Friday, August 9, 2013

Aunt Fran's Recipes

 Aunt Fran's Split Pea Soup
1 lb bag                 Dried Split Peas
1/2                        Onion, chopped
1 medium             Carrot, peeled & diced
1 stalk                  Celery, diced
1                        Smoked Ham Hock or Smoked Turkey Wing or 1/3 Polska Kilbasa Sausage -                                                                       or if you have it a ham bone leftover in the freezer from your Easter ham
1/4 to 1/2 tsp            Ground Black Pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp            Dried Basil
1/2 tsp                      Dried Italian Spices
1/2 tsp                      Garlic Powder or Granulated Garlic
1/2 tsp                      Onion Powder or Granulated Garlic
                        Salt, before serving.  Smoked meats can be salty, so, when soup is fully cooked, taste it and add                                     salt to taste.
Place split peas on table or cutting board to sort.  Look for small rocks, dirt clods or defective split peas.  Once the peas are sorted then place them in a Crock Pot.  Add onion, carrot, smoked meat, spices and seasonings and cover with water.  The water should be about 2 inches above the split peas. Turn Crock Pot on.  Cook on low . 
As split peas start to get soft they will need to be stirred with a wooden spoon or heat resistant rubber scraper being sure to scrape bottom of Crock Pot. The water will also be absorbed into the peas so, you may need to add more.
Eventually  the peas will look soft and cooked.  This is the time to pull out the smoked meat or ham bone.  Allow the meat to cool for a few minutes.  Take a wand immersion blender and puree soup.  Once the meat is cooled  then prepare it.  With ham bone, ham hocks and turkey wings, pull the meat off and chop. Discard the bones.  With polska kilbasa sausage, dice.  Return meat to soup.  Serve.

Notes: This recipe can be doubled if you have a very large Crock Pot.  It can be scaled down if you have a small one.  Also, leftovers can be frozen and reheated.

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How to Make Pomegranate Jelly
  • 4 cups pomegranate juice
  • 7 & 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 - 4 T of lemon juice depending on the sweetness of the fruit
  • 1 bottle of liquid pectin (you can use the recipe on the bottle of commercial pectin to make jelly)
  1. Have your canning jars ready.
  2. Measure juice, lemon juice and sugar into a large sauce pan and mix.
  3. Bring to boil over hottest heat and at once add the liquid pectin and stir constantly.
  4. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for exactly 30 seconds.
  5. Skim, pour quickly into hot sterilized jars, and seal.
  6. Makes about 11 8-ounce jars.
  7. The recipe doesn't call for heat processing. However, every jelly recipe I've read says to use hot water bath process for five minutes. Better safe than sorry.
How to Make Pomegranate Syrup
  1. Measure equal parts of pomegranate juice and sugar and let it stand for three days.
  2. Bring to a boil, simmer 5 minutes, strain, pour into sterilized jars, and seal. Don’t forget the hot water bath.
  3. The syrup may be used diluted with cold water to taste (I usually do a four to one ratio for fruit syrups) and served over ice. It's splashed over grapefruit and used in some cocktails. I suppose it would be wonderful over vanilla ice cream and so on.
  4. The November ‘95 Saveur magazine has a recipe for pomegranate sorbet which looks divine. You could also boil it down and make pomegranate molasses.
The recipes are from the Cooperative Extension of the University of California’s Master Food Preserver program (tel. 916-366-2013). Most counties have a similar agency.


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I am a mother and photographer. I love to cook and bake, I enjoy design and hope to share some of what I enjoy here.

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