Monday, September 17, 2012

Wild harvesting & preserving figs and berries

It all started with a Fig

 ....Or rather, a hundred figs in a tree, but not this tree!

This tree is in my back yard. My Grandfather very inconveniently planted it below the clothesline, where my father cuts it short every year. I hope to one day soon transplant this old, little tree.

Back to the figs....

We gathered these on a very large tree in some 200 year old California mine tailings between our house, and town. So, I guess there is some things to be grateful to the miners. They may have dissimated the native speices from producing natural seasonal harvest, but they did bring us the Fig tree, and the blackberry....

And with our modern technology called Excaliber and Cuisinart, we decided to dehydrate our Wildcrafted loot into fruit leather.

I used parchment paper on the trays. Then dried the fruit paste at 135 degrees for a few hours. Then turned the temperature down to 105 degrees for a few hours to insure maximum living enzyme preservation.

And to save energy I turned off the Xcaliber and let the fruit leather finish air drying overnight.


The parchment paper works very well. Instead of peeling the leather off right away, I decided to roll and cut like the fruit roll ups I had in my lunch as a kid!

Then I put them in an uncovered jar for storing until use.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Birthday Divine ♥

This last Tuesday was my 29th birthday and I decided to celebrate with my pupikin, Lulu, who turns two on the fifth.

 So, inspired by my many beloved Mamma friends, I created a picnic with coloring items and food like they have at their two year old parties. 

And like all my other birthdays, we picked blackberries and played silly games for kicks.

But before all this could happen, I had some preparation to make.

I made myself a party dress


Using the same hand cut pattern as my previous post, Rags to Riches, I modified the dress just a little at the neckline, and with a satin blue ribbon in the back, to match the more elegant crushed velvet fabric.

Get these Caribbean Blue Earrings at my shop

And once I had a party dress, Lulu, my Queensland Heeler Doglet, had to get her scent on....

In the wee hours of the morning, she was sprayed by a skunk! After a decent shampooing, thorough scrubbing and baking soda hoedown we were almost ready....

I soaked pinto beans and rice for two days, cooked the beans in the crock with crushed garlic and the rice on stovetop with tumeric and tomatoes. We served salad with fresh cucumbers and dandilion greens from the garden, and fresh made salsa as well. 

I even provided human grade dog treats for the doggy guests.

All packed up, it was time to go picnic!

There was plenty of berry picking, napping, card playing, coloring, chasing, creek dipping, bubble blowing, back rubbing, merry making and more!

Much thanks to everyone who shared this experience. It was a birthday duo divine ♥