Feather your Nest Friday, 25th March, 2022.

It has been a week of putting up food.   My dehydrator has been going day and night. 

Last weekend I drove south to see Lucy and her family.  It was a beautiful day.  The road into Lucy's house has a big old apple tree on the corner.  It was covered in red apples!  I was worried my trip would be too late but there were still plenty there!   I just happened to have baskets and my long stick fruit picker in the back of the car!  😊 

I filled a couple of my baskets and then drove on to check another tree.

Hundreds of cars drive along this road everyday.  The apples were bright pink and visible from the road.  Yet they are still there for me.  There we so many... if I was to pick them all I would still be there.  As it was I got home after 6pm.  But I had a lot of apples!! 

Some of these are lovely and sweet and these dehydrate really well as they taste so good.   So everyday I have had the dehydrator running.

I still had pears to work on.  I made the ripest ones into puree which is delicious.   Lots has been frozen as baby food (for future baby) and I have had some for breakfast every day.   I canned pears also to save freezer space.

In my fridge I seemed to have a collection of left over capsicums so I sliced them all up and filled five trays to dehydrate.  They were all odd sizes but the same thickness..    These will be good to add to casseroles later.  

I continued on with my project to fill my big canning jars.   It has been a continuous rotation of getting them down from the high shelves,  washing them,  filling them,  putting them back up on the shelves and getting the next ones down.  And repeat.   

When I open my cupboards now I am so happy seeing them filled. 

Something I love to make is Quince Paste.  I just love Quinces and how they become ruby red as you cook them.   But this year I never saw Quinces anywhere.  
Today I went into town to pick up groceries.  I prepared eggs and gardening magazines to take in to the trading tables.  The first table is on the way into the town.  I pulled up and took my eggs over to the table to leave them.   And there were four huge Quinces!  Between the two tables I came home with one huge lemon and tomatoes as well.  

Celery was $2 for a whole bunch so I got some to also dehydrate.   

The basil stems I had in water all had root systems already.  In only two weeks!   

I planted them into my new container garden.  There were more than 20 new plants this way.   The last lot are not about ready to pick so I think next week I will be harvesting again. 

So I am very thrilled with my week.  It was beautiful weather, sunny days and cool nights which is my idea of perfect.

Last week I mentioned extra US troops coming to the Northern Territory.   The talk of war and threats continued all week.   What was implied but not spoken is now said in the plainest language.    Tonight I see the news for the US is that food shortages are "gonna be real" according to the President.   I am not wanting to be political.. I mean to say they are telling us straight out now. 

I hope you had a good week and added to your pantry or garden as you could.  Take every opportunity. 

Each night I have still been doing the chicken run in my nightie to put the chicks to bed.  A couple of nights SOME of the chicks walked up the ramp with their Mother all by themselves.   Tonight for the first time they all did!!  🎆

Many of you know Laine, from Laine's Letters.  She has been like my best friend for over 30 years from when I looked forward to her weekly letters.   By a miracle I got to write to her in person and we became friends.   She is very sick and in need of prayer.  She wants prayer for Art,  Quincy,  Gabe, Brady, Abbie and Lucy as well.  I hope I am able to share more than this soon.   Please pray.  



  1. Praying for Laine and her family. I have never tasted a quince. Stay well 🙏

    1. Thank you Diana. Quince is hard to describe but like a floral pear that turns ruby as you cook. Thank you for praying for Laine.xxx

  2. Dear Annabel, you are so smart to pick those apples and to make good use of them. I love the picture of the apples dehydrating and the pears too. What a lucky baby to get that pureed pear. The dehydrated capsicums will be very handy too. I will have to look up the US news. There are warning signs. I made a big pot of pumpkin soup, some of which I gave away. I made some Anzac biscuits- double batch, which some I also gave away. I planted another chilli seedling today. My husband won a meat tray at work, so he packed that all away when he got home. i found him a new pair of shorts and a piece of material. I am looking forward to using that. Our seeds have arrived and I have cuttings of Pentas in containers, hopefully they will be as successful as your basil. I also have been crocheting wash cloths. We have some big savings goals, and are trying to put extra into our mortgage so need to keep moving and using that we have! I will pray for Laine and her family. Lots of love, Lily.

    1. Dear Lily, What a boost to the budget to win a meat tray! That was awesome! Good work on extra payments on the mortgage and yes using what we have, using things up, putting the to good use saves so much money. Thank you for praying for Laine. With love Annabel.xxx

  3. Praying for Laine! You had a very productive week and everything looks just wonderful. I love full jars too. They are almost like art on the shelves.

    We have worked everyday on food storage by either organizing and and prepping foods for storage or out there shopping. I am feeling like we are in a very good place now to have what we need except perishable foods. I just continue to pray for guidance and He answers. Everyday we are counting our blessings and being mindful to be thankful for His provision.

    Last week I began treatments for a genetic disease. It has been exhausting and painful but our family is so thankful that this came to light because it effects many of us and no one seemed to know what was wrong. Now we have hope that we can all feel better. We also had to move my Mom to a nursing home. This has been hard for all of us but we cannot care for her because she requires such a high level of care. She was so happy in Memory Care where she had been but they cannot care for anymore. My sister and I only hope that we are doing right by her.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Dear Lana, My heart is always happy seeing jars of preserves or jars of goods lined up on shelves. Since I was a little kid I was in love with this all!
      Well done on so much work done each day towards your food storage. I wondered... with what the media is saying now if it could cause panic in which case its time to not be in stores anymore. We will see how the next week pans out.
      I am really sorry about your Mum. If her daily needs are more than home care can provide then this is what she needs. Between your sister and yourself you can oversee that she is getting wonderful care. Also I hope your treatments work for you and you dont have this long term pain. Considering these two very hard things you did so well with your week.
      With much love, Annabel.xxx

  4. Dear Annabel, about a month ago my husband came across a Quince tree hidden in the middle of a eucalyptus forest, near the river (how wonderful and exciting is that), the quinces were not ready at that time. It had slipped my mind so thanks for the reminder we will go check the tree this weekend. I found out I have/had/are having Ross River Fever (caused by a mosquito bite). I think/am hoping I am over the worst of it but it has been a challenging few months. I finally rearranged my pantry which took me a whole week instead of my expected one day. I utilized a tall boy cupboard I had sitting in the spare room to give me more pantry storage. I was happy that I had put away enough sugar as I have been unable to get any (and I mean that the supermarkets in my town have empty shelves in the sugar department - no sugar of ANY kind) in the last three weeks (possibly flood related?). I have harvested zucchini, squash, the last of my tomatoes and quite a few potatoes this week. My chooks continue to lay at least 5 eggs a day which is a blessing. I have almost 30 pumpkins growing. I continue to be blessed by random people with random things - this week I was given a small freezer. It works perfectly and it has enabled me to rearrange my freezer space to have everything set out in a logical, easy to see way. My cousin and her husband visited for two nights. They bought a massive, homemade, truly yummy lasagna with them which we ate for one meal together and I was able to put 3 meals for the 3 of us in the freezer which is a great help to me when I am feeling too tired to cook. Tonight we attended our friend's daughter's debutante ball. I was happy to have my card and gift pantry to quickly put together a little gift for her. Are you able to tell me the brand of your dehydrator. Is it a quiet one? This is an area I really need to get a move on in. I will pray for Laine and her family. Love Clare

    1. Dear Clare, I am so sorry to hear you have Ross River Virus! I know that can really knock you around. I hope you are starting to feel much better.
      Yes, go check that tree! I hope they are nice and yellow!! The cupboard in the spare room will add a lot to your food storage. Any cupboard is fair game as far as Im concerned!
      My pumpkins were a fail. I had one year of a fabulous crop. I will try again this year. Yours sound amazing! They will give you so many wonderful soups and meals.
      How lovely that your cousin brought a beautiful lasagne with them!
      My dehydrator is Biochef Arizona Sol dehydrator. I had a couple cheaper ones for a while which were ok but very slow. In the end with my orchard etc I invested in this. However you could put the word out with family and friends... dehydrators are like crock pots... people have them unused in the cupboard so you never know. I am really loving it and it is still going flat out again today. I hope you feel better Clare, I hope those Quinces are still there and ready! With love Annabel.xxx

  5. Annabel how long do you leave your apples in the dehydrator for? I tried last year but don’t think I left them long enough as they went mouldy. Prayers for Laine and the rest of her people.

    1. Dear Janine,
      These have taken about 10 hours. They are dry but pliable. Then I let them sit in the jar open for a few days. Next I will vac seal them. You can go to the point of snap crispy as this will no mould. I hope that helps. Thank you for praying for Laine. With love Annabel.xxx

    2. I don't suppose that you have saunas in Australia but here in Canada we do. We use our sauna to dry apple slices. I have several old window screens that get placed between the benches so that air can flow above and below the slices. At about 80 to 100 degrees celsius, it takes about 4 hours to dry the slices. Some need to be brittle to indicate that they are all good to store. No mold yet! Wood fired sauna so no cost to do this. I wonder if electric dehydrators are expensive to operate. I used to dry spring onions in an electric food dehydrator, then discovered that the onions would dry outdoors on a sunny day on the same screens. Must come in before night whether dry or not as dew will spoil your efforts. Can be finished on a second sunny day if necessary.

    3. Dear Rita, That would be handy but no. Thanks for the help for Janine. xxx

  6. Prayers for Laine and her family during this trying time. We ( in the USA) are seeing very high prices on everything at the stores, groceries and gas. I am waiting for my power/water/sewer bill as we have not had a break in the bill(s), as we normally have in the past with fall and spring. I started some tomato seeds and they are not doing very well, but I did purchase some plants last weekend. I have been dehydrating: cherry tomatoes , carrots, celery and peppers. At this point it all counts! Prayers for all of us at this time.

    Annabelle you are a rock star with your knowledge and give me hope that I can do a minute of what you do. Thank you Belinda

    1. Dear Belinda,
      We are getting the high prices on food and fuel too, I know the UK also. NZ also.. I think this is everywhere. I should do a post where we all report basic prices... ie a dozen eggs, and compare.
      Yes everything counts. Cherry tomatoes are wonderful in the dehydrator! I love them. Celery is amazing.. I do all the leaves. Carrots and peppers do very well also.
      Thank you so much! I am just trying to learn day by day as knowledge is our biggest asset. The more we learn the better. Also it is fun to learn new stuff! With much love Annabel.xxx

  7. Another former long time reader of Laine's Letters here. Certainly praying for her health! Laura

    1. Dear Laura, So many of us love Laine! Thank you for praying! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. Praying for Laine! She is a special lady.

    I once saw a recommendation for people who had a lot of extra canning jars to put water in them and process them in the water bath canner. They put the jars back in the box to protect them and are using the space to store good drinking water at the same time.

    1. Dear Brenda, Thank you for praying for Laine. I think the water idea is really good. I would fill every empty vessel with water. However for us we keep huge rainwater tanks. Water is one thing I dont have to worry about. This is a big bonus for us. Keeping the jars in the box is a good idea, especially in earth quake prone areas! With love, Annabel.xxx

  9. Dear Annabel
    What a wonderful week you had. I found Laine's letters late into my homeschool and mothering journey. I found them to be so wonderful that I printed most of them off the 'Way back machine'. I do hope she gets better soon and will pray for her.
    Much love
    Heidi xx

    1. Dear Heidi,
      Thank you for praying for Laine. When my girls were little I first found Laine's Letters. Oh how I loved them! With love, Annabel.xxx

  10. What a great week you have had! Are your capsicum the same as our peppers in the US? I have been freezing my peppers but would like to dehydrate them. Do I need to rehydrate them for soups I wonder? I have started basil from seeds. Hoping they do well........Nancy

    1. Dear Nancy,
      Yes we call hot peppers, peppers but sweet ones we say Capsicums. They are red, green or yellow. They are really good dehydrated... for casseroles etc. No you dont need to rehydrate if they go into something you are cooking. They also are great if you have a casserole that is too runny, throw some dehydrated goods in and they soap it up. Hope that helps. With love Annabel.xxx

    2. One thing I love is to crumble dehydrated peppers over a salad, pasta, or pizza and it is so good

  11. I have had such a good week!
    The weather has been beautiful so I have been out in the garden every day, I really feel like I'm getting somewhere with it now.
    After setting fire to my teacosy (don't ask!) I turned sleeveless pullover, my first attempt at fair isle knitting a few years ago, into my new teacosy and I love it.
    Last week's post about empty jars had me a bit stumped as I didn't think I had anywhere to store them, but I do! I have a wardrobe in my kitchen (sounds odd, but it's brilliant storage) and the top was not used, so I have started filling jars and putting them up there, it did mean I had to buy a step stool, but that's hardly a waste.
    I also have to thank Jane too, for the frankly fantastic idea of vacuum sealing flour! It had never crossed my mind.
    I got £100 for changing my bank account and decided that the best investment I could possibly make with it was stocking up my pantry. That's an ongoing work in progress, but progressing nicely.
    I have started knitting a shawl for a gift later in the year, the intended recipient comes from a warmer climate, so it felt like the right thing to make.
    I have sown more seeds and got an aloe vera plant reduced in price.
    I also bought a water bath canner! I have been watching them in Lidl for months, when there was just one left for £20, my name was on it. Now I don't have a car, so already loaded up I set off home with it, it's not heavy but very, very awkward and the box was disintegrating. Two complete strangers took pity on me and helped me! I was so grateful. I do need to get a book about canning, because the instruction booklet is terribly vague and says to only fill the jars between half and two thirds full and I can't see why. I also need to look out for canning jars, which are horrifically expensive here, even the replacement lids or rings are a ridiculous price.
    I finally got the slow rise wholemeal bread recipe right. It's taken me months of tweaking but now I'm happy with it, it's all in the baking!
    I batch cooked chicken for the dog (sounds extravagant, but she's a very old girl and can't eat much else and it's actually cheaper than feeding her dog food) to save on fuel costs.
    So a good week.
    I hope Laine is feeling better.
    Everyone have the best week possible.

    1. Dear Su,
      Well sorry about your tea cozy! I wont ask, even though I want to!
      I am glad you found a nice space for your jars. I have a step stall because I keep baskets on top of my cupboards and Im short so I need one anyway! I think stockiest g your pantry is really the best investment. This week has confirmed it further. I am hearing of empty shelves far and wide.
      A shawl will be a beautiful gift. I love shawls.
      It is fantastic you got the canner! I think you cant go wring if you use the Ball canning website... there are step by step instructions and videos. I love ball jars and lids. We have Fowlers brand also in Australia but I find Ball easier. I would put word out amongst family and friends you are wanting jars... you never know. Many of the ladies here do use jars such as pasta sauce jars and lids because they do seal. It was very nice strangers helped you get this canner home!
      With your baking and gardening you really had a fantastic week! You added to your pantry and garden! With much love Annabel.xxx

  12. Dear Annabel,
    So nice you were able to get those apple. Here we could never presume to pick from trees even near the road as they belong to the farm properties behind them. It obviously is different there and that is wonderful. All your colorful peppers drying will be very nice.
    I have all my seeds planted for spring and now must wait for the last freeze date to transplant them.
    I will pray for Laine and her family. Blessings, Laura

    1. Dear Laura, Here the road side belongs to the council and I have no hesitation to pick. However if I see a tree dropping its fruit and it is on private property I am still not going to drive by. I will go into the property and ask permission. In my whole life no one has ever said no. There is no way I am going to pass it by.
      I hope you get the last freeze very soon! It is exciting you are so close to getting your seedlings into the garden! With love Annabel.xxx

  13. So sorry to hear about Laine and her family. Hope you will be able to share more. I followed her for a long time, and learned so much. All practical and she surely promoted contentment. A real blessing. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thank you for praying for Laine. I hope I can give an update soon. Yes she did promote happiness, love for family and home, contentment. So lovely. I improved greatly from learning from her! xxx

  14. What pretty fruits and veggies, Annabel. I'm finally able to comment again (borrowing Mike's tablet so I can). I loved your older posts about Zackie (looking so good and happy) in Andy's tractor trailer :) and the baby chicks!
    Our Open House is tomorrow and we expect to be moving in about 5 weeks! We are ready...everything's packed.
    Stay safe and well,

    1. Dear Mary,
      Thanks so much! Oh wow! I hope the open house goes well and so does your move! How exciting!! I hope your new home and location will be wonderful! With love Annabel.xxx

  15. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds

    I look forward to your post every week. Your week has been really very fruitful and you really know how to make the most of every opportunity. Your blog is truly a place where one finds peace and inspiration.
    Because we live in the shadow of war just like you, I am haunted by the feeling that nothing good awaits us in the future. For the past three weeks, I’ve been filling the pantry especially carefully, even though it was full before. The planting season is approaching here and this year I have a feeling that the garden is even more important than in the past. I always have the seeds in stock for at least two seasons, and this year I added 20 more blueberry bushes and 20 asparagus seedlings to my garden. My goal has always been to expand my garden after retirement within 4 years. After good deliberation, I decided it wasn’t safe to wait. So I ordered another 6m greenhouse while I can still afford it.
    Please listen to your intuition and keep preparing.
    Stay safe and continue to pray for Ukraine, God bless you
    Alenka, Slovenia

    1. Dear Alenka,
      Thank you so much! The feeling in all of Europe must be very difficult. I think being active with preparing as you can is the best thing. I have considered and re considered my pantry. It will be very good when you can add to your garden and I think the greenhouse is a fantastic investment. And good to have it now. Gardens and greenhouses take time to set up and get going too so the sooner the better. I will continue to pray and include you. Thank you so much for commenting, please let us know how you are going. With much love Annabel.xxx

  16. Annabel those apple look delicious. My Dp and I are thinking of getting a food dehydrater and you have given me some wonderful ideas, so thank you. We may go and take a look at one this weekend. We are going to my cousins for lunch today. Her brother and husband are moving to the UK and it is a farewell lunch for them. I was delighted to be able to text DP from work yesterday and ask him to take out one of the large black peach crumbles I had made and frozen. They are really enormous and their will be around 14 adults+ today. All I needed to do was buy a tub of ice cream on special. It was a relief to have this ready to go and not have to come home from a long day at work and think of what to make.
    We made a good buy this past week for Dp. Some merrell sandles. NZD$114.00 with postage. We purchased these from Kogan on line. These shoes are upwards of $200.00 dollars here in NZ, so a good saving for quality shoes.
    We have been our early today and done our weekly grocery shop. We visited a vegetable and fruit growers for fresh veges and fruit. We got kumara, parsnips,bananas,blueberries,broccoli, for $21.00 dollars. This will last us for two weeks. I am going to visit the garden centre this weekend for some seedlings to plant and some seeds to raise. Our weekly grocery bill is now around $165.00 dollars a week, up from about $135.00 dollars a week a year ago. We are buying the same food but it just shows the increase in food costs. We are getting cabbage from my dad later today. In the supermarket and growers they are $7.00 dollars. I am not paying that for a cabbage. So time to get going with more planting in the garden. I have a voucher I can use at the garden centre so will put it to good use.
    Last weekend I heard from my brothers partner in Australia. They live in Southport on the Gold Coast. He had been taken to hospital seriously ill and was having a stroke. He then had 3 more while in the hospital for the week. He is home now and doing well but has 6 weeks of rehabilitation ahead of him and more. I am thankful for Australia's good super schemes as he has insurance with this that will pay his living costs. Fortunately he owns his apartment. He had chosen not to be vaccinated and got covid. Unfortunately one of the side effects can be blood clots, which led to his strokes. I have spoken with him and asked him to consider getting vaccinated when he is able. He is now in a vulnerable group and can not afford to get it again. He probably wont but I can only try. Dp and I have renewed our passports this week in case we need to go over. My parents are elderly now and not up to airports and delays,etc. So that was another $382 dollars. I am so appreciative that we can afford to do this because we know how to live within our means, save, and have the income to do this. Times are hard for so many and are only going to become harder. We too make as much use of free food as we can. Today we are taking a beautiful focaccia bread that I got for free from the bread delivery at work yesterday. All of these things make a difference to the bottom line.
    My thoughts and prayers go to Laine and her family for a speedy recovery.
    Thank you Annabel for your beautiful blog,as always, such a wonderful place to be.
    Stay safe and well everyone.


    1. Dear Mandy, I am really a convert to dehydrating. I started gradually. Now the poor thing runs all the time. For info The Purposeful Pantry on You tube is good so is Heidi on Rain Country. I learn a lot from them!
      It was fantastic you had the peach crumble ready to go... with ice cream on the side this would be a total crowd pleaser!
      A cabbage is about the same here... so good your Dad had one for you! I think all your actions, going to the growers and planting seedlings are great. Each thing helps.
      I am so sorry about your brother. That is dreadful. It is very difficult like you cant win either way because we have known people sick with covid and we have known people sick from vaccinations. Like it really is a hard one.
      You both do really well and think and are careful, put everything to good use. As you say this means if you need to take a trip to see your brother you can.
      Thanks Mandy. Friendship and encouragement really do go a long way to make an average week very nice. I hope its been a good week for you it is almost over already! With love Annabel.xxx

  17. Praying for Laine and her family! I certainly learned a great deal from her in the day when she was writing regularly as her ministry. I am deeply sorry to hear that she is unwell.

    You do inspire me Annabel! I saw a jar of quince paste in the grocery and thought well I know someone who makes that. Big price for a very small jar by the way, lol. I got my three new buckets last weekend to go with my Gamma lids. One of the stores has a sale on sugar this week so I'm going to go by and pick up that to store. I'll check flour while I'm in the store. I've just taken to grabbing a couple of bags at least wherever I go.

    I had a sick little boy with me most of this week. He was a misery and felt truly awful and when he didn't feel awful he felt like he was two and so we learned a lot about self-control (not just HIM!) and worked with time outs. The first one was very hard. The second one he quickly calmed down and I was able to shorten the time out and do an early release, lol.

    Husband is feeling much better and so he's begun taking down the upper cabinets in my kitchen. This is a beginning on a renovation project I've been dreaming of. There's two more to come down in that area and it's looking a bit piecemeal at the moment, but it will be better eventually. Starting a project is always the hardest part. It looks so unfinished when you begin, but I know it will be better.


    1. Dear Terri,
      Laine really got me on track when I was young with children. I looked forward to her letters so much!
      Yes, Quince paste is expensive! It is so good though!
      I hope your little Grandson is better. Your husbands work on the cabinets is exciting! Yes there is always a mess with renovating but it will be worth it!
      The buckets and Gamma lids are excellent and it really works to get a few extra things each time we are at the store, it just adds up.
      I hope everyone is well in the household now. With love Annabel.xxx

  18. Debby in Kansas USA26 March 2022 at 14:49

    Oh Annabel, all those beautiful apples!! What a gift! What were those green lumpy things with the tomatoes? Were those quince? I've never seen or tasted one! When we first moved to Kansas from California, I taught a lot of people in the produce section about jicama (pronounced hih-kuh-muh).
    Oours come from Mexico, but I'm not sure where else they grow. People would see me looking at them and ask what they were and how to eat them. I had them on a vegetable plate for a neighborhood bbq and all the moms were asking about them cuz their kids loved them. I need to find someone with quince!! Can you grow citrus and avocado there? It doesn't grow here and it's expensive. I bought a grapefruit for $1.29 today on sale and I was giddy lol!!

    I will definitely pray for Laine. I learned of her from you. I wish all her ltters could be published in a book because they are so rich with so many good life lessons.

    When I go to the market, I usually feel like I'm the only one there that scrutinizes everything!! I watch people speed by tossing things into their basket. No glance at prices or anything. I think I must be the only one on a cautious budget. The store sales are mostly convenience foods and not the stuff I buy. That said, I did buy 10 tubes of sale toothpaste today!!

    No gardening yet. Our daffodils haven't even started to bloom. Another month or so. I'm hoping I can find my favorite tomato plants. I'm also thinking about planting some blackberries. I need to see what the nursery is charging for them, assuming they have some. I've heard that some fruit trees are scarce this year.

    Blessings to you!

    1. Dear Debby,
      Those are Quinces. The are yellow and hard as rocks until you cook them and they turn ruby pink. I love them.
      We can grow citrus. In our state we have a lot of citrus. We dont grow Avocado... further north in Australia they grow avocado though.
      In the end two friends and I published all Laine's letters and bound them into three folders. We sent a copy of each to Laine. She had lost her website and all her letters but we got them back with the wayback machine. This is how I got to know her as a friend.
      At our markets most stuff is not weighed it is estimated. So a bag of tomatoes might be over or under weight... same with everything. So I try and select the heaviest. I take a long time too!
      I hope you can find some blackberries and all you need for your garden! With much love Annabel.xxx

  19. Can you tell me what you use to peel and slice your apples? Following your lead I want to dehydrate more things and your apples are gorgeous. Sending prayers for Laine and her family. I have learned so much from her and your. Praying for peace also.

    1. Thank you so much! I use an apple peeler and corer, the old fashioned kind where you turn the handle and it is all done in seconds. You can still buy them from kitchenware stores or online. Make sure its a metal one. It is the best thing I ever bought! When I was little my Nan had one and I liked to turn the handle and see the peel come off in a long spiral! It worked pretty well with my pears, even quinces and now I do potatoes and have roasted spiral potatoes! It is fantastic! I hope this helps.xxx

    2. Thanks so much for the info.

  20. Hello Anabell, there is so much I could say, but surely you know we all love you and admire you. Truly, God has blessed you and thank you so much for blessing so many others. Yes, I heard the President's words... food shortages... I don't know how a warning could be more obvious than that.

    1. Dear Joy, Thank you so much for such a kind comment. I wondered too who hasn't realised things that might have been surprised by such a comment but the writing is really on the wall and now actually being discussed in the news. Last night we had the tv for about half an hour and we flicked from Australian news to UK and to US. All three were on the exact same subject! Food costs, shortages, fuel prices. We have been working away and we try to tell everyone to be prepared and stock a good pantry. With love Annabel.xxx

  21. Hi Annabel and Bluebirds,
    This weekend I watched Patera on YouTube and it lit a fire under my feet! I cleaned the kitchen cabinets and started the task of using the old jars for storage. I cleaned and organized my stockpile, taking inventory as I went. I mended a fitted sheet, and today I did a big food stock up at Aldi. There were bare shelves in some areas, like pasta and cheap meats. Praise the Lord for getting there at the time they were stocking.
    I'm praying for Laine and family. I've loved her letters over the years!
    Thank you again for encouraging us to prepare! The need to do so feels stronger now!
    Xoxo Stacy

    1. Dear Stacy,
      Patera would be so happy to hear this!! She is really urging us to get very very busy and I believe she is spot on. You did so much! I hope this week has been the same.. the week is almost over already! With love Annabel.xxx

  22. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    I am so very late this week, but wanted to say that Annabel, your produce looks amazing! Those gorgeous apples! I, too, have never seen a quince before. What a wonderful week. I will light a candle for Laine and her family.

    I hope everyone has a good week!

    1. Dear Kathy, Thank you! I am late replying too! Quinces are funny as they seem basically inedible but once they are cooked they are gorgeous!
      I hope it has been a good week for you, it has been busy busy! With love Annabel.xxx

  23. Hi Annabel I just wanted to share what some women did during w.w.2 when sugar was rationed.They would cook apples because there were lots of apple trees into an unsweetened sauce then spread on trays in a low oven to dehydrate then break up and roll as finely as possible with a rolling pin to make apple sugar.Thank goodness we have dehydrators and food processors to do these jobs nowdays! It would be good sprinkled on oatmeal or in tea or in some baking.I imagine any naturally sweet fruit could be done this way.We need to think otside the box nowdays when things aren't available and share things our mother's and grandmother's did .

    1. Thank you so much! Apples puree can be used to replace some or all sugar in a cake too. Yes we are lucky to have dehydrators and everything we do to help us in the kitchen. I wish I still had my Nan to ask so many things. My Mum is very good and practical so I have her to ask for advice. All the old skills are new again! With love Annabel.xxx

  24. Hi Annabel

    Well some items are still hard to purchase here, mainly frozen items with a few spaces still empty on the shelves and milk is hard to get as well.

    Flooding is once again happening down south of us, those poor people who have recently been through the first flooding an now facing it again. I hope they stay safe and my thoughts are with them.

    I look at the world and shake my head at the moment, Covid, flooding, food shortages, petrol prices and war. The world sure is upside down at the present. No wonder it is such a tough time for many people especially if they are not prepared.

    Today I have had a clean up of my sewing room and put things in there places after reading a catch up post you have done in the past, I needed inspiration, so thank you for providing this for me.

    Quince is something I have never tasted before but those apples look damn delicious

    School holidays start here at the end of this week.

    Stay Safe
    Take Care
    Aly xxx


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