My Favorite Oatmeal Cookies


  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups “quick” oatmeal
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup sweet grated coconut
  • 3/4 cups chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar.
Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Blend in the oatmeal, then add the flour, mixed with salt and baking soda – mix well.
Add the raisins, coconut and nuts and blend together.

Drop by large teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper)

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes (a little longer if the cookies are larger), until just slightly browned.

Apple Bread

We discovered a new favorite bread recipe and I wanted to share it.  This came about because we ended up with several bushes of apples this weekend and were looking for some new recipes to try.  We had made a pot of apple sauce already that day, so all required ingredients were readily available.

We use our breadmachine to mix and knead the dough – on the dough cycle only – and then bake it in a regular oven.  But the same recipe can be hand kneaded the old fashioned way.

For use with breadmachine, place the following ingredients in the machine in the order shown:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup warm applesauce
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded apple (I may have used more than that)
  • 1 Tablespoon softened butter (I cut mine up in small pieces)
  • 4 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cup bread flour (all bread will turn out better with bread flour due to higher gluten content)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon bread machine yeast

Turn on dough cycle – our machine takes about 1.5 hours for the cycle to complete, take out dough – if too moist, knead with some additional flour until dough does not stick anymore, shape dough and place in buttered bread pan.  (I like to roll the dough around in the pan, so the dough is covered with a little butter on all sided).  Then let rise in a warm place.  Bake at 375 degree F for 30 minutes.  Place on wire rack to cool and immediately cover top crust with butter, to keep it soft.  (I simply use a cold stick of butter and run the end across the bread – the butter melts immediately to cover the bread)

Perfect for breakfast with a little jam or honey!

Zesty Salsa Batch #1 Recipe

Here is our first version of the “Zesty Salsa” – which makes about 14 pints:

  1. 20 cups skinned, chopped tomatoes (we left seeds in, but may want to seed them)
  2. 10 cups seeded and chopped sweet bell peppers (we used red and green ones)
  3. 10 cups chopped sweet onions
  4. 4 cups chopped jalapeno peppers
  5. 9 cloves garlic – minced
  6. 4 Tablespoons dried cilantro
  7. 6 Tablespoons salt
  8. 2.5 cups cider vinegar
  9. optional teaspoon or so hot pepper sauce (we did not use any for this batch)

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then fill hot salsa into pint jars – adjust lids and process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Our cup measures were generous – and this batch made 14 pints. The salsa is bursting with flavor – not very hot, but slightly tart from the vinegar, may want to add some sugar to the next batch to reduce the tartness somewhat. This is the kind of salsa that you would add to melted cheese, or to mashed avocados for a dip (avocado, sour cream and salsa) or add to your chili.

Corn and Berries + Berry Pie Recipe

Our corn in the house-side field is ripe! We had our annual “husking party”, where everyone pitched in with picking, husking, blanching, cutting and freezing. We started Friday afternoon and worked through Saturday afternoon – at the end we had frozen 129 (very full) QUARTS!, canned 7 quarts and 17 pints of corn. Friends and neighbors also picked corn for their own use – but we still have more on this field and will continue to work on in. Plus there is the second field of sweet corn on the pond side, which was planted three weeks later.

Also got some blackberries (from our old house), froze some, and made pies and tarts.

Here is my favorite Blackberry Pie recipe:

For the 10″ double crust:

  • 2 cups flour
  • scant 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 sticks of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of crisco
  • approximately 1/4 cup cold water – enough to form a pie dough
  • roll out two circles, place one in pie plate, use second to cover

For the filling:

  • 6 cups freshly picked blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • mix above ingredients and pour into pie plate
  • Cut 1 tablespoon butter into small pieces, dot on top of the mixed filling before covering with second half of dough, make slits into top crust
  • make egg wash (I just use egg white, whipped) and brush it on top of the dough

Bake at 425 degree F for 40 minutes (really good with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream)

Finished Beans! Pickle Recipe

At the very end of July we finally got all the beans picked and the stalks pulled out. The last picking was done by friends (thanks Cindy!) Our total bean harvest resulted in 40 canned quarts and about 60 frozen quarts (not counting what we ate and what we gave away). At this point we also put away 30 pints of bread and butter pickles and 42 quarts of kosher style dill pickles – cucumbers are still growing, so we may make more. Just picked another 2 buckets of roma tomatoes to start our 3rd batch of spaghetti sauce – each batch makes about 20 quarts, depending on how much we eat before canning 🙂

Bread and Butter Pickles (sweet)

4 lbs cucumbers, cut into slices (use food processor slicing blade)
2 lbs thinly sliced onions
1/2 cup canning salt (do NOT use regular salt)
2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. mustard seed
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon ginger

3 cups apple cider vinegar

  1. Place cucumbers and onions in a large bowl, layering with salt. Cover with ice cubes and let stand for about 1.5 hours, then drain and rinse twice.
  2. Combine spices with vinegar in a large pot and bring to a boil, add drained cucumbers and onions and return to a boil.
  3. Pack hot pickles and liquid into pint jars, remove air bubbles, adjust lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.