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As part of a community food program, I am given unique food challenges each month. Last month I ended up with four bags of turnips. No one really wanted them. So many people gave me theirs. They didn't have a clue what to do with them. Turnips have always been peasant food, long before potatoes were a thing. Personally, I still think of them as pig food. I don't have a pig nor the space to get one, even a tiny pig.

June was Turnip month

I found a period recipe for turnip wine. That's one way to preserve them. I already did a post on this. It's coming along. I think it'll be good for cooking. Another is to make slaw or pickle them. Since we have an abundant supply of dill, we have now had a month of daily coleslaw. I am really done with eating this but its still good on those hot days when you don't really want to cook. One turnip started growing in the fridge despite all the anti-growth chemicals they spray on supermarket food. Yup. Planted it for seed.

More turnips from June

July's food challenge is Mangoes. Most people have no clue what to do with them. When they found out we knew what to make with them, they gave us more. First, these are not ripe yet. Second, unripe mangoes contain natural turpentine. A bit of poking on youtube gave us some good recipes. Here's one for Kulfi (an ice cream pop) Condensed milk works too. https://youtu.be/VUQ5yG_NFrI
Chutney is another thing to do. We'll probably make both. There are 13 mangoes.

July is Mango month

Then on to granola. 91 batches of granola are made each year for our 3 person household. That's a lot of granola! Here's the basic recipe. Ingredients can be changed up for a different flavor. Substitions are recommended. If you are traveling and want to turn your granola into bars, I've also included a recipe but with 91 batches, very few go the extra bit of work to become bars.

This is for a 9x13" baking dish:

Mix dry ingredients:
3 cups quick oats
1 cup rice crisps (unless you want a very dense granola)
1 cup (ish) chopped nuts
1/4 cup flour
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon or other spice

Mix liquid ingredients:
1/2 cup maple syrup and/or honey and/or agave and/or corn syrup
generous 1/3 cup canola oil OR substitute part/all with nut butter
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Spread dry ingredients evenly in your baking dish and pour the liquid ingredients over all. You will end up having to mush in the liquids to make sure everything is more-or less coated. Bake at 325 degrees for an hour, stirring and turning-over every fifteen minutes.

Adding chopped fruit:
Since the high sugar content and lack of liquid in dried fruit leads to easy burning, I recommend chopping it to size just after putting the granola in the oven, and putting it in the mixing cup used for the liquid ingredients with a little bit more sugar syrup over it. Place that on top of/near the oven to gently heat. Add the sticky chopped fruit for the last fifteen minutes of cook time.

Granola is made 91 times a year

Once complete the baking dish can also now be reused for:

Granola Bars Syrup

1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c butter or margarine
1/3 c honey
5 c. granola
1/2 c whole flour

Stir together granola and flour. In a saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, and honey. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour brown sugar mixture over granola mix. Stir until well-coated. Press into a greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Cool; cut into bars.

The cupboard is woefully empty for this time of year

Food pantry needs a lot more work before winter. So far only black raspberry jelly and marmalade. The applesauce came from the food program. I've not read the ingredients yet. I am allergic to cinnamon so we'll see.

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