Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Spontaneous Blueberry Adventure: Freezing Fresh Blueberries/Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins (Scroll down for step-by-step freezing and muffin recipe)  


   Several months ago, my friend, Joann and I had discussed the property that she and her husband, Charlie had recently purchased in the Georgia mountains and the small blueberry orchard nestled there.  She had told me the berries tended to ripen at the end of July and early August and to plan on traveling around that time if we wanted to pick.  The months passed and after we had already traveled to the North Carolina mountains in June, and were continuing to plan and save for a trip to visit family in Wisconsin soon, I began to wonder if we'd be able to afford it - even a less expensive, overnight jaunt.  
   Then, a little less than two weeks ago, I received an unexpected phone call from Joann.  Her husband had driven to the property to check on it and had called her.  He told her that she and the kids needed to get up there quickly because the trees were laden with berries and needed to be picked because they were falling off the branches.  "I know this is short notice," she said, "but how fast can you pack?"  "I'll call you back in ten minutes and let you know if we can do it," I replied hopefully. 
   With only our grocery money to fund the trip, we packed, loaded the van, grabbed a tent and headed up to their home within two hours.  We met our dear friends and followed them on a six hour drive into the mountains.  After a long and winding drive, we arrived to twelve acres of beautiful mountain land with neighboring horses and a recently built, immaculate garage with a full working restroom and fridge to help sustain us.  I am not the most outdoorsy girl and hate to be hot; but it was cooler up in the mountains and both families had brought fans to blow into the garage and tents.  The kids had a ball.  After Scott, Charlie, and the boys assembled the tents, the boys ran around and shot BB guns at targets (uh, paper plates on a fence).  The girls started a small bonfire and made flower crowns for their pretty little heads. Our caravan had previously stopped at the nearest Wal-Mart by the property and picked up sandwich fixins.  We sat in camping chairs, munched, laughed, and picked blueberries.
    Bedtime was an adventure in itself.  The girls slept in the smaller tent and the boys slept in the larger one.  I slept in the one with the boys so I could share the air mattress with my husband, Scott.  Once we finally got the boys quieted down, we could hear the girls giggling in the tent next to us.  Since I had spent most of the trip drinking iced tea and water, I spent the entire night running back and forth to the garage.  Since the bathroom light had been left on so we could find our way, every insect in Georgia decided to spend the evening in the bathroom. Fortunately, they kept to themselves and made an interesting study in etymology!
    I must have tripped over blankets and tent flaps a million times; and once even unzipped the flaps incorrectly and bounced off the tent screen.  My son, Harrison, kept trying to weasel onto the air mattress for the first hour; so he and my husband wrestled and laughed while I got knocked about on the opposite side.  It actually got chilly and even with five other people in the tent, I needed that blanket!  I can honestly say that I did not sleep even a wink the entire night, but when Joann and Charlie greeted me the next morning with a hot cup of coffee to strengthen me, the blueberry picking continued! Joann and Charlie also blessed us with two baskets of peaches they had picked from Charlie's Dad's that morning.  What a blast!  We left in the afternoon and got home by nine that evening.
    After we had stemmed, washed, and frozen all of our blueberries into pint-sized bags, we calculated our berry total.  We have 58 pints of blueberries!  At around $3.00 a pint from the grocery store, that values our haul to around $174.00.  That is more than what we spent for our trip.  I also now have 8 pints of frozen peaches and a basket of little apples we picked on the property as well. Meals have been humble around here (except for the amazing blueberry recipes, of course!) as we pant for the next paycheck, but wow, was it worth the trip!  Aside from the wonderful, luscious blueberries, we had a fun adventure with our dear and generous friends!  We've enjoyed blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie, and the above blueberry muffins.  One of my favorite ways to snack is to grab a small bowl of frozen blueberries, let them thaw a few minutes, and eat them like candy while they're still a little frozen.  I'm convinced that makes the flavor more intense!  I've also researched the health benefits of blueberries - the superfood.  They are praised from everything from their resveratrol content (reduces blood pressure), to reducing belly fat, improving memory, being high in vitamin C and fiber, as well as other benefits.  With all of the blueberries I have been eating, I should be wearing a cape and fighting crime by now!   Scroll below for our blueberry freezing process and a moist, delicious recipe for lemon blueberry muffins!


Emily removes the stems before rinsing and draining a batch of blueberries.  Some folks prefer to freeze them before washing.  I am ashamed of how many large, empty ice cream containers we had in stock.........They do, however, make great picking "baskets"!

Yum!


Big sister, Hayden, peels the peaches we blanched for freezing as well.

We used glass, casserole dishes to spread out our batches of blueberries because they would have rolled off cookie sheets!. We filled these casserole dishes several times.   It took about three days to freeze all the berries.  We kept the waiting buckets in our outside refrigerator.


These are ready for the freezer.

After freezing about seven hours, the marble-like blueberries easily loosened from the casserole dish.  If they are not hard enough, the Food Saver will squish them!

I measured two cups (1 pint) into each pre-made, dated and labeled Food Saver bag.


Ready for the freezer!


The peaches were blanched, peeled, pitted, and chopped.  I measured two cups into several empty Cool-Whip containers (yep, we have way too many of those too) and froze them.  After they were frozen, I flipped the container over and rinsed the bottom until the container released the block and then sealed them in Food Saver bags.  I also freeze my pumpkin puree this way.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins (makes 12)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tspn. baking powder
1 tspn. baking soda
1/2 tspn. salt
1 container (8 oz.) lemon yogurt (about a cup) * Most containers of yogurt are about five ounces. I ended up using lemon-flavored Greek style yogurt because it was larger (6 oz.), and it was too hard to find a regular lemon yogurt that didn't have artificial sweetener.  If artificial sweeteners don't bother you, you can use the "light" yogurt.
1/4 cup salted butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 egg, lightly beaten
1-2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 tspn. vanilla
2 cups fresh or thawed, drained frozen blueberries
*I added 1/2 cup of milk because the batter seemed too thick.  You want it to look a little thicker than pancake batter. I also sprinkled the finished muffins with powdered sugar after they cooled. The recipe actually states to sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar before you bake them.  Choose whichever method you prefer!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease twelve muffin cups.
    In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In another bowl, stir together yogurt, melted butter, egg, lemon peel, and vanilla until blended (I used a mixer).  Make a well in center of dry ingredients, add yogurt mixture and stir just to combine.  Evaluate and decide if you need to add a little milk.  Carefully stir in blueberries.
    Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and sprinkle with granulated sugar (unless you prefer to use powdered sugar when they cool).  Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
     Remove muffin tin or tins to wire rack (I just set them on hot pads on the counter).  Cool five minutes before removing muffins from cups.  I ran a sharp, smooth knife around the edges first. Serve warm or cool completely and store in air tight container at room temperature (if they last that long!).  These muffins freeze well.

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food....."
-Genesis 1:29

 ~ Jennifer

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Almond Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting


Hello, all! I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com, and it was SO good I just had to share!

Almond Cupcakes & Salted Caramel Frosting



Ingredients:
(cupcakes)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

(frosting)


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Directions:


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 12 cupcake cups with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
  2. In a mixing bowl, thoroughly cream together the sugar and 1/2 cup of margarine until very well blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined, and stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Gradually beat in the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, in several additions. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake cups, filling them about 2/3 full.
  3. Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. To make caramel, Place the brown sugar, 1/2 cup margarine, corn syrup, and vanilla into a large saucepan over medium heat, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes; remove from heat and allow to cool to warm (not hot) temperature. Add the cream, a little at a time, until the caramel has the consistency of honey. Mix in the pinch of salt, and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Beat the salted butter with confectioners' sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy; slowly add and beat in the caramel, a tablespoon at a time, beating until the frosting is smooth.
Note: I used butter instead of margarine, and it worked just fine. Also, I had some caramel left over, so it's okay if you don't use all of it in the frosting.


Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Women's Preparedness and Grinding Wheat

   

                        Hayden grinds wheat berries using our friend Janda's hand mill.


     Are you a "prepper"?  This term has been used pretty loosely lately as our nation wrestles with natural disasters, a more dangerous society, and questionable ethics in food production among many other things.  About eight years ago, the Lord directed me to specific verses in Matthew, chapter 24 about the end times.  As I continued my research through the Scriptures, it became very clear to me that times were going to become increasingly difficult worldwide as we drew closer to the Second Coming of Christ. I came to the conclusion that although the Lord expected us to trust in Him and to not be afraid, He also expected us to be responsible with the heads-up He has clearly given us in His Word.  It turned out that I wasn't the only one who was feeling led to start gearing up my household and training my children to be more self (God)-sufficient and less dependent on the world to provide for them.  The Lord began to bring like-minded women into my life who would mentor and encourage me as I began to learn to be less of a worldly woman, and more of a godly one.  As the daughter of a career woman and a formerly feminist-minded one myself, I had never been taught these types of skills.
    One friend in particular agreed to partner with me to keep me accountable and to begin a Christian women's preparedness group where we could share, encourage and teach each other everything from first aid to water storage.  Linda and I began our meetings last year and recently started back up after a long holiday break.  The meetings have been successful and our groups can be large or small depending on the topics and the schedules of the ladies.
   Our friend, Janda had purchased a bucket of hard wheat over sixteen years ago before her move from Wyoming and had been keeping it in her hot garage pretty much forgotten.  As an experiment, she decided to open her bucket, grind the wheat, and bake it into bread!  To her amazement, the bread tasted great.  Wheat stores MUCH longer than flour and the flour you'll produce is much healthier than what you'd purchase in the grocery store.  Although the girls and I bake bread often, we had never ground wheat in a mill and were interested in some new bread ideas.  Janda opened her home to a meeting last week where she explained the benefits of wheat grinding, the types of mills, and presented an informative video.  She also gave us a handout of helpful websites. Her wonderful mother, Betty, also instructed us in some new and exciting bread recipes and techniques.


                             
 
     Miss Betty explains the differences between using a bread machine and working by hand.  She also explained the technique differences between making loaf bread and special breads like dinner rolls and hamburger buns.


          Here we practice "pinching" off dough and "ever so gently" rolling it for dinner rolls.


By placing our dough pieces into a loaf pan with the sides touching, we'll get softer "pull apart" bread roll results.


Here are the loaves we kneaded and panned.  Some are Miss Betty's "Yogurt bread with Grains (and sunflower seeds!)" recipe.


Here we enjoy some baked yummies (including bread baked with sixteen-year-old wheat!) while our bread bakes in Janda's oven.


In the back of this picture, you can see the fluffy sides of a couple of rolls when they are pulled apart.  They were so soft!




                                                         More wheat grinding!



My husband devoured the dinner rolls I brought home.  They were AMAZING.  Janda's daughter, Liz, also copied their "Creamy Chive Rings" bread recipe down for us that we cannot wait to try.  We'll keep you posted!

Two women will be grinding at the mill:  one will be taken and the other left.  Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
Matthew 24:41

~Jennifer

We Ain't Proud; We'll Take Dem Pumpkins!


Preppin' Pumpkins
or
What to do when you come into a big 'ol pile of pumpkins


Okay, these pics were taken around early November when some great friends generously gave us a box of sugar pumpkins.  They had been working at a pumpkin patch and rescued these guys before being thrown away.  I had wanted to post this months ago, but somehow lost the pictures from the second half of the process!  Since I am posting a recipe for pumpkin bread, however, I decided to post what I do have and try to explain the rest!

See my husband, Scott, halve the already washed pumpkins.


                                                          See Scott, uh, being Scott.


I get the fun part.  After Scott slices them in two, I gut them and place them face down on a cookie sheet.



After roasting them in the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees, they are a nice, deep, golden orange - and a little sunken.  Let cool.  Peel off the skin and slice into manageable pieces.  Puree' in a food processor, measure 2-3 cup amounts into assorted plastic containers and freeze overnight.  The next morning,  remove frozen pumpkin from containers and place each frozen mass into its own food saver bag, seal, date, and place back into freezer.  Thaw and use as needed!

.......A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted.....
Ecclesiastes 3:2

~Jennifer






Bridal Showers and Pumpkin Bread



Last February, we had the privilege of attending Aunt Patty's annual tea party. This year it was extra special because Patty had decided to combine it with a surprise bridal shower for cousin Christina. Here, Christina poses with the cake that Hayden baked especially for the event.


                   Christina's sister, Meghan hands her presents while the rest of us look on.
.

          Much to our surprise, Christina's other sister, Alicia, presented us with gifts of cookware!
                                          Here we are very seriously making our choices.

      Fast forward to April for another shower for Christina!  This one was thrown by her sisters in Mount Pleasant at a lovely clubhouse.  I can't say enough about the fantastic food that was prepared for the guests and I shall try to get some of those recipes for posting!  For this shower, guests were asked to bring a special recipe written on a card included with our invitation.  These recipes were to be presented to Christina at the shower.
     The girls and I decided that for Christina's gift, we would actually make the recipes we selected and place them in a gift basket so she could sample them and decide for herself if she wanted to make what we had written on her cards!  Hayden make her almond shortcake (on this blog), Emmie filled a canning jar with homemade taco seasoning, and I made pumpkin bread.  Now pumpkin bread may seem out of season, but I had frozen several bags of pumpkin puree last November.  You can also use canned from the store.  The recipe I always use is from a "Momys" (Mothers of Many Young Siblings) cookbook.  Every time I bake this pumpkin bread, I get so many compliments!  It may seem pretty unassuming, but this recipe is just so moist and yummy, I had to share it.  I have also actually substituted bananas for the pumpkin, and vanilla for some of the spices.  That was yummy too!
 Enjoy!

                                 
                                      Here, I am writing the recipe on a card for Christina.

Ingredients (Makes 5 loaves):
4 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 tspn. baking powder
2 tspns. salt
3 tspns. baking soda
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups cooking oil
1 large can of pumpkin (I used 4 cups of what I had frozen - this is more than a can's worth!)
5 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons each of cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg
* optional 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
Spray Pam


             Spray 5 bread pans with Pam (or twelve mini-loaves).  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.


                              Use a mixer to combine sugar, oil, eggs, water, and pumpkin.



     Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices into wet, pumpkin mixture.  Mix.


                                        Blend well and pour into five well-greased bread pans.




Since I can't fit all five loaf pans on one rack, I place one on the top rack keeping it from covering the tops of the others.  Bake at 325 degrees for an hour or 40-45 minutes for mini-loaves.

                         
                                                                      Cool and enjoy.


Therefore a man shall leave his mother and father and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

~Jennifer

Mystery Parties and Spinach Dip

   It has truly been a busy few weeks for the Wand family.  In March, we celebrated a Messianic Passover Seder with some dear friends and the Sunday of the resurrection of our Lord with extended family.  In early April, the girls and I hosted a Mary Kay party for another dear friend, prepared and participated in our homeschooling group's annual mystery party fundraiser, and attended a bridal shower.  The very next week, my son took the Stanford (standardized test), the girls and I attended a women's preparedness meeting (more on that later) and our family had a game night with some friends.  Finally, my husband and I attended an anniversary party for a dear couple celebrating 60 years of marriage!  Things have quieted down and we've settled back into our routine. I now have the opportunity to catch up and share some of the details!


     Here, Emily paints the background for Cinderella's carriage for this year's party theme "Fairy tales".  Each year our local home school National Honor Society hosts a mystery party to raise funds for a selected ministry.  The mysteries are carefully selected and "edited" to make more appropriate for our group.
    Participants dress up as assigned characters and attempt to solve a mystery at the party.  This year was our largest turnout with about sixty homeschooled kids.   Emily was sleeping beauty, Hayden was the evil queen from Snow White, and Harrison was one of the three little pigs (who also happened to be a realtor)!  I'm sure one of the girls will be posting more pictures on their personal blogs soon.  My house looked like an art studio for about a week!


     This was the path Emily painted for the "garden" area.  She cut these out, we covered them with clear contact paper, and then we taped them to the floor as stepping stones.

      Mystery party participants are asked to bring refreshments for the fundraiser.  We decided to bring sandwiches on dinner rolls (like we've shown on previous posts) and spinach dip with crackers.
     There are so many varieties of spinach dips and you can dip anything from crackers to fresh veggies. My personal favorite thing to dip is dark, pumpernickel bread.  This spinach dip version is so easy and everyone seems to really like it.

Ingredients:  a large bag of chopped frozen (or a bunch of fresh) spinach.
                   2 cups of mayo
                   2 cups of sour cream
                   2 packets of Ranch dressing mix
                   a fresh lemon
                   things to dip!

*You'll want to make this at least an hour ahead of time so the flavors have time to develop.


Combine 1 1/2 packets of Ranch dressing mix, mayo, and sour cream.  Squeeze the lemon juice from half a lemon being careful not to get seeds in your dip.  If you want to go ahead and use the other half of the Ranch dressing mix, just add a half cup more of sour cream and mayo so it won't be too strong.  If you are not a lemon fan, you can also squeeze less lemon juice.

                                                           
                                                                  Mix thoroughly.



If you are using frozen spinach, heat it in the microwave, let it cool, and then squeeze out as much liquid as possible before adding it to the sour cream mixture.


                                   Mix into dip.


                                                         Stir, chill, and serve!  Yummy!


Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred.
Proverbs 15:17

~Jennifer

Monday, March 11, 2013

An Apologetic Addendum: An Ode to Ketchup

     

       I received a phone call from my dad this morning.  He read my post about his hash recipe.  I was scolded.  Although I had mentioned ketchup, its value was not stressed enough.  He also said he wanted a picture.  Seriously.
       I come from a long line of ketchup mongers.  Obviously, there is my dad.  Then, there is my brother.  And then, uh, there is me.  And my son, Samuel. Yes, I admit it.  Below are some items that simply must, must have ketchup.  My level of enjoyment goes down tremendously if these items are without it:

My dad's potato hash
French fries
burgers
meat loaf
a steak that isn't well seasoned
fried shrimp
fried chicken (yes, I am absolutely serious!)
a chicken biscuit
a Philly cheesesteak or roast beef sandwich
mixed with the sauce that comes with a "blooming onion", "onion petals", etc.
homemade chili gets about 1/4 cup while cooking
and the list goes on......

There are some items that I used to accompany with ketchup:
Scrambled eggs now get hot sauce
Grilled cheese sandwiches now get dipped into tomato soup

You DO NOT, let me repeat, DO NOT EVER put ketchup on

HOT DOGS!

That is like putting it on a bologna sandwich.
Ew.
That was for my husband and sons.

My son Samuel likes to mix ketchup and mustard together to make a dip for potato chips.  He was grossing everyone out at lunch one day, but I could not say anything because I used to do the same thing!!!!!!

Sadly, today's ketchup seems to be getting sweeter and sweeter and I am getting pickier with my brands.The brand above is the only one I am buying right now, but I am getting suspicious with them as well.  It seems that more and more companies have been tampering with their recipes to save money and I CAN TASTE IT!!!!!!  Sorry.  I am a little passionate about my ketchup. How about you?
I have a recipe for homemade ketchup.
I may try making my own and see if I like it better.
I'll keep you posted.

I love you, Dad!

Can flavorless food be eaten without salt?  Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?  My soul refuses to touch them; they are loathsome food to me.
Job 6:6-7

~Jennifer




Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fried Potato Hash



    One dish that I grew up on and that was always a family favorite was my dad's potato hash.  His hash recipe basically consisted of diced, leftover meat (like a ham or roast), onions, and potatoes that were crisp-fried to perfection.  Sometimes he would add the occasional green pepper or chopped mushrooms.  Two things were certain:  a bottle of ketchup was in order and there would not be enough.  We loved the stuff and today my family is no different.  My son, Harrison will frequently ask, "Mom, may I make a fry?"  He'll get out a potato or two, and fry that thing up with whatever he can find.  I've seen him throw corn, hot sauce, and even lunch meat into the stuff!
     Over the years, I have experimented with different ways of making my dad's hash and have several tricks and serving suggestions I'd like to share.

Ingredients:

  • an entire bag of potatoes (any kind/any size!) I realize this seems like a lot, but they are so good, they'll get gobbled quickly.  They also make a great breakfast for the next day and can be frozen for casseroles, etc.
  • 1 to 3 onions
  • cooking oil
  • salt, pepper, and whatever seasonings you like
optional:
  • leftover meat
  • mushrooms
  • peppers
  • anything else you think sounds good!
     One of the first things to figure out when making a good potato hash is how to get your potatoes soft on the inside, but crispy on the outside.  If you dump everything onto your griddle or frying pan at the same time, your onions etc. will be charred black before you get your potatoes finished! Below are two tricks to remedy both problems.

Precook your potatoes before frying them by either baking them or cooking them in the microwave for at least forty minutes.  If you decide to precook them in the microwave; dice them first, toss them in about 1/4 cup of oil, and then stir every ten minutes until they are fork tender.  Because we had baked potatoes with our dinner two days ago, my daughter went ahead and baked the entire 10 pound bag.  After they cooled, she placed them into two ziplock bags and refrigerated them.  (My son, Harrison seldom precooks his potatoes because he only uses a couple at a time for a single serving - but you could always zap one in the microwave first if you want to speed things up.)

Cook your onions, peppers, meat, etc. separately and then mix them with your potatoes at the end. This makes it easier to control your ingredients' individual cooking time requirements.
When you are cooking a large amount of potatoes like this, fry them in manageable batches.  Too many potatoes on your griddle will make it more difficult to get them browned.  It also makes more of a mess because they'll keep falling off the sides of your griddle or frying pan!



                 Two-day-old baked potatoes.  They slice more easily when they are cold.


First I slice my cold, baked potatoes into medallions, and then stack the circles to cut them into fourths.


                                                        My taters are ready to fry.


Next, I diced up half of a large, leftover green pepper and another half of a new one.


Then, I diced three, small onions and dumped them in with my peppers.  If I had some leftover meat, I would have diced that up and mixed with these veggies as well.  Since we had leftover barbecue, I'll be using that today.  Instead of frying the already slow-cooked pork with the hash, I'll simply reheat it and allow my family to either serve it on top of the hash or on the side.

 

This is my jar of bacon grease. Most of the time I use regular cooking oil.  Regular cooking oil will allow more of the flavor of the vegetables and potatoes to come through. The bacon grease will give your potatoes a wonderful, brown color as well as add some rustic, bacony flavor.  I save our bacon grease by emptying the little drawer under my griddle into the jar whenever I fry bacon.  I read that you should really refrigerate this grease.  (Uh, I've been keeping this in my pantry for several weeks at a time and we have survived thus far.  I suppose I'd better put the stuff in the fridge just in case though, huh?) The bacon grease gives me another frying option and also helps me save money by getting more out of my bacon.


                                  The bacon grease instantly turns clear on the hot griddle.


                                                  The peppers and onions "before".


                                                     The peppers and onions "after".

I sauteed these at 350 degrees.  You want the peppers to be soft and the onions to be translucent (not black and bitter).  After they were finished, I scooped them into a bowl and moved them to the side.


                                                           The potatoes "before"


                                                             The potatoes "after"

I only cooked half the potatoes at a time.  You would think that the bacon grease would make everything very salty, but it doesn't.  I added salt and pepper (as well as some garlic powder) to them as they cooked.

Another trick:
Do not move the potatoes around too much once you begin frying them.  They need time to get browned and crispy.  You also do not want "mashed" fried potatoes.  Too much movement will tear them up!  Allow them to sit for 3 to 4 minutes before you flip them over and slide them around.  If your potatoes start sticking, add more oil.



After I removed my potatoes from the griddle, I mixed in half of my onion and pepper mixture.  I'll add the other half when I finish the rest of my potatoes so they'll be more evenly distributed.  After both batches were done, I dumped the entire thing into a pretty bowl and served with reheated barbecued Boston Butt and my husband's homemade coleslaw!  I didn't even need the ketchup with the barbecue on top!  (Note to self: post mother-in-law's/ husband's awesome coleslaw recipe.)


My absolute favorite way to have hash is in the morning with a fried egg on top and a piece of buttered toast.  Add a cup of coffee and a little juice....................big smile.  Oh, and don't forget the ketchup!

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
Deuteronomy 5:16

~Jennifer