Archive for May, 2011

Corn Cob Jelly & Bread & Butter Pickled Squash

Yesterday was a busy day!  I made corn cob jelly & put up some bread & butter pickled squash.  The sqush were from my garden – but I had to buy the peppers & onions … mine aren’t ready yet.  Corn won’t grow in my garden  so I bought that  too.  I ran across the recipe on another blog I read … Chickens In the Road .. and just HAD to give it a try.  I found others on other sites .. .. .. …   but they’re all pretty much the same.

This old fashioned recipe recalls a time when people couldn’t afford to be
as wasteful as we often are today.

How to make Corn Cob Jelly:

6 – 8  large ears of corn
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 packages powdered pectin

Cook corn; cut kernels from cobs and store for another use.  Measure 2 quarts water into a large pot; add corn cobs.   Bring to a hard boil for 30 minutes.  Turn off heat and remove cobs.  Strain corn liquid through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer–if desired.   Measure remaining corn liquid.  I boiled mine down to 5 cups.  Return liquid to the large pot and stir in the 2 T of lemon juice and pectin.  Bring to a boil and then add sugar cup per cup to the liquid (5 cups sugar for 5 cups corn liquid) .  Bring pot to a rolling boil and continue to boil hard for one minute stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and ladle into hot jars.  Adjust lids and bands and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.

This jelly tastes suprisingly like honey!  It’s a perfect example of “waste not want not” … and is absolutely DELICIOUS!


Bread & Butter Pickled Squash

4 cups yellow  squash (smaller squash have less seeds)
2 medium onions
4 medium sweet bell peppers (can mix red & green)
2 T pickling salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons celery seeds
2 teaspoons mustard seeds

Do not peel squash. Slice squash, onions, and green pepper in thin strips.  Sprinkle with the 2 T of salt and let stand for one hour or overnight in the refrigerator.

Combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed and mustard seed and bring to a boil for 3 minutes , stirring occasionally.  Drain squash mixture and then add to the pot with the liquid.  Bring to a boil and then pack in hot canning jars –  fill to 1/2 inch of top of jar with juice. Makes about 4 or 5 pints.  Recipe can be doubled.

Corn Cob Jelly & Bread & Butter Pickled Squash


Making Lye Soap

I decided to try making lye soap  – and I had no idea that lye was so hard to find !  It seems that lye is used to make meth so a lost of stores have stopped carrying it …. or *don’t know* they carry it because the bottle doesn’t have big bold letters saying it’s 100% lye.  I called every store in Lufkin and was told “no we don’t carry lye” every time.  But, not wanting to have to pay the high shipping it would cost to buy online ….  I decided I’d go check at Lowe’s anyway …  and low and behold ..  the Soap Gods smiled down on me and  I found 1 bottle of Roebic Drain Cleaner!  YAY!!

There is an little oval shaped bubble on the side of the label that says 100% lye and I checked the ingredients also to make sure it was 100% sodium hydroxide.  Home Depot probably carries the same brand too – but since I didn’t need a mass quantity, I didn’t go there to check.

I put together a recipe and ran it through soapcalc -and I’m totally LOVIN’  it!  It had a odd smell after it was cooked but today it smells (and looks) like caramel without the use of any added fragrances or colors!  I added 1 cup of ground oatmeal as a mild exfoliate.  I used it this morning in the shower and even washed my hair with it.  I have very thin/fine hair and conditioners usually leave my hair feeling weighed down or greasy so I don’t like using it if I don’t have to.  So far I’m loving the results of this soap!

Milk & Honey Lye Soap

  • Canola Oil    6.4 oz
  • Castor Oil     3.2 oz
  • Coconut Oil    11.52 oz
  • Olive Oil     15.36 oz
  • Lard     15.36 oz
  • Crisco     12.16 oz
  • Milk     24.32 oz
  • Lye     8.87 oz

    Additives: 2 tsp honey at light trace,  2 tbsp sunflower oil after cook,   1 cup chopped oatmeal after cook

8 minutes to trace

3 hours and 22 minutes to cook

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