Honey, What did you do today?

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Today it rained.  Boy, did it rain!  Rain, rain, rain!

What is a gal to do when it’s raining out?  Well, I’ll tell ya–  I found plenty to do:

First, I made some vanilla extract.  I poured 3/4 cup of Everclear and 1/4 cup brandy (I didn’t have any dark rum) into a glass jar and dropped in 6 vanilla bean pods that I’d slit wide open and chopped in half.  In about 8-12 weeks, as long as I shake the bottle up every now and again, I should have some pure vanilla.
I have had that Everclear for years!  I bought it to make herbal tinctures, but I had quite a bit left over.

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After I set my vanilla in a dark place (my pantry), I decided to try out the Excalibur Dehydrator I scored at the thrift shop a few days ago.  For a little under six dollars, I can dry just about anything I want to.  It has a heater and a fan, so I can make jerky with this too.  I decided to give it a test run with the left over strawberries I had in a little sugar.  I threw on the few blueberries I had left that were just about to shrivel too.  I also sliced a Golden Delicious apple and sprinkled it with a bit of sugar and cinnamon.  I had a few slices of canned pineapple from some other meal I’d prepared, and I decided the dehydrator is better than the garbage can.

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These dried fruits will be excellent in sweet breads, cereal, or just all around snackin’.

Dehydrating takes a loooong time, so I knew it was bread baking time.  I made my usual 6 loaf recipe for Italian bread, but I decided to keep one piece out for a nice homemade pizza.   I whipped up some homemade pizza sauce, sliced the remaining fresh mozzarella, and covered it in sliced pepperoni.   Oh, it was a great pizza too.

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While the bread was rising, I cleaned out the pantry.   I have a lot of rice and I need to think of some good ways to put the rice to use in a meal.  I want to empty the pantry and freezer before I have to shop again.  We’re on a tight budget this month, and I’m convinced I can get away with cutting way back on groceries this month if I can be more creative.  

OH!  Last night I scored a small truckload of canning jars for FREE!  I believe  I have at least 500 canning jars.  A very kind family of 12 (yes, they have 10 kids!  wow!) are moving, and answered my CraigsList ad and told me they would give them to me free of charge.  
I may be canning for two months straight…or longer. 

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6 thoughts on “Honey, What did you do today?

  1. the bread looks so yummy!

    this makes me kind of want a dehydrator! maybe if i come across one at a yard sale i won’t pass it up! how did they turn out?

    also, i am ssoooo jealous of your free mason yards!! berry season is coming soon and i need to start getting ready to make tons and tons fo jam and those jars don’t really come that cheap! 🙂

  2. Thank you 🙂 I bought a bread machine at the thrift store yesterday–for those days I may not have time to make bread. I need to test it out–as you know–electronics and thrift stores are not always predictable. The dehydrator works very well on the fruit I dried. I’ll post a picture soon. The blueberries were a bit disappointing, but normally I eat my blueberries fresh. They take fah-eva to dry.
    I know I was lucky to score those jars. I’m sure I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.
    Jams sound good right now!

  3. I think I have a mason jar fetish. I would be soooo happy to get those.

    I was ‘gifted’ a bread machine that I have yet to use… supposedly you can set it up the night before and wake up to freshly made cinnamon bread. If I try it.. that would be the recipe I’d try first. I need to do something with it.. it’s just sitting here wasting space right now.

    Jam sounds fab to me too. 😛

  4. Pingback: Angelnina’s Strawberry Jam ~ Canning and freezer jam « Angelnina’s Cottage

  5. HI Cindy, Thank you for reading my blog.

    We don’t give the chickens potatoes. I read someplace that the green part in the skin isn’t good for them.

    Our younger chickens are more picky about what they’ll eat.

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