It is the time of the year when there is so much food to preserve that it seems the dehydrator and the canner are going full tilt every day. Yesterday, it was apples. The first local, wild apple are out. I gathered two bushels and put up 8 quarts of sauce. As the canner only holds seven quarts, I kept one in the refrigerator for use this week. It is such a treat after weeks without sauce. I consider foods like home made applesauce and pickles to be great meal stretchers. Not only do they save me considerable amounts of money over store bought but, in a crisis, they provide necessary calories, vitamins and minerals, as well as a sense of familiarity that is so important for morale.

We gave our new lanterns a run through. It was a good idea as these required some tweaking with the wicks. The time to try out new equipment is when the sun is shining. My new stove is due to be delivered on Thursday morning. One of the first things I will do is try out the stove top oven my DH gave me for Christmas last year. The stove top will work without electricity but the oven won’t. We have arranged to have the gas company look over our storage tanks while they are here. We want a much larger tank (1000 gallons). This will give us a nice cushion of heat and cooking time during a crisis while we switch over to full wood use.

We had another crisis meal last night. I made a chicken curry with a couple of handfuls of dried veggies tossed into the sauce. The nice thing about dried summer squash, onions and peppers is that they soak up the extra water in a thin sauce. I could only make the dish because I found one more jar of sauce in the back of storage cabinet. Our new tomatoes are still hard and green so this was a treat too. I still think I will probably have to buy tomatoes this year. It is unlikely enough will ripen to provide me with the makings for 75 quarts of sauce, catsup and salsa that I need to put up.

I painted up that little cabinet that I got from the tag sale. I looks pretty cute. I really need more storage space and will begin to search out this kind of inexpensive solution at tag sales this month. The rain has prevented many sales from happening so a weekend of good weather will have them springing up like mushrooms.

I can hardly believe the sun is shining again. We have not had 2 consecutive days of sun all summer. That means off  to work for me. I would like to add that I believe that the fall will see dramatic increases in the price of food and energy. I hope you are all well prepared for that. Now, while food is plentiful and relatively inexpensive, buy it harvest it, gather and preserve it. You want to be the ant, not the grasshopper in this volatile economy.

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