Asian Pears Galore!

We have 2 Asian Pear trees and they are producing as usual!  I suspect I have dried at least 100 lbs of fresh pears so far.  Maybe more. You have to cut them in half, take out the seed area, slice the pears and dry them. It probably takes about 15 hours to dry.  It takes us longer to dry them because we have had rain and fog all day most days. The first few days my hands and fingers knew they were having a workout. But they are used to it now!

We prefer them dry or fresh rather then canned or frozen. The fruit falls apart when we try to can them. You could drink them, I guess!!! (But no thanks)

Dried pears take a lot less space to store than canned pears do. besides the grand kids like to have the dried ones to munch on. Thank goodness!

They will make a great addition for Christmas giving!  …and maybe happy Thanksgiving besides.








I Learned from My Parents

I really didn’t know how much I learned from my parents until I had children of my own. But I was blessed to have chosen the parents I did (as if I had any say so!)

I think I was fortunate and blessed to get to grow up during the Great Depression. We always had enough to eat and share with others.

Dad always had a job. He was supposed to have a set salary but more often than not he did not get the full amount. One time he apparently had not gotten all his salary and mother was wondering what she was going to feed us. A  young couple wanted to get married and Dad married them. The groom gave him $2. That was what they used for food. But mom didn’t tell us until many years later.

When we lived about 2 blocks from the railroad that carried products in and out of Southern California we sometimes had hobos ask for food in exchange for work. Dad found a job for them to do while mom fixed food. Mom always fixed a hot meal.

We were told they have some way of leaving a message for others to tell them which houses will provide food.

There were probably several reasons why  we always had enough for our family and whoever else…         Dad was a great shopper.  One place we lived there was a big farmers market where fresh products were a good price and made available to all.

In the town with the railroad there were three grocery stores within about   one block. Dad knew the prices of the the products we used regularly and bought from the least expensive store. We walked between the three stores.

The folks also bought products in season. There were quite a few small farmers trying to make a living.  We bought from them and sometimes picked our own which was even less. Dad and I went out early in the morning and gleaned several boxes of tomatoes for 25 cents a lug box (20-25 pounds). It was very inexpensive and the owner piled a bunch more on top!

They smelled so good. The weather was clear and there was dew on the plants. The tomatoes were the naturally occurring tomatoes. They tasted as good as they smelled!

Sometimes Dad saw a basket or a box of cheap bananas. He would buy them for 25 cents  and bring them home. Mom would sort them out. Some she’d saved for us kids to snack on. She’d make fruit salad for supper, a banana cream pie, a dish of banana pudding, a couple of loaves of banana bread and probably another fruit salad or two!  All for 25 cents.

Of course prices were much less than but  the tomatoes and bananas were very good deals even then.

This was the days of the ice box. No refrigerators or freezers.  The ice truck came by and you bought a piece of ice to go in your ice box.  They froze the ice in 400 pound blocks. The men had ice picks to chop it off in 25 and 5o pound blocks. We liked the ice trucks because there were usually pieces about half the size of your hand you could have. It was a hot town and no air conditioning — ummm—ice!

Dads idea of relaxing in the evening was making tomato juice. He would bring home a new lug box of tomatoes and tell mom “don’t worry, I’ll take care of them”. And he did!  He had developed a very good tomato juice recipe and he had found, washed, sterilized and filled the bottles with juice. He bought a hand bottle capper.

Mom said every box of tomatoes he saw had his given name on the end of the box.

Different people have different mediums in which to show their artistic  ability. Mom would stand back and look at the shelves in the basement holding her cans of fruit and tomatoes. Finally she would say” they look so beautiful”.  She was so delighted with what she had done. So were we!

Her sewing ability was another way to use her artistic talent. At the time it was mostly with mending. She was good! No, terrific!  She repaired a wool skirt with a hole in it. She unraveled a few strings along the seams to darn it with. You could not see where the hole had been!

And all this to say you can live well if you learn to do some things for yourself and others!  Do them as near perfectly as you can! Be proud of what you do.

I learned so much from my parents. I hope I can pass it on. Thank you Mom and Dad!





Can You Spend Less for Food?

Are you wondering how you can spend less for food?  Is it possible we need to change some habits? Do we change what and how we eat? But what do we eat that is less expensive?

Let’s figure out what we need and then figure out how to get it for less. We need fats, proteins and carbohydrates. That sounds simple!  The fats must be good fats which are butter, coconut oil and olive oil. Eat as much protein as you want. Your body tells you when you have enough fats and proteins . Vegetables, some fruit and even less grains are the carbohydrates to eat.

Are you surprised?  We were. The fats are higher in calories but last longer too. If we eat the three items we find we feel better. Has anyone eaten this way for long periods of time?  Yes, for sure, your great- or great, great grandparents. The Swiss who live in the high mountain villages  still  do.  Their diet is basically homemade rye bread and homemade summer/green grass  milk cheese. Their teeth and bones are excellent and the children can run around barefoot even in the evening. They run through icy cold mountain streams too!

It might be good for us to change what we eat!  Two hundred pounds of sugar  – or almost 3/4 cup – per day is a lot.  It is in almost every thing you buy! My mothers family of eleven  shared 2 to 3 pounds a year! No money to buy it.  They all lived quite long!

If you could ask your great- great- grand parents what they ate you would find fats, proteins and carbohydrates were eaten. They were healthy enough to have progeny and make many of their foods, raise a garden, make clothes and still have energy to go to the community dance on Friday or Saturday evening!

They could have made pie crusts, cookies  with a good deal less sugar than we put in, baking powder biscuits and homemade bread. They just did not use as much!

Yes, you bet we can  buy the basics and learn how to make the rest of what we want.   As  your energy level goes up we will learn to make some of our needed foods like bread.  Bread may cost $1 a loaf to make and $5 or $6 to buy. That means more savings!

You can learn how to make your bread. Most of the time is waiting for it to rise. Isn’t it great to know you can do something about your food and have a good time doing it?




The Chiropractor

The doctor said “there is one thing I’ve learned about you. You heal quickly.” It’s the way you eat .”

On the way home we were discussing his comment. It seems the quick healing is the way it should be. Shouldn’t it?

Do you catch everything that comes around? How often do you get sick? Do you realize you can do something about it.

Let me tell you how I can work in a grocery store with so many customers around or fly in an airplane and virtually never get sick. When I do get sick I don’t stay sick very long!

But let me tell you how it all got started. It started many years ago as a child of the Great Depression. We always had food. My parents thought we should have good basic food. Nothing was ever wasted. We didn’t eat out. Mom cooked tasty meals

It started many years ago. My folks had the attitude they could do it! For snacks we had celery, cucumbers, apples, pear, apricots, fresh prunes… you get the idea… Just plain good food!

Dad always seemed to know where to find good buys. If he saw a shopping basket full of ripe bananas for 25 cents he would buy them. Mom was an absolute wizard in how she made something out of almost nothing! You realize, in those days there were no freezers or refrigerators. We only had an ice box which kept food cool but did no freezing.

Out of the basket of ripe bananas we had some to eat and to share with other kids in the neighbor hood, make a banana cake, a couple of banana breads, some banana cookies and a banana cream pie. Not bad for a quarters worth of bananas and a few cups of flour.

We had a few chickens so we had fresh eggs, and a use for our vegetable scraps. Dad bought milk at the dairy for twenty-five cents a gallon. So, for the gallon of milk, our eggs, and a little sugar we had a 6 quart freezer full of ice cream. The kids in the neighborhood helped turn the freezer and licked the dasher. For supper the 5 of us ate the whole freezer full of ice cream. Mom always saw to it that we had vegetables so we had sliced tomatoes for supper – cold cream of tomato soup!

When we were first married we decided we wanted to have home grown foods. We planted a garden , bought some hens with grandpa and then some fryers so many of our food needs were taken care of.

No matter what, we all need fats, proteins, carbohydrates, salt and water. The amount our body needs of each these, varies. Listen to your body. It will tell you when you’ve had enough fats and proteins but not whether you have had enough carbohydrates.

When we tend to get the variety and types of food we really need our body responds quickly. If it has to rebuild some part and the spare nutrients are available our body is happy to help you fill or repair the deficits.

When our body gets food that satisfies the different needs our body has, our body is most happy.

Just like a car, our body does best with some foods. We need to be kind to our body. My body, with type O blood likes butter from grass fed cows, coconut oil, nuts and fish oils. It also likes grass fed meat proteins of any kind. It likes vegetables of nearly all types. It has preferences or choices when it comes to grains.

My body, especially as I get older, can do without sweeteners for the most part – most of the time! When I listen to my body, and do what it says to do, I seldom get sick and if I do, I get over it quickly. This is something we have learned rather than being born this way. We had the same temptations almost everybody has, but we like feeling peppy , good and full of energy! It is worth the little extra time and energy it takes. Actually, it makes up for far more.

So why is the title “The Chiropractor?” Because the chiropractor made the comment that there is one thing he learned about me in the years I have gone to him. He said, “If you have a problem you heal very rapidly. I think it has something to do with the way the way you eat and live .”

Kefir Querry

The phone rang early. I wondered who was calling this early.  Ah, it’s Carol!

She is learning how to make her own kefir – to feel better and to save money.

She said it smells alright except it smells more sour than the first batch she made. She really wanted to know if she could eat and use the new kefir in cooking.

There were a couple questions I needed to ask her –

Did she use some of the first batch to start the second batch?

Did she leave the second batch to work as long as the first batch?

Are you using grass fed raw milk?

Well, with all your yes answers my guess is you left the kefir set longer than necessary and the bacteria and fungus are just doing what they are supposed to do! Next time check the kefir an hour or two earlier.

Yes, you can use the second batch of kefir any way you want. You can drink it, eat it, eat it with fruit, in several recipes like pancakes, baking powder biscuits, muffins, cookies, cakes and bread.   How about freezing it as if for frozen yogurt?! Frozen kefir?!

Way back when I was little, sometimes mom would have some sour cream. She did not waste food! So she made a Sour Cream Raisin Pie.We seldom had pie and even less often a Sour Cream Raisin Pie.  I realize now that actually the filling was a sour cream custard!     Yes, some cookbooks have a recipe for them even today!

You might find a 1/2 teaspoon baking soda  in the dry ingredients might “sweeten” the batter you are cooking. But on the other hand you may be perfectly happy with the kefir/yogurt flavor. We do, if it is any of us who can tell there is any different flavor!

Carol wondered how many times she could start a new batch from the old batch! I don’t know. I have made anywhere from 1 to probably 40+ before  starting a new packet! If the last batch is good there is no reason to change to a new packet.

If you can freeze yogurt there is no reason you can’t freeze kefir for ice cream.

Since you use certified grass fed raw milk you can use kefir and have all the benefits from it. It is really interesting, fun, good for you and delicious to make your own kefir.