Do you eat duck?

Even if you don’t raise your own like we do, or maybe you hunt wild ones, they are a delicious alternative to chicken.  Variety is the spice of life, right?  There’s no white meat on ducks, it is all dark meat and there’s not a lot of it.  The Rouen ducks we raised dressed out at about 4 1/2 lbs which sounds big for a chicken but a duck that size feeds only 2-4 people. I stuffed it with an apple dressing and roasted it.  But it doesn’t have to end there.  I cooked up the bones to make broth for soup later.  Ducks, being waterfowl are greasier than chickens so when making broth, there’s going to be a lot of fat.  I’m all for leaving fat in most dishes for flavour and vitamins but this is a little too much.

After the broth is strained, and reserving any meat leftover, I put it in the fridge until the fat has solidified then I spoon most of it off.   I don’t throw it away, though!  Duck fat is great for frying potatoes.  Go ahead and use the broth for a good vegetable soup base.  Here’s a delicious, hearty duck soup recipe, perfect for a cold, snowy day.

Duck Soup

clear gel stock remaining from the duck, fat skimmed off
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Juice of 1/2 small lemon
2 Tbsp. fermented soy sauce
1 quart of diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped raw turnip or rutabaga
3 medium sized potatoes, cubed
1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
3 small, OR two large bay leaves
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup pearl or pot barley or lentils
Reserved duck meat

Simmer slowly, for 4 or 5 hours.  Remove the bay leaves before serving.
I know the vanilla extract is an odd ingredient to find in a soup recipe but it really adds an element to the soup, it just takes it up a notch.

So, do you eat duck?


This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday blog hop, hosted by GNOWFGLINS, Sustainable Eats, Culinary Bliss and A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa.

Fresh Tomato Soup

This is a soup I thought you all might enjoy. It’s the freshest tasting tomato soup I’ve ever eaten. You don’t expect a tomato soup to be so chunky, but you’ll find it a pleasant change from the smooth, creamy variety.

1 cup (2 stalks) chopped celery
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup butter
4 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
1 quart fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 tsp. honey
1/4 cup flour

Saute celery,, onion, carrot and green pepper in butter in large heavy pan.  add 4 cups broth, tomatoes, curry powder, salt and pepper and honey; heat to boiling.  Reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes.  Blend flour with remaining 1/2 cup broth.  Stir gradually into soup.  cook until slightly thickened, stirring frequently.  Serve hot.
Yield: 2 quarts.

Tuesday Twister

I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged.  Some family stuff came up and I didn’t have the mental energy to blog.  It’s been a challenge cooking real food when life gets crazy!  Don’t you find it that way?  I thought I wasn’t doing too bad for suppers.  They were very simple but still real.  It’s the other meals I sloughed off. The worst part is my hubby has been buying processed lunch foods, because I haven’t been home enough to do food prepping and cooking.  My son came down with a cold last week and has been fighting it for longer than I like.  I wonder if there’s a connection between my cooking (or lack of) and son’s health??  Well, I’m trying to get back to doing more again.  Here’s a few of this week’s real foods:

Homemade Noodles – This was the first time I tried making egg noodles with kamut flour.  It was different to work with but tasted pretty much the same to me.

Turkey Noodle Soup – Soup for the homemade noodles, of course.  I cooked turkey bones with garlic and onion to make the broth.  I added some carrots afterwards for colour and taste.  This is one of the first foods I like to cook when anyone is feeling under the weather.

Pumpkin Pudding – I’m working through my pumpkin harvest.  This recipe has lots of pumpkin flavour but is not too sweet. 

3 – 4 cups cooked pumpkin
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup honey
½ cup flour , type of your choice
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Puree the cooked pumpkin with the wet ingredients in a blender of food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Generously grease a medium pan or casserole with about a Tbsp. of butter. Spread the batter in. Sprinkle with the following combined mixture on top:
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. honey

Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream.

This post is part of Tuesday Twister hosted by

Kefir and Butternut Peanut Soup


Homemade kefir

I have been looking for kefir or kefir starter for ages!  Ready to eat kefir is not available in the stores anywhere here. I finally found some starter!  Actually hubby found it when we were out together. I was so excited! I don’t have raw milk to make it with but if it’s as good as I’ve been reading, even made with store milk we should see the benefits.  Eventually I would like to make it with raw milk.  You can read here about the difference between kefir and yogurt.  I have some questions, though.  How is making kefir with the starter different than with grains?  The kefir was ready this morning, I gave it a stir like the directions said.  It looks really good, thick and smooth, but there’s no grains.  It tastes good, a lot like plain yogurt.  My youngest son likes yogurt but said ‘bleh’.  I gave him half a glass and he drank the whole thing.  Maybe first thing in the morning wasn’t the best time to get him to try it.  😀


Butternut Peanut Soup

The other new recipe I tried was Butternut Peanut Soup. Doesn’t the name sound yummy?  I have quite a few butternut squashes from my garden this year so thought I’d try this different looking soup.  I didn’t follow the recipe exactly because there were a few ingredients I didn’t have and don’t normally so I adapted it to my pantry.  The recipe posted is my adapted version.  It’s very good and filling too.  I think I’ll try it with turkey stock next time.

Marg's Sandwich Spread

Marg's Sandwich Spread

I promised to share my sandwich spread recipe so here it is.  It turns out a lovely creamy-yellow colour.  Yellower than the picture. The next batch I may experiment with adding different ingredients to this base recipe.

Marg’s Sandwich Spread

2 egg yolks
½ tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. raw honey
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dry mustard mixed with a little water.

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a blender. With the blender running, drizzle in olive oil very slowly. Mix the dry mustard with a little water to make a paste and add to the blender. Keep refrigerated.

Yield: approx. 1½ cups

This post is part of Tuesday Twister hosted by

Mostly poultry

Here’s a look at the real food that’s been cooking in my kitchen this week.  I didn’t realize we were eating so much poultry until I put this post together! Ha!

Roast turkey – I cut the legs and wings off one of our homegrown fresh turkeys, put them in the freezer for another time and roasted the rest, breast side down. Cooking it breast down makes it very moist. I removed the breast and sliced it for a meal and for sandwiches.

Curried turkey – We loved this! It’s also a good way to use bits of meat you get from different parts of the turkey. It can be made with any kind of leftover meat. The way I used to cook it called for canned cream of mushroom soup, but this time I made it with real ingredients only and it was so much better! I served it over brown basmati rice.

Turkey enchiladas – not pictured. This was a new recipe I tried and it was very good! Filling too and we hardly knew it was turkey. Which was nice since we’ve been eating so much of it lately. 😉

Turkey stock – The bones were so big, I had to cook it in my canner! It made lots of yummy broth.

For a turkey that had the legs and wings removed, it fed us for a lot of meals. I picked the last bits of meat off the bones, (another pound!) and froze it for another meal at another time. Hopefully that’s the end of it for a while!

Greek Roasted Chicken and Potatoes – I make this fairly often. It’s a family favourite. I especially like it because you can adapt it for feeding more or less people.

Fresh Tomato Soup – A soup made with chicken broth, from the leftover roast chicken. I used up the last of my tomatoes from the garden. The picture doesn’t show that there are chunks of tomato, green pepper and chicken. I also used up the last little bit of cream I bought earlier in the week even though it didn’t call for it.

Sandwich Spread – I won’t buy Miracle Whip anymore and mayonnaise isn’t zippy enough for my family so I’ve been experimenting with a sandwich spread recipe. I don’t want to call it Miracle Whip because I’m not trying to copy the taste but make my own. This one turned out pretty good. They’re eating it in their turkey sandwiches so I guess it’s okay. 🙂

This post is part of Tuesday Twister hosted by

Cream of Turkey Soup

I’ve got lots of rich turkey broth simmering these days, especially this year because we raised our own turkeys.  Broth made from homegrown poultry doesn’t taste like store bought or canned.  It’s hard to describe except – how broth should taste!  One thing I love is turkey soup,  and this recipe is at the top of my list of favourites. It’s simple and easy, it makes use of the wonderful broth available to me and the carrots that are still freshy harvested from the garden. It’s rich, creamy and delicious.

Cream of Turkey Soup

Cream of Turkey Soup

Cream of Turkey Soup

1 turkey carcass
4 quarts of water
1 large onion, chopped
5 carrots, chopped fine
1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
1 pint (500ml) heavy cream
3 cups diced cooked turkey
½ tsp. sage, if desired
sea salt and pepper to taste

In a large kettle, cook turkey carcass with water to make 3 quarts stock. Remove bones; reserve meat for soup. Strain the stock; set aside. In a saucepan, combine onions, carrots and rice with 1 quart of the stock. Cook for 40 minutes. Add vegetable mixture, turkey and seasonings to taste to the remaining stock. Add cream and heat slowly to serving temperature.

Check out the Gallery of Soups at for new fresh soup inspirations.

Bread and tomatoes

Bread: This week I made bread and buns.  I used to make it all the time a few years ago when I was involved in the local Farmers Market. I used the same recipe but I tried soaking the flour a day ahead but I could only soak about 1/3 of the recipe as the rest I had to work in dry. Not sure how I’m going to overcome that problem. 

Sourdough Starter: I also tried making sourdough starter this week.  I think it might have worked?!  It was a really warm windy day and I set it outside. By the end of the day, it was all bubbly. 🙂  I had to put it in a larger jar.

Gazpacho: I used a recipe at but modified it a bit to suit what I had.  When we went to Spain we had gazpacho and I loved it!  My attempt at it didn’t quite taste like what we had there but it was still good.  I tried to make it smooth but turned out more like a smoothy than a soup.  Still tasted good.  It’s a good food to put in hubby’s lunchbox.

Shrimp Pasta Sauce:  This is a dish I created based on pasta dishes we would have in Italy.  Saute chopped onion in coconut oil, add sliced mushrooms, lots of minced garlic and lots basil.  When the mushrooms are just about done, add chopped tomatoes and shrimp.  Heat and serve over whole wheat pasta.  You can substitute the shrimp for any seafood.

Chokecherry Wine: Not pictured but I started a batch of chokecherry wine.  Not sure how “real” this is as I used sugar, but I did use an old fashioned recipe, the way grandpa would have made it.  Doesn’t the fermentation eat up the sugar?

This post is part of Tuesday Twister blog carnival hosted by

Real. Simple.

I’m going to bore you with this week’s real food.  We’ve been eating from the garden.  As far as I’m concerned there is no better way to enjoy fresh garden produce except cooked simply or served raw.  Simple. This is how we generally eat.

Green Beans: The green beans are ready which means we’ve been enjoying them fresh as much as possible… baked, boil and fried!  I mean that literally.  Baked on the BBQ in tinfoil, boil on the stovetop, and fried with cream.  I might also include steamed and simmered in soup.

Cabbage: My most favourite way of having cabbage is creamed!!  All the better if I had Mrs. Penner’s cream (a lovely Mennonite woman that lives near my mom and has grass-fed dairy cows.).  It’s so good, I was wishing for more!  Slowly simmer chopped cabbage in a skillet until tender, then add cream and salt and pepper to taste.  Heat and serve.

Carrots: The carrots are just maturing so we’re enjoying steamed baby carrots.

Lettuce: we’re still enjoying lots of tossed salads with green onions, dill and some of those baby carrots.

Still to come: Tomatoes are starting to ripen. Cucumbers are blooming profusely!

This post is part of Tuesday Twister hosted by GNOWFGLINS

Friday evening

With all the sickie-dickies in the house this week, I thought it would be a good idea to make some hearty, healthy soup!  So! I made Lentil Stew.  Have to credit  Sylvia at for the recipe.  It’s a real keeper, if you ever want to try it!

lentil stew

lentil stew

My hubby came home sick still.  The soup was just what he needed to warm and nourish him.  There is still lots leftover if you care to risk catching what we have.  OR you can make your own:

A lot of this recipe can come from your home garden.

Lentil Stew

Heat this to boiling lower heat to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours

2 cups dried lentils

7 cups water

ham bone

2 cups finely diced potatoes (optional)

1/2 cup finely chopped carrots

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped celery

3 Tbsp. minced parsley

1 clove garlic, crushed

Then add:

2 cups canned tomatoes

2 Tbsp vinegar

2 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp. oregano

2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp.  black pepper

Simmer another 30 minutes.  Add water or stock if needed.