This year I was looking for something new to do with our abundant supply of Pawpaw pulp. One of the main options for preserving the pulp is freezing, so I decided to make some ice cream to have on hand though out the year. It turned out to be a big hit around the house. Below are the steps took, but they may be a little different for you depending on your ice cream maker.
In a pot add your Milk, Cream, and Sugar. Set on Med-Low heat and stir until the sugar is disolved. About 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Whisk the egg yolks, then take a small amount of the warm milk, and slowly add it to the egg yolks, continue whisking and adding the warm milk, until you have added about 1 cup of milk to the yolks.
Slowly pour the yolk and milk mix into the remaining milk. Turn the heat back on to Med-high. Whisking until the mixture thickens and the tempature is around 170F.
Take the mixture off of the heat, and strain it in to a clean bowl. Set the bowl aside to cool for about 1 hour, the place the bowl in the fridge for another 3-5 hours (or overnight) to chill.
Prep your Ice Cream Maker
You should follow your Ice Cream Maker Instructions. We used a old fashioned hand cranked ice cream maker. Below is the steps we took.
Add your ice and salt by layers. Pour your custard mix in to the center compartment.
Churn slowly for 10 mins. (It is best to have friends over when doing this part).
At the 10 minute mark, remove the cap and add 1 cup of Pawpaw pulp. Replace cap. Refill ice and salt. Continue to churn for another 10 minutes. This time gradually increasing the speed of your churning.
After 10 minutes, check your ice cream, it should have started to expand and look like ice cream. If not add more salt and ice, and continue to churn for another 5 minutes.
Once done, remove the ice cream and eat or store in the freezer to harden the ice cream.
The wineberry is in the Rubis family like the raspberry and blackberries. The wineberry is less seedy than the blackberry in my opinion, and has a sweet hint of citrus flavor. The berries ripen around mid-July here in Pennsylvania. The wineberries have hairy bristles (unlike the hard thorns on blackberries and raspberries), a sticky bright red-orange berry that is covered by a calyx, and a large leaf in the center with two smaller leaflets on each side that are a white color on the underside. This is an invasive and non-native berry in North America, and originates from Japan and eastern Asia.
If you are lucky enough to have a supply of Pawpaw fruit or know someone who does then this is a great fruit to add to your next Kombucha batch. This mango, strawberry custard-like flavored fruit is one of North America’s largest native fruits that grows in the eastern United States. In late fall the fruit ripens, and with only a short shelf life of 2-3 days, it is usually best to freeze the pulp or find a recipe to use the fruit in right away. Making Pawpaw flavored Kombucha is one of the ways I have used the pawpaw pulp to enjoy the pawpaw flavor after the pawpaw fruit season has ended.
Super tart berry kombucha packed with antioxidants. If you have trouble finding Acai Berries try Aronia Berries instead. I was able to find dried Acai Berries at Fresh Thyme in their bulk herb section.
South Carolina has a few styles of barbecue sauces. There is the mustard based, tomato based and vinegar based. The one I grew up with and learned to love through the years in the vinegar based sauce throughout the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina. This vinegar and pepper sauce is sometimes referred to as a mopping sauce, since it is applied or “mopped” several times throughout the cooking process.
I have had many relatives make a variation of this recipe, which I, in turn, took a little of each to make my own version. Which is what you can do as well. If you want the sauce sweeter add a little more sugar, less spicy reduce the amount of pepper or pepper flakes, want it thicker add a little more ketchup. After all, cooking is about experimenting.
I’m not sure what piqued my interest in soapmaking, but it was just that. The whole process seemed difficult and fascinating, but I knew it was something the average DIYer could handle. One night, I picked up the book “Soapmaking: How to Create Nourishing, Natural Skin Care Soaps” to learn a little more about the subject. This led to late-night binges of YouTube tutorials and more reading. I wonder if this is how most people get the spark to try something new?
There are two main processes to make soap: hot-process and cold-process. We decided to start with hot-process soap instead of cold-process because it seemed easier. Hot-process soap becomes usable (fully cured) in a few days. Cold-process on the other hand, takes months to cure. The curing time with hot process is much faster (1-2 weeks vs. 4-6 weeks for cold process) because you literally “cook” the soap though most of the curing stages. Heating the mixture accelerates the saponification (a fancy chemistry term for turning fats and oils into soap) process. Because you need to cook and stir the mixture, you will want to have a crock-pot and other utensils strictly dedicated to making soap. Eventually, we’ll try cold-process, but we didn’t want to wait to test our product!
Soap is much like kombucha in that you can tweak the recipes to suit your style and tastes. It is best to stick to a recipe until you really understand how the ingredients work. Once you understand how it all goes together, feel free to get creative! The recipe below is what I used. It will fill a 32oz mold and is 5% superfat (superfat refers to the small percent of extra oil that is not saponified because there is not enough lye to change it to soap. Having superfats will ensure your soap is lye free and mild).
Ingredient Mesurments: Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) 130.31g / 4.60oz Water Total: 299.38g / 10.56oz **reserve 20% of the water for later use Castor Oil 36.29g / 1.28oz / 4.0 % Coconut Oil (76 degrees) 290.30g / 10.24oz / 2.0% Olive Oil 272.16g / 9.60oz / 30.0% Palm Oil 272.16g / 9.60oz / 30.0% Sweet Almond Oil 36.29g / 1.28oz / 4.0% Lavender Essential Oil 0.5oz Tea Tree Essential Oil 0.5oz Activated Charcoal 1 tbsp Greek Yogurt 1 tbsp Sodium Lactate 3% weight to oils. 27.22g / 0.96oz
**Note:For this recipe we will be splitting our water. Reserve 20% of the water for later use in the recipe : 59.8g / 2.11oz. 80% of the water will go into our lye solution: 239.58g / 8.45oz
Activated charcoal was priced at $3-$4/oz. online plus shipping. If that seems high to you here’s a pro tip – Go to a pet store and buy activated carbon (it is the same thing as activated charcoal). This is a bit more solid than what you would buy in powder form, so you will want to grind it down to a powder. I used an old coffee bean grinder, sifted and repeated. A mortar and pestle would also work. The process is a little messy and I would recommend using a dust mask to reduce the chance of inhaling charcoal powder.
Our hot-process method became a mix information from several sources. There are a few important safety rules you need to observe when making soap:
ALWAYS be careful when working with Lye and use gloves and safety goggles.
ALWAYS add lye to water. Never add water to lye.
Work in a well-ventilated area when mixing lye. We used the oven hood to mix our lye under, along with turning on the ceiling fan, and opening the kitchen window. You may also choose to mix your lye outside.
Keep children and pets away of the area you are mixing lye. Also, keep Vinegar on hand in case of spills.
Now, onto the process.
Set-up your work area.
Put down a barrier to protect your counter from spills. This can be cardboard, newspaper, plastic sheeting, etc…
When the kiddo and I were in the grocery store I asked “What do you want for dinner”, the reply was “Squash and Onions with Pork Chops”. I do not know many people that make squash and onions. Growing up only my mom and maybe one or two of my aunts made this side-dish. My mom still makes it, especially when squash is in season. I always though of this as more of a southern disk till Road To Homesteading’s co-author Crystal told me they make it a bunch when they have a garden full of squash or zucchini.
This side dish is simple and delicious. The lovely sweet flavors from yellow crookneck squash really come out when cooked in a pan. You can also use zucchini or a mix of squash and zucchini if you have both on hand.
**Disclaimer:Before eating any wild mushroom (or any new foraged item) check guides, spore print on species with look-a-likes, and be 100% certain of what you are eating. If you are at all unsure, do not eat it. As with any new food, be on the look-out for allergic reactions. Try a small amount the first time through. Allergic reactions can happen, even if something is known to be edible.**
It was a cool and cloudy afternoon when my friend Bob, his oldest daughter and I set off deep into the forest in search of the elusive amber jelly roll mushroom (Exida recisa). Armed with field guides, we began our search.
Okay, okay – so maybe it was more Bob’s yard at the homestead than a forest, and maybe it only took us a few minutes to wander over by an old oak tree in his yard, but you get the idea.
At first glance, the amber jelly roll does look like something you’d want to eat, but this species is edible, like many of the jelly mushrooms. You’ll often find other jelly mushrooms used in Asian cuisine (think soups). Neither Bob or I had tried eating this odd-looking mushroom before, but that was changing today. We gathered a few handfuls of fungi and carried them back to the house. We soaked them in water and rinsed them clean to remove any bugs or debris. We tasted the fresh mushroom. It was less than exciting – rather bland with a texture on the rubbery side.
We sautéed the mushrooms for about 15 minutes, with some Asian inspired flavors, and we decided to add them to the venison meatballs with homemade sauce and noodles Bob was making for dinner. The blandness of the mushroom worked in its favor, and absorbed the flavors we sautéed them in. The mushroom still retained some of its rubbery texture.
I was really indifferent to the mushrooms raw flavor; though it did hold the added flavors we cooked them in. I really didn’t care much for the texture of the mushroom, but would likely give it another try the future, may be added to a soup or broth which might allow the texture to be less rubbery.