Craft Story on Industrial Couch
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Wendy wrote a story for Craft about a industrial couch project for our front porch.
Wendy decided to take on the five hour process of making tamales after dark one evening. We were up to nearly midnight and exhausted after making 40 pumpkin/squash/tomato tamales with virtually everything besides the masa are from our garden.
We picked up our first frost of the season this morning. The air temperature did not get below freezing, but there was ice on the grass and car windshield. Looks like we have a bit of wind followed by rain and maybe even snow later this week. We have not pulled our remaining food yet, but Wendy has actively been harvesting tomatoes, okra and watermelons.
In order to add a bit more comfort to our soaking area Wendy decided that we needed one more fence. This is a small section of random metal about 8' across. Today we managed to sink the posts in concrete.
Why are will still messing with seeds as freezing temperatures descend upon us? Why for our winter seed swap this weekend. Wendy is using used bottles to set aside the seeds which we are abundant in.
After Wendy made her delicious pumpkin muffins we had a lot seed left over. She washed off the seed and handed them off to me to dry and roast. I used the sun oven for both tasks. I let the seeds dry at 150F for three hours with the lid cracked. Then I seasoned the seeds with olive oil, salt, lime juice, and chipotle. The seeds were tossed in the oven for a hour at 250F and came out delicious. It will come as no surprise that these seeds are high in protein. They are also extremely high in tryptophan (sleep aid) and have been proven to lower blood pressure.
I juiced our bucket of recently harvested apples. I believe the red ones are crimson apples and they certainly are delicious. It took me about two hours to juice, filter, and cleanup all the apples. In the end we scored about three pints of apple juice. I have to say that this juice tastes so much like apple cider that I would be surprised if anyone could tell the difference.
I was able to quickly repair our flat tire on the golf cart once Wendy came home with a replacement tire. Unfortunately, the new tire is 1/2" taller so it means we need to replace both the back wheels.
We have been trying to get Sesame to dig holes in the yard for us. She helps occasionally, but we have not reached a point where we can just say "dig" and a hole appears. It would be great for tree planting and trenching.
I've been bugging my neighbor Brett for some apple cider. After driving out to his place I learned that he has a lot of apples, but not an apple press. We went ahead and harvested 20lbs or so anyway. I will just juice them at home or take them to a the press fest on Sunday in the nearby town of Las Palomas. Does anyone know the difference between juicing a apple and pressing it?
The mid century modern chair I found in the trash the other day is coming along really well. I painted the cage of it fuschia and today I reupholstered the seat, back and arms with sand colored shade cloth. Tomorrow I'll post finished chair.
This photo of our home made ravs is a bit flattering. I made the ravis with eggs, white flour, and some mesquite flour. Wendy stuffed them full of our kefir ricotta cheese. Unfortunately we didn't have enough egg to seal the ravs well and they popped while boiling. This caused them to take on water which sort of destroyed the meal.
Wendy's garbage chair is starting to look amazing. She painted the chair the same color as the tub and spent the afternoon working on the shade cloth cushions which have some great lines.
We finally have our outdoor tub in place. There is still some work that needs to be done around the electric and plumbing, but it is pretty minor stuff. The placement of the tub allows us to enjoy the mountain view which we had not been doing before the tub went in.
I tried collecting some mormon tea again this morning to experience the effects of ephedra. The local stuff leaves me in a slightly stimulated state with a higher level of concentration. I find that taking caffeine in combination with the mormon tea greatly increases the potency. Apparently the North American mormon tea plants are missing some important alkaloids. Regardless making a simple tea does yield a minor stimulation and is supposed to be good for headaches, colds, asthma and other breathing related ailments. I simply mix the stems with some hot water and let it steep for 30 minutes. Adding a bit of tea to help with the flavor is a good idea. I used hibiscus today.
Wendy and I went out on a brief hike this morning. I found a patch of mullein and harvested plenty of it to smoke. We clip the small baby leaves in the center of first year plants (no stalk) and add a bit of chamomile. It makes for a pleasant smoke that smells almost as good as sage. Most of the mullein is to remain in paper bags for a week to dry out. I am also experimenting with drying the leaves in the dehydrator as we have an abundance of power this time of year.