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Seven years and many adventures...

Last year, we attempted to dry whole persimmons but the outcome was tossed in the compost pile. But with the purchase of a small five tray dehydrator it's been a game changer. We pick firm persimmons, peel, thinly slice, dry for just over 24 hours, rinse and repeat for the last two weeks. I'm obsessed. We have three full mature trees and we are racing the clock. Once they go soft we can't slice for drying. They are too gooey to place on the trays.

They are crunchy, chewy, and sweet but not too sweet! I had to check the dietary effects and was very pleasantly surprised. Dried Persimmons are a good source of vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning and fiber to regulate the digestive tract. The fruits also provide small amounts of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, and calcium to protect bones and teeth. So I call this this a great snack alternative to anything sugar related.

We've stored them in several large jars and I'm hoping they make it to spring but I make zero guarantees. And we are looking to buy a second dehydrator and will consider packaging these next season. Would you be interested in all natural dried persimmon slices?

Our garden is in full winter mode. Hot peppers, cabbage and leeks are ready to be picked as needed. The spring onions and garlic are doing well and we have one giant pumpkin left. And we have four lemons, one orange, countless persimmons and few grapes left on the vines.

Last week, we managed to squeeze the remaining wild tart pomegranates on a chilly afternoon and took a small hike up the hill. We also celebrated St. Nik's with a fireside roasted lamb. Art finally got to use his motorized rotesry set up. I'll spare you the pictures of said lamb.

And this week, we celebrated seven years of marriage with a day trip up to Boge, Albania and some foraging of wild rose buds (kaça) for our tea collection. The road up above Boge was clear which is rare this late in the year so we drove up to a restaurant with an incredible view of the mountains, and had lunch. Art filmed part of the drive while I was driving.

We enjoyed the snow but were happy to return home where snow is only just visible on the peaks of the mountains.

It was below freezing the but views absolutely stunning.

Art and I have dedicated our long winter nights to narrating and recording my novel, Who Is Maggie. We're new to this and are taking it slow but so far it's less terrifying than I originally thought. I've also looked at manuscript with a finer comb and found some areas on where I can improve upon in a future edition. But we hope to have it ready by spring. And speaking of books the cat's out of the bag. I'll be returning to Missouri to visit family and kick off a second book tour. Celebrating the release of Guide Time Inside, the fourth book in the Ember in Time Series. It's the final book of the series and closes the chapter on my first fantasy series. I look forward to seeing friends and family plus fellow readers on my journey across the pond.

While I am away, Art plans to brew our fermenting grapes and make more raki on a few clear sunny days in the forecast. And of course manage all things homestead in my absence: our many chickens, dog Bobby, and our three little pigs. Yes, three. This will likely be my last post of the year but we have a busy year ahead so check back next month and we'll share our plans for 2023.

Happy Holidays to your and yours. Cheers!

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