So yesterday, Bruce was at a barn raising and I wanted to make a pot of soup for the work crew. Hey, I thought! This is a great time to rotate some of the dehydrated food I bought years ago when I first started prepping. So I got out a bag of creamy potato soup mix, added it to the boiling water and in 15 minutes I had soup-sort of. I didn’t read the ingredients until after I had a bowl. Food starch, corn syrup and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil where close to the top of the list followed by titanium dioxide, silicon dioxide and yellow dye #5. The list was really long and 80% of it didn’t read like food at all. Which is kind of crazy as potato soup is pretty much potatoes, milk, onions, celery and some spices. All are thing that are easily dried and store really well. Oh. I also paid nearly $6.00 for the mix and it only made 8 cups.

I plan to spend some time making more mixes for things like soup and quick breads and getting them packed into mason jars. I have been  inspired by the dehydrate2store videos. I keep the potatoes in my root cellar but they can be dried too and I think I’ll give that a shot after I finish with apples. That might take a while because as soon as I finish drying one gallon, I find that the previous one has vanished. My girls love dried apples and snack on them all day. I use them in oatmeal and Bruce likes them rehydrated in boiling water with some cinnamon and brown sugar and wheat germ topping. They have a shelf life of about 24 hours around here.

Gas prices are on the rise again and I’m sure propane prices will tag along. If I want the fuel I bought in April to last for the winter, I’ll need to be very careful with it. That means keeping the house very cool during the day and cold at night. I want to investigate a timer for the furnace. I don’t mind sleeping in 55 degree rooms but I would like the bathroom a bit warmer when I shower. If I get the thing to turn up at 4:30 AM, then go off at 8:00, we will be warm enough during the few hours we need it warmer and wear sweaters the rest of the time. I’m watching for those down comforters to go on sale. I may actually break down and shop for them on-line. I refuse to go to the mall if there is any way to avoid it.

I spent Saturday at a birthday party. My friend, Sara, turned 50 and about 40 of us turned up to help her build some lasagna beds for her rather rocky, thin soil. We layered rock minerals, cardboard and newspapers, compost and hay a good foot thick. Next year, she will be able to plant although it will take some time before it completely breaks down. The party was a blast and a whole lot more productive than manicures and martinis although those are fun too,