Bean Fest, Episode 3: Bastardized Puerto Rican Beans

Mrs. Homegrown here: It’s been a tough week here on the bean front. I had two beanfail incidents trying to come up with a recipe for this week. The first, an Armenian recipe for white beans, failed through no fault of its own but because the beans were hopelessly old. No matter how long I cooked them, they stayed crunchy, yet somehow also tasted overcooked. Shudder. Meanwhile, I’d been obsessing on Cuban-style black beans, but fell...

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Revolution: A New TV Series About Extreme Suburban Homesteading

..., too.4 And America’s long lost archery skills have apparently been miraculously revived. Come to think of it, Hollywood seems to be having a love affair with archery of late. Is the javelin next? Put down those Xboxes kids and start practicing! In Revolution it’s also revealed that people suddenly know the names of plants and what to do with them even without access to Google. But the tranquil suburban homesteading is not to last for...

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Emergency Supplies: It’s all about the lids

...to add some dehydrated stuff and drink mixes for situations in which she has plenty of water and a fire source. It’s nice to have hot food, even if it is packed with sodium. Or for longer emergencies, she might want to consider storing fast cooking dry goods, like white rice and lentils, and high calorie foods, like oil, peanut butter and honey. Sealed buckets like this are also a good place to store other things you’ll need in an em...

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Saturday Linkages: Orange Peel Lamps, Axe Porn and Craft Rooms

From Portugal Smallholding a orange peel lamp. Lamp made from an orange: http://www.portugalsmallholding.org/how-to/make-an-oil-lamp-with-an-orange/ A clever planter made from an Asphalt Handbook: http://www.recyclart.org/2012/03/asphalt-handbook-planter/ Hand-made Axe porn: http://bit.ly/GA0KWp Our friends at the Tangled Nest create an inspiring, low-budget craft room http://shar.es/pvLY5 And, yes, a toilet brush chandelier: http://...

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Cornmeal Zucchini Pancakes

...r squash, but we used green zucchini. Cornmeal Zucchini Pancakes 1 1/4 cup cornmeal 3/4 cup all purpose flour 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 tablespoon of sugar 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 egg 1 cup of milk 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil 1 cup of grated zucchini, yellow or green, or yellow summer squash 3 tablespoons yellow bell pepper, diced fine (we skipped this) 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion Salsa for serving, homemade or store-bought, opti...

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Our favorite way to cook zucchini

...no water pooling at the bottom of the pan. Until you start to run the risk of browning the zucchini. Then take it off the stove. Add salt and pepper to taste. How long will this take? It varies by how much zucchini you’re cooking, and how wet it is, how deep the pan is, etc., but for a general guideline, when we shred up one big boy, enough to fill a 11″ skillet, it takes 20-30 minutes to cook it down. Starting out…...

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Processing and Winnowing Flax

...there was still quite a bit of chaff. Remembering that I had some 1/8 inch hardware cloth in the garage, I used it to screen out most of the last chaffy bits. You can buy expensive screens for processing seeds, but the amortization on that equipment would take years for our tiny garden. A huge mess was made. Good thing Kelly is off camping. In the end I managed to harvest nine ounces of flax seeds. Plans for a flax oil pressing fest were cancel...

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Return of Bean Friday: Spicy Mayocoba Beans

...or Teresa of Tularosa Farms gave us this recipe. She not only gave us this recipe, but a bag of beans to go with it, and a loaner dutch oven.  How’s that for neighborly? I made it a while back and really liked the results. Erik proclaimed it to be the best of all the Bean Friday dishes, though I remain partial to the Bastardized Puerto Rican beans. I’m happy to finally get a moment to share this with you. Mayocoba beans are pretty yel...

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Saturday’s Quote: Farmers, the Sexiest Men and Women Alive

Photo from the Library of Congress “When the next batch of huricanes hits and the oil wells run dry, whom do you want to wake up next to?  Someone who can program HTML or someone who can help a cow give birth?  Do you want someone with Bluetooth or someone with a tractor?  How can someone who makes food out of dirt not impress you?” -Lou Bendrick...

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How do you care for cast iron?

...ny questions about its care. Questions I don’t know if I can answer properly. This is what I told her, and it is all I know: Never wash it with soap, just wipe it out with a damp cloth. Never scrub it with a pad or scouring powder. If stuff is stuck to the bottom, soak it, then scrape the residue off  gently with the flat edge of a spatula. If it looks dull, oil it. I know there are whole web sites devoted to the care of cast iron, and th...

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