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Sour Cherries

Hey! I was lucky enough to find a sour cherry tree in my neighbourhood. So I took the kids and we loaded up. 

We got a good amount in a short amount of time. The trees are almost always full of fruit because people try one, thinking they’re regular cherries and don’t like them due to the sourness. 

I had enough to make jam so I tried a new recipe. It didn’t set for me but next time I’ll either add pectin or boil longer. It’s still delicious and is being used in drinks and on ice cream. 
I took 12 cups of pitted sour cherries and 5 cups of white sugar. Bring to a boil and left it boiling heavily for about an hour while my jars (8 250ml jars) were in a hot water bath. 


At this point I’d recommend testing for viscosity by taking out a bit and doing the wrinkle test. 

I was impatient I guess and just canned it at that point. I left 1″ headspace in my jars and then boiled the jars for 10 minutes. They then sat on the counter for 24 hours while they sealed and cooled. 
If you didn’t want to go this route, sour cherries are also good dehydrated with a bit of sugar, or frozen and added to baked goods. 

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The Ugly Side of Prepping

Prepping isn’t just about gear, food, water or ammo. It’s not even about knowledge (which of course is vital). You have to be mentally prepared.  A lot of people think they are. I’m not so sure of that though.

In New York after Sandy, people were eating out of dumpsters. Gross? Get used to the idea. Even if you’re prepped with years and years of food, it could still happen that you might need to eat garbage. If you accept that possibility now, it won’t be so hard when it comes down to it.

What about self-defense? Most preppers have guns or other various weapons that they would use for self-defense. But most people have never killed someone. It’s a lot more than point a gun and shoot. Could you look someone in the eye and kill them? Can you handle the after effects? Even if you kill in self-defense, there is that lingering guilt. PTSD is not just a soldiers disease and it is not just from being in danger. Taking another human’s life is a big deal and takes a long time to get over. If it comes down to it, you need to be prepared to make that decision and defend yourself and your family.

Sooner or later, you may have to come to terms with the fact that even though you’ve spent hundreds of dollars and thousands of hours prepping, stocking, reading etc, it may not be there when you need it. Sh-t happens. You may have to unexpectedly bug out, leaving your stuff behind, someone may steal it, it may run out. Be sure to have more than one or two plans. You should have plans A through Z.

Bad people will be out there when the SHTF. Good people will turn desperate and do bad things. You need to be able to deal with them and avoid them when you can. Are you ready to loot a store to feed your family? Would you steal for them? Would you kill the guy down the street whose basement is full of MREs? These are things we need to consider. The ugly side of prepping.

Dehydrating Onions

Dehydrating Onions

Onions are such a versatile vegetable. They are cheap and add so much flavor, just about any savory recipe is better when onions are added.  Dehydrating onions is quick and easy.

Begin by chopping your onions to the desired size. I usually do large flakes so the pieces don’t fall through the holes on my dehydrator but you could always mince them. Try to remove the thin pieces of skin that clings between the layers.

Dunk your onion pieces into boiling water for about 30 seconds to a minute. They will turn slightly translucent when they are ready and they will be softer. Put them in a strainer and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.

Pat the pieces dry with some paper towel and remove any extra bits of the skin (which will now be mushy and easy to remove). Arrange the pieces in a single layer on your dehydrator and turn it on.

My dehydrator doesn’t have a temperature control so I just let it run for about 5 hours to have the onions as dry as I need them. They end up paper thin. Now here’s a recipe you can use your onions for:

Dry Onion Soup Mix

1 cup dehydrated onion flakes

1/3 c bouillon

1/4 tsp sugar

1 tsp parsley

Store the ingredients in an airtight jar until ready for use.  I also like to throw in some other dehydrated veggies (carrots, garlic, celery and whatever else catches your fancy.) To make into soup, add 4 c of water, or for dip, add to a tub of sour cream.