Pearl Sutton

steward & bricolagier
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since Oct 02, 2015
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Pearl Sutton currently moderates these forums:
Chronic reader, creative dreamer, a LOT of hand skills to make things real, intense health issues that limit my activity, but not my creativity or dreams. Moved to southern Missouri with enough tools and junk to build a life that might work well with my health. One of god’s gigglers, I punctuate with smiley faces and exclamation points when I type, and smile and laugh a lot in real life. (Often at things no one else understands.) And I both curtsy at people (even when wearing grubby work clothes) and purr when hugged, both online and in real life. “Normal” is not a word that has ever been used for me.
Been organic gardening all my life, and bought 4 acres that I have designed from the ground up. Making it happen is being the most fun I have ever had in my life, the best 3D jigsaw puzzle ever! Reading Mollison’s Designer’s Manual was like coming home, ah, THERE I am! A reality where I can use all of my multifaceted talents and skills!
Dumpster diver, recycler, second hand store shopper, I tell people I am attracted to rust and lace. I have violated every warranty I have ever met, I’m a tool using animal, and I use my tools to modify everything in my world. And it only gets weirder...
SW Missouri
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Recent posts by Pearl Sutton

I just finished making dinner, so I'm not dressed for work, my pockets only contain 2 kleenexes, my pocketknife, and a nasal inhaler thing.

The other day after working I shook out of my pockets: my phone, the piece of metal I keep with the phone, my pocketknife, the nasal thing, kleenexes, channel locks, a carabine, a bolt and two nuts, a handful of cloth plant ties, some pipe cleaner twist ties, a few blackeyed peas, a couple of neat rocks, a bandana, and an earmuff, some bits of pink string, and some safety pins. I also had on my pouch, which had 2 pairs of gloves (leather and mechanic's,) the mower keys, bug bite drops, a few more rocks, a container of cough drops, a fork I was untying knots with, a fork that didn't work for the knots, and a bungee cord.

I like neat rocks!
6 hours ago
Whoo... I don't know about the needles, but I covet your machine! What an excellent beastie!! :D
9 hours ago
I pocketed up a vest Upcycling clothes!
It had a lot, but I wanted more. :D
10 hours ago
A couple of years ago I read a bunch of recipes for vegetarian/vegan holiday meal recipes, and made up my own (as usual) and this year I'll be doing it again, similar to what I did before, since it came out SO good. I do not normally attempt to make things taste like meat, I don't see the point in it, there are much better flavors, but we had meat eating company. My notes say on a 1-10 scale I gave it an 8.5. So here are my notes, for others to think on...

2 packages extra firm tofu
in food processor with:
2 sloppy tsp brewer’s yeast
2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
onion powder
small amount poultry seasoning
1 splash balsamic vinegar
1 splash soy sauce
bit of turmeric for color
bit of beet juice for color
about ½ cup coconut oil

mix till blended and no lumps

mix together
about 1 cup gluten
about ½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp chicken bullion powder

about ¼ of the dry in a bowl, mix in wet until it just barely holds together in marble sized lumps, put into another bowl, same with next ¼ ... trying to keep it from being kneaded, so it doesn't become a brick.

Take the marble sized bits, lay them in rows on cheesecloth, barely roll them together, leaving air pockets. I made a block, then cut it into 6 slices, and restacked them, like I do biscuit dough. Shape to the steamer, wrap the cloth, steam until solid. I used the big pressure canner, with the rectangle deep fryer basket as the steamer, did not seal the lid.

To serve I sliced, marinated in glazes and baked.
Orange, ginger, honey
Butter, poultry seasoning, sage, celery seed, chicken bouillon
Butter, fresh garlic, onion powder, salt
Butter, turmeric, red chile, black pepper, salt

Some explanations: I did NOT want it kneaded up, I was going for a lighter texture than seitan tends to be. This is why I was just barely mixing things. My biscuit dough slicing bit is to pat it into a lump, slice it, stack the slices on edge, press it into a lump, repeat. The idea in the biscuits is to end up with flaky layers, in this stuff it let it adhere without turning into a brick. I didn't slice it repeatedly, like I do for biscuits, only once, to adhere it. I left a lot of air pockets in it, as trying to not crush it. I used a good amount of oil in it, to help un-brick it also.

The tofu kept the whole thing from being just seitan, normally I cook beans, blender them up, and put them into my seitan, but the flavor has a beany whang, and I wanted the protein, the smoothness, and the low flavor of the tofu for this. I tried once using besan (chickpea flour) in seitan, but it's made from raw chickpeas, and really didn't taste very good, so I switched to cooked beans, usually with spices.

The vinegar and soy sauce, and onion powder, all add umami, a complex flavor that tastes "rich" or "deep." A lot of vegetarian recipes I have tried don't have a deep flavor, and that makes them not taste meaty. If you are going for meat flavor, adding umami to it will help. Mushrooms are a deep umami flavor, as is kombu seaweed and roasted onions. I'll probably be using mushrooms and roasted onions this year in my mix.

The deep fryer basket I used is about 2.5 inches deep, 8 inches by 5. It's mesh, and I lined it with cheese cloth, so I could steam it without having it in a solid pan, (I think I supported it in the canner, which is just the biggest pan I have, nothing important about it being a canner, on stainless steel bowls with a rack on top of them) as I think solid pan edges make for really crispy seitan, and I was going for turkey texture, not tough edges.

All of the glazes were good, and the whole thing went over REALLY well.  

So I'll be running a batch again in a few days for Thanksgiving, and will take notes again. Let's see what happens!

I like to play with my food.... :D  
Ever made anything like this? How did it come out? What did you use?
1 day ago

Rebecca Blake wrote:

Pearl Sutton wrote:I am a dumpster diver, recycler, thrift store type, and I sew.

I have never gone dumpster diving before, though my husband has casually picked some things out of his apartment dump back in the day.
What does this look like for you? Where do you dive for clothing/fabric?
I live fairly close to a large outlet mall, would they just dump out of season clothing out back?

Outlet malls, if they dump anything, it's things that are damaged. They tend to not toss much. Might be worth looking, but the ones I have seen don't do it. And depending on your area, they might lock their dumpsters.

The world has changed, I'm cautious of teaching anyone dumpster diving these days, too many possible contaminants. I'm in the habit of always wearing disposable gloves, assuming everything is a biohazard, and REALLY watching what exactly I am doing and touching, and knowing what trash to look in and what not to, but that's hard to teach. Depending on where you are, used needles, bedding used by sick people, and body wastes are very likely to be in there. As well as the standard hazards of cat litter, broken glass, and dead animals. These days I'm most likely to look for things like reusable containers, building supplies, and things that need repair, stuff I can sterilize, basically.

Not sure, with what's going on in the world these days at the schools, if this is accurate anymore, but students in the off campus apartment complexes at big universities tended to toss a LOT of things at the end of the spring semester. Wash it all in hot water, bleach if you can, and don't touch ANYTHING that looks iffy in any way shape or form.

Right now, if I wanted to come up with all the cheap fabric I can eat, I'd hit one of the really low end thrift stores, not Goodwill etc, but the places that have stacks of donations in piles, that are utter chaos to go into. They are often run by charity organizations, and end up with more fabric items than they can deal with, and will quite often take a flat price (make it a fair one!) for a pile.

I'm currently in an itty bitty town in Missouri, and there are two local thrift stores that get donations, they tend to end up with lots of stuff when people die, including whole fabric stashes from older ladies who sewed. I get some nice fabrics there, at great prices. 6 yards of dark blue corduroy for 2.00, etc. Someone bought it for something they never made, and it ends up there. Really worth learning all the weird grubby thrift stores in your area, they get a lot of interesting things.

Remember if you are upcycling clothes to look for parts you like. One of my favorite shirts (it's pictured in this thread I think, sterling blue tank top with bright blue lace work on it) got it's lace from the ugliest children's dress I have ever seen, I felt sorry for any child who had to wear it. Don't just look at the things in your size, look for things you can work with. I was thrift store shopping with another permie recently, it was fun, we were debating whether things were wool, or silk, and if it could be taken apart or not. I don't think either of us got anything to use as it was made. I'm not sure either of us checked a size either. Wasn't what we were concerned with.

Don't forget some things can be dyed too. I change colors to be what I want, and if it doesn't take the dye right, oh well, it wasn't an expensive item I just messed up, and it might be usable still. I bought a silk sweater that still had Cabella's tags on it, white (I do close to zero white) I tried to dye it turquoise, blew it, it came out lavender. Well. Guess I have a lavender sweater (and I learned that the water in Missouri is a very different pH than the water I was used to dyeing with in NM.) Cotton, linen, and rayon all dye easily, silk is weirder, and polyesters don't dye at all. Blends will dye weird.

But do be careful of trash these days, some parts of the world are REALLY flippin iffy right now, and if you wouldn't go into their home and sleep on their floor, DON'T dig in their trash. That rules out most places. The world has changed.....

1 day ago
An Uber passenger tapped the driver on the shoulder to ask him a question. The driver screamed, lost control of the car, nearly hit a bus, went up on the footpath, and stopped inches from a shop window.

For a second everything went quiet in the cab, then the driver said, "Look man, don't ever do that again. You scared the daylights out of me!"
The passenger apologized and said, "I didn't realize that a little tap would scare you so much."
The driver replied, "Sorry, it’s not really your fault. Today is my first day as an Uber driver – I've been driving a hearse for the last 25 years."
2 days ago
A man is driving down the road and breaks down near a monastery. He goes to the monastery, knocks on the door, and says, "My car broke down. Do you think I could stay the night?" The monks graciously accept him, feed him dinner, even fix his car. As the man tries to fall asleep, he hears a strange sound.

The next morning, he asks the monks what the sound was, but they say, "We can't tell you. You're not a monk."
The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and goes about his merry way.

Some years later, the same man breaks down in front of the same monastery.
The monks accept him, feed him, even fix his car. That night, he hears the same strange noise that he had heard years earlier.
The next morning, he asks what it is, but the monks reply, "We can't tell you. You're not a monk."

The man says, "All right, all right. I'm dying to know. If the only way I can find out what that sound was is to become a monk, how do I become a monk?"
The monks reply, "You must travel the earth and tell us how many blades of grass there are and the exact number of pebbles. When you find these numbers, you will become a monk."

The man sets about his task. Forty-five years later, he returns and knocks on the door of the monastery. He says, "I have traveled the earth and have found what you have asked for. There are 145,236,284,232 blades of grass and 231,281,219,999,129,382 pebbles on the earth."

The monks reply, "Congratulations. You are now a monk. We shall now show you the way to the sound."
The monks lead the man to a wooden door, where the head monk says, "The sound is right behind that door."

The man reaches for the knob, but the door is locked. He says, "Real funny. May I have the key?"
The monks give him the key, and he opens the door.

Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone.
The man demands the key to the stone door.

The monks give him the key, and he opens it, only to find a door made of ruby.
He demands another key from the monks, who provide it.

Behind that door is another door, this one made of sapphire.
So it went until the man had gone through doors of emerald, silver, topaz, and amethyst.

Finally, the monks say, "This is the last key to the last door."
The man is relieved to no end.

He unlocks the door, turns the knob, and behind that door he is amazed to find the source of that strange sound.

But I can't tell you what it is because you're not a monk.
2 days ago
A fly feels a bug on its back.

"Hey, bug on my back, are you a mite?" the fly asks.

"I mite be," giggles the mite.

"That's the worst pun I've ever heard," groans the fly.

"What do you expect?" says the mite. "I came up with it on the fly."
2 days ago

Faye Streiff wrote:When I think of all the tools I’ve laid down in the garden or pasture when we were working on projects, never to be found until a year or so later when they were rusted and useless....

Not related to pockets, but I paint all my tools hot pink. I got tired of trying to find them. Not my first choice of color (I'd rather they were purple) but most visible against the grass and dirt.
3 days ago
Don't know if I'm useful here at all, I'm a recycler, dumpster diver sort, I'd be using paper where I could (just fold it up to wrap stuff) and reused glass jars for liquids. I don't know about the UK, but here so many people have a pile of jars,that if you asked your local folks for used jars with lids, you'd have enough to give away to the tourists who don't have their own.

Paper doesn't have to be in bags to work, paper and string was classic historical packaging for things. Think gift wrapping techniques. I could easily wrap a pile of frozen peas.

And an utterly weird idea out of left field, baked tasty pastry shells that can carry things home and then be eaten!

I think it's very cool you are doing this, and I hope it goes well :D
3 days ago