Saturday, July 5, 2008

Garbage to Sustenance

Ok, so here it goes. I'm picky about my fruits and veggies. If my apples have bruises, my bananas have "sugar spots" or my tomatoes and peppers are a little wrinkly, I just can't eat them. Possibly, this is some strange subconscious rebellion against my mother from when I was little and she made me eat fatty meats and less than perfect produce. But I digress. Fact is, I just can't bring myself to eat them!

Unfortunately, this has resulted in my very bad habit of either pawning it off to some not-so-snobbish member of the family, or just throwing it away. I really feel guilty and horrible about the latter. There are so many kids that don't get fresh produce and so much of Rob's money wasted buying it.

But wait! All is not lost! I found a wonderful way to redeem myself of this horrific crime. I sent Rob on a hunt to buy me a food dehydrator! I really didn't want to spend more than $40 on one and I've never priced one before but I was still concerned that we'd spend a lot of money on it then never use it. Well, I was in luck! On a hardware mission to Harbor Freight Rob found one for $25! It has 5 tiers and spins all by itself so everything gets equal dehydrating attention.

Today was my first day trying it out. It's very easy to use but I have yet to try the results (I'll post about those in a few days when this first batch is done).

I also bought a book at Target all about canning. I'm hoping to plan out our fruit seasons a little better next year since we have some amazing U-pick places here in Florida. The book is called Ball Complete Canning and was only $5.99. A pretty small investment for a huge amount of knowledge. It contains information on how to can EVERYTHING including meats and dehydrated foods! I do still need to purchase some Ball canning jars and a large pot to boil them in but I want to have things lined up before going to the expense.

I'm hoping that next year and into the following after that we will be opening up yummy jars of preserves, butters, purees, pickled and dried fruits and veggies and lots more with much less waste. This also goes with my plan to cut back on unnecessary spending and purchasing. We'll also be supporting local farmers at the U-pick farms. It will be a great opportunity for memory making when my kids can experience picking their own foods, preserving them and enjoying them later on.

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