Sunday in Iowa...

 A Fall Garden Gate  

This attractive entrance garden is in Oskaloosa, Iowa  
We have enjoyed a fairly warm Fall this year with recent rains
 and the roses are still blooming

$avings $aturday...October Hot Deals Week 4


On the fourth week of October, the hot deals were too good to just pick one!  Bananas, eggs and sugar were all on sale.  I needed the sugar at a good price to refill my sugar stash after canning Tomato Jam last month.  The "hot deal" ads come out once a month with the best deals each week, still in the mail, although weekly ads are only online now.

The bananas I will use for dessert for a lunch or two, and I’ll save 3 for the banana bread recipe.  I don’t know if I’ll make the filling or just bake the bread and slice it to serve with butter for coffee times or with soup for lunches.  I slice it after refrigerating it overnight and freeze slices divided by double wax paper so I can take out what I want.  The slices thaw quickly, usually by the time my coffee is made.

I always use eggs…for baking and egg recipes.  I think I’ll make this oven omelet again for a lunch at least.  We also like eggs and grits for a Southern style "breakfast for lunch" meal.

Cheese and Mushroom Oven Omelet for Two


Small Recipes...Liver and Onions

I have been making this recipe from “Betty Crocker Dinner for Two” since I’ve been married – it comes out perfectly.   I can only buy it locally frozen in packages that serve 4; my husband cuts the package in half for me while still frozen.  Don’t overcook liver, it gets tough as shoe leather – I usually find 10 minutes is enough.
                        Baby Beef Liver and Onions
  2             medium sweet onions -- sliced
     ½         pound  beef liver -- 1/2" slices
                 bacon fat or (lard or shortening)
Peel and slice onions.  Cook in hot bacon fat until golden.  Cover and cook slowly until tender.  Remove to warm plate and keep warm.
Dip the slices of liver in flour.  Brown in hot bacon fat.  Season.  Cook over low heat 10-15 minutes, turning once.  I add a tablespoon or 2 of water before covering.
Serve hot, topped with onions.

Sunday in Iowa...

Late Summer Goldenrod...
At the White Oak Conservation area lake in Mahaska County, Iowa

$avings $aturday...October Week 3 - Using My One "Hot Deal" - Butter

 Here we are on week 3 of October…hot deals at the grocery store were skimpy but I found 2 good coupons for butter, I’ll use them both as the stores are less than a block apart.  I store butter in my big freezer door and replace what I use when I find butter on sale.  I am perfectly satisfied with store brand stick butter for baking and cooking, I buy salted butter as its all-purpose.  I'll put the two I buy into rotation in my freezer and use the oldest pound I have first.

I wanted to use some ham from the freezer for Sunday, make some cookies, and I'll make an easy biscuit side with soup this week.  All of them use butter to advantage.  One of our neighbors gave us some apples, so I didn’t have to buy any for the week.  Click on the recipe title to go to the recipe.

Small Recipes...Comeback Sauce for Two

In the cookbook, “Southern Plate” by Christy Jordan, there’s a recipe for Comeback Sauce that is simply equal parts ketchup and mayonnaise.  It’s a good choice where you have kids, but Southern Living has a little more complicated recipe that is better.    I’m giving that recipe here, cut down from 1 ½ cups to 3/8 cup, so it doesn’t last until you have to throw it away.
Now, for my confession, I left out the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and hot sauce, to make it more to our taste.  Smoked paprika…what can I say, if it’s fresh, it’s a smoky miracle.  I keep it on hand for seasoning salt, and it’s just great for that smoky flavor. 
So, my suggestion, try this recipe, but if you don’t have all the ingredients, try it anyway, it’s delicious with just ketchup and mayonnaise and anything else is just icing on the cake.
Try it with chicken strips, fried shrimp, even fish sticks taste better with some of this sauce to dip them in.      
                 Comeback Sauce for Two
     1/4  cup  mayonnaise
  1          tablespoon  chili sauce
     1/2    tablespoon  ketchup
     1/4    tablespoon  lemon juice
     1/4      teaspoon  smoked paprika
     1/2      teaspoon  Worcestershire sauce
     1/4      teaspoon  hot sauce
     1/8      teaspoon  kosher salt
     1/8      teaspoon  garlic powder
     1/8      teaspoon  onion powder
     1/8      teaspoon  dry mustard
    1/16      teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

Stir together mayonnaise, chili sauce, ketchup, lemon juice, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard, and pepper. Cover and chill 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate 1 week.
  "3/8 cup"

Sunday in Iowa...

A kid's delight...the tree house and tire swing     
On a farm close to Pella, Iowa

$avings $aturday..Week 2 October Using my One "Hot Deal"

This week I purchased a can of black beans on sale…I didn’t have any home canned on hand and I wanted to make corn relish to use some frozen corn, onion, and red and green peppers I put in the freezer a while ago and would rather have canned on the shelf.  I also purchased fresh milk, as I like to keep my dry milk for baking and emergencies as long as I can get fresh.  I started the month with 2 dozen eggs, so I'm still good.

Everything on the menu the rest of the week is from my pantry and freezer…I usually keep at least a year of basics on hand; and during the pandemic that amount has crept up.  I’m not sorry now that prices appear to be rising.

This corn relish is an easy recipe to can…you can use fresh or frozen vegetables and they are water-bath canned because they use vinegar to make them higher acid.  Luckily I have plenty of canning lids on hand…that I purchased in bulk tubes last year before the price skyrocketed.  We like the relish as a side dish with soup or sandwiches, and half pints are the right amount for 2.

Sue's Easy Corn Relish

I'll probably use the remaining black beans in this recipe for Mexican Rice that I cook in bulk and freeze in meal-size portions for busy days.