Archives for September 2013

Plantain, Timber Rattler, Groundnuts,Foot Rot, Permaculture Zones, Making Wine YCH#38

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Last week I tried to fry up some ripe plantain (cooking bananas) . I used to do it all the time in Hawaii.  But it as been so many years I kind of forgot how.  I floured them up with gluten free flour.  First mistake; and had the heat a little hot – 2nd mistake.  Well a good cook knows how to remedy these things.  I cut off the burnt part and sprinkled on powdered sugar.  They came out pretty yummy after all.  So slice then in half long wise and then crosswise.  Then cook it really low (maybe 3) with no flour and a lot of coconut oil.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  As a side note I have a new Paleo recipe book that I love.  They use green plantains in a lot of their recipes.  So let me tell you about plantains, Peurto Rican  cooking and my first experience at peeling green bananas.  You just may be amused.  I need to grow me some cooking bananas (plantain).  After all they are Paleo!!  (well not with the powdered sugar Hee Hee!)  Here is an excellent article on growing bananas: http://www.plantdelights.com/Banana-Trees-for-the-Garden/products/494/

I also did a little project with my grandson.  We made our own kettle chips and this is how we did it and what I learned.  We sliced the potatoes on my mandolin slicer.  And we also did sweet potatoes.  I have tried them before and they are extremely hard to slice.  So a while back I put one in the freezer thinking it would break down the tissue and make it easier to cut.  It worked.  As a side note, next time I will slice it before it totally thaws.   It actually got a little too soft.  But it did slice up fine.  The next thing I learned is they cook much better at a lower temp.  We dusted some with my” Magic Dust”  recipe (a bar b que rub) .  Those were really good.

Our grass got really thick and tall as the riding mower has been out of  commission. So my other half finally got new tires on it and mowed the grass.  I have been walking through that thick stuff with just slippers on.  He ran over a baby timber rattler.  (highly venomous – enough to kill this old woman anyway) .  My angels must be watching over me because I do that daily!

Sabrina asked about the groundnuts.  I am a little ashamed to say the hogs ate the ones in the field and the chickens ate the ones in the yard.  They did come up though.  Oh well try again next year.  They are a native species after all.

I talk a little about our sheep and dealing with foot rot.  Here is an article about it.  http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/410/410-028/410-028.html  We used the copper sulfate, an antibacterial spray and clorox water foot soaks, and a whole lot of foot trimming.  All the dead tissue must be cut off.  The clorox foot soaks and hoof trimming seem to work the best.

I also go into a discussion about planning your permaculture with zones.

And , I am starting a new hobby – winemaking.  We should have lots of fun with this one.

Meaning of “by and large”:  http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/by-and-large.html

Ancient food Preservation, Curing Meat, Cooling Your Home, Permaculture Cobb Building YCH #37

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Ancient food preservation

Curing meat the Old Fashioned Way

Cooling Your Home

Sunchokes

Curry Leaf Tree

Permaculture

http://housealive.org/natural-building/youtube-videos/

http://www.cobprojects.info/cob_houses/cob_houses.htm

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/%22Root+cellaring%22+in+the+hot+%26+humid+South.-a064780543

http://www.countryfarm-lifestyles.com/smoking-meat.html

http://www.hurherald.com/cgi-bin/db_scripts/articles?Action=user_view&db=hurheral_articles&id=13393

http://photos.oregonlive.com/photo-essay/2013/08/method_of_freeze-drying_potato.html

http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/preserving-food-zmaz70ndzgoe.aspx?PageId=1#axzz2f15VChkO

http://www.countryfarm-lifestyles.com/curing-ham.html

Bamboo, CL in Goats, Heartsease YCH # 36

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On the podcast I discuss the many uses of bamboo. Ideas on how to grow it and I give some great links for learning more.

http://www.thigpentrailbamboo.com/resources/permaculture/

http://permaculturenews.org/2009/01/31/bamboo-in-permaculture-design/

http://bamboofarmingusa.com/How-to-Plant.html

http://www.bamboocraft.net/gallery/

What is CL in goats and sheep?

The herb heartsease and how to use it.

How to Become a Really Good Cook, Breeding Rabbits, Figs and Muscadine on the Farm YCH#35

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I would like to share some very easy things you can do to change your everyday meals into awesome meals.  When I was younger I loved making fancy recipes and baked goods.  And my family loved to eat it.  But I really hated the Ho Hum day to day, bargain basement cooking.  Thank God I never found Hamburger Helper!  Even when I was in Nursing School I would drive home and cook dinner for my family.  It was about a 1/2 hr drive, but they would get a meat, a starch, a green and yellow vegetable without fail.   Then I would turn around and go back to school.  In my heart, I knew my children and husband deserved fresh cooked healthy meals.  Over the years I have learned a lot without really realizing it.  So I would like to to share an example of how to take a simple recipe and make it your own.  We have lots of great meat around here and it is very easy to make great food from that.  But what if you just have some canned meat like salmon or mackeral and you want to make a good meal.  Well here are some ideas. I found this website (that promotes canned salmon) with a whole bunch of recipes.  So I will use one I have made a couple of times.  Here is the link for seafood recipes:  http://www.alaskaseafood.org/canned/recipes/recipes.html

Here is the starting recipe:

SPANISH SALMON BAKE

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes

1 can (14.75 oz.) or 2 cans (7.5 oz. each) traditional pack Alaska Salmon OR 2 cans or pouches (6 to 7.1 oz. each) skinless, boneless salmon
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I use coconut oil)
1/2 cup diced yellow onion (I use a small whole onion)
¼ cup diced red bell pepper (Or 3 jalepenos)
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
1 can (2.5 oz.) sliced black olives, drained (or a big can)
1 cup frozen diced potatoes (better yet a fresh potato)
½ cup diced tomato (or a can of rotel tomatoes YUM)
8 large eggs, beaten well ( I will add a whole bunch of chopped spinach next time)
1 teaspoon dried oregano  (or any spice you like – be creative)
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro (OR A WHOLE BUNCH MORE OR AN HERB YOU LIKE)
1 teaspoon salt (to taste this was fine)
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup white cheese, shredded or crumbled (OR more of whatever cheese you like and more if you like)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Drain and flake salmon. Heat oil in frying pan ( I DIDN’T SAY IN THE PODCAST but I use A CAST IRON PAN,  but what else would I use?) over medium heat. Stir in onion, bell pepper, garlic, olives and potatoes. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, until garlic is brown and potatoes are slightly cooked. Remove from heat; evenly spoon potato mixture into spray-coated 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle on salmon and tomatoes. Blend eggs, oregano, cilantro, salt and pepper; pour over salmon. Bake 10 minutes; sprinkle on cheese. Continue baking 10 to 15 minutes, until cooked through.

Makes 6 to 8 Servings.

Nutrients per serving: 302 calories, 19g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 57% calories from fat, 284mg cholesterol, 24g protein, 9g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 928mg sodium, 284mg calcium and 1.1g omega-3 fatty acids.

I made this and tonight I used a large potato – cubed.  2 would have been better.  I used 2 cans of salmon. (The 14.5 oz cans with skin and bone – it’s good for you) I salted the layers and added extra black pepper.  I used 2 tsp oregano. (next time I’ll nix this)  Any kind of Spanish like spice would be better, like chili powder and cumin. I used a whole onion.  I browned the potatoes, onions and I used 3 jalepenos diced. ( if you remove the pith and seed they are not hot – I promise) I used about 1&3/4 cup grated cheese.  I cheated and use the mexican blend. Oh yes and I used a can of rotel tomatoes instead of 1/2 a tomato.  I browned the onion and potatoes in a cast iron skillet. Then added the garlic.  At the end added the peppers , then olives after turning the heat off.  I just left it in the pan and turned the oven on to 400 degrees.  then I added the eggs and spices on top as per the recipe.  I baked it 15 minutes.  then added the cheese and baked another 15 minutes..  It was so good and filling.  Next time I make it I will add some malabar spinach chopped up – as that is what I have growing now.  It will be a full meal by itself then.  I hope this will help someone in giving them confidence and ideas to take a simple recipe and make it their own.  Cooking is so fun.  You just need a  basic idea and then improve on it by your own tastes. Even Ho Hum everyday cooking can be fun and challenging with a little imagination.  And; people start to think you are a wonderful cook, because you are

                FIGS FRUITING NOW AND HOW TO MAKE NEW PLANTS                                                                                                                

Next lets talk about how to air layer a fig tree using a pop bottle and tape.  Here is a video I just love on it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2c3zTPd3EA  He has a part 3 also, be sure and watch it.  If the link doesn’t work his channel is Emory203.  He just cuts the top and bottom of the bottle.  Then cuts it along the side, adds 1/2 Scott’s garden soil and 1/2 Sott’s topsoil.  then he just waits.  And I love the results.   When ready to plant he had a small tree instead of a little cutting.  A great website for fig information is figsforfun.com  Another with many varieties listed is. http://www.treesofjoy.com/fig-varieties-collection

MUSCADINE AND SCUPPERNONG

Our muscadines are starting to fruit.  The grapes just finished their fruiting. I know 2 varieties we have are Dixieland and Supreme.  We have another unknown variety that was mislabeled from the nursery,  I’ll go into detail about that.

BREEDING RABBITS

You have your housing and feed worked out and are ready to breed here are some tips.  Small breed rabbits can be bred at 5 months, medium size bred at 6 months and large at 8 months.  The good news is there is no cycle for the female.  So you can breed any time.  The male will go sterile in extreme heat however.  Bring the doe to the buck and don’t blink.  It all happens quickly and is rather comical.  Nuff said!  Put her back in 8-10 hrs later  in case she didn’t “catch”.  You can weigh the doe at mating time and again in 2 weeks.  If she gained a pound she is most likely pregnant.  After 10 days you can actually palpate and feet the little ones.  On the 27th day put the nest box in.  Gestation is 28-34 days.  A wire mesh box is fine.  In winter just line it with cardboard.  And provide straw or wood shavings.  Use more in winter and less in summer.  The doe will build her nest with straw and fur she pulls from her body.  Don’t bother the doe for a couple of weeks as she may get scared and kill the young.

Calendula

We have a little info on Calendula and a honey infusion of herbs.  And as always What’s going on around here.

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