Pickled Eggs with Beets

I attended a rendezvous recently and I made a couple of batches of pickled eggs. I like to take pickled eggs to events like this or to hunting camp because they make a quick, tasty breakfast. Ya just grab a couple of eggs from the jar and eat them will getting ready for the day’s activities.

12 eggs hard boiled
2 medium beets peeled and sliced
1 cup white vinegar
½ cup water
½ cup sugar ½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves

Hard boil and peel eggs. If the eggs have aged in the fridge for at least a week, they are much easier to peel. Mix all other ingredient in sauce pan and simmer for 15 minutes or until beets are softened. Cool brine in fridge. Place peeled eggs in sterile jar. Layer beets in with eggs. Pour liquid over top of eggs. Wait at least 48 hours before serving. Store eggs in refrigerator.

Stuffed Pork Chops

Normally, we grill, fry or broil pork chops. And once in a while I will toss them in a Dutch oven with some kraut and other fixings and bake it. I wanted to do something different with the chops so I came up with the a recipe for making stuffed pork chops. The stuffed chops proved to be pretty simple to make and were super yummy.

Two extra thick pork chops butterfly sliced to the bone
1 small onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons butter
Bread crumbs
½ teaspoon celery seed
1 small apple cored and chopped
1 egg
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon oregano
3/4 cup chicken bullion
1/4 cup white wine.

Brown both sides of pork chop in butter in a cast iron skillet. Remove from pan. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent. In medium bowl, mix bread crumbs, celery seed, apple, basil, and oregano. Stir in onions and garlic. Slightly beat egg and stir into stuffing mix. Place pork chops back into cast iron skillet and put stuffing in pocket made in chops pork. Add bouillon/wine mix. Cover and bake at 350° for about 45 minutes. Remove chops from pan and serve

Buttermilk Pie

Buttermilk Pie has a tangy flavor and is a fairly simple to make.

My daughter, Marissa, posted on Facebook that she had the best pie ever in a restaurant in Alabama and it was Buttermilk Pie. After that emphatic statement, I definitely had to track down a buttermilk pie recipe and try it out. Buttermilk pie is southern staple. Buttermilk pie is supposed to be even more popular than pumpkin pie in Texas. That seems strange but it is Texas. The pie originated in England and was carried across the ocean by immigrants who ended up in the South. Buttermilk pie is a custard pie-so it is similar to pumpkin pie in texture, but has a tangy tart flavor.

3 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup butter melted and cooled
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 9-inch pie crust unbaked

Whisk together eggs, and sugar in a large bowl
Whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth
Pour into prepared pie crust
Bake at 400° oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° continue to bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Tooth pick stuck in the middle should come out clean.

Effortless Pickled Beets

If you don’t beet around the bush, you can be productive with beets the in the kitchen. The Pickled Beets in the recipe are shown in the quart jar.

The Cook Shack was busy with beets this week. The crop was ready to harvest. I canned 14 pints of beets, made some roasted beets, and even have some left over for more roasted beets or a batch of Borscht. While I was canning the beets, I also made a quick batch of pickled beets. This pickled beet recipe uses canned beets so I used two pint jars of beets left over from last year. It takes less than twenty minutes to make the pickled beets, and then they should flavor in the fridge for a few days before eating.
2 pints home canned beets
1 teaspoon salt
½ cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon pickling spices
Pour sugar, vinegar, liquid from one of the jars of beets and salt in sauce pan and bring to boil. Place spices in spice bag, or I use a tea ball. Place in sauce pan. When mixture boils, add beets and return to boil. Place beets and spices in a one-quart jar and pour liquid over top. Let sit in fridge for a few days to flavor through. Remove spices before serving.

Squirrel Spaghetti

Mid September, which means the beginning of small game and archery deer hunting is fast approaching. Here in the Cook Shack that means there will be wild food on the table. One of my favorite critters to cook is squirrel. When people hear I like to cook squirrel, they often ask, “How do you cook it?” The answer is many different ways. One of my favorite squirrel recipes is Squirrel Spaghetti. The squirrel blends in very nicely with the spaghetti sauce and is simple to make, but takes a bit of time to cook. I usually use home canned spaghetti sauce, but any favorite spaghetti sauce recipe will work. If you are making the sauce from scratch, begin making it as soon as the squirrel begins simmering.

Squirrel Spaghetti

1 squirrel per person, cleaned and quartered
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon Italian spices
1 clove garlic minced
water to cover.

Place all ingredients in a pot, bring to boil and then simmer until meat is falling off of bone. This usually takes 1 ½ to 2 hours. When meat is done, remove from pot, let cool slightly and then debone meat and add it to the sauce.

1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
3 16 ounce cans crushed or chopped tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups hot water

Mix all ingredients together in large pot. Bring to a biol and let simmer 1 ½ to 2 hours. Stirring often. Stop cooking the sauce when it is at the desired thickness. Or if the sauce is not thick enough when the squirrel is done add more tomato paste.

Serve over spaghetti noodles with garlic bread and olives. This recipe is so good you can serve it to your friends who do not eat wild game and they will never know unless you tell them. And don’t forget to duck when you do tell them. Even a pillow can be a surprise.

Fresh Black Cap Berry Sourdough Pancakes

From the Woods to the Plate. Fresh Black Caps and Sour Dough Pancakes. An amazingly good combo

The black caps are finally beginning to ripen. I’ve gone berry picking a few times, and this weekend was the first time I was able to pick a significant number of berries. This morning, I made a batch of black cap berry sourdough pancake. They were incredibly good. Eating the pancakes made all of the pokes, scratches and bug bites more than worth it. It is amazing how the best clumps of berries always seem to be surrounded by vines with thorns that resemble razor wire. In the end the berries were plentiful, the bugs, the thorns survivable, and there were no bears, so it was all good.

Black Cap Sourdough Pancakes.
1 to 2 cups of black cap berries
1 cup of sourdough starter
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
½ cup cooking oil
1 cup milk
Place all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and baking powder in bowl and blend. Add sour dough starter, egg, cooking oil and milk. Mix with a spoon until blended. More milk may be needed to create a medium thick pancake batter. Gently fold in berries. Cook on a hot greased cast iron skillet until lightly brown. Flip and cook until done. Serve with honey or maple syrup

Versatile Zucchini Patties Can Help deal with Garden Surplus


Zucchini patties are a quick and versatile dish that can be prepared and served in many different ways. The patties can be served as both a main dish and as side dish to most meals. They can be dressed up or left basic. They can be used so many different ways that the family can eat its way through several oversized zucchinis without being overwhelmed by a constant diet of zucchini. The basic zucchini recipe resembles potato pancakes. I will start with that recipe and then go over several variants.

2 cups grated zucchini
2 eggs beaten
¼ cup very finely chopped chives
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Preheat cast iron skillet to fairly hot and add some olive oil. With a serving spoon, plop mix on to skillet and cook until golden brown. Flip and cook the same on the other side. Serve immediately. Ranch dressing or sour cream makes a good topping.

Variation 1
Add 1 tablespoon of Italian spices to mix. Serve with tomato sauce on top. Substitute cottage cheese for the mozzarella cheese.

Variation 2
Add one or two crushed dried grape leaves, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and a dash of all spice to mix. Serve with Greek Tzatziki sauce fresh diced tomatoes or top with tomato sauce.

Variation 3
Leave out the cheese and add ¼ more flour. Make the patties about twice as big as normal. Top with pizza sauce and your favorite pizza toppings. Bake until cheese is melted on the pizza.

Zucchini patties can be served in a variety of ways. Use your creativity and develop a few more ways to serve this tasty dish.

Crumby Strawberry Rhubarb Pie


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is on of the great treats of summer. The sweet/tart flavor is amazing. When the strawberries get ripe, we head out to pick a pail or two, and then cut some rhubarb from our patch and begin to make pies. This pie is a bit different due to the crust which resembles a crisp and the use of an egg in the ingredients. It is as simple to make as other rhubarb strawberry pies and tastes just as good.
1 egg
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ lbs. fresh rhubarb cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pint strawberries

Bottom Crust:
pastry for single crust pie
Top Crust
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup oat meal
½ cup cold butter

Line a 9-inch pie tin with crust. Trim and flute the edges. In a large mixing bowl beat egg, then add sugar, flour, and vanilla. Mix well. Fold in rhubarb and strawberries. Pour into crust.
Topping: combine flour, brown sugar, oats. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over pie. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat and bake for 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on rack and store in refrigerator.

Veggie Herder’s Breakfast


This recipe is a different take on the classic Sheepherder’s Breakfast, which uses bacon, hash browns, onions and eggs. I was looking for something different, so I threw this together this morning for breakfast and it was quite good. Give it a try.
Red bell pepper diced
4 ramps chop entire ramp into 1-inch pieces
Half a bag of shredded hash brown potatoes
1 cup whole cherry tomatoes
1 avocado sliced the chopped into large pieces
4 eggs
Heat oil in cast iron skillet and add ramps and peppers. Cook until ramp leaves are wilted. Add hash brown potatoes and cook until potatoes nearly done. Add cherry tomatoes and sliced avocados. Mix well and heat for about 2 minutes. Crack four eggs on top of potato mix, cover, and cook on low heat until eggs are done. Serve with salsa.

Sheepherders Breakfast


This meal is best when made in a Dutch over over a fire. It is a perfect camping food and it can be used for breakfast, lunch or supper. It has bacon and eggs. How could it be anything but delicious? Total cooking time is about half an hour. To speed things up start the charcoal before beginning to slice up the onions and bacon.

1 lbs. bacon diced
1 large onion diced
1 or two packages shredded hash browns, or 6 to 8 potatoes peeled and diced or shredded
6 to 9 eggs
salt and pepper.
Paprika (Optional)


Heat Dutch oven and add bacon. Fry until crisp. Add onions and saute’ until translucent. Stir in potatoes and cook for a few minutes. With a large serving spoon, smoosh down potatoes, onions, and bacon so top is flat. Press spoon into surface to make an indent. Crack an egg into indent. Continue this process until eggs are spread around the the Dutch oven. Sprinkle paprika on top. Place lid on oven and add coals for medium heat. Cook for about 20 minutes or until eggs reach desired level of cooking, i.e. soft yokes or hard. Can be served with hot sauce. If using fresh potatoes, soak in cold water for a bit to remove the starch. This makes for crisper hash browns.