Food · Recipe

Food in Jars Mastery Challenge: Salt Preserving

Guys, I kicked butt on Sunday. I swiffered the walls (to get rid of cobwebs), scrubbed the toilets spotless, picked up dog poop in the backyard, swept/vacuumed/swiffered the floors, planted my tomato seeds, made the beds, did laundry AND did the dishes.

But somehow during all of that I found the time to process almost 13 total pounds of lemons I had purchased from Lemon Ladies Orchard. Based in California, Lemon Ladies Orchard offers delicious and fragrant meyer lemons which are Certified Naturally Grown.

My first order – 3 pounds.

Earlier in the week I made lemon bars, following it up with a lemon pie on Saturday. My big “lemon” day was on Sunday when I canned a lemon and ginger concentrate, dehydrated lemons, and made a lemon and rosemary salt for the Food In Jars mastery challenge.

Starting the dehydrated lemons.
Dehydrated lemons – after.

One of three 1/2 pint jars of a lemon and ginger concentrate.

I love canning and trying to preserve as much of my garden harvest as I can. I tend to stick to jams/soup bases/pickles but am always looking for ways to expand my skills. When I came across the year-long food preservation mastery challenge hosted  by Food in Jars earlier in the month, I knew I had to participate. The challenge focuses on a different skill each month.

Calendar of Preserving Skills

January – Marmalade

February – Salt Preserving

March – Jelly OR Shrubs

April – Quick Pickles

May – Cold Pack Preserving

June – Jam

July – Hot Pack Preserving

August – Low Temperature Pasteurization

September – Fruit Butter

October – Drying and Dehydration OR Pressure Canning

November – Fermentation

December – Fruit Pastes

Though I missed out on January, I was excited to hop right in with February’s challenge of Salt Preserving. Since I already have a jar of preserved lemons hanging out on top of the fridge that I started back in January, I decided to create a citrus salt.


As I was making my lemon and ginger concentrate, I zested each lemon before juicing them. I spread the zest out on a pan and added coarse Kosher salt, mixing until I found the ratio I liked. I decided to make it a little heavier on the zest than on salt to reduce my overall salt intake. Using some fresh rosemary from my mom’s house, I clipped rosemary into small chunks, mixing them into the zest and salt mixture.

I’m letting it sit until dry (which if you are in a rush, you can heat it in the oven on your lowest setting until dry), stirring it around whenever I venture into the kitchen. It’ll probably take about 2-3 days for the mixture to dry before I place it in a jar.

I’m excited to use this salt mixture the next time we cook some of our Alaskan halibut. Lemon Ladies Orchard also included some fresh Bay leaves in my box and I can’t wait to use those as well.


5 Things to Help You Get Over the “CRUD”

Remember my post of 5 Ways to Destress During a Busy Time? I thought it was time to do another post relevant to this week. Ever since 2017 hit, it seems like I’ve had a cold that I just can’t shake. A few days will go by with nothing and then – BAM – I’m feeling drained and snotty for a week. It’s been an endless cycle thanks in part to the crud going around. Between the crud circulating at my work and Robb’s work, we just can’t get away from it.

So here are a few of my favorite things to help you get over the crud! Keep in mind that these are the things that I have found to help me. Everyone is different so I recommend checking in with your doctor first if you aren’t feeling well because it could be the sign of something more serious.

  • Ricola Natural Herb Cough Drops – These cough drops are one of the few things I can pop into my mouth when I start hacking that will help calm me. They include a mixture of herbs such as horehound, lemon balm, and mallow. I love the taste of these (maybe one day I will make some of my own).


  • The Southern Belle’s Garden Irritated Lip Salve – This lip salve has been one of my top selling products. I keep it on hand to use daily but love using it when my lips are extra chapped from “mouth breathing” when I’m sick. I combine lemon balm, tea tree essential oil, peppermint essential oil, and a touch of clove to create this lip balm that you will want to make sure you have on hand year around.
Elderberries | Mountain Rose Herbs
  • Elderberry Tea – Elderberries are a great source of Vitamin C and have been used medicinally for hundreds of years of treat cold and flu symptoms. I like to fix myself an tea using elderberries when I start feeling a bit under the weather. I’ll add about a cup of water and 1 tbsp. dried elderberries to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Strain out the berries and add a bit of honey (to taste).


  • Young Living THIEVES Essential Oil – Young Living has a whole line of THIEVES products (from a Foaming Hand Wash to Toothpaste) but I prefer the versatility of the essential oil. THIEVES is a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus radiata and rosemary essential oils making it a great oil to support healthy immune function.3423

    When diffused, THIEVES helps purify the air, and can be very energizing and uplifting however one of my favorite ways to use it is as a non-toxic cleaner after a bout of sickness. I’ll soak my toothbrush in water with a few drops of THIEVES VITALITY or mix a cup of water and a cup of white vinegar with 20-30 drops of THIEVES essential oil in a spray bottle to use as a surface cleaner.

White Mountain Epsom Salt
  • Epsom Salt – I use Epsom Salt in a lot of my products for The Southern Belle’s Garden. I love using it in the bath because of how it helps to detoxify the body. Adding a cup of epsom salt to a hot bath will promote sweating and I always feel better after sweating. Be sure to drink plenty of water after though.

What are your “must-haves” for when you are feeling under the weather?

Interested in receiving your own Young Living oils at a discount? Consider signing up as a Wholesale Member to save 24% off of the retail price on all product purchases! For more information, contact me or click here to join.


October 2014 Homegrown Collective Subscription Box

Even though I received my Homegrown Collective monthly box over a week ago, I’ve waited until now to post my reveal for two very simple reasons. The first reason is that I was in training class all last week for work (I even got to stay in a snazzy hotel). The second reason is that I had to contact customer service regarding an issue. But more on that later.

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October’s theme was “Carbon & Clay” – an instant favorite since I already use a locally made activated charcoal soap and have been touted its benefits from the beginning. The focus of this box is Bentonite Clay and Activated Charcoal. Both have been used by animals and indigenous tribes for centuries because of its ability to absorb toxins.

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This box contained:

  • Pacific Sea Salt
  • Bentonite Clay
  • Activated Charcoal
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Rose Water
  • Aloe Vera
  • Charcoal
  • Various supplies, such as tin trays, toothbrush, mixers, and a glass mug (for the salt?)

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The projects that you can make with this box are: Mesquite Sea Salt, Aloe Vera Face Mask, Teeth Whitener, Hair Mask.

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So why did I have to contact customer service? My box contained two sea salts and no clay. While I was thrilled to receive an extra sea salt (it will definitely be put to good use), I was a little sad not to receive the Bentonite clay. I e-mailed customer service that evening, heard back from them an hour later, and the next morning, a replacement was shipped out. I received my package less than 3 days later and not only was there clay inside, but also some dried rose buds (I think) and dried chamomile – a nice little surprise. One of the customer service reps even followed up with me a week later to make sure I had received everything.

A+ customer service for an A+ box. I can’t wait to make the face masks and the smoked sea salt might make for some good Christmas gifts.

On an unrelated note, meet my ginger bug, currently in its infancy stage. "Baby Bug" was started on Sunday and is still a little shy but has started blossoming just today. Don't worry, "Baby Bug" will receive a post of its own very soon.
On an unrelated note, meet my ginger bug, currently in its infancy stage. “Baby Bug” was started on Sunday and is still a little shy but has started blossoming just today. Don’t worry, “Baby Bug” will receive a post of its own very soon.