Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's That Time Of Year Again

   Yes, I know, it's been a long time since I've written anything. I've been busy. We had company for a little over a week and once again, it's that time of year again. Yup, harvesting time. I haven't even finished the last quilt top and Christmas is coming way too fast.
   I dehydrate most of what we grow, and my trusty old dehydrator died in the middle of dehydrating last year. Amy did find a replacement for me at a garage sale, but after using it once, I know why it was being sold. It didn't dehydrate food, it cooked it. It had no temperature adjustment, neither did my old one, but I had that one figured out.
dehydrating red onion slices
   This year, we bought the 80 liter commercial food dehydrator from Cabela's, and so far, it's great. I get so much done much faster than before. The down side is, it takes so much longer to fill it up, but I can live with that.
   The first thing I dehydrated was about 20 pounds of zucchini and it took about 6 hours. I probably could have dehydrated it on a higher temperature and been done faster, but I was happy with 6 hours. I got it all done in one shot instead of days.
   Now, I am onto mass quantities of onions. It's a perfect time to do it now because it's cooler and I can leave all the windows open. One day, we will have a back porch, hopefully and enclosed back porch so I can dehydrate out there. So far, I have 3 3/4 quart jars full of dehydrated onion rings that I have vacuumed sealed with my vac and seal. Later, when I need them, I chop a jar up and have chopped onions. I'll make my own onion powder this year.
   Our potatoes are being harvested, too. So much rain early in the season didn't help. We are getting small potatoes, but that's better than no potatoes. The all blue potatoes are interesting. Next time I use some, I'll take a picture of them.
   I've alos been busy picking, shelling, blanching and freezing tons of peas. There are so many more to be picked. The green beans are next. I don't even like green beans, but Tim does. These will also be frozen and divided up into 2-3 person servings and vaccuum sealed in bags and then frozen.
   It hasn't been all work and no fun. For our 32nd wedding anniversary, Tim bought me an ocarina.
It's a hand painted seedpod tenor G ocarina . It has a nice deep tone. It's from Songbird Ocarinas. I'm still learning the Native American flute and the tin whistle. The nice thing about this is it only uses your first 2 fingers and thumbs on each hand. I have arthritis in my hands and my ring fingers tend to lock up, making it hard to get them to cooperate when I want to lift them off of the holes.
Close up of the ocarina

You can see the neck strap here
   The first song I learned to play was Popeye the Sailor Man. Yes, I learn culturally important music. I also learned Beethoven's 9th (Ode To Joy).
   I need to relearn how to read music. I used to know how because I took violin lessons and guitar lessons in school. It shouldn't be that hard to relearn it. I hope.
   So much to do, so little time. I guess I'd better get back to the onions while it's still cool. But I'd really like to be playing some musical instrument. I haven't even been making bread or cookies lately. I'm really falling down on the job.

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