Today, as I watched my neighbor busily picking things from their garden, I remembered back in time. The end of summer, until the first hard freeze, meant that Mom would be busy in the kitchen. She would be sterilizing jars, preparing the vegetables and gathering ingredients. Yes, canning season has arrived. I don't know why, but I found my mother's old recipe box with some of her supper recipes and canning recipes inside. Each recipe she wrote by hand on a card or piece of paper. Some she has where the recipe came from. An old aunt, who has long since went to be with the Lord. Other recipes come from a wonderful, sweet neighbor lady who lived in the house that I do. There are some going back through generations and the newest being thirty years old.
This week, I am going to give you Mom's recipe for Stuffed Peppers. It is dated 1958 and it is her own recipe. She came up with this recipe early in her marriage, and it is a childhood memory of mine. Although I never ate the peppers, I loved the meat mixture packed inside.
Cook ½-cup rice. I'm sure she used white rice, but I am partial to brown rice when I make it.
While the rice is cooking, remove the tops from 6 peppers and take out the seed.
In a bowl, mix 1 pound of hamburger, one small, chopped onion, salt, pepper and the cooked rice. Stuff peppers and bake in covered casserole for 45 minutes at 305 degrees.
Grandma's Dill Pickles
This recipe is cucumbers that you put jars and seal tightly. To know how many jars you need for this recipe will vary. It depends on the size of the pickles or cucumbers and how much room they take up in the jars.
Put 8 cups water, 2 cups vinegar and ½-cup salt into a pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes.
Pack pickles in jars that you have sterilized. Add alum about the size of a pea to each quart jar. Also in each jar, put some dill and garlic. Cover with boiling solution. Add 1-tablespoon sugar on top.
Seal jars tightly.
Cold Water Pickles
This recipe is from our wonderful neighbor of years past. This is the kind I can make and have done. I do one variation with mine, though. Instead of packing in jars, I put my thinly sliced cucumber slices in small containers and freeze them.
1 quart Vinegar, 4 cups sugar, !/2 cup pickling salt or table salt, 1 ½ teaspoon turmeric, 1 ½ teaspoon mustard seed.
Mix the ingredients well, dissolving the sugar.
Pack peeled, sliced cucumbers tightly in a jar. In each quart jar, include 1 small onion. Fill jar with liquid and seal. Place the jars in the refrigerator for 2 days. Shake the jar a couple of times every day.
When all the pickles are eaten, fresh cucumber slices may be put back into the liquid and used over again.
The nice thing about this recipe is nothing goes to waste.
My mother canned religiously every year. She learned from her mother who learned it from hers. The learning stopped with my mother as she never showed me how to do any of it. She always told me it was too dangerous. If I go downstairs in her house, there are still shelves of canned goods. Some date back many years. Curiosity nags at me as I wonder if the stuff inside is still good. There are jars of vegetable soup, salsa, pickled peppers and cucumbers and jelly. She also made her own ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and hot pepper sauce. I have yet to find these recipes. She has more tablets filled with recipes from her mother. These are getting difficult to read as her mother wrote them in pencil. Everything she canned came straight from her garden. Unless, of course, it was her meatballs, and the stew meat she put into the vegetable soup. I'm sure that if we had lived on the farm, even that would have been fresh, not from the store.