Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pea Soup

I guess that peas are one of those things that you either just love or just absolutely don't. 
As for myself, I love peas!  My husband...well he absolutely don't.  In fact I guess you could call him a pea hater. Yes...a pea hater. Says he can't stand to look at them.  Says he can't stand to smell of them. And says he just can't stand to sit at the same table in the company of a pea.

Personally, I like fresh or fresh frozen peas. I don't care too much the store bought canned ones. But since my husband hates them well.... there hasn't been any pea cooking going on in my kitchen lately.

My sister loves peas too. In fact she can eat peas just about any way you want to fix them. She loves cold pea salad, can peas, frozen peas and today one of our topics of conversation was pea soup. Seems one of her neighbors was making some and she is now wanting a bowl of hot pea soup.
So for those of you who do like peas I thought I would share this recipe!

       Serves approximately 4 - 5 people

One ham hock or ham bone with meat on it or a pork shoulder bone with meat on it
One pound of dried split green peas (rinsed)
One medium onion diced
Three stalks of celery sliced thin
Three carrots sliced thin
One bay leaf
1 tsp. of salt
1 /4 tsp. white pepper preferred, but you could use black pepper
1 clove of minced garlic (optional)
2 lemon slices
1 small can of chicken broth
2 quarts of water
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
1 small container of sour cream (to add as topping to the soup)
1 /4 cup chopped parsley (to add as a topping to the soup)

1. In a Dutch oven combine all of the ingredients except the parsley and sour cream.
2. Bring to boiling. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 1/2-3 hours until ham and peas are tender and the soup has thickened. Keep a check and stir now and then because the soup will thicken as it cooks and you don't want it to burn.
3. Remove the lemon slices and the bay leaf.
4. Remove the ham hocks, ham bone or picnic shoulder bone Remove any meat from bone. Discard bone and add the meat back into the soup.

Optional: If you want a smooth creamy soup you can puree the soup in a blender.

Serve in a soup bowl and garnish with a spoonful of sour cream and / or parsley if you choose.

Sorry that I don't have a beautiful and enticing photo of a fresh cooked, piping hot bowl of pea soup, but like I said....no pea cooking has gone on here in a long time since Mr. Nifty Thrifty can't bear sharing the table with a pea. He doesn't  know what he is missing does he?

Do you have a pea recipe to share with other pea lovers?

Linked in with:
Coastal Charm's Thrifty Tuesday Frugal Days Sustainable Ways

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Homemade Natural Room Freshner, Thrifty and Easy!

Want a thrifty and natural room freshner that you can make in very little time? This takes literally only a few minutes and costs near nothing!

So here are your ingredients:

Baking soda
Essential Oil(s) of your choice

I have a glass cheese shaker that I use to store my room freshner. There are already holes in the shaker part of the lid, so the fragrance can be released from the jar.  You could also use a mason jar and punch holes in the lid or a jelly jar or other jar that has a lid that you can punch holes so that the fragrance can be released into the room.

All you have to do is pour  a few inches deep of  baking soda into your jar
and then shake some essential oils into the jar. Place the lid on the jar and hold your hands over the holes in the lid and shake up a bit.  You can use your favorite essential oil or experiment with several essential oils blended together to make your own special fragrance.  Just experiment!

Especially nice for smaller rooms!

Do you have a favorite room freshner recipe or idea? I'd love to know!

Warning: Keep out of reach of children and always follow manufacturer's warnings!  See disclaimer at bottom of the page please.

Linking in with: 
Dandelion House Farm Girl Friday The Home Acre Hop, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Homemade Crystallized Ginger Candy

I have been wanting to make some crystallized ginger candy for a while now. Especially when I looked at how expensive it is to buy it ready made! It's great to snack on but it is also great to add to other recipes too! Add it as a topping on your icecream, chop it and add it to your home baked cookies and so much more.

I am sure that there are many recipes out there on the internet but I just kind of winged it and here is how I made mine!

Although I do have some ginger growing here at home it is not quite mature enough to harvest. So I had to purchase it.

I purchased about one and one third pounds of ginger. I peeled it easily by just scraping the peeling off of the ginger root with a spoon. I then sliced it in thin slices.  You might prefer to grate the ginger root into strips or cut it up into chunks or however you like to eat it. Place the prepared ginger in a pan and cover it with water, bringing to a boil for a few minures and then reduce the heat to medium heat until it begins to get tender. Keep a check and stir every now and then. Once it is tender remove the ginger from the pan. Remove the water and set it aside but save it. (I reserved one cup of water for my ginger candy and put the remaining water into another saucepan so that I could also make some ginger syrup.) Then I added the ginger back to the pan and added back in one cup of reserved ginger water and one cup of sugar (next time I will try using Xylitol as it has less calories and tastes great.) Continue to cook on low to medium heat to allow the ginger to envelop all of that sugary goodness. I would say about 20 minutes. Keep a watch and stir frequently. Now remove from the heat (reserve whatever water / sugar is left and you can use this ginger syrup to flavor tea or make ginger ale.) Allow the ginger to cool for a few minutes. You can lay it out on a cooling rack just as it is or if you want you can dip it in sugar or Xylitol once it is cool enough to handle and then lay it on the cooling rack to continue to cool. Yes....I coated mine with sugar!

Makes a "sweet" little gift in a jar!

Remember the ginger water that I set aside to save? If you would like to make some more of the ginger syrup just measure it out to see how much water you have and add sugar to it in a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. Allow it to come to a boil stirring continually until the sugar dissolves. Some of you may want to add more or even less sugar. It's up to you! Allow to cool and poor into a lidded jar and refrigerate.

Ginger is not only a tasty treat but made into a ginger tea it seems to help me and my family if we have an upset tummy. I have used it also to help my family with a cough and sore throat.

What's YOUR favorite use or recipe for ginger?

Also, please check out how to make Violet Syrup here!

Linked in with: Petite Hermine, The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday, Farm Girl Friday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways The Home Acre Hop, Thrifty Thursday Coastal Charm's Thrifty Tuesday Bouquet of Talent