Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Illegal Zoo Experiments

Playing with my new (or even better new-to-me) 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator. With extra fruit leather tray. No timer...but am I complaining?? No ones complaining here. A lovely vegetarian friend of mine decided it was taking up too much room in her kitchen.

Did you know I can raise dough in here? And culture yogurt and other dairy products?? Awesome. 

So I've tried the bread thing. I didn't notice much difference. It's out in the other room so its harder to keep an eye on it and the multigrain loaf was too yeasty (or rose too long?) so I used the rest for flatbread. 

Yogurt is on the list for this evening or tomorrow. Whenever my starter thaws out (I froze some Stonyfield yogurt last time once when I didn't have time to make it but didn't want to throw out the pricey stuff.)

I finished off some blueberries (from the 10 qts. D. brought me a few weeks ago). It was an interesting experience. Because they come in so many sizes, and I wasn't sure about drying time. In the end 1/3 turned out too hard, 1/3 were just right, and 1/3 were still a little squishy (even after 3 more hours alone). Must separate according to size next time. 

What to do with over-dehydrated blueberries?? Science experiments!!

The boy's occasional babysitter told them that her turtle likes blueberries. We wondered if the tortoise at the zoo would like them. (He didn't notice them.)

Lemurs? Yes.
Pheasant? Sorta.
Chickens? Definitely.
Jerusalem donkey. Yup.
Emu? Ignored us. 
Coati? Yum.
 Doves? They sorta noticed them being thrown. It made them nervous. We had a theory that the eyes on the side of their heads make it hard to follow the arc of a thrown thing. 
Water buffalo? Followed us down the fence. 

The boys say that mammals and birds seem to like blueberries. The amount of dry-ness doesn't seem to bother them. 

And we got weird looks from the guys doing weed-whacking. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Random photos of Summer Madness

I'm not sure I liked the title "Summer's Full Swing." Reminded me too much of woozy, midway-filled children at a summer carnival. It never ends well. 

Our new space. Usually a 'dump-anything' room. D. has cleared out the desks on the left and has bought wood-working tools at garage sales this year. 

Art space. Beyond, on the cabinet is my gardening basket (nylon tomato ties, mate-less gloves, a floppy hat). 

E knew Betsy Ross was always thinking of pizza. 

Mine. I want to do a tutorial some time. It's thin and crispy. 

My mistake loaf. I'm not always a great baker. After the multigrain bread came out dense and yeasty I transformed it into flatbread. Thumbs up. Great with red sail lettuce, a smidge of olive oil, and a splash of *good* basalmic vinegar. So good. 

I'm not always that good. I'm not showing you the chocolate, chocolate muffins I made up at 10pm last night. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer's Full Swing

Wrestling on the front lawn.

Water slides at the Wisconsin Dells.

Feathery asparagus.

Wild raspberries.

Homemade pizza in the shape of the American flag.

Sun burns.

Grass that needs to be mowed. Indian paint brush.

Squash that don't know how to reproduce.

Several quarts of blueberries.

Learning to use the Excalibur (9 tray) dehydrator someone so nicely gifted me.

Fixing my baking mistakes.

Planting (more) beans. This time I know where they are.

Pictures to follow. My laptop has keyboard problems which have killed this post (with pics) more than once.