Derek Johnson Muses

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Vegetables Madness

I have a lot of sauerkraut in my fridge. Two large jars, one small jar, and another small Tupperware. Today, I continued my obsessive-compulsive desire to can, and before I knew it, I had two batches of pickles in jars in the fridge.

I really don’t know what to do with all this vegetables. I can and freeze stuff, and yet I still have tons of stuff to deal with. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fresh veggies, and they’ve been better for me than my usual round of chips-and-stuff, but I keep wondering how I’m going to eat all this stuff. I haven’t even harvested the pumpkins.

It’s weird eating sauerkraut with every meal, but not as weird as it will be when I’m eating sauerkraut and pickles with every meal. I shouldn’t complain because this is what I live for-to eat the same thing over and over again. Now, all I have to worry about is bread and meat, and I’m eating less bread than I have at times.

My sauerkraut literally has no taste. The fermentation takes away the acid that accompanies the fresh cabbage and makes the leaves limp and simple. I plan on using it in the crock pot. Pretty soon, I’ll just start eating sauerkraut for breakfast, since I’m already eating it on my eggs. A bowl of sauerkraut would likely taste no different than a bowl of oatmeal or Cheerios.


All those nutrients packed in tight…

One thing I learned the hard way was how much work it was to make squash seed edible for consumption. When I went to freeze some squash, I thought to myself how disappointing it was that I wouldn’t  be able to use the seeds. So, I decided to roast them in the oven. The end product was fine, but it took hours to ply all of the seeds away from the innards of eight or ten squash. All that for a small Tupperware of seeds.




Apple Turnovers

A few weeks ago, I realized that I needed to use up the apples I had in my freezer. They were not cut the right way to make into filing for kolaches, so I decided to make them into apple turnovers. Of course, first this required finding a recipe for turnovers. And thawing the apples.

The Filling

The Filling

And yeah, adding brown sugar and decent cinnamon.

I found a pie crust recipe online that used Crisco. I’m not a fan of any recipe where you have to cut butter into a flour mixture. I made only a small amount of dough, only enough to see that it would work and it was enough for four turnovers. I had to stretch the dough, but I used all of the apples and filings.



Mercifully, only one had an opening big enough to allow the juice to leak out onto the pan. The turnovers themselves were a bit bland, but had a still small preservation of apple taste. I’d try them again; even though it felt like a lot of work, it wasn’t that bad.

Snack Time

Snack Time

My Quest for the Right Cookies

Wednesday night, I had to make cookies so that I had something to take into the gallery the next day. I really should get more imagination when it comes to baking cookies, but I usually just use the recipe on the back of the chocolate chips bag, which gives you nothing but a lump of melded butter and sugar, which lead me to sub 1/2 cup of peanut butter for butter. I also sub oats for some of the flour and add walnuts and raise, for the nutrition, or the illusion thereof. Really, I just put in all stuff I like. Here’s my recipe:

1/2 C. Peanut Butter

3/4 C. Sugar

3/4 C. Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

1/2 TSP Cinnamon

1 TSP Vanilla (from Texas, in my case)

1 1/3 C. Flour

1 1/4 C. Old Fashioned Oats

1 TSP Baking Soda

1/2 TSP Salt

1/4 C. Chopped Walnuts

1/3 C. Raisins

1/3 C. Chocolate Chips

Here’s the result

They still are a little dry, but they are good and a step above a pure sugar treat, so in my book, I did pretty well.


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