A fellow homeschool mom gave me to boxes full of apples at Spanish co-op this week. They weren't in the best of shape--a lot of bad spots to cut out. I reasoned that just proved the apples weren't saturated with pesticides , as close to organic as I could come and free! I always wanted to learn how to can. I picked up a Squeezo strainer on ebay and all the pint jars on clearance at Tractor Supply over Labor Day weekend. I cut up and cooked the apples. Schnickelfritz, still intrigued by the machine from our pear butter experiment, lent a hand at turning the crank at pressing the fruit down. My 10 quart stockpot only held 5 pints so I had to process two batches. But we ended up with 9 pints of practically organic, sugar-free apple sauce.
Second, I received an email about an e-course in freezer cooking by Shelley from One Roast Vegetable. This is something I've dabbled in from time to time. I'm the first to admit that our homeschool day goes SOOO much better when I know dinner is already taken care of. Shelley has seven lessons online so far. She has started with some experiments on what is really freezable or not--dairy, vegetables, and fruits. I'd rather learn from her trial and error than ruin my own food in experimenting. And the course is free, free free! You can sign up yourself at Fresh From the Freezer.
A second e-course (and really a third) was shared by a fellow Homeschool Crew member. She's friends with Wardeh Harmon, who espouses "God's Natural, Organic, Whole Foods, Grown Locally, In Season," hence the website GNOWFGLINS.com. The course is like the lab work for the book Nourishing Traditions. I'm learning the traditional ways to prepare grains, beans, and dairy foods to make their nutrients more bio-available. This week I learned how to soak brown rice to eliminate the phytic acid that binds to the calcium, magnesium, and iron in the grain and prevents their absorption. Wardeh provides lists of ingredients and equipment, mp3 lectures about each topic, a whole binder-full of notes and recipes, and best of all for my learning style--videos of the step-by-step procedures. There is a second course available on this site that is strictly to learn how to use sourdough in creating breads, pizzas, tortillas, etc. The two courses are NOT free, but they are made available on a pay as you go/pay what you feel it's worth system (please don't take advantage of Wardeh's generosity by downloading everything without any compensation).