Pie Day

Yesterday was Pie Day and I didn’t know until last night. Well, I made four pies yesterday just because!!!

My favorite is lemon meringue and old-fashioned custard pie. I’ll put that recipe on the cooking page too.
It took me no time to put the recipes together and since it was too cold and windy to be outside, I cook!!!

Family Cookbook

I’m not sure what happened to all of my mother’s cookbooks when she died. There were two that I would love to have had but hope they’re still in the family. That being said I’ve spent some time trying to put my favorite, tried and true, recipes all in one spot for my two kids. They can do what they want with them but they’re all in one place in my kitchen.

Hubby made me a wonderful recipe box a couple years ago to put our favorite recipes in and it’s getting full. I’ve been going through it to pull any duplicates and some recipes are new to try so I put a check mark on the cards that are tried and true.

I gave hubby the measurements of my cards and he made the box from barnwood found on the farm.

I’ve gone through or in the process of going through all of my cookbooks and marked the recipes with a sticker that I want to try or once tried and liked, they’ll go on cards in the box, too. Some cookbooks I’ll keep forever, such as, a gift from a friend that used to live in Georgia and the other is a Virginia Farm Bureau cookbook that I was given when I worked for them several years ago.

Country Treasures is the VFB cookbook. You can tell by the edges of the book it’s used a lot.
Dianne Brown gave me this book when she lived in Georgia. Glad she’s back in Virginia.

I also have three binders full of recipes that friends have sent me or that I found on Facebook that look good. I’m always looking for new recipes since I love to cook.

These are the ones I’m cleaning out in my free time!

The other two cookbooks are one that my kids bought their dad called Redneck Grill and my, used a lot, Ball Canning Book.

My go-to book during canning time.
There aren’t a lot of recipes in the book but the ones that are in it are great!!!

My mother was a member of the Paint Bank Women’s Auxiliary and they put together two cookbooks a few years ago to raise money for the Paint Bank Fire & Rescue. They are in reprint, and I will have both of them very soon. All of the ladies in Paint Bank were awesome cooks.

These books have recipes of my Mom’s, my aunt’s, my sister my friends and even some of mine. Ladies all over Paint Bank contributed.

Canning Potatoes Again

My morning has been spent peeling more potatoes to can. The first canner is on and out of a five-gallon bucket I have twelve quarts of chunk potatoes. Here’s a pictorial of my morning:

Sterilize the wide mouth jars
Fourteen quarts ready for potatoes.
Peeled a five-gallon bucket of small to medium-sized potatoes.
Took me an hour to peel them. Eddie had already washed them for me.
Wash again after peeling and cut into chunks.
Fill the jars and season. This batch was given a teaspoon each of salt and onion powder.
Pop on the lids and add the rings tightening them as I load them in the canner.
They are in the canner under 10 pounds of pressure for 35 minutes.

I’m trying to use up as many of the last year potatoes as I can because Eddie will be buying new seed this year and not use any of the leftovers. Sometime this week I’ll do a couple more canners, but they will be diced and canned in wide mouth pint jars and should process around three to four canners.

I use the chunked potatoes in stew, soup, and baked with carrots and meat in the oven. Everything will be fully cooked, and we’ll have a meal in about 20 minutes.

Smoked sausage and chunked potatoes
Chunked potatoes, carrots, celery & onions baked in the oven.

The diced potatoes are fantastic for a quick pot of potato soup or pour a jar in a medium-sized pot and add a can of corned beef, diced fine onions, and a cup of milk, season with salt & pepper, stir and heat through. You have a great meal of corned beef hash and, of course, fresh, hot, out-of-the-oven biscuits!!

Two New Dishes for January

These recipes and a couple more can be found on the cooking page of this blog. Hope you enjoy if you try and let me know what you think. Venison tips/cubed steaks & gravy and Crockpot BBQ Chicken are two new recipes I came up with in January. One of the items on my bucket list is to try one new recipe each month.

Seasoned Flour

Our favorite flour mill closed down last fall and since then there was a huge scramble for everyone trying to get their favorites from the mill. The same was true of all the local stores that carried it. I bought their self-rising flour, biscuit mix and our favorite seasoned flour. I miss the biscuit flour and the seasoned flour the most. There all sorts of recipes on the internet for making your own but none that I’ve tried even compare.

In January, someone posted on Facebook about a seasoned flour in one of my favorite stores, Heritage Market. I went there for some cheese and bacon and got a bag of the seasoned flour.

It’s from a mill in Boonville, North Carolina and it’s as good if not better than what Big Springs Mill carried. I love it for coating all of the meat that I fry, like chicken, pork, fish but gravy for breakfast is our favorite. I’m so glad we found it. It comes in two- and five-pound bags and a five-pound bag will last me about a month and a half. I’m sure I could get some of their flours in larger quantities if I asked before their shipments come in.

First, it’s their cheese assortment, then the bacon and now the flour! Is there any wonder I don’t love Heritage Market!!! I don’t know who the owners are, but they really have it going on!!!! They’re friendly and so very helpful. They also carry a large assortment of canning products.


As I was cleaning out some ice buildup in our old chest freezer, I found this bag taking up way too much space.

It was full of blackberries, raspberries and cherries that I’ve frozen the last two years. It was mostly full of black raspberries, so I made a decision to make jelly.

First, I let the berries thaw and all of the juice went into this pot with a package of Sure Jell.

Actually, it took five cups of the juice, five cups of sugar and one package of Sure Jell. The Sure Jell was stirred/dissolved into the juice, pot put on the stove on high heat to come to a boil. The all of the sugar was poured into the boiling mixture, stirred and brought to a hard boil for one minute. Then it was poured into 1/2-pint glass jars and lids and rings put on the jars. My pressure canner was adjusted to 10 pounds of pressure, nine jars added to the canner, lid put on and tightened. We wait for the pressure to be acquired and then process for 10 minutes.

Results: After three batches we had 27 of these beautiful jars of raspberry jelly.
After adding these to the cellar, we won’t need any more jelly for the next ten years!!!

Well, maybe some peach preserves and some more apple butter!!!

I had four packages of cherries in the bag which were precisely measured and frozen for cherry pies. There were about 20 bags of blackberries and most of them were fed to the chickens for a treat. I asked hubby not to bring anymore to the house this summer of any berries and he said what he picked would be sold to anyone that wanted to pay for them. Sounds like a plan to me and he loves picking berries and cherries.


For about six years we have been going to Lexington twice a year to buy 10-pound boxes of wonderful bacon. I would bring it home and vacuum pack it with 1/2-pound layers of the finest bacon we’ve ever eaten. We don’t raise hogs but love sausage and bacon.

Just recently we found out that Heritage Market in Fincastle is carrying and it’s almost $20 cheaper than what we drove all the way to Lexington for. That trip took about an hour and 45 minutes on the interstate.

It’s a ten-pound box of smoked bacon.
Very lean.
I usually put about eight slices to a package. This shows how lean it is throughout the box.
We use the Food Saver vacuum system.
I prefer the Cabela’s brand of vacuum bags because the thicker and stronger bags.

I have twenty packages of bacon in my freezer that cost about $4.20 cents per pound. This one box will last us for about six months because we don’t have it every day but bacon and eggs, BLT’s, pancakes and bacon, waffles and bacon, are just a few of the breakfast choices we have when there’s bacon in the house. We start almost every day with a good breakfast.

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