Sharon's Country Store

Located in the beautiful Kootenai Valley of Idaho! Just north of Bonners Ferry and only 30 minutes from Canada.

Sharon's Country Store  -

Home canning dried beans…

One of my wintertime projects is canning dried beans to stash in my pantry for last minute meals. I love the convenience of having canned beans on hand, black beans for Mexican dishes or for adding to salsas, pintos for chili soup and  my new favorites, cranberry beans. They have a sweet flavor to them , so serving them with rice is a yummy way to eat these! I’ve also canned the yummy Anasazi Beans, here is what their website  has to say:

Anasazi Beans® are considered an unusually tasty baking bean, very scrumptious with ham and flavorful in Mexican dishes. This sweeter and mealier bean will allow many culinary delights! They also contain 75% less of the gas-causing carbohydrates compared to pinto beans!


I found a blog that I think shows the step by step process pretty good . I’ve tried this method for years and they turn out great every time. You can also cook up a batch of beans and freeze portions in freezer containers or bags ,  just thaw at room temperature and heat as usual. Of course I like the convenience of home canned  beans but I also like that its money saving!

1 lb of dried beans makes approximately 7 cups of cooked beans, so do the math, you only get 1  1/2 cups (max) per store bought can . Of course if you are starting from scratch and are having to buy all your canning supplies, then of course your expense is high. But I have all the jars I need , a sturdy older canner and my time is free:) and laundry and other things get done while I’m canning. Besides it heats my house up and come  wintertime , I love a warm house.

Also I didn’t mention , I know what goes in the jar , how much salt and no preservatives , etc.

Now for your info! “Rich in protein, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals, beans are nutritional treasures in almost any form, says the American Dietetic Association. Because soaking and boiling dried beans may take more time than your schedule allows, you may be using canned beans to reap the health benefits of these legumes. In spite of their nutritional differences, dried and canned beans both promote healthy digestion, boost energy and give you the building materials you need for tissue growth and repair.”


We have quite a  variety at the store to pick from, from the  1# to 2# size that we repack to the 25#  bags on our bulk rack. From the popular pintos and kidney beans to black and small red , we also have lentils and split peas too.

So my project for today is canning a few pints of yummy beans for my empty shelves! There are always a few that don’t seal , giving me a good start on my supper! Chili soup , anyone?






Free Chocolate!!!!

Valentines Day is just around the corner, and like I promised , I’m giving away a full pound of CHOCOLATES , just for you!   These are my favorites , they are individually wrapped so its easy to grab one at a time and savor each bite!  (its also easy to grab 5 :) Of course   I would NEVER eat that many in a day, ya know… ..

Maple Creme (shown ) is just of of the flavors, you’ll get approximately  3 pieces of 9 different chocolates! From Dark Peppermint to crunchy Peanut Butter Crunch, you’re sure to get a chocolate fix out of these!


This contest is open to anywhere in the USA, however you may not get them by Valentines Day because of shipping them to you!

Good Luck :)  and ENJOY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want a boost of energy?

Have you ever tried Royal Jelly and Bee Pollen?  This superfood is packed with everything you need to get a boost during these long , winter months.. and you can dream of sunny days when the bees were gathering this good stuff!
 We carry a brand  at the store called  Prairie Sunshine Honey, they have it in two sizes, 12 & 23 oz.  The bee pollen /Royal Jelly is mixed with raw honey , locally produced from not – far-away Montana .

What Is Bee Pollen Royal Jelly And What Health Benefits Can It Provide

When it comes to improving your overall health, you are often led to believe that taking a good multivitamin supplement is the best thing to do. Whilst vitamins and minerals are essential if you want to reach peak health, the majority of products that you see on shop shelves are extremely low-quality, and the human body is often unable to process these.

Synthetic vitamins and minerals should be a last resort and only used to supplement a poor diet where the nutritional quality is low.

One of the best food sources for a high concentration of pure nutrients is bee pollen royal jelly! The history of this food source dates back thousands of years where traditionally it was used as an energy booster. It is still widely used amongst herbalist today to treat a wide range of health ailments.

What Is Bee Pollen Royal Jelly?

It is a specialized food that is produced by bees and is used to feed the queen bee in the first stages of her life.

When the queen is fed this super-food it allows her body to develop ovaries and produce hundreds of eggs.

It is considered a super-food due to the huge amount of nutrients that are contained within. There are not many other food sources that can provide more health benefits.

The main nutritional makeup of bee pollen royal jelly is as follows:

  • Vitamins – B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, C, E, K
  • Niacin
  • Folic Acid
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Essential proteins
  • Amino-acids
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Powerful antioxidants
  • And much more

The Health Benefits

Due to the high level of antioxidant properties found in the jelly, it has excellent anti-aging qualities. Antioxidants are required to neutralize free radicals in the body that damage healthy cells and speed up the aging process. They also contribute to serious health conditions such as heart disease.

The primary health benefits are as follows:

  • Improved energy levels
  • Increased stamina
  • Improves brain function
  • Lowers stress levels
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Promotes a healthy immune system
  • Improves the mood
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Fights unhealthy bacteria
  • May help prevent the formation of tumors.
  • Improves sexual health
  • Helps with weight loss

This info is from the  Prairie Sunshine Honey website… 
Rocky Mountain Sun is a perfectly balanced combination of three natural bee products: royal jelly and bee pollen which are blended into raw Montana honey. Bee pollen has been formulated into Rocky Mountain Sun and is a vital and critical addition to the conventional royal jelly/honey mixes on the market, and is offered exclusively by Rocky Mountain Sun.
Rocky Mountain Sun contains an incomparable amount of 16 vitamins and beta ,carotene 16 minerals, 22 amino acids (including the 8 so-called essential amino acids), 18 live enzymes / coenzymes 3 antibodies/fungicides, and 29 other vital ingredients i.e., acetylcholine, gamma globulin, nucleic acids, flavoniods, lecthin, essential fatty acids. Rocky Mountain Sun contains a score of antioxidants, provides enzyme therapy and amino acid therapy. Additionally, there are a dozen or more complex components that modern science has yet to identify. All these highly complicated ingredients are combined into the most natural formulation ever created. 

MY favorite Chocolate Cake…..

This is my go-to recipe for a quick dessert! I  know this one almost by memory, and the page in my cookbook  is smudged with chocolate-y spots…its also easy to find, the page is torn loose…we use it alot!

To make myself feel better and to  cut out some of the calories and fat, I don’t use as much sugar (it calls for 2 cups) and I substitute yogurt for the oil (3/4 cup)  The yogurt makes it so moist and soft.

Its also known as “Lazy Womans Chocolate Cake”, but I prefer my title !  There is nothing lazy about stirring up your own made-from-scratch-better-than -cake-mix cake!!!

Here is the recipe:

My Favorite Chocolate Cake

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

* Mix together these dry ingredients:

3 Cups flour

2 Cups sugar (i use 1  1/2)

5 Tablespoons baking cocoa

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

Add: 2 Tablepoon vinegar

3/4 Cup Veg. oil or yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cup cold water

Stir all ingredients together till mixed well. Pour into a sheet pan (for thinner cake) or 9x 13 cake pan (for thicker) 

Bake for 20-25 minutes, depends on pan you use

I use this cake with all kinds of toppings  for quick  desserts.

* make cupcakes instead of cake

*Top with hot fudge , nuts and whipped topping

*  stir cherry pie filling in for a DELICIOUS  dessert

* Ice with peanut butter frosting

* Ice with cream cheese frosting

* Divide the batter in two sheet pans and bake, then ice one half with frosting and top with the second half, cut in squares for easy “whoopie pie -like ” cakes

If you come up with other yummy ways to serve this cake , let me know!

Happy baking!!


My Mom’s Cheese ball Recipe…

One of the many things I like to make over the holidays is a very yummy cheese ball that my mom has made as long as i can remember! She only made it at Christmas , so it was something to look forward to. Its easy to make and doesn’t take lots of fancy ingredients. You can make this a variety of different ways , but my favorite is with the ham and cheese  added, along with the celery bits and onion! Guess you can say , I add the optionals!


 Here it is:    Mom’s Cheeseball

      8 oz. softened cream cheese

       1 T. finely chopped onions, optional

        1 T. finely diced celery,optional

        1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

        1 tsp. lemon juice

         1/2 cup finely diced ham

         1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix together  and shape into a ball, sprinkle with chopped pecans or parsley .  Chill and serve with crackers .  Enjoy!!


Last minute gifts…


 Are you looking for a last minute gift, or something special for your kitchen ? We’ve got some lovely Crow Canyon old-fashioned speckle ware in the all time popular red and burgundy , dark green and black. Some colors are being discontinued by the company, the moss green,yellow, brown and the navy.   Crow Canyon has added the vintage line and its been a popular seller for them. I have a few pieces at the store in the vintage , mainly bowls and the jelly roll pan. I love baking in these, they clean nice and they are so pretty to serve your baked stuff in it.

We also have various other kitchen ware on display, stainless steel cake pans, bread pans, solid  stainless steel spoons and enamelware pots in 1 and 2 quart size.

My sis-in -law has been keeping an eye on those enamel ware pots, and i happened to sell out of them  ( I re-ordered) just at the time she sent this to me:

This little pot of mine…

I got it at an antique store while vacationing in Maine. I thought it was an excellent souvenir. I thought it would look good hanging on my kitchen cabinet beside the sink. It looks ok there. But it doesn’t ever stay there very long.  I use it twice a day to heat water to make coffee in my French press. And lately I have discovered another use.
     We got rid of our microwave when we got a bigger refrigerator. I tell people we don’t have room for it, and that is kind of true. But really, I think microwaves are bad for you. And really, I do miss it a little bit yet. How do you heat up one cup of leftovers for a grouchy 2 year old in a hurry? Well, you grab that pan. That tiny little enamel coated pan. It is very thin and I think heating leftovers in it is just as fast as the microwave.
      My only problem is that this little pan is going to wear through soon.  Where am I going to find another one? At Sharon’s Store. They are there;  I saw them!   And decently priced too!
      Ahem! I wonder if anyone is buying me anything for Christmas!?

Well, April, just pass along the message that Sharon’s has them in stock again! Just in time for Christmas :)