November 30th, 2020

blackhat

(elephants, observe, garden)

We made it to Saturday with Christine's elephants not showing. Collapse )

I should be thankful for the days we had where she was in good spirits. And she turned around by some point on Sunday, so yay.

The Moravian star is installed on the front porch, the tree is up and lit. I am not particularly motivated to decorate the tree until i see how much Marlowe makes of it. Nor am i particularly enthused about our doll-like angel tree toppers this year. I splurged on Etsy and bought a tin trumpeting angel from a shop that imports from Haiti. The copper and verdigris hand crafted angel from Arizona was a close second, but a bit more dear than an unnecessary splurge needs to be.

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We did have some cat wet our bed Saturday evening: i fear it was elderly Edward. I hope the diabetes is still under control. Stripping the bed motivated getting the feather comforter out. I'm definitely not having success these days regulating my body temperature. I can't say the feather comforter makes it worse: even before the change, I wake 4 am-ish to toss off all the blankets and toss and turn before falling back asleep to be cold when my alarm goes off.

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I made some progress outside. The chipper fixed itself: i took off the cord starter but didn't open up the assembly because it seemed that the axle it is to turn wouldn't spin. Bolted it back on and it worked. Perplexing. Got the several trees we'd cut down plus an autumn olive plus branches pruned from the driveway chipped. The goal is to build up a little terrace on the driveway island for next summer's vegetables and the few clumps of native grasses that have taken. (I might dig them up and move them some day.) I'm not sure how much mulch the sorghum can push through. The sorghum is a broom straw variety with showy heads that grows about 12' (3 m) tall. I'd planted it in an arc along the circle of the tear-drop shaped island, defining the circle by dividing it from the part that has a cluster of trees and points downhill towards the road. They came up again this year, and i can't imagine self seeding being so precise. I rolled some pine logs to define the same part of the arc just downhill from the sorghum and then began filling in with the wood chips. I have noticed that the sorghum does have adventitious roots: maybe it will do OK with the chips pilled up against the stems.

The power company had cleared the easement along the roadway earlier this month, and so i went out and raked up the debris more or less, which was surprisingly strenuous work. The uphill side, west of the driveway's intersection with the road, i planted with https://www.prairiemoon.com/pretty-darn-quick-pdq-prairie-seed-mix-prairie-moon-nursery.html, while the downhill eastern section had areas where there can be standing water so https://www.prairiemoon.com/detention-basin-mix.html . I don't know that all the species are native to the county or North Carolina, but given the free grading and clearing of brush, i wanted to get what i could planted.
This is also posted at https://elainegrey.dreamwidth.org/832963.html .
blackhat

milk punch? (random, cooking )

Dear See's Candies: i ordered from you without you advertising at me. Stop sending me promotional email now!

Ah, Sharper Image, the catalog where you can see a man delightedly using a nose hair trimmer.

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Have you tried a milk punch? A drink where some punch has been mixed with milk so the milk curdles and then the milk is strained out, leaving an apparently pleasurable and fairly stable beverage? I'm curious about just making it with a spiced tea. It become clear from reading the alcohol is not a necessary part of the process, but that milk clarification "takes the edge off," with notes that the edge was probably much more pronounced in alcohols from the 1700s.

https://www.cooksillustrated.com/science/844-articles/story/the-key-to-crystal-clear-cocktails-milk-really

From Cooks Illustrated, whole milk is the best thing to use, which is not something we have around the house. Half and half may work; the experimenter had inconsistent results. Evaporated milk apparently doesn't curdle. Apparently one can get soy milk to curdle (depending on whether anti curdling additives have been added).

Of course, once you have curds, the curds can be turned into cheese (if milk) or tofu (if soy).

Apparently the milk curds are very good at straining out tannins. So i'm imagining some tannic tea steeped with spices, strained through curds, and wondering at the result. Also wondering whether the curds would taste dreadful or interesting.

I'm wondering about my attempt at a local nocino from our black walnut trees and from the berries from the spice bush. (I made the walnut steeped alcohol a couple years ago. We don't drink much or often, so that's still around. This year i found a spice bush with plenty of berries and steeped those in a sugar alcohol mix.)

All the recipes seem to be in quantity...
This is also posted at https://elainegrey.dreamwidth.org/833193.html .