It’s ALIVE!

Greetings, all and sundry!

I am positive, by now, you have decided I died of eating nothing but handcrafted food. Or, worse, fell off the Handcrafted wagon, and was lost in a mire of Monsanto.

But, NO! I just had a lot of other stuff going on in my life.

Still, I am back in the saddle, and am ready to share some of the cool stuff I am doing and learning, lately. But first, the past year… I have still not mastered cheese . This saddens me, but I remain hopeful that one day I will get it.  I am still entirely sold on handcrafted toothpaste, and still use my own every day. It has helped me with a lot of the problems I was beginning to have with my aging teeth. I am not as keen on long-term use of the coconut oil and baking soda deodorant, and have eliminated the baking soda because it caused me to have some pH issues. No big deal, but after a month or so, my skin reacted and I didn’t like it. If I took a break, I could use it for about another month, but, ultimately, it happened again, anyway. So, I use just plain coconut oil most days and regular deodorant for “potentially sweaty” days.

I am still making my own sauces and soups and smoothies and croutons and bread. But not so much diligence on crackers and granola  . I am getting back in the swing of things, again, though, so I expect to have better reports very soon.

So, as to new stuff, I just got a brand new, giant food dehydrator- 10 racks all with mesh liners and the fruit leather trays, for $15!!!  🙂  I have been waiting for ages for this to manifest in my life! I have employed many other preservation methods, but have felt I have been missing a vital aspect of pantry-filling without it.

I wanted to get started immediately (of course!) so I went shopping for one of my favorite dried fruit items, bananas. They are easy, and practically instant, prep-wise. My shop had organic bananas for sale for $0.10 more than the regular, so I splurged for the good ones.

All I did was slice the bananas as consistently as I could, and pop them in a single layer on the tray. I started 4 full trays, from 2 bunches of bananas.

sliced bananas in the dehydrator

sliced bananas in the dehydrator

Then I turned on the machine (125 degrees) and will now wait the 12 hours to check for doneness. I like mine a bit “leathery”.

 

Tomorrow, I will be back with the finished product, which I will store in a mason jar with tight fitting lid.

Fruit snacks are as simple as that. Later, I am going to make fruit leather with apples and raspberries (because red is my favorite flavor!).  Take that, Big Food!!!

Thanks for tuning in, my precious blueberries! I look forward to a busy, prosperous and entirely handcrafted Summer!!!!

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Dandelion Coconut Muscle Relief Oil

This year, I have put no energy, whatever, into ridding my space of dandelions. In fact, I have put them to work for me!

This kitchen magic: Dandelion Coconut Muscle Rub

Wonderful for undoing, when you have overdone it.

It requires:

  • A glass canning jar including lid and ring, larger than total volume of finished product
  • liquified coconut oil
  • a large handful of flowering dandelion tops
  • A sunny afternoon window sill, daily for 2 weeks

That’s it.

Place the dandelion flowers in the bottom of the sterile, entirely dry jar.

flowers! not weeds.

flowers! not weeds.

 

Pour the oil over the flowers to entirely cover.

shake daily, while a liquid.

shake daily, while a liquid.

Place lid and ring on jar and firmly tighten.

Place jar in the sunny window.

solid coconut oil and dandelions

solid coconut oil and dandelions

 

The oil with solidify when it isn’t 76 degrees, so it needs to reach that temperature every day, and be shaken gently. This is completely easy if it can “live” in a western or southern window in the Summer, because the sun does the warming. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the jar can be placed in a shallow pan of water and gently warmed, but this is definitely more work and dedication.

Shake daily for 2 weeks and strain.

wamr, strained oil

warm, strained oil

finished product

finished product

The finished product is a wonderful oil rub for sore muscles as is, and would make an ideal additive to beeswax for a heavier salve.

 

Coconut oil and your plumbing…

A cautionary tale about using coconut oil as liberally as I do.

For many weeks, now, I have been using coconut oil for almost every single application imaginable, and I have fallen more in love with it every day.

However, there is a note of caution I feel compelled to pass along: Coconut oil can and will block your pipes if not used very carefully.

Coconut oil’s very nature keeps it solid at under 76 degrees, and a liquid, above. This makes it the ideal moisturizer to slather on after a shower, but before towel-drying. Using it in the shower should be safe enough, as the water you are showering with will generally be hotter than 76 degrees.

However, if you are using it to brush your teeth with, as I have, you must remember to rinse the brush and all “spitting” with hot water, to prevent it from clogging the drains. I have already had this experience and the accompanying awkward conversation with my husband, the drain unclogger.

Since I realized it, I have been mindful to keep rinse water hotter than normal, and to let it run longer than usual. I have experienced no further problems.

This does not make coconut oil a bad bet for everyone with indoor plumbing, but is something very important to keep in mind.

I try to keep this blog as real as I can, and it feels important that I pass this message along as I tout the benefits of coconut oil for every possible use.