Thursday, January 31, 2013

Some Days It Is Tough To Get Moving


This is a good cole slaw recipe that you might want to save for summer.  I like to make all kinds of slaws and this one calls for grated cabbage rather than shredded.
You can find the recipe here:  http://octoberfarm.blogspot.com/2012/05/baked-beans-and-cole-slaw.html

I used 3 heads of cabbage to make 6 quarts so 1 head should give you 2 quarts. The recipe is appropriate for 1 head.  This is going to the shelter today with a new soup.
Most mornings Teddy charges downstairs and flies out the back door to check out the back gardens.  However, with this crazy weather she is much more cautious.  She is not happy with the temps dropping almost 45 degrees in less than 24 hours.

Come on puppy....let's go look out back!

Come on Teddy, there could be bad kitties out there!

Bad kitties you say?  Hmmmm...let me think about this.

Nah....I don't think bad kitties are out in this weather.

I think I might just take another quick nap.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ford Field Fire Eggs

 Well, here I am still peeling hard boiled eggs.  Not really, it just seems that way. It really was not that bad of a task.  I made the shelter Ford Field Fire Eggs.  These are a tradition in Detroit and are served at all of the tailgater's booths.  You cut up a bit of celery, carrots, onions and hot peppers.  Add them to a jar with a bunch of hard boiled eggs.  Pour in a bottle of Frank's Redhot, another bottle of your favorite hot sauce and cover this all with white vinegar.  Wait at least a week before serving.  The shelter shows the superbowl for all of the guys so they can eat these while they watch the game.  One thing I have learned is they like hot spicy food.  The shelter can never have enough hot sauce.  The food they are usually served is very bland so they put hot sauce on everything.

Some of you have asked me how I get this food to the shelter.  I have one huge 52 quart pot and that is usually full.  My husband and I struggle to get it down the stairs and out to the car.  It is really heavy! Once I reach the shelter, all the guys come running to help.  Some of you asked how long I will do this.  I really have no idea.  Right now I am taking food there 2-3 days a week.  As soon as gardening season arrives, this will come to an abrupt halt.  I am determined to have huge gardens this year after skipping the last few years due to the stink bug infestation.  They seem to have run their course so this year I will return to gardening in a big way. I am hoping I can grow enough to make very healthy nutritious dishes for the shelter.  So, we shall see how it all turns out.

Meanwhile, Teddy seems totally perplexed by this weather. As am I!

She does still have lots of interest in her treats

Total focus on them.


It's hard to give her a treat and take a photo at the same time but in this pic you can actually see her shaking her left paw. The paw is about 1/4 inch off the ground.  That is major paw shaking for a chow chow!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Weird Weather






Our weather has been all over the place.  From deadly frigid to early summer in 2 days.  This is what it looked like as the sun came up this morning.  Fog and more fog and damp and humid.

 Teddy was not thrilled with the wet conditions.

She immediately found her dry spot under the umbrella.
Had a big yawn.
And took a quick nap.
Guess what I made this morning?  Peeling 100 eggs is not much fun!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Baked Beans and Potato Salad

I fought the elements to deliver food to the shelter this morning so they would have it in time for lunch.  It is an awful day today.  First we had horrible ice.  The kind you literally can not move on.  Then it warmed up a bit and the skies opened and it has been a steady downpour. I waded through deep icy puddles to get the food to the shelter.

I hit a bump and baked beans spilled all over the back of my car.

These beans are the best.  When I came back to the kitchen after being in the front office, the cook told me three guys came into the kitchen saying that they 'smelled Joyce'.  Apparently I smell like baked beans.  If you want to try this recipe, you can find it here:
http://octoberfarm.blogspot.com/2012/05/baked-beans-and-cole-slaw.html

I also made them about 25 pounds of potato and green bean salad.

Here is the recipe:  http://octoberfarm.blogspot.com/2012/05/potato-and-green-bean-salad.html

I like to used a variety of beans in this recipe.  I delivered this stuff along with the collards I showed you yesterday and large trays of cornbread to soak up the 'pot likkor'.

This is a good way to get fresh vegetables into people! I used about 4 pounds of green beans.

Be careful out there today if you are getting this ice storm.  There were wrecks all over the place.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Smoky Collards for a Crowd

I saw a blue sky as the sun came up this morning.  We haven't seen one of these in a while.

I have a big surprise for the guys at the shelter tomorrow.  I made them tons of collards, potato salad, baked beans and more cornbread.  I think I could feed them southern food every day.  It is their favorite.

I fried bacon to start the recipe.

The added lots of diced onions, S&P, red pepper flakes and granulated garlic.

I cleaned and cut up 6 bundles of collards, put them in a big pot and added 3 large ham hocks. Then added several bay leaves.

I also added some debrezner sausage because it has such a great smokey flavor. Next, add enough chicken stock to almost cover the greens.

After about 4 hours, I shredded the meat and added it back to the pot then added about 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar.

The bacon can be diced and then sprinkled over the top of the greens.  This made about 15 quarts.

Teddy was happy to see that her "spot" was dry this morning.

She was so happy she decided to take a little nap while she sat there and smelled the bacon cooking!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tuscan Potato Sausage and Kale Soup

Since the weather here is still frigid, I wanted to make a hearty soup to take to the shelter.  I am trying to hold down expenses as much as I can so I thought I would look in my freezer and see what I already had that I could use. 

Oh the shame....I came to a startling realization....I am a sausage horder!  I must have had 25 pounds of sausage tucked away.  I live in sausage heaven.  Every local butcher makes their own and they all take great pride in their special recipes. Obviously I can't contain myself when I see it for sale and I buy it is large quantities.

I had a lot of potatoes and some heads of cabbage which were perfect for this soup.  Not only are the fresh vegetables a good addition for the shelter, they really stretch the recipe.

I sauteed bacon and set it aside to drain.  Then I sauteed diced onions. carrots and celery in the bacon grease and added all of the bulk ground sausage I had.  Some of it was hot Italian sausage, some was plain pork sausage and I also added some chorizo which provided flavor as well as a good color. I added about 6 quarts of chicken stock I had in the freezer and some concentrated stock to add flavor. I added water until everything was covered.

I sliced 20 pounds of potatoes using my mandoline and chopped 3 heads of cabbage.  Obviously if you want to try this recipe you should cut it down to about 1/5th of this! The soup simmered for a couple hours until the potatoes were tender and started breaking apart.

I turned the soup down to a simmer and added the diced bacon and 2 large bunches of fresh kale along with salt and pepper to taste.


I sliced up all of the rest of the sausages.  I had kielbasa, knockwurst and  bratwurst.
After it simmered for a while I added some cream and half and half.  You could use whole milk instead but when I am cooking for people that are living on the streets and it is 5 degrees outside, the extra fat helps them to stay warm.  This made 50 quarts.  It was served with the cornbread I showed yesterday.  I hope these recipes are not too boring for you.  It's just what I am up to these days and if I don't post this, I would have nothing else to show.  Once it warms up I will be cooking for the shelter less days a week as I need to concentrate on my garden so I will eventually have other things to show!  Plus, these recipes are good enough to make at home in smaller quantities if you want to try any of them.

Much to my delight, this is what I saw when I opened my front door this morning.

This is when you know it is really cold outside.  The snow melt was not working too well.  The whole driveway is on the system but you can see it was still mostly covered in snow.

We got about 6 inches.


Teddy at her early morning post.  She listens for other dogs who have been let out in their yards and then she barks to them.  Sort of like puppy smoke signals.

The snow melt worked on the patio which made Teddy very happy.  She loves to lay on a warm patio when it is freezing outside.