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Jackson Vasey

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since Jul 24, 2015
CT. Zone 6a
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Recent posts by Jackson Vasey

I couldn't agree more! I have a very prolific mulberry tree in my back yard that was here before I moved in, and it took me about 5 years to realize they were edible. But now I see them all over, especially one on the river path in the city, next to some black cap canes, so there's like a week in the summer where I stop and eat the berries that no one else notices (except the birds)

Ryan M Miller wrote:Back in the spring of 2019, I collected several pints of mulberries along a bike path. They are currently frozen in my freezer, but I should have time to make jam out of them in the next two months.

11 months ago
Here are a couple I did for gifts this year, out of a 100+ year old mulberry tree that fell down at my dad's house.
2 years ago
I do a similar thing as mentioned above, which is cooking ground meat and freezing it in approx. 10 oz portions, so tacos or spaghetti sauce are that much faster to make.

For the summer I took to sous vide cooking chicken breasts, simply seasoned, and freezing them in their bags.  The sous vide circulator set at its lowest thaws meat pretty quickly, or I'd get it out in the fridge well enough in advance to thaw for dinner, and finally finish it on the grill.  So this is a lot better quality than any pre-cooked chicken I've bought, but pretty much the same convenience.

For meal planning, I have a spreadsheet with our ~12 or so repeating meals, as well as some 'emergency' meals, listed down rows.  Across columns I have the date for each week, going back about a month, so I can see how much each meal's being used, and if it's time for a break or to bring something back into the rotation.  So I start meal planning for the next week on Thursday, just placing x's for each of the meals for the week, and then I plan groceries around that.  On Sunday I assign the day for each meal based on our schedule for the week (based on planned disruptions in evenings, and work/school schedules).
I also have the "lead time" for each meal, so I can sort of line that up with days I work from home, vs days where I'll be getting home at 5:30 and dinner has to be on the table at 6.

The worst emergency meal is where I throw a cup of dry rice, 2 cups water, and a couple frozen chicken breasts in the instant pot and let it go 15 minutes, and microwave frozen veg in the meantime.  Could be worse, for sure, but it improves if you chop the chicken up and mix it together with some soy sauce or open pit bbq sauce.

2 years ago
I use the wide mouth lid/straw combo pretty much daily for smoothies, sometimes for switchel or lemonade, too:

I just use a baby bottle straw brush to get it clean, and it cuts down on disposable straw use for us.
2 years ago
I've been averaging maybe one spoon every two months, typically when I find a piece of wood that looks like it belongs as a spoon.

I really like the way mulberry comes out, and the good thing is I have 4 mulberry trees in my yard, 3 of which needed heavy pruning last winter.

For the salad tong, I split a piece of maple firewood and liked how crazy the grain was.  I'm just waiting to find a counterpart for it with equally crazy grain and I'll have a set of salad tongs I made.

The birch spoons were surprisingly easy to work; they came from two pieces of firewood we got while camping in VT.  The one with the hole in the bowl was caused when I went too deep carving the bowl.  But it was really fun to do those, I roughed them out with just a hatchet, hook knife, and straight mora knife.  Once they dried I finished them with the knife and sandpaper.

The bowl was my first and only so far, but was very fun.  Roughed with the adze I bought from Bulgaria or some such place on ebay, and finished with a gouge.  Finished that one with just Alfie Shine, which is a lovely product.
3 years ago
I thought I'd share this, just wanted my 3 year old daughter to have a toy plane to go with her other toy tools.  She likes when we pretend to fix things, which usually means knocking it with her wooden mallet or spanner.  Now we'll be able to plane.

She does get to use the real tools down in the shop, but usually it's a plane with the iron retracted.

The bed is a pine 2x3, the tote, 'iron', and 'wedge' are scrap maple I got when breaking down and disposing of an old couch, and the front knob is oak scrap from another project.  It's just finished with some raw flax oil.
4 years ago

Kate Muller wrote: I spend most of my free time mentoring a FIRST FRC Robotics team. Each year the kids have 6 weeks to design and build a 150 pound robot.  Every year  is a different different game. I also work with a group of women firearm instructors who teach women firearm safety and how to shoot. We run shooting events once a month and we have a blast.  Every once in a while I find time to do some sewing and/or jewelry making.  

I am a FIRST FRC alum from before they called it FRC, that was a huge influence on my life, so thank you for volunteering with students.  It made a huge difference in my life.

My hobbies are reading (year-round), woodworking and firewood processing (fall/winter indoor activities), and gardening and building (spring/summer outdoors activities).  I really like making spoons out of firewood blocks, but have only done it on a bench indoors.  I guess I need to learn to make them outdoors with a hatchet a la Dick Proenneke.
4 years ago
Nothing special here, but a couple years back I'd routinely pass my parents house, which had a stack of firewood they weren't going to use. So every time I passed, I'd load up the basket and pannier bags to carry what wood I could. Slow and sure, I got it all home.
4 years ago
Before I dug into my hill and installed cinder blocks, I used an old wooden ladder laid down on the ground. So, it's like the gang plank, but you're stepping on the dirt instead of a board in between the 'rungs'. I would walk only in between the rungs, and put my weight on them if I was gonna slide backwards.
4 years ago
Earlier spoons. I've been finishing with flax oil, seems to work nice. I just tried the method of soaking the spoon for 10 mins in warm water to raise the grain before a final sanding, which worked nice.
4 years ago