First, I want to extend a hearty welcome to all of our new readers. We have many from around the country and around the world. I spent a good deal of time yesterday surfing around the various blogs that so many of you have and adding many to my favorites. I wish I had time to read them all each day but I have been limiting my computer time which means that two or three are all I can manage.

In my surfing yesterday, I did come across a couple of interesting things. One was a recipe for pressure canning butter to eliminate tha botulism risk. Apparently, the results are a bit grainy but perfectly usable for cooking. I also found the directions for canning dried beans that involves nothing more than using 1/3 a cup of dried bean covered with boiling water, then pressure canning for 75 minutes. This makes sense to me and I plan to give it a try ASAP.

I also found a few new videos at dehydrate2store. I love that site. She really inspires me to dry and use many new foods that I would not have considered. I found the directions for drying canned fruit which seemed silly until I remembered that my kids rarely eat commercially canned fruit but adore any fruit I dry. I was pretty excited to find the new Paraflex sheets I ordered from the Excalibur store sitting on my front step on Saturday. I got enough to be able to dry a full load of fruit or vegetable leather without fumbling around with sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper. I wanted something that was reusable and these are great.

I did a bit of research on meals in a jar and found a lot of websites dedicated to that. Putting together meal kits appeals to my OCD tendencies. I also did some research on local sources for 6 gallon buckets. The gamma lids are so expensive that I seldom get them. I find that I put them on the things I open the most often and use regular lids for the ling-term stuff. If, for example, I keep one gamma lid on the bucket of flour I’m using then move it to the next bucket when the first is empty. As I rotate regularly, this is not a problem.

What did you do to prep today? I got another 100 pounds of sugar (very expensive) and I’m putting in an order for wheat. I want another 200 pounds. I also stocked up on spices. I had stopped into our local natural foods store. It’s place to go for bulk spices at a fraction of supermarket prices. I had planned to hit the mall today to get the sale price on wool socks and long-sleeved shirts but the weather is iffy and I think I’ll just stay home and clean the spare/sewing room. Never let it be said that I don’t know how to have a good time.

I wanted to make mention of something. There are so many skills that we need to learn and I know that there are many things I don’t think I will ever master. But I have learned a valuable lesson from my youngest daughter. As most of you know, Phoebe has syndrome that is accompanied by mild retardation but she NEVER lets that slow her down. She is determined to learn to read and practices every day. Last night she read a whole Little Bear book to me. Einstein said that genius is 99% perspiration. If that’s true, and I believe it is, then my Phoebe is a genius. She inspires me with her whole-hearted approach to life.