"Harvesting Your Own Apples is Easy! Just find a Kid in your house who's willing to stand on a Wobbly Stool with an Old Rake and Knock them out of your Tree!" Ha.... I snapped this as PJ was trying to reach that ONE SPECIAL APPLE that she just had to get down. Oh and today was their first day back at school... YAY!!!!!
Well I actually did make my own granola bars, imagine that. Let me just say that this is not going to turn into an organic living/ cooking blog... I have enough of those that I like to read, no need to make another one myself, I figure. Besides I'd never have the mental capacity to maintain such a thing. :)
But I did want to do a little blip on these bars as they came out great (I ended up using the first recipe from the last post, the one that incorporates crispy rice cereal and mix-ins). I got reviews from the kids ranging from "They're OK" to "These are AWESOME!", so I guess they're good... I like them! Turns out the ones with raisins are the sweetest and chewiest.
Also wanted to brag on... ahem, I mean "share with folks"... the things I was able to make over the course of the weekend, using (drumroll please).... STUFF IN MY OWN YARD. Yeah, right, you say? Well sure! just keep reading! :) The bold type is all organic things growing in my yard (and maybe in yours)!
I got the little half-size snack bags and labeled them so we'd know which ones contained peanuts when it came time for school snacks. Yeah yeah... I'm using a lot of plastic, I know. But I have to pick my battles. At least I recycle everything I can, normally. We do have an allergic classmate so we (hopefully all the parents) are very careful no to send peanuts or tree nuts. Hence the labeling and separate preparation.
Ta-Da! Not too freaking bad, huh? They're all in the freezer now and we can pull them out as needed. Cool. I remember my mom used to make granola in the oven and I've never tried it, so I think I'll try that next time and bag it for cereal or snacking by the handful.
I've also looked up different tea-making sites (and I can assure you there are at least 179,502 out there) so I took the best complied info I could find, and went out to pick and dry my raspberry leaves for raspberry-leaf tea. Not to be confused with raspberry tea... the leaf-tea is pretty tasteless but has more benefits. I'd recommend that you look it up sometime for more details, but for me it helps my stomachaches that seem to accompany my neurological issues lately.
On top of the leaves is a bundle of dried dandelion root. Yes I DID go out in my yard and dig them up and tie them with a string like it was 1840. Oh I went there. I'm just that kind of girl. If the dandelion root (cleaned and dried) is ground up and steeped with the raspberry leaves and drunk three times a day or so (well who's got the time, but I drink it occasionally at night) it is purported to be a detoxifying, cleansing tea. I just like the taste of it with honey and it makes my tummyache better. :)
These apples, which after doing some research we believe to be New Brunswick apples, grow on two trees in my side yard. They have yielded about 3 large bowlfuls so far that were good to use, after peeling and cutting into 5000 tiny pieces to be sure there were no worms. I am very, VERY picky about my food. I have made two streudels and have frozen 2 bags of chopped pieces, and still have another large bowl to peel and freeze later! I can't believe we used to let so many of these drop and go to waste... we would just donate them to farm horses... this year we are making a daily effort to collect as many human-edible ones as we can, to freeze for later.
I just peel and chop and inspect them, then throw in a bowl with sugar and sometimes add any wild raspberries I found that day, toss around and they go into a freezer bag. Because.... what if it's February and I can't take the long cold winter for one more day or I'll absolutely lose my MIND unless I get some warm apple pie to remind me of summer????? Then I can pull some out and make it!
And I bring in any ready garden veggies daily, wash and leave them out for the kids to munch on, then I chop any remaining and freeze them for cooking later, or make them into soups. So far I've made 2 with chicken-broth base and pasta mixed in, and I made 4 with tomato/beef boullion broth and potatoes mixed in (along with the carrots, green beans, yellow beans, turnips, and peas). I seal them into glass jars re-used from spaghetti sauces..... but I learned the hard way that you have to let them cool ALL THE WAY before sealing and freezing or the jar cracks (in my case, it was two jars, dammit). So now I won't put them in warm again. OOPS.
These are the soup jars, veggie bags, granola bars, and apple-piece bags in my freezer. I also freeze lots of raspberries mixed with sugar or plain, to add to pies or muffins, breads, etc in a few months. OK so that's it!
Wish I had more "organic stuff" in my yard... or at least how to identify it... I'm still looking it all up so maybe I'll be able to make different teas once I'm 100% sure what I'd be picking is non-toxic - I don't want to learn THAT the hard way!
To those in my area - Hope you all had a good first-day-back-at-school day! I did! :)