cooking · gardens

Zucchini Season…. No time for Ding Dong Ditch that Zucchini!!

This is a post I am updating for today. I had a bunch of cukes and zucchini’s to process and these are some things I did with all that bounty!

First, I and my son, cut up the cukes and put them into a jar with some celery seed and dill seed. My dill I planted didn’t come up at all- seeds were too old I guess. I didn’t have any dill so I used seed from my spice cabinet. I hope they will taste alright. These are fridge type pickles so I can change things a little and its only one 2 quart jar so it will be fine.

Next, another son and I cut up the zucchini into chunks. Some I put into vacuum sealed bags, sealed them up and put them into the freezer. Those will be good roasted over the winter. I sliced some up and put them into the dehydrator with some season salt. They will dry and be a good snack.

Then, I shredded a bunch. I put most of it into the dehydrator where it will dry into a sheet. I will pull that off and put it into jars. This I can use in recipes like breads, cakes, pancakes, spaghetti, soups. It’s good in egg dishes too.

Some of the shreds I used in my Zucchini Chocolate cake.

Here is the recipe:

Zucchini Chocolate Cake

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. oil
1 3/4c. sugar
2c. zucchini, shredded
1/2c. sour milk
2 eggs, beaten
1tsp. vanilla
1tsp.  baking soda
1/2tsp. baking powder
2 1/2c. flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1tsp. salt
4tbsp. cocoa
6 oz. chocolate chips
chopped nuts- optional

Cream butter, add oil and sugar.  Add remaining ingredients, except chips and nuts.  Beat well.  Pour into greased bundt pan or 9×13 baking pan.  Top with nuts and chocolate chips.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 min. (bundt pan takes a bit longer)

I don’t remember where I got the recipe, I have had it for a long time.  So if you are the one who gave it to me, thanks so much!  Its a favorite summer time treat. Unfortunately, both times I have made it this summer, its been dry and crumbly. I’m not sure why. And of course, this time I made frosting and it didn’t turn out either.

That’s what happens when I start to think I am Ree Drummond and can just add a stick of butter to something and it will be perfect.

Oh well. It’s still chocolate yummyness. .

This time, I made a recipe I found on Facebook. It’s been going around and around lately so I thought I would give it a try. It’s the “Lemon Zucchini Bread” recipe. Here is a link to a recipe from “Tastes Better From Scratch” on Pinterest.

Here is the recipe I use for regular zucchini bread from The Market Basket Cookbook:

Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 c. zucchini or summer squash, shredded
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract

  1.  Preheat oven 350 degrees
  2. Mix flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda thoroughly.
  3. Combine eggs, sugar oil and vanilla, in separate bowl.  Beat well, then stir in squash.
  4. Add dry ingredients, mix just until mixture is moistened.
  5. Pour into well greased loaf pan.  Bake 40 min or until toothpick put in center or loaf comes out clean. Makes one loaf.

(Yes, I use cookbooks. I know- so old fashioned!! I picked that cookbook up somewhere, likely a rummage sale, years ago and use it all the time in the summer. It has great “go to” easy recipes for all sorts of fresh produce.)

Other uses for zucchini and summer squash, include egg dishes and pizza.  If I have a good crop, I will shred it and put it into the freezer in measured out amounts for recipes, in ziploc bags or vacuum seal bags.  I will also slice it and dehydrate some.  Then I will store it in vacuum sealed bags or quart jars and add an oxygen pack to it which will suck all the oxygen out of the bag or jar.  That makes the jar or bag airtight and therefore last for a very long time!  Oxygen packs you can get from Amazon.

Let me know your favorite zucchini, summer squash recipes- I would love to hear from you!  Also, let me know if you are have tried my recipes and how you like them.

Blessings,

Vicki

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cooking · natural health

Bone Broth- Part 2

Today is the day. I finish the bone broth and put it all away. I looked at it last night and could have done it then, but I didn’t have the energy for that. It looked pretty much the same last night as it does today. A nice, rich brown color.

Delicious!

Remember this is what it looked like to begin with:

If you want to reread about that process, here is a link.

First, I turned off the heat sources and did some other chores. Then, I strained out the solids into bowls. I have one big bowl of ham broth, and half a stock pot of chicken. I then sort through the bones and pull out the good meat pieces.

It’s always interesting to me that the bones just fall apart. Not always the bigger ham bones, but the chicken bones do. The vinegar has pulled out all the minerals making the bones fragile. The ham bones no longer have any cartilage, so the joints just break apart. Fascinating.

Yes, I know. I’m a little weird.

Back to business………

I put them both out on the deck to cool for a few hours. I should be able to skim the fat right off the top then. Its 25 degrees today, so I am not sure that will be enough.

That will give me enough time to wash up the kitchen- not from making bone broth- but because it seriously needs it!! Though when I spilled the Insta Pot bone broth, I have a head start already!!

Which reminds me- the differences.

The differences between Insta Pot broth and the others. I made ham in that Pot, so I will just compare the hams. In the Insta Pot, it took about 3 hours start to finish and cleaned up. A nice bonus really. I do not know how it tastes, as I did not try any. I was focused on cleaning up the spilling I had done!!

It was my own fault. I grabbed the wrong bowls.

But- the broth was almost clear. The broth from the slow cooker is a nice deep rich brown. The broth from the Insta Pot was almost clear.

As I said, I don’t know about taste nor do I know about the vitamins and minerals and good stuff I want in my bone broth. I did notice the same things with the bones from the Insta Pot as I did with the slow cooker, so I can assume that the minerals were pulled out properly.

Once it cools now, I will fill my random collection of containers and freeze for later. Around here, you do need to see what I wrote on the top in order to know what the contents are. Reuse, Reduce, Recycle!!

It seems I need to go back on soups for a bit, so it will come in handy. It will also be easier to transport frozen, as we are going out of town and I will need to have some along to make myself some food.

So that’s it! How I make bone broth. It’s not hard, just takes some time. If you have some questions yet, feel free to comment and ask!! There is also this great site where I found LOTS of questions and answers. You can find that here: Whole9Life.com

After reading that, I wish I had thought to keep the skeletons of the salmon we caught last summer in Lake Michigan!! They would have made amazing broth. They also recommend using chicken feet in their broth. I should try that- yes. But there is just something about using those feet that make me gag. Just a little……. But the retired butcher who I often take my chickens to for processing, always offers for me to take the feet too. So far, I just haven’t been able to do it. Maybe this year. I am getting a little less squeamish about that stuff. Might even be able to butcher my own soon!!

I hope you have a great Saturday!!

Blessings,

Vicki