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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DIY Christmas Trees

...palled to think that somebody actually drank that much soda. On the other hand, the structure is really nice and it looks pretty all lit up: 2) And the hardback book tree, made out of a cut-up book. The cool thing about this one is that the cover stays intact, so you can close it up and store it on your book shelf until next season: Now, I know some people get cranky about book desecration, but even as a bo...

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How to Cook Broadleaf Plantain

...plantain (Plantago major, the common weed, not the banana relative). Though I know plantain is very nutritious, it is also bitter and heavily veined, so I prefer to collect it as a medicinal herb. I infuse it into oil that I put into salves and creams and I use it as a fresh poultice on itchy bites and hives. But eating it? Meh. I’ll put baby leaves in a salad. Erik has sprinkled the leaves on pizzas--and I’ll eat anything on a pizza...

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DIY Project: Reconnect with Nature

Caspar David Friedrich, Woman Before the Rising Sun, 1818-20, oil on canvas, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany This is called a Sit. 1) Take yourself somewhere away from noise and people. It is possible to do this in a garden, or even among your potted plants, but it is easier to do in a natural place. A quiet beach. In a meadow. By a lake. Up in the mountains. Go alone, or have your companion(s) leave you alone for a while. 2)...

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Campfire Cooking: Fish in Clay (& Vegetarian Options!)

...ves pretty much took care of one trout, as below: With smaller leaves, like the dock leaves, it takes more leaves, more patience, and more artful arrangement: But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before the fish is wrapped, it needs to be seasoned, and dressed with a little fat. We were using butter infused with wild herbs, but olive oil is great too. The herbs we were using in the field included a type of wild clover,...

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A Sports Utility Bicycle

...straight from the company as the kits don’t seem to be selling on ebay at a significant discount. Putting it together was relatively simple – it took two trips to the Bicycle Kitchen, an extra length of chain, a rear derailleur cable made for tandem bikes, as well as a general tune-up for the old bike we used. If you ride on paved streets remember to use slick tires The Xtracycle has been a significant step in reducing our dependence...

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Saturday Linkages: Can We Please Have More Underpass Chandeliers?

...8mNCY  Massive Water Reduction http://feedly.com/e/v787ggKN  Fodder System Updates http://feedly.com/e/dKXb-Y-Q  It’s Not the Snow, It’s Not the Politics: Blame the Car-Dependent City http://gizmodo.com/its-not-the-snow-its-not-the-politics-blame-the-car-1511337035  MyFigueroa! Needs a Hero as Livable Streets Villains Line Up Against City’s First Cycletracks http://la.streetsblog.org/2014/01/29/myfigueroa-needs-a-hero-as-livable-stree...

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The Best Raw Flax Cracker Recipe

I have to admit to not being a huge fan of the raw food movement. Now I think we should all eat some raw food, but many nutrients are accessible only through cooking. That being said, I like a few recipes that came out of the raw craze, especially flax crackers. My favorite flax cracker recipe is the onion cracker bread you can find here. This easy to make recipe requires no pre-soaking or sprouting.  All you do is mix the ingredients (onions,...

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What Epuipment Do You Need to Bake Bread?

...I have works just fine, but the OXO Good Grips Scale has a really great feature: a pull out display. This makes it easier to read the scale when you’ve got a big bowl on top of it. It’s inexpensive, and I’ve seen it for sale at my local Whole Foods. It’s also the scale we use when I teach classes at the Institute of Domestic Technology. 2. A proofing basket If you want to make a boule, you need a proof...

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Rats

...would probably just run into some other poor sucker’s house. Rat poison is a really bad idea. First of all it is deadly to pets and native animals that might find it. Secondly it can kill a predator such as a hawk or owl, that might prey on a poisoned rat. Lastly, poisoned rats have a bad tendency to climb into a wall and die leaving an inaccessible, stinky mess. SurviveLA would get in big trouble if we failed to send a shout out to our cat...

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