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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Pickled Peppers #recipe




  • 6 pounds of hot peppers (we used hot Hungarian wax peppers)
  • 12 cups cider vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed with the flat side of a chef’s knife



Wash the jars in the dishwasher.

While the jars are washing, prepare the peppers.  First, put on a pair of rubber or plastic gloves – if you don’t you’ll regret it (your skin will become dry, red and burned from the peppers’ oil, and the oil will linger on your skin no matter how well you wash afterwards, and they you will inevitable touch your eye and be in a lot of pain.  A LOT.  Wear the gloves).  Rinse the peppers under cold running water.  Cut off and discard the stem, then slice the peppers into rings.  For hot peppers, keep the white membrane and the seeds (even if they fall out when cutting, keep them in the mix of pepper rings and use them when you fill the jars – the membranes and seeds are where most of the heat lives).  Transfer pepper rings and any dislodged membranes and seeds to a large bowl.

Also, while the jars are washing, prep your canning area.  I like to put down old (clean) kitchen towels and hot pads so I don’t have to worry about scorching the counter.  Get your jar lifter, lid wand, ladle, rings, lids, and wide mouth funnel ready.  I use a chopstick to remove air bubbles, but you can also use a small plastic spatula or plastic spoon (just don’t use a metal utensil, which can scratch and/or crack your jars).

Remove hot jars from dishwasher, place inside canner and fill the canner with hot water so that all of the jars are full and covered by 1 inch of water.  Put the canner on your largest burner and bring the water to a boil.

Bring a small pot of water to a simmer.  Add the lids to the simmering water; do not boil the lids.

Combine the vinegar, water and garlic in a large pot and bring to a boil.

Remove the pots of simmering lids and brine from the stove and place on hot pads near your jar filling station.  Remove garlic cloves from brine and discard.  Place the pepper rings near your filling station.  Have the canning tools listed in step 3 handy.

Remove 1 jar from the canning pot and dump out the water.  Pack the pepper rings (and any loose membranes/seeds) into the jar. Place the jar on the counter, place the funnel on top of the jar and ladle in the hot brine, leaving 1/4 inch headspace at the top of the jar. Take the funnel off of the jar and use a chopstick to remove the air bubbles; add more brine if needed to maintain 1/4 inch of headspace after the jar is de-bubbled.  Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel.  Use the lid wand to remove 1 lid from the pot and place it on top of the jar.  Screw the ring onto the jar until it is finger-tip tight (you don’t want it to be too tight or the air won’t be able to escape during processing).  Repeat with each jar until all of the jars are full.

Return the jars to the boiling water in the canner.  The water should cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Place the lid on the canner and process at a full boil for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the canner and place on a towel on the counter.  Do not disturb the jars while they cool.

Label the sealed jars and store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.  If any of the lids fail to seal, the unsealed jars should be refrigerated because they are not shelf stable.


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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

History of Cinnamon Trade and a Delightful Fall #Recipe



More than likely you have heard of the spice known as cinnamon. It is one of my favorite fall spices but can be used in many other recipes through out the year as well. Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of several trees that come from the family known as cinnamomum. 



The spice cinnamon is used from everything from aromatics and flavorings to cuisines, sweet and savory dishes, breakfast cereals, snacks, tea and other great foods that are in our cabinets and fridges. 




The spice cinnamon has a rich history being first imported to Egypt . Many believe that it first came from China... this would be wrong as cinnamon cassia was shipped from China but no the common day cinnamon that we are common to. However, it is true that most modern era cinnamon are native to Vietnam, Indonesia and other Asian countries that host warm climates. 


Throughout the years cinnamon has also been used to embalm mummies, for aromatic burnings, and gifts to ancient rulers The desire to have control of the cinnamon spice trade led to the Dutch establishing a trading post during the early 1600's. The British would later take control from the Dutch in 1796. However, as early as 2017 the top exporting countries were  Indonesia, China, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. Global production has multiplied more than ten-fold since 1970. 



1 cup unsalted butter softened (2 sticks)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
Dry Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. EACH salt, ground ginger
1/4 tsp. EACH ground cloves, ground nutmeg
2 1/4 cups uncooked whole-rolled oats
1 cup finely chopped peeled Granny Smith apples (1/4” pieces)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (may sub ½ cup oats)
top view of apple oatmeal cookies o a white plate late

In a medium-sized bowl, add all of the dry ingredients except rolled oats and whisk to combine. Add oats and whisk together.
With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients. The dough will be quite thick and you will have to finish mixing with a wooden spoon. Add apples and walnuts and mix until combined. Cover tightly and chill dough for at least 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or nonstick baking mat. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, 3 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheet, 8 to a sheet (keep remaining cookie dough in the refrigerator).
Bake at 350°F for 11-15 minutes or until golden around the edges and center is just set. Let stand for 3 minutes before removing to wire racks. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container.


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Monday, October 19, 2020

Take Care of Your Bones and Joints

Each year in October the Bone and Joint Action week occurs. The week helps draw attention to disorders such as arthritis, back pain, trauma, pediatric conditions and osteoporosis. In America over half of all those over the age of 18 are affected by a bone or joint condition. The number of those individuals suffering with a musculoskeletal condition and requiring medical care continues to increase. Thus making bone and joint conditions the most common cause of severe long term pain and physical disabilities.



Back pain, arthritis, traumatic injuries, osteoporosis, spinal deformity and childhood conditions are all considered musculoskeletal conditions. Unless new treatments and preventive measures are found the number of cases are predicted to increase greatly. Sadly these conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system in our bodies often lead to significant disabilities as well as poorer quality of life. However, there does not look as a lot of research will be increasing as the National Institute of Health only allows a small percent of the annual budget to the researchers that look into improving the health of those that suffer. 



October 19, 2020 an awareness of pediatric is brought into the picture. The leading cause of death in those under 18 around the world are due to accidents. More than 20,000 deaths in the United States each year in children and teens are due to accidents. Many of these , nearly 3/4 are due to injuries that were the unintentional. These unintentional injuries may be the result of falls, car wrecks, bicycle accidents, and the list goes on. However, these accidents can be prevented with some safety steps. 


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