Rewilding Chili

A quick-to-prepare hearty winter meal contributing to ecosystem sustainability.

1 medium / small butternut squash, deseeded, peeled with a potato peeler, and coarse grated.

¼ stick butter

1 large onion

6 cloves crushed and chopped garlic

Olive oil

1 can 16 oz. tomato sauce

1 can black beans, drained


Chicken (or vegetable) bullion


Chili Powder

Cumin Powder

In a soup pot, butter sauté squash, onion, and garlic until onion is clear. Add olive oil if more moisture is needed. 

Add bullion, tomato sauce, beans, and spices. Add water if it’s too thick. 

Heat till the desired temperature is reached. Top with grated cheese. Enjoy!

This one-dish meal is part of a more vigorous family food consumption commitment. It acknowledges the value of protecting wildlife diversity on planet Earth.


Environmentally Thoughtful Eating



Canned Apricots – Grandma & Jeanette

Wash fresh, firm apricots.apricots

Cut in half and place cut side down in clean, scalded glass quart mason jars.

Drop in 1 or two pits for better flavor.

Pack firmly but not beyond shoulder of jar.

Cover fruit with boiling, light syrup made from 9 cups water to 2&1/4 cups sugar.

Leave 1/2 inch headroom (space between top of liquid and top of jar).

Place scalded lids on jars and hand-tighten screw lids. Do not over-tighten.

Process 7 jars at a time in boiling water-bath canner for 30 minutes, keeping at least 1 inch of boiling water above jar tops.

Carefully lift jars out of canner with jar-lifter and set on towel on counter to drain and cool.

Lids should pop closed as they cool. If not, the seal is not good, so refrigerate and eat soon. These will store well for months if kept in a cool, dark place.


Jeanette (3rd Daughter, child #5):
This was a case where the littlest people had the advantage when filling jars. Mom used narrow-mouthed jars so when a half apricot was dropped in, it often bounced and flipped over. A small hand could fit inside and flip them over – skin-side up – so they would look pretty in the jar.

jacob schmidt 1881jacob schmidt senior - grandma's great grandfather

Pickled Beets – Bushia’s

Select 1&1/2 to 2 inch diameter beets.


Pressure cook until tender. Peel and pack in quart jars.
Pickling brine:
2 cups water or beet juice
3/4 cup vinegar (white)
almost 2/3 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick, broken
Bring to a boil. Remove cinnamon stick.
Pour over beets in jars. Cap. No need to water-bath.
Let stand for at least a few days.
Jeanette (3rd Daughter, child #5):
This one really reminds me of Bushia and “the big room” and big family dinners at holiday times. Pickled beets were very festive with their deep red color and tangy taste.
Lisa (Grandchild #1):
The big room!  I remember it being long and narrow; dimly lit with two long rows of twin metal framed beds along each wall. They seemed to go on forever….were there twenty beds? Why were they there?  …I don’t ever remember contemplating that question in my 5 year old brain. I only remember the slightly dusty smell, the crinkly linoleum in the back bathroom, Jaja’s dark, cave-like gardening work room at the very end…and jumping on all those beds!!  Was it Jon or Peggy jumping with me?
Dianne (Firstborn & Lisa’s Mom):
“The big room” was big and long.
The beds were mostly for the duck hunters. Busia and Jaja would rent the room out during hunting season.
The beds were also for family who came to visit and for us kids when we would stay at their house if Mom and Dad were gone somewhere.
The room at the end was Jajas tool shed.
Busia would have family dinners out in the big room when there were too many people to put in the house.
Your Dad, you and I lived in the big room for about 6 months or maybe a year when we  were traveling  back and forth from Colusa to Cottage Grove, Oregon every 2 weeks.  You had your 1st Birthday in their house.

bushia mary jeanette donnie
bushia jaja3

Baked Sweet Potato with Lemon Roux

Baked Sweet Potatoes:sweet potatoes with rue

Peel potatoes & place in deep oven-safe pot.
Fill pot to about 1/2 the width of potatoes with chicken stock.
Place a dollop of butter on top of each potato & sprinkle with parsley.

Cook uncovered at 400 degrees for about 1 hour or until tender.

Lemon Roux
Melt 1/2 stick of butter in pot over medium heat
as you add ingredients, stir constantly
Juice from 1/2 fresh Lemon
gradually sprinkle in Flour (about 1/2 cup)
add Milk

Adjust dry & wet ingredients until desired thickness is achieved.

***Look out*** This one is rich and creamy – it could be a dessert!

Lemony Rice

Basic Rice Recipe:lemony rice

1 cup rice

2 cups water

Boil water, add rice, bring to boil again.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or

until you see small holes formed on the surface of the rice –

(or until a spoon stands up).

To make Lemony Rice

For every cup of rice, use 1 cup of fresh lemon juice.

Use chicken stock to make up the rest of the liquid.

Add lemon zest on top for a little more pizzaz.

Carrot Soup

carrot soup with goat cheese rabit 10-12 carrots cut into chunks

1 onion – chopped

several celery stalks – chopped

1 cup cream (or milk or soy milk)

1/4 cup butter

fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste

cinnamon or nutmeg if desired

Add all chopped vegetables to 8 cups boiling water. Boil until vegetables are soft.
Use a food processor or blender to puree. Add butter, dairy, lemon juice and seasonings.

To Make the Rabbit:

Shape rabbit face out of soft cheese – use black peppercorns for the eyes; red for the nose.
Use a vegetable peeler to make the whiskers and to shape the tiny carrot at the bottom.
Hollow out a space at the fat end of the tiny carrot to insert a celery leaf or two.
(The white and blue part of the eyes were drawn in digitally)

Homemade Dijon Mustard

Start with a mustard seed base – then add flavor combinations as desired for specialty mustards.
seeds wine vinegar

Mustard Base – soak mustard seeds for about 24 to 48 hours before working with them.

3 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
2 1/2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds (the brown seeds give it a spicy ‘bite’ – similar to horseradish)
1/3 cup drinking-quality white wine (I used a Riesling for this recipe)
1/3 cup white wine vinegar

Add brown sugar or honey (to taste) to cut the bite.


Put all of the mustard seeds and liquid in a food processor with very sharp blades. It will take a while to break up the seeds – but the the smell as it goes along is wonderful! As the seeds are broken up in the blending process, the liquid is absorbed and the mixture begins to thicken.


Flavor combinations in this batch; Rosemary / Thyme, Caraway, Tangerine / Habanero

mustard varieties

Organic Mustard Seed Supplies:
Reference YouTube Video

A fun packaging idea – spray paint jar tops with chalk paint – then use oiled based markers to label them.  Click here to view my Pintrest Craft Idea Board for a visual


Buttercup Squash with a Pomegranate Topper

pomegranate seeds give the squash a sweet, crunchy texture

pomegranate seeds give the squash a sweet, crunchy texture

Cook Squash

Mash to desired consistency with butter and maple syrup.

Top with fresh pomegranate seeds.

Spicy Sunrise Soup – Mushroom, Tortilla Strips & Egg


Cut cor tortillas into thin strips. Generously coat with herb infused olive oil ( I used garlic, parsley, basil & rosemary olive oil). Cook in oven on low heat until golden brown. While still warm, sprinkle with lemon, Tabasco Chipolte flavored sald.

Salt: Lemon zest, Tabasco pepper sauce & salt

Sautee in herb infused olive oil, garlic, onions & mushrooms. place in a mound in bottom of bowl.

Heat chicken stock & thicken with corn starch.

Pour stock around mound. Place fried egg on top. Crush some of the tortilla strips & finely chop cilantro & mix with lemon zest.

Fill a poultry injector with Tabasco sacue and swirl around in chicken stock.

garnish egg with alternating “ray’s of crushed tortilla & cilantro / lemon….dip remaining tortill astrips in tabasto sauce and place along back of dish.

Any Bread Stuffing

My husband has flour sensitivities. It took him a long time to find a brand of bread that agrees with him.
I use Sacramento Baking Company French Bread – Sourdough Wheat Walnut to make stuffing.

Servings – approximately 3 slices of bread per person.

chicken broth

2 tablespoons butter (or oil)

1 onion chopped

approximately 4 stalks celery

1 apple chopped

sage (fresh is best)

(Optional – mushrooms, cranberries, oysters, nuts and other herbs such as oregano, rosemary or thyme)

Cut bread into 1 in cubes. Spread bread out onto baking sheet and toast in oven on low heat (200 degrees) until lightly browned. Turn bread occasionally to toast on all sides.

Heat butter (or oil) in saute pan. Saute onion, celery & apple until tender.

In large bowl, combine sauteed items with bread cubes & spices. Mix till blended. Slowly stir in chicken broth until desired moisture level is achieved.

Cover and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.