Preppers

Preppers. That’s the term for those of us who (wherever we are in the process) wish to increase our ability to purchase or grow, harvest and preserve food for future use.  The last week or so, we have tried a few new things I’d like to share.

We strung up some peppers and are hanging them in the window to dry, so far, no signs of mold.  Since the first photo, they have turned almost completely red and are more wrinkled.  Next time, I want to use quilting thread or carpet thread (both available at the thread display in the fabric section of Wal-Mart or your Fabric store.  This will be MUCH more durable.  I had just grabbed regular thread to get it over with but you need something that will last at least a year and regular thread might not, additionally, it I doubt it will bear the weight of the peppers, which are heavy with water at first.Peppers resized

 We’ve also picked some wild onions (or is it wild garlic?  We’re not sure but because the tiny stalks are hollow, they may be garlic).  To avoid poisonous lookalikes make sure they smell like onions or garlic.  We’re also hoping to find some local rants, which are bigger and have much bigger green leaves.  We just picked the stems on these, which is simple.  One site advised to make sure you avoid any area sprayed with chemicals and also stay 100 feet from any roadway.  If the bulbs are not dug up, they should produce for a few weeks in the spring each year.  We are still in the middle of drying but I will say it takes A LOT of fresh onions to make a little in the dried form.  My dryer has 6 tiers and that made 2 cups or less in dried form.

Wild onions in hand

Wild onions resized

 

Our most interesting project was canning grape juice using an easy method.  Add one cup of seedless (or seeded) grapes and 1/3-1 Cup Sugar to the cleaned, hot canning jar, seal and process for 20 minutes in a water bath canner.  You will have to strain the juice later and I’d expect just over 3 cups of juice but at the time, I had lots of grapes so we made use of them!  We also froze them, to be eaten while frozen or blended into smoothies.  My daughter enjoyed helping and learning.

Canning jars resized

Grapejuice jars

 

 

We had already juiced part of the grapes and found something interesting.  The leftover pulp was delicious and as juicy as applesauce.  So, I coined the term “grapesauce” and we canned a quart which was leftover from our previous snack.

Grapesauce resized

 

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Published in: on April 8, 2013 at 11:57 pm  Leave a Comment