seed
2 tsp mustard seed

Heat to boiling then remove from heat and let syrup cool completely 

Sterilize jars and wash seals and rings

Rinse cabbage mixture and drain
Add 1/2 of syrup mixture to cabbage mixture
Pack in pint jars

Pack fairly tight in jars leaving 1 inch head space
Add syrup to cover
Put in water bath canner 
Be sure water covers jars by a couple of inches
Waterbath jars for 15 minutes

To make cole slaw drain syrup from cabbage mixture and add mayo.  

Make Your Own Granite Cleaner



My new thing to do now is make my own cleaning and laundry supplies.  My first thought was it can not be as cheap as couponing and the products can't really work as good as name brand products.  Then  I began to think about what is in the expensive brands and the ingredients that are in homemade products.  I decided for the health of my family it was worth a shot at mixing my own products.

Today I noticed my favorite spray bottle of granite cleaner was almost empty.  Method Daily Granite is or was my product of choice for cleaning my granite every day.  The counter tops always look clean and shiny and the bottle states it is surface safe, non toxic, and plant based.  My only objection to this cleaner is the odor sometimes makes me cough.  Since my bottle was getting low I knew it was a good time to test the effectiveness of my homemade cleaner verses my Method cleaner.


Counter top before cleaning




Countertop after cleaning


The counter top was sparkly clean with the homemade cleaner and the Method cleaner. 

There was two things different  about the two cleaners.   THE COST!!! and the homemade did not have a strong odor.

Break down of cost of homemade cleaner

Spray bottle $.96
8oz. Rubbing alcohol. $.75
1oz Dawn dish detergent $.20
32oz water from faucet free
Total cost for 41 ounces of cleaner 95 cents plus 96 cents for the spray bottle (which I will continue to refill)

Method cleaner $4.98 for 12 ounces 


Even with couponing I doubt I could find a granite cleaner that does the job as cheap as my homemade cleaner.  So far I am sold on homemade.

Have you tried making homemade cleaners for your home?  Do you think they work?   I would love to hear your opinions.

Canning Green Peanuts


Green peanuts brings back memories of good times for me.   When I lived in Georgia we grew peanuts in our garden and when the green peanuts were harvested we would have a peanut boil.  Family and friends would get together, a big fire was lit , and a large pot of green peanuts would be cooking over the fire.  The only food served at this get together would be the peanuts and a large amount of sweet tea.  Every year when the green peanuts arrive at the farmers market it brings back good memories of all those times with friends and family.

I don't get to enjoy going to a peanut boil anymore but I still eat the heck out of boiled peanuts.  R can't watch a ballgame without a big bowl of peanuts. So we buy bushels of these nuts when they are available and freeze and can them for later. 

First of all green peanuts are not green, they are pink when fresh out of the shell.  They are called green because it hasn't been long since they were pulled out of the ground and they haven't had time to dry out.  The green peanuts must be kept in a cooler or fridge until cooked.

Freezing peanuts is a simple project.  All you need is a super large pot, peanuts, water, and salt. 

After the peanuts are cleaned and washed they are put in the pot with a brine mixture of one gallon of water to one cup of  Ball® Pickling Salt Make enough brine to cover the peanuts.  After a couple of hours of cooking I start to  taste the nuts for tenderness and saltiness.  Once the nuts reach the soft not mushy  texture then I turn off the heat and let the peanuts cool in the brine water until the nuts are as salty as I like them.  Then I put the peanuts (not the brine) in a freezer bag and freeze.  To eat I just put the peanuts and fresh water in a pot and warm up the peanuts.  Sometimes I just pop them in the microwave to heat.

Canning is a little more complicated than freezing.  I like to have some canned peanuts on hand to take on camping trips or to take when we go out on the boat.  Here is how I can my peanuts


Heat (7) Ball Regular Quart Jars and lids and rings

Clean and wash the peanuts --wash with fresh water three times -this is important

Cook peanuts for about ten minutes in fresh water

While the peanuts are cooking I mix my brine ( one gallon water and one cup Ball® Pickling Salt and bring to a boil

Pack Peanuts in the hot jar and ladle the brine water to cover leaving 1/2 inch head space. Place seal and lid on jar

Place jars into Presto Aluminum Pressure Cooker/Canner

Can in a pressure canner
Style of PackJar SizeProcess Time0 - 2,000 ft2,001 - 4,000 ft4,001 - 6,000 ft6,001 - 8,000 ft
HotPints45 min11 lb12 lb13 lb14 lb
Quarts5011121314


If you are a first time canner go to the USDA for canning food website to learn how to safely prepare foods for canning.  Another great place to learn to can is at Home Canning For Beginners and Beyond.

Whether I am sitting by the campfire or sitting in the boat on the water all I have to do is pop off the lid and enjoy my boiled peanuts (no heating needed) What a perfect snack!

So I hope you will try some green peanuts, can a few for outdoor trips, and freeze a few for ballgame watching.

I love to read your comments so please post one below

Don't forget to check my page on blogs I follow. This is places I link my blog each week.






Watermelon Rind Pickles


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My grandmother would make the most delicious watermelon rind pickles. After we ate the watermelon my grandmother would take the rinds and make a sweet and crunchy pickle from them.  We would eat the pickles like many kids would eat candy, to us it was a treat. This year I have decided to make my own sweet watermelon pickles. I was so pleased that these crunchy delights were as good as I remember from my childhood.

This is how I made my pickles

Hope in every season
After I removed the red part of the melon I cut the rind into strips
After removing all the red and green part from the rind I put them in a pickling lime solution.  This lime solution makes the pickles crispy.  I mixed one gallon of water with one half cup of pickling lime and let the rind soak for two hours.  I used Mrs. Wages Pickling Lime




Its okay to leave a small amount of pink on the rind but if you leave any of the green on it will be tough.

While the rind was soaking I collected the rest of my ingredients.  Four cinnamon sticks, approximately one tablespoon whole cloves, and a fresh ginger root from my garden. I cleaned the ginger and chopped into four pieces.  I put the cloves in a spice bag for easy removal after cooking.

After a couple of hours I removed the rinds from the lime water and rinsed the rinds three times in fresh water.  I let the rinds soak in fresh water until I mixed the remainder of the ingredients.

In a large nonreactive pan ( I used my enamel canning pot) I measured six cups of white vinegar and 6 cups of white sugar.  I added my spices and my rinds and cooked for about twenty minutes on med high heat.

While I waited for the rinds to cook I placed my jars in a large pot of hot water and let them sterilize by letting the water boil for ten minutes.  I then added my lids and rings to the water with the jars. 

After about twenty minutes the rind turned from white to a clear look.  I then took a hot jar from the pot and filled it with pickled rinds and the hot liquid.  Not long after I filled the jars I starting hearing the pop or ping as each jar sealed. The next day I checked to make sure all the jars had sealed. After the jars seal they can be stored in the cabinet.   I put several jars of my pickles in the fridge because they taste better cold. 

 Please be sure to follow the USDA guidelines for canning for food safety. This is how I can pickles but please checkout the guidelines if you are a first time canner.





I was pleased with my watermelon rind pickles and I hope you will try this recipe. 

Here is a list of ingredients I used

12 cups of sliced watermelon rinds
one gallon water
1/2 cup pickling lime
6 cups white vinegar
6 cups white sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
1 ginger root cleaned and sliced
1 tablespoon whole cloves placed in spice bag.


I know that each time I eat one of my pickles I will think of my grandmother and all the special times we had together.  


This post has been shared at Whatever goes Wednesday  Real Food Wednesday Inspire Me Wednesday   The Happy House

5 Ways to Perserve and Store Onions




Onions were a great deal at our farms market this weekend so we bought a big bag. Onions are a hardy vegetable and can be kept fresh for many months if stored correctly.

1.  To store fresh onions I put the onions loose in a basket and place  in the coolest darkest part of my kitchen.  As I use an onion I check the others and I remove any onions that are rotting.  Generally onions will last several months like this.

2.  How to make  onions rings and freeze    

I peel the onions and  slice them into about quarter inch slices. The large outside rings I use for the onion rings.Here is how I make the batter for my rings

1 cup corn starch
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
12 oz liquid ( I use beer but okay to use water)

mix together and let sit for a few minutes before using


I dredge the onion rings in the batter and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
After the sheet is full I place in the freezer for several hours to freeze.  I then transfer the frozen rings to a large size freezer bag. 

When cooking the frozen rings take from freeze and fry or place on cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil or cooking oil and place in hot 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.


3.  The small inside pieces left over from making the onion rings I chop and freeze to use in recipes that call for chopped onions. By freezing the chopped onions on a large cookie tray and parchment paper the onions will freeze individually and be easy to measure out for recipes.


4.  I like to dehydrate the small pieces.  The dehydrated onions can be used in any recipes like soup, stew, and chili.  As the soups and stews cook the onions will rehydrate.  The  Nesco American Harvest FD-1018P 1000 Watt Food Dehydrator Kit makes it easy to dehydrate many vegetables.  For vegetables like onions I set the temperature to 130 degrees.  This insures the onions dehydrate but does not cook them or make them turn brown.  The lower temps take longer to dry out the onions but the onions remain white and fresh looking.  I purchased my dehydrator on Amazon last year and I have more than got my monies worth.

5. From the dehydrated onions I also make onion powder. I process the dried pieces in my coffee grinder (the grinder I use for spices only)until it turns into a powder.  Place the onion powder in a glass jar and it will keep for years but I generally run out way before then.


With all my prepared onions I can quickly add a little onion flavor to sauce or gravies with my onion powder, or use a cup of frozen chopped onions in a stir fry. I have my dehydrated onion pieces for soups and stews, and frozen onion rings on hand for a quick side dish.

 So the next time you find onions at a great price or grow extra onions in your garden I hope you will use some of the ideas on storing and preserving your onions.