Hash Browns – Home fry style – v3

I’ve been working on this recipe for about the last 9 months, until I arrived at the recipe you see below. I’m not going to bother posting any of the earlier versions of the recipe, since they mostly resulted in being complete and utter failures. But some of the low lights from v1 & v2 include bland flavor, soft texture and excruciatingly long cooking times. So with that out of the way, it’s onto the winning recipe listed below. Continue reading

Hard Cider – Batch 17 – Bottled and Kegged – August 2010

With fall very rapidly approaching, its time to start moving the 2009 hard cider inventory from the fermentor into a more consumable form (bottles and kegs). So the first batch on the production schedule is batch number 17, which used the Red Star Premier Cuvee yeast. The main reason for picking this batch, was that the grommet for the airlock broke in half (pic below) right before I left for Michigan two weekends ago. So I had to make an emergency fix with some Scotch tape to keep a somewhat airtight seal. Suprisingly the tape formed a good enough seal around the airlock, that it gave me enough time this week to clean out my last empty keg. Continue reading

Jalapeno Hot Sauce – v2 – August 2010

This year I went with a theme for making jalapeno hot sauce of “go big, or go home”, which I think that I more than accomplished.
When I was in Michigan two weekends ago, I had a little bit of free time on Saturday morning before I needed to go to a wedding in Northern Michigan. So I thought that I was swing by the Pontiac Farmers Market with my sister to see if they had any deals on peppers (jalapeno specifically) like they did last year. And once again I wasn’t disappointed. After a quick walk around to gauge the prices for a pint container of jalapenos (they ranged from $0.25 each to $2.00 a pint.) I finally found a vendor at the edge of the open air section of the market that was selling jalapeno’s for $1 per pint. I also noticed that the vendor had about 1/2 a peck’s worth of jalapeno’s in the back, which was in addition to the 3 pints on display. So I inquired how much they wanted for all the jalapeno’s they had, they quoted me $5.00, and I told them “sold”. So for $5.00 I ended up getting about 3.5 lbs of jalapeno’s, which is about $1.43lb, so not too bad price wise. Combine that with the 2.5lbs of El Jefe jalapenos that I picked from my garden, and we are talking about a lot of jalapeno’s. Continue reading

First Sweet Corn of the Year – July 26, 2010

I just picked a couple of ears of the sh2 sweet corn that I planted this year. And I think that I might have waited to long before starting the harvest. Don’t get me wrong, the corn still tasted great. And I don’t think that I’ve ever eaten sweet corn 30 mins after it was picked. But it did taste like it was starting to go from the “milk” stage to the “early dough” stage, in that the corn had a little bit of a starchy taste. But with all that said, it was still better then any corn that I’ve gotten at the grocery store or farmers market. Continue reading

Dill Pickles – v1 – 07/14/2010

And now for the final canning recipe, even though I made these a couple of days before the carrots and beans. I kind of went in a totally different route, in that I didn’t soak the pickle spears in a brine before canning. Since I’ve noticed that all the brine pre-soak does, is make your final product extra salty. So somewhere online, I saw a bunch of tips on soaking the sliced cucumbers in an ice-bath to increase the final pickles “crispness”. But seeing how I only soaked them for an hour before processing, I really don’t know if it added much to the recipe, since most recipes were suggesting a 4 to 5 hour ice bath before processing.

So on to rest of the recipe:


  • 1 qt (4 cups) vinegar
  • 1 qt (4 cups) water
  • 2 TB pickling mix
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup canning salt

Bring Mixture to a boil, then simmer for 15 mins.

Per quart jar add:

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp mustard seed
  • 3 tsp Dill seed

Remember to make sure and use to plastic knife to get out the air bubbles. I also use the mason jar attachment for the food saver to get all the bubbles out.

Yield: 3 quart jars
Process 15 mins in a boiling water canner

Side Notes:
1) Since these pickles were the first canning experiment of the year, I forgot a bunch of steps that I would normally do. The big one being to get the air bubbles out the jar before processing. I was lucky that all the jars sealed after processing. But I guess this is what I get for the first canning session of the year.
2) The brine amount in the recipe ended up being the prefect amount for three quart jars, with no waste.
3) Since I forgot to grow fresh dill this year to add to the pickles, I went with dill seed instead.