Prickly Pear Fruit Chips

...ry it to make prickly pear fruit chips. First remove the nasty spines (technically glochids, which are barbed and much more painful than the spines on the pads). I disarm the glochids by burning them off over a burner on the stove. Cut the fruit into thin slices and hack off the skins. Place in a dehydrator. We have a solar dehydrator, but a commercial one will also work, of course. If you live in a dry desert climate you can dry fruit in the s...

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Apron Contest Winner

...to my art classes to make the bindings for the recipe book for the recipes that Apron and I were JUST working on! It is an artistic, apron-centric circle of life.” Congrats, Katie. I’ve got a batch on jam on the stove, so I’d better finish this post and get to canning. I’m putting on my apron now….the jam is peaches with ginger, zero white sugar, a little maple syrup and unripe apples pieces for pectin. I’ll...

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Home Baked Bread in Five Minutes

...h keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks, taking on a sourdough flavor as it ages. When you want a loaf of bread you tear off a softball sized chunk, let it rise for 45 minutes and stick it in the oven. A pan of water in the stove creates steam and gives the bread a nice, hard crust. We tried the basic white bread recipe in the Mother Earth article and can report that it works quite well. Hertzberg and François have penned a bread cookbook, Arti...

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No-Knead Artisinal Bread Part I

...en. There’s no need, it turns out, to bring the dough to room temperature before baking. 8. To get a decent crust in a home oven I recommend baking in a dutch oven as in the no-knead method. Pre-heat both dutch oven and stove, toss the loaf in the dutch oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the top of the dutch oven and continue baking until done (usually another 20 to 25 minutes). A note on water: chlorine and chloramine in...

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Scrubbin’ It

...8217;m laughing right now that Erik should put forth opinions on scrubbing cast iron, when in fact he’s very, very good at avoiding cleaning it day to day. He’ll do dishes, but “forget” the pans on the stove. Forget them for, like, what is it now…15 years?  He’s excited by the sturdy, attractive qualities of this object, and the fact his buddy Steve gifted him it–but he asked me to post this clarification...

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Our favorite way to cook zucchini

...immering at a good clip, stirring occasionally, until the water bubbles off. Saute until there’s 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, eno...

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Emergency Supplies: It’s all about the lids

...ting toilets, see this post of ours  or go straight to the source, The Humanure Handbook.) The green bucket holds enough preservative-filled, ready-to-eat food to hold her for a day or two without access to cooking water or a stove. I deliberately chose foods that she wouldn’t be tempted to eat prior to the natural disaster/zombie attack. Not gross things–you don’t want to be challenging your stomach in an emergency–but ki...

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Qualitites of a Good Outdoor Room

...objects, i.e. some human touch With these ideas in mind, how can I improve the outdoor spaces in the photos in this post? On the front porch I could add a small table to hold a book and a glass of beer. The space with the stove needs shelter from the sun during the morning (in another year the grapes will cover the arbor but until that time maybe I need to string up some shading). The earth oven we built definitely improved the “roomedn...

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How to Juice Prickly Pear Fruit

...Shuldiner and restaurateur Stephen Rudicel, we tested two ways to juice prickly pear fruit: an electric juicer and two hand cranked food mills.The food mills worked the best. We simply burned the spines off the fruit over a stove burner and quartered the fruit (no peeling necessary). Then we tossed them in the food mill, turned the handle and got lots of delicious juice. The electric juicer ground up the seeds which gave an off-flavor to the ju...

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All Haste Is of the Devil: Carl Jung as Homesteader

...s it turns out, Jung was quite the off-grid homesteader when it came to building and living in his special retreat tower in Bollingen, on the shore of Lake Zürich. I have done without electricity, and tend the fireplace and stove myself. Evenings, I light the old lamps. There is no running water, and I pump the water from the well. I chop the wood and cook the food. These simple acts make man simple and how difficult it is to be simple! Why...

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