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Friday, October 26, 2012

food preservation and a bunch more done

Ok, so I made another bottle run to Meijer.. This time to the further away one. And I'm very glad I did!

They had 12 oz canning jars on price drop for 5 bucks for 12- half off.. I picked up three flats. They also had food dehydrators on the shelf, hell yeah!! 50 bucks got me a nice 4 tray with adjustable heat fan blown dehydrator. It's a bit larger than the one I currently own- big enough that I have to set it up on the counter instead of on the shelf. I got an extra 2 pack of trays for it for 10 bucks. Apparently you can stack up to 12 on the darn thing, but I doubt I will go over 6. Sadly fine mesh inserts cost 5 bucks each- so I will be hitting the fabric store and see how much their large sheets of mesh cost. If they are only a couple bucks, you bet your bottom I will be taking the time to cut up my own. Besides, the most recent flyer had a couple half off coupons and a 25% off total purchase coupon. The Meijer also has the fruit roll sheets for 5 bucks a pop. One came with the dehydrator, but I think I will be investing in getting 5 of them.
Because of the kind of dehydrator this is, I can make jerky on it too!
And yes, I will still be using the first dehydrator too. It's perfect for some of the softer drying or have more time to let it dry kind of stuff.  Once I pull the current batch of mushrooms off tomorrow, I will pick a bunch more herbs to go on it.
Right now the new one has 5 trays of broccoli slaw dehydrating- that's 3 12oz packages that I got for 99 cents each, and I had a tray left over. The first dehydrator could only handle a bag and a half. Already the house smells like dehydrating food, and after an hour and a half I felt the need to reshuffle the stuff- it's drying out fast enough I think it may be ready to jar up before I go to bed tonight. Tomorrow I will set up the rest of the frozen peas, and probably do up a batch of the fresh carrots too- I got a couple of pounds for free on a buy deal at Hardings.
Stopped by the hardware store and picked up a big 21 quart canner pot too. Meijer had a 25 quart enamel stock without the rack for 25 bucks and it looked too big for my stove, but the hardware store had the enamel canner pot with the rack for 26.50- for the extra buck and a half and having a rack and an appropriate size to fit on my stove, it was worth it. And it helps support my local hardware store- it's a value beyond price to me in the experience and time those folks have.

Got all excited and bought a couple pumpkins from the local grower... and a bunch more squash from Hardings- on sale for 49 cents a pound... Was planning on using some of my cool new canning equipment. Hardeharhar on me, you can't safely can that using a water bath. So I will be making my puree and dehydrating a bunch on the fruit roll sheets- instant squash powder for soups.. I will likely freeze up at least a couple quarts of the stuff too for more cook and eat kind of consistency.
Between Meijer and Hardings, I was able to pick up a couple pound containers of strawberries and a bag of mixed berries for cheap- and I have a bag of macerated strawberries in the freezer. Gonna whup them all up into some jam and can that all up. I think I will end up with 4-5 12 oz jars when I'm done, so I can always toss in a jar with a few Christmas presents.

I picked up some nice scents for Christmas presents too. Cinnamon to make scented filling for the geodesic ornaments. Jasmine and a soothing green tea and cucumber for making bath salts and some warm/chill pillows. I figure I will make up a couple of those too. A little bit here and there and I will have some pretty decent pampering sets for the ladies. The oils were under 5 bucks each, and I should be able to get quite a bit of mileage out of them. I still have a couple of candy molds sitting around that were complete failures for making seed bombs, but I think they might still be good for making little "butter lumps". A mixture of wax and oils for using on rough spots like elbows and heels.

Got work done on the Rosepetal Pavilion. The posts are now mounted into place and all the final floor tiles are mounted in. Next up is laying in the primary roof struts and backfilling the entire outer edge of the floor. I wanted to give that final layer a couple goodly days to set in before messing around with the next layer. Then it's laying in roof cross beams and doing the primary petal roof layout.

I've noticed where the bottles are stacked was a major drip spot- so I've done a few bottle returns and cleared out most of those boxes. Now I need to keep up on it. I think I'm gonna fold up the yucky boxes and twine them off for easy start logs.

To do list:
Want to start working on birdseed ornaments for wedding favors. Birdseed has been on sale so I figure I will pick up a bag now. That stuff stores forever. Then over the course of winter, I can bake up batches of them and sock them away for bundling. I think I want to pick up some tulle and make nyjer seed bags to pack them up a couple feeders each all nice.
Need to go through the pile of seed envelopes for my garden in a box favors. Ugh, need to hit Office Depot- the are going out of business and got super sale going on. Pick up some printable labels if they have them. Hand written or printed, if the sale is good enough, a box or two will last me ages.
I need to get into touch with the Enchanted Bead lady up the road from us. Need to see if she has/can order square wire for me. My sister handed over some seriously cool chainmail link pieces and a handful of large quarts points for me to make into a necklace for her. I think this particular piece will require the structured edges of square wire. I'm going to use soft wire for now to quick wrap everything into the basic measurements and try the shape on my sister before I squarewire it.
Do another bottle return- pick up a couple jelly sheets for the new dehydrator.
Move a load of gardening stuff. The hoses and basket stuff for sure. That's a couple loads of space eating stuff I want moved.
Move the jug stuff. I know I got at least a bag or two of plastic bottles for smaller turn in action. And a stack of bottles to soak off the labels from and spray up in glow spray for herb garden border action.
Spray a couple test papers with glow spray and glitter to make into glow jars for hanging in the trees. 
Stick in stakes to mark off the future steps down the hill to the easement drive. Plug in the solar lights along that marked area.
If the weather is good, mow out a single path along all borders in the yard. I know it's late in the season and could be killing off.. but if I'm careful and think about it I can cut in a mulch side to work with into the freezing time and able to put in spring time.
Take a trip up to the local tree nursery and inquire to early spring ordering of a pair of trees for wedding planting. Might not be a bad idea to mark in and possibly mow in the planting aisle.
Trim up the branches that need trimming in the yard.
Pick up and drop off fallen branches in the yard to the firepit. Even if the weather is crappy, I want to build up a goodly firepit burning for Halloween. 

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