Monday, July 30, 2012

Bottling the wine!

How many McKees does it take to bottle wine?  Three! 

The ring is from the yeasty bubbles that occurred during the fermentation process.

We bought this "Easy Siphon" years ago to use for bottling EM (effective microorganisms).  It works pretty well.  After bottling 4 gallons of wine we bottled 5 gallons of EM.  
(It's time to start another batch of EM!)

 It's a good thing we had so many Pellegrino Italian Sparkling Mineral water bottles around.  The last of each bucket went into canning jars....maybe to be used for cooking?   The dregs in the bucket were pretty thick and very pretty!  Like creamy grape sherbet!   
That went to the compost bin.

Our first try, successful!  Two cases of Muscadine Wine!  Thanks so much, Pat and Arnie! 

We love to try new things!  (Click here to see the first part of the project)

We tried it last night - had a small portion (2 or 3 ounces) on ice, it needed diluting with Pellegrino...much improved...It's sweet and strong...I think it would make a nice Sangria, add some orange and lemon slices....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Kale Chips

I ordered some kale from Azure Standard Co-op and thought I'd try making some kale chips.  I've heard about dehydrated recipes, but came across some baked kale chips.  I thought I'd try that first, takes less time!   I found several recipes, one of them here.  The variety of kale we got was the really curly kind which was hard to get very dry.  I think that's one reason they seemed to take longer to finish up in the oven.....

I poured the olive oil into a little bowl and flicked the oil on the leaves and tossed them with my fingers (like gently gelling or moussing curly, wet hair!).  I was trying to distribute evenly and not end up with all the oil in one place!  It worked well.....I ground some sea salt on top of the leaves spread out on the parchment lined trays.  I sprinkled a bit of Simply Organics Chipotle on some of them....

They were pronounced GOOD and that they tasted like popcorn.  The last of them were forgotten in the oven and burned.  =(  Those tasted guessed it...burnt popcorn!  Oh well, we got tired of babysitting them!   So the hardest part of the project is getting them done to a "T" and not burning them!

These are the burnt ones...

  Next time we'll try a dehydrated recipe.  It's not good to eat a lot of cruciferous veg raw.  They are goitrogenic*...they block iodine uptake to the thyroid.  Incidentally, I recently read that almonds are also goitrogenic...we toast ours after soaking, skinning and drying them....they taste better and are more digestible, too!

*Cruciferous vegetables can potentially be goitrogenic (inducing goiter formation). They contain enzymes that interfere with the formation of thyroid hormone in people with iodine deficiency. Cooking for 30 minutes significantly reduces the amount of goitrogens and nitriles. At high intake of crucifers, the goitrogens inhibit the incorporation of iodine into thyroid hormone and also the transfer of iodine into milk by the mammary gland. (source)

Monday, July 23, 2012


 This is the McKee Family's  variation on the "Fantastic Carob Fudge" found on page 109 in the "Whole Foods for the Whole Family" (1984 printing) cookbook.

1. In a medium sauce pan, melt (low/med-low heat):
1 cup (12oz) Honey
3/4 - 1 cup (8-10oz) unsweetened Nut Butter
2 - 4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Butter

2. Leave the heat on, and using a hand mixer, carefully, mix.

3. By hand, stir in:
1/2 cup Organic Cocoa Powder (sifted)
1/2 cup Carob Powder (sifted)

4. Carefully, mix using your hand mixer again. It will get nice and thick & rubbery!

5. Stir in whatever Nuts or Fruit you want!
(This time we used: 1 cup of toasted sliced Almonds and 1/2 cup Craisins.)

6. Remove from heat, spread out on something that you can put in the fridge to cool.
The first time we put it on a Wax Paper lined cutting mat and it stuck to the waxed paper! The second time I spread it on a Plastic Wrap lined cutting mat. 
Store it in the fridge or freezer!

Yum, Yum!

This candy/fudge has to cool/harden in the fridge.
This fudgey stuff was SO glossy, thick & rubbery.....but so good.

Adrienne was caught with her finger in the pot...  =)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


 We have never tried making real wine before and have wanted to try it for a long fact the only fermented drinks we make are Kombucha, Kefir, and EM "wine".

Sunday evening:
We picked the Muscadine Grapes at a friend's house (for free!).
I am VERY sorry to have to tell you, but we forgot to bring the camera when we harvested the grapes. =(  

 Monday morning:

We separated the good from the bad/green and stems....

 Cute little bunch....

 After looking at a lot of books, this is the one we chose to follow:

 Mashed the grapes with a potato masher, in 5 gal buckets (two batches in each bucket).

This is the recipe:

 (click the picture to view it larger)

Wednesday afternoon:

 Pleas helped Debbie strain, smash and squeeze the grape was a mess!

The juice:

 Clean out the buckets, put the juice in again, add white sugar...

...and Baker's Yeast and stir it in..... you have to wait...for two weeks....   (click here for part 2)