Friday, October 5, 2012

Packaging Dehydrated Onions

One of the things that I love to store, for the winter, is dehydrated onions. I have tried to store fresh onions but they just don't last much more than a month or two, it seems. I am not sure what I am doing wrong but they always start sprouting! Which is not a bad thing - it shows my onions have LIFE in them! But, we love onions and so the best way to store them is through dehydration.

I ordered a 5 lb. box of onions from The Flour Barrel, a Mennonite bulk food store. They called me yesterday to say they were in, so I went and picked them up. This morning, I took time to seal them up with my Foodsaver to insure the flavor of them. I put them into 8 oz. packages. I have started to wear off the Foodsaver name on it from using it so much. It is a great way to seal up herbs, coffee, tea, dehydrated foods, etc. This is my second one. I wore the first one completely out!

A few days ago, I got my order, from Mountain Rose Herbs, for my favorite bulk teas and herbal coffee. I put some of them in jars, which I will use now but I put the rest into Foodsaver-sealed bags to retain the freshness for later. Just a few more things put away in my pantry. What a blessing to know I don't have to go out in the ice and snow if I don't want to! Winters can be pretty tough in my part of the country.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gratitude Post

I have so much to be thankful for. I find that everywhere I look I see the fingerprints of God. I am choosing to be more aware of things to be grateful for and be quick to thank Him for those things. Here is just a bit of my life.....

 My daughter and I continue to process food for the winter. This is a picture of just of some of the  jars of applesauce that we put up. We used Golden Delicious apples for making our sauce because we don't have to add any sugar at all.

There are still a few tomatoes and green peppers hanging on but the gardens are pretty well done for the season. I need to get outside and get the gardens prepped for the long, cold, snowy winter.

I am very grateful for the work of my hands in supplying food for my family.

 This is the last little bit of my breakfast. I was so thankful looking at my plate of food that the Lord provided for me, I started tearing up a bit. Honest I did. What a bounty was provided for me!

It consisted of two eggs from our own "girls" that spend all afternoon and evening running around the yard chasing after bugs. Because they are free to roam and get table scraps (veggies, leftover kefir, raw milk and other tasty treats) they lay very dark yellow yolked eggs. I had organic Japanese Mustard Greens, Chipotle cheese, and fresh tomatoes mixed in two eggs. I added a slice of homemade grain free chocolate bread. Yummy!

My grandson called me to come quickly outside to see a rainbow around the sun! I thought he was kidding me. I had never seen such a thing but I went with my camera in hand.

You can see the sun just below the bottom of the picture and part of the rainbow that went all around the sun. It was a lot brighter than the picture shows. I don't have a very fancy camera so I wasn't even sure it would show up.

I might have missed that blessing if I had not been notified of it. Someone said they are called Sun Dogs.

I have been preparing for winter in other ways too. This huge pile of organic kale was offered to me by my brother in law. I ate a bit of dinner that evening but dehydrated the rest for making soup in the winter. All this kale fit into a small bag once it was dried and crushed into flakes. What a blessing this kale is to me! You have no idea how much I love kale!

I layered about half of my herbs in the dehydrator now. I will try to winter through the live plants as long as I can but will have the dried ones as back-up with the fresh herbs are gone.

I held a week old baby boy a couple of evening ago. He smelled so good. So tiny. So precious. Where have my babies gone? Why has time gone by so fast? When did I become a grandma EIGHT times? Each baby is a precious gift. I am thankful for getting to hold baby Cole. The experience brought back wonderful memories.

The leaves are really starting to turn colors now. I picked up a couple of bright red and orange leaves on my way back from the mailbox. I stuck them on my refrigerator to enjoy for a few days until the dry out and get too brittle. I have started to dig my wool socks and sweaters out of the back of my drawers. It won't be long and I will be wearing them for sure!

I still hope to hang sheets out on the line a few more times before the weather changes too cold. A friend told me that she always puts a couple sets of line-dried sheets in big plastic bags to keep that fresh smell inside. It would really be a blessing to put them on the beds in the middle of bitter cold weather and sniff that fresh air fragrance when we lay our heads on the pillows at night.

It's time to pull out the Leek & Potato Soup, Lentil Soup and Turnip Soup recipes that we enjoy so much in the winter time. I love making soup on the top of our wood stove. Add some homemade bread and oo la la! What a delight that is!

I think it is time to make myself a cup of tea and then it will be time to start preparing dinner. I think we will be having homemade pizza tonight. I am anxious to try a new recipe. This grain-free way of eating is going really well for me. And it's working.

I have so much to be thankful for.