Sunday, October 7, 2012

Twelve Hours In And Still Above Snakes

Well, we're all dragged out from spending 12 + hours in the kitchen this weekend, trying to make a dent in this.  This weekend, we did: Roasted Squash Seeds, Chard & Collard Chips, Caramelized Roasted Squash, Smoky Southern Collards and even more Canned Organic CSA Marinara.  Phew!  I'm beat!

 BTW, to be "above snakes" means to still be standing up (and not dead!) in cowboy lingo. 

Yesterday, I started with these:


Yup, I couldn't help but to do another round of seeds.  B'nut + Acorn squash seeds were good!

 Here was my list yesterday:
 As you can see from the above pics, I started with the squash: one butternut and one acorn and their seeds.

Seeds first since I wanted to start at a low oven and work up. B'nut and Acorn squash seeds = YUM.  

Dry 'em in a low oven first. I ended up just doing 200 degrees this time for about 30-40  minutes, checking and stirring every 15 min to quicken it up a bit.  The seeds MUST look and feel dry at the end of this period for it to count, or you may still end up with chewy seeds.  Just sayin'!

Roasted at 300 for oh, about 30 minutes (again, stirring at about 15m). I seasoned them with smoked salt, a little granulated sugar, a little cayenne and sunflower oil.  Delish! I wanted to use them as a crunchy topping for this Squash Mac I am going to (finally!) make tomorrow, but I ate them last night after the Sheriff's visit.  I couldn't resist.

Next up, Chard Chips, Experimental Collard Chips and then the Caramelized Squash:

I prepped the Swiss chard, a few collards, and the squash during the baking of the seeds.  Then, I turned the oven up to 350.

 Chard Chips!  (And Collard Chips!)

I actually made the Chard Chips during last year's MoFo!  Here's the recipe (just do the same for the collards!).  I did bake them for a little longer, like 10 minutes per side rather than 10 and 5 as the recipe states, but you'll know when they're done when they are crunchy but not burnt!  I threw the collards in there yesterday, too, and they were good but much stronger in flavor as you can imagine.  The Collard Chips would be a wonderful soup garnish or sprinkle on top of a pasta dish.  

Then, I turned the oven up to 400.  Time to roast the squash!

MAN, that roasted squash was better than butter on a groundhog! But, I had to save it because I am planning something...

I'm hoping to make this tomorrow (Monday, 10/10) now that I have everything prepped.  

And while the squash was roasting, I was prepping the two heads of broccoli:

 I love to cook and eat the tender center of the stem, but first you have to chop off the tough outside.  
Skin 'em good!  

Then you can just chop that up into matchsticks and cook it with the florets.

OK, so now we are up to what we made today (Sunday).  Today was hubby's day to help, thank the heavens!  That Squash Mac you see up there is going to be served with these Smoky Collards!
 Washin' the 'lards.


 I wanted Smoky Collards but I don't like liquid smoke (I had a bad experience the first time I used it, I may try again one day, but didn't want to risk it today!), SO, I instructed hubby to use my trusty Smoked Sea Salt (TJ's) and my workhorse, Smoked Spanish Paprika.  He sauteed the collards in lots of garlic, olive oil, and seasoned with the two smoky elements.  He also added organic raisins for sweetness against the smoke.  It's a Southern Italian thing, I'm forever adding raisins to greens :-)

Smoky Southern (Italian!) Collards

And, he canned that basket of tomatoes for me, too:
 Ain't they purdy?

 Washed, chopped and ready to be made into Marinara! (I forgot to take a picture of the finished sauce).

 There's that damn plastic funnel!  But, at least you can see the sauce pot.

 After venting steam for 10 minutes, process at about 11 pounds of pressure for 15 minutes.

Three more quarts of Organic CSA Tomato Sauce!

AND, because when you cook like this (without a finished dish), even though we were in the kitchen the whole weekend there was still nothing to eat!  So, here was my lunch today:

Don't tell The Sheriff, but part of his wagon's gone missin'.

We made a fine effort.

But, we ain't done yet!

Now, wasn't that a hoot and a holler?

Oh, and don't worry. We's still gonna candy us some cowboys!  Just not tonight. 

Homesteadin' it, October 1st through October 31st, 2012


  1. Lady Jane, you are on a ROLL! I can't believe how much you're getting done each day. Lovely squash, my only problem with squash is the cutting of it. I'm always afraid I'll cut my arm off instead :-o

    1. I can't take all the credit, hubby helped! I took six hours yesterday and he took six today, CRAZY.

      My trick for cutting squash: cut through on either side of the stem first, then gently put your knife through the stem itself and push down/through. Should halve pretty easily. They are hard, though!!


  2. Holy culinary madness! I spent hours in the kitchen today canning and roasting and cooking... And still I think you've completely outdone me! I am amazed!

  3. I always wondered if i could make chips from chard. good eye!

    About my whisk: The whisk is a silicone/plastic blend from pampered chef. it was designed for use in metal pans, so it won't scratch anything. I love it for grits, roux and thin gravies :)

    1. The Sheriff loves himself a good whisk! :-)

      And yup, Chard Chips are fine as are Collard Chips! Go Green Chips!