Archive for September, 2010

Frugal Yoga

About three months ago I started practicing yoga on a regular basis.  Naturaly I didn’t want to spend any extra money on classes, nore do I have the time to take a class out of the home, but a friend pointed out to me that on the PBS2 channel there are several yoga programs that come on early in the morning. I’ve been looking to start some kind of regular physical practice so I thought I’d try it, and I’ve become a big fan of “Priscilla’s Yoga Stretches”.  Her programs are easy to follow and she’s very keen on not hurting yourself and not being intimidated. Her  Yoga program is like the “Slow Foods” movement’s version of exercise! I’ve also found on Netflix Instant Play several yoga programs for specific topics, like relaxation, aches and pains, strength and flexability.  You can also find yoga DVDs at the library. I really enjoy it because it feels good, physicaly and spiritualy. If you have alot of muscular aches and pains, you can also use yoga to reduce your dependency on pain medicine.  Why reach for the advill when you can use a few positions to loosen up your muscles all by your self? After all, reducing health care costs begins at home, right?   I look forward to yoga  every morning and I hope to can keep with it. When I’m as old as Pricilla, I want to look as good and feel as good as she does!

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Home Made Fruit Leather

Greetings! I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in such a long time. The summer got away from me,  and so did my garden.  It’s a shameful mess right now.  I am so looking forward to cooler weather this fall. That said, I have been making apple butter and fruit leather from my apples and I did harvest about 9 lbs of green grapes, dispite the dry weather. The chickens are growing up, I sold 4 pullets at $10 a piece to a friend at church.  We are getting ready to butcher our extra roosters, several of which were donated to us, as we live in the county and are alowed to raise them.  So without further delay, here is my fruit leather recipe, which is way better than “fruit” roll ups:

1)Fill your biggest stock pot half way with apples. (Peal and core them if you don’t have a foley food mill.) Fill the stock pot the rest of the way up with any other fruit you like. If you use all apples, you will have to add apple juice to it so that it doesn’t burn, apples just don’t have enough moisture. Give it a good stir and keep an eye on the temperature. It should only take 20 minutes or so to get soft. Mash it with a potato masher a little. 

2) If you didn’t peal the apples or if there are any other large seeds you want to remove, set up your foley food mill over the crockpot. Mill all the fruit, set your crock pot on low with the lid off. Cook for 8-12 hours. Feed all the peals and seeds to the chickens, or compost pile.

3)Taste your fuit/apple butter. Add sweetner to taste. Add cinnimon to taste. Honey is excellent in this recipe! I also like “Apple Pie Spice Mix” and “Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix”.

 4) Set your oven to warm/120 degrees. Wrap your cookie sheets with plastic wrap. Wax paper will not work!! Spoon some fuit butter on the plastic wrap, and spread out so it’s no more than 1/4 in thick. Place it in the oven with the door open a little, so moisture will excape. Every few hours rotate the trays, if you have more than one. Cook about 8-12 hours, until the fuit is dry and leathery.

 5) Peal the fruit from the plastic and set it on a cookie rack to dry on the counter. When it’s fully dry, powder it with corn starch. Roll it up or slice it into bite sized pieces and store in a zip lock bag in a dry cool place. 

 You can “cheat” by starting with store bought apple sause and start directly in the crockpot with any other fruit you want. You might want to run the whole fruits through a blender if you want a smooth consistency.  And please, if you do buy store applesause, get no sugar added! The whole point is to avoid high fructose corn syrup.

 If you want to cut costs, plant your own apple tree and berry bushes. Or buy fruit “seconds” at a farmer’s market. “Seconds” are the fruits that are over ripe, or just blemished. Sometimes you can get the seconds for free! I made my first batch with free second plums that I dropped in a bag and froze to make the fruit butter/leather several weeks later.