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Showing posts from May, 2010

Cheesy update

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My first block of cheese seems to be coming along nicely. It smells like cheese. It looks like cheese. It's forming a nice rind. I'll probably leave it out for one more day before I wax it and then let it age for a couple of months.

Cheese making

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So I've decided to try my hand at making cheese. So far I've made some ricotta, some cottage cheese and now I've got a block of farmhouse cheddar in a rigged up press. This cheese making page contains most of the info that you need to get started. I highly recommend it. One thing that isn't mentioned on that site is how to make a homemade mesophilic starter. It's pretty simple. Just get a small container of real buttermilk. Let it sit out overnight. Once it reaches the consistency of yogurt pour it into an ice tray and toss the tray in the freezer.



After the cubes freeze you can dump them into a freezer bag. They'll last for at least a month or so.



The only other special ingredients you need for most cheese recipes are milk and rennet. I picked up a small bottle of liquid rennet from a local homebrew store for $6.50. Junket Rennet tablets
are available from Amazon. They're cheaper up front but you don't get as much as you get from a bottle and …

The garden is starting up nicely

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The arugula that I carried over from last year is doing OK. A few plants have sprouted. My other lettuces are doing well. The turnips are going nuts and I've got some beets and leeks starting nicely. What I thought was interesting were all of the plants from last year that started growing on their own this year. Apparently, some dill and kale got in the gravel and is growing really well.





I'm going to let them go for a while until I feel like having a salad. One kale plant even popped up on the other side of my yard. I have no idea how it made it that far.



I threw another tire and some dirt on my potatoes. They're doing very very well.



One of my hops rhizomes is popping up. Hopefully, the other two will follow suit soon.



The established plant from last year is going crazy.



I haven't had a single sunchoke sprout yet. If they don't pop up soon I won't be expecting anything from them. I wouldn't be surprised if they show up from out of nowhere next year…

Rand Paul and Racism

Everyone's heard about Rand Paul's interview with Rachael Maddow. Now the media is dong their best to paint the guy as a racist. What kind of racist vitriol was he spewing? He said that the civil right's act should have only limited the government from discrimination. What all of these race baiters refuse to mention is that the reason for most of the discrimination in America before the civil rights act was due to the fact that the government supported it with laws and policies. The free market was starting to push back against the racists so the politicians of the time saw what was going on and decided that they had to do something to save face and claim credit for America "getting over" racial discrimination.

The pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme. Now if you don't think that things like affirmative action are good for this country then you're a racist. If you agree with the new Arizona law then you're a racist. If you don't agr…

Insuring your wealth against TEOTWAWKI

When you get on the topic of what you're going to need if TEOTAWKI ever comes around you get a lot of different answers. Some people just roll their eyes and call you crazy for even worrying about it (although those types seem to be less and less common lately). Some people think that their full gun safe and 15 thousand rounds of ammo is all they need. Still others talk about how gold will become the new money. Then there are the guys that think that as long as you have enough food and water you can survive anything. It amazes me how many people seem to be so one dimensional in their preps. Not everyone is like that but they seem to be among the most vocal on the net.

Gold and guns won't do you much good if you don't have a good stock of food. A food stash is the most likely insurance that you'll actually use. Whether you lose your job for a few months, a major disaster shuts everything down or whatever having a good supply of food ahead of time is the best wa…

JP Morgan manipulating silver market

Anyone heard about the alleged manipulation of silver prices by JP Morgan? It's not a big story but the info is out there. Here's a quote from the article that pretty much sums up what I've suspected has been going on.

"The investigations were sparked by allegations made by metals trader Andrew Maguire, who the Post interview last month. “JPMorgan acts as an agent for the Federal Reserve; they act to halt the rise of gold and silver against the U.S. dollar. JPMorgan is insulated from potential losses [on their short positions] by the Fed and/or the U.S. taxpayers,” said Maguire."

No evidence of wrongdoing will be found. This just confirms the theories out there of why precious metals prices don't have much rhyme or reason lately. They always seem to go down in the face of news that should send them soaring. Precious metals are thought by many people to be a barometer for the economy. When they go crazy it creates uncertainty and fear. As long as they&#…

Tried my first all grain beer

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I've been brewing extract beers and making all types of hooch and wine for years. I like my brews quick, easy and most importantly cheap. As much as I've always wanted to start making all grain beer the equipment necessary and the amount of grain needed was always a hurdle. There are also a lot of equations involved if you want any kind of consistency. All of these hurdles center around the mash which is basically the heart and soul of all grain brewing. You need to start with a lot of base malt which can get expensive. Well I was on a homebrew forum and there was a local group buy for bulk malted barley. $75 for 150 lbs of base malt was too good of a price to pass up.



Now that I had the malt I needed a way to grind it. Like any good prepper I have a Corona mill. Once I got it dialed in it worked great. Here's a pic of my grain ready for the mash tun.



You want the kernels to break up but you want the husks to remain intact. The husks create a filter that allow…

This is frightening

No wonder Arizona passed their immigration law and most American's support it. Anyone remember the Sotomayor La Raza controversy? This is the group that she sat on the board of. Yikes.

Quick, cheap and dirty wine

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So out of boredom I decided to try to make wine out of grape juice. I found a recipe online that uses frozen grape juice and went to town. It does call for a few ingredients that you'll only find at a homebrew shop but those ingredients can be left out and the finished product will still be very drinkable. Here's the list of ingredients:

2 cans frozen grape juice concentrate
1 quart water
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp bread yeast
2 tsp acid blend
1 tsp pectic enzyme
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 gallon glass or plastic jug
enough water to top off the jug after ingredients are combined



This recipe is very easy and a good introduction to wine making. You should end up with a gallon of drinkable booze for just a few bucks. Just bring a quart of water to a boil and stir in the sugar. When the sugar is dissolved turn off the heat and stir in the frozen grape juice concentrate. It should be room temperature by the time the grape juice finishes melting. Now is the time to add the rest of the ingred…

Get ready for those Obama commemeratives!

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Every once in a while I have to throw something silly out there.