Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mini Pizza Flavored Snack Tomatoes - A New Favorite

If you remember a week or two back, I posted about getting some fruit and veggie overages from our local food bank. 
I was going to freeze these little cherry tomatoes and use them in stir-fry but when I tried them in a stir fry that night, the girls didn't like them in it as there were lots of skins and both girls that were home commented on how they didn't like that. 

In the past, I have dehydrated tomatoes but the only time I use them is in omelets as I usually use canned or fresh in other meals. I have two girls that really aren't tomato crazy but Princess One has always enjoyed dehydrated tomatoes. 

I have never just liked snacking on them myself as I would rather have dried fruit for snacking. That is..... until now!!! 

I decided to get creative and dry some tomatoes for Princess Five for Christmas as the freezing idea was out so I pulled out some of the spices I had in the cupboard and sprinkled them onto some cherry tomatoes I had cut in half to dehydrate. 

My new favorite spice is the one I have posted about before from San Fransisco Herb Company. There are two herb companies with the same name so make sure it is the one that is in San Fransisco with only one store as the other has had rodent problems. 
The Italian blend is my favorite. I clipped this off their site.
"A salt-free blend of fine cut Italian herbs. Contains no additives.
Ingredients: Oregano, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Marjoram."

It is about $8 a pound bulk. I think that is a great price for the quality of the herbs. I also used some of the curry powder I purchased from them on some of the other tomatoes I dried. 

I used "Real Salt" from Redmond, Utah that has natural iodine in it on both sets. 

I thought about using the seasoned mix I show here but wanted to warn you about using premixed flavors. The mix flavors sound wonderful but some have cheeses or oils in them that can go rancid so if you aren't going to eat them immediately, they may not last long in storage. Since sometimes I have things stored for a few years, I don't want to put anything on them that may make them go rancid. 

I have to share that I was a bit hesitant to actually try them as I hadn't been a big fan before but I couldn't stop once I tried them! They were so good. It tasted like home made spaghetti sauce or a fresh made pizza. I just kept popping them into my mouth. I actually MADE myself stop as I shared I have been having some health problems and I was worried eating too many may cause my stomach distress so I only let myself eat a handful. 

I have had some daily as they are SO good. For those who are Raw Food eaters, vegans, fruitarians or any other limited diet type of people, these are a new favorite snack. They are right up there with kale chips and raw crackers for my favorite snacks.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Shaving Cream - Be Nice and Clean

Princess Five went to two birthday parties this weekend. One of the parties was going to be at the park. 

Princess reminded me all week that I needed to buy her a can of shaving cream for the party. I had a rough week not feeling very well so she had to remind me again. I ran to the dollar store and bought her a large can and helped her get her gift ready and dropped her off. 

She went to the party in her "junky" clothes and I wasn't sure what she was going to do but it was raining so I was expecting a call not long after asking me to come pick her up. 

Hours went past and I didn't get a call. I wish now that I had gone over to the park in the rain and taken my camera. 

When she texted me to come get her, it was raining and when I arrived, everyone was covered in paint and shaving cream along with other "dirt" looking powder mixed with rain. 

However, they ALL were smiling. They had cleaned up the tarp and I missed that entire adventure as it was gone when I went to pick her up. The Twister mat was still on the grass but was "clean."

I got out of the car with my camera under my jacket so I could take some pictures of them all smiling. 

It wasn't until later when someone posted the picture of her sliding on the huge tarp in shaving cream along with 20 other pictures of them all sliding in the rain and shaving cream that I understood what they were doing. 

They all brought cans of shaving cream and had a HUGE tarp. They all sprayed shaving cream on each other and the tarp and then used it as a "slip and slide" at the park. 

They all had huge smiles. Then, they poured paint onto the round circles on the "Twister" tarp and played "Paint Twister" on the grass. 

Remember it was raining all day so they had a slick, wet, painted Twister mat and had a blast smearing the paint on each other.

Then, another group had planned a "colored chalk" throw / fight and so they joined in with that and once again, it was all in the rain. 
When the rain would get really heavy, they would all run around washing off the shaving cream and paint as they did the presents and cake. 

I thought the entire thing was brilliant as it wouldn't matter if there was rain or shine with sun, each event would have been fun if it were dry or wet. It was the perfect birthday party for rain though. I don't think they could have planned it much better as they planned on getting dirty and messy from the get go. 
I am trying to think how we can incorporate this into a family reunion. It would be so much fun to have a HUGE shaving cream fight and twister mess. You could even put shaving cream on the twister colors. That in itself could be fun.  

I did have to put garbage bags down in the car as she was quite dirty and she ended up getting shaving cream on the roof inside the car and on my sun glasses hanging off the visor. You can also see water dripping inside the car as she was quite wet from running in the rain. 
If there were any question that she had fun, you only need to look at her smile in the top picture for the answer. My guess is she will be planning her own party soon. :-) 

I wonder if you can buy colored shaving cream? I'll have to look that one up and let you know. Well, I looked it up and got side tracked watching 2 hours of Britain's Got Talent auditions. lol After all that, "no", I couldn't find anywhere to buy colored shaving cream. Only people mixing it themselves with food coloring or paint. There were some great art projects with mixing the two on pinterest.
There is a great invention idea. Colored shaving cream. Someone take that one to the bank! It could be used for all sorts of messy things. Silly string is fun but sometimes you just like getting into it with textures with your kids. 

Well, I thought I would share that fun birthday idea as all the kids had so much fun at the party and I know we will be doing something similar in the future. 

There aren't many parties that you can plan outside that will work if it rains but now you can plan and not worry about the weather! Wouldn't it be fun to have a shaving cream fight in a bounce house! Could be fun! 
Happy Birthday to Princess Fives friends! She had a great weekend! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Financial Collapse in USA - Are You Ready?

About a week ago, I shared with you that I had a feeling I should look up Ebola and see what was going on with that in the world. Since I don't read the paper, watch the news or listen to the radio, I don't get much information on world events. When I read the "Time" article, the article after it was an article about the intelligence agencies reporting that there will most likely be a financial collapse in the USA in the next year or so.

Those two article were the only two I read that night and actually in a long time as I don't often go to news sites either. I was a bit scared by both articles and freaked out that I felt like I should actually read up on the Ebola situation. (Click here to see that post. )

However, I do believe that we get "feelings" for a reason and I think that reading that article and the next gave me some insight on what I needed to do or "get" to be ready if either situation got out of control.

It would be very easy for our country to have an economic meltdown if Ebola were to take off. People would stay home, or, if there were outbreaks, roads or entire communities would be under quarantine so getting items we may need could become difficult. Or, if we stopped ships from coming into our ports due to outbreaks in other countries, many things we rely on from other countries may stop coming which would cause shortages.

Or, even if Ebola isn't the cause, our country just keeps printing money and borrowing, increasing our nations debt to a point of no return and we could easily have an economic melt down. What if our country could no longer assist people through welfare, social security, medicare and medicaid payment, or unemployment. In our small town, most people are sustained through government jobs either through national parks, police and fire, roads, social services etc. If the government went under, the nation would as well. 

I have had the feeling in the past that I should have certain items in case of emergency. I have cold weather clothing, a trailer, food, water, fabric, thread, yarn and other items that may be difficult to acquire if we had nothing coming in. If we had a large national disaster, or even a large local disaster, I have bikes, trailer and food stored so we could survive if needed. 

When viewing these articles, I asked myself, "Do I have the items needed for this situation?" If you remember a post I wrote a few years ago, I wrote about how I asked God if I had the items I would need in an emergency and this is that post. 

Once again, this week, I asked myself and the answer I got was that I needed to get  more colloidal silver and cinnamon oil as I had bought bulk oils a few years ago but they no longer sell the bulk cinnamon oil at the health stores and I have used up much of my supply as we have traveled and I have sent girls to five different countries since then. 

I got the oil the other day and still needing to order the silver as if there were something huge, I would need to get enough to outlast the situation. 

When I watched the video on the economic collapse, I asked myself the same question. The first article was about keeping healthy physically, but the second is about providing for the physical needs during financial loss and stress.

If there were financial collapse, I would have some food to trade, medical expertise and treatments to trade, I knit and sew and have enough supplies that I could trade out sewing or needlework making socks, sweaters, gloves, clothes and other things. I can do hair as I cut my former spouses hair our entire marriage and have cut the girls hair and I color my own hair and have the supplies needed for that for awhile as well. I have sprouts stored which are one of the best sources of protein. I also know how to find bugs and how to prepare bugs if we were desperate enough to actually need to eat them as crickets are one of the highest protein sources as well. I have water filters and all sorts of hunting equipment, ammo, even bow and arrow. I also have books on herbs, roots and edible gardens and seeds stored in cans in the fridge.

The one thing I realized I didn't have..... Boots. We all have Ugg boots which you know we LOVE if you have read this blog for long but I didn't have rubber soled canvas boots that will fit over the foam foot socks that will wick the moisture from your feet in the cold and snow. 

Ugg boots are great if the ground is dry but if you are walking in snow, they get wet and DON'T dry for a LONG time if you continue wearing them wet. 

So, the answer I got was that I don't have sufficient footwear for my family for cold. If we had to walk in the snow daily for water, bathroom use, or hiking to civilization etc, Ugg boots are slick bottomed and would freeze your feet. So, I asked my Father in Heaven to help me find the boots I would need in that situation for as cheap as possible as I hope we actually NEVER need the boots but in case we do, it is what I need. That next day, I went to a second hand store and they had about 15 pair of boots just put out. You know I go to the second hand stores often and they NEVER have that amount of boots in all sizes and they were in great condition and were from $3 to $8 as I got some marked down with a little tear in the seam. I was able that day to purchase five pair of the exact boots I would need to go with the foam clothing I made and purchased for cold weather living if we have no heat. 

The type of boot you need is a rubber sole boot that has traction but canvas sides and upper. It needs to lace up the front as you need to tighten the foam around your feet to keep air from getting in and it needs to have a removable insert so you can take that out and have room for the foam insert. 

You can see these five pair of boots had the inserts I can take out and the lace up fronts and the great rubber bottoms and canvas tops. 

I am grateful for "feelings" or "promptings" or whatever you like to call them so that I can feel confident that whatever comes, I did what I could to be prepared for my family. Even if my home is destroyed and I lose everything, I know that God will provide for my family because I did everything in my power to be prepared. 

Here is a link to the article about the economic collapse they are predicting. Link to that story here.

Here is a link on how to get gold and silver if the dollar no longer has value.

Here is a link again to the Ebola post only because I link to all my other posts on medical issues as that is the only place were all the information is together.

Here is a link to a sprouting post. I thought I have posted more on this subject but haven't so I will have to do that at some point. If you have good wheat, sprouting it can save your life. It is higher in protein than any meat but salmon and has a high content of vitamin C so to prevent scurvy and have protein in case you can't eat meat due to nuclear or something, this will give you that. Canning jars and plastic canvas or even a basket will work to sprout seeds. Dehydrated food will fair better than canning jars in an earthquake and will last much longer with more vitamin content than canned foods. Click here for my main post about that. 

Being educated is the most important thing. If you wait until there is a problem to try and figure out what to do, you WILL panic. You have to rely on what you know in that case and panic will be the biggest problem in those situations. Educate yourself now for things your family may need. If you have someone with asthma, you can't think that there will be any medication available. There are lung asthma trigger points under both armpits and by shoving your thumbs up into those spots hard, you can turn off an asthma attack. Not the best solution but if is all you have... Or, there are plants and trees that can help that. I know my sister had a Lindon tree and the nuts and leaves are good for headache pain and can be used like chocolate! Which is good to open passages in the sinus and lungs! However, you would need to know how to make the tea. By getting books now or doing research now, you can be prepared by planting the trees, plants and herbs in your yard that may be needed for your family in an emergency.

Having the right clothes for your climate is important. In Pakistan, the earthquake happened in winter (Click here to see pictures and now envision that with snow in the U.S.) and by having items of clothing stored that can be reached in that situation would be important. Foam clothes are amazing and wick away the moisture that builds up when working in a cold environment and many of the "thermal" clothes have a water proof shield that will cause ice to form on the inside of the clothes if you have to work in the cold due to your body sweating and the moisture can't escape out due to the waterproof exterior. We have down coats but also foam inner coats with breathable outer shells for winter. Also, I have several wool long john sets that are amazing in the cold. Think of watching your children having to sleep outside if all the homes are destroyed. How would they make it? Being prepared for your climate is important.

Having lots of daily use items on hand is important. hand soap, needle and thread to mend clothes, stitch up some shelter etc. medical supplies if people get injured, prescriptions etc. These things should be built up so you can at least have enough to get through a month or two if emergency help can't arrive right away. 

Lastly, one would hope that you have some savings or safe items in a safety deposit box but if you can't access them in an emergency, it may be nice to have a small stash at home. Also, if there is an economic breakdown, in 1933 FDR made it against the law to have gold bars or coins and people were forced to turn it in at the rate the government set as "fair". (Click here to read an article about that) With the dollar being as scary as it is, having some gold or other valuables stashed away seems important but remember, silver was not taken but gold was and jewelry was considered "heirloom" and was not seized. Many put their money in over sea accounts but if the world economy isn't doing well, good luck getting that gold or money back into the US. I think more people will be burying their money in the hills to keep it safe as in an earthquake, it would be buried if in your home. Also, thiefs could come and take the items but if you have them buried somewhere off site, good luck finding it. I know someone that has a stash of money, food, medical supplies buried near their home. I am not that "prepared" but I know I have at home what I need for my family but we can't always be prepared for every situation so I would suggest you pray for guidance as to what you need to do to be prepared for YOUR family. 

Best wishes in any situation!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Making Your Own Non-Stick Dehydrator Silicon Trays for Sticky Fruit

I shared with you that I dehydrated some melons this week. A few weeks ago, I made some plastic trays for my smaller dehydrator out of plastic canvas sheets used for crafting. 

I have used plastic canvas in the kitchen before when I use canning jars as seed sprouters. I just cut the plastic canvas to fit under the canning ring and by using different sized hole of plastic canvas (they come with larger and smaller holes depending on the craft) you can do small spouts like alfalfa or larger ones like mung.

The dehydrator trays I made worked wonderfully and I thought I had already blogged about it but when I went to look back and link it to my post a few days ago, I realized that I had taken the pictures and not actually posted about it. 

You would be surprised at how many times I do that. I take pictures and then get busy and never post but because I took the pictures, I think I did post about it and then tell the kids to go look for a specific post later and they can't find it. 

One of these days, I may just have to post a week or two on things I thought I did already. 

Anyway, I didn't realized that I didn't have enough plastic sheets for all my trays as I haven't used my dehydrator in a year since it was broken and recalled (See here for that post.) My sister also found me two new trays in the box at a second hand store for $2 so I had those trays that didn't have plastic sheets as well. 

I used the trays to dehydrate the melon without the plastic sheets as I was tired and wanted to finish up but I paid the price after when I tried to take the fruit off the trays without the plastic, it was so stuck. It wasn't my best moment. 

So, I  decided to make a few more of the plastic canvas fruit sheets for my Nesco and Harvest Made dehydrators that I love but need those for sticky fruit.

I was able to find more plastic canvas sheets rolled up and sold bulk but new at the second hand store. I probably got 6 or 8 sheets for $1.50 for my newer ones I made this week but as you can see, I got the ones I used to make these and take these pictures for a quarter each at the second hand store. 

I am always amazed what I can find new at the second hand store. I'll be looking for an absolute weird item and think there is no way I will ever find that at the second hand store and then within a week or so, it is there. 

My ice maker comes to mind. I've never seen one there before or after and my exact model I needed just happened to be there right when my ice maker decided to quit. Here is a post about that.
Our Heavenly Father really does give us the things we need and want. 
These plastic sheets are so easy to make. As you can see, I just laid it out on top of the tray size I needed made and traced onto the plastic sheet using a Sharpie where I needed to cut out the plastic or trim it. 

I cut off the corner edges making it round and then cut the circle in the middle section. It took all of ten or fifteen minutes to make all of them. 

I wasn't "exact" on the cutting and if you folded it in half as some may choose to do to cut it, it would be more symmetrical but I really didn't care what it looked like as long as it works and is functional. You could choose any color of canvas that you want but I like the clear and did use a few white as I ran out of the clear.

I don't know if they technically are "food grade" so I will warn you up front that this is just my solution for my dehydrator but if you are doing this, do it at your own risk as I am not knowledgeable enough to declare it food grade. 

I assume we are taking a risk dehydrating on any type of plastic but since that is what all the dehydrators are made from, I assume we are taking risks by just using them. I remember my mother dehydrating on the roof of our home using screen material stapled to wooden frame and we probably got toxins from the roof permeated through our fruit. Funny how things have progressed. 

I remember my brothers made a HUGE dehydrator out of a wooden box and screens with light bulbs and fans as well. I personally will take the risk with my little plastic dehydrators that are so easy to store as that one was half the size of a fridge these days. 

I now have made a plastic sheet for all the trays that I have and am going to try and use the Magic Mill dehydrator this week if I can get more melons and will see how it fares with the plastic sheets on it. 

I keep thinking I will get more done but once again, I am fighting gallbladder issues and have had an infected root canal so the past few weeks haven't been my best. 

I will remind you to WASH them very well. I sprayed mine with "Totally Awesome Cleaner" as that stuff cleans everything and then I washed it with dish soap after letting it soak for some time. I figured that would take everything off that it could. Throwing it in the dishwasher a few times would probably also help. 

Happy Harvest!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Golden Melon Blessing - Dehydrating Melons Quickly

I was blessed the other day to attend a board meeting for our local food bank as I have been on that board for about 13 years now. While I was there, I notified them that I have several dehydrators again. We had a deal that if they have an overage of items, they will let me know and I will dehydrate it and give the workers some of the dry fruit. 

This only happens when they receive MUCH more than they can give out. Sometimes they get three pallets as tall as me of one type of fruit and there is no way they can distribute that much. I haven't done anything in the past year as my dehydrators were broken but before that, I would distribute the food to anyone I could find as it is better for people to get it than for the pigs to get it or for it to go into the garbage so I have tried to help that way.

They had cases and cases and pallets full of tomatoes, melons and peppers that day. 

I don't use many dehydrated peppers so I cut and froze those but melons are something we like dehydrated so I got three cases and got two and 1/2 of them cut up and on the dehydrators that night. I spent about 4 hours cutting melons and was frustrated that I was so busy that I left them on the dehydrator longer than I should have and one of them burned the fruit. 

It was my own fault but I have forgotten how much work it is to dehydrate lots of fruit. I usually do it for an hour or so a night during harvest season as I could fill up my dehydrator and be done but since I have four or five working dehydrators at the moment, it gets a bit old standing all night and my back begins to hurt.

With that, I have a fast way that I cut up the melon to dehydrate it so I thought I would share that with you. I did a video of it and you can see that, but, I wanted to write it out for those few people who have slow internet or can't watch video. The video I posted comparing dehydrators took over four hours to upload. My internet is so slow that I can only do short videos and have no editing software working at the moment so these short hand held videos are what I can do. 

Basically, cut the melon in half. Then scoop out the seeds. I forgot at first and scooped out after I sliced it but this require you to pick up the spoon several times rather than just once. So, cut, scoop out seeds, then cut into manageable quarters.

Once you have them, take a knife and cut through the fruit but not the rind. Do this on a cutting board as to not chance cutting through into your hand. Cut thin slices all the way from the top to point to the bottom point. Once you have them cut that way, put it back on the cutting board and use a sharper knife to cut along the bottom of the fruit above the rind releasing the slices of fruit you already sliced thin. 

Pick up the entire thing and use the knife to slide them onto the dehydrator trays and in this way, you never need to touch the melon. 

Melon needs to dry for a longer amount of time than an apple as there is more water content. It is thicker as well so I takes a good day and a half to dehydrate. Make sure you rotate the trays and flip the melons half way through drying so they can dehydrate without being sticky.

I always put my dried fruit in Tupperware but if it is older Tupperware, I put it in Ziploc bags first to keep them from taking on the Tupperware smell. Here is a link to why I use Tupperware.

You can easily cut these into smaller pieces by cutting the thin slices in half before slicing them off the rind but I think it is easier to break them in half after and with them long, it is much easier and takes less time to flip 15 long strips than 50 little squares. Sometimes I will break them in half or quarters before bagging them but my kids like them long like the bananas that I dry so it is fine for us to have them longer. Some will break when you are turning them over anyway so you will get pieces of all sizes. 

With my 32 trays full on the dehydrators, I cut up 13 melons and it took a day and a half to dry just to give you an idea. If you are doing sweet melons, they are sticky so make sure you have the teflon or flexible plastic trays to keep it from sticking. You can lose lots of your fruit when it sticks as you have to scrape it off. 

This is the fastest and best way I have found to dehydrate, melons, watermelons, bananas etc. The Tupperware like will also get you to the dehydrating banana video I did in 2010. 

I will try to post how I make my own plastic trays tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dare To Compare Dehydrators - Excalibur vs Nesco and More - Part 2

Comparison Continued...

If they break down. To fix the Excalibur, you have the huge box unit to deal with. If the Nesco breaks down, you have to send in the top or bottom mount only. Always check for warranty or recalls before paying to get your unit fixed or mailing it in. 

The size of the Excalibur is about the size of a microwave. Very large and heavy. It cleans like a microwave after you take out all the trays but sometimes sticky stuff gets into the tracks that hold the trays and it is time consuming to clean. If the trays on the Nesco get dirty, I spray them off with the hose in the sink, let them sit for ten minutes, use a little kitchen brush and they clean up quickly.

If you put something that sticks up a bit like bananas or melons, and you try to put another tray in on the Excalibur, there are NO lips or edges on the trays so it then pushes everything on the tray off or it all ends up on the back of the tray. This has happened to me MANY times even with the melons this week. It is so frustrating that I refuse to use it again. I have lots to dehydrate and I refuse to use it! You take all this time laying the fruit out on the trays only to have one catch as you slide the next tray up in and it pushed all your fruit into a pile! I have put my Excalibur up for sale and don't even want to keep it as a back up.

So, there is NO contest that I like the NESCO better. I have also liked the Magic Mill rectangle dehydrator except the food sticks so much that I lost half of the food and wouldn't use it again. If you make your own fruit trays with plastic canvas I think it would work well and I may pull out my unit and use it instead of the Excalibur this week and make myself some plastic canvas fruit trays and let you know how it goes. The temperature and fans work well on them but I would NEVER use them without the soft plastic trays. I'll have to post how I make the fruit trays this week. I thought I had already posted it but I don't think I have yet. I took the pictures and video but never posted I think.

Ronco was the first dehydrator I used and it didn't have a temp and no fan adjustment, just on and off and the food burned in places, it got hot and melted trays and the food was always brown unless you blanched it. I did blanch it and used that one for years as it was a gift but I would NEVER use one now as the blanching kills off the food before you even dehydrate it. 

I have had some "no name" or other brands over the years that I can't remember their names but I have had many Nesco and Harvest Masters and will continue to get them because even if I have to replace the element unit, I still have all those trays to add to the new unit so I can even dehydrate more trays at a time so I am never losing everything if the unit goes bad. If the Excalibur is unfixable, you can't use the trays with another unit. 

So, I hope you enjoy this comparison. The fruit dried about the same over time with rotating but it was a bit quicker on the smaller Harvest Master as there wasn't as much fruit on it because the trays are smaller. The Nesco was more even dried and a bit quicker than the Excalibur but my unit is older so that may have improved with the new units but all my other arguments are valid even with the new units. 

Happy dehydrating! Just in time for harvest!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dare To Compare Dehydrators - Excalibur vs Nesco and More Part 1

I have commented a few times on my preference of dehydrators. Here is a link to a post about that. Today, I am actually going to do the comparison and tell you why I like the dehydrators I do and give detailed explanations why. I have never gotten anything from any of the companies and have never advertised for or contacted any of the dehydrator companies about my feelings in any way. This is MY opinion after years of using many types of dehydrators.

I did a video of this for youtube. You can watch it to get details on this as well.

My sister has had an Excalibur dehydrator for years. I passed one up years ago because I thought the door was broken as it didn't stay on well. 

My sister then told me that the door doesn't "Stay" on, it has a little magnet that holds the door on but if you brush past it, it will fall off.

So, I purchased another for her a few years later. She swears by it. As you know if you read my blog, I have dehydrated for 25 plus years. In that time, I have used many dehydrators. 

Vitamix is one of my favorite but it is a bottom mount and even though I haven't had to replace the heating element or fuses, it has been cleaned out many times due to juices dripping onto the element and at times, it makes the fan sticky. I LOVE the trays as they are softer plastic and nothing sticks as much as on the harder plastic trays. 

Excalibur has the silicon mesh trays which is good as things don't stick but they don't have much support under them which leads to them cracking once they get old or breaking if you place something heavy on them if they get brittle or if you drop them. 

You can't add trays on the Excalibur. You only get what you get depending on the model you purchase. And, if you dehydrate something like Kale, you have to take out every other tray as they are so close together that you can't use them with tall items so you have even less trays in that case. 

It runs HOT and blows lots of hot air. It made my house hot. The top and side of the unit (as the element is on the one side) get hot. I was afraid to have anything near it for fear of fire. I do get this way with all dehydrator but since the Nesco element is top mount, nothing on the counter gets really hot. 

Because the element is on the side, it dries more close to the element then at the opposite side so you have to turn and also rotate the trays to get an even dry. 

The top or bottom mounted units blow up the center and has holes on the sides so the dry is more uniform on the trays. 

You can add up to 20 trays on the Nesco but the company warns to not use less than four at a time. 

Both units have fans and timers along with temp settings. The timer on the Nesco goes both ways, as you can see how long it has been drying or you can set it to go off when you want. The Excalibur has several units as does Nesco with many options for timers and not all units do have timers. The timer on this model of Excalibur is quite noisy making loud clicking as it counted down.
Nesco's most expensive unit they just came out with is a square unit is just over $200 but most are $150 or less. They have smaller units like the one on the right of my video for $50. You do have to purchase trays but can find used ones online or just add as you need them. 

Excalibur dryers are MUCH more expensive in general but you can get a four tray (remember you can't add trays) for $150 at Lowes but most of their units are well over $200 more like $300 and over $400 for ten trays. You can purchase three of the Nesco or just buy one with lots of trays and it is still lots cheaper than the Excalibur.

To be continued....

Friday, September 19, 2014

Kale Gratitude Moment - mmm mmm Good

I was at the food bank today for a board meeting. After the board meeting was finished, I was in one of the offices typing up the minutes. One of the workers and I were chatting about how I hadn't dehydrated almost anything in the past year due to my dehydrator breaking and my trees having a bad year. 

I was telling them I have dehydrators now and to call me if they get any overages of fruits or veggies and I mentioned that I even like the bags of Kale they get sometimes because I like to make kale  chips.  

She asked what "kale chips" were and I proceeded to tell her about the ingredients I put on them and how my mouth was watering just thinking about them. She thought they didn't sound that great as she isn't a dark leafy kinda girl but said she would let me know as I usually dehydrate what they give me and take some back for the workers to enjoy.

She walks in two minutes later, the truck from the state food bank was unloading and she walks in with kale chips donated from the state food bank!!!

I couldn't believe that. I had just finished telling her than no one would make and market them as they crush easily and would be hard to produce without them becoming crumbs. 

I immediately opened one and ate almost the entire container while I finished typing up the minutes for the meeting. A few of the workers tried them but weren't as keen on them as they were thinking they were like potato chips as they came in the container with all the different kinds of snack chips. 

She leaves the room and I look down and there on the floor is a penny. I smiled as I picked it up giving gratitude all they day as I had just been thinking about making kale chips this week and it was one of the reasons I told her about them. I have been having problems with my gallbladder and I thought the chips may be something I could eat. I then got overwhelmed thinking I would have to purchase the items and make them which takes lots of time as you dehydrate them. 

Here I thought about wanting it in my mind and my Father in heaven gave me the exact things I wanted within days and I didn't have to do a thing to get them. I haven't been to the food bank in a very long time as we haven't had a board meeting in months. April was our last meeting. So, I happen to be there right when the truck comes and happen to tell her about them just then and she notices them while I am still there and then I find the penny!!!! 

Here is a link to part one of how I make kale chips.
Here is a link to part two of how I make kale chips.
I stopped on the way home and ran into a store. There was no penny on the ground next to my car when I went into the store and when I came out a few minutes later, there was a penny on the white line next to my car door. 

I came home with six containers of kale chips and two were nacho flavor which were spicy and I enjoyed both as the other flavor is the traditional one I enjoy. I had almost two eaten today. God is so funny. I have seen 111 a few times today as well. I feel very loved. It was a good day!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ebola Could Be Coming to a Country Near You - Horseradish Drink

I am warning you that there are some graphic pictures on this post but they are not the most graphic on the web. I just picked some that show how devastating the disease is to the body.  It isn't meant to scare but just to inform and allow you to do anything possible to help you increase your possibility to do whatever is in your power to stay healthy.  

There have always been plagues throughout history and some fared better than others. The rich fared better than the poor during the plague because they ate off silver and some of the silver got into their bodies and silver is a natural antibiotic. So, some of the stuff mentioned includes colloidal Silver. Only buy from a reputable and long standing company for Silver as it can turn you blue permanently. 

Of course, all this is my opinion and things based on what I have used and experienced. I urge you to do your own research and not take anything on my word. Ultimately, this is just suggestions and I am going to be purchasing more of the items on this list to have lots of them on hand just in case things do go bad. It can't hurt to have them but it could hurt not to have them.    

A few days ago, I felt like I needed to look up Ebola. I don't watch the news or listen to the radio or read any new sources online so for me, that was an oddity. Here were the two stories I read. 

Ebola story link here from Time Magazine this week.

Ebola story with pictures, symptoms etc from the Wall Street Journal last week.   

I don't know that there is a "Cure" to Ebola but I KNOW that some of the things I have used in the past have helped me to overcome virus and infection and help my mother overcome her illness in the ICU when the Dr's told me she would be dead shortly. I thought I would share some of the things we have used to overcome our illnesses. 

Many of these things will also help to increase your immunity to catching illness. Ebola has a 90% death rate so perhaps boosting your immune system will help keep you in the 10% if it does come to the USA.

Here is a link to a way to diffuse essential oils in the car.

Here is a link to a way to diffuse essential oils in the house quickly and cheap.

Here is a link to a post about essential oils and how to get them cheaper.

Here is a link to making your own "bug" spray but the oils in this boost the immune system.

Here is a link to vitamins that will help boost your immune and keep you healthy.

This is a link to natural cures I have used for years that helped my mother get out of ICU.

This is a link to a nasal spray that cured my mold sinus infection and other sinus infection.

This is a post I sent to Princess on her mission and many of the things in there are natural antibiotics or have cured lots of problems for us.

This is a recipe for "Lemon Ginger Blast" which is wonderful for colds and laryngitis or any chest problem.

This is another recipe that I thought I had put on here at some point. I used this for years as a salad dressing as I LOVE the taste of this recipe. It is REALLY hard to drink this down as the garlic is fresh and is hard for me to digest. 

However, if I used it with oil and put it on my salads, I really enjoyed it. I haven't made it in a long time but after writing this post, I will be making it again. It is making my mouth water just thinking about it. 

It is really good for upper respiratory illnesses. Some suggest it for Pneumonia.

Garlic and Horseradish Formula

one quart of Apple cider vinegar like; Braggs
2 oz of horse radish  ( not creamed horse radish ) straight or 2 inches of fresh
2 oz or 2 inches of ginger root
2 jalapeno peppers
2 heads of garlic, medium size or larger, (not cloves)
1 medium white onion

Place the above items in a blender and blend till smooth
or very small pieces..
Dose: take one serving spoon of the mixture add to a
glass of Grapefruit juice or orange juice.. mix and drink. Like I said before, I pour it on salad with olive oil and eat the salad. It is spicy but I like it.

I was amazed at how this recipe cleared my lungs and improved my breathing and I don't mind the taste. 

Some Dr.'s believe that high doses of vitamin C can help fight virus and other infections. I know growing up that my mother would give us 2,000 mg when anyone in the house started getting sick and if I took it, I wouldn't get the cold and often time, if I didn't I would get sick. Maybe it is placebo but the issue are clouded on the research in that arena. If you "feel" it is something that could help you, I say trust your feelings and pray for guidance as there are many miracles that medical science can't explain by people of faith. 

One last thing, There are some doctors that have the belief that once you get sick, by putting hydrogen peroxide in the ears, just a few drops, it can help you overcome illnesses more quickly. There are TONS of articles on it but here is a link to someone talking about how to do it on youtube. Of course, once again, I urge you to do research and use any of these at your own risk. This is just for information. 

I hope this post hasn't offended or scared anyone but I felt like putting all the posts in one place would be helpful so that anyone looking for help overcoming illness could find lots of information in one spot as many of these are my posts but they are all under different areas on the blog and unless you know what you are looking for, it would be hard to find them all so now they are in one place.