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Julia Winter

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since Aug 31, 2012
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Julia Winter currently moderates these forums:
Pediatrician with a Master's Degree in Nutritional Sciences. Moved to Portland, Oregon in the summer of 2013. Took Geoff Lawton's first online PDC in 2014.
Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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Recent posts by Julia Winter

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.
4 days ago
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.
4 days ago

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?
4 days ago

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 tend to trust my nose.  You can't smell botulism, but the pink salt should keep that from happening.

    It could just be there was more protein (as in blood) leaking out of the meat than the brine could handle.
    1 week ago
    Mint and cucumber slices in a jug of ice water - so refreshing!
    1 week ago
    It could be OK.  I would make a new brine, pull the meat out of the old brine, maybe rub it with salt, then rinse off and put in the new brine.

    This is for traditional ham that ends up cooked, right?
    1 week ago
    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.
    I'm confused.  The hammer at the first Amazon link looks nothing like what's in the video.

    Is it true that the key characteristic is that the end that strikes the rock is parallel to the handle?
    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.