How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Grub

...s Backyard Poultry Magazine? While our broke nation can’t afford missile shields or moon trips anymore, at least it’s comforting to read in the pages of BPM that the citizens of Bonner Springs, Kansas can visit the brand new National Poultry Museum. This month’s issue of BPM also has a fascinating article by Harvey Ussery, “Black Soldier Fly, White Magic” on raising black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) grubs as pou...

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A New Fitness Craze: The Kayak Balance Stool

...8217;s book Building the Greenland Kayak. To make your kayak balance stool, find a piece of scrap wood. I used a 2 x 8 and cut it to fit my ass to toe dimensions. Cut two end boards, each a foot long. Attach the end boards to the sittin’ board with some bolts or sturdy screws. The deeper the curve on the bottom of the end boards, the more tippy it gets. Cunningham suggests a depth of 1 1/2 inches to start. I’d suggest making that...

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Slaughtering Turkeys for Thanksgiving

...view of a turkey slaughter. I didn’t write this to be a how-to guide, just an orientation to the concepts. It’s slim on details, but big on pictures. We describe the chicken slaughter in more detail in our upcoming book, Making It, which comes out in the spring. The first step is to collect the turkey, quiet it with gentle words and petting, and hang it by its feet. Birds don’t seem to mind hanging like this–they are re...

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Hoshigaki Season

Astringent persimmons (such as Hachiya) are in season now which means that it’s time to make hoshigaki, a Japanese delicacy made by hanging peeled persimmons up in a window to dry. Hoshigaki are chewy and subtly sweet. The texture of hoshigaki is different than what you would get if you just put persimmons in a dehydrator. And if all goes right the sugar comes to the surface making it look like the fruit has been dipped...

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Choosing the Perfect Tortilla Press

.... Making corn tortillas is much simpler than I expected. All you do is get masa harina (a limed corn flour), mix it roughly 50/50 with water and let the dough rest for a half hour to an hour. Next, you roll the masa into little 2 inch balls and press them between a plastic bag inserted into the tortilla press. The last step is to heat them on the stove for one minute on each side. Making your own masa from scratch is much harder (I tried it once...

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Shoemaking Advice?

...wl. More rarely a Holly Hobby-type figure. Here endeth the lesson.) Free People actually seems like a fine book. It basically steps you through making one basic type of shoe that you can modify in different ways. Erik wailed about the horrible hippie-ness of it all when I showed him the illustrations of what I might make, but he wears cheap Chinese martial art shoes, so I don’t think he has moral or aesthetic high ground here. The other boo...

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Zombies!

...enefit for the brave folks at the Los Angeles Catholic Worker. On that trip we realized that walking, even up to 24 kilometers is perfectly feasible, though admittedly beyond that distance it starts to get hard. While we don’t walk such long distances in the course of a normal day, it’s still perfectly reasonable to take trips up to 5k. Incidentally, for you engineering types, there is a handy way of estimating travel distances on foo...

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Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter Recipe

UPDATE : we have a whole (so to speak) new take on making a starter. See our sourdough starter video for a better way to do this. Back in March we showed how to make a sourdough starter with white flour. This month we converted a white starter over to whole wheat and have baked many successful loaves of bread with it. The reason that we have to do this conversion rather than starting out with whole wheat flour is that whole wheat tends to get m...

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Meet our book & web designer: Roman Jaster

...e a Visiting Designer talk about his work at his alma mater, CalArts and made that lecture public on YouTube. In it, he talks about his childhood in East Germany, the decisions he made early-on which determined his career, his working methods (which are really interesting, combining coding with design) and talks about the concepts behind some of his projects, including Making It. This all may be a little off-topic for the blog, but I’m sure...

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Sourdough Recipe #1 The Not Very Whole Wheat Loaf

...r (about 1 cup)1/2 tablespoon sea salt1. Mix the starter, flours, wheat bran, barley malt syrup and water. Throw it all in a mixer fitted with a dough hook if you’ve got one, or knead by hand like hell for 4 minutes. 2. Let the dough rest under a cloth for 20 minutes 3. Mix in the salt and knead for another for another 6 minutes. 4. Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap (we use a glass bowl with a lid). Let it fermen...

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