Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Homemade Applesauce - Jonathan Apples

 Fall is the time for Apples and there is nothing better than home made apple sauce. I don't use a recipe because it is so easy.

These were Jonathan Apples. Add alittle water so they do not stick until the juice starts to come out. Add a squirt of lemon juice so the apples do not turn brown (Sometimes I use Fruit Fresh instead.)  If desired add cinnamon sticks while they are cooking.
Cook until they are very mushy.  Remove cinnamon sticks.

The tool on the right is invaluable.  You want the core out, but peel left on. Process the cooked apples in a food mill.  The red skins will give the apple sauce a pink color.  Add sugar and more cinnamon, if necessary or wanted.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Grill Roasted (Charred) Potatoes

When I was growing up on Long Island, NY our house was surrounded by old maple trees.  In the fall we would rake the leaves, make big piles and burn them in the gutter. (Back in the 40's & 50's there were no laws / rules to prevent us from burning the leaves).

I don't know how it started, but my grandfather would throw a few potatoes into the fire.  They would cook while the leaves were burning. 
When they came out of the ashes they were all black and charred but the inside was so light and fluffy.  They added butter and salt and the taste was indescribably good - Soft, buttery, smokey.  Yummy. 
We wanted to recreate that for my kids so we do them on the grill until they are very black and soft inside.  It is impossible not to get some black ash in the bowl, when we scoop them out, but a little carbon never hurt anyone and any dirt is burned off.  

When we do them depending on the size of the potatoes, we do 2 -3x more than we would for a normal meal.  Alot of the flesh gets cooked to the skin so there is less volume when they are done. Try this method of cooking potatoes when the grill is on.  You will be surprised how good they are.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pinterest and the eBay Seller

As an education Specialist, I am always trying to help my students in becoming successful eBay sellers. A few weeks ago eBay announced some changes to their user agreement.  

One thing that will impact sellers is that eBay wrote not all listings will appear at any given time.  It is unclear exactly what that means, but to me it means I must help myself by doing self promotion of all my treasures that are for sale on the eBay site.  Just like the blog I wrote on bumping - Pinterest is a big part of my daily tasks. I really believe none of us can rely solely on eBay to bring visitors to our eBay stores.
Assuming one belongs to Pinterest and knows their way around here are a few hints that I think have helped me and others to make more sales

** Keep in mind, first and foremost, Pinterest is a social site and you do not want to blast your followers with ads of your product;
** Having said that tho', 1 listing for every 5 other kind of pins is OK;
** I like to spread out my postings through the day, not all eyes are looking at the same time;
** There is one board called "eBay - Today's New Listings". Every day I post brand new listings that went live yesterday; 
** Many times I have been surfing the main board and have seen an image of something I have waiting to be listed.  I pin it to a special board called "eBay for Research". Then I can go back later and get more details when I am ready to list that item;
** I belong to several groups on Facebook and there are postings all the time of things folks found that sold for more than one would expect.  I pin those items to a private (secret) board called "BOLO" = Be on the Lookout! (I share that list with the members of my Meetup Group at every meeting);
** When pinning, anything, make sure you add some keywords in the description.  Anyone can search for those keywords right on Pinterest. The Search Engines are looking at them too; 
** The boards - I have ones just for listings by subject but other folks have them by color, style, season, holiday or whatever. And my product boards are mixed in amongst the recipes, travel, holidays, etc.  boards;
** Arrange the boards for eye appeal.  I have mine sorted in alphabetical order (for the most part) so I can find them.  My group boards are separate at the bottom and boards I want alot of attention on, are 1st.

** This is just a start to make Pinterest a resource for promoting listings.  I do have a group on Facebook to talk about Pinterest and to help stay updated. 

Please visit my boards and if we are not friends please follow me and I will follow back.  Thanks.
Email for student info

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pumpkin Should have been 100 Pound-er!

 The middle pumpkin should have been a record breaker.  LOL

Last year we planted seeds for huge 100#pumpkins and not one sprouted.  This year we did not plant any and one volunteer came up all by itself in late July.

After all the rain in Aug. and Sept. there was only one that developed and is over 20 pounds.
  If it had started earlier we think it would have had a better chance of being a big one.
The stem is what is so interesting about this guy.  It would have been big enough to support a huge one.  Notice Gene's finger next to it.
A little mousey or squirrel started nibbling on it so we harvested alittle early.
Besides saving the seeds for next year, do we carve it, use it for a decoration or cook it!!??