Month: March 2016

The Hodag


I’m not an astrology person but March is working out to be  a weird one, if you were to follow such things. Two eclipses and a sabbat (which one of the eclipses falls on).

Not saying you need to follow such things but hey this is a folklore post.

So this month has been odd and I feel like writing about slightly strange things.

Like the hodag.

The hodag is a smallish, dog sized creature with dinosaur spikes. Originating in Wisconsin, the hodag dates back to the 19th century.

Combining the features of several animals including a frog, elephant, and the aforementioned dinosaur, the hodag was first ‘discovered’ in 1893 by one Eugene Shepard. Shepard led a search for the hodag in Rhinelander Wisconsin which did end with a ‘corpse’.

However Shepard was known for his pranks and ultimately the hodag was outed a a hoax. The cryptid was believed to be real however until a team from the Smithsonian went to Wisconsin to view it,and Shepard had to out himself. Rhinelander took to the hodag, and made the animal its masot regardless of its status as a gaff.

Canning Month-Vanilla Spiced Peaches


These peaches are still near the top of my favorite canning projects. Half pint jars seem small but they’re about the right size to pack for lunch.

Vanilla Spiced Peaches

Frozen sliced peaches (either from the store or fresh peaches peeled and sliced)

Cinnamon-I used 1 tablespoon to a batch of 1 quarter
Real (not imitation) vanilla extract-2-3 tablespoons for a quart

Light to medium weight simple syrup

Take your peaches out of the freezer at least 1 hour before canning. They don’t have to be fully defrosted, but they shouldn’t be frozen solid either.

Bring your simple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla to a boil. Let boil at least 5 minutes, then add your peaches (all of them). Bring back to a boil and boil at least five minutes.

Hot pack into prepped jars and process in a water bath for 20 minutes for pints and half pints.

Using Upcycled Kitchen Cloth

I apologize for the photo quality I wasn’t thinking blogging when I did this.

I had a full sized flannel sheet that tore down the middle. It sat in a ball in a corner while I figured out what to use it for.

Then spring came and so did my need for cold brew coffee.


I tore the sheet into good sized squares and set up my brew to sit overnight.

I normally use paper towels to filter but half the time they tear.


I used a large square-it filtered beautifully, no tearing and no grounds getting through.


It was fairly easy to rinse out and hang as well, to be thrown in the wash later.

I got a lot of squares out of the sheet, so I have basically free kitchen wipes and napkins.

Canning Month-Firestarter Jam [Peach/Superhots]



I post this recipe every few years. It’s still a fan favorite, and honestly, it really is that good. You can adjust the heat on this one-if you really want to up the heat, overload it with superhot peppers and freeze it.

Firestarter Jam (Peach-Scotch Bonnet Jam)

3 cups sliced peaches

1 seeded, diced scotch bonnet pepper- I really would seed it. The heat level on this isn’t unbearable for me, but I don’t think I would leave the seeds in there either. If you can’t get a scotch bonnet, try a couple bird’s eye peppers or a habanero.

scant 1 1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 table bottled lemon juice

Prep 3 quarter pint jars for boiling water bath canning.

In a large saucepan, bring fruit, sugar, pepper, and lemon to a hard boil. After 10 minutes of boiling check for gel by placing a plate in the freezer. Place a small amount of jam on the plate and freeze for 30 seconds. When you can run your finger through the jam and it holds it shape without running together, it’s gelled.

Fill jars and process for 10 minutes using a boiling water canner. Or, you can freeze the jam for up to one year.

I did BWB process these jars. If you are not familiar with how to boiling water bath process food for canning, please make sure to read over a source like the Ball Blue Book or the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Canning is not particularly difficult, but it’s also not a process that you should take lightly. This recipe assumes you know the basics of boiling water bath canning. If you are not comfortable with canning, this recipe can be stored in the freezer for 1 year.