http://www.durgan.org/URL/?SOPKC 29 October 2014 Physalis peruviana (Cape Gooseberry)
The fruit was removed from three plants of ground cherry, Physalis peruviana, Cape Gooseberry. Two pounds of fruit was obtained. On this type of ground cherry most of the fruit does not fall to the ground when ripe. The fruit must be yellow in color, and if green should be discarded, since solanine is present and should not be ingested.This plant take about 9 months or longer to mature, so must be started indoors in Zone 5. The fruit may be ingested raw. Cooked with a small amount of water, just brought to a boil for about three minutes, it has a most agreeable flavor.
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?YUNKR 27 October 2014 Pressure Cooking Dried Beans.
A variety of dried beans was purchased from a bulk food store and pressure cooked.About a cup of each variety was utilized.Some of the names are not known, but a selection of what was available was purchased.
Method. About a cup of each variety of dried bean and a cup of nixtamalized corn was processed. The beans are washed thoroughly and placed in a large pot with water.The pot of beans was boiled for about one half hour. Upon removal from the heat the water is discarded.The beans were thoroughly rinsed and placed in the colander for insertion in the pressure cooker. The amount of water(about three liters) in the pressure cooker does not touch the beans.The colander prevents the beans from foaming and blocking the safety valve.The beans are cooked for at least one hour at 15 PSI. Beans must be fully cooked for digestion.
The beans upon removal from the pressure cooker are placed in a large pot with water and beat into a slurry with the hand blender.This slurry is then placed in containers and frozen for later use. The beans make a quick nourishing addition to meals.About seven liters were prepared. Condiments of choice may be added. Pictures depict the process.
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?BWCIJ 25 October 2014 Gruel. Five Grain
A five grain pot of gruel was made. This is about a ten day supply of breakfast cereal for one person. Ingredients are nixtamalized corn, whole wheat kernels, almonds, sorghum, and large flake rolled oats. Each ingredient is blended into a slurry with water. All mixed together and cooked for about two hours in a double boiler. The double boiler inhibits burning by it not being necessary to stir very often when cooking. A bowl of the gruel is served for breakfast with some molasses for a bit of iron and sweetener, and skim milk. The gruel ingredients vary from batch to batch depending upon what is available. There is a large selection from which to choose, particularly in NA.
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?ELZMC 24 October 2014 Hand Crank Corn Sheller Mounting
System used to mount my new Hand Crank Corn Sheller. Waddling through Home Depot a floor cleaning bucket was found and purchased ($10,00). Two holes were drilled and a board to strengthen the wall and an almost ideal mount was made. It is about 11 inches wide and would probably be better if about 16 inches wide to clear the larger cobs of corn in operation. But this is a minor issue, meaning one must sometimes pull the larger cobs out of the mechanism, rather than have them drop. Also a large stone weight might be placed in the bottom ff the bucket for stand alone stability rather than hold in place while cranking. This would only be an issue if a large number of cobs were processed. Anyway it is simple and effective.
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?XARKD 25 October 2014 Support for Corn sheller. Visiting TSC a farm supply hardware store, a better support was found for the Corn sheller. It appears to be a feeding tough for cattle. Strongly built and cost $16.00. It was purchased and modified for supporting the hand sheller. It addresses the deficiencies mentioned in the above post of the first design. This unit is 16 inches wide which is about perfect. Pictures depict the completed unit.
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?FIVAN 23 October 2014 Hand Crank Corn Sheller.
Hand Crank Corn Sheller was received today and used to shell the last of my Indian corn about ten pounds. It took some internet searching to find a reasonably priced unit. Cost was about $40.00 and shipping and handling was about $36.00. The unit was easy to assemble, but the clamping system was poorly designed. I managed to haywire a suitable system together and clamp to a wash tub to put into operation. Later I will make a wooden box for permanent mounting. The removed kernels bounce a bit so it is best to operate in an easy to sweep area. Operation was simple and the device worked quickly and perfectly. It is ideal for home use. Pictures depict operation.
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?ZNMBB 21 October 2014 Maseca Corn Flour to make tortillas
Some Maseca, nixtamalized corn flour, was found in my local supermarket. It was used to make tortillas. This is a simple easy procedure, simply add water to make a dough, press into tortillas and cook. An added flourish was added by placing in the microwave for 30 seconds after cooking on the stove. This causes the tortilla to bloom up and cooks in the center with the steam formed.They are stored in a sealed plastic container until used.
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?QBBJG 20 October 2014 Crushing Garlic
There is much information about the benefits of ingesting a clove of raw garlic daily. The clove must be crushed and exposed to air for about ten minutes before ingesting to obtain maximum benefits.The information comes from historical practices, some rat research, and anecdotal information. I decided to put the information to a test for a period of time. I purchased a garlic crusher which breaks the garlic clove into small crushed pieces perfect for the endeavor. It is strong,easy to operate, and simple to clean. Pictures depict operation.
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?HPVDY 19 October 2014 Indian Corn Tortillas.Garden to Plate.
Indian corn from my garden was made into tortillas. The corn was dried on the cob, shelled by hand with the aid of a simple tool,, nixtamalized by boiling for 20 minutes then soaking in calcium hydroxide and water for 36 hours.The nixtamalized corn is then agitated by hand rubbing to remove the skins, I use a large whisk to assist. The nixtamal, now the name, is rinsed several times with water until clear. The nixtamal is now ready to wet grind into masa, which is the dough for making tortillas. Grinding wet can be a problem, since few home grinders can grind wet corn. I have found that my Bamix hand blender does a reasonable job with q bit of time and effort. The alternative is to dry the corn in a dehydrator and grind in a blender, which takes much time and is an extra step. Some whole wheat flour is added to my masa to make the right texture also to add some gluten to make the dough more coherent. This probably enhances the tortilla flavour somewhat. The dough is then made into balls about the size of a golf ball,hand pressed into flat sort of pancakes, cooked in a cast iron fry pan. I also place in the microwave for about one minute to inflate the tortilla then place in a closed plastic container for storage in the refrigerator until required. Pictures depict the process.
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?MYHED 18 October 2014 Planting Garlic
About 100 cloves of hard neck garlic was planted for harvest in July of 2015. The cloves were saved from my 2014 garlic harvest. Only the largest cloves were selected for planting.The cloves were removed from the bulbs by pressing a table knife through the center of the dried scape. This effectively opens the bulb and the cloves can be easily removed.Each bulb has from 5 to 8 cloves. Usually only five are large and nicely shaped. The smaller not suitable cloves will be utilized for table use Some years I have been short of seed so used he smaller cloves and found no perceptible difference in size of the bulbs. But if I have sufficient only the largest perfect cloves are utilized. The cloves were planted at six inch spacing with the pointed end up and about two inches into the soil from the top of the clove. No hole was made but the clove was firmly pressed to insure a close affinity with the soil. Pictures depict the process.