Showing posts from October, 2013

Homemade Fruit Leathers

There is always so much fruit to preserve in the fall and one way I have stored it away for the winter is by making fruit leathers.  The process is actually easier than you would think since I use the skins and all (of course minus the larger seeds - raspberry and strawberry seeds are fine not to strain out).

Below I have documented my process using a dehydrator, but I have also laid out some additional instructions if you are going to dry them in an oven..

Fruit (if using pears or apples, you will need to remove the seeds)
(The batches I made this time were pear & cinnamon and berry pear)

Place your fruit in a heavy bottom pot (add a little water if your fruit is not that juicy) and cook it down until most of the watery liquid has evaporated.

Add seasoning if desired (here I am adding some cinnamon to a cooked batch).

Let the mixture cool, then using a blender, puree the cooked fruit until it resembles the consistency of apple sauce.

Move your pureed fruit to the refrigerat…

Best Fresh Homemade Salsa

Over the years I have made a lot of salsa, and through trial and error I have mostly erred.  Needless to say, I was delighted that I took the time to actually write down all of the ingredients I put in my latest salsa attempt because this time it tasted absolutely delicious...and I wasn't the only one who thought that.

Here is the recipe I have now made three times, all to perfection:

20 tomatoes (any variety), you can also mix in tomatillos up to 1/2 of the amount1 cup chopped onion2 Tablespoons SUCANAT2 teaspoons powdered garlic1 1/2 teaspoons cumin1 Tablespoon dried cilantro leaves2 Tablespoons lime juice2 Tablespoons salt2 - 8 chopped hot peppers, use a more mild variety if you do not like you salsa hot and also remove their seeds.  If you want a hotter salsa use a hotter variety and leave some of the pepper seeds.
First cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze the seeds out of them.  If you are using tomatillos, just use them whole.

Place the seeded tomatoes into a food p…

Master Gardener of Your Soul

Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.” Matthew 15:13

With harvest season upon us and every last minute being devoted to getting food out of the ground, processed, and put into storage before the snowy winds start to blow, I think I looked at the above verse a bit different than I ever had before. In looking out at my gardens, which are filled with many things I have planted AND lots of things I did not (those weeds that sprung up later in the season when I had chosen to stop pulling them), I see this verse in a different light.
As a gardener, I take care in the spring to plant only the best seed. Those seeds then grow into various plants that yield good food – fruits and vegetables I feel good about feeding my family. But then there are the weeds that creep in, grow, and eventually produce fruit of their own kind – fruit that is not usually edible but rather mostly filled with more seeds that will eventually take over my gardens with non-productive…