* I bought one of those electric bug zappers that you hold and wield like a tennis racket. Well……….I took it out in the garden today and killed three of those white butterflies (that are truly evil). Oh!!! It was rewarding! I felt powerful.
* I also bought some ladybugs. They love aphids.
The beneficial species of ladybugs eat aphids, chinch bugs, asparagus beetle larvae, alfalfa weevils, bean thrips, grape root worm, Colorado potato beetles larvae, spider mites, whiteflies, mealybugs, among other insects. For example, two species – Harmonia axyridis and Hippodamia convergens – prey on aphids. planetnatural.com
Pretty sure I have some of these bugs.
*** What is DE? Diatomaceous Earth. Does it really kill insects in the garden? This is a great article, and I learned a lot. What Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill?(Fact Checker & Myth Buster!) I have DE. I have A LOT of DE. I got it at a feed store, 50 pounds for like $7-8. That was a LONG time ago, so it’s still hanging around. I pulled it out to use in the garden a few months ago. Since then, I have found ant trails, so maybe I’ll get it out and use it again.
It’s super powdery and soft, and I’ve always wondered at the best way to “sprinkle” it around. Someone online suggested an empty baby powder container. This is a GREAT idea, but I don’t have an empty one at the moment. So I was thinking of poking holes in the top of a water bottle. Maybe use a nail? Then fill the bottle 1/2 way with the powder? What do you think?
*** Did I tell you I planted pole beans? Well, they are up and about 5 inches tall by now. Yay! Meanwhile, the pole beans I planted in early spring are working on a second crop. I’m just waiting for them to all fatten up a bit.
*** I’ve canned 14 pints of tomatoes from the garden and have another batch sitting on the counter ripening.
THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: sugar
Sugar provides calories and energy. It can be stored in dry form (like the sugar we usually buy) or syrup, like maple syrup or corn syrup. Honey and jam are also good sources of sugar and sweetening.
Storage containers for sugar should be opaque, airtight, and moisture-proof. The typical paper package you buy sugar in is unsuitable for long-term storage. Canning jars, Food-grade plastic buckets, mylar bags, and #10 cans are better. Honey is slightly acidic. It will cause rust in metal containers or on metal lids. Always use lined, food-grade metal containers or lids when storing any food, including honey.
Moisture makes granulated sugar hard and lumpy. Once this happens, it creates problems in usage, and there is no easy method to restore lumpy sugar. Sugar can also absorb strong odors – even through plastic packaging. Syrups should not be allowed to get too hot or freeze. This will cause crystallization.
Good news – Commercial sugars have an indefinite shelf life. Storing Sugars | USU
MISC PURCHASE: lantern wicks (or any kind of oil light)
5 Rolls Oil Lamp Wicks Flat Oil Lanterns Wicks with Stitch for Oil Lamps and Candle Burners, 30 Feet (Red, 1/2 Inch) Here is an example. This video shows how to use it in a kerosene lantern. Lanterns are about $8 at Walmart. You can also use this with oil. You can use rancid oil. Here is an article explaining that you can use kitchen oil. What Kind of Oil Do You Put in Lamps & Lanterns?
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
I actually ate the following food storage recipe for dinner tonight. I rotated the soup (which was dated 6/13 – that’s June 2013). Pretty sure Craig doesn’t read this, so don’t tell.
It was perfectly fine, which just tells you how many preservatives are in the soup!!!
In a pan, heat
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 can Cream of Celery soup
1 TB dried onion (I soaked mine in water for about 10 min first)
1 c. milk (I just eyeball this and use the empty soup can)
1 c. peas – also eyeballed. And feel free to skip. But I don’t mind peas and then I don’t have to cook another vegetable to go with dinner. LOL
3 c. chicken (I used a pint jar which is only 2 cups)
In a mixing bowl
4 c. stuffing
1 c. melted butter (yeah, it’s a lot of butter – but YUM!)
Put 1/2 of the stuffing in a 9X13. Pour all the chicken soup mix over. Then top with remaining stuffing.
Bake 350˚ until heated through (30 min)
So, because it’s just two of us, I make the soup mix, but only pour 1/2 of it in the casserole.
I only use 3 c. stuffing, and 3/4 c. butter
And tonight I used a 9 X 7 pan. It’s still more than we can eat at one meal. I freeze the other 1/2 of the soup mix and vacuum seal it. The next time I want to make this, I only need the stuffing and butter.
Lentil Barley Stew
I’ve made this a couple of times and I really like it.
1 medium carrot sliced. I like carrots so I usually use more. I also have dehydrated carrots, and since this is going to simmer for a while, I sometimes use those.
1 medium onion diced – I use dehydrated onion. I measure 1-2 TB in a bowl of hot water and let it sit for a while, then drain.
1 medium parsnip, peeled and sliced. I had never bought or eaten a parsnip before this recipe. I wasn’t even sure where to find them in the store. But I did and they are good. You could always substitute potatoes or just leave it out.
3/4 c. lentils rinsed
1/2 c. barley
28 oz. vegetable broth (I think I used chicken broth)
2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp pepper
Bring to boil. Cover and reduce to simmer. Cook 25 minutes until done. This is a perfect recipe for the sun oven. Just let it cook out there an hour or more.
You can make your own corn dogs! I know, hot dogs are not really a food storage item. But I bought hot dogs the other day to eat with baked beans and had some left over.
1/2 c. cornmeal
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. + 1 tsp sugar
1 c. milk
3 tsp baking powder
Pat the hot dogs dry. Then dip in batter and fry. When my kids were little, I would cut the hot dogs into 4ths, and stab them with a toothpick. Then I would drop the hot dogs (toothpick and all) into the hot oil. Like little mini corndogs.
I feel like this week’s message is shorter than usual. I just put things out there as they come along, and it was a quiet week. Keep preparing. Keep working on storage. Keep rotating.