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Dehydrated peaches

It’s that time of year again when a LOT of fruit is ripening. Jessie (daughter-in-law) and I have been “lamenting” this week on the fact that we do not have access to free fruit this year. Last year, whilst in Idaho, we were blessed with SO many apples, pears, plums and elderberries she was kept busy for weeks sorting it all and our dehydrator ran constantly for a LONG time. (Due to space restrictions in the fifth wheel I did not do any canning like Jessie did.) In fact we still have a few bags of apple slices, a couple bags of plum fruit leather, several packets of frozen apple sauce left along with bags of elderberries. Stocking up as we did last year has saved us a LOT of money throughout the year and whenever one of us has felt a sore throat coming on I have quickly made elderberry syrup.

Well, if you hadn’t noticed, this year is not last year! Michael, Jessie and kids are now living in Montana and we did not go north this autumn so are still in Missouri. I did not want to let our supplies dwindle to nothing as I don’t believe that is prudent. In fact some weeks recently have been a little lean and we have had to rely on our ‘in-house’ food instead of going to the grocery store. Have we suffered? Nope! We have eaten well albeit a little differently. Purchasing food in bulk truly does save us a huge amount of money and enables us to always have food on hand. Thankfully we have been able to restock now and also purchase extra food for dehydrating. Yes, we have to pay for it this year but purchasing fruit by the 20lb box from Azure Standard means we get to eat organically for WAY cheaper than purchasing the “regular” food around here. This week 40lbs of peaches, 20lbs of pears and 8lbs of plums arrived. I dehydrated approximately 35lbs of peaches and put the rest of the fruit in the fridge for us to eat during the month. Next month, when apple season has truly kicked in we will order a LOT along with more pears so that we can get our stocks back up to where they should be.

Did you know that lentils make a good, cheap, healthy replacement for ground beef? Richard and I do not hide the fact that we LOVE meat but we also like our beef grass fed which is NOT cheap to buy. Once again, last year we purchased half a cow/beef whilst in Idaho and ate well for quite some time. Before we arrived in Idaho, Michael was on a vegan streak. (It ended when we brought in the beef 🙂 ) He was cooking a LOT with lentils. We had not eaten lentils in years. In fact the last time I had cooked them was back when Michelle and Michael were young and we all hated them! LOL! Michael is a good cook though and so our opinion of lentils went up a notch. When we ran out of beef and had to start purchasing it by the pound I decided to experiment. I discovered that instead of using 2lbs of ground beef to feed us I could use 1lb along with 1 cup (raw) of seasoned, cooked lentils. (I cook mine with salt and sage before adding to the meat.) The flavor of the dish was the same and nobody complained. I should add that we use brown lentils!

SO blessed! Hope this helps prove that you can live and eat well even in a fifth wheel. Yes, the dehydrator takes up precious space on the kitchen counter whilst working but we’ll enjoy the fruits of our labors for many months to come. Dried fruit takes up very little space, keeps well and makes for a healthy snack when eaten in moderation with some protein.

Take care,

Liz

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