Saturday, February 15, 2020

wardrobe challenge

i saw a thing on the interwebz encouraging you to post your outfits every day for a week.

you don't need pictures. i have a uniform.

blue jeans, turtleneck, down puffy, beanie hat.

every. damn. day.

unless it is over 65 degrees out, in which case it is

bluejeans, short sleeve shirt, sunshirt, and hat with a brim. this summer hat may be my blue naturalist hat, a black running hat, or a tan sun hat.

oooh, so many choices.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

apple cake

some weeks ago i was looking for a new recipe that was either emblematic of an international cuisine or a time period or makes a statement, because our Girl Scout troop is working on a badge about new cuisines.

as an adult i wasn't required to make something, but i was getting in the spirit.

so i have this latvian friend who grew up in latvia during the soviet occupation and i asked her for a recipe that would have been typical food from her childhood, because i think latvia under soviet occupation qualifies as being both international and of a time.

so she said that what came to her mind was ābolu kūka, basically apple cake. it was, she said, the thing you made when you had unexpected company and not much in the way of groceries.

it's always a fun time translating recipes from other languages, so that had some amusement value.

and while i didn't make it right away, our friend rapunsell did and she made it into a lovely recipe we could all follow without two much trouble and i have made it twice since.

here it is, with her permission:

DRY: 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon (I use a little sifter for everything but the flour and then I whisk all the dry ingredients) 

WET: 2 eggs, 1 cup unsweetened kefir, 2/3 cup sugar (increase to 1 cup if making dessert), nice splash of vanilla

TOPPING 1: 2 apples, thinly sliced

TOPPING 2: 1 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar, plus more cinnamon for sprinklingMETHOD: Preheat oven to 350 and grease a baking pan. Mix wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls then mix to combine (small lumps are fine). Pour into baking pan. Arrange apple slices on top. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from oven, spoon sweetened sour cream on top, then sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting.

Monday, January 13, 2020

things that were and were not

on saturday, my plan was to go to a walk and talk in the hinesburg town forest and then come home and make an apple cake for potluck after the walk and talk about the natural and cultural history of jonesville (i have decided that walk and talk is what i'm calling ant instructional/ lecture thingy that takes place in the field) and then i got the email about the cancellation of the sunday event just AFTER i popped the cake in the oven and now i have to eat a whole ass cake.

on sunday i HAD intended to go to the walk and talk and potluck, but in stead i stayed home and learned to tie a knot. ONE KNOT. i have been working on it for a couple of days out of the Ashley Book Of Knots and kept getting it horribly wrong, but then i thought: there HAS to be a youtube video on how to tie this thing so i googled "ABOK 792" and it turns out there are several videos on how to tie this thing, so yay. the rest of my day was taken up learning to tie it competently with two strands of different colors (it helps) and then learning to tie it competently in single color, and then i the small stock i want to tie it in.

so that's a day well-spent.

here's the video.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

deer herd management

hi again.

i know half of you prefer if i post more often, so i feel a little bad about this last absence.

i was doing a lot of writing, but not any writing i could publish to my blog and then at the end of the day i was too tired to write more for a blog, so that's my excuse.

i still can't post it, because, yanno, too much actual information on a page, both personal and institutional but if you're crazy to read it, drop your email in the comments (i won't publish it) and i'll send you a link to the googledoc.

basically, there was some illegal hunting on some property i do work on. the organizational policy is to forbid hunting of any kind, and the knee jerk reaction was to try to solve the problem of bad actors by properly posting the land, thereby closing it to appropriately behaved hunters.

plus overbrowse by deer is a thing.

anyway, if you want to read the paper, i will send you a link.

i won't be sad if you're ok without it.

Monday, December 02, 2019

an abomnination

i have no picture of this, because even though it looked delicious, well, reason. i'll get to it later.

but i bought myself a cast iron pan for camping, which is a departure from my usual. in my younger days, i was all about backpacking equipment, and cast iron pan does not fit into that category.

you can get away with one for canoe camping and certainly for car camping or even pulk camping, which i'm now getting into.

a pulk, by the way, is a sled that's outfitted to pull behind you when you hike. winter gear is generally heavier than summer gear and why NOT bring the heavy gear if you can load it in a sled?

anyway, i'd been seeing friends and acquaintances cook things on campfires that would make your toes curl they're so good, plus sometimes i get it in my head to make things in a dutch oven so i decided i could get myself a piece of cast iron to use for camp but then i didn't know: frypan? griddle? dutch oven?

and then lodge made it easy. it turns out they have a 3 liter combo cooker that's two frypans, one shallow and one deep, that fit together so you can use the shallow one as a lid to make them into a dutch oven and it was on sale at REI last week, so how could i not?

i used it camping to roast chestnuts on an open fire and i came home and because my guests didn't eat much of the groceries i'd brought (i don't know. you can't figure some folk) i have a lot of camp things i wouldn't normally eat at home but need to get used up so yesterday i too some packaged biscuit doughs, split and lined the greased pan with them and layered in sliced turkey, tater tots, gravy, cheese, and topped it with the other halves of the biscuit doughs and baked the whole mess until it was golden brown.

not something i'm proud of, and it was kind of an abomination, but yet oddly delicious.

and i was looking at it and realized it would make a nice picture for you and that's when i grabbed the handle of the pan to get a better angle.

yeah, the CAST IRON PAN. because i'm not used to cooking in cast iron, and certainly not indoors so my first time out with indoor cast iron forgot the HANDLE STAYS HOT.

so no picture.

my hand is ok. the burns weren't too bad. it was ouchy for a while and i didn't get any pictures, but lesson cheaply learned.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

out in the cold

i keep running into a phenomenon when i am out with people winter camping and the people maybe aren't that experienced camping in winter, because winter makes a big and important difference.

i don't blame them for not understanding, because i didn't really understand how to live in cold weather either.

i tell people not to let themselves get cold.

don't let your hands get cold, don't let your feet get cold. don't let your ass get cold. if you feel chilly, move. get up and do things. do not sit with a blanket near the fire, because that fire is not putting out enough heat to keep you warm.

i tell them this over and over and they act like they understand, but their versions of not getting too cold is very much the not getting cold of people who plan to be indoors having a hot shower and spending the evening with central heat.

because how cold you can get and still have a safe and comfortable night is very different if you go out into the cold and get a little chilly and then you come inside and warm up. you can get WAY COLDER and still end up safe and comfortable.

but if you're staying outside, you absolutely cannot hang around until you feel too cold and then sit with a blanket around you until you warm up because you're not going to warm up.

you have to get your muscles moving. you have to eat hot food with a lot of calories. you have to remember to eat and drink and pee because you NEED your body to be working.

if you go to bed cold, without a hot shower or time inside, you're going to have a cold uncomfortable night while your body catches up, and your body can't afford to catch up like that too often.

if you're out with me and i tell you you need to have a hot beverage, i'm not being polite. i'm thinking of your safety.


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