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Thursday, July 6, 2023

A Successful Food Save and Three Other Frugal Things From My Week

Between the raccoons, squirrels, and blackbirds, it didn't look like we were going to get any cherries from our 2 trees this year. One tree was already bare. 

After many mornings, afternoons, and evenings of chasing critters out of the tree, I had had enough. Last weekend, the four of us picked almost every pink or partially pink cherry on the tree. We wound up with a small bucket full of cherries. 

I pitted the cherries, then made a sauce with all of them along with some chopped rhubarb. I bumped up the cherry flavor with almond extract (sorry Live and Learn at the mention of the extract) and some sugar and a pinch of baking soda. I made about 1 1/2 quarts of rhubarb-cherry sauce, which was devoured by my family.

In past years, we've had to pick unripe cherries, too. My go-to use for these cherries is pie filling. Pie just isn't in the cards for me right now, so I made the sauce. A delicious way to use fruit that we would not have had. now if I can just keep the critters out of the apple and plum trees.

My daughters made us a red, white, and blue gelatin dessert for the 4th of July, using blue and red Kool-aid powder, sugar, plain gelatin, and marshmallows. Jello brand blue jello was over $1.50 for a box last I checked. Homemade colored gelatin made with Kool-aid powder costs about 40 cents.

We wrapped our 4th of July cutlery in plain white napkins, then sealed with patriotic stickers that we received in the mail. A little thing, but everyone enjoyed choosing their napkin.

The wood seats to the chairs I'm refinishing. If you remember, both wood seats had ventilation holes that were 5/8-inch in diameter. I bought a 5/8-inch wood dowel, sawed of 1/4-inch lengths and used wood glue to secure the disks in the holes. They were a tight fit, which is a good thing. I sanded all parts that were protruding, then used wood putty to fill any cracks/gaps. 

That about wraps it up. Have a wonderful weekend, friends!


  1. What kind of cherries do you have? We have a sour cherry tree, and some years, the birds or a fungus gets them before we do. However this year, we got more cherries than anytime before. But we left a lot on the tree because most of the cherries are out of reach even with a ladder.
    That's a fun way to use the stickers that you got in the mail. I'll have to remember it.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Our cherries are sweet cherries, bing-type.
      Our neighbor across the street has cherry trees that are super tall, too. She picks the pones on the lower branches, but leaves the rest for the birds. I hope your enjoyed the cherries you were able to reach.

  2. I'm glad you were able to save your cherries from the animals. They used to get our peaches every year too. The price of Jell-O is unreal these days. Your use of plain gelatin and koolaid is a verry frugal substitution.

    1. Hi Belinda,
      How frustrating, to lose your peaches to animals.
      I know. I can't believe how expensive Jell-O brand jello has become. I simply won't pay that much. The store brand was about 50 cents a box, but just didn't come in as many flavors/colors. The Kool-Aid gelatin was actually quite tasty and just as colorful.

  3. Birds definitely love cherries ! Last year they ate all of our nanking cherries so this year I put saved washed aluminum tart shells tied onto the branches and it worked great ,I harvested an ice cream bucket full.My husband and I pitted them all and I made a batch of cherry muffins and froze the rest,Our evans sour cherry tree will be ready next week so we'll be picking and pitting them also.I like to can them as a fruit with a med. sugar syrup to be eaten plain or in pies,crisps,cobblers and cake or thickened to top cheesecake.

    1. I will have to try that with aluminum tart tins. I don't know if they would deter the raccoons, however. They can be very persistent. I'm so glad you got an ice cream bucket full. Enjoy your bounty!


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