February has been a loooong month, despite being a few days shorter than other months, and I have been cranky. Maybe I should admit to Cranky with a Capital C.
Despite more winter weather than rightfully belongs in the South (snow, freezing rain, freezing fog, ice, more ice, cold, colder), I have been blessed to not lose my electricity and to not have my well or pipes freeze through it all. (Knock on wood.) I’m especially grateful that I did not have these problems because, with my son-in-law moving, I discovered a hole in my Preparedness… I no longer remember how to start the generator and had not learned how to properly attach it to the electrical panel to power the house. He has been keeping the generators in good working order, running them at regular intervals, etc. and because I have’t had to start my generator for over three years, I just don’t remember how to do it! I don’t know, there’s a knob to turn and a choke to adjust and a switch to flip before yanking the cord? Furthermore, he hadn’t gotten around to teaching me how to use the generator to run power in the house. So, if the power went out, my generator would be useless to me! Unfortunately, because of the bad weather, he hasn’t been back to rectify that little problem. You can be sure that once this particular oversight is resolved, the instructions will Definitely be written down and put into my Preparedness Notebook.
I have been enjoying the fruits of my summer labors – peach jam, frozen peaches, applesauce. I also saw the fruition of my dehydrated watermelon and dehydrated peaches experiments. (Fruition…get it?). Since dehydrated foods, at least in this location, reabsorb moisture rapidly, my experiment was to see if vacuum packing my home-dehydrated watermelon, which is especially prone to sucking in moisture, would extend its life. I routinely re-pack my commercially dehydrated foods that come in #10 cans because I cannot use that much product before the moisture gets to them. Well, I cracked open one of the watermelon canisters this week and, Yes, it did help! As for the dehydrated peaches, I put them into the freezer to see if that would help them stay dehydrated. They, too, came out just as good as when I put them in. Someone had thought there would be too much moisture generated during the “thawing” of the dehydrated fruit but that was not the case. So, there’s the results of two experiments started several months ago.
Back in the 90’s (do you know how long ago the 90’s was??), when my daughters were teens, I started “dabbling” with Essential Oils. I never did more than dabble but J took the interest to another level and, when I moved here, I started using some of her blends for health support. With her around, I didn’t need to keep my own supply of oils. Well, I ran out of her Anti-Infectious Blend after she moved so re-started my personal supply of Essential Oils and am making the Anti-Infectious Blend for myself.
I tried a couple of new “scratch” recipes. I especially like one of them, Cotter’s Kettle. My younger daughter introduced the family to rutabaga a few years ago and even though I really liked it, my repertoire of standard meals did not include any recipes that used rutabaga. So, I’ve been wanting to find recipes using rutabagas and this was a wonderful start.
This weekend is supposed to continue cold but March starts on Sunday and Spring had better start on Monday!