Who can find a worthy woman? For her price is far above rubies.......She looks well to the ways of her household. Proverbs 31:10-27
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Home Canned Boston Style Beans

Myrna and I both grew up eating Boston Style or “Molasses" Baked Beans.  The brand we were used to isn't available around here anymore, so when someone gave me some extra dry beans, I had to try this recipe.  I did find salt pork locally and bought some to use, you can also use ham or chunks of bacon.  I used the beans in molasses sauce from a recipe in the "Better Homes and Gardens Canning Book  1973" but needed almost twice as much sauce as their recipe called for.  That is closer to other recipes I found on the internet, but we like this one that uses some brown sugar - it is tasty and less expensive.  I am giving the sauce amounts I have found that I need.
I keep these on hand; the recipe calls for pints, after the first time, I started canning them in half-pints (for the same time); so the two of us didn't have any leftovers.  We often eat them with sandwiches instead of fatty chips, they don't need any "doctoring" to be excellent.
I like canning beans – no peeling, pitting or chopping!  I like home canning – as I know where my ingredients come from! 
                            Boston Style Beans

 2           Pounds  Navy Beans -- 4 cups
  6           Quarts  Cold Water
  2           Teaspoons  Salt
     2/3    cup  Molasses
     2/3    cup  Brown Sugar -- packed
     1/4    Cup  Vinegar
  2           teaspoons  Dry Mustard
  1           teaspoon  Salt
  5           Cups Reserved Bean-soaking Liquid
     1/4    Pound  Salt Pork -- cut in 14 cubes
7 pint jars, lids and rings
  1. Rinse beans; add to 4 quarts cold water in an 8-10 quart kettle.  Bring to boiling; simmer 2 minutes.  Remove from heat; cover and let navy beans stand 1 hour.
  2. Add the 2 teaspoons salt to beans and soaking water; cover and bring to boiling.  Drain, reserving 5 cups of the liquid. (If you can’t get 5 cups, add water).
  3. In a large saucepan combine the 5 cups of reserved soaking liquid, molasses, brown sugar, vinegar, dry mustard and the teaspoon of salt.  Cover and bring to boiling; simmer 5-10 minutes.  Keep sauce hot.
  4. Divide hot beans into hot jars, filling jars 3/4 full (around 1 1/2 cups each).  Add 2 pieces of salt pork to drained beans.  Fill jars with hot molasses sauce; leave 1 inch headspace.  Remove bubbles.
  5. Adjust previously simmered lids.  Process in pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 65 minutes for pints (75 minutes for quarts Above 1000' can at 15 pounds pressure).
 (Times from nchfp.uga.edu)  Recipe adapted from "Better Homes and Gardens Canning Book  1973"

Equipment needed: 8 quart stock pot for beans, 3 quart pot for sauce, 10 quart or larger Pressure canner, small saucepan for lids, jar lifter, plastic knife or tool for removing bubbles, lid magnet, strainer to drain beans, slotted spoon, and ladle. Pan with cloth or paper towels for filling jars.  Tray or two with folded towels for setting cooling jars. 7 each pint jars, flat canning lids and rings.
2014 Cost:  $4.68 or 67¢ per pint if using purchased beans and salt pork.
  "7 Pint Jars"

Nutmeg Apple Conserve

This is an easy-to-make conserve.  Conserves have larger pieces of fruit and usually some dried fruit or nuts for interest.    The canning book recommended eating it on oatmeal, and we also liked it served with slices of ham or pork chops.  
My husband used our apple peeler-slicer without the slicing attachment to make quick work of peeling the apples.  Cut your apples into the water and lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.   Use purchased lemon juice so the acidity is controlled.   I used most of a 3# bag of Granny Smith apples.  This conserve jelled up nicely; apples have a lot of their own pectin.  
You do need to sterilize your canning jars because the processing time is less than 15 minutes.  That's easy to do right in your waterbath canner; removing them right before filling.  I use a long tongs with nylon tips for handling the hot, empty jars.  Check this link for good basic canning information.

Nutmeg Apple Conserve
  5            Cups  Tart Apples -- chopped, peeled
  1            Cup  Water
     1/3     Cup  Lemon Juice
  1 3/4     Ounces  Regular Powdered Pectin (1 package)
  4            Cups  Sugar
  1            Cup  Golden Raisins
     1/2     Teaspoon  Ground Nutmeg

  1. Gather jars, lids and rings.  Fill water bath canner with enough water to cover jars by one inch or more. Add empty jars.   Bring to a boil, cover, and keep warm.  Heat water in a small saucepan.  Simmer lids 10 minutes, remove from heat, cover and keep warm. 
  2. In a 6 to 8 quart heavy pot, combine apples, water and lemon juice.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in pectin.  Bring mixture to a full, rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar and raisins.  Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in nutmeg.  Quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon.
  4. Ladle hot conserve into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe rims, adjust lids.
  5. Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling).  Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks.
Equipment:  6-8 quart stockpot, waterbath canner or large covered stockpot with rack; jars, lids, rings, tray with paper towels or cloth for filling jars, jar funnel, lid magnet, jar lifter, cloth or paper towel for wiping rims, ladle, long spoon and long rubber scraper for cooking apple mixture, half sheet with a folded towel for cooling jars.  An apple peeler if desired.  (Here are some equipment suggestions)

  "Better Homes and Gardens Canning 2012"
  "6 Half Pint Jars"

Home Canned Black Beans

Here’s some easy canning for you.  We like cooked black beans in soups, casseroles and salads.  However, for two, a purchased can is too much.  So I can them in half pints, ready to use anytime.  A cupful is often what I need for recipes.  Remember, these MUST be pressure-canned for safety.  Check our canning links for more information.
I use fresh hot water to can them, so they are not so thick.  I only let my black beans soak 1 hour, unless they would be very old.  This method works for me; no bean “bricks”, but the beans are not mushy either.
This is convenient for emergency food storage too; in an emergency, you may not have water or heat to cook them from the dried state.

Home Canned Black Beans

Amount of Dry Beans
Half Pint Jars
Pint Jars
Quart Jars
1 Pound
8 Half Pints
4 Pints
2 Quarts
2 Pounds
16 Half Pints
8 Pints
4 Quarts
Rinse dry beans, cover well with boiling water.  Boil 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and let soak 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare pressure canner; heating 2-3 quarts of water (read your canner directions).
Simmer jar lids 10 minutes (do not boil); and have your jars clean and warm.  Heat hot water for filling jars.
After soaking, heat beans to boiling and drain.  Pack jars 3/4 full with hot beans. 
Fill with hot water, leaving 1 inch headspace.  Remove bubbles.  Wipe rim of jar, place hot previously-simmered lid on jar and screw down lid. 
Process pints and half pints 75 minutes and quarts 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure in your pressure canner.  Let pressure drop naturally, about ½ hour.  Remove from canner and cool on a cloth-covered tray until sealed. 
(Processing Times and basic directions from Presto)

Wonderful, Easy Pimientos - Marinated Sweet Peppers with Garlic

I never thought that I could make pimientos…and those little jars you buy are expensive!  I also never thought I would LOVE eating pimientos right out of the jar either!
This recipe is so easy, I don’t think there is any reason to can them…I just make them when I need them and they stay crisp and good in the refrigerator.  
The recipe was right on the money for quantities – I made them in two half-pint jars so I could share one with Myrna.  You could “fancy-pack” them and give them for Christmas gifts too.  They are really a version of marinated sweet peppers with garlic.  
The second time I made these, I tried a jar each of yellow and orange peppers; they are simply delicious - nothing like the stuff you buy!  You can also fill your jars with those little fancy sweet peppers...  My husband thinks I need these on hand all the time, and was disappointed that he had to wait...they are great in salads, cut up in vegetables like green beans and peas, in casseroles or creamed dishes, or just on a relish tray.  We can hardly stop eating them!  Now I make 6 jars at a time - we use them in salads, vegetables, casseroles and on appetizer trays.          
  2            large  Red Bell Peppers
     ½       cup  White Vinegar
     ½       cup  Water
     ¼       cup  Sugar
  2            cloves  Garlic -- chopped
  1            teaspoon  Olive Oil
     ½       teaspoon  Salt
Sterilize jars (I use the water to then soak the peppers).
Wash peppers, remove inner seeds and membranes and slice into inch-wide strips.  Cover peppers with boiling water and let them soak for 5 minutes, then drain well.
Meanwhile, combine vinegar, water and sugar in a non-aluminum pan and bring to a boil.  Simmer mixture for 5 minutes, remove from heat and add garlic, oil and salt.
Place peppers in sterilized jars and pour the vinegar mixture over them to cover.  Store the pimientos in refrigerator for 2 weeks before using.
They will keep several months in the refrigerator.
2014 Cost:  $ 1.55 for 8 ounce jar or $3.09 per pint with purchased red peppers.
  "Cheaper and Better"

Yield:  "2 Half Pints"

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The Spillway at Lake Keomah in Mahaska County between Oskaloosa and Rose Hill, Iowa, a cool oasis amidst the soybean and corn fields

Family Favorites...Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

  One recipe I tried from The Southern Living best comfort food recipes, 2011, was a recipe for Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce. I bought 2 small bottles (50ml) of Bacardi Gold rum at one of our local liquor outlets. I think rum flavoring might work, but the real thing is much better than the rum extracts available.

  This is a different bread pudding than I have tried before as it has chopped up apple and golden raisins in it, and it received rave reviews. The apple makes it a real dessert recipe and with the warm rum sauce on it, it was outstanding. Ready and in the oven with a minimum of fuss, this is my kind of recipe, .

Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce
 4 large eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
3 (12 oz.) cans of evaporated milk
½ cup butter melted
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 cups firmly packed torn french bread
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts, toasted (I used 1 cup pecans instead)
1 cup golden raisins
2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk  (Eagle Brand)
2 tablespoons Dark Rum 
Preheat oven to 350°. 
  1. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in sugar, evaporated milk, butter, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and cinnamon. Fold in bread and next three ingredients, stirring until bread is moistened. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish,
  2. Bake uncovered, at 350° for 50 minutes or until set. This time worked out perfect for my oven.
  3. To make rum sauce, pour sweetened condensed (Eagle Brand) milk into a small saucepan; cook over medium heat until hot, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in rum and remaining 1 Tablespoon vanilla.
  4. Cut bread pudding into squares; serve warm with warm rum sauce.

Pineapple Sorbet

I have been looking for a ice cream recipe that Bettie could eat. She has developed Type 2 Diabetes and I wanted something that was not as many carbs. This recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Diabetic web page seemed to be the one to try.
  Sorbets are not ice creams. There is no milk or cream involved just the fruit and sometimes water, and a small amount of sugar.
Nice color from the pineapple.
  This calls for a fresh pineapple, and I was not about to peel and core a whole pineapple. Our local HyVee store sells them already cored, peeled and ready to go for not a lot more than a whole pineapple. By far the easiest way to go. 
  With only three ingredients and carb count of 12 for one serving, this is easy to fix and easy to eat. My only fault with it is it is not as pineapple tasting as I thought it might be. Maybe that depends on the ripeness of the pineapple. However, if you want a low carb count and a very good and different taste, do try this
Pineapple Sorbet
Makes 8 servings       Carb count per serving: 12
1 large whole fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
  Chop pineapple and place in blender with the sugar and lime juice, cover and blend until mixture is completely smooth. Press through a strainer, you should have about 3 cups of puree. I just blended it so smooth, that I did not bother with the strainer.
  Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours or freezer for 20 minutes. Pour into a ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions. Allow to ripen for 4 hours in freezer.
  To serve scoop into chilled dessert dishes. This will melt faster than ice cream so the chilled dishes are a good idea. Garnish with mint leaves or lemon peel curls if desired.
Nutrition: Servings per recipe *
Cal. 49
Carb. 12g
Fiber. 1g
Sugar 11g
Sodium 2 mg
Diabetic Exchanges: Fruit: 1   Other Carb: 1

Burnt Almond Ice Cream

Burnt Almond Ice Cream  Yum!
  The Best Of Ice Cream has several ice cream recipes. Most are the custard base type which I rarely make. I like them, but they are rich and as we eat a fair amount of ice cream, I try to keep it a little less caloric. This however, just looked to good not to try.
  Bettie’s boss is a fan of anything almond and will get the bulk of this Burnt Almond ice cream, that is what we don’t eat ourselves. When I was making it, Bettie and I thought we could just drink it and the heck with freezing it. 
  I did cut back on the eggs, the recipe calls for 5 but says you can cut to 4 or even 3. I went with 4 smaller egg yolks. I am making eggs for supper tonight so will use the whites with that. Do be sure you chill it before freezing it. I was impatient and wanted to get done, so didn’t chill it as long and ended up just having to churn it a little longer. Didn’t really save any time. 
  We have really used our 2 quart electric ice cream maker since I got it and I would sure hate to give it up now. One of the few things I am willing to give counter and storage space to.
Burnt Almond Ice Cream
2 teaspoons butter (or toast in oven without butter)
½ cup sliced almonds
2 cups whole milk
5 large egg yolks (may cut to 4 or even 3)
¾ cup sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
  In a small skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter, add the almonds and saute until just golden. Remove and dry on paper towels. Set aside.
  In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat whole milk just to a simmer. Set aside.
  In top of double boiler, or a medium bowl which will fit over a pan on hot water, whisk the yolks with the sugar and salt for 3 to 4 minutes, or until pale yellow. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Place the top of the double boiler or bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook whisking constantly, for 8 to 1o minutes, or until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the cream, vanilla and almond extract. 
  Chill the mixture for 30 minutes, freeze according to the manufactures’s directions. When the ice cream is half frozen, stir in the almonds. Complete the freezing process. 
Makes 1 ½ quarts. (I felt it was closer to 2 quarts and would not do it in a smaller size freezer. Good Eating