At-home cooking

Odds and Ends Of Life, Keep It Clean
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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:01 pm

churro wrote:I've been gather and using the fruits of common mallow or "cheeseplant" for several years now. Here's a link that gives a decent description:
http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/08/mallow.html
The fruits, around here and in Santa Fe, at least, are small but plentiful, and enjoy a fairly long season. I've read that it's called cheeseplant because the immature fruits taste like cheese, or, alternatively, look like traditional cheese that's wrapped in cloth and hung to drain off the whey. I don't taste the cheese thing, they just taste green and kind of boring to me, so I tend to believe the second version. I like to add a few handfuls to jars of mixed pickled vegetables or to soups, even salads. I live pretty far away from any decent grocery stores, so it's nice to have fresh stuff like this nearby to bulk up things like stuffing for pork chops, salads, whatever. And nobody seems to balk at eating them.

The other day I tried some of the young leaves raw and liked them. Again, green and boring, but, hey, they're healthy and not at all bitter like some wild greens are. Also, they are plentiful, healthy and free, popping up everywhere. Also, recent studies indicate that they are a powerful anti-cancer food.

I was reading up on them and learned that throughout the ancient world they were (and still are, in some places) used seasonally and heavily relied on as a staple when crops failed. The whole plant is edible, provided you used common sense and gather the parts when tender and young.

Like most wild greens, soil quality matters, in that the plants can concentrate nitrates and other stuff in poor soil, especially where chemical fertilizers are concentrated, and especially later in the season. In the middle-east it has been used as a thickening agent and base for green sauces. I plan to try that soon. I'll work up some sort of recipe and post it here.


That cheese plant grows all over the place here in Illinois. I'll pick some tomorrow and taste it. I'll see if there are seed pods forming and maybe even eat a few blossoms for the fun of it. :D

My sister-in-law no longer works for the YWCA where the watercress grows so I may have to seek my other source for it or sneak in for a quick pick :lol: Just kidding, I'll ask permission from whomever is at the site ;)
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churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:10 pm

zelph wrote:Use the cattails to build a daub and wattle hut like this guy made with saplings:



All that work in 11 minutes and 13 seconds :o I would love to hire that guy to make me a new lambing shed and a little hunting cabin. Maybe I could pay him in bug spray? Wouldn't take him more than an afternoon.

Seriously, though, that was really cool. The shirtless, stone-age, silent-monk-of-the-forest vibe made it even better. Thanks for sharing that! I'd love to know how long that actually took.

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:51 am

I didn't see him mix in any grit/crushed clam shells to temper the mud that he used for the fire pit and chimney. It will not last long without it.

You can see how he has mastered his fire making skills....watch him "make fire" again :D

Yes, the silence is eerie monkish

Put those cattails to good use :D

Did your son treat you well for fathers day? :D
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churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:36 am

zelph wrote:Did your son treat you well for fathers day? :D

Yes, he did, though it turned out to be a long workday for me. I got a call from the neighbors that I double up with for sheep shearing saying that they had a shearer coming between 9 and 10, so I better gather my sheep and get them up there. I got them gathered, but it took some doing. By the time I got up there the shearer was exhausted from shearing their HUGE rams (30 of them, and they look kind of like horses), so I had to negotiate to get the guy to stick around one more day. By then it was time to move the dam tarps for irrigating, so I missed dinner, and came home to find some guys using my corrals to load some calves. I gave them a hand so as to get to know my neighbors better. I got done around 9 pm.

There was a serious language barrier that made the negotiations with the shearer rather comical. He was speaking english, I think, but his thick, rural New Zealand accent and slang made it hard to tell for sure. Only the profanity was clearly distinguishable. He finally agreed to stay over, provided the folks at the bar would let him watch some golf tournament (he had some heavy bets laid). He told me that if it went his way he would retire and I shouldn't expect him to show up. He even tried to get me to play dice, at one point, but I've been warned about playing dice with shearers, and declined.

Now I am waiting to see if he retired, or will show up. Fingers crossed. Agriculture can be a little unpredictable. A sense of humor is valuable.

realityguy
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby realityguy » Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:59 pm

LOL!..sounds like the Kiwis are the same up here.. :roll: ..the friend of mine from New Zealand still has his accent after 20+ years here..I think the ladies like it..so he keeps it.. ;)
The views and opinions expressed by this person are his own and not the general consensus of others on this website.Realityguy

churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:53 pm

The shearer did not retire (missed putt right at the end), and turned out to be one of the nicest, most generous guys I have ever worked with. He undercharged me dramatically, I felt, so I tipped him well. abd he agreed to come back twice a year to shear my flock. That means I'll finally have marketable wool and a second income stream from the flock. Man, I'm beat, though. Shower and off to bed with me ;)

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:22 pm

I watched a few kiwi videos today...neat little creatures. Thanks Realityguy :D

Do you have to take your wool to market or does someone make the rounds and pick up at your ranch?

I raised rabbits one year, didn't have the heart to process them. ;)

Made me tired just thinking about your full day churro :o Glad the shearer didn't retire and turned pout to be a good guy.
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churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:55 pm

zelph wrote:Do you have to take your wool to market or does someone make the rounds and pick up at your ranch?

There's nobody picking up wool around here, and wool from navajo churro isn't as commercially desirable as other breeds. Fortunately theres a robust local market for churro wool owing to lots of "fiber artists" and wool spinners. There are several spinning and weaving guilds nearby and a popular fiber arts festival just down the road. Also a small-scale wool mill, that might buy my wool or sell it on consignment, or process it into rug yarn, for a price. The other option is to take it to a livestock sale barn and see what the commercial buyers will offer, though that's unlikely to be more than about 30 cents a pound.

The fleeces this year were very matted because of weeks of rain and my inability to find a shearer back in march and april. Most of them are almost like filthy wool rugs already, so maybe it would make a ready-made dog bed. Most of it got set aside as insulation for the barn. I did save one fleece to make a "stomp rug" and all of the lamb's wool, which is absolutely gorgeous. I'll keep most of the lambs wool for spinning, and give some to a buddy to make felt shoes for bowhunting.

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:08 pm

Ok, but you got to have another do it yourself project :D 8-) Make a carding drum big enough to become your areas wool processor :o

http://foresthousefarm.blogspot.com/201 ... arder.html

http://www.ebay.com/bhp/drum-carder

buy this by the foot: http://www.ebay.com/itm/BUY-BY-THE-FOOT ... 3cf2061b03

Build a large one of these:

http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:43 pm

My yard/field produced 5 large round bails of good eating grass. I used to just cut it and then someone knocked on my door wanting to cut and bail so that's the way it's been for past 7 years. I don't charge anything,,,just glad I don't have to cut it.

I looked in my yard for some "cheeses" but found none :(
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