How to Make Wild Grape Jelly

On a crisp cool day in autumn, one of our favorite things to do is to collect the wild grapes that grow alongside our road.  These grapes are difficult to pick-as they are found high up in branches of trees. With lots of climbing and pulling, we are able to gather a bushel of this fruit from their vines each year.

We use these grapes to make wild grape jelly! There is nothing like the taste of wild grape jelly. It’s flavor is twice as robust as regular grape jelly; leaving a lingering taste of flavor in the mouth long after it’s consumed. It is one of the Ranchette’s favorite breakfast spreads. Wild grapes also provide great health benefits. Research shows that grapes contain powerful antioxidants known aspolyphenols, which may slow or prevent many types of cancer, including esophageal, lung, mouth, pharynx, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate and colon. The seeds from these wild grapes also have great health benefits. Supposedly, the seeds from grapes are rich in antioxidents andoligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs). OPCs help to destroy free radicals in the body, which in turn may help you avoid premature aging and certain chronic diseases. We usually bake the grape seeds and use them as supplemental ingredients for granola or for bread.

Following is the process of making wild grape jelly. We have used a variety of recipes but this year we adapted the recipe from Genius Kitchen.  Continue reading “How to Make Wild Grape Jelly”

Gluten Free Eggplant Lasagna

This year, our garden has supplied us with basil, tomatoes, and eggplant. With these three items, we were inspired to be creative with our culinary skills, making our own gluten free lasagna. Instead of adding noodles, we used eggplant to substitute. The eggplant and sun dried tomatoes add a meaty texture to the lasagna. The fresh basil makes the lasagna spicy. There’s nothing better than gluten-free lasagna made from fresh herbs and vegetables gathered from summer’s garden. In the picture above, we feature the items that we used to make this delicious lasagna. Below is the recipe that your whole family will enjoy, regardless of their dietary restrictions!
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How to Make Savory Cucumber and Tomato Soup

When it comes to living sustainably on a farm, the Ranchette’s refuse to allow produce to rot in the garden. What do you when you have bucket-loads of fresh cucumbers?  Naomi decided to make Craig Claiborne’s Cucumber, Tomato and Avocado soup, which she then placed in the freezer for future use. For fewer calories, Naomi tweaked the recipe. She added fresh basil and eliminated the required avocados and cream. The soup is delicious!!! It’s perfect for the hot summer months as it can be served either hot or chilled.
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The Business of Bees

Bee keeping is now a family occupation. The saga began when my friend, Lizz, gifted us, the Ranchettes, a bee hive, bee equipment, and the book “Beekeeping for Dummies.”  At first, we were quite excited, thinking “How complicated can beekeeping be?” But, then we started reading the manual “Beekeeping for Dummies.” We soon realized that if “Beekeeping for Dummies” was trying to simplify bee keeping, it was a whole lot more complicated than we originally thought. We eventually passed the bee hives and equipment onto our brother, whose wife and four children now successfully maintain four healthy bee hives.

Here are a few pointers on keeping bees, which we have learned through my brothers’ family’s endeavors.
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Three Perks to Partaking Pumpkin

Did you know that pumpkin is a winter squash, one of the three sisters responsible for helping Europeans survive the harsh winters? Many of us love pumpkins soley for the purpose of festive fall decorations. However, we are completely unaware of the incredible nutriouous value of pumpkin flesh and seeds. Please don’t throw your pumpkin  and pumpkin seeds away!!! Simply cut your pumpkin up and separate the seeds out to bake in your oven. Here are three perks to partaking pumpkin.
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Green Tomato Mincemeat

What does a person do with all the green tomatoes from their garden once frost arrives? At the Ranchette’s farm, it’s simple! We make green tomato mincemeat. Our grandmothers of British decent often would grace our winter holiday meals with this delectable desert. They served it in the form of pie or as vanilla ice cream topping. The smell of minced meat cooking and wafting through the house brings back so many wonderful memories.
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