Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pineapple, pectin and preserves

     There is more than one way to preserve fruits and vegetables.  Canning is the first method to come to mind. I picked up a $1.99 pineapple at the grocery store, (because I can't wait for the garden produce!), added three cups of sugar, some water and ended up with twelve half-pint jars of pineapple preserves.  I didn't add pectin.  I don't need to.  There's plenty in the fruit itself.  

     I checked the discount grocer price of a 1/4 pint jar of pineapple preserves.  They want $2.99.  So, the math grocery store value, my preserves would cost $96!  Preserving fruits and vegetables yourself, even if you are purchasing the raw materials at retail, are less expensive than the ready made finished product.  So, what's the difference between store bought and mine?  

     Labeling, Price, Color and chemical preservatives.  Mine have NO chemical or other added preservatives, the lower price of bulk buying, the color natural preserves should be instead of a hollywood version requiring food coloring and I label them with a sharpie.

         While I was stirring pineapple chunks in it's own syrup, I got to thinking about other methods of preserving fruits. I have a pineapple plant in a decorative container in the garden.  Last years' pineapple has long been picked and gone, but I noticed this year, there are two stalks coming out.  I have a total of three pineapple plants and expect at least four of my own pineapples to preserve.  
Fruit Leather Recipe, How to Make Fruit Leather | Simply Recipes

I came across a recipe for fruit leather and I am going to try that next. 

Don't forget the dehydrator!  Pineapple chips are like candy chips.

     Also, as a side note:  I started cooking the pineapple after work.  When I finished filling the jars, there was some syrup left over.  That syrup went straight to the fridge for pancakes I feel I should have this weekend.  

     What was left in the pot after I poured the plain syrup into a jar was some cooked down pineapple debris and syrup.  I put it into the pan with the pork chops for tonight's dinner.  (Don't judge me!)  It tasted like a glazed ham!

This article from The Examiner gives eight easy recipes and instructions for multiple preserving methods.
Paste the address into your web browser and get a quick course in saving pineapple.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Car Prep
     The first step in car prep (or shall we just call it auto prep to include jeeps, trucks and SUVs?)  is to maintain the vehicle at it's optimum manufacturers recommended standards.  
     Check all fluids regularly and get on a schedule of regular oil changes.  
     Now, is a good time to learn to do it yourself.  If you don't have that technology, acquire it.  You can enroll in a local vocational class, read a book or take in a few videos from

How To Change Your Oil (Full) - EricTheCarGuy

     Ask an expert friend or family member to guide you through it the first time to be sure you get it right.  The first time you succeed and realize how much of your money is still in your pocket, you may be encouraged to do it again, regularly.  Check antifreeze in the radiator and replenish or replace as suggested in the owner's manual.  If you cannot find your owner's manual, go to the maker's website and get the information there. 

     Also check brake fluid, transmission fluid, steering fluid and fill your windshield washer reservoir.  Gas it up, and you are ready to prep the trunk.

     My sister is such a girlie girl, that I sometimes worry about her.  We were talking last week and she mentioned the sad state of her hurricane supplies.  A single wind up flashlight for three people!  Seriously?   Just one!  Canned foods but no heat source.  Great you're going to eat from a can of spaghetti for two days and a single flat of water?  You are killing me!!!  I mean who raised you, yuppies?

     In the middle of my rant at her I listed car prep.  What if you are ordered to evacuate and you have no gas, and the car over heats because you never check your fluid levels?  Well, she told me her car was prepped.  I have the pictures here to prove it.  She really had given auto prep some thought.

     First, she organized her trunk and secured an auto emergency kit with battery cables, a tow rope, flashlight, first aid kit, basic tools, flares, glow sticks, fix-a-flat, and a small emergency how-to manual.  Well, good for her! I was so very proud!

     Next, she packed a pretty bag with more emergency supplies.  These are the personal supplies like feminine hygiene products, first aid kit (more band-aids), peroxide, shampoo, bug repellent, mouth wash and another small led flashlight.  I checked it.  She put batteries on her shopping list!  

      As we talked she asked me how I came to know all she needed and how to pack it and why are you taking pictures of my stuff?   I told her, you know me.  I know it my blog and try to get up to speed!

      She is on a good start but not quite there.  She had two flashlights and didn't think to check for batteries.  You know, they don't come included with purchase in all models!  She is such a girlie girl!  

      Beside the basic first aid kits you can purchase, remember to add medication for headaches, pain or allergies.  Disinfectants such as hand sanitizer and wound wash should be included.  

      Add a tarp, a blanket and a towel, a pair of scissors and a good knife, some rope, a change of clothes and you will be in a better place.  

      What do you need in your part of the world?  Pack what you need.  Is it more water? more blankets? more food? tire chains? spare parts? prescription medications in a bug out bag near the car keys in the home?  pet supplies? Baby wipes or diapers? Pack what you need.

Prepare your auto.  It is your work vehicle, pleasure vehicle and your getaway vehicle.