Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ham & Split Pea Soup for a Crowd

Do you need to cook a meal big enough for an Army (or a platoon of small Marines)?  I feel like I do that every day.  If you're looking for recipes on the large size I can be your go to gal.  I have at least 9 at the table every night.  Which is why I have a 12ft church pew on one side (My Dining Room).  I should be conisidered a pro at making large meals on a small budget.

Ham & Split Pea Soup should be a staple.  It's affordable and can be done in a crockpot so easily.  I don't make it often because I have to live up to my Mother-In-Laws.  According to my husband, her's was the best!  Which is really sweet and I hope my boys are telling their wives the same things about my food.  The poor girls.

I love the idea of a crockpot.  However for a family of 9 a little ol crockpot just won't do.  I use my Roaster Oven as a crockpot.  I googled the temps of a crockpot and applied them.  According to most sites low is around 200 degrees and high is 300.

Ham & Split Pea Soup

Split Peas - 3 lbs (I used both green and yellow because I didn't have enough green on hand)

Ham Bone & drippings if you saved them

Onion - 1 Chopped

Celery - 2 Cups Chopped

Carrots - 4 Cups Chopped

Garlic - 3 cloves minced

Thyme - 1 tsp

Chicken Stock - 8 Cups (Make your own large batch Recipe)

Rinse Your Peas

I used green and yellow.  Couldn't even tell there was yellow in it.  Just rinse them and put them in your pot.  Peas do not need to be presoaked.

Rinse & Chop Your Veggies

Clean your veggies.  Chop them to desired size.  Toss them all in the pot.  Today I pulled a packaged of already chopped celery and onions that I had frozen.  Then I just put them in frozen.

Ham Bone

I love left over meat.  If I'm not going to use it all right away I just freeze.  You can freeze all the drippings too.  Just put the bone and any drippings and chunks of meat in the pot.


I made my own broth.  I pulled a package of frozen bones out of the freezer and made it while I was preparing the rest.  I posted a recipe here.  Then just pour the broth in the pot with the rest of the ingredients

Everything In

Add your seasonings.  Just put it on highfor 4 -5 hours and low 4 - 5 hours.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar

So this morning when I happened upon a pin with a beautiful picture of homemade apple cider vinegar, I knew I had to try it.

I love a good healthy apple cider vinegar.  I drink it daily, use it to make cheese, salad dressings (I need to give you a couple of recipes), and who knows what else.  I use vinegar in the laundry as well, just not the good stuff.

Sometimes I feel completely crazy with the amount of things I make from scratch in a day.  This is one of those things that I just have to DIY for a few reasons.  One being, it's cost effective.  You can literally use scraps from cutting up apples for the kids snacks.  Another, I have been blessed with land that has 15 apple trees, making it completely free.  Saving $5 here and there makes a difference.

I followed a pin to a blog at Fresh Eggs Daily.  They laid the directions out really well.

1) Cut up apples and put the skins, core, peel into a mason jar

2) Fill the jar with water

3) Put a napkin or a cloth over the jar

4) Let sit 2 weeks

5) Strain the pieces out, put vinegar back in the jar

6) Let sit for another 4 weeks

7) Done!

A couple of notes:

Some recipes call for sugar or honey.  They say it's optional, so I left it out.  The good Bragg's brand doesn't list it on the ingredients.

You can add some already made vinegar to speed it up.  I couldn't find an amount, so I started my first batch without it.  I am hoping subsequent batches I'll have enough left to start a new one.

I started mine today.  So it will be another 6 weeks before I can give any more detail, so check back with me.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,  James 1:17