B.O. Deo

Lately I have been into using essential oils as a natural remedy to life’s problems. I love adding a few drops to my water bottle for allergies and this week I made a batch of natural deodorant with essential oil.
Ingredients:
1/2- 1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot (it is easier on the skin than cornstarch and will still thicken)
4 tbs coconut oil
5 drops each of whatever scent you like, I did tea tree oil and lavender for lavender’s soothing scent and tea tree’s natural antibiotic properties
2 tbs yarrow (optional) I used it because it is good for skin and is used to stop bleeding so I was testing to see if it would be a good natural and metal free antiperspirant.

Directions:
Mix dry ingredients together then melt the coconut oil and slowly massage into the dry mixture. The result should be slightly more fluid than a paste. The deodorant will solidify as it is brought back to room temperature but I like to keep mine in the refrigerator to keep it even more solid and it helps to only get the amount I need when I use it. A slightly less solid deodorant will go on a little thicker.I poured the mixture into an empty old deodorant container. I really enjoy my deodorant and usually apply once-twice daily. The coconut oil is antibiotic and the baking soda neutralizes bad smells as well as aiding in killing bad bacteria.
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Homemade Ravioli

We always love a good home cooked meal but we also want food that doesn’t take forever to make. Today we made homemade ravioli which totaled in at about 40 min total. Josiah made the pasta while I made the stuffing and sauce. Sauce is a little tricky in our house because he doesn’t love tomatoes, so we substituted a red sauce with enchilada sauce and cream cheese.

for the dough:
-1 and 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
-2tbs olive oil
-2tbs water
-1 egg
Directions:
1. mix this until it is a wet workable dough. you don’t want it to be to moist but it needs to be malleable so add water as needed. We used our beloved kitchen aid but you can use any mixer.
2.After the dough is made, use a rolling pin to flatten it out to a 1/2 inch slab if you plan to use a pasta roller to start at the third setting and work your way down. If you don’t have a pasta machine, make sure you have floured a hard surface then roll the dough out until it is slightly see through.
3.Once you have a slab, cut the dough into the desired width for strips and cut the strips into squares or rectangles. We learned that rectangles work easier to fill then fold the dough over instead of sandwiching two pieces together.

Filling:
-1 cup ground beef
-1 large onion diced
-2 cups spinach
-1 clove of garlic
-2 tsp basil or 4 fresh leaves
-1tbs nuts

directions:
1. dice up your onion and add it to a pan with a little oil to keep it from burning. Do this over medium heat so that they get nice and soft while you make the rest of the filling.
2. add your meat to the onions to cook while you deal with the spinach.
3. in a food processor add 2 cups of spinach and the garlic and basil and nuts and blend until it is your desired pesto texture.
4.add the pesto to the sizzling onions and meat.

Assembling/cooking:
-half a pack of cream cheese
directions:
1. once your squares are cut, add a dolip of cream cheese to each square then a spoonful or less of the filling. Either fold over the dough and fork closed all the edges or add a square on top of your filled one and fork all the edges.
2. put a boiling pot of water on the stove and add each assembled square to the pot. Once they float to the top, they are ready to be taken out with a slotted spoon.
3. once they are all cooked, put them back in the pot (water emptied) with your desired sauce. We just put a can of enchilada sauce and a 1/4 cup of cream cheese in the pot and let them all sizzle for 3 min before serving.

This was definitely worth the 40 min wait for yummy delish food and you could really stuff anything you want into the ravioli.
Enjoy
~K
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HomeBrew Review: The Extra Slippery Bung ESB.

Carbination

 

This is only the second beer I’ve brewed. You can check out the process (and the namesake excitement) here.

 

Yes.

 

This is why I want to brew.

You can see the beauty of the photo.

The smell is fairly delicate. Sweet biscuits with a floral hint.

 

The taste goes through three distinct fazes. Starts with a citrusy, almost floral taste at first, giving way to a carmel malt sweetness, and finishing with an excellenct, balanced, Hop bite.

 

The carbonation level is great, maybe slightly higher than a traditional ESB but the mouthfeel is great.

 

YEE HAW!

I’m super excited about this major win. Next up: Oatmeal Coffee Stout.

Organic ESB

Organic ESB being poured

Organic ESB being poured

Wooden Coat Hanger

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DIY round wood coat rack

Kalia Got this idea from pinterest, and I was commissioned to make the above one myself.

Several months ago I harvested and de-barked several long poles of coppiced maple from my parents’ property, Miller Organic Farm, near Silver Falls State Park.

After curing indoors for a few months I cut off pieces with appropriate shaped branches to function as hangers, and then sanded them smooth with three different grades of sandpaper.

Then I drilled holes in spare 2X2’s and whittled the ends of the hanger pieces to fit into the holes. I then framed them in with the 2X2’s.

I don’t consider myself a great woodworker, but I’m happy with this project. There is a small gap above the largest hanger piece, and the top is 1/16th shorter than the bottom, but I think it sill looks pretty good.

This is one of the Coppiced maples on my Parents farm overlooking Silver Creek Canyon towards Silver Falls State Park.

It’s much easier to take the bark off while the wood is still green and wet than after it has dried

the wood for these pieces were harvested in the winter, which makes the inner bark stick even after stripping, which leaves the colorful lines/patterns. If you want a cleaner look like our picture hanger posted previously it is best to harvest in spring when the sap is flowing

Book Review: One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka

“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” 


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listen to any Permie for awhile and, odds are, you’ll hear the name Masanobu Fukuoka. For those of you who aren’t “goofballs who are nuts about permaculture”, He is a well known Japanese natural farming advocate. He is to Japan what Sepp is to Austria. Convinced of the need to be more natural, he left a well to do life as a biologist to work in obscurity on a farm in the mountains of southern Japan. Similar to Holzer, his fame eventually spread as visitors to his little farm left telling others of his unconventional, yet surprisingly productive methods.

This book is a mixture of the Author’s practice and philosophy. I haven’t the time nor the intellect to provide a synopsis of the latter in this post. Suffice it to say, Farming to Fukuoka is about much more than growing rice. Using excellent imagery and philosophy from many sources, though primarily Buddhism and eastern philosophy, He sets forth the reasons why modern man should drastically change his way of life. Much of this portion of the book is thought provoking in the least and highly profound at best. It was, however, incredibly confusing (especially if you aren’t well versed in eastern thought). This, mixed with the fact that he is extreme in his complete rejection of not only chemical sprays but even modern machinery, has led to the rejection of much of his teaching, especially by western readers.
fukuoka

His practice, however, is much easier to understand. He set out to find out not what one should do in farming, but what one should not do. He tried to mimic nature by setting up systems that would mostly take care of themselves. This led him to deviate from not only conventional farming techniques, but also long held traditional practices as well. Being Japanese his work was based mainly on rice, and he advocated an organic, no till rotation. Perhaps most unconventional was his practice of not keeping his fields flooded throughout the year. He also sowed his seed much further apart than most farmers.

Although claiming that his practices could dramatically increase yields and decrease workload for farmers, his teaching has been mostly ignored in the wider world. However, much of his practice is becoming mainstream through the System of Rice Intensification which was developed by others but follows similar systems and now boasts the highest yield ever for any farmer.

This book was definitely worth reading. The philosophical portion was at times difficult (my mind is still spinning trying to get some of the statements), and I’m not going to be growing rice anytime too soon (although some are starting to in Oregon), but the idea of working with nature instead of against her is always applicable. It certainly has me more excited about my small scale barley growing experiment I’m starting this spring, which I’ll be posting about soon.

“Unless people can become natural people, 

there can be neither natural farming nor natural food.”

Cold Remedy

A very smart guy always tells me that water fixes everything…and it does, but sometimes it is good to do a little extra. I did a some research today and came up with a mixed elixir of my own today. The honey helps coat your throat while the turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne help with inflammation. The milk is just delicious and the ginger actually helps pull out toxins as well as fight bacteria (i took a bubble bath today with salt and some ginger to do the same thing, whilst drinking my tea). Also seriously drink more water.
-K
Cold Remedy

-1tsp Turmeric
-1tsp cinnamon
-1 in ginger
-2tsp honey
-2 cup almond milk

-1 lemon squeezed for juice

-1 tsp cayenne

Directions: heat the milk on medium and add the ingredients. Use a spoon or whisk to continually stir until they are warm and mixed. Pour the mix of delish into a adorable mug.

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Review: The First Beer I ever Brewed. A lesson in Bottle Conditioning

Some time ago, I brewed my first beer. You can check out my post about it here. I followed the recipe called “Port’O Palmer” in John Palmers great brew manual. Here is what happened:

Two weeks after bottling

I pop the first bottle, It had a good carbonation level, and a good smell. Only a very faint head formed on top. The first taste had good flavor, but lacked a certain oomph. It was kinda weak sauce, but hey, it’s my first try.

Now, Several Months in the Bottle

This is a completely different beer. Where I first poured the beer hard straight into the glass to coax some sort of head formation, now I have to pour slowly down the side to keep the foam down. The smell has a greater complexity that smells like my ideal Porter would. The taste has improved immensely, balancing malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Carbonation level is good, but the mouthfeel and overall richness is somewhat lacking.

I Think that when I added water to my wort to get the desired five gallon batch I didn’t take into account the foam frothing in the top of my carboy, and so actually had a more watered down brew than I’d planned. I made sure to be extra careful about that in my second brew. More on that to come.

~J

Homebrew

Homebrew

Porter homebrew

Porter homebrew

Best Dinner

We will post soon on our tasting of our esb but….we are still in a state of pure euphoria over the delish vibes our dinner had. Josiah made fresh farmer cheese and I mixed it with jalapeño and used it as a ricotta on a zucchini lasagna (no noodles). We used tomato sauce I canned this summer tossed with mom’s organic onion, garlic, basil I dried this summer, and 4 cups of spinach…oh and a clove of garlic. All this topped with a half cup mozzarella . As a side we had our first bottle of our homemade esb we posted about earlier and it was glorious. Angels sang….ok Josiah sang.

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“Love Sticks”

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I am constantly trolling blogs and Pinterest for new trends in Moroccan and earthy style. I love finding something that I can do myself, and this idea was something I thought I could master. A normal person would give themselves time to plan this out and draw a cute design beforehand, but I turned on my wood burner and just hoped to. Although I think the outcome is cute and sort of primitive hipster looking, I would advise you to look at some designs before you start.

Materials:

-Wood Burner

-Wooden Spoons

-Polishing oil

Directions:

1. Plan out what you are going to burn into each spoon and set aside the design and spoon together. When you think you know what you want to burn into the spoon, plug in the wood burner. Remember tattoos are forever so if your spoon isn’t going to like it’s new design….tough luck.

2. Start by penciling in the design on your spoon–this will give you a guide to follow as you burn.

3. Start burning into the design, move the burner very slowly because if you get impatient, there might be inconsistency within the color of the burn.

4. More patience, once you have burned the design into your spoon, go over the whole design once more to reduce any inconsistencies and set in the burn.

5. Move on to the next spoon and repeat…when you are done burning into the spoons, I would suggest putting a good wood polishing oil on them. I love linseed but if you have a nut allergy then it will cause a reaction.

6. Use or gift your beautiful creation. I made these for a bridal shower, the bride and groom’s initials are carved into mine which is a fun way to make the gift more personalized. When the bride opened the spoons someone exclaimed that they were “love sticks”….

-K