Saturday, July 31, 2010

Microwave Jam

I know every one sits there thinking they wished there was an easier way to make jam, but I really was just sitting here thinking "I wish there was an easier way to make jam". Then thanks to Google, I put in a search for small batch jam and found this site that promotes Microwave Jam. Seems innocent enough- makes just 2 cups of jam so no giant water bath. That's a positive. So I am thinking of giving it a try. Now all I need is fresh fruit and I am in business! Anyway take a look at the Microwave Jam page and leave a comment about what you think on it.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dolphin Bubbles

This is really cool. NOw you can go up to a dolphin and say "blow me!"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

DIY Biodegradable Weedblocker

You may or may not know that I am a fan of weed blockers. Not the fabric or the plastic types. I use cardboard or newsprint. People leave newspapers at work. Companies and orginizations send them to me in the mail (not requested BTW). Anyway, "BRODIEMAC" on shows how to use newsprint to make your summer weed free!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We are DOOMED!

This was sent to me by a friend.
The following questions were set in last year's GED examination ~ These are genuine answers (from 16 year olds)............and they WILL breed.

Q. Name the four seasons.
A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar

Q. Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A. Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists

Q. How is dew formed?
A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire

Q. What causes the tides in the oceans?
A. The tides are a fight between the earth and the moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins the fight

Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on?
A. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed

Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections?
A. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election

Q. What are steroids?
A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs
(Shoot yourself now, there is little hope)

Q. What happens to your body as you age?
A. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental

Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery

(So true)

Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes?
A. Premature death

Q. What is artificial insemination?
A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow

Q. How can you delay milk turning sour?
A. Keep it in the cow

(Simple, but brilliant)

Q. How are the main 20 parts of the body categorized? (e.g. The abdomen)
A. The body is consisted into 3 parts - the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels: A, E, I, O, U.


Q. What is the fibula?
A. A small lie

Q. What does 'varicose' mean?
A. Nearby

Q. What is the most common form of birth control?
A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium

(That would work)

Q. Give the meaning of the term 'Caesarean section'
A. The caesarean section is a district in Rome

Q. What is a seizure?
A. A Roman Emperor.

(Julius Seizure, I came, I saw, I had a fit)

Q. What is a terminal illness?
A. When you are sick at the airport.


Q. Give an example of a fungus. What is a characteristic feature?
A. Mushrooms. They always grow in damp places and they look like umbrellas

Q. Use the word 'judicious' in a sentence to show you understand its meaning.
A. Hands that judicious can be soft as your face.


Q. What does the word 'benign' mean?
A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight


Q. What is a turbine?
A. Something an Arab or Sheik wears on his head

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Recycled Kitty

I found some amazing kitty toys ay my favorite pet store, for Sammy, who likes them, but being a stereo typical cat refuse to have his picture taken with them. What's so amazinh about the toys is they are made completely out of trash materials.
A melamine bowl with a few beads around it makes a cool rattle toy!
Half a whiffle ball with a few small items in it makes the rattle!

Here is a stick toy made out of bendy straws

See how thet are kept together! A zip tie and left long to! No cutting, No waste!
All it takess is some imagination to make a cat toy. I would be willing to bet some folks use these as baby mobiles over their babie's cribs.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Swiss Chard W/ Pancetta

This recipe works with any greens, I like chard so much, and it grows here practically year round!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, finely diced (bacon or 1/4 cup of pine nuts or walnuts work as well)
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard or rainbow chard, stems and inner ribs cut into 1/2-inch pieces, leaves cut into 1-inch ribbons
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the pancetta, garlic and rosemary and cook over moderately high heat until the garlic is softened, about 2 minutes. Add the chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the chard leaves, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, toss to coat and serve.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekly Challenge Update- Getting ready for the "holiday"

I am very excited about National Kitchen Garden Day! I have talked to the rest of the Community Garden Board and the consensus is we could have a Potluck on August 15th! I may even overcome my natural shyness and demonstrate how I make SIPs (Self Irrigating Planters) or SWP's (Self Watering Planters). Anyway hope it turns out good! Now on to the challenges:

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge Year 3, weeks 25 and 26
1. Plant something: Nope
2. Harvest something: Golden plums, Tomatoes, Chard, Lettuce, peas, Logan berries
3. Preserve something: Made 5 - ½ pint jars of Apricot Salsa and froze 4 of them for later. Dehydrated 4 pounds of Apricots.
4. Waste Not: Got a Rubber Maid container full of towels from mom that were destined for Goodwill- will use for rags etc; Making a new worm bin out of the Rubber Maid Container.
5: Want not: Bought 6 pounds of Apricots at the farmers’ market for .99 a pound!
6. Preparation and Storage:
7. Build Community Food Systems: Am making plans with the community garden board for a fest celebrating National Kitchen Garden Day on August 15
8. Eat the food (cook something new): Made apricot salsa; loganberry smoothie; steamed chard with pancetta, lettuce and peas and a few Logan berries in a salad

Garden Challenge: Extreme Evangelist Edition- Harvested Golden Plums, Chard, Lettuce, peas and Logan berries. Am making plans with the community garden board for a fest celebrating National Kitchen Garden Day on August 15 (normally held on August 22nd but we are celebrating a week early as a bunch of the gardeners are taking a “perma culture course“)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Apricot Salsa

I went to the Farmers' Market today. I didn't buy any farmers, how ever I bought 6 pounds of apricots that were very ripe, the farmer was selling them at a discount (.99 a pound!). Now what do you do with 6 pounds of Apricots that are that ripe? My friend, Frustrated Farmer Rick, of Caerwyn Farm and Spirits fame, has this recipe for Apricot Chutney on his blog that looks very good. But I like this Fresh Apricot Salsa.

1 pound firm-ripe apricots, pitted and chopped
1 red bell pepper (about 7 oz.), stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 fresh jalapeno chilies, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice

Mix apricots with bell pepper, jalapenos, cilantro, and lime juice (I like to put everything in the Cuisinart and let it do the work. Season to taste with salt.

If making ahead, cover and chill up to 4 hours. Serve salsa cold, or heat in the microwave oven until steaming. It goes well with meat and poultry. I like to eat it with Ritz crackers. It's also good with tortilla chips

I make this and put it into jars. And I freeze a good portion of it.

Now that it's made I will probably put the rest of the apricots on the dehydrator.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kitchen Garden Day- August 22

Did you know that world's producers of chips, pretzels and fluorescent orange cheese doodles have rebranded February as "Snack Food Month?"
Well, the world's food gardeners and other healthy, delicious eaters are biting back. If they can claim a month, we can at least have a day: Kitchen Garden Day! And it will be celebrated on August 22 this year! Facebook users can show their support and solidarity with food gardeners and other healthy eaters around the world by "attending" our global event here: Kitchen Garden Day on facebook
Some Ideas to celebrate Kitchen Garden Day are:
-a walking tour of gardens in your area
-a kitchen garden or local agriculture potluck
-a kitchen garden taste-test
-a harvest or planting party
-a benefit for a local food/gardening charity
-a kitchen garden "teach in"
-a single food theme party
-an activity at a local farm

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Propane Tank Exchange

Just a suggestion for your next propane tank... Be it for a grill, heater or in some cases, a generator, I have found that it is much easier to "rent" my tank rather than buy a new one. I just go to the Blue Rhino tank exchange at my local hardware. I have exchanged older tanks that are no longer useable for nice new safe ones. I figure that Blue Rhino, who disposes of old unusable tanks in a responsible manner, is better situated to tell if a tank is safe or not. Right now I have 3 tanks- One for my BBQ, one for the turkey fryer/canning burner, and one for the propane heater for the garage. Anyway, the tanks are interchangeable should one run dry, and I like to keep propane around for emergencies. You never know when the shit is gonna hit the fan!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Now back to our regular program

Sorry about just disappearing the last few days. Been very busy here, we had a family reunion for the descendants of my grandparents, or rather my mom's family. Nearly 100 "Dahlens" convened on Chestnut park in Kent, WA. Divided by many tribes/clans and such, this was a normal thing in the days when my grandparents were alive. But as life goes on we all get separated and start our own families... it gets harder to put something like this on. But believe me it is well worth it.
My Uncle, Aunt and mom- of the eight kids of my grandparents 3 out of 4 still around. My Aunt is holding a picture of her sister in ND who couldn't make it out here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Bench- For your seat to rest your feet!

Mom and I agreed to go in halves on a bench for the community garden. Here is what I found:

It is a concrete bench, with natural stone inlay that I found at Lowes for $80.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Some "sun Tea made in my frigidaire

I found this sun tea recipe on . A few things to add: you don't need sun to make sun tea- you can just put it in the frigidaire or just leave on the counter- the methods are the same, and when you user a large pickle jar or something simular, try saving the lid as you can use that rather than use a zip lock bag or plastic wrap to cover the top. I like that he mixes two teas- red rose which is a black pekoe tea, and constant comment a rather spicy sweeter tea.
* Sun
* 4 Red Rose tea bags or "black" tea
* 2 Constant Comment tea bags
* Ziploc bag or plastic wrap, big enough to cover opening
* Rubber band
* Something to stir the tea
* Approx. 3L pitcher
* Glass jug, (mine is an old olive jar)
* Approx. 10 tbsp of sugar or equivalent sweetner (I sweeten mine with about 10 tbsp. of agave nectar)

First, get 4 tea bags of Red Rose, and 2 of Constant Comment, and cut the strings off. Second, fill up the jar/jug with water and put the tea bags in, . Put a lid on the jar/jug and put it outside in sun. Or just stick it in your fridge or counter. When done take the tea bags out and add the sweetner and stir well. Serve with glasses filled with Ice.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weekly Challenge Update- Get off my bench!!!

Now how do you start this damn thing?

Get off my bench! is a private (or not so private) joke between Martin and me- from Steel Magnolias When Clairee and Ouisa are making up after the funeral scene. Well not much doing this week as I am busy with work, getting ready for a family reunion and trying to stay hydrated- meaning cut down the caffeine son! And that don't mean drink ice tea. Well sort of- luckily there are herbal ice teas that i like very much... and I adore Peppermint Ice Tea- a tea that I can make myself from my own grown peppermint! Found a park bench(relevance) today- mom and I are going half on it for the community garden. It is a cement bench with natural stone inlay- very pretty. I think it will look great under the grape trellis at the B-patch.

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge Year 3, week 25
1. Plant something: Nope
2. Harvest something: Chard, Bok Choy, Chive flowers,
3. Preserve something: nope
4. Waste Not: Found an office chair missing a wheel at mom’s dumpster, and repaired
5: Want not: Bought 5 different kinds of tea to make ice tea drinks with
6. Preparation and Storage: nada
7. Build Community Food Systems: Went in half with mom on a park bench for the community garden
8. Eat the food (cook something new): steamed chard with pancetta; salad with chive flowers; made some cheddar cheese dressing for baked potatoes

Garden Challenge: "Extreme Evangelist Edition"- went I half with mom on a park bench for the community garden

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Get a Haircut, Save a beach...

You know I was just sitting around watching Romeo's fur grow, and thought"too bad I don't have hair, cause I would send it to Matter of Trust so they could make oil boons and mats out of it. Romeo has hair, rather fur, but he isn't due for a hair cut for a couple of weeks. How could I support Matter of Trust until then. Well Dilbert why not look at their website? The have a "Ways to support button" there, where you will find some neat posters, t-shirts and sample hair mats and boons for sale! I didn't buy anything for myself but had to buy a shirt for the beggar-
Romeo and his "Get a Haircut, Save a Beach (Ask Me How) T-Shirt
Anyway, until his next haircut, this will have to do for him.Maybe I will get one by then. And there always is the donation button!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

An Ikea Garden

Photo: Ikeahacker

I am always looking out for great garden ideas. Here is one from IkeaHacker. It seems the Cheap Veggie Gardner isn't the only one who thinks the topsy turvy planter costs too much. "Ninjarita", in Minneapolis, Minnesota, likes to make use of Ikea in her garden. She makes inexpensive Topsy Turvey type planters, and uses Ikea wastebaskets and storage containers for planters. Take a peak of her Ikea inspired garden. There are instructions there as well. Really cool especially if you find what you need in the Ikea As Is section. There you are buying used and keeping it from the waste stream.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Screw Up

This is the funniest thing I have seen in a while
I just love when one of my favorite dirty jokes from Junior High gets made into a video!

Buddy and Peggy Sue go on a date...Peggy Sue's Dad tries to make conversation with Buddy when he arrives to pick her up....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Make your own Mongolian Grill

Mongolian Grill is a great recipe. No skill is needed. Anyone can cook it.
I thoroughly enjoy the Mongolian Grill restaurant. Here is a recipe that copies their great Mongolian Grill recipe. And what a great recipe for using what is fresh on the garden. The trick is to do what you like. If you want all chicken use all chicken, if you want vegetarian by all means. There are no real rules to Mongolian grill,
1 pound Beef, thinly sliced
1 pound Lamb or chicken, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (shao xing)
1 teaspoon chili garlic paste
2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
VEGGIES AND SPROUTS (This is what I enjoy- try what you like or have in the garden)
A handful of bean sprouts,
A handful of sliced green pepper
A handful of Button Mushrooms
A few broccoli floret’s
Some Bok Choy leaves
Noodles- you can use cooked ramen noodles or cellophane noodles or even pasta- remember there are no major rules
Combine soy sauce, , chili garlic paste and sesame oil in a large bowl. Add meat and marinate for 1 hour (or overnight in the refrigerator). Heat an electric grill, stovetop grill pan or outdoor grill and spread about 1 tablespoon of oil to keep from sticking (I like to use my electric griddle or my George Foreman outdoor grill) and cook meat and veggies and noodles until meat is just done using a stir fry method, being careful not to overcook. The trick is to have your cook surface be hot, really really hot. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

These boots grow patriotic

A little patriotism is in order since this is the 4th of July.
I took some old rubber boots/Wellies that didn't fit me any more, drilled some holes in the souls and Voila have a neat pair of planters. Just the thing for red, white and blue petunias

Monday, July 5, 2010

Weekly Challenge Update

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge Year 3, week 24
1. Plant something: Had to rip out some tomato plants at Community Garden as they were diseased. Planted new tomato plants. Bok Choy,
2. Harvest something: Radishes, Bok Choy, Lettuce, India Mustard, Swiss chard; foraged pineapple weeds, more clover for tea
3. Preserve something: dried some chard
4. Waste Not: pulled some starting pots from the trash at community garden
5: Want not: Bought some storage jars at Ikea in the As Is section- good for storing dried goods;
6. Preparation and Storage: Bought some storage jars at Ikea in the As Is section- good for storing dried goods;
7. Build Community Food Systems: Attended board meeting for the community garden
8. Eat the food (cook something new): Sautéed Radishes, Bok Choy in stir fry; India mustard, lettuce and radishes in salad, chard cooked,

Garden Challenge: Extreme Evangelist Edition- Attended the community garden board meeting- Had to rip out some tomato plants at Community Garden as they were diseased (Blight). Planted new tomato plants. Bok Choy

Gorilla Garden Update: Still looking for some place to feed my need to be an urban Guerilla. As you may or may not recall, my last spot got bulldozed over.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grinding (And I dont mean dirty dancing)

Go a little greener on your fourth. Strap some metal to your naughty parts and grind. Better than sparklers, just a dangerous. And no pesky Fireworks ban! And you can probably find your metal in a junk heap, so you are reusing and recycling at the same time! C'mon America- put some junk on your junk and grind something!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Go Greenner on your coffee...

at first glance, one would think that coffee filters are no big deal. In fact if you have a french press, you don't even need one. Or an old fashioned percolator. But if you have a standard drip maker or a K-Cup brewer are you stuck using those paper filters or in the case of the K Cup brewer those little plastic cups? Here is a great answer:
Permanent Coffee Filters. They are made from a fine mesh screen that simply needs to be dumped and washed out. And there is a model for the K-Cup brewers! So finally, you can make coffee almost guilt free! No trees cut down to make the filter! And the fact that I could have bought a filter for a K-Cup means I could have avoided a big headache in telling my mom that I needed to take the coffee brewer back she bought me at Christmas! Unfortunately there is an amount of plastic with these filters, but on the other hand you don't throw them away so there is that. They are available at Goodmans and Target. I have seen them in Safeway as well. OR if this ain't your cup of tea... make your own out of cloth! Or try option 3- 4 Bushel Farm Gals Cold brew Coffee
Some permanent filter options:

Even a model for use with your K-Cup coffee brewer