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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Simply too much!

I often suppliment my tight budget with foods from a food pantry. I qualify for food pantry assistance because I have a low income of under $1000 per month. Our local food pantry in the town of St John's AZ does not have  an income qualification. Thanks to Pastor Mike and the New Covenant Church, once a month we line up our cars on a Tuesday early in the month and collect our food boxes in a drive thru fashion. Its a very organized and personable process.

I was able to drive out of my property as the puddles have dried up, although the cattle made a bumpy mess of the closest puddle to me, by standing and wallowing around in it. Darn bumpy mess...haha. Back to the food pantry story. So I  rode into the food pantry with my neighbor Kathleen.  Im grateful that she was willing to drive. As you can imagine, after being home alone with Ozzie so much this month, the trip and interaction with others was nearly overwhelming.

Our food boxes nearly always include frozen meats and lots of produce. This month there was frozen shredded cheese, frozen sliced turkey, frozen hot dogs or frozen ground turkey, 1 loaf of bread, 10 pounds of potatoes, a very large cabbage, raisins, frozen cherries, grape juice, concentrated cranberry juice, canned pears, green beans and diced tomatoes. I think that was all. Kathleen and I went through the boxes together. Recently I  was able to connect Kathleen with a man who sold her both Mr Buddy heaters and a nice Whintner 12V refridgerator. She got my cheese because of my allergy to commercial cow dairy. We split up the meats and I put mine in my tiny cool bag, it will be fine a couple days because it is frozen.



I've wanted to make a stand alone solar dehydrator on my property but I haven't gotten to that project yet. Here's a picture of what i want because of the wind and sand here in Witch Well.  If it were ready I would dehydrate both cabbage and potatoes. I may make a small batch of sauerkraut, altho last year I didnt use the batch I made and had to add it to the compost pile before I traveled for the winter.



So what do I choose to do with things like my bag of frozen cherries? I cant eat them all right away and they sure dont stay frozen long.  Well fire up the wood rocket stove! Im making cherry preserves or jam or whatever. Old fashioned before the days of refrigerators style preservation. I learned many old school skills over the years and now I have the space and basics that I can process this abundance of foods that I have been blessed with.

Preserves love to be made in enamel ware pots, i have small ones right now. This one was big enough for the bag of cherries. I only use a wooden spoon for preserves or jelly and have a bamboo spatula thing so its what I'm using. The flies are annoying right now, so I've been placing the spoon inside a weighted plastic bag after stirring because flies - yuk. Ive got plenty of wood right now so a slow simmer for a few hours and then i will add sugar and finish up. I and some neighbors have been saving up tiny olive jars just for jellies and the like. Many of us live alone or in small families and dont want to open even a pint jar sized jelly or preserve, so i will wash and boil those to be ready for the end result.



There are many recipes online and I am making up mine as i go along today so I'm not going to provide a recipe. I thought it would, however,  be nice to share some of my Simply Lesa ways of thinking and living without a refrigerator as well as handling excess.

I hope you all have a great day! As always Keep It Simple Sweetie!
Till next time,
Simply,
Lesa