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Weekly Roundup - Living On Nothing Edition [Survival Today - an On going Thread #3]
Frugal Dad .com ^ | July 23, 2009 | Frugal Dad

Posted on 07/24/2009 3:37:21 AM PDT by nw_arizona_granny

Weekly Roundup - Living On Nothing Edition Category: Roundups | Comments(15)

Did you hear about the guy that lives on nothing? No seriously, he lives on zero dollars a day. Meet Daniel Suelo, who lives in a cave outside Moab, Utah. Suelo has no mortgage, no car payment, no debt of any kind. He also has no home, no car, no television, and absolutely no “creature comforts.” But he does have a lot of creatures, as in the mice and bugs that scurry about the cave floor he’s called home for the last three years.

To us, Suelo probably sounds a little extreme. Actually, he probably sounds very extreme. After all, I suspect most of you reading this are doing so under the protection of some sort of man-made shelter, and with some amount of money on your person, and probably a few needs for money, too. And who doesn’t need money unless they have completely unplugged from the grid? Still, it’s an amusing story about a guy who rejects all forms of consumerism as we know it.

The Frugal Roundup

How to Brew Your Own Beer and Maybe Save Some Money. A fantastic introduction to home brewing, something I’ve never done myself, but always been interested in trying. (@Generation X Finance)

Contentment: A Great Financial Principle. If I had to name one required emotion for living a frugal lifestyle it would be contentment. Once you are content with your belongings and your lot in life you can ignore forces attempting to separate you from your money. (@Personal Finance by the Book)

Use Energy Star Appliances to Save On Utility Costs. I enjoyed this post because it included actual numbers, and actual total savings, from someone who upgraded to new, energy star appliances. (@The Digerati Life)

Over-Saving for Retirement? Is it possible to “over-save” for retirement? Yes, I think so. At some point I like the idea of putting some money aside in taxable investments outside of retirement funds, to be accessed prior to traditional retirement age. (@The Simple Dollar)

40 Things to Teach My Kids Before They Leave Home. A great list of both practical and philosophical lessons to teach your kids before they reach the age where they know everything. I think that now happens around 13 years-old. (@My Supercharged Life)

Index Fund Investing Overview. If you are looking for a place to invest with high diversification and relatively low fees (for broader index funds with low turnover), index funds are a great place to start. (@Money Smart Life)

5 Reasons To Line Dry Your Laundry. My wife and I may soon be installing a clothesline in our backyard. In many neighborhoods they are frowned upon - one of the reasons I don’t like living in a neighborhood. I digress. One of our neighbors recently put up a clothesline, and we might just follow his lead. (@Simple Mom)

A Few Others I Enjoyed

* 4 Quick Tips for Getting Out of a Rut * Young and Cash Rich * Embracing Simple Style * First Trading Experience With OptionsHouse * The Exponential Power of Delayed Consumption * How Much Emergency Fund is Enough? * 50 Questions that Will Free Your Mind * Save Money On Car Insurance

TOPICS: Food; Gardening; Health/Medicine; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: emergencypreparation; food; frugal; frugality; garden; gf; gluten; glutenfree; granny; hunger; jm; nwarizonagranny; prep; preppers; preps; starvation; stinkbait; survival; survivalists; wcgnascarthread
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To: DelaWhere; Alamo-Girl; airborne; AngieGal; AnimalLover; annieokie; aragorn; auggy; autumnraine; ...
I'd forgotten about them. I thik they are tops, too.

I think Stan Deyo's site also has a link for such things that I'd forgotten about.

Thanks Big.

Joya ping.


We typically to NOT KNOW FOR CERTAIN

which of all these sources and rumors etc. are disinformation; what percent disinformation; trial baloons; tests to watch how such info spreads from what sources over the net; testing suspected leak sources etc.




in varying degrees at varying times in varying locales . . . with specifics and times changing per related changing contingencies.


1,041 posted on 08/12/2009 1:11:38 PM PDT by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 2 presnt:
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To: Quix

Here is something I think some might be interested in

1,042 posted on 08/12/2009 1:15:25 PM PDT by FromLori (FromLori)
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To: FromLori


Here’s source link:

1,043 posted on 08/12/2009 1:23:34 PM PDT by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 2 presnt:
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To: DelaWhere; Quix; Joya; All

Thanks, DW. Appreciate it.

1,044 posted on 08/12/2009 1:36:30 PM PDT by Joya (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, have mercy on me, a sinner!)
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To: All

Red pepper flakes (Recipe: Laotian chicken and herb salad)

Laotian chicken and herb salad

REVELATION: Did you know you can make your own red pepper flakes?

Have you ever thought of doing it?

When it comes to peppers, the labels “mild” and “hot” don’t really mean much. Is “mild” a NuMexico Naky (500 Scoville Units) or a NuMexico Big Jim (5,000)? And is “hot” a Tabasco (30,000) or a Thai (100,000)?

Why not create your own blend, mild or hot, smoky or not? You don’t even need to use red peppers.

All you need are dried peppers, an oven, a rolling pin, and patience.

Here’s how: Start with your favorite dried peppers (commercial blends often rely on New Mexico red or cayenne chiles, but you can use black mulato chiles, too — I’ll never tell). Wear rubber gloves, or remember not to rub your eyes. Remove the stems. If you want a milder pepper flake, open the chiles and remove the seeds; for a more fiery finished product, leave the peppers whole, with the seeds and ribs intact.

Place the chiles on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet in a slow (200°F/100°C) oven for 8-10 hours, until brittle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Crush with a rolling pin. Store the flakes in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid; they will keep for more than six months in a cool, dark part of your pantry.

Red pepper flakes

Red pepper flakes — popular in the cuisines of Turkey, Hungary, Korea and Japan, as well as Italy — give you the heat of hot sauce (such as Tabasco), without the vinegar or added liquid. You can order chile peppers to make your own red pepper flakes from Penzeys or The Spice House.

When it comes to pepper, freshness matters; stale pepper that sits around for months definitely loses its kick. After a year, either replace the spice, or increase the quantity when you cook with it to compensate for the diminishing pungency.

Red pepper flakes, nicknamed diavolochino in Italian, give their name to pasta fra diavolo, and here in Rhode Island they’re sprinkled on every imaginable type of pizza.

Try using some of your own homemade blend in spicy grilled eggplant with parsley and mint, no-fail tomato sauce, red pepper soup, Mediterranean fish in foil packets, easy corn cakes or Thai grilled chicken with cilantro dipping sauce. And how about red pepper flakes for dessert, in an orange and chili pepper ricotta cheesecake?

CHICKEN LARB (Laotian chicken and herb salad)
Adapted from the wonderful new book, Cooking from the Heart: The Hmong Kitchen in America, by Sami Scripter and Sheng Yang, this is light and low-carb. The original recipe calls for toasted sticky rice flour, and in the book you’ll find instructions for making this. I substituted toasted bread crumbs. Don’t substitute for the fresh herbs, though; they are essential to the bright taste of the dish. Serves 8; can be halved.

3 lbs ground chicken or turkey
Juice of 2 large limes, plus 1 lime for garnish
2 Tbsp rice wine
2 tsp minced fresh ginger or galanga
1 stalk minced lemongrass (remove tough outer leaves, root, and top several inches before mincing)
3 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
3 Tbsp toasted bread crumbs
1 heaping cup chopped fresh mint
1 heaping cup chopped cilantro
Several additional stems of mint and cilantro, for garnish
1 bunch scallions, sliced diagonally
1/2 cup chopped Thai basil
1 large head leaf lettuce (16 leaves, for wrapping)

On a large cutting board, chop the chicken until it is finely minced. Place it in a large bowl, and squeeze the lime juice over it. Add the rice wine and mix with your hands to combine.

In a nonstick frying pan (don’t use any oil), cook the chicken, tossing and stirring constantly, just until the meat turns white. Return the mixture with any accumulated juice to the bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature.

While the chicken cools, prepare the fresh herbs. Add the ginger, lemongrass, lemon peel, red pepper flakes, garlic, fish sauce, salt, white pepper and bread crumbs to the cooled mixture. Toss the ingredients together until they are well mixed. Then add the mint, cilantro, scallions and Thai basil. Gently toss everything together.

Break lettuce leaves away from the head, and wash and dry them. Fill lettuce leaves with the chicken mixture, and serve with lime wedges.

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Chicken satay
Nasi goreng/Indonesian fried rice
Pasta puttanesca
Roasted vegetables with yogurt and fresh tomato sauce

1,045 posted on 08/12/2009 1:57:46 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: nw_arizona_granny; Quix; Joya

‘get a pill that contains Papaya and Peppermint’

Thanks, granny. Love ya

1,046 posted on 08/12/2009 2:01:43 PM PDT by Joya (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, have mercy on me, a sinner!)
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To: All

Shrimp potstickers

Make these vegetarian by omitting the shrimp and doubling the tofu. Freeze some before or after cooking. Makes 40 potstickers.

10 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled, finely chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1 green chile (jalapeño, serrano, or Thai), seeded and minced
1 cup peeled and grated carrot (approx. 1 carrot)
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup firm or extra-firm tofu, patted dry, chopped into 1/8-inch squares
8 large cooked shrimp, chopped
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
40 round fresh dumpling wrappers
1-2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 cup vegetable or low-sodium or homemade chicken stock

Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl, cover with warm water, and let soak for 30 minutes until softened. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid, and chop mushrooms finely.

Put the mushrooms in a large bowl and add cilantro, garlic, ginger, scallions, chiles, carrots, bell pepper, tofu and shrimp. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, stir together peanut butter and soy sauce, and add to the vegetable mixture. Stir well to combine.

Put a dumpling wrapper on a dry work surface and put 1 level tablespoon of filling in the center. Brush the edge with water and fold into a half-moon shape, pleating one side 3-5 times as you go (or use a dumpling press). Place on a tray lined with wax paper, flattening the bottom of the dumpling as you do. Cover the tray with a damp cloth. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling, adding each to the tray. Keep the tray covered with the cloth until you’re ready to cook.

Heat two large nonstick frying pans to medium-high heat, and brush each with 1 teaspoon of oil. Add as many dumplings as you can, flattened side down in a single layer, equally divided between the pans, without overcrowding. Saute for 2-3 minutes until browned on the bottom (do not flip them).

Mix the reserved mushroom liquid with the stock and, very carefully, pour half of it over the dumplings in the two pans, until part covered (use more if needed). Keep your distance — when you add liquid to the pan, it will splatter. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover the pans, and cook 8-10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the dumplings are a bit translucent.

Return to full post on

1,047 posted on 08/12/2009 2:23:36 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: All

Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Cool off with hot jalapeno pickles

If you’re of a certain age, you may remember a time when along with chips and salsa, you also got free corn tortillas, pats of butter and hot pickle relish served to you at your local Tex-Mex restaurant.

You’d see this in classic Dallas places such as El Fenix or El Chico, and in Houston establishments such as Molina’s. The hot pickle relish, also known as escabeche, was made up of jalapenos, carrots and cauliflower and it was tart, fiery, crunchy and yes, very refreshing.

There’s been a lot of bad news about jalapenos lately, namely those from Mexico. And while I’m glad they pinpointed the source of the salmonella, it didn’t give me much confidence in buying jalapenos at the grocery store, especially when their origin was unknown.

Earlier in the summer I bought a jalapeno plant and it produced two tiny peppers, until it started shedding all of its leaves working its way toward a slow death. I have since nursed it back to health and it now has a few blossoms, which if all goes well could mean more jalapenos. Very local and very fresh! But my one plant isn’t enough to keep me satisfied.

I eat a lot of jalapenos so I am pleased they are now in season and I can find them in abundance at my local farmer’s market. Last weekend, one of the Union Square farmers had a gorgeous display of jalapenos and serranos and I went nuts, buying over a pound. I also picked up some cauliflower, carrots, onions and garlic and because my refrigerator can only hold so much, decided that I should make some pickles.

I made my first batch of pickles last summer and for these pickled jalapenos I pretty much followed the same technique, except I briefly cooked my vegetables before placing them in the jars and adding the brine. They also didn’t take a week to marinate—by the next day they were already tangy and juicy—ready to be added to nachos, placed on a cheeseburger or just nibbled on their own.

It’s a shame you don’t see hot pickled jalapeno relish in Tex-Mex restaurants more often, especially since its piquancy really wakes up your appetite. But thanks to the bounty of the season, I now have enough pints to last me—for at least a couple of weeks.

Pickled jalapenos (escabeche)
1 pound of jalapenos, cut into rings
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
3 carrots, peeled and cut into rings
1 small onion, cut into rings or slivers
6 cloves of garlic, minced (6 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon of canola oil
6 teaspoons of peppercorns
6 teaspoons of cumin seeds
6 sprigs of cilantro
2 cups of white vinegar
Six pint jars, sterilized

1. Cook the peppers, carrots, cauliflower and onion in the oil on medium heat for ten minutes or until onion is clear.
2. In each jar, place the equivalent of 1 minced clove of garlic (1 teaspoon), 1 sprig of cilantro, 1 teaspoon each of peppercorns and cumin seeds.
3. Divide pepper mix between the six jars.
4. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to each jar and then fill the rest of the jar with water, leaving 1/2 inch at the top. Add a dash of salt.
5. Seal and then give jar a good shake.
6. Refrigerate overnight and they should be ready within 24 hours. Will keep in the refrigerator for a month. Makes 6 pints

1,048 posted on 08/12/2009 2:28:56 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: All

Friday, July 03, 2009
Texas potato salad, what is it?

Is there such a thing as Texas potato salad? And if so, what is it exactly?

When I asked my family how they make their potato salad, they all provided recipes that called for similar ingredients: chunky, unpeeled potatoes (either red new, brown russet or Yukon gold potatoes), green onions, celery, hard-boiled eggs, sweet pickles, mustard and mayonnaise. And if you’re on my dad’s side of the family, you stir in some Durkee’s as well.

This is the potato salad that always graced the table at our family barbecues—a thick mouthful that was soft and crunchy, tangy and sweet. But as I asked friends that hail from other regions of the country how they make their potato salads, their recipes sounded shockingly similar.

My family assured me, “Yes, this is how we do it.”

But is it particularly Texan?

People say it’s the mustard that makes a potato salad a Texas potato salad, but doesn’t everyone use mustard? Perhaps we just use more.

Of course, we also eat a lot of German potato salad in Texas. This concoction, most commonly found in the Hill Country, is usually served warm (though it’s also delicious cold). It’s a mix of red new potatoes, bacon, green onions, mustard and vinegar—with nary a dollop of mayonnaise to be found.

Sure, mustard is a quintessential Texas condiment. But so are pickled jalapenos. And why aren’t these in a Texas potato salad? Heck, even my mom—who is the queen of pickled jalapenos and its juice—doesn’t add it to hers. “Why not,” I asked. She didn’t have an answer, but insisted that sweet pickles are a key ingredient that compliments the other flavors.

Even though I’m no fan of sweet pickles, apparently I’ve been eating them in my potato salad my whole life without complaint, so I could see her point. But I still felt that a Texas potato salad needed jalapenos. So I compromised and made a batch of bread and butter jalapeno pickles and added that instead.

I love it when I have a hunch and it’s proven correct. And yes, these bread and butter jalapenos were a wonderful balance—sweet enough to be pleasing to the tongue yet fiery enough to make my lips tingle. Bread and butter jalapeno pickles were just what I needed to perk up my potato salad and make it my Texas potato salad.

But enough about me, what does Texas potato salad mean to you?

Texas potato salad
2 pounds of red new potatoes, cubed
2 celery stalks, diced
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of bread and butter jalapenos, diced (recipe follows or you can use store bought)
1/4 cup of yellow mustard
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon bread and butter jalapeno pickle juice
Salt and black pepper to taste

In a large pot, cover potatoes with cold water, bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Should be tender but not mushy.

Drain potatoes and rinse in cold water. Toss with vinegar and salt, and let cool in the refrigerator for half an hour.

After the potatoes have cooled, gently stir in the mustard and mayonnaise into the potatoes and then add the rest of the ingredients.

Serves four to six.

Notes: Lots of people like to also add dill pickles and sliced eggs and it always tastes good. And I used red new potatoes because that’s what my grandmother grows on her farm, but you can also use Yukon gold or any other potato that you prefer. I also leave my potatoes unpeeled because I like the texture and flavor of the skins, but feel free to peel your potatoes if that’s how you like them.

Bread and butter jalapeno pickles
1/2 pound jalapenos (about four)
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 cinnamon stick

Pack into a pint-sized jar the sliced jalapenos
Bring the vinegar, sugar and spices to a boil, and pour over the jalapenos.
Let cool (about half an hour) and then cover and refrigerate.
Will be ready in a couple of hours, but I like to let them pickle overnight.

What’s in your English pea salad?

I was sitting with a group of food writers from the Northeast the other day (I would playfully call them Yankees, but as it was gently pointed out to me, they wouldn’t call me a Confederate so I should be careful with my adjectives). They asked me if there was something that we Texans eat that I was reluctant to write about and I didn’t blink before I said, “Pea salad.” (If you’re a fan, please do not take offense. Instead, bear with me. )

We didn’t often eat pea salad often in my family and for me it was always the strange-looking dish holding court next to the lime congeal at the church potluck or in the cafeteria line.

I can guarantee that you would never see it here in New York City, and, well, because it’s been out of sight, it’s also been out mind. (I know, I know—how could I forget about pea salad? I hear it all the time: I’ve lived away from Texas too long!) But when a reader requested that I post a recipe, saying, “We always eat it around Easter,” I figured it was time.

Pea salad is a Texan classic and yet it changes as much as the weather on a spring day.

Take my grandmother’s recipe: she makes hers with peas, cheddar, mayonnaise and pickles. But I also know people who make their pea salad with boiled eggs and bacon, not to mention those that make theirs with pickled onions and pimento cheese. And let’s not forget those other weighty questions: Do you go with canned Le Sueur peas, frozen or fresh? Do you shred or cube your cheese? Do you add other vegetables such as carrots or celery? And how do you feel about the inclusion of macaroni or almonds?

As you can see, pea salad is the font of much debate and deliberation. .

I decided that in order to decide how best to eat it, I’d just have to make my own.

I love peas and bacon together, so that was simple decision. And since I’m the kind of person that eats mayonnaise by the spoonful, I was definitely including that. When it came time to add cheese, however, I was flummoxed. Of course, in Texas you add yellow cheese—most typically Longhorn cheddar (unless you prefer Velveeta or American). But the combination of peas and bacon reminds me of northern Italian food, and so I thought that Parmesan shavings would be tasty.

In the end, however, tradition won out over experimentation. I realized that pea salad can be found all over the place, but it’s the yellow cheese, preferably Longhorn cheddar, that marks pea salad as Texas pea salad (that is, unless you make it with hard-boiled eggs, but I’m just confusing myself).

And while I couldn’t remember the last time I had this classic Southern side dish, when I took my first bite I was pleasantly surprised as it was soft, sweet, crunchy and spicy. It was good. I wouldn’t try to overanalyze pea salad—if you dissect its parts you’ll probably be put off of it. But when you add all the ingredients together, you have a refreshingly cool spring salad that is certain to please most everyone.

So, what do you put in your pea salad?

English pea salad
4 cups of English peas (can be either fresh or frozen
4 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 of a small onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon of fresh mint, chopped
1/2 cup of sharp cheddar, cubed
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Pinch of cayenne
Salt to taster

Rinse your peas (do not cook, either fresh or frozen) and then mix all ingredients together. Chill for a few hours and serve.
Serves 8.

Notes: Like all salads, this is just a guide and you can jazz this up any way you see fit, such as using ham or chicken instead of bacon, adding pimientos or jalapenos, or maybe adding a dollop of mustard to give it some tang.

1,049 posted on 08/12/2009 2:36:02 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: FromLori


Yes it is interesting, and we thank you for posting the link for it here.

You might also check at Mother Earth and see if you can find something called a “Ram pump”, it was a method of pumping water and your invention made me think of it.

LOL, no you don’t want to hear my description of something that I read 30 years ago and did not understand then.

I suspect they only work on shallow wells.

1,050 posted on 08/12/2009 2:51:33 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: Joya

‘get a pill that contains Papaya and Peppermint’<<<

Love to you and do try them, for with them, I can still go to a truck stop and eat a ChiliBurger, complete with raw onions.

One of my favorite meals.

1,051 posted on 08/12/2009 2:53:12 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: metmom; DelaWhere

Tomato blight here in Maine just rampant. Television showing acres of tomatoes all black as if hit with a frost. I have lost nearly all of mine. My last hope is about a dozen plants planted in a raised bed initially planned for flowers but due to survival plans, planted to veggies instead, thank goodness.

DelaWhere, tried some dried zucchini and believe my dehydrator will be getting a workout this fall.
Just getting back on my feet. Did what the big “O” would call a “stupid act.” A couple weeks ago, on a very hot humid day, had my usual “breakfast”, a cup of coffee, then went out, sans hat or liquid and worked all day weeding and hilling potatoes. Whan I came in, late afternoon, it was all down hill from that point. Jumped in the shower and then the chills and shakes overtook me, along with nausea and high fever.
All the years of cautioning the children about covering their head and replacing liquids in the hot sun just escaped this old, feeble mind.
Now my daughter who brings me the daily paper early every morning, also brings a bottle of Gatorade!! Who would guess that this nearly eighty year old woman survived this long never having tasted Gatorade, (awful stuff) but I dutifully drink it, while being grateful that someone cares.

1,052 posted on 08/12/2009 2:57:56 PM PDT by upcountry miss
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To: All

Monday, July 16, 2007
With patience comes pickles

Working for a weekly magazine, my Friday nights at the office are very late. We don’t put the issue to bed until 9:30, so I often don’t get to leave before 10. I’m usually too tired at this point to do anything but sprawl on the couch—forget about mustering the energy to eat.

This past Friday was no different, and while the couch beckoned my empty stomach more loudly insisted that I fill it with food before I lounge. As I stood staring into my fridge, I was dismayed that I had no leftovers, which left me with only a few easy choices: scrambled eggs, peanut butter on a spoon, or salad. None of these options called out to me, but ordering take-out didn’t appeal either. I recently read Anthony Bourdain’s thoughts about bad food, and to paraphrase—bad food is anything made without love. Perhaps it’s the influence of these words, but it’s true, you can really taste that lack in so many restaurant’s offerings. Not all restaurants, of course, but many of my late-night delivery options are not, shall we say, the pinnacle of carefully prepared, creative cuisine. I just couldn’t bear to suffer through an over-priced, mediocre meal.

As I was nibbling on a curly red lettuce leaf, a Mason jar on the lower shelf in the fridge caught my eye. How could I forget? There sat my first attempt at making refrigerator dill pickles and after six days of shaking the jar and keeping them cool, they were finally ready.

Everyone in my family pickles and cans like they’re stocking a storm shelter. Pantry shelves are lined with colorful, comforting Mason jars stuffed with pickled vegetables and fruit preserves—an arresting array of homespun edible art. For some reason, however, I’ve never participated in the family’s canning activities, and so the process struck me as both inaccessible and mysterious. Plus, I always reckoned you needed a host of specialized equipment to do the act, so I just never bothered.

Canning jam, perhaps, does take a more technical approach, but I recently discovered that making pickles could be as simple as just brining your vegetables in the fridge for a week. And after picking up a few gorgeous Kirby cucumbers at the farmer’s market, I decided that it was high time I try to make my own dill pickles.

I’ve been attempting to grow an indoor herb garden, and several of my plants have responded heroically to the not-so-ideal horticultural conditions of my apartment: the French tarragon is lacing its way across the window sill; the chocolate mint has exploded with long, leafy stems; the purple sage surprises me daily with new, velvety growth; and the Greek basil has puffed into several large globes of fragrant, delicate leaves. But my dill plant languished and I realized it was time to say good-bye. Fortunately, with herbs you can eat your failures, so it wasn’t a total loss.

I packed what was left of my dill plant into a jar, threw in some garlic, coriander seeds and peppercorns, added the sliced cucumbers and poured in my brine. Then I placed the jar in the refrigerator and waited.

I’m usually not a patient person, but after a week of resisting the urge to open the jar and see how the pickles were faring, it was very rewarding to finally be able to taste the labor of my efforts. But first, I took a sip of the pickle juice. Every since my Aunts Jill and Julie (who are just a few years older than I, and growing up were more like big sisters than dear old aunties) dared me to drink pickle juice when I was five, I’ve been hooked; the salty, vinegary tang of pickle juice is one of my favorite potables. Plus it’s always a strong indicator if the pickles themselves will have a good flavor. The juice from my homemade pickle jar did not disappoint. I then took out a cucumber slice and slowly took a bite. It was crisp, tart and juicy, evenly flavored with garlic, pepper and dill. These were as good if not better than any of the excellent pickles you can find here in New York City, but what made me relish them even more was that I had made them myself!

So on that warm Friday evening, when my energy was low and my tummy was rumbling, I was thrilled to eat straight from the jar my own cool and spicy homemade dill pickles, which were all the more delicious because they had been prepared with love. So now that I’ve cracked the pickle code, it’s time to figure out how to make jam. I do believe that homemade preserves would make my peanut butter very, very happy!

Refrigerator dill pickles
6 Kirby cucumbers, cleaned, stemmed and halved, lengthwise
1/2 cup of white vinegar
2 tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of fresh dill

Place salt, peppercorns, coriander seeds, garlic and dill in a sterilized 1-quart Mason jar.
Layer sliced cucumbers in jar, leaving 1/2 inch at the top.
Pour in vinegar.
Fill jar with water, seal with lid and shake for about a minute.
Refrigerate for six days, shaking daily.

Makes 1-quart jar of dill pickles. This simple recipe, however, can easily be multiplied.

Here’s some other pickle recipes I can’t wait to try:
Ann packs her Mason jars with some perfectly pink pickled eggs.
I’ve never been a fan of sweet pickles because they’re too, well, sweet. But Sean makes these sweet pickles sound downright sinful.
I love radishes and can’t even begin to imagine how delicious Amy’s pickled radishes must taste.
Lisa, the Kitchen Chick, pairs her pickled green beans with pork!

1,053 posted on 08/12/2009 3:00:04 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: All


This squash casserole on offer at Joel’s that day was the same kind that my mom and my grandma make: yellow summer squash cut into rounds, baked with a mix of cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup and a package of corn bread stuffing. Yes, it qualifies as semi-homemade but it sure is good. That said, when I picked up a few pounds of yellow squash and zucchini at the farmers market recently, I didn’t have any of these squash casserole ingredients on hand. So I knew if this squash was going to be eaten I’d just have to improvise.

I made my first batch of squash casserole, thinking that it was going to be swell and I was going to be able to tell the world, “You don’t need cream of mushroom soup!” But what I made wasn’t all that good. I then made two more pans and had a casserole bake off—me vs. the mushroom soup. A fine idea in practice, yes, but not necessarily execution when it’s hot and humid both inside and out.

I was about ready to admit defeat when I hit on the bright idea to adapt my King Ranch recipe into a squash casserole. And, it worked! At last I had a squash casserole that could rub shoulders with my mom’s squash casserole.

Does mine taste the same? No, it’s different but no less equal. So now we’ll just have to make room on the table for two squash casseroles, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

Tex-Mex squash casserole

2 yellow squash and 2 zucchini, cut into coins (4 cups)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 tablespoons of butter
1 can of Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained or two cups of diced fresh tomatoes with 1/4 cup of diced green chiles, such as a jalapeno
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 cup of half and half
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
2 cups total of grated pepper jack and cheddar
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the butter in a large skillet on medium heat. When melted, add the squash, onion and jalapeno, and sauté until onions are translucent and the squash is soft, about ten minutes.

Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, pepper and cook for a minute. Then stir in the flour and cook until a light-brown past forms, about a minute.

Now add the broth and tomatoes and stir until the mixture thickens, which should happen in a couple of minutes. Add the half and half, sour cream and cilantro and turn off the heat.

In a greased casserole dish, layer the bottom with the crushed tortilla chips. Pour on top of the chips the creamy squash mixture and then cover the whole dish with the grated cheese.

Cook uncovered for thirty minutes, or until top is brown and bubbling.

Serves 6-8.

Mom’s squash casserole

5 yellow squash, cut into rounds (4 cups)
1 stick of butter
1 package herb stuffing mix (Pepperidge Farm preferred)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 carrot, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Melt butter and mix with herb stuffing mix.

Meanwhile, cook 5 yellow squash till soft.

Mash squash and mix with onion, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, grated carrot, salt and pepper.

Layer dressing and squash mixture in casserole, ending with dressing.

Bake covered for 30 minutes.

1,054 posted on 08/12/2009 3:04:08 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: Quix

I got the link for that email Quix, with the closed door Congress and predictions that seemed outrageous last year!

1,055 posted on 08/12/2009 3:32:47 PM PDT by autumnraine (You can't fix stupid, but you can vote it out!)
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To: All

Weekly Harvest Newsletter

Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 12, 2009

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.

News & Resources
* Conservation Program Open For Sign-up
* Researchers Study Benefits of Earthworm Tea
* Farm Aid Seeking ‘Farm Fresh’ Pictures
* Video Shows Vineyard Weed Control Methods
* Researchers Study Farm Succession Near Urban Areas
* USDA Declares National Community Gardening Week

Funding Opportunities
* National Science Foundation Environmental Sustainability Grant
* Coca-Cola Water Stewardship Grant
* Northeast SARE Farmer Grant

Coming Events
* Oklahoma Grazing Conference
* Minnesota Garlic Festival
* Southwest Iowa Food & Farming Initiative Field Day

News & Resources

Conservation Program Open For Sign-up!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB/.cmd/ad/.ar/sa.retrievecontent/.c/6_2_1UH/.ce/7_2_5JM/.p/5_2_4TQ/.d/1/_th/J_2_9D/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?PC_7_2_5JM_contentid=2009%2F08%2F0369.xml&PC_7_2_5JM_parentnav=LATEST_RELEASES&PC_7_2_5JM_navid=NE
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin continuous sign-up for the new Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) on August 10 with the first signup period cutoff scheduled for September 30. CSP is a voluntary program that encourages agricultural and forestry producers to maintain existing conservation activities and adopt additional ones on their operations. ‘This program will help the Nation’s agricultural and forestry producers reach greater levels of conservation performance, which will help protect our land and water,’ Merrigan said. “The conservation benefits derived from maintaining and enhancing natural resources will improve the quality of soil and water, assist in addressing global climate change, and encourage environmentally responsible energy production.”

Researchers Study Benefits of Earthworm Tea
With funding from USDA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, administered by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), scientists in Oregon and Ohio examined how plant compounds, incorporated into earthworm tea, affect plant growth and development and suppress diseases and pests. Researchers found the use of vermicompost and vermicompost tea increases plant growth and yields, suppresses pests and disease, improves soil quality, and reduces the application of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides onto farmland with little or no impact to soil and water quality or to the surrounding lands.
Related ATTRA publication: Worms for Composting (

Farm Aid Seeking ‘Farm Fresh’ Pictures
Farm Aid is hosting the ‘Farm Fresh Photo Contest.’ The grand prize winner will receive an expenses-paid trip and two front row tickets to Farm Aid 2009 presented by Horizon Organic. Entries can be a photo of anything related to family farmers and the good food they produce. They are looking for photos of farms, farmers and farm families, tractors and barns, the perfect tomatoes you bought at a farmers market, or your favorite farm animals-anything and everything that shows the vibrancy and beauty of the American family farm.

Video Shows Vineyard Weed Control Methods
The latest grape-growing project, funded by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and led by Iowa State University horticulture professor Gail Nonnecke, looks at weed control alternatives to herbicides and pesticides in Iowa vineyards. This video shows the weed control methods being studied.
Related ATTRA publication: Grapes: Organic Production (

Researchers Study Farm Succession Near Urban Areas,_Thrive
To find out the succession strategies of farms near urban areas, Shoshanah Inwood, a research associate with the Social Responsibility Initiative in Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences interviewed farm families located near Columbus, Ohio, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Succession and Enterprise Adaptation at the Rural Urban Interface (PDF/581KB) ( describes four types of strategies being used to keep farms viable.

USDA Declares National Community Gardening Week!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB/.cmd/ad/.ar/sa.retrievecontent/.c/6_2_1UH/.ce/7_2_5JM/.p/5_2_4TQ/.d/1/_th/J_2_9D/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?PC_7_2_5JM_contentid=2009%2F08%2F0371.xml&PC_7_2_5JM_parentnav=LATEST_RELEASES&PC_7_2_5JM_navid=NE
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack encouraged Americans to connect with the land, the food it grows and their local communities by proclaiming August 23-29, National Community Gardening Week. A community garden is an opportunity to educate everyone about where food comes from, whether that is a Farmers’ Market or a garden. ‘Community gardens provide numerous benefits including opportunities for local food production, resource conservation, and neighborhood beautification,’ said Vilsack. ‘But they also promote family and community interaction and enhance opportunities to eat healthy, nutritious foods. Each of these benefits is something we can and should strive for.’

> More Breaking News (

Funding Opportunities

National Science Foundation Environmental Sustainability Grant
The Environmental Sustainability program supports engineering research with the goal of promoting sustainable engineered systems that support human well-being and that are also compatible with sustaining natural (environmental) systems. There are four principal research areas which are supported, but others can be proposed:

* Industrial Ecology
* Green Engineering
* Ecological Engineering
* Earth Systems Engineering
Proposals are due September 17, 2009.

Coca-Cola Water Stewardship Grant
The Coca-Cola Company has a grant program that focuses on water stewardship. The goal of this program is to support access to clean water and sanitation, watershed protection in water-stressed regions, and education and awareness programs that promote water conservation within communities.

Northeast SARE Farmer Grant
Farmer Grants are for commercial producers who have an innovative idea they want to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, or other technique. A technical advisor-often an extension agent, crop consultant, or other service professional-is required as a project participant. Projects should seek results other farmers can use, and all projects must have the potential to add to our knowledge about effective sustainable practices.
Proposals are due December 8, 2009.

> More Funding Opportunities (

Coming Events

Oklahoma Grazing Conference
August 13-14, 2009
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Grazing Lands Conservation Association will host its annual ‘Grazing Lands Dollar$ and Sense’ conference Aug. 13 and 14 at the Clarion Conference Center in Oklahoma City. This year’s conference will focus on getting the most out of your pastures.

Minnesota Garlic Festival
August 15, 2009
Hutchinson, Minnesota
Minnesota Garlic Festival is the premier event for lovers of garlic and good times, promoting gourmet garlic farming in Minnesota. Family friendly, fun filled and fragrant, this festival features local foods, chefs, music, artisans, games, competitions, and lots of garlic-all in support of a healthy environment, sustainable farms and vital rural communities in Minnesota.

Southwest Iowa Food & Farming Initiative Field Day
August 16, 2009
Atlantic, Iowa
This Rolling Acres Farm field day will discuss:
• Regional food systems in southwest Iowa
• Local food systems
• Producing for a CSA
• Food systems education
• A visit to Harrisdale Homestead Rural Learning Center

> More Events (

New & Updated Publications

Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland

Start a Farm in the City

Dairy Production on Pasture: An Introduction to Grass-Based and Seasonal Dairying

Question of the Week

What information can you provide me on gopher control?

Website of the Week

The Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA)

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert

Submit questions to our professional staff online

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter

Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (
(Monthly Harvest), ATTRA’s Spanish-language e-newsletter

ATTRA on the Radio
This week’s program features farmscaping, a whole-farm, ecological approach to pest management.

Subscribe to the Weekly Harvest

Comments? Questions? Go to

Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Available Online
Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and is funded under a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service ( Visit the NCAT Web site ( for more information on our sustainable agriculture projects.

Copyright 2009 NCAT

1,056 posted on 08/12/2009 3:36:12 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: All

RIA Novosti Agence russe
12 août 2009
Israeli town offers $1 million for mermaid proof


TEL AVIV, August 12 (RIA Novosti) - An Israeli town has offered a $1
million reward to anyone who can prove the existence of a mermaid said
to live in nearby coastal waters, the Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday.

The offer was made after locals and visitors to Kiryat Yam, just north
of the city of Haifa, reported seeing a strange creature swimming in the

“Many people are telling us they are sure they’ve seen a mermaid and
they are all independent of each other,” council spokesman Natti
Zilberman was quoted as saying by Sky News. “People say it is half girl,
half fish, jumping like a dolphin. It does all kinds of tricks, then
disappears,” he said.

Zilberman also said the creature was not thought to be a dolphin or a
large fish, adding that people say “it is a female figure, and it looks
like a young girl.”

Capturing the creature is not necessary to obtain the reward, he said. A
good quality photo is sufficient.

The announcement has led to tourists and locals patrolling the coast of
the town with cameras, all hoping to snap a photo that will net them the

1,057 posted on 08/12/2009 3:38:23 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: nw_arizona_granny

We still have an A&W rootbeer not too far away, and they have chili dogs, which, of course, require an order of onion rings and a big rootbeer also. But, oh, dear, I pay for it later, and I say, I’m getting too old for this. But then, I do it again after the memory of the heartburn fades a little.

1,058 posted on 08/12/2009 3:40:46 PM PDT by Joya (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, have mercy on me, a sinner!)
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To: nw_arizona_granny

Speaking of living on nothing, here’s something I saw on the Net,

“Ten Things You Need to Know to Live on the Streets”

as seen on Steve Quayle’s site

1,059 posted on 08/12/2009 3:42:24 PM PDT by Joya (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, have mercy on me, a sinner!)
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To: upcountry miss

I am so glad you are feeling better.

Gatorade is used around here in search and rescue work, for it is better than water, if you find someone in trouble.

LOL, My brother brings it to me and I drink it, but do not say that I like it.

It is sad that so many are loosing their tomatoes, such a waste and so needed by all of us.

Be careful...please.

1,060 posted on 08/12/2009 3:44:37 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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