About gDonna
The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

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Comments On Article: Each Meal Is A Celebration

1,672 posts (admin)
Fri Jun 14, 24 10:11 PM CST

If you would like to share your comments for article Each Meal is a Celebration, this is where to do it! 

Click the Reply To This Topic button below to post yours.

4 posts
Sat Jun 15, 24 2:47 AM CST

Dear Donna,

Each article you post is a celebration!

Thank you.


26 posts
Sat Jun 15, 24 5:22 AM CST

Wonderful post with great ideas and reminders. Four grandchildren with parents that are blind to our shaky world so trying to have enough for all. Please continue to share your wisdom 

12 posts
Sat Jun 15, 24 6:32 AM CST

Thank you for another informative post GDonna, funnily I sat down to read this while I waited for my oven to heat up and my bread dough was on its second prove, it’s a light rye which is one of our favourites and I add extra sunflower seed for crunch. Must admit I’ve never made a baguette but perhaps I should give it a try.

Blessings to all from a very soggy and cold UK, we are hoping that summer turns up soon

20 posts
Sat Jun 15, 24 12:58 PM CST

We were in Memphis this past week and I noticed a few things that gave me pause:

No barges on the Mississippi because water levels are low.

Creeks, streams, and ponds were very low as well.

Soil was very dry in many places and crops were stunted.

Grocery store prices were crazy! A two pound roast was $20 and very poor quality.

Air quality was oppressive from the heat and pollution

My son lives in Florida and they are on water restrictions. I’m in the mountains and though we’ve had a lot of rain this year my garden was dry when I went to plant…. And less than 50% of my NEW seeds germinated.

I think we are facing an environmental and economic crisis and we should get our houses in order…. Learning as you do will make all the difference if those days come! 

5 posts
Sun Jun 16, 24 8:46 AM CST

Hi, Grandma Donna and Grandpa Charles! :)

I always love to read your posts. It feels like we are all seating with you in your living room and you are teaching us how to do things and  how to be wiser. Like a real Grandma would do! ;)

Around here we are changing the way we eat, too. Although we don't have celiac disease, Nuno and I are starting to buy gluten free pasta and flour, instead of the regular ones and introducing more protein and less carbohydrates.

Reading that you are dehidrating vegetables, reminded me that I have to start doing the same and this week I will check our pantry to see what we are short of, so we can stock up on some things.

Sending love, hugs and prayers from us and Tareco to you two, the girls and the kitties!


25 posts
Sun Jun 16, 24 10:59 PM CST

Hi Grandma Donna! 

Lovely and thoughtful post..thank you!

I have actually been thinking about upgrading my food dehydrator.  I bought the one I have many, many , many years ago.  It's not very efficient and has minimal instructions and no controls other than plugging it in.  I took a look at the website for this brand, and am wondering which model you have.  I think I would probably do small batch processing.  

I am curious if you, or any other readers, have dehydrated berries (blueberry, blackberry, mulberry, wine-berry).  I currently freeze them and use them either for baking or with breakfast mixed in with yogurt.  I am wondering about texture when re-hydrating.

We are supposed to have a miserably hot week this weekm with daytime weather in the mid-90's and humid.  Blah!  I hate the heat, especially now that we have lost a lot of old growth trees due to age or disease (emerald ash borer)  They were lovely for shade..  I hope everyone stays comfortable this week!


17 posts
Mon Jun 17, 24 2:36 AM CST

Another timely topic G'Donna.  I have taken early retirement (although in the past I would have retired at 60 anyway!), and have treated myself to a newly refurbished camper van.  It will have minimal (solar), electricity, so, whilst already being mindful of my utilities usage, I am having to learn to up it a notch or two, in practice for van life.

Living on my private pension means that whilst I have enough, I don't have any surplus.  Learning also to live on the very minimum is a 'must'.  Having said that, life is good and I am looking forward to travelling around the UK (I plan to 'Time Team' around England!).  Living in such an elective small space means that I am going to have to go back to basics- your blog certainly has given me a few tips and ideas; thank you.

307 posts (admin)
Mon Jun 17, 24 8:14 AM CST

GRANDMA DONNA WROTE,  Debbie in PA,  The dehydrator is a Magic Mill and has 10 metal trays.  I looked on the back of the dehydrator to see what the model number is, and it states MFD9100.  On Amazon under model it say 9 trays SS 2 I do not know why it says that because it has 10 trays.  We love this dehydrator, this is the third one I have owned and this one we have is extremely quiet.  We can barely hear it running so that is wonderful, I feel very thankful for having this one and no noisy fan. 

Diana, thank you for commenting, I do understand those kind of concerns and it is comforting to know that you are thinking about your family in this way.

Lainey T, let us know if you make baguettes and how they turned out. Your rye bread sounds yummy.

Matty H, I think we need to pay attention to these things and it always makes sense to keep extra food in the home. 

Paula A, I dehydrated two heads of cabbage this weekend and it feels good to have some cabbage back on the pantry shelf.  I wash the cabbage head and slice the cabbage somewhere around 1/4 to 1/2 inch and then blanch it in water for 1 & 1/2 to 2 minutes and then into cool water, drain and spread on the trays.  I think temperatures depend on where we live, the humidity. I dried mine at 135 for 18 hours because it is humid here.  When I re-hydrate it I put boiling water and let it sit for 15 minutes and then I cook it until tender. It always tastes like fresh cabbage as I season it the same. Today I am doing carrots and cucumbers. :)

Sheryl C, It sounds like you have been doing a lot of planning for your retirement. It sounds like a exciting new journey in your life, a new beginning. You will get comfortable and better at it as you go, you will have to pop in and tell us things you have learned. :) I want to share with you that we like to use the solar light bulbs that come with the hangers and the small solar panel to charge them. They look like regular light bulbs that go in lamps.  They can also be charged in their port from power source.  These are good for traveling because the solar panel can be placed on the van dashboard to charge while parked.  They have fancy ones now that have remotes and can dim and brighten and even change the color of the bulb to a soft light.  We found ours on Amazon.

11 posts
Tue Jun 18, 24 2:35 PM CST

The Baguettes look wonderful.  The idea of using 3 qts of water and soap for a bathe is very interesting.  I am going to switch all of our liquid handsoaps out for bar soaps, it just makes sense to me.  

Honestly, I love the food talk on your blog and the pictures.  I come here and see what you have been cooking and eating and make a menu out of the ideas.  It is a sensible way to eat.  It is the way my grandmas both cooked and fed us when we would stay or visit them.

We have turned up our air two degrees during the day to save a bit of money.  I hope it works.  We planted a garden but it seems to be doing bad.  We should be getting more out of it but it just isn't producing and things are dying, we don't know what is up.

Thank you for all that you share here.  I really feel like you are teaching me stuff and certainly reminding me of times past when things were simpler.

3 posts
Tue Jun 18, 24 6:48 PM CST

Grandma Donna,  your posts are so uplifting and inspiring!  The baguettes look delicious.  You are correct that we need to know the old ways for if/when things happen.  Not a lot of people have that knowledge anymore.  I started going back to the basin bath for the winter time.  I remembered it from childhood and also having done those type of baths working in a nursing home.  I feel just as clean doing that as showering and it does use a LOT less water.  Please continue to show us your old-fashioned life in this new day.

307 posts (admin)
Tue Jun 18, 24 8:42 PM CST

GRANDMA DONNA WROTE,  Christina A, the heat is stressing our garden, I did get a late start so that did not help and we need rain.  What seems strange is that when we do get rain, no matter how much the ground is very dry in just a few days.  It seems that the dirt is not the same even though I am trying to get it to be more organic.  I will keep up the food talk :)

Heidi M, the baguette's were very good.  I am still experimenting with soaked grain and flour and enjoying learning more about this.  I miss just going in the kitchen and kneading up my regular bread but I know this is better for us.   I feel just as clean with a bowl bath, once we get the technique of it then it seems normal.  Since our weather has been very dry I washed my hair outside today over the grass since I use a simple shampoo, my mother told me that when she and her sister were growing up they took turns with the pitcher of water helping the other to wash their hair outside.  They did not have a bathroom in the house, they used an outhouse and a hand pump to pump water into a bucket.  Life was so simple back then and many people say that would be too hard of a life but look at the exhaustion too much causes. I am happy that you commented. :)

20 posts
Wed Jun 19, 24 4:40 AM CST

Donna, it always makes my day to see an email telling me you have posted again.

I wanted to mention one small thing.  You indicated that you donate food you'll not be using to a food bank before it "expires".  That's great.  W have definitely seen an uptick in the number of people using the food pantries I help with.  (I volunteer at three different food pantries here in my little corner of East Tennessee.)  I just wanted to share what we consider too far gone to accept as donations, as I fear much food is ending up in a land fill that can still be either eaten at home or donated.  The information we use to check dates can be found on this website and I have certainly found it very helpful in monitoring my own pantry:  https://localfoodbank.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/food_bank_shelf_life_guide.pdf (please note this is not a hyperlink - you'll need to copy and paste into your browser).  I hope this helps someone.

Thanks for all you share.  You are most definitely an inspiration to me. 

64 posts
Wed Jun 19, 24 1:33 PM CST

I had just decided to dehydrate carrots instead of canning them this time, and here I see you are dehydrating carrots!  I have an Excalibur dehydrator which I really like.  I tend to use it outside on my screened porch, although on a cold winter day, I might run it inside.  On really hot days, I will use a slow cooker or toaster oven out on the porch, rather than heat up the house with the stove. 

I eat most of my meals alone these days.  I think I will start lighting a candle now and then.  I refuse to use paper plates, plastic cups, paper napkins and plastic silverware.  I find the dishes one uses on the table - plates, silverware and glassware - are the easiest of all the eating things to either handwash or scrape and put in the dishwasher, so disposables make little sense to use in my situation.  I also think using non-disposables just makes a nicer looking table.  

How are you sealing your grains in jars?  I have a few things I'd like to seal in jars.  

One other question, as you get older, are you finding filled glass jars are getting a little heavy for your hands?  I know a few people who are having to forego glass containers because of the weight. 

Thanks for an interesting post!

307 posts (admin)
Wed Jun 19, 24 2:14 PM CST

GRANDMA DONNA WROTE, Gayle H, thank you for the chart, this is very good information to know.  I found if you click at the end and drag backwards it will copy better.  The one item I was surprised about was baking powder at 18 months after use by.   Thank you for what you do volunteering at the food banks.

Joan S,  Charles Great Grandmother lived alone and would set a formal table for all her meals.  She taught him to cook and told him that she always dressed her table and he would see that she had her best things out on the table for her next meal.  That is a special memory he has and I have a mental one of this.  To answer your question about the grains, we put ours in canning jars and we have a air sealer that will remove the air out of the jar and seal the lid.  We are so thankful for that item.  It is a small handheld and does a great job.  I got it on amazon and just this month I purchased one for my daughter for her birthday.  The other part of that question is everything is getting heavier to me but I am still managing the jars. I have learned to do everything slower and that seems to help me.  Also I wear my knitted gloves to do many things and I get them from an Asian food store that sells them in bulk.  I don't use them for handling the large glass canning jars but I use them when I am peeling vegetables and heavy pots and things like that and now my thumb and finger joints are not as painful so that helps me when I handle the jars.  I actually enjoy peeling carrots and sweet potatoes now that I use the gloves. 

307 posts (admin)
Wed Jun 19, 24 2:21 PM CST

GRANDMA DONNA WROTE, This is in response to questions above.  These are the kitchen gloves that I use.  They are knitted, as I mentioned above they help me grip when peeling vegetables and also washing dishes. I get them at an Asian food store but I think they are also on Amazon.  This is the jar air sealer that I use, there are several kinds sold now, I put the canning lid on the jar and then this over it and press the button to seal. I have another type that I use that came with a air sealer machine.  I am sure they would pop up on a search. 

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