Real Food
Savor the flavors of everyday real food, fresh from the garden or stored on your pantry shelves.

Garlic Scapes on the Homestead: How to Cook, Pickle and Grow Them

Garlic Scapes Pickled 

In the glorious warmth of summer on the homestead, I find that my garlic plants need some pruning. In order to get very large garlic bulbs, you must cut off the slender curly flower buds that are about to open (and cut them well before they form a flower!). These green buds are called garlic scapes. Once you start seeing these tasty little babies on top of your garlic plants, it’s time to cut them off and bring them inside for cooking or pickling. I want to inspire you to grow this easy plant, and also to cook and pickle garlic scapes!

Garlic scapes have a mild garlic taste when eaten fresh. They can be chopped small and steamed or used in stir fry among many other uses. They are also delicious in a simple scrambled egg or quiche dish. The flavor is similar to asparagus when they are cooked thoroughly, or if only lightly cooked they will retain a bit of a garlic flavor. You can make pesto with them by substituting scapes for basil in the recipe, but you still need to add garlic cloves for the garlic flavor that you are used to in pesto. Just add less cloves and taste as you go to make sure it’s not too spicy. You can add pureed scapes to salad dressing to make a sort of Goddess Dressing. Yum! I eat the unopened flower tips as well but some people find them to be too tough. This also depends on how young they are picked. As soon as you see a slender scape growing at the top of the plant, cut it off and it will be juicy and tender.

Scrambled Eggs and Garlic Scapes

Garlic can be grown in a small backyard plot. Therefore almost anyone can grow their own scapes and bulbs! You can plant either fall garlic to harvest the next summer, or spring garlic for harvest during the current season. Check your favorite seed company’s website to see if they offer spring or fall garlic cloves for planting. 

Garlic is extremely easy to grow and requires hardly any maintenance (other than cutting off the scapes in mid-summer for better clove yields). Garlic does need well draining soil, so compact clay will give you smaller bulbs. It is also harder to harvest garlic in sticky, clumpy clay soil. Garlic will grow even in part shade and is frost tolerant. There are many unique varieties of garlic to grow, ranging from very complex mild Italian garlic flavors, to Russian garlic packing a very powerful garlic punch. The hardest part is deciding which varieties to grow! For a more detailed look at different garlic varieties, sauerkraut blogger Kirsten K. Shockey has written a great article about the different qualities and flavors of garlic (and garlic scapes).

Close up garlic scapes

One of my favorite ways to use garlic scapes is by pickling or lacto-fermenting them. This is so easy, even a 5 year old can do it! My son has helped me pickle foods since he was very young and can now do it on his own with no assistance.

Pickled Garlic Scapes

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


1 ½ tbsp sea salt
1 dried chile pepper or fresh herbs
1 bay leaf (optional) - for more crunchy scapes
About 10 garlic scapes cut to fit your canning jar with 1-inch headroom
1 canning jar 1 litre/1 qt size


1. Cut your scapes to fit in the jar or knot them if they are very curly. 

2. Pack your cut up scapes tightly in the jar with 1” of headroom. 

3. Pour filtered water over the scapes leaving 1” at the top and pour in the sea salt. 

4. Push the chile pepper and bay leaf into jar. 

5. Put the lid on and shake the jar a few times to ensure the salt is mixed in. Then loosen the lid and leave on the counter inside of a larger container (in case you get leaking coming out). 

6. Depending on the room temperature of your home, you can leave this pickle out for between 4-14 days to ferment at room temperature. Burp the jar every 6 hours and don’t tighten the lid, leave it fairly loose. 

7. When the brine is cloudy and the scapes have turned a dull green color, put it in the fridge and either eat immediately or age for 2-6 weeks. The flavor gets stronger the longer you leave it in the fridge to age!

Rosemary Hansen is an author, homesteading Mama, and a chef. She has spent the last 10 years “homesteading” in the city. She and her family have just started their off-grid homestead in rural British Columbia, Canada. Her books, Grow a Salad In Your City Apartment and Rosemary’s Natural Cosmetic Guide are a great way to ease into a healthy, pure lifestyle. You can connect with Rosemary at her website: or on her YouTube channel. Read all of Rosemary's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

Beef Jerky Recipes from Around the World

Homemade beef jerky

Beef jerky is a type of seasoned, dried meat enjoyed as a snack food across America. Find out how to make jerky using the basic beef jerky recipe below. Included are several variations for dried meats made around the world.

Many other kinds of meat besides beef can be dried. Popular choices include pork, lamb, goat, and game meat such as venison and elk. Salmon and turkey are also commonly dried as jerky snacks.

Safe Methods for Drying Meat

When drying meat for jerky, use a food dehydrator appliance, a smoker (charcoal barbecue or electric smoker appliance), or a standard electric or gas kitchen oven that can be set to 185°F.

To ensure a safe product for snacking, dry the meat until it’s at a safe internal temperature of 160°F. To achieve this, you must set the appliance temperature to a minimum of 185°F.

If you are unsure whether a safe temperature has been reached, after drying, heat the dried meat in a preheated 275°F oven for 10 minutes before cooling and storing.

Alternatively, you can fully cook the meat before drying. Either marinate, roast or grill the block of meat, then slice and dry the strips at 140°F to 160°F. Or, slice the meat into strips, simmer in a seasoned marinating liquid (water, soy sauce, beer, wine, etc.), and then dry.

If these methods for making a safe snack product are not used, dried meat should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and used in recipes such as soup or stew that will fully cook the meat.

Some dried meat recipes from around the world include Machaca (Mexican shredded dry beef scrambled with eggs), Ropa vieja (Cuban beef stew), old-fashioned American Creamed Chipped Beef, Moroccan Khlii or Khlea (dried meat or gueddid preserved in fat, like a French confit), and Native American  Pemmican (dried meat or fish combined with fat and/or dried berries, then re-dried for survival food).

Basic Beef Jerky Recipe

Makes 8 servings

This basic beef jerky recipe makes a lightly seasoned dried meat. Use it for beef, as well as almost any other meat, poultry, or fish. Ingredient variations listed after the basic recipe include flavor combinations from around the world.

To control flavor in the finished jerky, marinate the meat for a shorter or longer amount of time. For example, when trying a new recipe, remove and dry some meat strips after two, four, eight, and twelve hours of marinating to find the flavor concentration you prefer.

Ingredients for basic beef jerky

2 pounds lean beef (such as loin, round, or flank), trimmed of any visible fat
½ cup soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce (or a combination)
1 to 2 tablespoons liquid smoke (optional, especially if drying meat in a smoker)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Find many flavor variations below in marinade recipes from around the world.

Directions for making jerky

1. To make slicing easier, freeze meat for 30 minutes, or just until firm. Cut meat into thin strips. For tender jerky, cut meat against the grain. For chewy jerky, cut meat with the grain. For traditional jerky, cut strips of meat four to six inches long, one to two inches wide, and ⅛ to ¼ inch thick.

2. Combine soy sauce, liquid smoke, salt, and pepper. Toss meat strips with marinade.

3. Cover and refrigerate meat trips several hours or overnight.

4. Preheat a food dehydrator, smoker, or oven to 185°F. (For alternatives, see the previous section “Methods for Drying Meat”.)

5. Remove meat strips from marinade and pat dry with clean towels. Place strips on drying trays or racks close together without touching.

6. Dry until the meat’s internal temperature is 160°F, about 4 or 6 hours, or meat cracks when bent but remains pliable and does not break. Note that drying time can vary widely depending on ambient temperature and humidity.

7. Remove jerky from drying trays. If there are any oil beads on the surface of the meat, pat dry with clean towels. Cool 30 minutes, or until no longer warm.

8. Store beef jerky in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Storage time is about 2-3 weeks, less if the meat is fatty, or you live in a warm or humid climate. For longer storage, vacuum-seal, refrigerate, or freeze dried meat.

Homemade turkey jerky

Homemade turkey jerky

Jerky Recipe Variations

Learn how to make jerky from many other cultures around the world. Substitute any of the following jerky marinade recipes for the ingredients listed in the basic beef jerky recipe above.

Honey-Pepper Jerky Marinade Recipe

Stir together ½ cup soy or Worcestershire sauce (or a combination), 1 tablespoon liquid smoke, 2 tablespoons honey (or brown sugar), 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 2 teaspoon cracked black pepper. Good for beef, venison, lamb, or fish.

BBQ-style Jerky Marinade Recipe

Stir together ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon liquid smoke, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 clove minced garlic, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper. Good for beef, venison, lamb, or goat.

Thai-style Jerky Marinade Recipe

Stir together ½ cup soy sauce or fish sauce (or a combination), 4 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoons palm or brown sugar, 2 tablespoons minced shallot or white onion, 2 tablespoons minced fresh gingerroot, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves with stem, and 2 teaspoons ground white pepper. Good for beef, poultry, or fish.

Char Siu–style Jerky marinade Recipe

Stir together ¼ cup rice wine or dry sherry (or a combination), 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon ground white pepper, ½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, and ½ teaspoon sesame oil. Good for pork, poultry, or fish.

Indian-style Jerky (Sookha Hua Gosht) Marinade Recipe

Stir together ½ cup lemon juice, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves, 1 teaspoon cayenne, and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder. Good for beef, lamb, or fish.

Moroccan style Jerky (Gueddid) Marinade Recipe

Stir together ½ cup white wine vinegar, 4 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoons crushed coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon crushed cumin seeds, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Good for beef or fish.

South African–style Jerky (Biltong) Marinade Recipe

Stir together ½ cup cider or malt vinegar, 2 tablespoons crushed coriander seeds, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and ½ teaspoon cayenne or ground piri piri pepper. Good for beef, lamb, venison, or goat.

Mexican-style Jerky (Carne Seca) Marinade Recipe

Stir together ½ cup fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoon dried oregano, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Good for beef, lamb, venison, or fish. Good for beef or pork.

Cuban style Jerky (Tasajo) Marinade Recipe

Stir together ½ cup sour orange juice (or half fresh orange and half fresh lime or grapefruit juice), 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoons minced onion, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Good for beef, pork, or poultry.

Jamaican-style Jerky Marinade Recipe

Stir together ¼ cup Red Stripe or other pale lager beer, ¼ cup pineapple juice, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 4 cloves minced garlic, 4 minced green onions, 1 finely minced Habanero pepper (seeded or not, your choice!), 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, and a few gratings of fresh nutmeg. Good for pork, poultry or fish.

Use these recipes to find out how to make jerky in flavors enjoyed around the world.

Homemade salmon jerky

Homemade salmon jerky

Carole Cancler is the author of The Home Preserving Bible. She has traveled to more than 20 countries on four continents to attend cooking schools and explore food markets. She studies the anthropology of food with a focus on how indigenous foods have traveled and been integrated into world cuisine. Read all of Carole's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

Recipe: Best Ever Rhu-Berry Muffins

Rhubarb strawberry oatmeal muffins 

Looking for something to do with the abundance of fresh strawberries and rhubarb available this time of year? This muffins are melt-in-your mouth goodness and are the perfect way to put to use your fresh rhubarb and strawberries. They're dairy free, full of fibre, and lower in sugar and oil that most other muffins! You can enjoy them for breakfast, a mid day snack, or as a healthy dessert option.

Dry Ingredients

1 cup whole oats blended into a fine flour
1 cup unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. hemp hearts
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Wet Ingredients

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 eggs (pasture raised  if possible)
pasture raised 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix Ins

pasture raised 1 cup sliced strawberries 
pasture raised 1/2 cup sliced rhubarb 

Topping Ingredients

4 Tbsp.whole rolled oats
4 Tbsp. raw cane sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Strawberry rhubarb healthy muffins


1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Place oats in a blender and blend until you reach a fine flour like consistency

3. Place oats in a large bowl. Add all other dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated

4. Place all wet ingredients in a separate bowl and mix until well incorporated

5. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined (do not over mix)

6. Fold in strawberries and rhubarb, again being careful not to over mix

7. Place batter into prepared muffin tins

8. In a small separate bowl, mix together topping ingredients

9. Sprinkle tops with a small spoonful of the oat/ sugar topping mixture

10.Place in oven and bake for 17-20 min. You will know the muffins are done when you gently press the top and it lightly springs back to you

11. Allow to cool and then remove from muffin tins


Meghan De Jong is the founder of Meg De Jong Nutrition, her personal nutrition platform, which offers tons of seasonal recipes, food growing tips, and nutrition education. She works with clients one on one to provide “garden-to-kitchen” nutrition support, and is the author of e-book entitled Eat to Nourish. She currently is creating a 4-part guide to seasonal eating. Check out the spring edition, then connect with Meg on Instagram. Read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.



All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

How to Keep Cool in the Kitchen While Canning

jars of apricot jam

Two weeks ago, it was cold and rainy, and summer seemed a long way off. But today the thermometer is pushing triple digits. When that happens, canning season isn’t far behind!

Although standing over a pot of boiling jam in the heat appeals to some masochistic Puritan streak in me, I have learned how to reduce sweaty brows while putting up the harvest. Do you have any additional tips? Add a comment below!

Close the Windows: It’s counter intuitive, but when the temperature outside is higher than the temperature inside, it’s time to close the windows and keep the hot air out.

Open the Windows: Opening the windows when the temperature is lower, like through the night and early morning, lets cool air into the house. Don’t do this unless you live in a safe neighborhood or your windows have safety stops! Otherwise, keeping the windows open when it is cool lets the kitchen cool off too.

Close the Shades: If the sun is up and shining hot, it’s time to pull the blinds. A good rule of thumb; if the kitchen is on the east side of the house, keep the blinds pulled until mid-afternoon. If the kitchen is on the west side of the house, pull the blinds by mid-afternoon and leave them pulled until sunset.

Install Overhead Fans: Although a fan does not cool the air temperature, it makes you feel cooler. Therefore, whenever you are in the kitchen cooking, turn on the overhead fan.

Use a Box Fan: If you don’t have an overhead fan, or need addition air movement, set up a box fan near your work station.

Cover South and West Facing Windows: Sometimes you may have a window without a shade, or an odd shaped decorative window. Cover them with something during the summer heat! Blinds, curtains, even draping an old sheet over the window will reduce afternoon sun and keep the kitchen cooler.

Process in Early Morning or Late Evening: Make jam either first thing in the morning before the outside temperature is too warm, or late in the evening so it will cool down overnight.

Remove the Hot Water Bath from the Kitchen: Once processing is complete, carefully move the hot water bath outside. I usually place it on my metal patio table and let it cool. This isn’t safe if you have small children around of course, but removing the water bath also reduces the amount of heat in your kitchen.

Keep the Lights Off: As long as you can see (you know, with the pulled window shade and all), keep the lights and any unused electrical appliances turned off. Light bulbs, even the low-energy ones, give off a certain amount of heat. Since we want less heat, turn on fewer lights!

Freeze Fruit for Later: This is probably the best way to keep the kitchen cool during canning season – don’t can at all! If you have the space, sort fruit into recipe sized amounts and freeze. Make jam later this fall, once the air has cooled down. Sadly, this doesn’t work for canned fruit, cucumber pickles, or fresh vegetables. But it is a good alternative when making jam or salsa.

Renee Pottle is a freelance food writer and author. She writes about canning and cooking at and is the author of Creative Jams and Preserves – Easy Recipes Handcrafted by YOU.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

Plant-Based Proteins on the Rise, Plus DIY Beet Burger Recipe

Beyond Burger from Beyond Foods

You hear the grill sizzle and your eyes and taste buds are drawn to what appears to be the expected ground beef burger. Or is it? Increasingly, plant-based meat alternatives are popping up in the supermarket and at restaurants, helping propel vegetarian and vegan choices more mainstream. 

You could readily see and taste this trend at the 2019 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, the place to explore everything that’s happening in the industry, from equipment, food and beverage products, and even technology. My husband, photographer John Ivanko, and I attend this show annually to experience what’s hot and up-and-coming in the food scene. Plant-based proteins were already evident at the show when we covered this trend in 2018 and 2017. Today, more companies than ever before are providing vegetable-based alternatives to everything from beef to eggs to eel that might be used in sushi.

Plant-based protein options on the menu give diners an eco-friendly substitute that champions sustainability and mitigates climate change. By simply reducing our animal-based meat consumption, particularly the industrial, large-scale meat most commonly available, we tread lighter on the Earth. 

According to studies conducted by the University of California, Davis, it’s much more energy efficient and cost-effective to eat plant-based foods than animal products. From a greenhouse gas emissions perspective, it’s better for the environment to eat plant-based foods because water use decreases significantly. It takes anywhere between 2,000 and 8,000 gallons of water to produce a pound of commercial beef, with much of this water used to irrigate crops that are harvested to feed the cows.

Interestingly, meat lovers are fueling this growth in plant-based proteins. A growing number of meat eaters identify themselves as “flexitarian” and seek out vegetable-based alternatives like Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger. Both Impossible Foods and Beyond Foods were recipients of the 2019 National Restaurant Show’s Food and Beverage Innovations (FABI) Award. Don’t think this is some niche fad: Beyond Foods, the parent company of Beyond Burger, went public in May, 2019, and was considered one of the best performing initial public offering in nearly twenty years. A key to their success and widespread acceptance is that these meat alternatives taste and cook just like a meat-based burger. Even die-hard meat lovers remain impressed and Beyond Burger is now a limited-time option at many Carl’s Jr restaurants. And Burger King is testing out Impossible Burgers at select locations.

Impossible Burger from Impossible Foods 

“Over 90 percent of the folks who order an Impossible Burger are self-identified meat eaters,” shares Chef J. Michael Melton, Technical Sales and Culinary Manager at Impossible Foods. “We wanted to create something that is uncompromisingly delicious in addition to being as versatile as any other ground meat protein. From a culinary perspective, this versatility lends itself to use this in any application you would use ground beef, from meatloaf to lasagna to tacos to spring roll filling.”

At the 2019 National Restaurant Association Show, we saw this plant-based protein movement evolve. Vegetable-based alternatives that mimic ingredients so realistically you’d swear you’re eating the real deal. It’s arguably a shift from “farm-to-table” to “farm-to-lab-to-plate,” with results that can be both sustainable and tasty, since years of lab research and scientific testing were involved to get to this point. Depending on the manufacturer, these plant-based proteins may come from soy beans, mung beans or peas, depending on the manufacturer.

“People are starting to think more about the impact of their buying choices and at the same time we are producing a product that really caters to meat eaters,” offers Esther Cohn, Communications Operations Specialist at Impossible Foods. “To us, the vegans and vegetarians are already on the right path and have chosen sustainable eating habits, so it was really important for us to we are able to convert meat eaters with a product that tastes like meat, cooks like meat and made entirely from plants.”

Plant-based Egg Substitute from JUST Egg 

“Our company is at the synthesis of science, food and culinary,” explains Matt Riley, Senior Vice President at JUST, a company that developed a vegan egg-based alternative based on the mung bean that can be used exactly like an egg, from scrambling to baking. These mung beans are non-GMO, a food trend that continues to be top of mind at the National Restaurant Association Show for a few years now. “We actually patented the process of isolating proteins in plants, figuring out how they function in food. Do they gel or bind, for example, and then convert that into delicious food. JUST Egg has all the similar positive protein attributes of an egg but without the cholesterol or saturated fat.” 

Other new plant-based options include items like a vegan eel alternative for sushi from Ocean Hugger Foods and a fully plant-based and no-sugar-added ice cream from Reveri Ice Cream that tastes like marzipan, thanks to one of its key ingredients, almonds.

Plant-based Sushi from Ocean Hugger Foods 

With protein dense sunflower and sesame seeds, even beet burgers popped up on a sampling tray at Sol Cuisine at the National Restaurant Association Show. Experiment in your farmstead kitchen by creating a plant-based burger with the Beet Burger recipe from our Farmstead Chef cookbook. Sunflowers and sesame seeds increase the protein content and the deep, natural red color of the beets give it a hearty burger feel. The recipe easily doubles or triples, so make a big batch since they freeze well. Experiment with various kinds of rice for different textures and flavors.

Beet Burger Recipe

From Farmstead Chef by Lisa Kivirist and John D. Ivanko

Yield: approximately 12 burger patties.


4 cup beets, grated (4 medium beets)
1 cup onion, chopped (1 medium onion)
1 cup cooked long grain brown rice
1 cup sunflower seeds
½  cup sesame seeds
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
3 tbsp flour (use a non-wheat flour to make these gluten-free)
1 cup vegetable oil


1. Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl. We find it easiest to do this with clean, wet hands.

2. Form into patties and place on lightly oiled baking sheets.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

4. After about 40 minutes, flip patties for the last 5 minutes of baking. Cooked patties should be browned and firm.

You may need to use a spatula to get patty off baking sheet.

Serve these burgers just like you would a hamburger, with lettuce, tomato, cheese and condiments inside a bun. We like ours with barbecue sauce.

Lisa Kivirist, with her husband, John D. Ivanko, a photographer and drone pilot, have co-authored Rural Renaissance, Homemade for Sale, the award-winning ECOpreneuring and Farmstead Chef cookbook along with operating Inn Serendipity B&B and Farm, completely powered by renewable energy. Kivirist also authored Soil Sisters. As a writer, Kivirist contributes to Mother Earth News, most recently, Living with Renewable Energy Systems: Wind and Solar and 9 Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living. They live on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin with their son Liam and millions of ladybugs.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

How to Compost at Home

compost bin in field 

A few years ago, I had the privilege of living on acreage. There was no excuse to not have a compost pile. And another reason for having a compost pile was the fact I was on a raw food diet which meant lots and lots of leftover orange and banana skins!

Time to Get Digging

To get this project off the ground, I enlisted the help of my buddy, John M. He’d been to agriculture college back in the UK, so he knew what he was doing!


building a compost bin

Go Raw Lose Weight

At this time, I mentioned I was on a raw food diet, courtesy of Go Raw Lose Weight; therefore I was piling up lots’n’lots of orange peels and banana skins. And shedding weight to boot!

I’d keep my compost skins in an old ice cream tub, and take a daily walk over to the compost bin to empty the tub.

plastic tub for compost

Another John Came to My Rescue

A couple of days ago, John Quinn, a Re-Max Realtor who’s into gardening, wrote to show me his article on How to Compost at Home. I wrote about it on my page: Garden and Compost Bin. His article really goes into depth on what to PUT IN the compost pile, and just as important: What NOT to put in a compost pile!

waste food for composting

Take Time to Recycle

I hope this post has inspired YOU to compost your leftover food scraps. You probably don’t need a compost bin the size of mine in your garden, you might just want to get a small bin that has the capability to rotate on a shaft with the simple turn of a handle!

Now that’s easy, and that’s what Easy Food Dehydrating is all about.

All photos courtesy of Easy Food Dehydrating, and John Quinn Realtor.

Since December of 2010, Susan Gast has operated Easy Food Dehydrating, a website dedicated to dehydrating fresh fruits and vegetables, and cooked meats. Susan teaches you how to safely store your goodies too - for long-term food storage. Keep your pantry full - whatever the reason or season! To read all of Susan's posts, please visit this page on MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

Let’s Have Some Fun with Our Food!


Let’s face it, sometimes you just need to have some fun. And what better way than with  Unicorn Farts. Unicorns are close relatives of the venerable Moose Fart, perhaps a plainer version and less gussied up, but also delicious. These cookies/candies lend themselves to quite a bit of creativity, and are guaranteed to give a smile wherever you take them. I did that where I work, yes, I really did, and the minute you tell them what they are, you get “the look” like, “did you really say what I thought you said?” Yes, I did. Then come the grins and smiles. I first took in the Moose variety, but at Christmas, I brought in the Unicorn Farts.The latter are similar to what you see in the photo, so you can see what they look like. I should mention, they are rich and also disappear very quickly. 

Now, did I invent these wonderful confections? Sadly, no. But a marvelous cookie book out of Newfoundland, Canada, available on Amazon, will get you going with all the cookies you could really hope to make. it’s called “Cookies: A Decade of Decadent Recipes” by Barry C. Parsons.  You can also go to his blog, where you will see some of the most incredible food delights known to woman or man. He also does other things like main courses, salad, etc. All book and blog info is below for your convenience.  Another feature of these treats is the fact that they are no-bakes, and by that I mean, you do not have to fire up the oven. Save energy in the summer, keep you kitchen cool, and have really great treats at the same time. So, let’s get cooking.  

Unicorn Farts


300 ml can sweetened condensed milk (14 0z size in US)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup dried coconut, fine or medium cut
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups mini white chocolate chips
1 cup colored candy sprinkles


1. Melt the butter and combine it with the sweetened condensed milk & vanilla extract until well blended.

2. Add the graham crumbs, coconut and white chocolate chips. Mix together well.

3. Refrigerate for an hour so so before rolling the mixture into 1 1/4 inch balls. You want to make these on the smallish side as they are quite rich.

4. Roll the balls in the colourful candy sprinkles and once again chill until firm.

5. Refrigerate in a sealed container to store.These freeze quite well too!  

Makes about 40 farts, er, um, candies.

Important Notes: Parsons, Barry C. Cookies: A Decade of Decadent Recipes. St. John’s, Newfoundland: Breakwater Books, 2018. You should check out his other cookbooks as well.

Blog:Barry C. Parsons. Last accessed June 3, 2019.

If you want to follow the further adventures of Sue, go to or to email Sue,

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

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