Each year we wait for the ice to break up in the river behind my house. It’s the first dramatic evidence of spring approaching. We drove around town to see the spectacle. Many others were out, lining the road taking pictures or just enjoying the she show. I am so glad I live in a town were where such an event is appreciated and noted.

I have an idea I have been tossing around for a bit. We like juice but it’s a pretty unsustainable food choice, almost always mass-produced in cartons or cans that make their way into the trash stream. I can put up juice from the abundance of fruit, especially apples, that I have access to but that means either using valuable freezer real estate or using up a lot of my quart jars. The quarts take up a lot of valuable shelf real estate. So here’s my idea. Feel free to poke holes in it. I’m thinking that if I press juice I can freeze it in narrow necked wine bottles. After it fully frozen I want to turn the bottles up-side-down into a canning jar. I think the juice will thaw and run out, leaving behind a chunk of ice. If I freeze and thaw again, I should end up with a juice concentrate which I can then can or freeze to reconstitute later. The benefit is that I could store a lot more juice in a lot less space. I could also reconstitute with sparkling water of ferment into a kind of soda. I sounds like it will work and, as the freezer is running in any case, won’t use any extra energy. I would can in small jars. I think this has potential.

My neighbor is growing oats this year. I think that means it’s finally worth investing in an oat flaker. The oats are hulless and flaking them is pretty easy. They will store better than the oats I now buy. I would love to be able to make granola from local oats.

I’m also thinking about getting a barrel composter. My compost is on the back side of my house and across a long stretch of field. Getting there is fine in the good weather but treacherous in the ice. I’m thinking that a composter in the basement would let me make compost all winter and have it ready to go in the spring when I need it. I’ll be checking Craig’s List for one before I buy one new. I know I saw some plans for one someplace but I hate to give Bruce on more thing to add to the to-do list.

I’m shopping for one more thing. I have a wash board and one of those plunger type hand washers. I also have a wringer but it’s one I picked up at a tag sale and it’s in pretty tough shape. I want to get a mop bucket and wringer attachment. I had planned to do this last summer but the best laid plans gang aft aglay around here pretty often and this one was no exception. I saw on the mop wringers at a little hardware store I frequent. I have to go to town next week and I need to pop a note on my steering wheel so I don’t forget again. Why is that I can remember all of the lyrics form the Gilligan’s Island theme song but not something as simple and important as a wringer?

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