Life has been a little crazy lately and I think that will continue for most of the summer. Grandma held on longer than anyone thought she would, sadly in a lot of pain or sleeping. She died peacefully last Friday evening with my aunt and I by her side. There will be an auction to prepare for and relatives coming and going. We have been enjoying seeing and visiting with so many relatives. In the past week I have cooked for and had a house-full of family on several occasions and was pleased to discover that I could make everything from our stored food in both the pantry and freezer. I have seen the value of a well-stocked pantry and I will continue to work hard this summer building our pantry up for the colder seasons to come and for the convenience of having on hand what I need to make several meals for expected or unexpected guests.
On top of everything else, we need to have drain tile put in our basement this summer and because of the way the house and garage sit on the lot we will have to have this put on the inside rather than around the outside of the house. This means moving everything in our basement either upstairs or several feet away from the outside walls. The pantry has already been moved upstairs, sharing space with my many bookshelves, to avoid the dust that will be created as the concrete is broken up. It will be a month or more before the workmen can start the job, but due to work schedules and other commitments we have begun cleaning out and moving things already. The up side of all this is we have already gotten rid of several items we have not used in several years, sharing these with other family members who will make use of them and clearing out space at the same time.
When I bought strawberries a few weeks back I also came across large bags of lemons and limes for an excellent price. I dehydrated several providing us with a quart jar of lime slices and another of lemons for use in water glasses and jugs. I also zested some of the lemons and limes and then juiced them, freezing the zest in 1 tablespoon measurements and the juice in ice cube trays which measured about 1 tablespoon each. I can use the juice and zest in baking and I also used one lemon juice cube in glasses of water when I had company, this gave the water a nice fresh lemon flavor. My writing and reading may be a little scarce right now, but I am still cooking, putting in a garden, and preserving foods.