Month: April 2014

Strange

Monster of the week shows can get old, fast, and it sometimes seems that every thing that can be done has. And every show is going to have the time loop episode, and there’s going to be some sort of moral overtone to the nature of the monster. In the case of Supernatural, the Winchester brothers have a nasty habit of coming down against anything they deem ‘pagan’-don’t get me started about both the nastiness and stupidity of a continual desire to kill pagan gods. And yet I still watch anyway. And Grimm tries to humanize the monsters; that’s not necessarily a bad stance to take, but a stance nonetheless.

One of the aspects that I like about both of the aforementioned shows, even with their own weaknesses, is that they like to go off of the path at least a little and pull from world mythology. I like shows that can show us new monsters and myths even while using the same formula and the same heroes.

This is where I fall in love with shows like Strange. Following the misadventures of the titular John Strange and his companion by fate Jude, Strange is the tale of Strange’s attempts to track down and stop various demons. However, Strange is fairly bumbling, Jude has some life problems that she has to work through due to plot elements, and the Church of England very much so does not want Strange to be in the middle of this at all.

A BBC production, Strange likes to work within the bounds of world mythology with monsters ranging from Jinn (the show’s spelling) and Celtic fae. Yes, fae, that’s me dancing in the corner because anyone who’s followed my reviews has had to deal with me wondering for years why we’re not seeing more traditional fae and less pretty pretty princess butterfly wings. Bring on the sidhe.

Produced in 2003 there is only one seven episode arch so my dancing is short-lived. However, I’ll take seven episodes of Strange over seven seasons of the Winchester brothers, if I honestly had to choose.

Sheepsquatch

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I honestly don’t even care if this one is real.

I do sometimes wonder about the validity of the stories that I write for this blog, but there are some that I don’t care about the truthfulness about them, I just think they’re cool. There are some that I know are faked, I’ve written about hoaxes before, and I don’t think that being a faked story makes anything less creepy (I’m still creeped out by the Fresno Nightcrawlers). Folklore and urban legends are not somehow more important when they’re based in fact.

Anyway, I just want to blog about sheepsquatch because I think that sheepsquatch is cool.

Sheepsquatch, also called white thing, is a white, furry animal roughly the size of a bear. The animal is described as having long teeth, two horns, a tail like a possum, and hands like a racoon. There have been suggestions that the obvious answer is that Sheepsquatch is some sort of mutated bear. It also stinks like sulfur.

Sheepsquatch is a very regional legend. He seems to prefer the very rural areas on the border of West Virginia and Virginia. The legend seems to have been most active in the 1990s, with multiple people claiming to have almost direct interactions with the animal. There are stories of children finding it in their back yards. While there are claims of encounters before and after the 90s, that decade appears to have been the most intense period of sightings.

Oddly there are some fairly varying descriptions of this creature which puts it closer to the Goatman. In some accounts, he’s 9 feet tall and is a half man, half sheep monster something closer to a satyr than a bear.

 

Sheepsquatch

Have YOU Ever Seen Breckenridge County’s Sheepsquatch?

Cooking From Books: Preserving By the Pint (Blender Salsa)

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I pretty much taught myself to can with two sources: Marisa McClellan’s blog Food in Jars (linked on the sidebar) and The Ball Blue Book.

McClellan recently released her second book, Preserving By the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces. Written with truly small batches in mind (think no more than two pints), the book is broken into seasons. Each recipe is both high flavor but fairly simple-there’s no three week long pickle recipes here.

And I love that. I have to be honest, I love this book. It fills a niche that I’ve been looking for-recipes that I can get through my canner in a morning before work, while actually being small batch. I’ve been frustrated since I started canning that even small batch salsa recipes make upwards of four pints of salsa.

The book, while being beginner friendly, is not entirely aimed at beginners in that if you want a book on how to make basic dill pickles or strawberry jam, you might not be happy with what you find in this book. However, McClellan still has you in mind-you’d just be happier with her first book Food in Jars (which I also own and cook out of).

McClellan also produced a gorgeous book. The actual book, and its lay out is lovely. I did buy the ebook (with my own funds, this is not a sponsored post) and find it a very easy book to navigate with my Paperwhite.

And yes, I squeed when I realized that McClellan had a truly small batch salsa recipe, which means I can make salsa with heirlooms and not blow my entire canning budget on tomatoes.

The Canning:

I was trying to can on a back injury which means I was moving a lot slower than normal. Add in doctor’s appointment and sick time and everything else, and you have a decided lack of motivation to want to can.

However I also had just over two pounds of Roma tomatoes staring me down in the face, slowly getting wrinkly and nasty. So I ended up making the salsa fridge style the night before and processing it the next day. Honestly? I may do all of my tomatoes that way from now on.

Notes:

-I’ll add a photo of the actual jars later.

-I did modify the recipe slightly. I love mint and peppers in my salsa. The original recipe calls for no herbs other than garlic and just onions. I used half of the called for onions and replaced the rest with bell pepper.

-The original recipe makes 4 half pint jars. I got a pint jar and a half pint. Remember that there’s a lot of factors that account for output including the water content of your produce.

-I overblended my tomatoes so this batch is a lot smoother than what I liked, but I left all of the other produce hand chopped because the tomatoes were too smooth.

-I added 50% more citric acid just to cover my bases with the mint and the bell pepper. It should be fine without it, but I wanted to be safe.

-I processed this batch for 20 minutes because I used a pint jar. Recipe is written for 15 minutes for half pints. Time was determined by comparison to recipes in the Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving.

Blender Salsa

1/8 tea dried mint

3/4 tea citric acid

2 table bottled lemon juice (recipe calls for lime, but I had lemon)

approx. 2 lbs roma tomatoes

2 tea kosher salt

1/4 cup each chopped onions and bell peppers

1 hot pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Place all into a blender and pulse till chopped, but not smooth.

Prep 4 half pint jars for canning (make sure you understand the basics of water bath canning).

Bring salsa to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.

Fill jars to within 1/2 inch of top.

Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Bloggers-I have started a new group board on Pinterest. Open to all DIY, craft, food, or other creative blogs, I would love to have you join. Joining instructions are posted on the board-join here.

Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends!

Linked to-

life with the crust cut off

family home and life

the tasty fork

mom’s test kitchen

ginger snap crafts

craft dictator

mamaldiane

memories by the mile

carolyn’s homework

vmg206

the chicken chick

the prairie homestead

frugal by choice

little house in the suburb

nifty thrifty

simply gloria

lil suburban homestead

Inspired Weekends #17

springweekends

Inspired Weekends #17

Hello!

It’s been a quiet week on the blog. I’ve been dealing with health issues, trying to figure out if my symptoms are being caused by back problems and trying to heal from said problems or if my symptoms are something significantly more serious. Luckily, my blood work is suggesting that it’s just my back-which is both much less dangerous but a much longer heal time and potentially long lasting discomfort. It’s drained my enthusiasm for a lot of things. But I’m starting to get my energy back.

I hope you had a better week.

All entries are pinned to the Inspired Weekends Pinterest board.

You are also invited to join my new blogger group board- Make Me, Bake Me, Craft Me, Inspire Me. Please make sure to read the joining instructions!

This is a free for all style link up-there are no rules! The only guideline is that each entry should be your own content-but feel free to link up round ups, link parties, giveaways, diy, recipes, tutorials, favorite entries from your archives, recipes, anything that you would like to share!

Featured Links

Card sqPickled Okra’s Easter Card

 

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My Do It Yourself’s Sign

DIY Citrus Cleaner

citrus cleaner

Just another fast entry. I hurt my lower back at some point in the last three weeks, which has thrown off my right leg. I’m much better, but still not awesome. And I get to rock an awesome compression sock.

Yay.

I mean, I know that it could be a lot worse-my GP is pretty certain it’s nothing circulatory or cardiac. I had a D-dimer run and it came back negative for clotting, which is the big concern. But. Yeah.

Anyway, it’s put a damper on my enthusiasm for a lot of things. But projects like this are awesome and low impact.

If you’ve been cooking with a lot of citrus (like, say, being obsessed with soda syrup like me) you’re going to have piles of peels.

In order to utilize them for your home, you can make perpetual citrus cleaner.

1. Take a large clean glass jar.

2. Place peels into the jar.

3. Cover with vinegar-I used ACV because it’s what I normally have in the house. Just regular old cheap off the shelf stuff.

4. Let sit for at least two weeks.

5. Strain through a kitchen cloth or coffee filter and return to the jar.

6. As you use more citrus, throw the peels into the jar with the cleaner and start again, letting the peels on the bottom sit for at least two weeks. Continue to add vinegar to cover peels.

I pour mine into an old spray bottle for use.

 

Bloggers-I have started a new group board on Pinterest. Open to all DIY, craft, food, or other creative blogs, I would love to have you join. Joining instructions are posted on the board-join here.

Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends!

Linked to-

life with the crust cut off

family home and life

the tasty fork

mom’s test kitchen

ginger snap crafts

mamaldiane

carolyn’s homework

memories by the mile

vmg206

the chicken chick

frugal by choice

the prairie homestead

simply living simply

nifty thrifty

clearwater farm

little house in the suburb

simply gloria

lil suburban homestead

Because It’s Been Raining

It was raining when I got out of the bus station. I opened my umbrella and started to walk through the crowd.

Within seconds I noticed that there was something wrong.

No one else was carrying an umbrella.

No one else was walking in the same direction I was.

No one else was talking, or smiling. Everyone had the same expression on their face, very serious.

I struggled against the crowd, until I saw a taxi sitting by the curb. The driver was gesturing wildly at me, trying to get my attention. I walked to the car and got in.

We drove for awhile and finally the driver said,

‘Well, when I saw a man on the empty street, walking like he was fighting a crowd, I figured it was time to pick you up.’

The Fermentation Project

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I honestly don’t remember if I wrote about my ferments last summer. I know that I meant to, but last summer was a weird, weird time and I don’t know if I actually got around to it.

I’ve had over a gallon of pickles fermenting in my fridge. For reasons that only the gods know, I wasn’t able to get a good head of steam going on my ferments when left out on the counter so I threw them into the fridge. I have giant chunk deli style dill, one with berbere, and some random small slices.

I was laying in bed the other night and realized, oh god, I forgot about the pickles. I did some digging on google. Internet land says that ferments don’t go bad the way that other products do-they shouldn’t be ‘bad’ they may just not be good.

The last time I checked them they still fizzed like there was too much CO2 in the brine. This time they actually taste like pickles. They’re getting on the soft side, I will definitely try to eat them down soon. But they’re actually fairly decent pickles. They’ve been sitting there since July, and I think being in the fridge is what elongated the process so much.

So now I have faith in the fermented hot sauce I want to make this week. I’ll probably pull some of the brine to get the ferment going on the sauce and keep eating down these pickles. We’ll see what I end up fermenting once it gets warmer.

Bloggers-I have started a new group board on Pinterest. Open to all DIY, craft, food, or other creative blogs, I would love to have you join. Joining instructions are posted on the board-join here.

Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends!

Linked to-

nifty thrifty

simply living simply

simply gloria

a savory feast

ginger snap crafts

clearwater farm

lil suburban homestead