What’s Cookin’ and Doin’ Around Here

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Every once in a while — but perhaps not often enough — I like to share what’s cookin’ and doin’ around our place.

But first, two things… First, I want to remind you to listen to last week’s podcast on raw dairy (part 1). Because part 2 is coming up this Friday and you don’t want to be behind. Right? ;)

In part 2, I and Joe Bray (from Wholesome Family Farm) continue our discussion about his herdshare farm. The best part is where he shares how to prevent mastitis and natural remedies if a cow does get it. Plus, there’s more, so we’ll see you Friday, okay?

And second, my good friends at Beyond the Peel (Joshua and France) just launched a beautiful 6-day program to help people “jump start” their whole food journeys. Appropriately, they’re calling it The Whole Food Jump Start. Right now it is on sale for 30% off, and the first 40 people to sign up get entered to win a pantry makeover or a mixer. Pretty sweet stuff. (If you purchase from that link above, I’ll get a commission — so thank you!)

And now, to what’s cookin’ and doin’ with my family…

Beginning of September, we went to our church’s annual picnic. My son made these grain-free chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting that are just-about GAPS (with the exception of baking soda). They were sooooo good. I will be sharing the recipe soon in the GAPS series.

At the picnic, my three children were baptized in the river. Insert *sigh* right here because it was a glorious day! Here’s a 5-minute video we made of the day’s events, including…

Friends brought a new-to-them antique apple cider press and apples from their orchard for a breaking-in. Everyone tasted the best and freshest apple juice we’ve probably ever had. Really, a neat experience.

Last week, we gleaned pears (and apples) from friends’ orchard. It may look like we had a great time, and we did, but it was challenging. A really hot day, lots of bees and wasps around, then tack that all onto the end of a really long day of errands. Plus our friends weren’t even there to keep us company. So… we just wanted to get it done. ;)

At home, I laid out the pears to finish ripening, covered with cheesecloth and with this fruit fly trap nearby. Yesterday a bunch were ripe and ready to be dried.

As I mentioned in both the recent Food Preservation 101 webinar and my first podcast, I’m focusing my food preservation efforts on dehydrating. Dehydrated foods store well and take up less space — plus drying preserves nutrition.

Since my garden has been disappointing in terms of tomatoes, I’ve been getting them elsewhere — 40 to 60 pounds per week. I dry them in slices and then vacuum-seal for long-term storage.

Dried tomatoes can be soaked in water and blended to turn them into sauce or paste. Or just tossed into soups, stews, casseroles whole to absorb liquids while cooking. Easy-easy.

This is dehydrated yogurt. When reconstituted, it works for smoothies or for soaking or in baking recipes. (Actually, it could probably be used as a powder in smoothies.) I’m just about 100% sure that my next class will be on dehydrating — how to dry and preserve all types of food (including meats). Watch for that at the end of 2012 or early 2013.

I got a card in the mail from the governor of Montana to congratulate me about my book. I’m presuming he (or his staff) saw this article about me in The Whitefish Pilot and then sent the card. If you look carefully, you’ll see many of the letters are exactly the same — definitely computer generated. Nevertheless, a treat to receive. :)

A whole box of wild Alaska salmon from a friend! What a great gift!

We’ve been trying to go hiking each weekend. These are photos from our hike last Saturday, a 5+ mile walk around a reservoir. It was fun — not too hot, not too cold, and quite beautiful!

Now it is your turn! What are you cookin’ and doin’ lately???

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Comments

  1. Martha says

    Nice post, Wardeh! I am interested to learn more about how you dehydrated the yogurt. Your pears are going to be yummy I’m sure! The salmon looks delicious, too! Love you, Mom

    • says

      Hi, Mom! I just spread the yogurt on the tray (lined) and dehydrated at 115 until it came off in what seems like thin plastic pieces. Then I powdered it in the food processor. Love you, too! :)

  2. says

    Okay … I really want to take your dehydration class!

    I still haven’t bought a nice dehydrator, but I did dry a flat of cherry tomatoes using my little round dehydrator. I loved seeing that huge flat shrink into two jars worth of food!

    Where do you find 50 lbs of tomatoes per week, and what kind of price do you pay? Sounds amazing!

    • says

      Christie — There are two farms around here with good tomatoes. One is no-spray and the tomatoes are .50/pound. The other is organic and they’re $1/pound. The second place doesn’t really sell tomatoes in bulk too much, but they are for me. Let me know if you want the names. :)

  3. Shelley Fourney says

    We live in Colorado – so we are looking to locate more hay for the winter – its been dry. Keeping up on daily food for our family – tried meatloaf in zucchini and baked – yummy, continue making sauercraut regularly. The goat milk is still coming and we are blessed that they are producing through the winter without breeding them every year. Learning to embrace our lifestyle instead of feeling so overwhelmed by it at times. I know God has blessed us with chickens, goats, a few cows, and the ability to homeschool – I forget to just ENJOY it all and sometimes that means the school that gets done is hunting, making sauercraut, hauling hay etc…. God is good and he calls us each to something different. I forget that often!

  4. says

    I’m making White Peach Blackberry jam today. We are enjoying a couple of cool days, but the garden is still producing lots of squash. We have eaten it, frozen, dried and now I’m going to be canning summer squash with onion.
    Plus the greatest bounty has been Blackberries. This has been the best year ever! We’re picking every 2 or 3 days and will continue until the rains or frost set in.

    Thank you for all you do. I too am interested in your dehydrating class. Never dried yogurt and want to dry meat.

    Blessings,
    Kristine

    • says

      Hi, Kristine — Thanks for sharing what you’re doing. Wow — white peach blackberry jam. That sounds AWESOME! I’m so happy to hear you’re getting lots of blackberries. We’ve been munching on them on our hikes, but have yet to do any picking.

  5. says

    We had a very disappointing garden this year due to drought, so I don’t have as much produce to put up as I had hoped. This week I did freeze some tomatoes, made a big pot of chicken stock, working through our huge bags of apples that we picked last weekend, and revived my sourdough starter for waffles, cheese crackers, and crepes. I’m sooo itching to get a dehydrator. Maybe Christmas. :)

  6. Guro says

    Hi Wardeh! So nice to see photos of your family. You all look lovely-) Today, I have just been and picked up raw milk from my farmer. I have made yogurt for the first time with a yogurt machine. So pretty excited about that and now I am looking through your site to find the recipe for the cream cheese, which I am also going to make today:-)

    Wow, a course about dehydrating- Can’t wait! Well, I will have to wait until I buy a dehydrator first haha

    -Guro

  7. says

    How fun :) That’s a lot of tomatoes. I used to have a hard time digesting them but recently I’ve been trying local heirloom tomatoes and they’re delicious! And I have no problems. I’m happy because they are so good for you! I’ve learned that a way to tell if the writing or signatures on letters is real, is to lick your finger and drag it across the lettering; the ink smudges, then it’s real, if not, then it’s print :)

  8. Zdenka says

    Dehydrated yogurt? Hmm, that’s a great idea! My goat yogurt is rather runny – do you think it could be dehydrated anyway? I’m really lookig forward to your next class!
    And nice video from your baptisms and picnic, It must have been wonderful time for you, all the brethern there and God Himself. BTW may I ask what the song (and the singer) in the background of the video is?

    • says

      Zdenka — I’d drip your yogurt through cheesecloth before dehydrating it.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the video! The singer is Alison Krause and the song is called “Down to the River to Pray”.

  9. says

    Oh my goodness! We have the exact same cider press. It’s been at my parents’ farm in southeast Ohio since I was about 10 (I won’t say how long ago that was :) We still return home to pick apples from the little, but productive, trees in my parents’ yard and to then make cider with this press. We do it every October. Can’t wait for this year. My kids favorite part of making cider is the apple “foam”.

  10. says

    Oh Wardee! I’d be pleased if your next class will be on dehydrating! Have you decided yet? I’m sorry I haven’t been on the forum recently – life is just too busy. But I do love to read the blog and trying to catch up on your podcasts! Hope you are doing well! Maureen

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