Buzzing around Instagram and online freeze drying groups, I see a lot of photos of people showing off their home freeze dried goodies – and a lot of freeze drying mistakes. We got our home freeze dryer earlier this year, and it’s pretty easy to use, but there are some things you should avoid to get the best results for your food and your freeze dryer. Some of these tips are for flavor, some shorten your drying time, some avoid messes and a few are real safety issues. [Read more…]Translate the Site
With ongoing economic uncertainty and erratic weather conditions, investing in food and general preparedness storage makes sense and can provide a very good return on time and money spent. Food prices keep creeping up and packages keep getting smaller, so what you can stash now will almost certainly cost more in the future.
The challenge is finding room for additional storage and keeping food and other items accessible and in good condition. If you can’t find what you need when you need it and/or it gets spoiled or damaged, you’re wasting money. In this post we’ll cover some ideas for where to stash your preparedness storage (and general food storage), and tips for keeping it usable. [Read more…]Translate the Site
A root cellar is a great option to include in your food storage plan, since they require no energy to use and require very little maintenance. It’s great if you can build in a root cellar when your home is under construction, but it’s also possible to add a root cellar to your basement, or build one outside your home. Root cellars are a great low-cost, no-energy way to store food and extend the shelf life of fresh produce. [Read more…]Translate the Site
Our neighbors have a beautiful pear tree that’s over 50 years old, and each year they invite us to share in the harvest. Big tree = many, many pears, so over the years I’ve used many different ways to preserve pears. No matter how you store them – canning, freezing, drying, freeze drying or fermenting – their high sugar content makes them a naturally decadent dessert. In this post I’ll cover both short term and long term storage options. [Read more…]Translate the Site
My early attempts at dill pickles were not very successful. I followed the FDA guidelines from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving, and ended up with tasty pickles with absolutely no crunch. I love my Blue Book, but these were not the pickles I was looking for. As I understand it, many commercial manufacturers add alum (basically aluminum) to give their pickles crunch. Needless to say, I wasn’t going that direction. These no can dill pickles bring the crunch without the aluminum.
This recipe is from my neighbor Betty. Betty and I have swapped a lot of produce and recipes over the years (she’s also my son’s piano teacher and has become like a grandmother to him 🙂 ). Betty makes a simple old-fashioned brined dill pickle that doesn’t require canning, and couldn’t be easier to make. [Read more…]Translate the Site