Thursday, April 23, 2015

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

I have made this chicken pot pie recipe twice already this fall, it is that good!

For the crust I use this recipe and use 2/3 of it or bottom cuts and 1/3 for the top crust:
3 cups flour
6 tbsp butter
2tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp ground sage ( optional)
1cup milk

For the pie filling you can do whatever you like but I usually do:
1 bag frozen veggies (thawed in microwave)
1 boiled chicken meat (save bones for chicken stock)
1 can cream of chicken
1-2 potatoes cubed and boiled ( in with chicken)
1onion diced

To prep the crust:

Place flour in a large bowl, add baking powder, salt and sage.
Cut in butter, it should look like this...

Then add milk and mix well. This should form a ball take in a knead it a few times, then divide it into 2/3 and 1/3 dough balls. These will be the bottom and top crusts.
Roll them out with rolling pin and place the thicker crust on bottom on a 9x9 casserole dish.
Now it's time to add the filling and cover with the top crust.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Canned Apple Pie Filling

Depending on how many apple you have you can adjust this recipe.  With about 8-10 pounds of apples I got about half a stock pot full of apple slices.  Enough to make 3 quarts of apple pie filling.  Hopefully I can make more after I get back from vacation...that is if those pesky squirrels that ate all of my pears don't get to them first.

For this recipe the only thing I used that may be somewhat difficult to find is Sure-Jell, which I bought under the name "Perma-Flo" that I found at a Mennonite grocery store.  The recipe says you may substitute flour or corn starch.  I have not tried those, but I don't doubt that they would work as long as you got them to completely dissolve.

Anywho, here is the recipe that I used!

10 pounds of apples
2 and 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup food thickener (Perma-Flo, clear jel, cornstarch, or flour)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
5 cups water
3 tsp lemon juice
Mrs. Wages citric acid fresh fruit preserver

Begin boiling water in water bath canner.

Slice and core apples, place in a stockpot filled with water and 1 tsp of fresh fruit perserver to keep from browning.  Keep in water until ready to process in jars.

Begin sterilizing 3 quart mason jars.

Timing is important here, remove apple slices from water and pack in to hot mason jars.
In another pot dissolve sugar, food thickener, spices, salt, water, and lemon juice.  Heat until thickened, do not over cook, quickly pour over apples into hot mason jars.

Wipe jar rims clean, place on lids and bands.

Process in boiling water bath for 25 minutes.

Total canning time approximately 1.5 hours.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

3 New Peach Recipes to Try During Harvest

Grilled peaches
All you need is peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon and a hot grill!

Peach chutney 

Peach Sangria
You favorite red or white wine, plus peach juice and a few peach slices for garnishment!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

3 Minute Consult: Local Honey for Allergies

With Spring comes hay fever, pollen allergies, sore throats and vertigo.  I frequently have patients asking me to recommend OTC allergy medications.  I prefer to use a nasal steroid or a fast acting antihistamine for quick relief, but recently I have been building a top bar bee hive and have been wondering at the benefits of local honey.

The idea behind local honey for allergy prevention is that by ingesting small amounts of the pollen contained in local honey every day that your body will naturally build up immunity.  Some bee keepers add to this idea and add a "pollen trap" at the entrance to the hive.  This pollen trap will brush some of the pollen from the entering bee and then can be used sort of like a vaccine. 

Vaccines work because they introduce small amounts of the allergy causing particle, the "antigen".  So then your body is able to product "antibodies".  The ingestion of daily pollen would be ideal if you were trying to ease your body into producing antibodies that keep you from releasing the histamine that causes watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, etc. 

The caveat of this idea, though, is that the honey has to be local so you can build up immunity to your immediate environment.  Commercial honey or honey shipped from other locations will not have the same antigens that are produced by the pollens in your area.

Contact your local health food store, Craigslist, or beekeeping group to find out if anyone in your area sells local honey!  Its a great way to naturally influence your body's defenses against Spring allergies!