Saturday, September 14, 2013

Survival stuff Tips

-cattail seed heads dipped in pine pitch to make a long-burning torch

-Milkweed, nettle, dogbane and yucca are some of the best cordage plants in my area--you want to look for a plant whose stem contains sturdy fibers which don't easily break when the stem is broken, Cording the inner bark of an aspen tree.

Q: (arctic cotton??)

-Balm of Gilead:"The buds of a number of varieties of cottonwood and poplar trees (Populus nigra, Populus balsamifera, Populus augustafolia and others) contain a sticky orange resin that has been used for centuries to make a soothing, healing salve commonly known as "Balm of Gilead." This salve has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic/antiseptic and pain relieving qualities, and has been effectively used to treat abrasions, minor burns, frostbite and to ease the pain of sore muscles and joints. It is also (sometimes known as Black Salve) a traditional skin cancer remedy.

 There are several ways to extract the resin from the buds for making Balm of Gilead salve. One is done by slowly simmering the buds in hot oil to release their resin, and the second, which takes longer but yields a slightly more potent finished product, involves placing the buds in a crock or jar, and covering them with oil, leaving them to "steep" for a period of several weeks to a year.

Ingredients: Bee's wax, grapefruit seed extract, cottonwood bud oil

I find that a ratio of 1/1 by volume of oil and wax shavings generally works well.
Heat the oil just to lukewarm, and add the wax. Do not boil. Stir with a wooden stick or, if you must use metal, with stainless steel.
Before pouring into the containers, put a bit of the salve on a spoon and refrigerate it for a few minutes (or just set it out on the counter, if your house is as cool as mine...) this sample hardened shortly after contacting the spoon) to make sure that the finished texture will be alright. It is much easier to add either wax or oil to the mix now, than it will be to later dig the salve out of containers and modify it.  
I added two drops of grapefruit seed extract to this batch, a preservative and to increase the antiseptic/antibacterial value of the salve. This step is optional."

versatile salve that can be used in place of antibiotic ointment on minor cuts, abrasions and burn, helps treat frostbite (have tried that...) and works wonders on dry, chapped hands and cracked fingers and toes.

-Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) is a common sight in the high mountains and on the subarctic tundra alike, its uniquely colorful blooms adding some spice to otherwise drab landscapes. The plant does especially well on areas which have recently been burned in wildfires, and is often one of the first to return.

Young shoots can be peeled and eaten much like asparagus, blooms are edible and the leaves are good both added to soups and made into a tea. Roots, also, can be eaten, and are sweetest when harvested in the spring.

This plant's seeds produce a fuzzy down similar to that of dandelions, and this can, somewhat ironically, be used as tinder for starting fires.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Make your own fragrance oil this one is good but not specific

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hair detangler

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bug Repellent

Friday, March 29, 2013

Card Making

Here are some of my latest cards:

The goose girl. This one turned out to be a lovely surprise. I love the colors.

I love the steampunk feel of this one-very me.

bday for my aunt. I love the center button.

Alice in Wonderland. Lots of small details that were fun. Interesting colors that actually work together.

Cathedral windows. This one combines quilting tecniques with card making.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Designing a meal

Tonight I designed an epic meal, one that we will remember for a while.

It started with a pork roast, the top of which diamond lines were cut into to allow the sauce to seep into as I applied it periodically. It was also studded with cloves. It turned out tender and tasty.

To this I added whipped potatoes and parsleyed carrots. (I'm stuffed).

I wish I took a picture, but I forgot.

Next I made this dessert:

It's a no-egg chocolate cake ( although it did not call for milk either-I did add some instead of the water. I also doubled the recipe to make a double layer). I then made a chocolate sauce and whipped cream. I poured chocolate sauce over the first layer and put on the top cake layer.  I put holes in the top layer with the end of a butter knife and poured the whip cream into them and over the top. I then drizzled the sauce over the whole thing. Yummy!!

I loved all the recipes-I will do it again.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Making cards

 My daughter and I started making cards. My mom had passed on her card making stuff to me and here are some results:

Circus-this one's my favorite to date.

circus 2

retro space

blue bird

Friday, February 8, 2013

How to build a beehive

This site has all the info on how to build a beehive kit.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Vegetable Rennet for making Cheeze

 "NETTLES FOR RENNET Boil a bunch of nettles for 20 to 30 minutes in just enough water to cover them, and strain off the liquid. Usually as much plain or pickling salt as will dissolve is stirred into the liquid while it is still warm. The salt preserves the liquid, but it may also add more salt to the cheese than is desirable, and may inhibit the ripening of the curd. Freezing 1/2 cup portions of unsalted liquid is another possibility. The amount of liquid needed for successful coagulation vary considerably, but 1/2 cup per gallon of milk is a reasonable amount."-The Craft of the Country Cook by Pat Katz

About rennet:in Carla Emery's book "Encyclopedia of Country Living" she has a small section on nettles. "combine 6c. very strong nettle tea with 4c.uniodized salt. Add just enough to get the curdling action for your cheese making." She also says boiling the nettles takes the sting out of them. And if you're really adventurous, she gives a recipe for "cream of nettle soup". Anyway there is a whole section cheese there she lists nettle, lemon or common sorrel, unripe fig sap, fumitory, and thistle. Nettle and thistle being best.Globe artichokes being in the Compositae thistle family is also supposed to do the job. You can simply take the dried purple thistle heads, put them in cheese cloth and soak in milk until clabbered. Also veggie rennet takes longer than animal rennet. She cautions against to much will ruin your cheese and could cause indigestion.

"Use approximately half a cup of the homemade vegetable rennet for every gallon of milk you want to coagulate."Read more: Homemade Vegetable Rennet |