Jain Anderson

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since May 18, 2019
Northernmost California
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Recent posts by Jain Anderson

I learned to use a pressure cooker by helping my mom make dinner - in the 1950s. Stews, swiss steak, pot full of potatoes, corned beef hash etc. My mom in turn gave me a (4 qt.)pressure cooker when I was first married (1970) which I still use today. I use my probably weekly on average, more in winter for cooking, more in summer for food storage uses. Over the years I have collected several pressure cookers - a 22 qt. canner, 4 qt. stainless steel, 2 qt. 'fry pan style' ($1 at garage sale) and 6 qt. stainless steel which is fabulous for canning small batches (4 pints) of garden produce when harvest trickles in a few tomatoes/beets/apples etc. at a time. Come winter I use my cookers on our wood stove getting extra work from BTUs otherwise only used for heating the house.

One thing I like to make is sweet/sour red cabbage. Traditionally its cooked for hours and produces an aroma many don't like. The pressure cooker makes this in minutes and with much less odor. However it still draws flies like a magnet! (even thru screens on windows!).
11 hours ago
Just a fun addition to this thread - I received an 'ethnic' cookbook complied from my great grandmother's emigrant family group. People of her back ground (Russian German) all included recipes that they and their families eat during the 'pioneer' days (late1800s/early 1900s). After looking through it I 'subtitled' it -  1000 ways to cook 100 things using 20 ingredients. Most people now would not choose to make or eat these type of foods which where mainly carbs and fats ;-) But i had to admire the resourcefulness and cleverness of these women who kept their families fed with very limited resources.
11 hours ago

Dewayne Cushman wrote:I was trained as an engineer, and currently a baker, so I have trouble with cookbooks based on guessing and "feeling".

If a recipe calls for 1 cup of chopped carrots, why not say that the cup also has a mass (weight) of 125g. Every person chops carrots differently, but the carrots lend their flavor based on the mass of the material.
What is 1 medium onion? 50g/100g/1000g?
I like Thomas Keller's salt measurements if you don't provide a mass (2-finger pinch of salt, 3-finger, etc.) But it makes for a more consistent recipe if you also include 4g salt. (I even use my powder scale for reloading on some small measurements in grains (1 grain = 1/7000 of US lb. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grain_(unit))

Like a few others have said, I rewrite most recipes that I've worked out in a way that makes sense to me. Usually with a mass and volume measurement.

It sounds like you are doing more than due diligence to make a great cookbook.

Also, when providing mass ratios, it makes it easier to scale a recipe to any size.

100g flour
100g butter
100g eggs

x4, x10, or even x 0.4 the ratios work out whether for a cake, or a pot of stew. Might research baker's percentages. Also, http://www.cookingforengineers.com/ might be off the beaten path for recipes, but I always check it first when searching for new things to try.

Looking forward to seeing your cookbook. Keep the thread updated, or add new ones as you progress. You can build quite a following by keeping people involved in the process.

Good Luck!


Dewayne, I also switched from US standard measurements (cups etc.) to weight of ingredients for most of my recipes, especially baking. Weight is more accurate and I find also quicker to measure. It has the added value of allowing (dry) ingredients to be measured all a once and mixed (wisked/sifted) together for better mixing with 'wet' ingredients. I have a little reference sheet in the front of my rcipe binder listing different ingredients and their (cup) weights, example - sugar 200 Gms., flour (wheat) - 100 Gms, rice (& rice flour) 125Gms. etc. My scale is just a kitchen one that isn't as accurate as what one would use in a lab, but seems to work fine. And of course one can adjust (+/-) to consistency and taste as experience builds.
11 hours ago
I have kept only a few cookbooks over my 50+ years of cooking - a few for 'reference' ability (Joy of Cooking for its Ingredients section, 1940's Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, and Laurel's Kitchen for nutrition references). Overtime I have kept recipes that I've re-written to my own taste and preparation way notes. I've put these into computer (word) files so I could print them and place them in a 3 ring binder. This allows me to have only the recipes I need to follow laid out in the pattern/order that works best for me. It also allows me to write 'update' notes on the recipes for next time I make them and for updating on my computer to printout again. The binder I got has a clear plastic cover where I have inserted an 'Index' of my recipes for reference plus lets me wipe it clean as use shows on it.

Beyond that I do have a small collection of older cookbooks that I like mainly for how these are more basic ingredients oriented.
3 days ago
Glad you are resettling in the area fire pushed you out of. We have lived with a gravity fed water system in 2 places for a total of over 35 years. My fingers are crossed for your new system to work well for you, but I thin you are going to find that its not as satisfactory in supply as you would like. We learned the basics of water systems from - https://smile.amazon.com/s?k=Michael+Hacklemann&ref=nb_sb_noss .

The book referred to pipe sizing in regards to distance (resistance to flow) and volume (gallons/minute) desired from which size pipe. I suspect your 1" pipe will limit your volume, not for trailer use, but water for farm uses as well. The elevation between your storage tank and trailer will determine the pressure your receive. Figure LESS than 1# of pressure for every 2 feet of elevation. Again, adequate for trailer use, but may not work for some permanent household needs (clothes washing machine).

So wonderful that your well survived! Depending on the depth of the water. its flow rate (GPM) and elevation of tank above water level. a solar set up might happily work for you. We currently have a low volume well - 2-3 GPM  that works fine for us. The water depth is 100' and 3 55W PV panels operate a DC pump that slowly pushes water into our storage tanks located well above our house. 2 or 3 GPM doesn't sound like much compared to a pressure system that delivers much more GPM. However if you figure that 2 gallons a minute = 120 gallons EACH hour for say even 6 (daylight) hours that = 720 gallons each day (into storage tanks). If you have been hauling water (been there, done that!), you are learning to be nicely conservative with water use ;-) Never a bad lesson.

I do have a concern for your pipes being exposed - freezing come winter. And as much as you truly want running water NOW, having to go back and re-do your current set up is going to be time and energy (mainly yours) consuming.

Wishing you luck and happy results.
3 days ago
Happily there is a reasonable cremation service for pets in our area. We used it for our last beloved pair and were able to bring them 'home' and spread their ashes where each dog loved to be.
2 weeks ago
Hello all. I thought it might be time for me to introduce myself. I've made some posts on various forums so bits a pieces of my 'story' are to be found. Will try and fill in gaps and provide broader insight into my joining in here.

I grew up in the 50s and 60s in an area then known as Santa Clara valley. It was a delightful place for an active kid to be. Our neighborhood was wall to wall kids who played together, often in the streets! Some of us (me included) loved to 'explore' and DO. There were fields and orchards to check out, push carts to build and baseball to play. The area was in 'development' - fields and orchards slowly giving way to industrial plants and more tract houses. By the 1970s Santa Clara valley was on its way to being Silicon Valley. I still mourn the loss of all the fabulous growing fields and orchards, but as one person pointed out - the concrete is serving to 'preserve' the soil underneath ;-)

Happily I married a man who like me enjoyed 'boondocking'. Our weekends found us driving out of city areas and enjoying more country settings. We eventually found an abused 40 acre property and agreed that it would be where we preferred to live. The next 20+ years we slowly reclaimed the over grazed pastures, self built a passive solar adobe, powered by a solar electric system, developed a natural landscape, little garden and planted 30 fruit and nut trees. Loved that place until . . .  the citidiots (neighbor's word) started moving in around us. In hindsight its interesting how people move 'out' but then expect all the city amenities too. As the (community) road got more and more ruined, the traffic in and out increased and water table dropped (lawns in an arid area?!), it became more and more apparent to us that while we hadn't changed, the area had. We began looking thruout several states for 'next' property and after a few years found a bit of 'junk' land (rocky hillside/poor grazing) that suited us fine. The land was cheap because it was beyond power lines, a brushy mess and in a 'depressed' area. We cashed out of our beloved place and transferred our hearts to the new place. Here we had built a pleasant little house, with new solar electric system powering it mightily and slowly developed some garden beds carved into a very rocky hillside.

Living in the bosom of nature is a very LIFE enhancing experience everyday. Ma Nature can seem cranky and irrational at times, but she remains TRUE to herself, doesn't B$ us. Once one gets in step with whatever she dishes out, life is grand.
OK, that's my back ground. Here's what I have made use of that got us here -

1) LOTS of reading/research. Ken Kern's books, OLD (pre 70s) Sunset publications, issues 1 -120 of the original The Mother Earth News, issues 1 - 70 of Home Power magazine, Fertility Pastures, Anthony Adams - Your Energy Efficient Home, and maximizing our own heads and hands. (wear out pencil and paper before picking up shovel and hammer)

2) A very 'efficient'/frugal/DO 'it' yourSELF attitude. Ca$h le$$ is very possible if one uses one's intelligence, creativity and hands over currency outlay.

3) Heaps and heaps of determination. Can do vs. victim mentality.

4) Discovering and working within the knowledge of the difference between 'assist' and 'help' (as in do FOR another). Encouragement is polite, as is mutual respect, especially of differences. (Nature thrives on variety)

5) Realistic 'economic' lifestyle. Money is a TOOL not an objective/goal. Debt free = freedom.

I have also coined my own word for our chosen 'lifestyle' - mioneering - which blends and makes use of modern and tradition practices that best produce an obtainable, in step with nature and realistic life for us. It has helped us life a 'retired' type of life for the last 30+ years.

There is one thing that would enhance our current life - IF some younger, as determined and 'permie' attituded person/people would settle in our location to develop and provide eats that age and location prevent us from doing. There have been a couple of half hearted attempts hereabouts, but not realistic (like10X price?!?) which collapse probably due to poor/lack of business plans and no stick-to-it-ness. Sad when one considers the resources of (unused) land, and knowledge base (lots of older DIYers like ourselves). I have been encouraged by some of the posts here, but also sigh to read mainly 'hot-to-go' idealists who seem to think such an endeavor is more 'Farmville' than dirt under nails WITH happy pay back. I hope to see and find that tipping towards reality.

BEST wishes to all - Jain
2 weeks ago
@ Tyler -"Oh, and yeah, I would not be able to live with all those people under my roof.  I have very low human people tolerance.  Pretty good non-human people tolerance, though."

I got tired of people thinking I must be anti-social because I do prefer peace and quiet living. I've come to inform those who try to tag me that way that, no not anti-social, Im just micro social ;-) People in small doses who want to chat on interesting topics - oh yes! But mobs doing a 'collective thing' no thanks! (and enjoy to those that do like big gatherings)
@ CK - "I do realise that the idea expounded about community on this site is that the ideal, the opimum and ultimate permacultural level indicates that we share our roof with near two-dozen other people; I reject that idea."
Bravo for you CK expounding on your thoughts about 'community'. For me community comes from the word common - as in what is (voluntarily) shared. Community is the 'results', not a mandate/directive. The best book I've ever read (and still have) on 'community' is Karl Hess's Community Technology. And for those that have never heard of Karl Hess, he was a FREE man who was mainly self educated, initially sidetracked by politics and finally lived HIS life as freely and in step with nature as he could manage. I got our library to obtain his autobiography - Mainly On The Edge - to read about him. An inspiring man who lived his life by his own ideals, very admirable.
Travis, you are a DOer! Love what you have made by and for yourself. I would love for anyone with equal roll-up-sleeves and DIG in attitude to do exactly what you did, but in my area. Just like you found your original 'shared' acreage, there is MANY such options here. I[m past the heavy lifting stage myself, but I do see several unused acreage options here (northernmost California) that could be approached just like you did there. Your gain in experience and thrifty living with full return payback is a 'ticket' that sadly way too few see let alone GO FOR.

I do hope that your posting here will get those happy few off their desk chairs and out playing with dirt.

This thread is a few years old, how about an update? (further inspiration?!)
2 weeks ago