Monday, May 12, 2014

Fridge is clean: A Reprise

To celebrate today's fridge cleaning I am reposting an entry on this same topic from seven years ago:

The Bowl in the Back of the Fridge

There are some ancient horrors waiting to trap the unwary. In the cold of mid-winter the ancients would use the light of the sun with industry and sit next to their fires to fend off the demons of frost and dark. They faced fierce fang and claw, antler and hoof, placing meat before their families-keeping them warm and safe.

The dark did not change. The cold did not change. But as laziness is the mother of invention, our forebears looked for an easier way.

Electricity could make light without the smoke of oil, and without the danger of fire. Electricity could heat without the work of chopping wood or hauling coal.

Refrigeration meant that one could hunt one day and not have to throw away the meat that didn't cure well or get canned. Fruits of summer could be kept frozen for winter. Even daily food could be over prepared and saved for the next several days.

Less work, fewer fears.

Except the bowl in the back of the fridge.

It lies in the dark most of the time, out of sight, lost in forgetfulness. Only when the door is opened does the light shine and the vague recollection of conscience push at our awareness. Ofttimes the mind puts on an active burst after the head is on the pillow for night but before sleep.

A remembrance of the bowl. A promise to get to it in the morning.

But those last fleeting moments from where all the good, true, and noble ideas spring are lost in the forgetfulness of sleep.

Everyone has to face this fear of a new generation: a generation with electricity and refrigeration; a fear unknown to the farmers and hunters who lived off the land by the sweat of their brow. The fear that has no real name, but is known by its container, and its location:

The bowl in the back of the fridge.

It is a testament to our age. It is a vile smell to a conscience that should be more sensitive. It is the grotesque reminder of a gift wasted. It is the onerous and primal duty of the head of the house to clean:

The bowl in the back of the fridge.

But you know, sometimes they can be quite pretty.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Egg factory and the Visitor

We  didn't get to decorating eggs this year until Easter itself. It is a bit of a production in our house.
 Our set up consists of two tables. One for coloring. We used hard boiled eggs, food coloring, paper towel, spoons, and crayon. The kids can color the eggs with crayon for a wax resist. This can be left as the color of the crayon or melted off later to leave the color beneath.
 Then there is the finishing table. Here the eggs dry between colorings, after coloring, or are decorated with crayon-either for color or wax resist.

The hardest thing was keeping the little ones from grabbing eggs which weren't quite dry an dropping them into the next color.  Wet eggs throw the dye batch in the cup off more quickly.
 In the middle of egg coloring I heard a noise in the garage. He was banging on the window trying to get away.
 I captured him gently and brought him in to show the kids. Of course, some had different reactions from others:
 But all in all they were pretty excited to see and pet the little guy.
 Inge wanted me to put it in a cage so we could keep him.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Candied Jalapenos

Well, it's a mix of jalapenos and hungarian peppers. But the basic recipe I followed is over at Tasty Kitchen: Candied Jalapenos.

Wash em up and then slice off the ends. Lots of people recommend using gloves when cutting hot peppers. I suppose that would keep my eyes from watering so much when I forget and rub my eyes.


Then slice em all up about 1/8 inch thick.
The dry ingredients are sugar, tumaric, granulated garlic, celery salt and cayenne.
Two cups of apple cider vinegar are poured over the dry ingredients and the mixture is brought to a boil.
When the mix has simmered for a few minutes the pepper slices are added. Those are simmered together for another few minutes.
Then the peppers are ladled out with a slotted spoon. The sauce is heated back up to boiling.
The peppers are packed into sterile jars and then topped with the juice close to the top of the jar.
Follow the directions for your own canner. It will depend on the canner, the size of the jars, and your altitude.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Snow to Fire!

Just three days ago everything was covered in snow.

This evening the sky is on fire to the east.

It's the burning.

The air is filled with a luscious aroma of smoke, the sounds of eager leopard frogs, and Sandhill Cranes at a smorgasbord.

Two warm days and the fields are clear. Some snow remains in the woods and in shaded spots. But the dry grassland is on fire now.

It's time to be careful and watchful.

With my historical research into Christian Holy Days and Paganism I wonder if there was a similar experience in Britain and northern Europe during this season that might be part of the background of Beltane.

So, off to the books I go.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Scanner Repair

Northern Lights Bookstore was throwing out a broken scanner that was donated. (Donating broken things, hmmm.)
I asked if I could take it and what they'd want for it. Judy said, "Just take it, Pastor. It's garbage right now."

The scanner is a Microtek Scanmaker 3800. The glass bed had been pushed down into the scanner. Probably there were other things wrong as well.

However, all it required was epoxying the glass back to the plastic frame.
Laying the glass back into the frame.
 Epoxying the corners.

We have plenty of power supplies that work as well as USB cables.

The only real problem is that there are no SANE drivers for this model. The Microtek drivers work with our old iMac with OS9.2 and with Windows 98OSR2 through Win XP Pro. No problems there, we'll just dual boot back to the old OS when we want to use it. Not bad for free.