One way to salvage stale bread

...which caused Mr. Homegrown to grumble with hurt indignation. His homemade bread is better than any store bought, it’s true–but he hadn’t baked in a few days, and I wanted to make caprese sandwiches. However, my plans went awry and the baguette went stale.  Oh, the shame on my head! Just where did we put out our supply of sackcloth and ashes? However, tonight I salvaged the bread by making it into Melba toast (?) or rusks, maybe...

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Worth Doing From Scratch: Corn Tortillas

...in a sporadic series about stuff that’s easy and economical. Now you should be suspicious of any tortilla making advice dispensed by a gabacho. Let’s just say it’s easy and the results are way better than those dry tortillas you buy at the store. Some things I’ve learned: I have a cast iron tortilla press that works great but my Mexicano friends in the know suggested a wooden press. Making masa from scratch is a huge amo...

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Chicks, Mayonnaise and Personal Responsibility

...launched called BuyingMayo.com. We’re letting consumers know that baby chicks are killed in the process of making America’s #1 condiment: Best Foods & Hellmann’s Mayonnaise.” Following the link, I found an emotional video pairing sentimental, sun-drenched images of a mom making a sandwich for her toddler with factory farm footage of dead chicks jostling down conveyor belts. The website says, Most of us don’t consider t...

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Genetically-Engineered Organism Secretes Diesel

...secretes diesel fuel from water, sun and CO2 inputs. Here’s an excerpt: Joule claims, for instance, that its cyanobacterium can produce 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel per acre annually, over four times more than the most efficient algal process for making fuel. And they say they can do it at $30 a barrel. Normally I am opposed to genetically modified plants but this would appear to be a contained situation. Would it be a good thing for the...

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Picture Sundays: Hyperbolic Crochet

Spotted at the Institute for Figuring in Los Angeles, a piece from their Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef. About the process: The inspiration for making crochet reef forms begins with the technique of “hyperbolic crochet” discovered in 1997 by Cornell University mathematician Dr. Daina Taimina. The Wertheim sisters adopted Dr Taimina’s techniques and elaborated upon them to develop a whole taxonomy of reef-life forms. Loo...

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Our New Earth Oven and How We Built It

...50/50 sand/mined clay mix with just a bit of chopped straw thrown in for stability seemed to be about right for making adobe bricks. There’s no recipe for building with earth. You have to get to know the clay content of the soil you’re working with and test how much sand to add to it to make a solid brick. Ben and I made quite a few test bricks to come to this formula. Then I made 100 adobe bricks using just a simple wooden frame a...

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Clicker Training Chickens

...ould do more, but for now all I’m doing is taking special treats to them once a day and feeding them while making my chicken call (cheeck-cheeck-cheeck). They’re beginning to associate me and the call with treats. This doesn’t mean they trust me yet, but at least they have started making greeting noises when they see me. I hunker down in the run with the treats and hold very still. I put the treats close to me and make them come...

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How’s the Sugar Free Experiment Going for Erik?

The Grape Nuts I eat in the morning have about as much sugar as Special K. Image: sugarstacks.com. In short, not well. The first day Kelly announced she was going to forgo processed sugar I downed half a bag of chocolate chips. After all, I reasoned, they would go bad if someone didn’t eat them. I have a sweet tooth Throughout Kelly’s sugar free experiment I continued my usual breakfast of Grape Nuts and rice milk....

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On miso, caffeine and the search for a morning brew

...white, brown…) Don’t let this confuse you. All are good. Just start somewhere and you’ll sort it out. I’m fond the red. • Proper miso soup is made with the classic Japanese soup stock, dashi. You can make it with any stock you like, or do as I do in the mornings and just use water. It’s important not to simmer miso, because heat kills the beneficial critters in it. If you’re making a pot of soup, add the miso...

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Ramshackle Solid is on Etsy

...who follow the goings on at Ramshackle Solid know they have a really simple, graceful way with crafts, and with making new and making do around their place. Now they’re selling some of their stuff. Their debut offering is a line of these super cute bamboo flatware caddies that you can take with you to school or the office or on a picnic. Say goodbye to nasty plastic utensils, and hello to good living. We’re looking forward to seeing...

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