Tuesday, June 24, 2014

You should be eating your lawn!!

No I am not kidding!

Your yard is full of great edible "weeds".  Here are a few I found in my yard. 
Plantain is very high in iron and it grows everywhere!
Blanche the leaves and then saute in butter just as you would any other green.

Dandelion, yes that annoying plant you are always trying to kill! Stop killing it eat it! Every part of the dandelion plant is edible. The leaves can be used in a fresh salad, the flower can be battered and fried, and the root can be made into dandelion tea.  Dandelions are full of vitamins including Vitamin A, C and Beta carotene.   

Red and White Clover are also every where. Their blossoms can be used as a tea and the greens in a salad. They are good for detoxification, decongestant,and they reduce inflammation. They are also full of vitamins including
 Vitamin A,C,B-2,B-3,calcium, chromium, lecithin,magnesium, and potassium.

Some other "weeds" that I dont have pictures for but that are also good for you are purslane, nettles and lambs quarter.  

Why woudl we share this with you?? Because we found seeds for these "weeds" on an heirloom seed website!! 

*Rachel Crawley*

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bone Broth!

Okay I promised to tell you all about my Bone Broth adventure!  Remember I had to clean out my freezer and I had a bag full of tallow to cut up?  Well I also had a large bag of bones, Do you know how many bones a half a cow has?? ALOT!! So we made broth!! Yes with bones!

First we roasted the bones at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. Then we placed them in cold water with 2Tb vinegar (to help pull vitamins and minerals from the bones) per pound of bones for 20 minutes. Then we added carrots, celery, onions, and whatever other veggies and herbs you desire and 1TB Salt and bring to a boil. Then reduce temperature to a simmer and let cook for 48 hours. I took my broth and put it in the oven at 200 degrees and let it cook the 48 hours.

This looks lovely doesn't it? Don't worry it will be delicious and beautiful when you are finished. 
After your broth has cooked for 48 hours strain with a fine mesh strainer into jars and refrigerate. The fat should come to the top and harden.  After it does remove the fat and then preserve your broth in any method you desire or just use it for soup!! 

I chose to can my broth. We made 15 pints. It tasted fabulous and it looks beautiful in my jars!! 
*Rachel Crawley*

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Home Rendered Beef Tallow! It is Easy!

This fall we purchased a side of beef and I decided to keep everything! The organ meat, the bones, and the fat. I paid for it why shouldn't I take it all?

But it sat in the freezer until I had 30 organic chickens to put in there and I no longer had room! whoops!  But I didn't want it to all go to waste so what did I do I rendered the tallow and I made bone broth! (I will share about my bone broth in a later post)

So for rendering tallow here is what we did.

First we cut the fat into 1 inch cubes then we put it in the pans we planned to use. We had ALOT of fat so we tried 2 different methods.

  1. we used the crock pot on a low setting and let it cook all day and all night. The next day we strained it off and salted the cracklings (all of the stuff that comes to the top) and the kids snacked on them.
  2. The second method we actually liked a lot better.  We filled a roasting pan with the fat and covered it and then we placed it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 7 hours.   The cracklings were much crispier in this batch and we got a lot of tallow!  

First we cut the fat into about 1 inch cubes.
Rendered tallow before it had cooled.

After it cools it turns a very white solid color and can be used any way you would use shortening or oil to cook with.  

Why render your own tallow?? 

  1. It is super easy!
  2. It is cheaper than buying other healthy fats. approximately $5.00/gallon if you are buying grass fed fat from the store.  Coconut oil cost around $50.00/gallon.
  3. It is resistant from damage of heat when cooking.
  4. It makes the best homemade french fries in the world!