My kids have fond memories of the fruit leather I made for them when they were young. Pumpkin pie, peach, apple and apricot were the fruit leathers they enjoyed the most. Son Tender Heart has been challenging me since the beginning of summer to try watermelon fruit leather on my Ivation Food Dehydrator. I immediately dismissed the idea as unworkable due to watermelon’s high water content. I finally relented when I made my watermelon rind pickles (see previous post). I used the fruit from one whole watermelon and ran it through my food processor. Since I only have a small processor, I did many smallRead More →

I was always indifferent about watermelon pickles. Never tasted them. They sounded kind of weird. But this is summer and we (mostly I) consume watermelon by the ton, not by the pound. After listening to my sister-in-law talk about how yummy hers were, I asked to see the recipe. The recipe was old, penciled on a faded piece of thick yellow paper. The first thing that jumped out at me was the amount of sugar…..3 1/2 POUNDS! Did I read that right? They must have meant 3 1/2 CUPS. Nope. I got my magnifying glass out and sure enough, it was pounds. Okkaaaay. Next, IRead More →

After my successful Lasagna garden of 2 years ago, I took a year off. This year, I caught the garden bug again after visiting my niece in Wisconsin. She introduced me to companion gardening, inspired by the book Carrots Love Tomatoes. The basic premise is planting certain vegetables and herbs next to each other to repel insects and diseases. After examining my nieces’s carefully laid out plot plan on graph paper, I decided to do the same and spent my plane ride home laying out my garden. It was flawed from the beginning but I’ll get to that. I wanted raised beds so using theRead More →

The emergency preparation team at our church put our heads together, to figure out how to develop awareness among our own congregation. We came up with the idea of a huge display table. One that not only displayed stuff, but was a source of information as well. Possibly including a “call to action”. We wanted the table display up for at least 2 Sundays. Once we ran the idea by our pastor, then the church board, we made up our lists and the following is what we ended up displaying. Water       We brought out all sizes of storage containers; 5 gallons, 2 gallons, one gallonRead More →

CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team. I vaguely remember when son Giver Man went through the CERT program 2 years ago. I heard about it again when I went to a seminar my church denomination put on. CERT training is a 20 hour course that was initially put together in 1985 by the Los Angeles Fire Department. It’s purpose was to train civilians to respond in emergencies when our established EMS system would be overloaded. Good thing too, as 2 years latter in 1987, the Whittier Narrows earthquake hit Southern California, confirming the need for civilians to be trained in emergency response. In 1993,Read More →

  I have worked in a lot of different ministries over the years but have never started one. Initially, I did not know where to begin, which is odd since I have worked as a organizational coach in the not too distant past. Since I have helped many clients get “unstuck”, I just started to use the process on myself. First thing I needed to do was put a team together. Bill and Mary (hows that for generic names!) from our small group were willing volunteers and we became the Emergency Preparedness Team. We were to add more volunteers as time went on. Since IRead More →

  I am constantly amazed by the master engineering of God. How the gazillion puzzle pieces of life just seem to come together, forming just the right circumstances to allow good things to happen. A case in point…. After several weeks of reading about and discussing with my small church group, about emergency preparedness, I developed a strong desire to start a ministry. I asked my friends if they thought our pastor would be receptive to the idea. They thought he would be and encouraged me to ask. I did the very next Sunday.   Unbeknownst to me, some time in the previous year, myRead More →

  As I was cruising through some YouTube videos on dehydrated food one day, I came across some videos on making meals in a jar using freeze dried foods. I thought the concept would be great for storing extra food. I ordered the book, Meals In a Jar from Amazon to get started. The author happened to be the chef for Honeyville Farms, a freeze dried food company so just stuck with that brand. At least at first. I pooled over every recipe in the book. If I thought the recipe sounded like something I might want to make, it received one check mark. RecipesRead More →

Strawberries        As I mentioned in a previous post, my strawberries came from a local farm. They were super ripe and soft so had to dehydrate immediately. Because of their moisture content, I sliced them 1/8 inch thick. They took about 16 hours at 140. degrees. The end result were slices that were ever so rubbery but crisped up as they cooled on my parchment paper. When they were reconstituted, they retained their bright red color. I sprinkle them on my cereal in the morning. Raspberries    Did not work out well at all. Turned out very strange. 24 hrs. at 140 degrees produced light-as-a-feather fruit thatRead More →

Garlic     Ahhhhh……garlic! Everything I read about dehydrating garlic recommended moving your dehydrator to your porch, or better yet, your garage. I could see Warning! Warning! signs flashing all over those posts. I just rolled my eyes. You see, my family LOVES garlic. We practically sleep with it under our pillows. We put it in nearly everything and double the amount in recipes that call for it. Having the savory smell of garlic waffling through the house only brought about mouth watering anticipation. I was to soon discover the evil side of garlic. On one of my many trips to Costco, I picked upRead More →