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Recipes

HO-Made Tomato Ketchup

Info

In Season Produce
Seasoning Cast Iron Grates

Stories

Why We Have Hoppin' John for New Year's Eve



HO-Made Tomato Ketchup

6 cups of food processor tomatoes chunky (Roma's work really well)
2 cups chopped onions
2 coves garlic
2 tblsp regular black pepper
2 tblsp course ground black pepper (and/or hot peppers if you prefer)
scant 1/4 cup vinegar
dash cinnamon
dash allspice - scant
hand-full salt

Bring to rolling boil, turn heat down to low-medium (hard simmer), and cook down for 45 minutes stirring often.

Slowly add 1 cup white sugar mixed with 1/2 cup cornstarch. Boil and stir constantly for 5 minutes.

Pour into hot jars and water bathe process for 10 minutes.

Makes 11 1/2 pint jars




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Seasoning Cast Iron Grates

Since I can't seem to find the original instructions, can anyone suggest how to go about seasoning these things?

You should really get the rust off before re-seasoning. Try the electrolysis method where you set up plactic container large enough to hold the grates with a little room to spare. Make a jumper out of a piece of 12 - 14 ga. insulated copper wire and a battery clip or attach to a bolt and nut, just make sure you get good contact. Cut open a large coffee can and put in the container so it doesn't touch the grates. Attach it to the side of the container with the POSITIVE lead of a battery charger. Attach the jumper to the grate(s) and attach the NEGATIVE lead to the battery charger. Fill the container with water and add about a cup of sodium carbonate (PH+ or Arm & Hammer Washing Soda) to every five gallons, more or less. Make sure the coffee can and grates aren't touching. Fire up the battery charger. If everything is right there shoud be lots of tiny bubbles coming off the grates. Let it "cook" for a few hours and check it out. If the iron is clean, scrub it off with hot soapy water, rinse well. Coat with vegetable shortening and put in a 300 degree oven for an hour or so. Turn off the oven and while they're still hot but where you can handle them without getting 3rd degree burns, wipe off the excess shortening. It helps to put a piece of foil under the grates so you won't get into trouble. You're good to go!

Don't ever wash them again. Scrub off with a wire brush or a ball of newspapers if you wish to get the crud off the top. Cook something greasy the first time you use it.

The above works for all cast iron, especially skillets and other cookware. It will remove rust very quickly and given enough time will remove carbon. It will not harm your iron. I have left skillets in for days. This is the way the most expensive collectable cast iron cookware is cleaned. Most collectors use stainless steel instead of the coffee can as it will destroy the mild steel but stainless lasts a very long time. You can even use a stailess steel drum or vat and suspend your iron in it to clean.

TC

And TC also offers this link for your reading pleasure, Cleaning and Restoring Cast Iron Cookware Through Electrolysis.

If you are into cast iron you might want to boogie over to WAGS: http://www.wag-society.org/ - Wagner and Griswold Society (WAGS)

You can log onto that forum as a guest and get some "real" expert advice. Love to have you join too!

TC




Why We Have Hoppin' John for New Year's Eve - The basic Southern meal is hog jowls (smoked is mo bettah), blackeyed peas (dried) and collards. What ever else you want to go with it is OK especially cornbread. Rice is usually served so you can put the thicknin' gravy over it. That night, hoppin' john is made by mixin' the leftover peas and rice together. Maybe crumble up a little cornbread in it.

The way I was told about it was this: The hog jowls was the least favorite part of the hog and was usually all that was left hangin' in the smoke house iffin you only had kilt one hog so it symbolized humility. The collards was usually plentiful in the garden and they symbolized prosperity for the coming year. The peas was also plentiful and was good for you so they symbolized good health for the coming year.

Of course over the years cabbage has been substituted for collards in many Southern households. Some folks don't like collards I suppose. They need to take that up with the Maker. Ham has been substituted for the jowls and frozen peas for the dried. I suppose it don't hurt none to stray from the tradition, 'specially since hog killins and smokehouses has mostly disappeared. I try to stay the course myownself and 'round here I ain't alone.

The grocer up the road here will have smoked jowls out today and I intend to pick up a package along with some peas. I got collards in the garden and rice in the box. So count on me havin' hoppin' john for supper Noo Yeahr's night.

TC




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