Tuesday, July 17, 2018

cucumbers, salad and relish

Our garden is putting out cucumbers daily.. and I found a few little recipes to do something more than 'slather in mayo'.. which is generally what I do with the first flush of produce, and it works well until there are just too many to eat that way.

Cucumber mayonnaise salad
Wash, peel and chop up  cucumbers, you could salt them for a bit and then  drain it later, but I usually don't when it is just for lunch the next day etc.  Layer the cucumbers into a dish that can be covered with a lid.  Take real (like Hellman's) mayonnaise and slather about a tablespoon and a half over the top surface of the container.  Put on the lid and the mixture will become a salad overnight.  Good with turkey on a sandwich, or beside curry rice.

But now I'm branching out a little and trying to preserve the cucumbers as a relish or pickle without going through all the trouble of canning a big batch.  I've tried 'refrigerator pickles' before, and didn't really like them.  So I'm leaning more towards the relishes.

Did a Japanese relish last night that is meant as a side dish to rice and vegetables.
Ccumber cut up fine, salted and let sit for 10 minutes, rinse and drain.  Combine in a pint jar 2 tablespoons of white sugar, 4 tablespoons of rice vinegar and a little ginger.  Add a cup to two cups of diced cucumber.  Mix up by covering and shaking the jar until all is combined.  Let sit overnight in the fridge - keep for up to a week I would think.  These turned out sweet and sour, good beside some fish sticks and cantaloupe, but still very cucumber-tasting.

I'm going to try this one tomorrow - it is a bit more involved. I like the celery seed and turmeric in the recipe.  Even the Japanese relish with different spices in it could be a really good way to use the cucumbers.

This is the base recipe I'm going to try:
Spruce Eats sweet relish

It requires the cucumbers to brine for 24 hours... which means not any progress until tomorrow night.  I'll come back and update the post with what I _actually_ put together in my jars.. as I never actually follow the exact ingredients.

Mark says I need to get more pumpkin recipes, as we have a dozen pumpkins coming on the vines.  I actually have a cookbook for that!  I need to do more with the peppers, too - probably pick them and save a few for the relish but mostly bring them to work for a giveaway.  They go over really well.

//In the meantime.
We have almost all of our school shopping done.  Esme wants to tie dye some t-shirts so we bought a kit and some shirts.  We got her shoes, and I have almost everythign washed and ready.  A few school supplies are still coming in the mail, then we can put the binders together we are supposed to have.  We went to the library again today and she exchanged her Warriors books for the next in the series.  She has read four of them now, and the Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, which Mom insisted upon (because of the vet series Callie Vee, she read one of).  She is also getting into The Sixty Eight Thorne Rooms.. which I tried to read to her but it lost the magic when you aren't right at the keyhole with it... trying to explain things, trying not to skip over but not take forever reading a paragraph - it is different than reading it yourself.  We also stopped for ice cream with her certificate from the summer reading program.  We're both playing with new mods from Minecraft - IndustrialCraft is the big one.

Friday, July 13, 2018

bit o bits

School starts back August first, so I am worrying about getting all the things done before then... took a good chunk out of the shopping last week and ordered a lot more online this year than we have before.  Finding Esme jeans that fit was the hardest part this year, and I still don't think I did really great but we found something in junior petites that fits with a belt.. and isn't too small, so if it is a little loose now she has room to grow into it instead of just out of it... and I ordered a few that she has been wearing off the website since there were none in store...  We'll have to do shoes next week.

Esme went to a pool party on Wednesday and sleepover, and I crashed that night.  I had an early morning at work today, and a late one tomorrow.. so I'm fighting crashing for sleep right now.

Was listening to the book 'Black Rabbit Hall' by Eve Chase.  Some poetic melodic language in there...  was falling asleep to the lady's English accent but some oddly pronounced words just kept jerking me back.  It is a sad and mysterious tale that so far, I'm not sure what the point will be, but will see.. 1/3 of the way through that and I have two other books that have come up on my library wait list that I need to read soon, too.  Haven't finished the mystery I got from the actual physical library, or spent time looking through the dinosaur book, yet.

I've been playing a lot of Minecraft 'empire mode'... which isn't a real mode, just me making house after house across the map into each new territory, making each new place into its own 'estate' with resources and a name and its own flag etc etc... It's all on survival mode, monsters on, advanced hunger mode which makes you scrabble to create a steady food source or starve ... my favorite way to play, but again, it falls to not really having anything solid after all that time spent...  It is interesting to see the complexity grow over time as resources are found, spread around, technology becomes available (by finding resources) and how the latest houses are three stories and grand instead of little two room quick-builts.  The importance of a full kitchen in these is showing, too - a well, all the bakeware in a cabinet, taking the time to make the salt and the dough and grow the spices to pickle the cucumbers and etc etc...

Cooked several things in REAL life - peach soy ginger sauce for stirfry, and 'refrigerator-canned' peach and strawberries in syrup which we had on pancakes last night.   Planted some extra beans and zucchini in the garden the other day, have to do some more carrots but need to revamp three hard clay pots to do so, so, haven't yet.

Mark and I made a new chicken shelter by putting a split barrel over an A-frame of wood on legs.  It kind of looks like a fat hollow pig without a head.. and the chickens might be using it .. hard to tell if they understand it is to be their 'roof' in their cage to keep out of the rain - until it rains.. hmm.

Work was crazy today, nonstop, and all over by 3:30... which made it even weirder.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Minecraft seed with Jungle Temple near spawn

Another interesting Minecraft seed to share.

We have mods 'Plenty o Biomes', ' Pam's HarvestCraft' on.  I also have Hunger Overhaul on, but that won't affect the seed the way the other two do.  The number is -2845701347600687085.  The negative sign is very important.

It spawns into a Eucalyptus Forest on the edge of a Rainforest. There is a Jungle Temple (shown in pic) not far to the North. There are several food trees nearby, sheep and pigs in case you're running the 'Hunger Overhaul' mod, which I am, which requires you to actually gather food like in a real survival situation as every bit of work you do (mining, digging, jumping) wears on your hunger bar and requires you to eat at least a meal a day or face consequences.

There is also a rare Sacred Springs biome just to the north of the temple - right behind it in the picture.  With monsters on it is dark dark and scary, but it does have regen pools.

I have not been in the temple or far into the Sacred springs yet, because I have monsters and survival mode and no cheats on.. and I'm scared!  A creeper already chased me under one of the trees and I am squishy with an iron sword and no armor.  I worked last night to make a big food garden and a safe house and a small mine down to bedrock... I'll be looking for more iron and redstone before I go wandering over there.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

End of vacation

Lots and lots of banana peppers.  And the pole garden has everything merrily climbing, the flowers should be beautiful when they come.  The elephant ears are really taking off.  I planted all of my birthday plants (save one) here as well.

I go back to work tomorrow.
I started doing both my Welsh and my French again last night... only forgot a little bit of the French and it has been many months.

Thursday, June 21, 2018


It's not about actually seeing the sunrise, although that can be part of it, and it is a thing of beauty.  It is about watching the shapes become distinct objects, seeing color return where there was darkness and gray, about listening to the world in its entirety as the light changes over - the rain in the leaves, the wind, the birds and bats and bugs and all other animals that signal to each other as the light returns and the darkness lifts.  It is about delving deep into thoughts, connections, communication with the world and with this moment over years continuing forward and back.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

June Nineteenth

We finally set up the tent we bought on clearance long ago.  It didn't get the girls to sleepover in it last night like planned - but they did spend a lot of time outdoors chasing frogs and fireflies (and a praying mantis).

The tiger lilies are blooming.

I am on vacation this week and go back next Monday.