Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Good Things....

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs..... 
I've been making hard boiled eggs since I was a 19 year old bride.  I did it like my mom and step-mom did -- over-cooked!  When I was asked to bring deviled eggs for Easter, I cringed a little because I have such a devil of a time peeling the eggs.  I've tried all kinds of tricks but my dear mother-in-love used to say that you need to use old eggs, not fresh for best results.  Well, when you live in the country and have laying hens, you mostly have fresh eggs.   It makes me wonder how old the eggs at the grocery stores are.  While waiting up last night for my son to come home, I was looking at some of my favorite cooking blogs.  I found the "recipe" for the perfect hard boiled eggs here!  And mother-in-love was right!
Fruity Water....
A friend, Abby, told me about this.  She said while staying at a ski lodge in Colorado this winter, the lodge supplied pitchers full of fruity ice water.  I thought I'd try it at home.  I filled my glass with a couple frozen strawberries and some lemon slices and added ice and fresh water.  What a treat.  Subtly sweet and  refreshing and pretty to look at.  Throughout the afternoon, I just added more water and ice to my glass.  Think of the fruity combinations you could try.  Another friend, Joyce, said to try cucumbers.  I haven't yet.

Frozen Fruit....
Speaking of  fruity water, this reminds me of frozen fruit.  I just love the stuff.  Since I live a good hour from a grocery store, I don't dash to the store for fresh fruit.   I buy fresh when I can, but I stock up on frozen too.  I use it for breakfast smoothies (strawberry, banana, orange), for my Strawberry-Yogurt Scones, for fruity water, to top my breakfast yogurt, to top plain cakes, to make jam and syrups, and to eat right out of the bag.  It's always there, always fresh, and never spoiled.

Bone Stock....
"Good broth will resurrect the dead," says a South American proverb. Some members of my family have been suffering from nasty head colds or some strain of flu so I decided it was high time to make some good stock.  I make mine mostly out of beef soup bones, but you can make good stock out of any bones, not just soup bones. Chicken, and turkey make delicious stocks and so does lamb and pork although pork carries quite a bit more fat which can be removed after chilling.  Homemade stock is loaded with vitamins and minerals that come from the bones which break down under slow cooking.  Stocks have been made for centuries to nurse the ill and to build healthy families.  My favorite recipe for beef stock comes from Karey Swan's cookbook, Hearth & Home which is now out of print, but available through used book sellers.

Browned Beef Stock

In a large stockpot add:
6 lbs of beef soup bones (neck, shin, shank or marrow bones)
1 large onion
2 medium carrots, cut up in chunks
Place these in a 450* oven and let them brown evenly for about 30 minutes, turning once.  When beef is browned, add 3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
1 large tomato, cut (opt)
8 whole black peppercorns
4 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
1-2 cloves garlic, halved
1 T. sea salt
12 cups cold water
(I also add any other veggie scraps or herbs you like and a splash of vinegar)
Bring all to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 4-5 hours or more.  You can use a crock pot and simmer broth over night.  Remove beef from bones and strain stock.  Stock may be cooled and frozen into quart containers for later use.
When chilling homemade stocks, you will notice it turns to gelatin.  That is GOOD! 
For more good information on homemade stocks, click here and  here.

 Range Calving....
I went with Hubs this morning to check the cows on the range.  We found two new babies today.  The clouds and fog were just rolling in as we took this pair through the gate.


  1. That fruity water looks very refreshing! I've also always had a problem properly preparing hard boiled eggs. I'll give this recipe a try. Thanks!!

  2. Thank you, thank you for the hard boiled egg recipe. I've never experienced so much frustration in peeling eggs until having my own hens!:) I really had given up on boiling my own eggs and would wait until the store eggs went on sale so I could boil those! I can't wait to give this recipe a try!

  3. We have fruity water in the fridge right now!
    Oh, I love the calves! So cute!
    I was a nineteen year old bride, too. See? We're twins separated at birth.

  4. Looks like a great day on the range!!

  5. Isn't it funny how many of us struggle with a hard boiled egg? I remember my MIL saying make sure the eggs (when country fresh) are at least a week old before trying to hard boil them.

    Pom Pom, I just *knew* there was a common denominator with us... 19yo brides and twins!

    Ellen, it is a pleasure being "out on the range" when it's so nice.


  6. Love your Good Things. Your water looks so pretty, I bet it tastes great! You have inspired me to make egg salad. That sounds really good to me right now.

  7. Lots to learn here; thanks for sharing!

  8. I starred your blog entry - epsecially for the beef broth recipe. I've been looking for a good one. I love beef vegetable soup - and my fil owns a meat shop - so I won't have trouble getting some good beef bones :)

    Your fruity water looks good too - and I have quite a few frozen strawberries to use up.

    Thanks Jody!

  9. PS - I was a 19 yr old bride too :)

  10. There is an old saying "Never trust a hard-boiled egg." Isn't that true? Even with the perfect recipe, there are still those moments...
    I love the fruit water idea! I am going to do that today. It looks so yummy and refreshing. Also, I love the picture of the cow and baby. Beautiful!
    Thanks for all of the great tips today,

  11. Do you know it took me years to be able to hard boil an egg. Now I do them in an electric ketle, works great xoxoxo Clarice

  12. Hey Jody!

    Thanks for this post, I need to work on my hard-boiled eggs :) The Fruit Water sounds so refreshing, especially after gardening :) Thanks for sharing all of those recipes too!

    Have a beautiful day!

  13. Oh my, look at all that beautiful sky! Your world is so different from mine, Jody. I always enjoy seeing it.

    I make lemon water pretty often, but I've never tried others. I'm going to now. Strawberries are really early in most places right now. That sounds good.

    So sorry to hear that you gave up on your pillowcases. I printed the instructions for those, but I'm still learning. I like your embroidery though.

    Take care.


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