Balsamic Cherry Tomato Caramelized Onion Conserve

For some reason of all my tomato plants the most productive one was a volunteer heirloom Black Pearl Cherry Tomato plant that insisted on taking over a middle raised garden bed. No complaints this is my favorite Cherry Tomato! It’s sweet and not overly “tomatoey” in flavor. We eat them like candy.

However, in the early autumn days this plant decided to become an over over achiever giving us a huge bowl of cherry tomatoes.

I decided to use them up so they wouldn’t go to waste by making Balsamic Cherry Tomato Caramelized Onion Conserve.


  • 2 tbsp real butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds of sweet onions quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes cleaned and sliced in half
  • 3/4 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of Balsamic vinager
  • 1 tsp of dark rum (I used flavoring)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large pot, heat butter and oil over medium low heat until the butter melts. Add onions, salt, and sugar. Cook covered for 13 to 15 min or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Uncover and cook and stir over medium high heat until the onions are a golden brown but do not burn!
  3. Stir in cherry tomatoes and honey into the onion mixture.
  4. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring continuously.
  5. Reduce heat to a medium high and boil until tomatoes are starting to soften. Stir continuously as to not scorch.
  6. Remove from heat. Stir in Balsamic vinager, rum, and pepper until well mixed.
  7. Ladle hot mixture into hot sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/4in headspace.
  8. Wipe jars, place lids, adjust rings.
  9. Process filled jars in a water bath or steam canner. Start timing when your canner is at a full boil or your temperature Guage on the steam canner indicates per instructions. Process jars for 10 min.
  10. Remove jars from canner & cool until sealed. Place any unsealed jars in the refrigerator.
  11. Makes about 5-6 halfpints.

Until next time, Enjoy.

Mrs. Kay Rice

Crochet Towel Hanger

Towel hangers are an essential for the kitchen, work shop, barn, anywhere you might need a quick towel within reach. This towel holder holds any towel making it easy to swap it out and replace with a clean towel.

These take about 15 min to make and you can repurpose scraps!

Skill level Beginniner


  • slst = slip stich
  • ch = chain
  • sc = single stich
  • dc = double stich
  • dc2tog = (or decrease) double stich 2 dc together

Items needed:

  • Scrap yarn of your choice. For kitchen/bathroom use, Redheart Super Saver yarn works perfectly. For barn, garage, or outside, Twine, yes, bailing twine, works perfectly.
  • Size H crochet hook
  • 1 yarn needle
  • 1 button with big enough center holes to get your yarn needle through it.
  • A “ring”. This is where you can get really creative with repurposing “stuff”. I like to use a large ponytail ring. You can also use plastic “bangle” round bracelets (for large towels), cut out plastic rings from milk jugs, or pretty much anything that is the right size “hole” for holding your towel so that it doesn’t slip out easily.


  1. Make your starting loop in your yarn as you would to start a chain
  2. Row 1: Enter through the ring as if you are pointing your hook away from you (this will help you not get tangled up in your yarn on the circle) sc over your ring from inside the ring. 3 chain (this will be your first dc), dc around the ring. For a ponytail ring its 34 DC. You want the yarn to be firm and not expose the ring but not so tight it bunches up. slst into the third chain at the top (where you started). ch 3 and turn
  3. Row 2: Starting with your 1st dc from row one, dc 1 in each of the next 10 dc. ch 3 turn.
  4. Row 3: dc in the first dc. 1 dc in next dc 10 times . ch 3 turn
  5. Row 4: dc in the first dc. 1 dc in next dc 11 times . ch 3 turn
  6. Row 5: sk the first stitch directly beside your chain, 1 dc in next dc 11 times
  7. Row 6 through 9 repeat Row 5
  8. Row 10: 1dc2tog,1 dc in next dc 7 times, 1dc2tog, 1dc ch 3 turn
  9. Row 11: 1dc2tog, 1 dc in next dc 5 times, 1dc2tog, 1dc ch 3 turn
  10. Row 12: 1 dc in next dc 8 times, ch 3 turn
  11. Row 13 – 19 repeat row 12
  12. Row 20: Buttonhole row: dc in next 3 dc, ch 1 (sk a stitch) dc in next 3 dc. 3 ch turn
  13. Row 21: 1 dc in next 8 dc, 1 ch turn
  14. Row 22: 1dc2tog, 4sc, 1dc2tog, 1 ch turn
  15. Row 23: 7 sc, 1 ch turn
  16. Row 24: 7 sc, tie off.
  17. Cut 2 long strands of yarn, about 6 inches each.
  18. I am using a 4 hole button here, so one strand went bottom left to top right, and the second strand went bottom right to top left.
  19. Line up your button to thread button yarns at the 3rd row from the ring around the 7th DC and pull through to the back, leaving the button on the front. Tie tightly to the back.
  20. Trim and weave your ends.
  21. Your top button hole should fit over your button.

And there you have your crochet towel holder.


Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

Honeycomb Candy

This is an old fashioned candy recipe made “best” on snow days! Using nature’s cold & snow to flash cool the candy creates the perfect honeycomb airy brittle texture.

Old Fashioned Honeycomb Candy. Plain & Dark Chocolate Dipped.

Before you start you need:

  • Candy Thermometer
  • Outside area with snow
  • 9×13 pan lined with foil & lightly greased
  • Larger sheet pan to go under the greased pan
  • Sift the baking soda before you start!


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Karo Syrup (clear)
  • 4 tsp Baking Soda SIFTED
  • 3 drops yellow food coloring


  1. Make sure your baking soda is measured, sifted and ready.
  2. Make sure your 9×13 pan is lined with foil and greased.
  3. Place your candy thermometer in your pot. Do not let the tip touch the bottom of your pan!
  4. Heat the sugar & syrup at a medium heat stirring nonstop.
  5. As the mix turns into a liquid add food coloring. Continue stirring.
  6. Heat until your mixture reaches exactly 300°F on your candy thermometer.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Briskly stir in Sifted baking soda.
  10. Your mixture will begin to grow fast, make sure the baking soda is well stirred!
  11. Pour evenly onto your foil lined greased pan. GUIDE THE POURING AS YOU GO TO COVER THE PAN.
  13. Place the pan on top of the larger cookie sheet and place the cookie sheet outside nestled into the snow. Make sure its in a protected area free from animals and such.
  14. Leave in the snow for approximately 10 to 15 min.
  15. Your brittle should be hard.
  16. Bring inside and break into pieces.
  17. You can dip pieces in dipping chocolate for an extra treat.

I hope you enjoy this old fashioned winter treat as much as we do.

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

Spicy Black Bean Soup

The perfect soup to warm you up on cold days.


  • 1 lb dehydrated black beans
  • 4 slices of bacon cut into 1/2 inch squares (smoked bacon is best)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1 large green chili chopped (or a small can of diced chilies)
  • 2 whole dried chipotle peppers
  • 1 cup of diced peppers (Bell peppers for no extra heat, otherwise you pick your mix, cooking will bring out the heat)
  • 6 cups pork or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinager
  • 1 can of canned black beans
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste.


The night before, sort your dehydrated beans, make sure there are no stones or pods or stems from packaging. Hey, it happens.

Add enough water to cover your beans plus 3 to 4 inches extra water. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to cut down on “belly gas” after eating. Let sit overnight.

  1. The next morning rinse your beans and put in a large crockpot.
  2. In a large frying pan cook your bacon until cooked but not crumbly.
  3. Remove bacon from pan.
  4. Add your onion, garlic, green chili and peppers to the bacon grease and saute until your onion is starting to become translucent.
  5. Add your bacon & vegetables to the crockpot.
  6. Add your diced tomato to the crockpot.
  7. Add your dehydrated chipotle peppers to the crockpot.
  8. Add your broth & red wine vinager to the crockpot & stir.
  9. Cook on high for 4-5 hours.
  10. Once the beans in your soup are soft, put your canned black beans in a bowl and mash them.
  11. Add the corn flour to the mashed beans and mash together until well mixed.
  12. Add the mashed beans and corn flour to your crockpot stirring so the mashed beans don’t clump creating little bean dumplings.
  13. Add in your seasonings: cumin, chili powder, black pepper and salt.
  14. Cook on low for another 30 minutes.

Serve with cornbread & enjoy.

This soup can be pressure canned for shelf safe future use. Pressure Can as you would for meats.

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

Sourdough Starter Noodles

Sourdough starter can be used in so many recipes, and when you are feeding a good batch to keep the maturity & yeast going, you start looking for even more ways!

This is an easy egg noodle recipe using your sourdough starter. It gives the noodles a lighter texture and a “sour cream” taste. That’s the best way I can explain that perfect yeast taste.

Sourdough Starter Noodles made with fresh ground wheat flour.


  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup of mature sourdough starter
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • Pinch of salt.


  1. Whip your egg yolk & egg until fluffy.
  2. Pour eggs into a large bowl.
  3. Add your sourdough starter & stir.
  4. Add your salt & stir.
  5. Add your flour 1/2 cup at a time. Stir until a little sticky.
  6. Coat with the olive oil.
  7. Cover with a towel & allow to swell for about 30 minutes in a warm location.
  8. Once they have sat for approximately 30 minutes, uncover the mixture and using some flour make into balls.
  9. Keep each ball coated with flour and place back into the bowl.
  10. Sprinkle flour on a clean surface and roll a ball into a thin “crust”.
  11. Slice into thin ribbons and set on a cookie sheet.
  12. Continue to your next ball.
  13. NOTE: I normally stop at 4 balls of dough in making the noodles. The remaining balls of dough I put in a freezer safe bag & freeze for the next time I need noodles.
  14. Set your oven on its lowest setting & place your cookie sheet in your oven with the door cracked until the noodles are dried.
  15. You can also use your dehydrator.
  16. Once dried, bag up & keep in the refrigerator or freezer until used fairly soon. These are not meant for long term storage
  17. To use, drop in boiling water or broth and cook like normal egg noodles.
Roll your dough into small fist size balls.
Place your noodles on a cookie sheet

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

Dandelion Jelly

Dandelion Jelly, or as a friend of mine calls it “Yard Lion Honey” is not your typical seasonal treat. While it is referred to as a jelly, its really much more the consistency of honey or agave syrup. This is the way it really is supposed to be.  Dandelion Jelly is a seasonal treat among Amish and Mennonite and truly lives up to the “Use what you have” standard.

My favorite way to use Dandelion Jelly is in tea to replace honey.  I also use it on breads and baked goods and with buttered biscuits or in grits.  Pretty much anything you think of using honey for, you can use Dandelion Jelly.


  • 4 cups of (packed) dandelion blooms separated from all greens.  This is the labor intensive part.
    • 1. Your blooms need to be fully opened and full of “fragrance”. The bigger the bloom the better.
    • 2.  NO SPRAYING OF ANYTHING.  Blooms must be from an all natural not bug spray, fertilizer spray, weed spray, etc.
    • 3. Blooms must be fresh and separate best within minutes after picking them.
    • 4. NO GREENS are to be left with the bloom “fluff” the greens will be bitter.


  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1 box of low sugar natural fruit pectin
  • Yellow food coloring


  • A large pot for Jelly Making
  • 5 half-pint canning jars with rings and lids
  • Water bath canner
  • Candy thermometer
  • Fine strainer tiny, tiny, tiny holes!


  1. After perfectly shredding your dandelion blooms to a bowl of dandelion petals. Measure out 4 cups of petals.
  2. Boil all 4 cups of water  in your jelly pot.
    1. We are beginning the process of making your “tea”
  3. Once up to a boil measure ot 2 cups of petals and put directly into the boiling water, stir in.
  4. Let boil for about 5 minutes.  Take off the heat, then let steep for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. With your strainer over a large bowl, pour the water and dandelion petals through the strainer.  Press the dandelion mush to get all the water out.  The water will look “dirty” it’s supposed.  The Dandelion mush can go to your chickens, compost bin or garden.
  6. Put the water back into your Jelly pot and bring back to a boil.
  7. Repeat the process with the next 2 cups of petals.
    1. put petals directly into the boiling water, stir in.
    2. Let boil for about 5 minutes, Take off the heat, then let steep for 20 to 25 minutes.
    3. With your strainer over a large bowl, pour the water and dandelion petals through the strainer.  Press the dandelion mush to get all the water out.  The water will look “dirty” it’s supposed.
  8. Put 3 cups of water BACK into your Jelly Pot and bring to a boil.
    1. I personally use any extra tea to add to kombucha brewing or save for the next batch of dandelion jelly.
  9. Add in your 4 cups of sugar and the pectin and bring to a boil. (I actually use 2/3 of a cup of natural pectin which I get in bulk from an Amish store instead of using mass produced boxed pectin).
  10. Have your candy thermometer in your liquid.
  11. When your thermometer gets to 250 degrees F, start your timer for 7 minutes.
    1. If you start foaming (and you will) add a pat of real whole butter as with any jam to deaden the foam.
  12. Once your time is up, remove the liquid from the heat.
  13. Add in 2 to 3 drops of yellow food color to intensify the golden color (the more pollen in the blooms the brighter the color will be).


As with anything made in season, its nice to stock up during God’s bountiful season, so you will want to preserve for the months when dandelions no longer bloom in mass amounts.


  1. Prepare your water bath or steam canner as directed.
  2. This recipe makes 5 half-pints of jelly so sterilize and prepare 5 half-pints, I usually have 1 or 2 4 ounce jars “just in case” ready to go as well.
  3. Prepare your lids and make sure you have good fitting rings.
  4. While your canner is getting ready fill your jars with the jelly leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  5. Wipe down the rims of the jars with a wet warm towel.
  6. Place your rings on your jars.
  7. Tightly screw on the rings (not like Samson tight, but nice and tight).
  8. Once your canner is ready, place your jars in the canner.
  9. Water Bath or Steam Can for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove from the canner and let rest for 24 hours.
  11. Hearing that wonderful “POP!” letting you know that the jar is sealed, should happen fairly soon after the jars leave their hot canner.
  12. Let your jars rest for 24 hours before storing in a cool place like your basement pantry.


I hope you enjoy this new seasonal treat and it finds a regular spot in your home pantry.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Rice