Monday, April 28, 2014


Its a bit cold outside yet but I got some seedlings started late last week.
By Monday my lettuce seeds have sprouted and are 3/4 inch tall
I used Jello pudding cups we have saved over the last year and the Jiffy Peat Pellets from Walmart. Just add water and they swell up.
 The acorn squash seems to be on its way as well, though the spinach has yet to sprout.
Sunday we stopped by Broadway gardens as well and got  a couple of tomato seedlings, two bell pepper seedlings, parsley and marjoram.
All cozy above the Rinai heater in the kitchen window

Monday, April 14, 2014

Curried Beef Tongue

Don't let the looks freak you out. The results are well worth the effort.
One large beef tongue
Trim the fatty bits off. A large chunk on the base and a couple long thin bits along the sides. You do need a razor sharp knife for this. You can skip this part all together and boil it just as it is, but I find it makes for better results if you do remove at least the big chunks of fat.
Plunk it in a large boiling pot of water with one large white peeled onion 6 bay leaves and 2 table spoons of salt. Bring it to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer and let it go for two to two and a half hours.
After about two and a half hours remove and let it cool for about a half hour.
Remove and reserve the boiled onion. Save the broth as it is good for a soup later.
Once cool enough to handle cut the tongue in half . . .
. . . and peel the outer hide off the thing. The underside is thinner and a bit trickier to remove. Just keep at it you'll figure it out.
When done it should look like this.
Slice it in to nice half inch thick slabs
Puree the cooked onion in a blender or food processor
Melt a third of a stick of butter
Add one teaspoon each of Curry powder, Tumeric and Cumin. Pour in your blended onion adjust flavor with salt and pepper. This part you can play with. I like mine mild but if you like the hot stuff you enjoy twice, knock yourself out.
Toss in the slices and warm them up
Serve with white rice and a side veggie. . . . takes a bit of effort but it is really delicious and well worth the trouble.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Signs of Spring ???

Could it really be?
Just below the kitchen window where the sun hits the hardest a couple of Crocuses have bloomed.
And on the front of the house a few Tulips and some greenery starting to poke through the soil
Que up Alfred Hitchcock

The raiding party assembles
and comes in for the attack
Cleaning up the bird feeder in no time flat
a sketchy crowd they are
They are gone as quick as they arrived.

Meanwhile in the basement  . . .

After 24 hours of rain on Sunday, the basement sump is now filling up quickly.
 That's 25 gallons of ground water every 5 minutes
And it gets worse than that. Usually at the height of it, it takes less than 60 seconds to fill the 25 gallon capacity sump entirely. I have 2 staged pump so that if the first fails the second will kick in with only a half inch rise beyond what sets off the first one.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Making maple syrup

Last Saturday afternoon we went over to Jonathan's girlfriend Eliza's house in Yarmouth to so see how his new home made maple sap evaporator rig was working.
 A few weeks back Jon and I went scrounging at the local scrap metal dealer for an improved pan. Previously he had been using three separate stainless steel food hot trays on the burner rig and wanted to make one single large one instead. We found the perfect 24"x72" stainless steel pan that once liberated from the table it was affixed to and cut to the right size would work. Not quite sure what the original purpose was, but with the bathtub drain in one end of the pan I figured that it was a cadaver washdown table from a morgue, but Jon pointed out it was not wide enough for a fat guy and he thought they were food serving hot tables from a cafeteria. At any rate we brought one of the big pans home and Jon cut it down and capped the end to suit his burner rig.
The end result worked quite well.
And he was able to fit it all on his home made propane bottle wood burner.
And how do you make maple syrup you ask? You tap about 50 maples trees, wait until you have the right combination of below freezing nights and just above freezing days and the sap starts to run, and collect about 50 gallons of maple tree sap. Which you then pour in your evaporator pan and boil for hours on end . . . .
 . . . you stand around drinking beer in 30 degree F, weather and keep adding bucket loads of sap . . .
  . . . frozen chunks of sap
until it all boils down
And after about 5 hours you decant about 3 quarts of syrup
And then stand around in the now sub zero temperatures eating vanilla ice cream with maple syrup , all the time trying your best to not wring the neck of the pin--headed--egotistic--bigoted--left--wing--guest trying to convince you that all the exiled Cubans in Florida are common criminals now turned criminal capitalist pigs , and that Castro's totalitarian state run Cuban medical system is vastly superior to that of the USA . Along with just about every other one of the usual typically asinine nonsensical and sorely misinformed left wing assertions on the subject . And then laugh while the nut job makes a scene and storms away in an infantile hissy fit because his misguided argument just got poked full of holes .
This is what the home made burner rig look like inside once we remove the cadaver wash-down pan .