Old dehydrated food doesn't get dangerous, as far as I know. It just loses flavor and nutrition. I bought dehydrated veggies and they were still good after 3 years. When they were closer to 10 years old I fed them to the chickens.
So, if they taste OK, they are OK. The big risk in preserved food is botulism, it can kill you and it doesn't change the taste obviously. This pathogen can't grow in acidic environments, which is why you can water bath can fruits and tomatoes. It also doesn't do well in dry environments, or oxygenated environments. Thus, dried fruit should be fine. Maybe be sure to cook the corn.
Gotta speak up for menstrual cups - they are awesome!
Mine (a Diva cup) is made of silicone and can be used and reused for years, probably decades.
You have to fold it to insert it, and then I recommend twirling it to make sure you have it well placed, but that's it!
In a small bathroom, it's easy to rinse out, if you have to empty it in a bathroom stall you just wipe it out with toilet paper.
No big whoop.
steve bossie wrote:the french acadian way was to bleed the animal alive by cutting its throat. they said you got more blood and the meat was better. after hearing the pigs slowly die , it turned me off to boudain, french for blood sausage.
When I was at the University of Illinois I used to collect fresh pig's blood for immunology research. They had a device that was like a defibrillator, you put one paddle on the forehead and the other on the side of the head under the ear, and when the button was pushed all the legs would go stiff and the pig would fall over, out cold.
Then a chain was placed around a rear leg and the pig was hauled up so that it hung head down. The carotid arteries would be cut and the pig would bleed out, completely unconscious. I would step up with 4-6 big collection tubes (they held 60ml and fit in the centrifuge) and just plunge my hands into that fountain of blood. It was a little creepy, but I never felt like the pig was suffering. In fact, it seemed a very humane way to harvest a pig. The other pigs in the group never seemed to get upset, they could hear but couldn't see what happened. I wonder how much a device like that costs?
Eliot Mason wrote:Re: Water and the kitchen. <snip>
Thinking about water delivery... what about using a 275 gallon IBC poly tote? Its not hard to find ones that have had food (such as oil or vinegar) in them, they seal tightly, have a bottom valve and (drum roll) they can be picked up by the tractor using a pair of pallet forks. Thus the tractor could be used to drive a full container of water to the lab (or wherever...), and then, because its acting as a fork lift and can, you know, lift things, the tote could be place on an elevated platform. Now we've got water, some water pressure (or at least a height differential), and with two totes the tractor can ferry back an empty tote or there could be two full totes to feed the kitchen.
Things I'm not sure about ...
algae - the translucent tank allows algae growth over time
does the tractor even have a pair of detachable pallet forks? and is it reasonable to think it can be available for this task?
weight - just the water in a full tote weighs just under 2300 lbs, the tote something like and additional 130 lbs . I think the tractor can lift 2, 275 lbs.
an external elevated rack - that's a structure to build, and move. do we have time to do that?
So, Eliot will be pulling out of the Portland area with an empty truck tomorrow morning, and his trip takes him right by a place that sells these totes. Is this a thing that would be helpful, or is it uncool and unwelcome due to its materials or the drawbacks noted above?
I feel like I'm more shy now than I was ten years ago. I'm not sure, I think I may just be exhausted by getting people's stories and dispensing advice all day. Or, my shy daughter is rubbing off on me?
Regardless, I'm avoiding more things. I always go over to our old house after yoga at the ecovillage on Sunday mornings, and tend to my gardens there. Today, I walked over there and realized that the renters were hanging out on the back porch, enjoying the beautiful day, and I just turned around and went back to my car at the ecovillage, to do a couple things on the computer first.
I did eventually go and say hello and tend to my garden (which is a good 40-50 feet from the back deck) but it took some effort. And, these are friendly people who have been living in community (at the ecovillage) for years before they started renting our old house, so they aren't as bothered as you might think having the landlady show up in the back yard.
Yes! I have a gas burner now, a big old Volvo station wagon, to drive out to Montana from Portland on June 8th, and drive back on June 12th. So, if you can get to the Hollywood MAX stop in Portland, and you are a nice person, you could ride out with me for this.
If you are up for a 4 week stay, and you can get ready to leave by Tuesday, you could go out with Eliot and come back with me. Eliot is driving a big Ford pickup truck, so if there is some person nearby with a cool thing they want to give to Paul to help the empire, we could maybe haul that.
Is the pH above 7? Compost and organic matter tends to bring the pH toward neutral (or even a bit below) as it improves soil quality.
I find your problem ironic, because I have 40 acres south of Portland and it's all too acidic. I'm trying to think how I can bring the pH up in my pastures and orchard. (The forest likes being acidic, I think.)
I have some glass bread pans, I'm thinking cast iron might be quite slow to heat up, but you might get cool effects if you pre-heat, a la the no knead bread recipe that uses a very hot enameled cast iron dutch oven.
Lambsquarters is a lovely substitute for spinach. When I lived in Wisconsin, it came up so reliably, and in such numbers, that I stopped planting spinach and just harvested baby lambsquarters.
I would pull the leaves from the stems, blanch and freeze, just like spinach. Then I'd use them in omelettes for most of the year. I actually like lambsquarters more than spinach.
Now that I live in Portland, I'm surprised how seldom I see this "weed." I had one show up in my back yard, where we had broken up the turf, and I let it grow 6' tall to try to get some seed. I then collected and scattered that seed all over my garden beds, but no luck. No baby lambsquarters, although I got creeping Charlie for miles.
Another sub for spinach can be nettles, these are super nutritious, but the texture is a little coarse.
For most substitutions, you just need to try it. I think you're right about pumpkin and squash and sweet potato. They all make fine pie.
"Ratio" is a fine book. It's also a smartphone app, FYI.
I save bones in the freezer, then load up the pressure cooker. I used to run the pressure cooker for ages, but my husband convinced me that the broth tasted overcooked with 12 hours of cook time. I still run it on the high pressure for at least 3 hours. When finished, the chicken bones will crumble with pressure from your fingertips.
I try not to break the bones as I'm filtering the broth into jars - that can make the broth a little cloudy. The broth I get from the pressure cooker is rich, full of gelatin, and quite clear.
I simmer turmeric in diluted chicken bone broth, adding freshly ground pepper and salt, then drink it as an anti-inflammatory health potion. I also love using the broth for soup, for chicken and dumplings, and of course for gravy!
Today I harvested one chard plant and two "branches" of purple ribbed dino kale (which is starting to make sprouts that look just like broccoli). I also found that a purple broccoli I planted last summer finally made a head! The harvest was so pretty I had to take a picture.
I chopped up the kale (after removing the ribs) and cooked it with a bit of bacon and ham. I added a bit of seasoned salt, and a thin drizzle of a balsamic vinegar reduction sauce.
Next I separated the chard stems from the greens, chopped them and cooked them in lard (there was no more bacon) with salt and pepper. I chopped the chard greens and put them in a little later, then topped it with three eggs. I moved the eggs around to cook all of the whites (keeping the yolks on top of greens) and then turned off the heat, letting the residual heat from the cast iron pan cook the yolks (which I stirred into the dish at the end of the process).
I was amazed that all those greens ended up filling just a 9" square glass pan, and further amazed that my family of four ate every last bit!
I think it's worth a try. You might want to dehydrate "young" sauerkraut, by which I mean sauerkraut that hasn't been fermenting quite as long. Then, when you are traveling, you rehydrate it a day's worth at a time and give it some time to "wake up" and start fermenting again. Does that make sense? Like maybe you rehydrate it, then let it hang out, hopefully fermenting, overnight and then eat it in the morning.
I would try this while still at home, so that if you feel things are going off the rails, you can immediately consume some of your good lively ferments.
Instant pot is just a fancy pressure cooker/multicooker but it seems like a great idea, especially for people who don't already have a good pressure cooker. It would also be great for anyone with a small kitchen.
Pressure cookers make the best bone broth! They extract ALL the gelatin from cartilage.
When I'm cooking a tough roast, I will usually fry up onions and load them into my slow cooker. Then I will put more fat in the pan and brown all the surfaces of the meat. Then the meat goes into the slow cooker and some liquid is used to cover it (fruit juice can be really good). The last time I did this, chunks of sweet potatoes and parsnips went in as well. Carrots and regular potatoes are more traditional.
I would call fat from sheep tallow rather than lard. I save the word "lard" for pig fat. Tallow is more saturated than lard, which means it is firmer or harder. Lard is partially unsaturated, which makes it softer. Both are good for cooking, although of course the flavor varies. Soap is a great use for fat that doesn't taste good.
The finest fat for baking, in my opinion, is "leaf lard" from around the kidneys of a pig. This can make a bright white fat without much porky flavor. The best fat for cooking, again of course in my opinion, is regular lard from a pig, like from rendered back fat. I tend to render lard in my oven. I will run the fat through the meat grinder, removing meat bits, and then spread it out in a wide pan. I cook it at a low temp and collect the fat multiple times. The first few pours are the whitest, and towards the end the fat has more brown color and more pork flavor. For many uses, that's just fine! The crunchy brown bits left at the end are cracklings, and great to salt and sprinkle on something, like a casserole or corn bread.
Beef tallow is also great for cooking, especially for cooking onions. French onion soup, anyone? (That's traditional - onions cooked in beef fat and then in beef broth.) More saturated fat is less likely to go rancid. Beef tallow is famous for making the best french fries, and there are stories of restaurants who never throw away their oil, just strain out the bits and keep re-using it. That's not going to work with canola oil!
I haven't had enough experience with sheep fat to comment.
I'm making a turmeric infusion most nights, to help with plantar fasciosis. Sometimes 2 cups of chicken broth but lately more like 1.5 cups of water and 0.5 cup homemade chicken broth, then simmer with 3/4 tspn turmeric, a couple grinds of black pepper and a bit of salt. The chicken broth provides fat, which helps with absorption, and some collagen (because it's homemade broth and a gel at fridge temperature).
I simmer for 10 minutes, ideally, then pour into a big mug and add some ice cubes to make it drinkable. I have made it by pouring boiling water onto turmeric powder and covering the cup, that way there's no stirring, but I think the long simmer is better. It's notably helpful as an anti-inflammatory.
Jocelyn Campbell wrote: Though what helped me reduce the grease even more than that was to stop using soap. I think my body was cranking out excess oil as protection against the constant stripping action of the soap! My skin is far less greasy now.
Hear, hear! Soap is over rated. (BTW, acne is not the result of too much oil. Acne is when your pores get clogged, and it's sebum, not oil.) I think many people would be surprised with how nice their skin could become if they simply washed with water and a rough cloth and applied a little coconut oil if that treatment left them feeling dry.
When I was in high school, people told me I needed to remove the oil from my face, and I tried and tried. There was this stuff called Sea Breeze - I bought it by the gallon! The more I stripped off oil, the more oil my skin produced.
Last night my older daughter asked "So, are you guys doing anything for Valentine's Day?"
I looked over at Eliot.
He said "Um, we got some cows."
Which is true - we just got some Dexter cattle: a 3 or 4 year old cow, a yearling bull and a yearling heifer.
This sounds fun! I had a great time when Cassie and John and I drove out from the Portland area and stayed for the staff retreat, or whatever it was called. I'm looking at the weekend of June 8-10, maybe leave work early on Friday the 8th, then take off Monday and Tuesday, so we'd get there Friday night, have Saturday and Sunday and Monday and then travel back on Tuesday the 12th. The only issue I can see is that I would be missing the last days of my younger daughter's school year - I don't know if I need to be around to push her to finish projects and such.
I would greatly prefer to share the trip with others. In fact, my family has nothing but 100% electric vehicles, and mine, an e-Golf, has just 120 miles of range so that would necessitate multiple stops. My husband's car is a Chevy Bolt, it has 240 miles of range and has already been to Wheaton Labs. You just have to arrange meals and rest stops around charging stations. Still, if someone had a regular gasoline car, I'd gladly help out with gas money! I have tents enough to share, so don't let that stop you. My new favorite way to sleep outdoors is in a tent hammock, but I think I'd still want a tent to hold stuff and for changing clothes.
Anyway, if you live near Portland, or can get to Portland Oregon, maybe we can share the trip!