About gDonna
The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

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Each Meal is a Celebration

June 14, 2024

I am very thankful for the things we have, and it is good to be getting back to something that feels normal.  Charles and I have been working towards improving our diet but in a way that is sensible and affordable.

We are grinding our own grains, soaking our flour and making yogurt with live cultures.  We took everything out of our pantry and gave it a good cleaning, we rotated everything that needed to be rotated. 

As we are getting older our needs change so sometimes we stop eating certain things and so if we have food that might expire, we take it to donate to the food bank before it expires.  

I feel the need to make sure that we can feed our family through a crisis.  Something is nagging at me that I need to do this, "again" so I am following that God nudge.

Today we filled the dehydrator with squash and green beans. We slice our squash to 1/4 inch thickness.

I do not take any shortcuts when I preserve food.  I always blanch vegetables that are to be dehydrated or frozen. For dehydrating squash I blanch the squash for three minutes.  When blanching, bring the water to a boil and then add the vegetable, the water will stop boiling and take a few minutes to come back to a boil, once it is boiling again, then it is time to set the timer for three minutes.

Plunge the squash into ice water to cool and once cool scoop it out and put it in a colander to drain.

Then move it to the dehydrator trays for drying.  There is a lot of information online how to do this and what temperature and length of time to dry.  I am drying mine at 125 degrees and I start checking the dryness at 10 to 12 hours.  I do not stop drying until it is completely dry.  It may go sixteen hours or so, it all depends so I keep checking.

Beans are the same process, these are fresh beans and I had some room left in the bottom of the dehydrator.  They have been blanched, put in ice water, drained and placed on the trays.  Tomorrow I will be dehydrating carrots and cabbage.

I like this dehydrator because it is very quiet.

I have been air sealing our grains and I am being very careful in how everything is being planned out as to not waste.  When I first started keeping a pantry/larder I did waste some food because it took me time to learn proper rotation and how to use what we store.  A balance between fresh food and stored food.  The dehydrated food is very important in food storage because it takes less space, it can be a wonderful addition to soup, toppings for pizza once rehydrated and many more ways to use it.

Did you know that you can make yogurt out of dried milk and an addition of stored dried fruit such as these dates.  I cannot begin to explain the way to store food but the youtube channel called Rose Red is a wonderful channel to watch for information how to preserve food and to be ready for long term power outages.

A new thing that I have learned is how to make homemade French Baguettes.  I leave it to rest awhile before the next stage of shaping.

Breadmaking can be a wonderful thing once you have practiced enough and have your routine.

I floured a clean flannel pillowcase because I do not have a baguette cloth and I like it this way because it works the same way.

To hold them to rest.

Covered them with a towel...

Sliced them before baking..

We had olives, cheese, figs, tzatziki sauce, sundried tomatoes and made a meal with a French Baguette.  This was a overnight soaked grain.  I am sure each time I make a baguette it will get better and look more like it came from France. :)

I light a candle to make each meal, even the small meals a special celebration.

One tip I have to share with bread making.  Many people use plastic wrap to cover their dough while it is resting.  Some people will use bees wax cloths and that is good, I have found that I just put a lid on the bowl, sometimes I use a clear glass lid and sometimes an enamel one, whichever fits the bowl I am using.  It saves money to do it this way.

Our fig tree is now providing us with a wonderful small harvest and it is so special to go out and pick figs for breakfast or an afternoon treat.

The only reason we have these figs is because we planted the tree.  It is always good to have some kind of bush or tree that provides fruit.  A pot filled with dirt to grow vegetables or herbs. 

I feel it is time to brush up on basic everything.

I can take a washbowl bath with using just three quarts of water.  That includes bathing my entire body.

One quart for the soaping all over..

Another quart for rinsing... used a half quart more for the final rinse.

The rest to wipe out the bowls and then I spray a little alcohol to final wipe out the bowls. 

We need to know these things, I am here to tell you that this is important to know.  We never know when there will be outages or even a job loss or something that makes us need to do extreme cut backs.  Practice before we are at need, you just might find you like it better this way. This is not doing without, it is doing something that makes sense. 

In the past people did not have the expensive bills that we have today.  If we know how to live very simple we can make it through difficult times.  

I hope to see you up in the forum to see what you all are doing and if you have any tips for food storage or what you do to cut expenses.  The forum is located up in the top menu bar.

Grandma Donna

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