Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cooking--from "Scratch"

When we shop at the grocery, I love looking for different spices, sauces, vinegars etc. to spice up our variety at home. Well it never fails that I go through this situation:
I automatically read the back label, stare in disbelief at the ingredients, narrow my eyes at the high price, hold up the jar and declare to the innocent bystanders on Isle 9,
Ok, I'll admit I don't do this, but if anyone glanced my way, I can guarantee my facial expressions would say it all :) lol
But I'm always amazed how easy it is to make your own condiments though. I thought I'd share what I made this week.

Homemade Mustard
(This is the Number 1 condiment I take for granted...I never know we have it until it's gone!)
*3 TBsp dry Mustard powder
*1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
*3/4 tsp salt
*1/2 tsp mixed Italian spices
Mix up the spices....
Add 1/2 cup white vinegar
As you combine it, make sure to press the clumps w/ your spoon until even and smooth.
In a separate bowl, I added 2 organic eggs
1 cup of sugar (Don't skimp--I promise this isn't too sweet!)
What it looks like after being mixed...
Pour both the egg mixture and spice mixture in a small saucepan.
Cook on low heat until thickened. Stir, and make sure it doesn't get too hot/near boiling. You *really* don't want scrambled eggs in there :)

After about 15 minutes on the stove, it had thickened up enough for me. I poured it into a pint jar, then I later used some on our sandwiches for Lunch. Be sure to keep it refrigerated.

The consistency? Like a really thick BBQ sauce...definitely not thin and vinegary.
The taste? Sweet and spicy..very flavorful and mild.
The verdict? If you've only tried store-bought, try this. I thought I didn't like mustard until I made it myself. There's a huge difference in taste, which was surprising to me. Anyway, my family really enjoyed it, so I'll make it more often now.

Homemade French Dressing
This simple recipe is a staple at the Cottage, since we love salads!


1 cup Ketchup (here's my homemade recipe) , 1 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp pepper.


I pour all the ingredients in a quart jar, screw on the lid, then shake and serve!


Variety ideas: 1) Use raw honey instead of sugar for "Honey French" 2) Use apple cider vinegar and apple juice instead of the white vinegar and water 3) Add fresh sage, oregano, even sauteed onions and garlic!
A few snapshots...

My Mother hanging her beautiful spring dresses on the line to dry

(lol our cats love to get involved in whatever we're doing outside)


There is something beautiful about the simple nature of attire and linens being slowly air dried on a line. When the gentle breeze blows the fabrics, fragrancing them with the soft aroma of nearby daffodils--gratitude for simply being at home, and not missing this moment, makes me smile.


My sister helping to weed the rows...

I go behind her, collecting up the uprooted weeds, and then go between the plants. Then we switch jobs for a while.

(Oh, our collards survived the winter, and they still taste great! )

My brother & Mother went through a few of our *many* pictures to choose which to display on the wall or refrigerator. Are we the only ones with boxes of un-organized photos? It seems like we can never quite go through them all! lol

This is interesting. I was just telling my Dad and brother about how I'm going to be building a clay oven for the summer. I've been researching, and its a wonderful idea, especially since I plan on using our own GA clay of course! Well, my brother just decided to make his own, so it's somewhat a "stove"...but it does indeed work well!! He just used clay & bricks.


Well, I'm going out-of-doors to enjoy the weather, dig a plot for my potatoes, and maybe start a project or two. Here's a photo of our faithful Ol' Yeller dog :)


The Working Home Keeper said...

Thank you for sharing your recipes. I can't wait to try these out!


Mary Ellen

Anonymous said...

Dear Mia,

The recipe looks delicious and quite easy to accomplish :) Here in the cottage, we use mustard quite a bit, so making this one will be a tasty addition to our menus :)

What a beautiful day you, the sun is shinning quite a bit and yes, the clothes are on the racks drying outside.

Thank you for stopping by the cottage to say is always such a pleasure to "see" you.

Blessings to you and your dear family,


Marqueta said...

Dear Mia,

Mmm, we love mustard here! We go through an awful lot, and I keep meaning to make my own~ you've inspired me :) .

How wonderful that your collards are still producing after the winter, and that you can get out and work in the garden already!

Your brother did a great job on his stove~ what a creative thing to do! I can tell that he is going to do great things in his life.

I hope you are able to accomplish all that you want in your garden this year, since having home-grown food is such a blessing.



Kelsey Anne Hoppman said...

I loved the picture of the cat by the laundry line, as well as the last picture with the sunset. Beautiful! Thank-you for the update Mia!
God BLess,

kpaints said...

Lovely post! I sure love hanging my clothes out too. I caught a really cute pic of him looking up at hia 'baby' on the line. Check my blog, if you like.

Jennifer said...

I really enjoyed reading your post today and I'm gonna try your try your mustard recipe soon. I love the clay oven, very cool! Hope you have a great day =)

Bonnie said...

I *love* mustard- its a craving when a new little one is on the way- and I can't wait to try this one!

A question: was the clothes line there already when you moved in, or did you put it up?

Our family is outgrowing my strung-up between 3 trees lines, and I told my husband I wanted a new one for my birthday. Which brings me to the next part of my question: If you bought it, where did you purchase it from?
I'm looking at the steel "umbrella" style ones they have at Target and W*Mart, but would really rather have two T poles.
Actually, if anybody has thoughts on, or favorite clothes lines, etc., please drop me a line at my blog so I'm not hijacking Mia's comments section!
Just click on my name, it should take you there.

So glad you posted, and that there are lots of pictures!
Off to bundle up the littles to go out and wait for Daddy .....

Mia said...

Thank you all for your encouraging comments!!
Ms. Bonnie,
The original metal clothesline was at our last house, and we brought it with us to the Cottage. My dad extended it so that we could hang more at one time. I just went outside to measure it, and it's 53 feet long w/ 5 lines--If you scroll through my older posts, I'm sure I took better upclose pictures so that you can get a clearer idea.
Ours has the two "T" poles at the end.
I'll be checking back in if you have anymore questions Ms. Bonnie!!

In Christ,

Rhonda said...

Oh I am going to try your recipes Miss Mia! I never thought of "making" mustard!
Today I am hanging out my sheets for the very first time! I can't wait to bring them in and smell the fresh hung dry sheets!
Oh, You should see my photos, I have boxes and boxes of photosthat have never made it into a photobook. I should learn how to do that fancy scrapbooking,people talk about all the time.

Lovely post Miss Mia! I so enjoy reading everything!
Have a blessed week!
In christ,

Sophia said...

I love the picture of your cat! It made me laugh aloud :)

Lauren said...

Enjoyed reading your post as always. :) I'll have to try these recipes! My brother loves mustard. So you're going to build a clay! We have tons of photos too!

As always I enjoy reading all your posts!


Megan said...

Thanks for the recipe's! I know for sure we will try them sometime soon!
lol! Your not the only one w/ unorganized pictures! We have lots of pictures we haven't organized in YEARS! :)

Your brother's clay oven is very well done. :)

Mrs.Rabe said...

I never thought about making mustard - though I do have a mayo recipe! Thanks for sharing your recipe for it, we like to have these kinds of recipes to try. So many things now we just make,because we prefer the flavor!

Allison said...

Oh Mia thanks for the mustard recipe! And I love to look at the pictures of your garden! That's a neat idea to make an outdoor stove. My brother and I might try to make one! ; )

Oh and if you do decide to have an Old Fashioned Picnic my family and I will certainly come! : )

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipes! My dad has mustard with every food conceivable, so I will definitely try making this for him!

I just love your blog, it's so lovely and your photography is beautiful! = )

Stephanie Ann said...

The mustard looks really yummy. I just went back and looked at your ketchup recipe, it looks delicious too! Thanks for the recipes.

debbieo said...

May I put your recipes on my blog? I will link to you. I put favorite recipes on my blog to keep them all in one place.
Thank you so much.

Miss Jen said...

Dearest Mia,
Thank you so much for sharing
such wonderful, useful recipes!
I may just have to try that mustard!! ;)
Oh... don't you just love homemade
salad dressing?! It's the best! ;) *sigh*
I love to make mine from scratch too.
The pictures of the crisp linen on the clothesline
took my breath away.... loveliness indeed!!!!

Many Blessings
Your Sister in Christ~ Jen

Bonnie said...

Thanks Mia!

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see someone else who hangs their clothes out. Not many do anymore. I love to go out in the morning to hang clothes and listen to the birds. There always seems to be a cat or two who like to visit while I'm there.
Mrs. Vawser

Suzanne said...

That looks delicious. I always make a homemade honey mustard and a cranberry mustard spread for sandwiches. You can't beat the homemade stuff:-) I have used Tasha Tudor's French dressing receipt for years and it is good in deviled eggs too!

The Reynolds said...

can't wait to try the recipes Mia. Have you ever made mayonnaise?

I noticed your pretty dishes. What are they and/or where did you get them?

Mrs. R

Anonymous said...

Yum! Those recipes look amazing! I am not sure if mine would ever turn out as well as yours did though...

I am new to blogging, I would love if you stopped by my blog and followed me.


McKenzie Elizabeth said...

Hello Mia!
Oh, I just love the last picture :)Very lovely... *Sigh*:)

I really want to try that recipe. It looks so very good.

Well, my nanny goat gave birth two days ago, and I have been bottle feeding the twins like crazy:) They are very cute but a lot of work!
I have already posted their pictures and hope to post a video of the birth soon.
Blessings to you...

Samantha said...

Thank you so much for those recipes!!! I would love to make homemade ketchup (and save some money!) as we go through it pretty fast here!

I totally agree with you about the clothes line! I LOVE them! I love seeing all the clothes and frankly, I think it looks more productive. KWIM?

Your brother sounds very creative! The stove looks very nice!

Anonymous said...

Mia, I love your French Dressing Recipe! I put a link to your site from my blog on FB and TT yesterday! You are doing a wonderful job.
Your friend in Christ Margie :)

Gina said...

Mia -
I have made so many things "from scratch" but somehow never thought of mustard! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

I think this is the first time I've commented here. I've been reading your blog for over a year and have been encouraged every time I visit! It is so good to see a young woman planning and preparing to be a homemaker. I'm a young mom who right now am benefiting from all my mother taught me including how to garden, sew, cook, can, and live frugally. I am so glad I had these skills before I married and had little ones. I see so many ladies who struggle to learn these skills later in life. Serving our families is such a privilege and joy and I love how your blog shares this joy.

Just wanted to encourage you to "keep it up"! Gina

Anonymous said...

Mia, I have to say I tried your "french dressing" recipe, and It is THE best homemade FD recipe I have ever tried! Thank you for posting it! I am going to try the mustard soon! :)

Angela said...

I always tell my daughters "We can make this at home" with just about everything. I can't wait to try the mustard recipe!!