Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Pageviews all time history 500,322

I have to say, I am humbled this morning as I have discovered this blog has topped half a million page views since I started it in December of 2009.  I had NO idea how fun this would be and how many people I would be able to help out with simple recipes and ideas.  THANK YOU - all of you - my "Gentle Readers."

Friday, August 12, 2016

Dehydrating to save space...


Since we are now in a considerably smaller house, and my food storage space is much reduced, I've been doing a lot more dehydrating this year.  I've canned a few things, But now all of that space is filled.  Here is the shelf where I have the things I've dehydrated.

It is so convenient to make soup in a pressure saucepan, and I really enjoy having these items to use.  It only takes 10 minutes, at pressure, for the soup to be ready and as good as if I had simmered it all day.

I think these are the things I have done: green beans, sweet corn, diced potatoes, kale powder, tomatoes, tomato powder, small yellow tomatoes, summer squash, celery, cucumbers, green tomato slices, oyster mushrooms and okra.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

A view from my kitchen...


There is a lot going on in the kitchen these days...

     On the kitchen island this morning, I can see...

          A bucket of brined dills, a bucket of 14 - day sweet pickles, jars of dehydrated vegetables,

               jars of garlic seeds, canned tomatoes, cucumbers, spaghetti squash, sweet corn...

                    Right in the middle is a jar with a little bit of sauerkraut.  A friend gave me a small cabbage from her garden, so I made kraut for her and will take it to her this afternoon.  :)

I love this time of year.




Thursday, August 4, 2016

Re-post - Preserving Fresh Basil!

I would like to remind you that if you still have fresh basil, you can very easily save it to use all winter long!  Here is a post I did a few years ago about that:

How to Preserve fresh Genovese Basil

I have never tried companion planting before. I grew my own Genovese basil transplants this year and so had quite a few and decided to plant them next to tomato plants, as I had heard that is a good combination. It must be. I've never had such glorious basil before! The basil is on the left next to the tomato plant.



I went out this afternoon and cut a basketful of the fresh basil.



Then I removed the leaves from the stems, washed them well and gave them a few spins in the salad spinner.



Next I chopped them in the food processor and put them into a quart jar.



Finally, I covered them with raw apple cider vinegar and put a lid on the jar.



If my house was cooler, I'd just let it sit in a cupboard, but the house gets pretty hot this time of year, so I will store it in the refrigerator. When I want basil for cooking (pesto, spaghetti sauce, pizza, soup, roast, chicken.. etc.) I can just retrieve what I need and it will be like having fresh basil all year!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dehydrating Kale - Kale Powder!


This is a pint (2 cup) jar.  There you can see some dehydrated powdered kale that I made today.  This was made from 15 large kale leaves!  

I will add this to soups and smoothies through the winter when the fresh kale is not available.

Here is how I do it.

1. Pick the Kale
2. Wash the Kale in cold water and drain.
3. Remove the tough center ribs.
4. Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
5. Immerse the Kale for only 15 seconds.
6. Drain in colander.
7. Plunge into ice water and stir until the heat is out of the leaves.
8. Drain and run it through a salad spinner or pat dry on clean towels.
9. Arrange on dehydrator trays, only one layer deep.
10. Set temperature at 135 degrees F.
11.  After 2 hours, check it.  It could take as long as 3.  It should be completely dry and crisp.
12.  At this point you can just pack it into a jar with an air-tight lid, OR, you can powder it in a food processor or blender, and then store it in a jar, out of the light.  

This will keep nicely for a long time.  It actually tastes nice and slightly sweet.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tiny Tip - working stretching into my day...

I am 67 years old now.  When I was about 50, I started having trouble with knee pain.  So... I decided that every time I need to get in a bottom drawer, pick up something off the floor or reach into a bottom cupboard, I would squat all the way down.  Before long, that cured my knee trouble and I am still doing that.

Fast forward to last year when we moved into our trailer.  This little house is  considerably smaller than the old house we lived in, and before long I noticed that I need to work a little harder to get enough exercise.  To the squatting routine, I've added something else.  When I need to bend and reach, I always bend and reach "harder" than I would need to, in order to complete the task.  When I bend over at the waist to blow dry my hair, I bed way down so it stretches the back of my legs.  It is kind of hard to describe, but I think you probably get the idea.

It's a small change, but has made a world of difference in my flexibility.  Along with that, instead of walking on the road for exercise, most of the time I walk in the woods.  It is uneven ground and up and down hills.  That has improved my balance.  After falling 3 times in two days, I decided it was time to do something about it.

It's amazing to me how working these small changes into my routine has improved my health.  These things don't take any longer.  Please think about what you could do similar.  You will probably be happy with the results!


Friday, July 1, 2016

Sauerkraut 2016 - I had help!

Our granddaughter is visiting us and today, she helped me make this year's sauerkraut!  She picked the cabbages and while I was cleaning them, she shredded them all in the food processor.  Then she swept the floor.  She loves to cook and enjoyed it.



If you are new to my blog, you can find the recipe for sauerkraut HERE.  Today's batch was 6 pounds.  I have a big jar full left from last year and it is still delicious and nicely crisp.  Kraut lasts a LONG time in cold storage. Here is the jar from last year.


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