Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How To Clean Large mouth Bass - Getting Off The Grid

How To Clean Large mouth Bass - Getting Off The Grid

I was presented with a couple of largemouth bass and one crappie but the catch to getting their catch of the day was that I had to clean the fish myself.  I learned how to clean largemouth bass by watching the men doing it for years and years. Being off the grid and a woman alone, you should know how to catch and clean your fish.

If they were just going to be eaten by me I would not have fillet any, but since I do and they do not like picking bones I did fillet the largemouth bass and left the crappie whole and all for me.

To clean a large mouth bass you`ll need a fork and a very sharp knife and water to clean up with.

First you`ll want to scrap the scales off, you can do this by scraping from the tail up toward the head. This will be messy.

Next you will remove the fishes head. Place the knife just behind the gill and at a slanted angle cut the fish on one side and then flip over and do the same on the other side. Pick up the fish and "pop" the bone in half.

Most of the guts will come out with the head, but take the knife and split from the lower fin up to where you removed the head now you can check for any that was left behind.

Now lets fillet the bass. Place the knife at the top of the fishes back, as close as possible to the top fin bones, make the cut keeping it flush with the fin bones, slowly work your way into the fish with the knife and pulling the fillet back as you go to see what you are doing.

When you get passed the rib cage stick the knife all the way through to the other side and slowly cut to the tail, keeping flush with the bone.

Once you have the fillet off the bone you will need to remove the rib cage section, it still has bones.

AND that is how to clean a large mouth bass!

Now lets go inside and fry this nice mess of fish.

Wash the fish thoroughly with cold water and keep the fish in the water till you are about to bread them.

Get the good old number 8 iron skillet out and add enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom about 1/2 inch and put on the stove top at medium high.

Place around a cup of flour into a deep bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix together.

Dip the fish into the  flour coating well and drop into the hot oil. cook a few minutes on each side, or till golden brown.

I do not feel you need any more seasonings because the large mouth bass, and crappie, will make your mouth beg for more!

NOTE: Nothing is wasted when taking a fishes life to feed us, I use the guys and heads as fertilizer. Just dig a hole and plant them, nature will do the rest.

By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry

Sunday, August 28, 2016

At A Stand Still - Getting Off The Grid

At A Stand Still - Getting Off The Grid

August 28,2016

Owning a large section of land and trying to maintain it and work out in the world is not an easy task, especially for one woman, Even when I do hire help. Learning is a part of life and learning to balance one with the other is the biggest learning process of my life.

I am now going to declare that the month of August HAS to be the rest month for me here in Alabama this year. I have a row of yellow squash and its battle the bugs time, they are winning. I have a couple cucumber planted in flower pots, another battle of the bugs. Its either to dry or to wet to till the garden to sow the fall greens, since August is about over, I will see how kind September will be for me.

Another learning process is "learning to do without items that require power."

As I have mentioned before I put up the clothesline to bypass using the electric dryer and for the most part I have done really good with this process and I have even seen a large nose dive in my power bill. 

I also unplug the office stuff, the printer, computer and even the lamp. 

Unplugging the kitchen too! No microwave unless I really have to and this one is the hardest to stop. I had already made it a habit to unplug the coffee maker years ago, and since I do not have my appliances on th counter tops, none are plugged in. One thing I have been doing again is using the hand can opener and the hand mixer, I don`t use either often but when I do I want to go with no power.

Another hurdle to overcome is how will I heat the hot water for baths during the winter? I have an electric water heater and I am fortunate to have an off and on switch ( like a light switch) to flip when I am not using it in this place, but what about when I go off the grid completely? How will I manage the hot water.

The process continues as I will be off the grid one day soon.

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Friday, August 26, 2016

How to Can Mushrooms - Getting Off The Grid

How to Can Mushrooms - Getting Off The Grid

Today was one of those days that you get every now and then, while shopping I spotted a sale on baby Bella mushrooms and I jumped on it.
Seventy nine cents a package and they were fresh! I bought six packages.

Canning mushrooms is very easy and worth the little trouble involved. 

You`ll need :

A pressure canner, canning jars with lids and rings. A large cooking pot, a slotted spoon. 

fresh mushrooms

canning salt

Fruit fresh

Lets get started.

Put the mushrooms into the sink and fill with water, soak the mushrooms a few minutes to loosen up the dirt, rinse them well in cold water.

Slice the mushrooms and set them aside.

Put the pressure canner on the stove and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to three quarts of water, turn the heat on to get the water hot but not boiling.

Put the mushrooms in the large cooking pot and cover with water, bring to a boil for five minutes, remove from heat and fill your sterile canning jars with mushrooms and liquid, 1/2 teaspoon of canning salt and 1/8 teaspoon of fruit fresh , leaving one inch of head space.

Wipe the rim of the jars clean and apply the new canning lid and ring.

Put the jars into the pressure canner. Process for 45 minutes. 

Remove from heat and allow to cool in the pressure canner, after about thirty  minutes the valve should be down letting you know its cooled enough to open. Remove the jars to a towel and leave till completely cool. Check seal on top, if its down in the middle its sealed properly, if it " pops" its not sealed. Store these in the refrigerator and use within a week.

Having your own home canned mushrooms gives you the freedom to know what is added, you can control the salt and leave off the fruit fresh.

How to use your home canned mushrooms:

I like to drain them and add to my spaghetti or pizza. I also like to use the mushrooms and the liquid to make homemade brown mushroom gravy. 

By Andria Perry
Photos By Andria Perry