Dinner, Lunch, Recipe

Bear Carnitas


Yes, you read that correctly. My son was gifted with some bear meat, so I volunteered to cook it for him (none of us had tried it). My mind usually goes to Mexican when I think of cooking meat and I was really leaning toward carne asada or colorado but I wanted to be able to taste the meat. So, I settled on this simple already-loved recipe.

Here’s the link (for those who do not know, if I post a recipe, I only post the ingredients. You have to visit the link to read their instructions).

Bear Carnitas


Bear Carnitas
  • 18 pounds bone-in pork shoulder (skin-on picnic shoulder is a good choice, too), cut into 2-pound chunks
  • 1/2cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2cup salt
  • About 4 gallons lard or vegetable oil
  • If using vegetable oil: 1pound piece of slab bacon, cut it into 6 or 8 pieces
First: I did not have 18 pounds of bear meat. I had maybe two. So, all quantities were adjusted accordingly (just sprinkled with salt). Second: I used lemon juice because that’s what I had. I also cooked it in beef fat (with about a cup of bacon grease) because I just rendered a bunch a few months ago. Third: I used my crock pot on high for the first step of cooking. For the final step, I got lazy and just tossed the meat under the broiler to crisp up.
I let the meat cook in the crock pot for about 5 hours, until the meat broke apart with a little force. I drained it on paper towels, transferred it to an old pie pan and threw it under the broiler for a few minutes.

I was surprised by the flavor! Hank Shaw described bear’s flavor as beefy pork or porky beef and he was right! I love it! I did not add any other seasoning to this meat and it’s perfect. So, If I could eat all of this (it’s going home with my son after he gets off work), it would be in a bowl with grated cheese, salsa, diced onion, cilantro (see? Fruit AND vegetables), and sour cream.

Canning, Dinner, Food Storage, Low Carb, Lunch, Preserving, Pressure, Recipe, Supplies

Homemade Corned Beef

I can’t believe I didn’t post about this!  I made homemade corned beef last year, leaving out the sugar and the pink salt, and it was fantastic!  I thought, well, I could make this, then can it so I know exactly where it came from and what was in it.  I haven’t gotten around to canning this because it usually doesn’t last that long!

Anyway, if you are interested (I wanted to see if I could and I did), here is how I did it:


And here is how to can it (ever since I canned that chicken, I prefer raw canning meats):


There you go!  Give it a shot (even if you only do one).  It really wasn’t as difficult as my brain said it would be!


Me And Diabetes

My friend’s mother was just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  I wanted to bestow my wisdom (yeah, I know) on him so that perhaps it could help during this transition.  Then, I realized I had never really shared my experience with anyone (well, not too many).  So, here I am.

I don’t actually remember when I was diagnosed (last year or the year before).  What I do know is I had been having health problems for years that I kept attributing to other factors, illnesses, conditions, whatever I could find via Google.  I experimented with different treatments (yes, acting as my own doctor because not one of these problems I felt was important enough to see a doctor about).  Then God thumped me on the head, like He has so many times in my life.  I developed a severe allergy to seafood.  It is so severe now that I can’t even go near an aquarium (you should have seen me at Bass Pro Shops … that’s how I found out about that one).  So, Emergency Room, followed by a visit to my family doctor, which included all the tests you can imagine when you have never (and I mean never) had a thorough yearly exam.

That’s when I was hit with it and now, looking back over my life, I think I had type 2 diabetes for at least 21 years (well, 21 years this past February).  I was thirsty all the time.  If I did not have something to drink at all times (I couldn’t go more than 20 minutes without drinking something) my mouth and throat would become so dry I would cough and have a hard time breathing.

I couldn’t go more than an hour or two (two was pushing it) or less time if I was doing heavy manual labor without eating.  If I did, I would get the shakes and feel very weak (sometimes I felt like I was going to pass out).  I describe the start of it like this, “It feels like my stomach is shaking, like it’s cold”.  After meeting, then marrying my husband, I always felt self-conscious about raiding their cupboards so we would be there for hours before he would force me to eat something (that’s one of the times it felt like I was about to pass out).

Cuts and scrapes (especially on my hands/fingers) became infected quickly and took forever to heal once the infection was dealt with (sometimes, soap and water just don’t work like they should).  Even though I was always diligent (too much information for some but I’m a female … what are you going to do?) I got yeast infections all the time.  Before being diagnosed, I thought I had just developed allergies to certain ingredients but after changing everything, nothing worked.  And even though I can’t say they are directly related to the diabetes, I got bladder/kidney infections at least once a year.  I say directly related because my view of my body is, when one thing goes wrong, a lot goes wrong at the same time.  It’s like my body has A.D.D. (it can’t really focus on one thing while there are too many distractions).

So, when I was diagnosed, I did exactly what my doctor said (but, as always, took it to the extreme).  I took my Metformin and Glucophage.  I regularly cut myself (tested my blood sugar).  Instead of living on sugar (sugared coffee all day during the winter and sugared tea and soda during the summer) I went sugar-free everything (and let me tell you, Sugar-Free Sees Candies are not even worth the bother … yuck!).  I even embarked on the 1970’s version of Atkins (as in fats, meat and salad).  After 4 months, I was off all my medications.  Due to my diet and the medications, my blood sugar would drop so low I would have to scarf sugar to bring it back up (fruits and juices didn’t work fast enough).  As long as I followed that sugar intake with a slower digesting carbohydrate (or even just some straight meat), I wouldn’t experience a sugar high, then crash.  It wasn’t easy.  I actually cried one night because I could smell the Cheez-Itz my step-daughter was eating.

Due to other health issues (not mine) I had to abandon the die-hard Atkins way of eating.  Although my blood sugars have been normal for at least a year, I am always watching for the signs to come back.  Last week I got REALLY thirsty so I freaked out.   I checked my blood sugar and it was normal.  I guess it was just the 100+ degree weather and I was legitimately thirsty!  🙂  I just eat better, still focusing on proteins (not having a pile of toast for breakfast like before) with a side of good carbohydrates and a sprinkling of bad if I still want them.  I think, as in all things, the key (in my case) is simply moderation.  If I were to lose more inches, I would be better physically but that’s not my main focus (since this saga began, I have only lost roughly 10 pounds but I have lost 9 inches off my waist alone).  I actually squeezed my rear into a size 14 pants yesterday (it wasn’t pretty … I looked like a mushroom) but I could breathe AND sit without busting out the seams!

My point in all this is, it’s not the end of the world.  It may feel like it (especially in the beginning when you have to give up all that you have loved to eat for so many years) but you will eventually learn to appreciate food again, I promise.

Recipe, Soup

Cream of Broccoli Soup

It’s that time of year: Spring and the run for trying to figure out different ways to serve/preserve vegetables!  I love this time of year, when I am no longer freezing but not frying out in the sun yet.

This recipe can be adapted to just about any vegetable combination.  I’m going to make Cream of asparagus soup with maybe some leftover peas thrown in (I’m not sure if the peas will detract from the flavor of the asparagus but I’ve been craving peas lately).

It’s simple and basic.  Enjoy!

Food Storage, Recipe

Some Great Links

I have about 30 tabs open, trying to remember to post information (or save recipes) so here are some of the links:

Great Low Carb recipes


Here are some Diet/Low Carb recipes


This one especially spoke to me (*grin*):


Check out these Southwestern Recipes:


Here’s one that has Old Recipe Books:


And, thanks to Anthony Bourdain (“No Reservations”), here where you can order the book “Foods of the Azores Islands”:


Canning, Drying, Food Storage, Level 1, Preserving

Low Carb Food Storage

Well, since my switch in eating, I’ve been thinking about all of my food storage.  Boy, I have some adjustments to make!  Flour, sugar, jams and jellies (sugar-made), beans, white rice, oats, etc.  So, I went searching for suggestions online.  In addition to this playlist in which I show you how to can various items like chicken, beef, and pork, I found some links I think you will enjoy.

I don’t usually like “about.com” articles, this is a good basic one:

Must-Have Items for Your Low-Carb Grocery List

A One-Month Long-Term Food Supply from a Low-Carb Perspective from Claiming Liberty:

A One-Month Long-Term Food Supply from a Low-Carb Perspective

Here is a video about dehydrating spaghetti squash:

Paleo Prepper: I have barely looked through this website but it’s intriguing!


Here’s a post by The Low Carb Prepper (good stuff):

The Low Carb Prepper

Here’s a thread at The Survival Podcast Forums:


Canning, Food Storage, Preserving, Recipe

Roasted Peppers In Oil

Well, I have finally concluded that my peppers are not going to produce anything this year.  It is now September 11th and they STILL only have their second set of leaves.  So, I had to purchase some.  What I usually do is dice them, lay them on a cookie sheet, and freeze them.  Once frozen, I place them in a Ziploc bag so I can just grab a handful anytime I need some.  This works especially well for breakfast, when I’m usually starving and just trying to throw some quality food together.

This time, I’ve decided to do something different.  I’m making roasted peppers in oil:


I’ve read of people doing this with vinegar but since my husband doesn’t like vinegar (and that might clash with whatever I am cooking) I will leave that out.  I’m also going to leave out the salt.  That way, anyone who needs salt can just sprinkle some on themselves.  I read somewhere that if I want to store these, I can put them in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes to seal the jars.

So, once hubby is fully awake and can fiddle with the electric ignitor, I’m going to broil 4 pounds of mini bell peppers!  I can’t wait!  🙂

Serving Size    1/6 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe    6

Amount Per Serving
Calories    270

Total Fat 28.2g, Sodium 196mg,** Potassium 132mg, Total Carbohydrates 4g, Protein 0.7g

Low Carb, Lunch, Recipe

Chile Rellenos

This is my mom’s recipe for chile rellenos.  She usually uses Ortega canned chiles but these are so good with freshly roasted and peeled peppers!

Chile Rellenos (4 rellenos, serves two)

  • 4 Anaheim chiles, roasted and peeled (canned Ortegas work OK)
  • 3-4 oz. Monterrey jack cheese (or whatever kind of cheese you prefer)
  • Red Chile Sauce (or canned chile enchilada sauce)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • a pinch of salt

In a large frying pan, heat  approximately 1/2-inch of oil on medium high.

Remove the chiles from the can.  Rinse and dry thoroughly (if using freshly roasted chiles, be sure to thoroughly dry them).  Stuff the chiles with the cheese.  Beat the whites of the eggs until stiff but not dry; mix salt and yolks, then fold in the yolks, being sure not to deflate the egg whites.

Dip the stuffed chile in the egg mixture, ensuring it is completely coated.  Slowly add to the hot oil.  Cook on one side until lightly brown, then turn.  Cook for another minute or so.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.  To serve, place on a plate and spoon warm Red Chile Sauce over each relleno.

To make these extra wonderful, cube some pork roast, brown lightly, then stew in the Red Chile Sauce.  Spoon this over the rellenos.

Nutrition Facts

Calories    233.1, Total Fat    14.6 g, Cholesterol    267.7 mg, Sodium    458 mg, Total Carbohydrate    11.3 g (Dietary Fiber    2.8 g, Sugars    4.3 g), Protein    14.7 g, Vitamin A    75.7 %,  Vitamin C    16.8 %,  Calcium    3.5 %