The Season for Making Salsa

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-12-19-44-pmI like to have lots and lots of home canned salsa on hand for meatloaf, soup, stew, roast,  and just by itself, hot or cold, and for any recipe which would enjoy the addition of tomatoes.

Last year, I had over one hundred quarts.

After getting canning tomatoes from three different farmers at three different markets, I realized I was way behind and the season was drawing to a close.

I had made a few batches, but my usage was starting to catch up with what I had on hand and it was late in the season.

This Fall, I needed to make some more.

I checked around and found a local farm which had a sign for tomatoes and onions.  I dropped by and bought 109 pounds of canning tomatoes and 38 pounds of onions.  I was planning on two onions per batch of fifteen pounds of tomatoes, plus onions on hand for cooking.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-12-16-13-pmAfter cutting out the bad spots on the tomatoes (these were very late in the season…), we had probably two-thirds left for canning.


screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-12-18-51-pm The onions turned out to be gigantic (!), so we only used one per batch.  (That is a loaf of savory wheat-belly bread in the background.  I think it is rosemary.)



We canned 43 quarts, which will last for quite a while.  I will just have to augment as time goes on.



My husband wanted to measure how many linear feet of salsa we canned, so he lined them all up on the deck railing.


(I took a photo of him taking a photo of me.)

We have fifteen linear feet of salsa!



© 2016 Kathryn Hardage


Eating Better, Eating Less

It has been a year and a half since I began to pay more attention to how I was eating and to change my practices.

I have never been markedly overweight, although since retirement, I have been much less active than when I was teaching early childhood music.

The food changes, however, have been significant.

I have been slow to embrace organic foods, but I have now done so as much as I can.

I began cooking from Nourishing Traditions and The Wheat-Belly Cookbook.

Using new cooking techniques and learning more about food have resulted in a much calmer stomach for me and a significant and sustained weight loss for my husband.

I feel better eating better quality food…a no brainer!

And I even feel better not eating chocolate!  (I know, its almost against my religion!)

I am calmer and I am satisfied eating much less.

I am amazed at the simplicity of the solution.

I’ve noticed that the organic foods I eat taste like food did when I was growing up in the fifties and sixties.

My mom simply shopped at the local grocery store.

But business has changed the nature of food.

And so my new practices are simply reestablishing the benefits I felt before food became big  business.

Today, we all need to be conscious of our food practices and observant about how they make us feel.

© 2015 Kathryn Hardage

A Delicious Memory

I served the cheese blintzes I cooked yesterday.  So delicious.  We ate some with a dab of apricot jam and some with fried apple peelings (I am dehydrating apples in the oven).

As is often the case, the taste made me remember where I had first eaten blintzes.  I remember being on the boardwalk at Long Island Sound, New York, at night in the summer visiting my grandparents.

It was a bit chilly for a small Texas girl.  The wooden boards of the walk were set so they came together at an angle in the center of the walk, so skating worked great in one direction.  Going the other way, you just had to skate across the boards, making it rumble and bounce you along.

I ate blintzes and knishes.  Cherry cheese blintzes and peppery onion knishes.  I loved tasting all the flavors and varieties, and my grandparents denied me nothing.

I remember my hair streaming out in back of me as I skated as fast as I could down the middle of the boardwalk.  It went on and on forever.  I was six years old.

Later, as an older teen, I went back and the boardwalk wasn’t so very long at all.

I still enjoyed the blintzes and knishes.

Maybe I will learn to make knishes, too.

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage

Clabbered Milk and Buttermilk

I made yogurt from raw milk, but did not get to eat it all within my preferred time frame.  As I was looking for recipes, there were several which used buttermilk.  So I made a pancake mix using yogurt, which turned out to be delicious and quite substantial.  I added a choice of apricot jam, apple chutney, peach preserves, or, for a bit of savory, salsa, all homemade.

I had been making yogurt cheese, so I added that to a cheese blintz filling, and used some more yogurt for the second cheese for the filling.

I made crepe batter, for the cheese blintzes, using yogurt instead of the buttermilk.

We will eat those tomorrow.

Finally, I started some more yogurt cheese.  That means I got some cheesecloth and doubled it and filled it with the yogurt and suspended it over a tall container by tying the cheese cloth to a wooden spoon handle.  I laid that across the top of the container so the whey could drain out.  Later, I will chop some onion and add spices for a savory cream cheese.

I think I am all caught up now on the yogurt, and so far, I am pleased with the results of using it like clabbered milk or buttermilk.

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage

Some Musings in Haiku Form

Reverse Haiku

A visitor to the porch

A small green lizard

Disappears over the step.


Haiku with photos:


Pasta tentacles

Invisible in water

Now, ready to eat.




Wheat-belly kitchen

Containers all in a row

Pancakes to follow.



My measuring mug

Acquired in Italy

Recipes at home.



1 and 1/2 mug almond flour

1/2 mug coconut powder

1/4 mug ground golden flaxseed

2 small eggs or 1 large egg

Add local raw milk to desired texture

Cook in coconut oil.



Aracuna eggs

Down the road about a mile.

Colorful delight.



IMG_0119   Cooking pancakes now

They are wonderful smelling

Can’t wait to eat them.



Haiku without photos:

Yogurt for this week.

Incubation in cooler.

Fermented goodness.



Under a dark cloud

Rustle of wind through the trees

Raindrops hit me.


© 2014 Kathryn Hardage


Zip Code Cooking Club

For several years, I brainstormed about setting up a cooking business with one of my daughters, who took a year of chef training.  I am also inspired by the Texas Honeybee Guild who keeps over one hundred beehives all over Dallas and features “zip code honey”.

A personal chef service with fresh Farmer’s Market produce and meats could provide hassle-free excellent meals to families.

I looked on-line and there are several models to choose from.

The cookbooks I like best are “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon and the Wheat-Belly Cookbook.  Both cookbooks provide awareness of the foods we are eating. and

I have been cooking, canning and fermenting from a variety of sources, including these for about two years.

My husband and I, both in our sixties, are enjoying better health, weight, and calm stomachs that we have since our largely chemical-free childhood diets.

I hope lots of people are inspired to offer some kind of food service.  Personal chefs cook in client’s kitchens.  Licensed kitchens are also available for rent and storage throughout the Metroplex.  You can offer some foods from your own unlicensed kitchen.  Check local and state cottage industry food laws.

People everywhere want to eat better.  It is fun to get to know your clients and to have them appreciate what you are doing for them.

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage           


What I learned about flours

I began experimenting by making pancakes with different kinds of flour combinations.

Whole-wheat and rice.

Rice and buckwheat.

Buckwheat and rye.

I also experimented with different cooking oils.

Butter, vegetable, safflower, sunflower, sesame, olive.

Different textures of flour result in different textures of pancakes.

Different oils cook at different temperatures.

Elementary cooking chemistry.

The other night, using some of the ingredients I have been introduced to by the Wheat-Belly Cookbook,  I made pancakes with chick-pea flour (garbanzo bean flour), ground golden flaxseeds, and sesame seeds.

These were the most substantial pancakes we have ever eaten in our lives!

We were not even that hungry all the way to lunchtime the next day.

It made it really easy to sleep in during a rainy morning.

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage