Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Alright we're jammin!

Christmas has officially peeked around the corner and yelled BOO!  It surprised me.  I have been thinking on how much Jelly or Jam I need to make, and the number astonished me.  I have over 154 Jams and Jelly's to get done in....well....yeah not alot of time.  The last couple of days I have been busy.

I had planned on a 4 day no interruption weekend to get this done, but it didn't work out the way I had planed.  It never does.  Sooooo without further ado.....Its Jelly time!


I boil all of my jars in the caner, and then put them on cookie trays in the oven at 200 degrees.  Keeps em nice and hot.  I have not had a jar explode when coming into molten sugar since I have been doing it this way.




Next we have our trusty caner, and trusty kettle.


Now the one thing that makes all of this craziness possible.....


Chocolate...mmmmmmmm Auntie C hooked me up with these..... Okay so back to my art!

I have quite a list to fill for Christmas.  Apple Butter, Pomegranate Jelly, Orange Marmalade, and White Wine Jelly.  I also have 2 custom orders pending right now, Raspberry Chipotle Sauce, and Jalapeno Pomegranate Jelly.  Both sound like interesting combinations.

Monday I pretty much only worked Apple Butter.  We went up to Apple Hill this year, and I came home with 40+ lbs of apples.  I ended up running out and had to run to the store to get 2 lbs of apples. 

First I cook them in a pot with Water and Apple Cider Vinegar for about 20 minutes at a medium boil


I cook them till they are soft, but firm.  I quarter them and leave the peels and cores and stems in them, it all adds to the pectin.  Now...here comes the fun part.



Ahhh my Friend.  The Chinois Sieve.  I ladle apple mixture through it and all of the seeds, and other things I don't want in my butter stay in there.  Its a great way to take out aggressions.  Beating up on Apple's always makes my day a bit brighter.  " Oh I'm sorry...I didn't hear you....SQUISH...can you hear me now" ?  " Oh my spreadsheets aren't good enough even though YOU ASKED FOR THEM THAT WAY " SQUISH!  Oh my day got better and better the longer I got to squish stuff.  All of that is behind me..so now it is on to Apple Butter. 

I add the Juice and zest of one lemon, Allspice, Salt, Sugar, Cinnamon, and cloves.  Now for the secret...



Yes...the microwave.  Most recipes call for cooking it down in a pot, constantly stirring.  Forget that noise, I do not have time for that.  30 minutes in the microwave takes off 4 hours of cook time.



Ahhh the finished product out of the canner.  I get about 8-10 jars out of each batch.  Its all relative.

After doing that for hours and hours and hours, I then switched off to Orange Marmalade



Yeah I don't like Marmalade too much so that is the only picture you get.

Day one count of 47 jars of goodness.


A good night sleep, and extra strong coffee Tuesday morning helped me get back into the swing of things.

I started off with another batch of orange marmalade....yeah....still not my favorite.

I then moved on to White Wine Jelly.  Now that's some good stuff, and only like 4 ingredients.  Wine, Sugar, Lemon Juice, and pectin.  LOVE IT!

I got the recipe for this from my friend at work...its been a keeper since the first time I made it. 

This one didn't want to seal...so I cheated and put it in the window....then I got bored and went out into the Man Cave


Not to bad if I say so myself

Next we did Pomegranate Jelly.  This is a close second to Apple Butter.  This Jelly is important to me because my Grandmother Pauline made this for years.  She lived down on the " Ranch " in Modesto.  She had access to Persimmon Tree's, Pomegranate Tree's, Fig Trees, an Orange tree or two, and Walnut Tree's.  Actually, alot of people in my family have made this, but the memory always goes to her. 



I only did 2 batches of this as I ran out of pectin, and I was slowly running out of energy.

I finished off the day with Sugar Free Strawberry Jam.  I thought it was a failure, but Mrs. JellyMan ate it today, and she didn't die.  So I figure it is okay.

I still have a couple of batches left in me before Christmas.  The gifting of Jam and Jelly may be slim, but its the thought that counts.  Getting something for Christmas that is handmade is a wonderful feeling.  The fact that someone took the time to MAKE you a gift always warms the heart.


The end result of day 2.  In both days, I canned a total of 97 jars, and had 3 failures.  One Wine, one Apple Butter failed to get a good seal.  I also had an explosion in the canner of the strawberry Jam type.  Ehh Not to bad for a couple of days work.  My kitchen is in shambles, I don't want to see another grain of granulated sugar, and for the next day or two I HATE mason Jars.




Monday, November 28, 2011

Gum....Ive got GUM on my seat!

Sorry for the lack of semi interesting far from funny posts........okay guys you were supposed to laugh at that and say I am the funniest person on the earth....Do you realize how hard it is to be this funny? 

Well anyways, just figured I would drop in, say hello, and write about something that has been on my mind.

If my memory serves me correctly ( and it hardly ever does ) today would have been my fathers 60th birthday.  Paul Andrew Smith would have had 21,915 days walking this earth.  In those days he would have seen numerous things.  One of those things would have been his grandchildren.  As I look at Midget Pygmy number 2, who shares his middle name, he would have seen me, and himself in a little mischievous 3 1/2 year old crazy boy.  This boy is the most hard headed, strong willed, mule of a kid.  Just like his daddy and his grandpa.  Sometimes I truly wish there was a day that I could not think about him.  I know that sounds bad but hear me out.  Every day I see something that reminds me that he is not here.  Some days its not as bad as others.  Some days its worse.  BUT...every day spend without him reminds me of what I must do.  Things I must do to keep his spirit alive, and his memory.  My children will not have the pleasure of knowing him, but they will know him because I have the memory of a goldfish and I remember......what was I talking about.....oh yeah B12....BINGO!  ( Told you I was funny ).  I will remember story's, and remind them that he is here, watching over them......and he tells me EVERYTHING!!!! 

I was blessed with a wonderful man as a father.  We had our moments....well yeah alot of them, but I was a kid with something to prove, so I broke all of the rules, and pushed all of the buttons...some times more than once.  Yeah, he made mistakes.  I wouldn't say he made alot of them, because what is alot?  I sure as heck know that I have made alot of mistakes.....and I would like to say that I have learned from most of them....well some at least. 

I would like to think that my Dad started me on the path that I live.  When they say that it takes a village to raise a child they are 100% right.  I have had many Father figures in my life.  All of them adding their 2 cents, and me walking away with a huge sack of change.  Although I may need to refund some of their 2 cents.  My step dad tried to teach me how to balance a checkbook....yeah....still don't know how.  My math never adds up to the right amount.  I mean come on, if I still have checks, I still have money right?  My friend Pop's has taught me the love of wood, but I still can't cut a straight line.....I digress.

I wanted to write something tonight, because I miss my father.  He did not get a chance to meet his grandchildren, he did not get to teach them Yes means no, and No means yes.  ( well actually midget 2 already knows that so maybe he did teach him that ).  As we go through life, always live for tomorrow, but never put something off that can be done today ( well except bills.  I don't have any money now, and I won't have any tomorrow so I guess that's okay to put that off...right? )

As my children grow up, they will learn about all of the things my father loved.  It took me 30 something years, but I pretty much love everything my father did.  At the time it was boring as hell, but now looking back I wish I would have taken advantage of it more.  Hindsight is 20-20 right?

Sorry folks, not to many funny Ha Ha's tonight.  I just don't have it in me.  If you think this one is a dud, please come back...I will eventually say something you like.  Coming up...I have to make a desert for a Wine Club ( Yeah..I'm so not a member...this is a paying gig ) that goes with a port.  CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE PIE I CHOOSE YOU!!!!!  My prego Friend is back at work, and she is not so prego anymore so that means my wonderful alternate work schedule goes away....Goodbye 11 hour work days and hello normalness!! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Words of wonder

So...the title probably has you thinking I wonder what words....okay bad joke.  So yeah, words of wonder.  Words are powerful, used in the correct form, for both good, and evil.  You can tell someone to go fly a kite, and depending on how you say it, there will be 1 of 2 outcomes.  You will either get an " Hey that sounds like a great idea " OR you will get punched in the nose.  Now, keeping the above in mind....saying the right things in E-mail...that can just be all bad.  E-mail, like words, can be your bestest freind, or your worstest enemy. 

For instance...today first E-mail of the day...I got one that started out " JellyMan, I EXPECT you to ".  My first response was " Oh no you didn't ".  Then, before I got a chance to breath and calm down...It started with an angry instant messaging session.  Now, normally this kind of stuff doesn't phase me.  But today it did.  This guy probably didn't think that it would affect me that much, or did he?  Yeah, now that I think of it he meant to start something.  You know, sometimes it is hard working in the corporate environment.  Years of being a Waiter have given me the skills to smile and nod, and beg for more.  But then years of working on a loading dock has taught me payback.  SO your going to bring your truck back filled with trash...Fine so I will load your stuff on the floor and give you a broken hand truck.  I digress.

So someone might want to ask...Did your day start off bad?  Umm Yeah..hello Captain Obvious!  I mean come one...is the Pope Catholic?  Does a bear poop in the woods?  Does Howdy Doody have wooden balls?
AHA!  Howdy Doody does have wooden balls, and he is supported by strings.  Good thing my dad always taught me to carry a pocket knife....hmm those strings could get cut real quick, then Howdy Doody cant move.  Hah!  Awesome.

SO...yeah about the above rant...I'm sorry.  Had to do it.  It couldn't be helped.  I was going after a target audience with that one.  So on to bigger and better subjects.  Canning!

JellyManKelly products have been in short supply lately.  Long work schedules, birthdays, school starting, yeah.  No good.  So we will be starting canning season off early this year.  And to start it off, we will be going to Apple Hill, to buy a couple of boxes of apples!  That means I can replenish my Zombie stash of dehydrated apples, and give some to Mrs JellyMan.  Apple Butter will be back in stock, and hopefully a couple of quarts of sliced apples for apple pie filling. 

I think this will be a good thing for the Ole JellyMan.  All work and no play makes JellyManKelly a dull boy.  I have lacked that spark that I had going for me.  I had big plans to get into a kitchen, start selling online...but we may have to wait on that.  I know I am not irreplaceable.  That's a known fact.  Anyone who thinks there is not someone out there leaner, meaner, and willing to take less money for their job is a darned fool.  Just look at auto workers.  " HAH!  A robot that can do my job?  What have you been smoking? " No need to say more.  SO back to my point, I can't take the time off to get into a kitchen to get this ball rolling because that means when something goes wrong, and it will, someone else will have to pick up my slack.  That's not okay with me.  So, JellyManKelly will need to wait.  I promise, after the holidays are over and done with, and a new vacation calendar rolls around, You will see me pedalling my wares on the net.  PROMISE!!  Then maybe I will be a zen master of my life, and I would be able to blog about Cheesecakes, Chipotle Raspberry Jam, Muscatto Wine Jelly...you know the good stuff!  Well folks, until next time!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It Is what it is

I am so far behind on the times...its kinda sad.  So last weekend when we were in Tahoe, we went to Harrah's to blow some scratch, and on the way out I wanted my yearly treat.  I very very rarely go to Starbucks, but when I do it is around this time of year.  I go and get my Spiced Pumpkin Latte, then in a couple of weeks I will go and get my Peppermint Latte. then end it with an Eggnog Latte. 

SO....The nice little girl behind the counter asked me if I would like a Salted Carmel Latte...I said no thank you, and she looked at me like I had horns, and I had asked her if her soul was for sale.  WTH??  Two weeks ago, my mom gave me a Salted Carmel candy, ( Mrs JellyMan found it before I remembered it and devoured it )....what the heck is up with Salted Carmel?  I asked Mrs. JellyMan and she just got this vacant look on her face and was like mmmmmmm Salted Carmel.  So...I went to work.  I need to get down to the bottom of this phenomenon.  I have searched the all mighty search engine Google, and it seems that I am way far behind.  So I decided to make Salted Carmel Cheesecake today, along with all of the other things that I am cooking.

Mrs JellyMan has made a Pinterest page just for cheesecakes.  I started there.  I found what i thought was a good Salted Carmel Cheesecake recipe....then I printed it out, and took the midgets to the store.   In looking at the directions....alot was desired.  It Kinda sorta didn't make sense, so I winged it.  I used their Carmel recipe, but that was just about it. 

The problem that i have, is when I make something, its hard to take it to work, and send it with Mrs. JellyMan.  So....I got creative.

Oh Yeah, We're rolling cup cake style!  ( Notice that they are PINK!! and have PINK ribbon? )



I wanted to go simple with the crust.  I was trying to come up with something that would not mess with the Salted Carmel flavor, so we went with Vanilla Wafers.  ( The recipe actually called for it, but I was unable to figure out if it needed 32 2 ounce wafers, or 32/2 ounces of wafers, or 3 1/2 ounces of wafers.  So...I winged it and dumped in half a box, with a stick melted butter. 
I processed them in the food processor till all of the big chunks were gone, then pulsed in the melted butter.

Cheesecake was fairly straight forward.



YUM!!

Since we are going to cover them, I did not do the water bath method, I just baked them as they were.  They came out a bit cracked!

I let these cool, and moved off to Carmel.  I have never made my own Carmel.  Grandma made it every year for Christmas, and could probably do it with one hand tied behind her back.  Actually...if she would have tried it today it would probably have gotten ruined.  It was a close 49er game....very few things would ever mess with her coolness....a close 49er game is pretty much the only thing!

SO...Off to Carmel!

Pretty Straight forward.  Except....Castor Sugar?  I was like wow...wth?  So...Out came great almighty Google.  WHEW!!  Ultra fine sugar!  I so was not looking forward to towing the midgets around looking for something weird!

Carmel was Ultra fine sugar, water, and heavy cream.



I really do not like working with sugar like this.  Its like liquid Napalm!  So I made my Carmel, and something dawned on me.  How can you tell if it is amber, in a BLACK pan.  Note To Self: I need so get some silver Non Non Stick pans.  So after much sweat, fear of burning sugar into my pans, and the potty dance, I was done.  Let it cool a bit, and topped the cheesecakes!




Okay..so I can only see a half picture.  Lets just say the camera phone I was using leaves alot to be desired!

So in all, a very productive day.  Made cheesecakes, and a soup for the freezer.  Umm no, I am not telling you what it is now.  I have to have something to blog about later don't I?  Yes, you do have to wait!

Busy work week ended, and another busy week on tap starting tomorrow.  Onky a couple of weeks until my supposed good friend comes back from Maternity leave...and maybe my days will go back to normal, and I can actually cook during the week, and maybe have some energy to blog. 

Catch ya later!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

There is something rotten in Santa Rosa while I am in tahoe

I am the master of ignoration! Like that word, I just made it up! So, if something bothers me I rant and I am done. After that it is no longer an issue to me. I read a Facebook post last night at dinner, that blew my mind. Something so hateful, something so bothersome I haven't been able to put it away. I am working from my iPhone as my galaxy tab which was purchased especially to use the blogger app..I digress....I may have many typos.

SO. I know there are mean and hurtfull people in this world. It's a given. But this just hurt me so deep, and the fact that this person shares my blood hurts even worse. What is one of the things that every woman dreads? No, not my corny come ons.....breast cancer. You are probably trying to figure out where I am going with this.

So....I saw a Facebook post below;
You know what charity I am getting REALLY WORN OUT OF? Breast Cancer, yes PINK - Shut the hell up!! You know who "WHINES" about it the most? The women who have had " enhancement " surgery. Tired of, sick of it, shut the hell up.

He then follows it up with

Clearly this is unpopular say whatever I don't care.

My dad would tell me to ignore stupid people. I normally do a good job. This has stuck in me so deep it's made me sick. I don't think there is anyone out there who does not know someone who has been affected. I know people both living and dead. I know people that he is related to who have been afflicted. One dead, one alive.

Normally my blog is filled with witty Bantor, food, happy things. I have tried to stay off of the soapbox. I don't want to bother people with my point of view, because it is mine and mine alone. I don't want to be one of those guys who harps. So please bear with me for a bit.

I have talked about old people and what they have to offer. My grandmother Pauline died when I was young. She was an amazing cook. She took most of her recipes to the grave with her. My dad taught me a few....but he took most to the grave with him as well. My dads sister had a double mastectomy, she lived. She sent an email out asking for Pink yoplait tops for the codes you can enter to have them donate to to breast cancer research. One of my mothers closest friends died from breast cancer. It does not just affect the afflicted, it will affect all of us. You don't realize what something means to you until it's gone.

Almost done I swear!

I will never say someone does not have the right to say something. We are all granted that freedom in this country. But god has given us all fitters, and brains. Please use both. Don't make yourself look like an ass.

So....onto better things! We have eaten some of the best food the last couple of nights! Great Italian tonight, yesterday was in and out for lunch, and some of the best carnitas I have ever eaten! Sorry Dad, these were better than yours! We found this little hole in the wall Mexican food joint on the wrong side of the tracks up here, and it was the best!!

I plan to come home refreshed, and ready to roll. Speaking of rolling....time to throw Mrs JellyMan under the bus. So, we are winding our way up the hill, on the nice twisty turney turns, tires screeching and she is like hah did I almost make u throw up? Then she gets green and announces she has to blow chunks! =) priceless!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Some like it hot!

Today was actually a good day!  I love Pandora!  Pandora radio is the best thing since cheesecake!  If you look at my play list and you don't know me...you will just shake your head and call me a weirdo.  If you do know me......then having 4 different Phineas and Ferb stations probably wouldn't surprise you.  I mean come on, that's GREAT music!  S.I.M.P..... I GOT SQUIRRELS IN MY PANTS.....Today's gonna be a great day....Gitchi Gitchi Goo .  I mean yeah...it is a cartoon...but its a GREAT CARTOON!!!

Okay, enough about Cartoons.  We got bigger fish to fry.  See, the thing of it is, I wanna talk about this cheesecake that I am making!  Hah!  I got your attention didn't i?  So yeah, cheesecake!  Its a new recipe.  Mrs. JellyMan is always looking for new stuff for me to make.  She is a Google Whiz!  I bet she could even find Jimmy Hoffa if she would just ask the all mighty search engine!  But she wont....we will keep thinking that he is buried at the Meadowland. 

SO yeah, we have a new recipe.  She wanted me to make it for something, so I figured I would make it for people at work.  They always seem to like my cooking, at least they say its better than the food in the cafeteria.  You know, you can only eat so many cups of plastic pudding in plastic cups.  ( it really looks like something that came out of the midget Pigmy's play kitchen ).

This Cheesecake blends alot of my favorite spices.  I love Cinnamon.  I could eat it all day long!  Cinnamon Sugar on white buttered toast.....Yeah that was the best thing at Grandma's house!!  Cayenne Pepper.  I love to use that in my rubs.  It brings such a nice mellow heat into things like Pork and Chicken!  So with the recipe that Mrs. JellyMan so kindly searched for, I decided to treat my co workers with some of my culinary delights.  Tomorrow we have big wigs coming, so I figured a big dose of sugar in the form of a JellyManKelly cheesecake would be appreciated.

The recipe called for a brownie crust.  Okay...so I get off work at 5:45....home made brownie crust just wont cut it this time.  So I went with the next best thing!
So, the crust as you may now know was made of brownies.  Make it per the box directions, add your Cinnamon, and Cayenne pepper, and pour into your spring form pan and bake!  Oh by the way, you may want to make 2.  Because the smell in your house will drive you NUTS!  I would have probably eaten some but we were having a talk with Midget Pygmy #2 about the theft of erasers from class...ummm yeah.  No fun!

So, your brownie crust has cooled off.  Put a kettle of hot water on, wrap your spring form pan in HEAVY DUTY foil ( if you buy the BIG LONG roll of heavy duty foil, it will cover the bottom of your pan very nicely, and keep ALL water out during the water bath.

Mix your cheesecake per the directions, and pour that bad boy mixture into the spring form pan with the huge brownie in it.  Place your foil wrapped spring form pan into your bigger pan filled with the boiling water, and plop into the oven.  Well...better not plop it in, then you can sue me, and I don't have deep pockets like MCD's.  You might get 27 cents and some pocket lint...and I have kids...so you really don't know what that pocket lint is made of!!


Bake it for 65 Minutes, and WHAM!!



MMMMM looks good, smells good, I think my co workers will eat it all up!  I love bringing food in for my co workers.  I think it makes up for all of the time I throw things at them, make fun of baldy, brandish sharpened plastic utensils...its like pay back.  They take what I give them, and they know they will be given treats!

I am sure glad my lovely wifey gave me this recipe so I can make it for people to brighten their day.  I must be a good cook, because there is never any left over to take home.  Funny how that happens.  

As the seasons change, my cooking does as well.  Especially my desert making.  Now that I have an oven that will cook over 350 degree's, you can expect alot of new and exciting dishes coming your way. 

Okay...time to come clean.  I am hoping Mrs. JellyMan will only read about half of this, and then get disgusted with me.  This recipe was supposed to be made for her birthday....all night I have been telling her that it was for work....yeah i know I am a stinker.  But.....if Mrs. JellyMan is still reading this then.....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!  And the below video is just for you, since you like to post it on every one's page!!


Oh Yeah...you may want to know how to make it.  We found it on ( Yeah I said we )
a block called BunsInMyOven, and you can find it by going to the below link.

Mexican Brownie Cheesecake

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Big Yellow Bowl

Big Yellow Bowl.....In my mind it goes with the Big Yellow Bird.  The two go hand in hand with me. 
This particular Big Yellow Bowl has seen some stuff.  Traveled from Sacramento, to many a Family Reunion in Northern California....Burney, Grass Valley, this is what Grandma would package her extra special Potato Salad  in.  This was found in Grandma's Garage after she passed, due to the amount of dust, I don't think it has been used for years.  I think its only fitting to fill it back up with Potato Salad!  I don't have my Grandmothers recipe, but I found one, and doctored it up a bit.  I think its pretty good. 

Tomorrow is Mrs JellyMan's Grandfathers memorial.  I never truly got an accurate head count, so I am going to show up double fisting Potato Salad.  One with Egg, one without.


Looks good don't it?  =)

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard
  • 1 cup chopped white onion ( or red for a different flavor )
  • 1/2 cup green onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olive
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • sea salt to taste
  • 8 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • 3 dill pickles, chopped (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and place in a serving bowl.
  2. Stir the onion, salt and pepper into the potatoes while they are still hot. This allows the potatoes to absorb the flavor. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, celery, black olives and horseradish to the salad, and mix well. Gently stir in the eggs and dill pickles. Garnish with left over sliced eggs.  Finish off with a generous grinding of black pepper on top. Chill for about 30 minutes before serving.
I thought I would be slick and just double the whole thing.  You really have to have a pretty good sized pot to cook 10 cups of chopped potatoes!  So I did it in batches. 

I really like the horseradish.  It adds just a bit of zip! 

As you can never have enough food at a funeral, I also decided to whip up a couple of batches of Persimmon Cookies.  The recipe was Grandpa Archies sisters, so I figure I am good.



Been in the kitchen most of the day, so I have no complaints!  Any day spent in the kitchen is better than a day working in the office!  The sink, the floor, and the oven timer are calling my name, until next time!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lost Treasures

Just a quick one tonight.  No cooking, no witty story's.  Just a thought running through my head.  You are probably asking yourselves about " Lost Treasure "?

Today Mrs. JellyMan lost her Grandfather ( No she didn't miss place him like she does most of her stuff.....sorry couldn't help it ), and the boys lost their Great Grandfather.  We all know our loved ones will pass on sooner or later, but it always seems like it is sooner than we want. 

When they go, we always think of things that we did with them, conversations we had with them, then somewhere down the road we then think of things we didn't talk about with them.  What this generation has seen, we will never see again.  Think about it.  How many of us have lived in a house heated by wood, had visits from the Ice Man, ( The guy who would deliver blocks of ice wrapped in burlap and sawdust ), one room school houses, World Wars.  We always ask about the cool stuff, the low hanging fruit.  I had many conversations like that with my Grandmother over the years, but now I can think of at least 101 questions that I should have asked....but didn't.  Ehh...I'll ask her next time I talk to her.  Well, there will come a time where there is no next time.  I lost 3 of my 4 grandparents before I found out that old people are cool.  Cool for many reasons, but cool manly because if you think about it, the amount of steps they have taken in their lifetime, what they have seen with their eyes, what they have heard with their ears, hugs and kisses they have given or received.

Its not too late.  Find an old person, ask them about their lives.  Write it down.  I have a bunch of stuff in my head, conversations long since past, but over time they dull, you forget, or stories run together.  I can 100% guarantee you that you will both walk away with a great feeling.  You with a feeling of WOW, that Guy/Girl saw some STUFF!  And them being glad that you could stop your fast paced life for a couple of minutes to talk to them, to give them the time of day.

Till Next Time!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

All Right!!!

No.  That picture is not of my stove at 4:25 in the afternoon.  That my Friends, is a picture of my oven, at 425 degrees!!!!  I am now officially back in action!!  Do you know what we do in the JellyManKelly house with a 425 Degree oven?


We make Pappa Murphy's Pizza's!!  Yeah, you were probbably expecting more.  But...first time in quite a few years that we have been able to accomplish this!

Before I go into any more detail about how great my oven is now, lets thank Phil.  Phil is from
 A & J Appliance Repair Service and can be reached through
www.ajappliancerepair.com .  My friends, this guy was awesome!!  If you have any home appliance's that need fixing, he is your man!  On Monday I sent him an E-mail at 11:21am through his website.  At 11:36am he called me back.  We discussed my issues with the touch screen, and he said he would call me back.  That same afternoon, he called me back with a price for the part, and he could have it done the next day!  We agreed on Friday at 5.  Mrs JellyMan was here, to let him in, and by the time I got home with both midgets ( 5:15 ) he was done.  He Vacuumed out behind the oven, cleaned everything up....AND he found this BIG chip in the enamel.  He fixed it before he left.  Awesome guy, very sociable, and a local small business.  You can't get better than that!
 
Okay, back to my goodies.  We cooked the Pizza's and devoured most of them.  We will finish up the job tonight for dinner.
 
We were up early this morning to go out to my Step Sisters church, for a Emergency Preparedness thing.  I walked away with some good pamphlet's on 72 Hour Kits ( I will blog about this later ), and a good time seeing family. 
 
We hit up Costco on the way down the hill, and I was specificly looking for foods that could be cooked at above 350.  Yeah I'm a nerd!
 
We have a Persimmon Tree in our back yard.  It normally gives us an abundance of Persimmons, ( well until Uncle Billy helped me cut most of it away ) now the critters both 2 and 4 legged get most of the fruit.  What kills me is most people do not know what to do with Persimmons.  Well, their loss, because they are AWESOME!!!!  Cookies, Bread, you name it they are bomb!  I am currently sitting on about 48 Cups of pulp.....
 

Yeah....those are 2 cup bags, and they go all the way back into the freezer.  Hey, when you don't have an oven that cooks at above 350 things just kind of back up!



First batch was made with Splenda.  I dont't normally cook with substitutes....but I had it, and I figured I had an audience for them.


Umm Yes....Splenda.  Not so much like real sugar.  They do kind of look like Rocks.  They taste good though.



Ahah....Second batch with Real Sugar.  Those are what I am used to.  Now, I am not saying anything bad about Splenda.  I CAN taste the difference.  But I also do not eat it that much.  I figure that if I ate it more it may not have that same taste.

Well, I must go do my chores now, a Husbands work is never done ( hehehe Mrs. JellyMan is doing the dishes )

I feel a new wave of inspiration coming on.  You are very limited to foods that can be cooked at 350....now we can make Chicken Nuggets and Tater Tots can now be cooked for the time on the package...not for an Hour.  Ooooo Shake And Bake too!!  I am probbably going to start making my own bread.  To some it may seem like a lot of work, well it is.  BUT.....if you take a look at what you pay for food in " Finished Product "  in one month....and look at what the base ingredients may cost you...you would be surprised.  You will end up with a better end result with your home made items, AND you will probbably save some money! 

On tap for tomorrow the Midgets and me will be making Toll House Cookies....YAY!!!!  Catch Ya Later!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Little Something Special

I had another subject to blog about....but I think I am going to go with this one.  I WOULD have pictures....but i believe the littlest of the midget Pigmy's stole my camera....and the bigger of the two has my SD card.  Really,.....why would you want to steal my SD card.

Its that time of year again...when normally busy schedules get EVEN busier.  WOW!  Garden is slowing down, but everything else is speeding up.  Time to start on the Jellies and Jam's for Sale, and Christmas is right around the corner!!  Last year I ran out.  Last year I needed 101 jars of Jelly's and Jams....I only got to about 90 before I ran out of time and money.  I think I am going to need a bigger head start.  Mrs. JellyMan just went to her first PTA meeting....all I can say is wow.  She came back full of piss and vinegar.  ( I have always wanted to say that )  Don Corleone doesn't have anything on her.  I must have married into the PTA Mafia! 

Okay, enough about that stuff, I know what you want.  You want a desert from the Ole JellyMan don't you?  Well, I did a desert.  A desert that I was told, beats all, wins all, kicks alls butt!  I had this desert growing up, my Aunt Linda made this for special occasions, and it was good.  I keep the recipe hidden on my computer in a list of recipe's that Momma JellyMan gave me, ( If Mrs JellyMan found it she would be as good of a cook as me, and we can't have that! "  Now that I am older, It is more than good.  It is one of those deserts that you can only eat in small amounts, and you savor EVERY BITE....it is known as Chocolate Truffle Pie, or renamed by a certain co worker as Death By Chocolate Part Deux! 

You are probably saying " hey, show me a picture "  " You always show pictures ".  I don't have any.  My IPhone camera is all scratched up, and that is the only camera I know about.  Mrs JellyMan hides her nice little camera....( I am not allowed to play with the nice things ).  Now please, I really did make this. Maybe someone who reads my blog, and ate this will say " yes, JellyMan made the best desert ever and it was great! "  This isn't like that time I saw Bigfoot, shook hands with Elvis, or caught that 48 Pound Albino Trout at Lake Amador...this desert is REAL!

I want to say I made this to be nice to a co worker, she just finished her fast for Ramadan...but thetas not really it.  I wanted to show off, its been a while since the toffee cheesecake...and i needed something to follow up with.  Before I post the recipe...there are a few pre requisites that I must cover.

1) READ THE RECIPE ALL THE WAY THROUGH!!!!  I started this at 8:00 on Sat night, and THEN read the recipe.  When you go to chill the Chocolate Mixture, YOU CANT CHILL IT IN THE FRIDGE LIKE I WANTED TO!

2) You really need a good sized double boiler.  I have this old Pyrex dish that I usually use, We looked for it everywhere.  We only have so many cabinets, and secretly i thought that Mrs JellyMan broke it, or was using it for some craft project.  ( I later found it on the counter, full of vegetables....don't ask )

3)  Be prepared....this isn't alot of work...I dont want to scare you off...but you have to be careful when doing this. Make sure you have the right stuff...its a bit pricey and a mistake will kill it.  ( Like if you use non sweetened baking chocolate...I didn't do it...but I know the person who did....I won't out the person...well at least this time )

4) Make sure you make this for an audience that will appreciate it.  This desert is something that needs to be savored.  Don't give it too someone who doesn't appreciate complex flavors. 

5) Lastly...don't give this to someone who is ungrateful.  Someone who takes a bite of a HUGE piece...makes a nasty face and throws it away.  ( I am not saying names and no one out there that reads it needs to either. )

OKAY...Transform and Roll out!!!

You will find the recipe below.  This desert freezes well.  I made two of them.  ( I dont like doubling desert recipes, I made two separate batches )  I used a spring form pan for the one for work, and two pre made Oreo crusts from the grocery store for our desert on Labor day.  Small crowd...and I did not want to have this thing sitting talking to me in the fridge!

                                                         

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE PIE



1 1/2 PINTS HEAVY CREAM
1/2 CUP GRANULATED SUGAR
1 1/2 CUBES BUTTER OR MARGARINE
1 1/2 LBS SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE
1/4 CUP LIQUEUR
3/4 TEASPOON EXTRACT (RASPBERRY, MINT, ALMOND--DEPENDS)
24 OREO COOKIES
10" SPRING FORM PAN


HEAT 1 PINT HEAVY CREAM, 1/2 CUP SUGAR AND 1 CUBE BUTTER IN DOUBLE BOILER UNTIL BUTTER MELTS AND SUGAR DISSOLVES -- DO NOT BOIL.

ADD 1 1/2 LBS CHOCOLATE (BROKEN INTO SMALL PIECES) TO ABOVE MIXTURE AND STIR TO MELT -- REMOVE FROM LOW HEAT AND STIR TO COMPLETELY MELT AND IT ATTAINS A SMOOTH TEXTURE -- BE SURE THE HEAT IS AT THE LOWEST SETTING POSSIBLE.

ADD LIQUEUR AND EXTRACT TO TASTE -- COOL MIXTURE COMPLETELY -- DON'T CHILL IN REFRIGERATOR.

WHIP 1 CUP CREAM UNTIL IT HOLDS SOFT PEAKS -- FOLD INTO CHOCOLATE MIXTURE -- POUR INTO COOKIE CRUST AND CHILL WELL -- MAKES 1 LARGE OR 2 THIN PIES.

COOKIE CRUST:

MELT 1/2 CUBE BUTTER IN BOWL -- CRUSH OREO'S VERY FINE -- IN FOOD PROCESSOR OR BLENDER -- ADD BUTTER TO CRUMBS AND MIX COMPLETELY -- PRESS INTO THE BOTTOM AND PART WAY UP THE SIDES OF SPRING FORM PAN -- COOK 8 TO 10 MINUTES AT 350 DEGREES -- COOL COMPLETELY.

FLAVORING HINTS:

CHOCOLATE MINT USING CREME DE MENTHE LIQUEUR AND MINT EXTRACT

ORANGE USING GRAND MARNIER LIQUEUR AND ORANGE EXTRACT

COFFEE USING COFFEE FLAVORED LIQUEUR AND COFFEE EXTRACT

ALMOND USING AMARETTO AND ALMOND EXTRACT

RASPBERRY LIQUEUR AND RASPBERRY EXTRACT.


I have made all of the above with the exception of Orange, and Almond.  I can never find Raspberry Liqueur, BUT you can use the extract, and ring the spring form pan with Raspberry's.  You get a hint of the flavor, a little bit of tartness from the fruit.  Like I said earlier.  This is a serious desert, for someone who likes complex, but at the same time delicate flavors.

I hope you enjoy making this.  This is always a treat to eat, and to make.  When I make a desert, I like to see people eat it.  It makes me feel good.  Its also a nice pat on the back to see people's eyes roll up into the back of their head!

Have a good night, and you will hear from me again soon!

PS.  Mrs JellyMan thinks she is funny.  As I was telling you about this desert.....look at what she sent me?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hello Again

Well Hello!!!  Haven't talked to you guys in a while.  It seems as though time was a luxury that I haven't had in the last month and half or so.  Every day I meant to write, and then I would remember the garden.  That was a hard choice, BUT....judging by the amount of food I have on my kitchen counters, I think it was time well spent. 

I have been a dehydrating fool!  I think my dehydrator has been working at least 4 out of 7 days a week this summer.  If you have not purchased one yet, I would definitely look for one!

It seems when you have everything figured out, life throws you a curve ball.  Most of the time I am able to choke up on the bat and at least get a base hit.  But this one, man this one was a doozy!  Everything was going great and BLAMO!!!!  A curve ball right in the teeth!  So I spend a week or so picking my teeth up out of the dirt, and adjusted to life as we currently know it. 

Nothing too terribly bad, but my schedule changed.  ( yeah I told you not to bad, but tell that to Mrs. JellyMan...she has to cook now! ).  To better support customer needs, I was asked to change my schedule from 7-4, to 9-5:45.  While I am blessed, and I thank god every day I have a job, and am able to keep a roof over my midgets heads....not getting home until 6:15 or so is not conducive to cooking dinner!  This last weekend was pretty much spent in the kitchen. 

I wanted to come up with cook ahead food with the least amount of steps.  We started with 2 casseroles.  The first has a name...I was informed of the name this week, but the name escapes me now.  I call it Poor/Lazy Man's Lasagna. 

1 lb Ground Turkey
1 lb Ground Turkey Sausage

2 Cups Red Wine

1 Onion ( i went with white this time ) Chop it up
4 Cloves of Garlic ( Smash it up, chop it up, smash it up, then chop it up again )

1 1/2 Boxes of Elbow Macaroni

1 Jar of your fav Pasta sauce 32 oz( We are a fan of Clasico Tomato Basil because that is what Costco has )
1 Can Stewed Tomatoes ( We like the Italian ones from Costco...do you see a theme here )
1 Can Tomato Sauce
2 Medium cans of Sliced Olives ( Drained )
* Secret Weapon *
4 Cups Mixed Shredded cheese ( Again, we like the Costco brand...big bag of fancy shredded cheese, Cheddar and Monterrey jack )
4 cups Mozzarella cheese shredded ( Costco Brand, buy the big huge gigantor bags.  Freeze 2 cups in a sandwich bag and stash them in your freezer. )

In a stock pot, heat it up, throw in your ground meat.  In another pan add a smidgen of olive oil, and throw your onions in.  Keep an eye on your meat, keep breaking it up with a spoon or fork, we don't want huge chunks, just slightly bite sized.  When your onions become translucent, add your garlic.  Give it a couple of stirs, then add your red wine.  Reduce fluid by half.  Okay, your meat should be browned, and your onions should be purple.  Empty your onions mixture into your meat, and add pasta sauce, and tomato sauce.  Grab a handful of your stewed tomatoes, and squeeze!  Drop them in the pot, and repeat until completed.  Add the juice, and your drained olives.  Simmer on low for 1 hour.  While this is simmering, boil your pasta until done, drain it, and rinse it.  Now, an hour later, you should have some nice thick sauce....if you did it right.  I dint, so I had watery sauce.  *SECRET WEAPON TIME*  Add a handful of your garden dehydrated tomatoes.  =)  Okay, throw it all together.  Stir until you have all of the ingredients mixed in.  If you are making this as a freeze ahead meal, please use what ever size freezer safe pans work best in your freezer.

Ladle in the pasta and sauce until you have the bottom of the pan covered.  Add a layer of the mixed shredded cheese, and repeat.  You want this to come up to just under the lip of the pan, and be level across.  Then go ahead and add 2 cups of Mozzarella.  If you are cooking this now, drop it into a 350 degree oven covered with foil for 30 minutes, then un cover, and cook for another 10.  If you are freezing it, defrost it in your fridge the day before, and cook it the same way only longer.  45 minutes, then remove foil and cook for 10.

Well, that was one dish.  I cooked 2, and a desert.  I have 2 reasons for ending this now.  I need something to talk to you about in a couple of days, and........

I am a whizz with a cleaver.  I use a cleaver for everything.  Its a Chicago Cutlery...Its sharp....Well its such a good knife cutting up the first onion, I decided to cut the tip of my thumb off.  Right through the nail, and everything!  It doesn't feel so good now after a day of working with spreadsheets and Alt-Tabbing between reports.  So farewell, take care, and please don't cut your fingers off!!  I promise I will write again soon!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pesto Pizzaz!!

In the JellyManKelly household, we have been feasting on Pesto this week.  We have had Pesto on Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with fresh Mozzarella and Tomatoes, we have had Pesto just to eat pesto, and tonight....we had Pesto Chicken! 

Pesto is one of those things that we pair with summertime.  I look forward to the time when Tomatoes are ripening on my vines....Mrs. JellyMan looks forward to Pesto and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.  We only have this in the summer, or when we can make fresh pesto.  We really do not touch any store bought, because there is a taste difference.  We LOVE it!!

So, I took the leftover Pesto and added with some more Olive Oil, some Apple Cider Vinegar, and some Lemon Juice.  I let some Chicken Thigh's sit in this wonderful mixture most of the day.

I decided to give the Chrome Monster a break today.  I chose to dust off the trust Webber.  A role model of mine has a catchy saying.  3 is 2, 2 is 1, 1 is none.  So I have 4 BBQ's.  Big, Small, Gas, Charcoal.  =)

I love this time of year in the grocery store, as all of the BBQ stuff is on clearance.  I picked up a couple of bags of Apple Wood, for 75% off.  LOVE IT!!


I let these chips soak in water for 4 hours.  They last longer, smoke longer, and don't just burn.  You get a nice smoulder going when they are wet. 


Notice all of the coals on one side of the grill?  Yeah buddy!!  There is a method to this madness I swear!

As soon as these thighs hit the grill...MMMMM.  We are talkin GOODNESS!!!



See all that good smoke coming out!!!

So, Chicken on the grill.  I browned the chicken over direct heat.  When both sides had a nice char going, I put them onto the other side of the grill and let them slow cook in the smoke.  When cooking with charcoal, I like to cook quick cuts of meats.  Pork Chops, Steaks, Chicken Thighs, Hamburgers and Hot Dogs.  Since I do not cook with Charcoal alot, I tend to loose my touch.  I let the coals sit to long before putting the meat on, so I loose cooking time.  Tri Tips, Ribs, Turkey Breast's...I leave them as offerings to the Chrome Monster.

So while the Chicken is cooking, What to cook?  Hmmmmm....I have onions out of the garden, a couple of real nice Roma's, and fresh Basil.  Hmmmmmmmm  Oh yeah, and some Bacon.  Curious Yet?


When I cook on Sunday's, I like to cook for a couple of days.  At least a couple of lunches, and hopefulls another meal so I decided to go big.

First the Onions.  Chop them up real nice, then the Tomatoes, then the Bacon.

Fill a pot with water, bring to a boil.

I used a whole pack of Bacon.  I opened up the pack, and stacked them on top of each other.  I made two equal size piles.  Starting on the first stack, I sliced it lengthwise down the middle, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces.  Repeat on second stack. 

Fry up the Bacon.  Once the Bacon is crisp, transfer to a bowl lined with a paper towel. 

Drain all grease, reserve 2 table spoon's in the pan.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil.  Bring back up to temperature and add your onions, and minced Garlic.  ( I cheated and used store bought ).

Cook until Onions start to turn translucent ( I love that word ).  Add wine.  I bought a 4 pack of small bottles for cooking, I added the whole bottle.  Reduce by half.  Add Tomatoes, and Bacon, lower heat.

I let Mrs. JellyMan plant the seeds in the garden this year.  I was shocked when she just poured the whole seed pack into the prepared squares and covered them up.  I was like wow...what a waste.  Well she suceeded where I failed.  We actually had plants that grew from seed.  We planted 3 kinds of Basil.  Genoveese, Lemon, and Cinnamon.

I went out to the garden, and picked a handful of Lemon, and Cinnamon.

Washed them, and laid them out on the cutting board.  Separated by flavor, and stacked them up.


Lemon Basil




Quite Blurry, but that is Cinnamon Basil.




I rolled them up width wise, and then cut them.  Chiffonade?

Okay, Chicken is done, Bacon Mixture is done, Pasta is done and drained.

Add contents of Bacon mixture to drained pasta, and mix well.  Once Mixed, add Basil.  Cover and let sit 5-10 minutes to let the flavors sit.

MmMMMMM

Double Mmmmmm




For the Midget Pygmy's

In all, a great meal, one that will last us a couple of days. 

Bacon Basil Pasta
1 Package Spaghetti

1 Package Bacon
3 Good Sizes Roma Tomatoes
1/2 Large Red Onion
2 Table Spoons Minced Garlic

10-20 Basil Leaves

The Pigmy's ate it.  Mrs JellyMan ate it.  I look forward to seasons by the food that I can make during that time.  Summer is for Fresh Produce, Grilling, more laid back fare.  Fall finishes up the Grilling and Fresh Produce, and starts some of the heavier dishes.  Light soups and such.  Winter brings us the heavy Soups and Stew's, more baked dishes.  and Spring is like fall.  A combination of heavier Winter dishes, starting to thin out to the more laid back summer fare.  I don't know which season I like better.  I do know that JellyManKelly likes his Jelly, and he really likes his Jelly on toast.  Later!!



The Joys of Toys!

There is nothing better than " As Seen On TV " stuff.  Come on, think about it?  the Miracle Brownie Pan, a pan that lets you make like 50 sliders at a time....the Slap Chop....does it get any better than that?  Oh hold on, it gets better.

I have been battling for years with mandolins.  I don't have the cash flow to get the one I really want.  Its only about 300 dollars, made in France, stainless steel....I bet it would even cook for me if I asked politely.  But...I don't have the money, and I don't speak french to ask it kindly....so Target here I come. 

I have bought 4 in the last 3 years.  The first one I bought was wonderful!!  Until I took it apart to clean it and I lost the blade.  Meh!  So I bought another one.  This one lasted a couple of month's until it was too dull to cut anything.  Ditto with the 3rd one.  The 4th one didn't even come with a sharp blade.  So I quit. 

Until....

I was forced, against my will, with a hot glue gun to my temple to watch Real Housewives of New Jersey by Mrs. Jelly Man.  ( I only watch real shows like Sons of Guns, Walking Dead, Soul Food )  We finished watching an episode, and when it went to live TV, the heavens sang, the lights got real bright, and I sat and drooled watching the infomercial for the Slice Omatic!  It looked so pretty, it did everything that you can think of, I mean would TV lie?  Of course not!!

I ran to my computer, and placed an order.  I was going to order it, and get my free one.  Website asked how many do you want including your free one...So I put 2.  Next screen...do you want to upgrade...NO....do you want to buy this....NO. 

....
......
.........

Thank you for your order.  Your 3 Slice OMatic's will be shipped in 3-6 weeks. 

No step before completion to verify my order, just a nice whopping 108 dollars taken out of my account.  I tried calling them, but I was afraid that since I was obviously dealing with genius's....that I would probably get shipped more than the 3. 

Delivery on Thursday...big huge gargantuan box.  Guess what.....I got 6.  Go figure!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm Back........

Well Howdy!!  Long Time no see!!!!  It seems like I am nothing but a big sack of apologies lately!  I have not been keeping up with my blog like I should, and it shows. 

Well, Summer is here.  Not quite the summer I wanted though.  My garden is not doing as spectacular as I had hoped it would be, but it is doing.  I refuse to do what I did last year, and loose all hope and throw in the towel.  I will see it though this year from planting time, to harvest time.  We have gotten some things.  We have eaten Potatoes, Onions, a couple of grape tomatoes, lettuce, and some mini carrots.  Still no ripe big tomatoes, but with this heat I can only hope and pray! 

Today I played prison warden, as Pygmy Midget #1 had to stay home due to his words, and his fists.  Not such a good combination.  So bright and early we went to work.  We sorted recyclables, took the caps off of bottles, crushed cans, put stuff back on shelves, and by noon, I could actually sit at my work bench again.  There may be some stories about some wood working projects, or even some pictures!  We took them to the center, got some money and ate lunch.  I asked #1 how much do I think he was owed for his work.  He told me " Ummm five and three quarters.  I just happened to have a 5 dollar bill and three quarters!  I love cheap labor. 

Took him home, fed him, and put him in front of High School Musical.  He earned his early pardon for the hard work he did for me without complaint.  So I got busy making a cheesecake.  MY FIRST PAID FOR CHEESECAKE FROM AN ACTUAL CUSTOMER!!!!  I baked it...it looked good, and it burped and fell.  Good thing I can make a cheesecake topping in a jiffy.  Now it only looks half as bad! 

Oh yeah, and I filled the sink and forgot about it.  Gotta love wet dry vac's. 

On to dinner.  There is one dish in our house, one dish that screams summertime!!!  Are you ready?  Are you salivating?  Grilled Fresh Mozzarella on Sourdough, with FRESH PESTO ( From the basil in the garden ) with heirloom tomatoes!!  ( Store Bought =(  )  Oh yum!  We ate, and ate and ate.  Overall it was a good day.  Its been a good week so far as well.  People actually bought some JellyManKelly Jelly's this week.  I have made enough to turn that into a couple more batches, and maybe branch out with some new flavors. 

That is all.  Midget Pygmy #1 and I are whipped puppies.  Time for lunch making and bed.  Talk to Y'all later!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bloggety Blog

Wow...its been awhile.  Sorry for my absence, time seems to slip away from me easier than before.  I guess that's what I get for buying some new books for my kindle.

WOW!!!  I had 367 Hits last month.  Not to shabby, off to a slow start this month, so I guess I had better get to writing and cooking!  I would like to thank the kind people of cyberspace for reading this, I would comment on your comments...but I have not figured out how.  Blogger does not seem to like me very much.  I go through an endless loop of verification...almost like I am still at work....funny how that happens. 

This last weekend I did battle with an evil, overgrown Plum tree that grows over my fence.  New chainsaw, old beat up wood chipper ( the best dang 80 bucks I ever spent! )  so no great cooking feats this weekend...but tonight....mmmm that's another matter!!

Tritip looked good this weekend.  Mrs. JellyMan like Tritip...only she asks for me to cook it the same every time.  I beg, and I plead...but to no avail.  " Its perfect...don't change a thing! "  We shall call that one Citrus Tritip

1 Tritip ( You can trim off the fat if you want.  I don't.  I feel with the fat, it is a more forgiving cut of meat.  No matter what you do to it, it always seems to be a juicy cut of meat )

Marinade
2 Table Spoon's Lemon Pepper
2 Table Spoon's Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 Table Spoon's Kosher Salt
1 Lime Squeeze
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Cajun Seasoning

You will also need
1 additional Lime Squeeze
Can of Cajun Seasoning

Place Tritip in 1 Gallon Zip lock Baggie
Add Olive Oil
Seal bag and shake, and rub the olive oil all over the meat
Add all dry ingredients and shake, and rub until the meat is coated
Add Lime Juice, Vinegar repeat above shake and rub process

Let Sit overnight

-Its Grill Time, preheat grill ( Remember Cast Iron is your Friend )
-Have all burners on high
-Place meat on grill, close grill with all burners still on high for 3-5 minutes
-Open Grill, and flip meat onto the other side of the grill, and turn that side down to low, if you have a middle burner put that on medium
-Squeeze Lime Juice over meat, and sprinkle Cajun Seasoning over it.  Close, and cook for 3-5 minutes
-Keep Repeating the above steps, remember on ever flip to add more juice, and Cajun Seasoning
-Keep Cooking until Instant Read Meat Thermometer says 150 degrees

Remove from heat and place on plate, and cover it with foil.  Mrs. JellyMan likes her meat well done, so I will let this sit for 5-10 minutes while I cook other things.  Grill Bread, or maybe Asparagus.

You will have a nice crusty, flavorful cut of meat when you are done

Sounds pretty good doesn't it.....HA I have a better one!!!!

This was a first time, and it was a hit.  Sometimes no matter what you think will happen, you have to go with what your mind tells you. ( also your stomach )

You will need
Instant Read Thermometer
Cabella's ( or like Flavor Injector )

Day Before Prep:

1 Cup Red Wine
2 Tablespoons Crushed Garlic
1/2 Cup Chopped White Onion
1 Teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar

Add Wine, and Vinegar to sauce pan, and bring to a simmer, simmer for 10 minutes
Add Garlic, and Onions, cover with lid but leave small opening and cook for 10 minutes

Pour contents of your pan into a strainer.  Smoosh onions and garlic with a spoon to get as much fluid out as you can

Put in Tupperware and let cool overnight

Tritip Rub

2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon Freeze Dried Chives
1 Tablespoon Dried Minced Onions
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

Combine Dry Ingredients
Go out and light your coals, crank up the propane burners cause we gonna cook!!

Slowly Fill Flavor Injector with your Red Wine concoction

Insert Flavor Injector into the meat, slowly squeezing in wine  Insert it in multiple places.  It is okay if you loose some, we are looking for a mild flavor ( Tip:  If you add it too quickly your meat will bulge.  If that happens put your finger above where the Injector is, and slowly pull it out, moving your finger to cover the hole ) 

Rub the meat down with any left over wine, and olive oil
Rub the meat down with your dry rub, let sit for 5-10 minutes

You are going to want to use almost the same steps as the Citrus Tritip
Place meat on hot burners on high heat and close grill 3-5 minutes
Flip onto other side of the grill, keep going back and forth and alternate the heat.  Low on the side you are cooking on, high on the other.  ( Cast Iron REALLY helps as it retains heat )
Cook to 150 and let rest.  ( For rarer meat try 140-145 )  it will still cook when you take it off, and if you do not let it rest all the juice comes out in the first cut or two

We have no pictures of the above.  I was in zombie mode, and just going with the flow.  Cooked a pot of white rice, some green beans, and some grill bread.  I hope you try at least one of these.  We like them, and between you, me, and the evil plum tree my wife is a picky eater.  Later!

PS:  I would like to point out two most worthy Etsy sites you may want to check out.

-The first is Sassy Sippers.  This is my wife's cousin....and these mugs...well they are not your ordinary ugly mugs.  They are witty, cute, and a down right kick in the pants!  They can be found at;

Sassy Sippers  ( If you like them there...Like them on Facebook!  )

-Last, but not least....
Mrs. Jelly man has an Etsy site too!!
Jenci Inside Out

Check them out.  These two are what made JellyManKelly what it is.  Cousin Heidi...a lovely snark...made a funny...and it stuck!  Wiffey.....well I must go along with what wifey says....Don't want to end up like Jimmy Hoffa...Sacramento is probably going to build a new sports venue...I really don't want to watch the games from the foundation.  Later again!   Next time, Balsamic Chicken!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why I do What I do

A couple of weeks ago I was going through some of my grandmothers things.  We ended up with alot of her things.  Little nick knacks, stuff that has not seen the light of day for the last who knows how many years.  Little things that will both bless our household, and also make me remember.  I have many little things like that of my Fathers as well.  Working on my car, grabbing a tool that I know I didn't buy, then it clicks, this was my Father's.  How many bolts has this ratchet unscrewed, how many of my dad's knuckles were busted open using this wrench on a stubborn bolt?  I was thinking of this last night putting together " Toys " for myself and Mrs. JellyMan.  This leads me to why I do what I do?


I pretty much grew up a sheltered little boy.  I had not a want for anything.  I went to live with my Dad and that business came to a halt real quick.

" You want me to do what with my dirty clothes?  Wash them?  Wow Dad, that's Pretty good "

" Um whats this book on my desk?  Yeah, I can see its a cook book, so?  You want me to do what with the cook book?  Cook?  Wow Dad, that's pretty good "

My Dad told me many years ago " Boy, your like me.  You like to eat.  So, you better learn how to cook "  I started off with a book " Kids Can Cook " and away it went from there.  Pretty soon, I graduated to the Red and Black Checkered " Better Homes and Garden Cook Book ".


Check out the Shoes!



Well, I'm older now, and I think I officially have a cook book collection.  I have old books, signed books, new books.  Anyone that has stared on the Food Network, or Top Chef, yeah I probably have it.  I am not a typical cook book cook.  I love it when I hear couples arguing at the grocery store, " But HONEY the book calls for this, not that "  How can you really cook from a book?  I find it hard.  I actually like to sit down and read a cook book cover to cover.  Cook Books are like music  albums to me.  When I buy my music, I go to ITunes and only buy 1-4 songs per album.  The rest is just not stuff that I want to listen to.  I may only get 2 recipes out of a book, BUT...I see all of the different food that can be created, and what can be created on top of that recipe.  Why limit yourself?  You will get some pretty interesting things if you cross Paula Deen and Bobby Flay! 

I also do what I do because I detest pre cooked foods.  Sure.  An occasional frozen entree is okay.  Just like Fast Food, anything in moderation.  I see people at the grocery store and they have NO fresh ingredients in the cart.  Pre Packaged, microwavable meals.  Don't you yearn for something else?  I mean there are only so many ways you can doctor up a frozen Lasagna!

I have no new recipes this post, however.  I do have a 1950's Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book that was my Grandmothers.  Its old, ancient and falling apart.  I LOVE IT!!  It has food stains, pencil markings, the whole shebang!   I mean you cant trust a used cook book if it is clean right?  Either the person who had it didn't know how to cook, or it was a terrible cook book.  I don't see cooking as a chore.  I see cleaning up after I cook as a chore, but cooking is an art.  It is a hobby and a skill that if you do not use you will loose it.  You can only learn so much from watching Cooking Shows, or looking at books.  If you do not use your cooking skills....well nothing bad will happen to you, you just wont be having as much fun as I am!  ( And my dinner will taste better than yours )  Later!