SWEET AND SOUR PORK IN THE MULTI COOKER

No 1 son very generously bought me a multi cooker for my birthday and mothers day.   It is a Newwave cooker but there are many more brands on the market.  This one slow cooks, steams, high and low pressure cooks and has a soup function.

My multi-cooker
My multi-cooker

I actually wanted an electric pressure cooker but I got a lot more than I bargained for.  I had a stove top pressure cooker when we were first married about 25 years ago but it just seemed to turn everything to mush, so I didn’t use it much at all.  After watching various cooking shows I thought an electric one would be a good idea.

Well it turned out to be a great idea.

Last night I made Sweet and Sour Pork Chops and it was really yummy so I thought I’d share it with you.

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops.

  • Pork Chops – enough for your family
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 stems of Celery
  • 4 Carrots
  • 1/4 Cabbage
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Tomato Sauce/Tomato Soup
  • 1 tin Pineapple
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 tblsp of Vinegar
  • 1 tblsp of Olive Oil
  • 2 tblsp of Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup hot water (optional)

Press the brown function on your cooker and add the tablespoon of olive oil.  Chop onions into chunks and add to the cooker and brown. Slice celery, carrots and cabbage and add.  Place 1/4 cup of flour in a plastic bag and add the pork chops, give the bag a shake until chops are coated with flour and then add these to the cooker and brown.  (The flour will give you a thicker sauce)

Add pineapple pieces and juice, tomato sauce, vinegar, salt, and brown sugar, mix altogther.  At this stage you may need to add some hot water, this is optional, you need to have enough liquid so that the cooker builds up pressure.

Close the lid and press high pressure and set for 30 minutes.  I did it this long last night and the chops were still intact but the meat easily came away from the bone.

When finished allow the pressure cooker to vent naturally, and serve with mashed potato or rice.

PS.  I vented the pressure cooker with the release valve to vent and ended up with the liquid coming out of the top (we had the power off until 7pm so I was in a hurry) so I had a small mess to clean up.

PPS.  I had enough sauce left over to make a sweet and sour tuna for tonight.  I will just cook some rice and heat up the tuna with the left over sauce and maybe add another tin of pineapple (my husbands favourite) and mix it together and serve.

PPPS.  I am not really a measure and cook type of person, I do tend to just chuck stuff in and change things.  You can add whatever else you like to this dish.

ENJOY!!

 

CANNING

I was thrilled when I finally discovered canning.  I had been preserving using my Fowlers Vacola outfit for years, bottling fruits, but I wanted something that I could store meat and vegetables other than our freezer.

I had been reading the Above Rubies magazine and a Mennonite publication and they talked about canning their meats and vegetables.  So after some internet research I found a company online in Australia that sold canners.

It has been fantastic!  I started with peas, corn and beans.  I have since then over the last few years moved onto meats, soups and casseroles.  I have canned sweet and sour pork, chicken and corn soup and even wild rabbit (our meat ones keep dying before they are ready to eat !!!)

I feel very pleased when I go out to my pantry and look at all the jars out there and find it hard to use them because I don’t want them to run out and they look so good.  I have to shake myself and say “hey, you need to use it before next season”.

I find the bottles great to just heat up and send with my husband and son for their lunches.

Mind you, in the beginning I was concerned about getting sick from botulism but so far so good.  I would recommend canning to anyone who wanted to store their produce without it taxing their electricity bill.

Stay tuned for more pictures and canning ideas……

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TO HOMESCHOOL OR NOT TO HOMESCHOOL

I always said that I would never homeschool and I mean NEVER…

I have now learnt that you never say NEVER.

Sometimes we just don’t know the road that God will take us on.

We started homeschooling around 13 years ago.  Our No 1 daughter had spent her primary years at school and No 1 son had done a year of schooling and finished prep.  I really don’t remember the turning point that made us change our minds but I do know that the change has been (for us) the better.  No 1 son had difficulty learning to read so when we brought him home we taught him to read using phonics, and within 6 months he was reading well.  We found that if you gave him things he was interested  in to read, he would read more, his first novel was Swiss Family Robinson.

We brought No 1 son home first and started him off with No 1 daughter returning to school for her first year of secondary education.  A christian friend suggested we meet this lovely family who had been homeschooling for years.  Well to make a long story short we met this family and brought our daughter home to school as well.  We had never met a more well adjusted friendly bunch of children who greeted us at the door and didn’t run away to play on a computer game.  They were well spoken and could give their opinion with respect and confidence.

Our decision was made – we would homeschool both of our children.

It hasn’t always been easy, but I think God has led us to this place to develop not only our childrens characters but also our own.  I must admit my patience level isn’t great and I hope that has improved somewhat.

Since then our No 1 daughter has finished school, worked various part time jobs, whilst running her own sewing business and has now been married for 2 years and has 2 beautiful daughters.  She has a wonderful husband who is supportive and caring and really looks after her well (Her husband is the youngest son of the family who’s character convinced us to homeschool).

No 1 son has finished his schooling, and completed a farm apprenticeship with his Father.  He has been working now for a couple of years.  We only hear good reports about his attitude and character and it is so pleasing to see him forge a life for himself.  He is caring and considerate and terribly generous both with his time and money.

God has truly blessed us with these 2 children and our hearts burst with love for them both.

God then blessed us with more children some years on, when WE finally decided that 2 wasn’t enough.  I think it was when WE decided to let God take over our lives instead of us controlling it (this is another post I am sure).

We are now homeschooling No 2 daughter and No 2 son.  It still isn’t always easy but it is very rewarding.  I am older now and have finally realised how much I enjoy being at home and how much I enjoy having my children here.  I now no longer need to be a super mum, involved in everything and doing everything.

So we have got quite a few more years ahead of us of homeschooling but we look forward to where God takes us in that time and the character he will develop in all of us and the journey it will be.

PS: even though I write this post from my thoughts and feelings, my husband and I made the decision to homeschool together.  He is the headmaster in our school and I am the teacher.  I have a wonderful headmaster to turn to when I have issues that I need help with.  My headmaster is a great support and without him I couldn’t do the teaching that I do.

 

This post is linked to.. 

 

PRIZE WINNING CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE

Our No 2 son got eczema at 5 months of age.  His skin was pretty terrible and his cheeks were a bleeding, weeping mess.  It was awful.  We kept going to the doctor, who kept prescribing medication that really didn’t do anything.  Finally we found a doctor who sent him for testing in Melbourne.  We made an appointment, and waited. The waiting list was months away.

When we had him tested he was allergic to dairy, egg (got an epi pen he was THAT allergic), and basically a whole lot of other things.  He was taken off everything he was eating and was reduced to bread, potatoes, chicken, apples, pears and a smattering of other vegetables.  It was fantastic that he wasn’t gluten intolerant or I don’t know what I would have fed him.

He wasn’t allowed outside until his face cleared up (which is hard for a 2 year old – this was how long it took us to get a doctor to do something and then how long we had to wait for an appointment).  He was prescribed creams 3 to 4 times a day for a week and antibiotics.  Well he cleared up within 7 days, it was amazing, he could go outside and play again.  His cheeks were quite red for a long time but it has now cleared up.  We thought with all the creams over the years that he may have some skin damage, but praise the Lord his cheeks are just smooth and beautiful.

So over the last 4 years it has come and gone, we had another breakout after travelling to visit family and I thought it was back in full force again.  But after a period of time (and only eating what he was allowed) it went away again.  I am happy to say that his face is still clear, which is great, he still has to deal with it on his inner arms and behind his knees, but that is fairly manageable.

So I suppose the point of this post is to share with you a chocolate cake recipe that I used so that he could at least have something special and a birthday cake.  I became quite adept at cooking without dairy and eggs and really basically substituted butter for olive oil.

Anyway here is the recipe,  it sure put a smile on our little boys face.

Chocolate Cake

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups white sugar (I always use raw)
  • 2 tsp baking soda (bi carb soda)
  • 6 tblsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 10 tblsp olive oil

Mix dry ingredients, add remaining ingredients.  Bake at 190 degrees for 35 mins or until skewer comes out clean.

When I made this cake for our son I iced it with a chocolate icing and changed the butter for water.

OPTIONAL EXTRA:  when mixing you can add frozen raspberries.

This mixture is also great for muffins as well.

No 1 daughter made this cake for our local show and won first prize in the relevant section. (even after the cake had hit the ground, face down – it was covered in glad wrap!!!!)

ENJOY

This post is linked up…

Tasty-Tuesday-Button

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