I usually post very early in the morning but I have found myself spending my morning catching up on the news. If what’s happening isn’t enough to convince people to prepared for an uncertain future, I’m not sure what will.

I made a big batch of applesauce/strawberry fruit leather yesterday. Applesauce makes a great base for leather. The flavor goes well with most things and the texture means that much less time is spent cooking a fruit down to the right consistency for drying. I still didn’t cook it long enough and it took almost 24 hours to completely dry. The flavor is amazing. I had a couple of extra trays left so I cut up some canned pineapple and dried that at the same time. It’s fabulous! I think I’ll do another batch and try some mandarin orange slice too. I’m thinking about how good some of this fruit would taste dipped in chocolate. It has real gift-giving potential.

I did end up going shopping on Monday. I only hit the 3rd and final markdown racks and got some tremendous deals. Phoebe has all of her school clothes for next year, Karen got some basics like t-shirts and sweaters. The mall was pretty empty. A lot of elderly people were there to walk and some teens were hanging around but there seemed to be few shoppers and the ones I saw were hitting the same sales racks that I was.

The sun looks very different. You can tell that spring is out there, buried under deep snow and ice. I’m getting itchy to get to work outside. For now, I have to be satisfied with getting some inside projects done. I see we have a few potatoes that need to come out of the root cellar. I can think of about 25 jobs I would rather do than clean out the potato bin but it has to be done. I’m treating myself to popovers for breakfast, served with raspberry jam. It makes up for a lot of nasty in the basement.