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.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Roma Tomatoes Dehydration/Drying Foods

I picked up a food dehydrator a couple years ago at a 2nd Hand store for under $10. I've used it for Jerky, apples, tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers of different sorts, and leaves for herbal teas and such. I did have to do a bit of repair work on it, but it has more than paid for itself.

 Here's an example with Roma Tomatoes:
These are some of the washed Roma's that Pr. and Mrs. Mark Faugstad gave to us. The other box was already washed.

I quartered the tomatoes lengthwise. What follows is a series of photos of the change over 4 days.


Day 3:

Day 4: The tomatoes no longer bend, they break. Now they're ready for the bins.

For larger round tomatoes I slice them between 3/8" and 1/2 inch, lay them on the rack and let them go 4-5 days--until crisp.

I cut apples between 3/8" and 1/2" thick for drying, dip them in a mix of apple cider vinegar and sugar, then dry for 4-5 days--until they are crisp.

Here's a shelf of green peppers. These were quartered from top to bottom and then dried for 3 days.