I’m had to update my theme and it makes me sad . . . very sad. I’d had the parchment/fall colors theme from my site’s beginning in 2008. The beautiful rich colors and feather-edged layout were perfect for what I like . . . but it had to go. The last time the theme was updated by it’s author was years ago. I been treating it tenderly and coaxed it along, but those days are over. I have to have more function and it can no longer rise to the task.
In my continual search for really good food I can eat, I’ve discovered . . . Hamburger Bowl!
I have two version (with or without avocado) and they’re both wonderful. Those of you who eat carbs and bread/buns/etc. won’t think it’s so great, but for me . . . few carbs and no grains . . . it’s awesome!
On medium low, cook diced mushrooms and diced bacon in a 6″ skillet with a teaspoon of butter.
While that’s cooking dice a roma tomato and a slice of onion (choose the one you like, I’m using the basic yellow). Add two heaping teaspoonfuls of Farman’s Dill Pickle Relish in a bowl, add the diced onion and tomato and warm it in the microwave. Don’t COOK it, just get it warm so it doesn’t chill the hot ingredients. For my puny little microwave I use 55 seconds on cook, stir, then back in for another 15 seconds.
When the bacon and ‘shrooms are done or nearly done add the raw hamburger. The shape isn’t important, it’s getting chopped up when it’s done cooking. (I buy hamburger in bulk and package it in snack bags in the freezer for easy use. I get the amount of hamburger I need when I need it at a lower cost.)
When the hamburger is nearly done, dice up the hamburger and add 3/4 cup of black beans (drained and rinsed). Stir the beans into the mix. once it’s all heated up lift out the goodies (leave all the fat in the pan) and add them to your bowl of warmed and diced goodness.
Stir it all together and eat it with a soup spoon. OMGosh good! Heads up, this is more than will fit in a regular soup bowl.
When doing the avocado version I wait until everything’s mixed together and add the diced avocado to the top. Yummy stuff!
In a pint jar add 1/2 grated fresh zucchini, 2 large organic eggs (warmed in hot tap water before opening), 2 tablespoons melted butter, 2 medjool dates (pit removed). Spin on the blender attachment and run on lowest setting until everything is chopped and mixed.
Spin the top off and add 1 tbsp coconut flour, 1 tbsp cacao powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda. Spin the top back on and blend until the powdered ingredients are integrated.
I eat a lot of vegetables. Because I am a fuss-less person I’ve come up with a way to get my veges out of the fridge without spending forever pulling them out of a drawer, stacking them on the counter, whack off what I need only to stick them back in the fridge again every time I cook. This portable crisper sits on top the glass shelf that is the cover for the existing crisper in my fridge and, with the handy handle molded into the front of the drawer, allows me to pull it out of the fridge with one hand. It contains most if not all of the veges I need.
This crisper is the drawer and glass shelf from a small portable fridge. With the addition of a brass piano hinge and some aquarium sealer, a piece of washable non-skid shelf liner for the inside and very little effort, I have streamlined and shortened my prep time. The lid fits flush against the top preserving the moisture in the veges.
The paper sack is cut down from a large grocery sack and holds mushrooms at the perfect humidity to keep them fresh. Strong smelling veges like onion are zipped in plastic but everything else is pre-cleaned, unwrapped and ready to use. A cut-to-fit non-skid shelf liner keeps the veges up off the plastic bottom to avoid accumulation of moisture where veg and plastic meet.
Current content of the crisper include zucchini, yellow squash, onion, celery, mushroom, red and green pepper. The larger build-in crisper contains overflow and backup stock.
Let the games begin! I’m testing molding. After lots of research, I’m actually testing! Woohoo!
Modeling clay (doesn’t dry out)
Something to use as a base (glossy scrap cardboard)
Pure silicone caulk
Stir sticks (old plastic spatulas)
I used the modeling clay to make something to mold against. I cut a piece, stuck it down to the glossy card stock, mixed equal parts corn starch and silicone caulk, then added xylene to get a spreadable consistency.
I then plastered the silicone mix onto the clay. Not pretty, but pretty really isnt’ necessary.
The third picture is the result after two hours. The silicone was largely set. I didn’t do a good enough job getting the silicone into the register holes. I’ll know to watch for that when starting the actual mold making.
I’m about 2/3 of the way done with my second 6″ crew sock. It’s going very nicely. My heel-turn technique is improving (fewer holes) and my work is nicely even. I love the cast-on technique for toe-up knitting. The heel turn method is easy and easy to adapt to fit my specific heel. Getting a good fitting sock with no pattern is easy, after the fifth heel tear-out on the first sock. Go me. <grin> The next pair I’ll do differently still and they will be even better . . . and faster!
I’ve got a couple yards left in the first skein of yarn which isn’t going to be enough to finish this sock. The second skein will let me finish this sock and should leave me with enough to make another pair with short cuffs. I couldn’t buy quality socks for the price I paid for the yarn so color me happy. I guess that’s one of the blessing of having small feet . . . more sock per yard.
At this point, I need to solve my needle problem. I’ve ordered another brand of needle AND some fix-it stuff. If one won’t work, the other should.
The fix-it stuff is for the problem I have with the join between the tip and cable for the square needles. They really are a good concept, but the design/execution could really use some work. Let me explain.
The socks I’m making are worked in super-fine yarn. Other than crochet thread for doilies, that’s the finest yarn sold in skeins for hand knitters. The yarn manufacturer recommends a size 3 needle but I like tightly knitted socks so I’m using a size 1 needle.
For the stitch transfer to go smoothly for finer yarns, the join between the cable and the needle really has to be flawless. Add together the fine yarn, small needle size and tight knitting and getting the yarn back on the tip from the cable becomes tricky in the best of situations. As you can see, the join on the top needle in the above picture is a far cry from ideal.
When I got the square needles, I was appalled at the price (easily twice the price of needles the same length and size at KnitPicks.com) but I really liked with the squared off shaft which reduces hand strain and the slightly shortener tip which fits my hand better.
The total limpness of the cable is a true wonder. When you make socks using two 16″ cable needles, stiffness in the cable prevents even tension in the stitches where the needle change occurs. This is magnified for tight knitters. That forced unevenness drives me nuts. The limpness of the cable on these needles solved that problem. The difference in appearance between the first sock (done largely with stiff cable needles) and the second (completely knit on limp-cable needles) is graphic.
To fix the hip-join problem between the tip and the needles I used my brass hammer and cobbler’s jack and reshaped the butt of the tip. This worked really well right up until the altered shape of the butt impacted the integrity of the cable sheath. Click the needle image and you’ll see what I mean. The extra sharpness at the butt over time caused the sheath of the cable to separate and peel back giving an additional place for the cable to snag the yarn, though it’s still an improvement in moving yarn back onto the tip over the original shape. Unfortunately, in one needle it caused complete separation between the tip and the cable.
I’ve got some neat stuff coming that I hope will allow me to solve the tip/cable join problem and let me continue to use these too expensive but wonderfully shaped needles.
Check out Sugru. It’s an air curable silicone rubber which bonds to aluminum. When my multi-color 8-pack arrives, I should be able to reshape the join to a smooth ramp AND take the stress off the cable sheath at the join. If it doesn’t work as well as I think it might, I might be able to use it instead of cork for the heel seat in my shoes! The uses for this stuff have got to be endless!
I have decided I need a purple pair . . . I just need to find the right purple. Every girl should have at least one pair of purple socks. The Patron Stretch Sock yarn is so awesome I am hesitant to try another type yarn. I’ll have to see what kind of purple they make.
This is officially cool! I love how the dragon is made up of clay tiles shaped like hands, birds, leaves, lizards, bats, butterflies and bits and pieces. Very cool. This work of art is by Elena Eidelberg.
I got a florescent fixture mounted for the grow wall this morning. It’s got daylight bulbs in it. That should help keep the wall growing and healthy.
I had an epiphany. I’ve been fussing about what to do for a gutter and I haven’t been making a lot of mental headway until yesterday. My latest effort to find a gutter for the wall involved an internet search for gutter 12″. I found a place in CA that custom makes gutters as well as carries all sorts of beautiful fittings for people with lots of discretionary income (aka people NOT like me). They had copper gutters, galvanized gutters . . . and stainless gutters!
A light finally flicked on inside my head. We’ve got a sheet metal place local to us where they can custom build me the gutter I need! They’ve done specialty stuff for me before in stainless. It won’t be cheap, but it will both look good AND perform good. What’s not to like with that? I asked Wadly to pay for my new gutter for Christmas. He’s game so now I just need to design it.
I have a jar of water kefir grains brewing on my counter. It’s one of the few natural things that will help right my system when I eat something I shouldn’t. It will also chase off a cold if I drink it as soon as my throat start to tickle.
Water kefir grains are supposed to multiply, though mine don’t seem to do so at any visible rate. That doesn’t seem to alter the effectiveness of the result so I’m not going to fuss about it.
I brew my water kefir with maple syrup and dissolved minerals in filtered 7.2PH water. I sliced a chunk of unsulfered candied ginger into the water kefir grains mix and cover it with a piece of paper towel, stirring it twice a day while it’s brewing. I can tell when it’s ready by the way it smells, though I suppose I could measure the brix. Smell seems to work for me. The speed of the initial fermentation is a product of sugar content and warmth.
After the grains have fed for a couple days I strain the liquid into a sealable bottle. I add a few chunks of dried pineapple to the bottle of water kefir and set the cap on without tightening it down. When all the fruit is floating (usually a couple days) I seal the cap. Sometimes the fruit stays at the top, sometimes it sinks to the bottom, sometimes it does both and sometimes it hangs in the middle like little fruit jewels.
When I need a water kefir I uncap it over the sink (if properly sealed it WILL fizz as it is a fermented drink) and strain it into a glass. It’s a lite pineapple/ginger beer filled with good-for-you enzymes and digestive bacteria. What’s not to like?