Friday, August 5, 2011

iPad Gleanings

I've had few tabs up on the iPad for weeks, so lets close them down, shall we?

Spiced Carrot Waffle recipe

This has been such an interesting thread. I posted the statistics for food born illness from home canned food in the comments section but I will just add (for those that don’t read the comments) most botulism is infant botulism coming from feeding babies foods that adults can tolerate but are not good for babies (honey is one example). The second cause if wound infection as botulism occurs naturally. Take good care of even small injuries. The incidence of food born botulism is very small with only 21 cases being reported last year. You are far more likely to get ill from eating commercial spinach than from my home canned tomatoes. Here are the take home points. Use up-to-date recipes from approved sources, proper equipment and excellent hygiene and you will be fine. Do not can anything with gravy. Make the gravy later-it only takes a minute. Don’t can dense things like pureed pumpkin or squash as the interior may not get hot enough. Don’t can in 1/2 gallon jars. Add acid to tomato products. Boil canned vegetables for 10 minutes before eating. I know. The idea of canned green beans being boiled for ten minutes is pretty unappealing which is why I freeze or dehydrate my vegetables. Don’t can milk products in a water bath as they are low acid and not safe.
from the Just In Case book blog

This heat wave is pretty awful, especially if you’re very young, very old or if you are health compromised. Maybe you’re lucky and have AC that you can afford to run but if, like me, you have chosen to discard the AC or if you just don’t have it, you should make some plans about how you will handle the heat.

I begin each hot, humid morning by closing up the house. I shut the windows and doors and close the curtains to keep the hot air out and the cool, night air in. I put jars of water with lots of ice in a cooler on the counter. This prevents people from constantly opening the door to the freezer and the refrigerator to get something cold to drink. I put a pile of wash cloths in the same cooler and use those to mop the kids down from time to time.

I head out to the garden in the very early morning. Any work that needs to be done is finished before 10:00 or waits until late afternoon. I give any tender plants a good drink very early so the water won’t evaporate before doing any good. The heat of the day is not good for travel. You will use far more gas by running your AC and car trouble is no fun if you find yourself waiting on hot asphalt for help to arrive.

We move our bunny, Olivia, to a cool spot under the pine trees and check her water often. She’s pretty old and I fear this heat will kill her. I don’t have a dog but if I did I would be extra cautious about keeping her cool as well. We use to put our dog in the basement on days like this.

I keep Phoebe inside, even letting her watch TV just to keep her occupied and quiet. My kids don’t seem to wilt in the heat as quickly as I do but it’s still hard on little bodies. This is the day to put myself to work in the basement. I have a lot of chores down there to keep me busy and the cool, moist air is fabulous.

I also plan my meals first thing the in the morning. Food tends towards cheese and bread, fruit and cold salads, things that can be prepared without heating up the house. If I do need to cook, I try to use the solar oven. I will really appreciate that summer kitchen.
also from the Just In Case book blog

I thought I’d show you another traditional way to store a bundle of lavender, for scenting linens, where the flowers are encased in a cage made from the flower stems woven with ribbon. Called a lavender bottle, made this way, the flowers stay put and don’t go all over the place, so it can be pushed in between layers of stored bedlinen, kept in a drawer with your smalls or hung in the wardrobe to keep your best clothes sweet. For this the lavender variety is immaterial, the smellier the better.
Again pick your lavender on a dry sunny day when the flowers are just about to be or are partly open. The stems need to be long, green and pliable. Pick an odd number of stems, I used 21 here, and bundle them together, so all the flowers are bunched up together and the stems are smooth, pulling off any smaller flowers lower down. Tie tightly together below the flower heads with a piece of thin ribbon or twine. Then one by one, bend the stems back over the flowers so they form a cage around them. You do have to try and arrange the stems as evenly spaced as possible to keep things as neat as you can at this stage.
Tie a piece of ribbon or twine tightly around the stems to hold everything in place. Now, take a long length of narrow ribbon, 5-10mm (1/4-1/2in) wide is ideal, and starting at the top pointy end, wrap one end of the ribbon around one of the stems and fix it in place with a few stitches made with needle and thread. Begin to weave the ribbon in and out of the stems (you may find a bodkin useful to help with this), working round the stem cage and pulling the ribbon evenly to give the lavender bottle a good shape. When the flowers are completely encased by the woven ribbon, tuck the end of the ribbon around a stem and fix in place with a few stitches with needle and thread. Trim the stems to the length you like then tie the stems tightly together with ribbon at both ends. Leave the bottle to dry out for a while and give the flowers a squeeze from time to time to reactive the scent.

from Laundry etc.

1 comment:

  1. I'd seen that lavender bottle before, but I'd forgotten about it! I think my lavender is too dry already to try it ... what a pity.