Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Non-animal diet’ Category

Legumes and pulses

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Pulses are a subset of legumes. Fresh peas and fresh beans are not pulses because they are not dried, and (I read) soybeans and peanuts are not pulses because of their high oil content.

Written by Leisureguy

27 May 2022 at 11:07 am

Posted in Food, Non-animal diet

Pinto bean and khorasan kernel tempeh done at 72 hours

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It’s done, and nicely timed, since I just finished off the previous batch of tempeh today. The first photo, upper left, shows the tempeh after it has been removed from the bag. You’ll notice a black area in the middle of the right side. That’s sporing — harmless and edible. The pale whiteness on the right is an artefact of the poor lighting in my kitchen.

The two photos at the right of the first photo show both sides of the batch in the bag, and the bottom photo shows a cross section and I butchered it for storage in the refrigerator. I’ll start eating it tomorrow. 

Two posts that might be of interest: the master post for this particular batch, and my post on how I make tempeh based on my experience to date.

Written by Leisureguy

26 May 2022 at 2:22 pm

New batch of Carrot Cake in a Jar starting its fermentation

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I made a double recipe, so two quarts (here in two 1-liter jars, so some room to spare). The recipe is the first in my reference post on fermentation. In fact, it was this recipe that got me into fermenting. As noted in that post, I doubled some of the ingredients. We just thought the spices, nuts, and dates needed a little more oomph. 

I did use a starter culture. This is a short ferment, so it should be ready in 4-5 days. 

Written by Leisureguy

25 May 2022 at 5:10 pm

Pinto bean and khorasan kernel tempeh at 48 hours

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I’m going to let it go for at least another 24 hours.

Written by Leisureguy

25 May 2022 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Food, Non-animal diet, Recipes & Cooking

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Pinto bean and khorasan wheat kernel tempeh, 21 hours along

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After 21 hours

Click photo to enlarge, whereupon it will be obvious that Rhizopus oligosporus prefers beans to grain. However, the hold will take over in time. I am particularly pleased by how even the growth is over the batch — a good sign.

I probably could remove this from the incubator now and let it finish on a raised rack on the table, but I am going to let it continue in the incubator for a few more hours just to be sure the fungus is well established.

I set out in this post the approach I use to making my own tempeh. 

Update: Here is a comparison of 21 hours and 28 hours after start.

Written by Leisureguy

24 May 2022 at 11:47 am

Gene-edited tomatoes could provide new source of vitamin D

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Heidi Ledford reports in Nature:

Gene-edited tomato plants that produce a precursor to vitamin D could one day provide an animal-free source of the crucial nutrient.

An estimated one billion people don’t have enough vitamin D — a condition that can contribute to a variety of health problems, including immune and neurological disorders. Plants are generally poor sources of the nutrient, and most people obtain their vitamin D through animal products such as eggs, meat and dairy.

When the gene-edited tomatoes, described in Nature Plants on 23 May1, are exposed to ultraviolet light in the laboratory, some of the precursor, called provitamin D3, is converted to vitamin D3. But the plants have not yet been developed for commercial use, and it is not known how they will fare when grown outside.

However, it is a promising — and unusual — example of using gene editing to enhance the nutritional quality of a crop, says plant biologist Johnathan Napier at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, UK. It required an in-depth knowledge of tomato biochemistry. “You can only edit what you understand,” he says. “And it’s only because we understand the biochemistry that we’re able to make those sorts of interventions.”

Targeted changes

Gene editing is a technique that allows researchers to make targeted changes to an organism’s genome, and has been hailed as a potential way to develop better crops. Although genetically modified crops made by inserting genes into plant genomes must often go through an extensive review by governmental regulators, many countries have eased that process for crops with edited genomes — provided that the editing is relatively simple, and creates a mutation that could also have occurred naturally.

But there are relatively few ways to use that kind of gene editing to boost the nutrient content of a crop, says Napier. Although gene editing can be used to switch genes off in ways that are beneficial to consumers — for example, by removing a plant compound that could cause allergies — it is much harder to find situations in which mutating a gene will lead to the production of a new nutrient. “For actual nutritional enhancement, you have to step back a bit and think, how useful is this tool going to be?” says Napier.

Although some plants naturally produce forms of vitamin D, this is often later converted into chemicals that regulate the plant’s growth. Blocking the conversion pathway can cause an accumulation of the vitamin D precursor, but also leads to stunted plants. “That’s quite an important consideration if you want to make plants with high yields,” says plant biologist Cathie Martin at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK.

But solanaceous plants also have a parallel biochemical pathway that converts provitamin D3 into defensive compounds. Martin and her colleagues took advantage of this to engineer plants that . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

24 May 2022 at 11:13 am

18th Century Mushroom Ketchup

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Via The Eldest, this interesting recipe. The idea of many sauces is to add umami. Worcestershire sauce and fish sauce use anchovies for that, ketchup uses tomatoes, and this recipe uses mushrooms — all great sources of umami. Pesto could be included in that list, whose umami comes from parmesan. (You probably already know the trick of including some parmesan rind as you simmer a soup, removing it before serving, to kick up the umami. Whole Foods sells parmesan rinds by themselves, leftovers from when they prepare grated parmesan.)

I’m definitely going to try the recipe at the link. Its ingredients:

2lbs fresh mushrooms, wiped clean and broken or cut into small pieces.
2T Kosher or Sea Salt
2 -3 Bay Leaves
1 Large Onion, chopped
Zest of 1 Lemon
1T Grated Horseradish
1/4t Ground Clove
1/2t Ground Allspice
Pinch of Cayenne
1/2c Cider Vinegar

The Eldest Grandson made this, using a variety of mushrooms, and that sounds like a good idea. I’ll use crimini, domestic white, oyster, and shiitake, half a pound of each.

Update: Note this earlier post, which contains a recipe for a delicious and easy low-carb ketchup. (Here, “low carb” means no added sugar.)

Written by Leisureguy

24 May 2022 at 11:06 am

Pinto bean and Kamut® tempeh

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Pinto beans and organic khorasan wheat, 2 cups each (measured before cooking)

Above is the bagged batch of pinto bean and khorasan wheat tempeh, ready for the incubator. It has been dried and cooled, and I’ve mixed in vinegar (Bragg’s apple-cider vinegar today, just a little less than 1/4 cup). One that was done, I mixed in the starter culture, a little at a time. The bagged batch weighs 1940g or 4lb 4.4oz. This is the biggest batch I’ve made, but it fits comfortably in the large Ziploc Fresh Produce bag.

It’s now on a raised rack in the incubator, and I expect it will take at least 24 hours for the mycelium to be visible. I think the packet of starter culture I use is intended for a smaller amount of beans/grain, but with good food, an acidic environment, and warmth, the mycelium should flourish. 

I used an organic khorasan wheat grown here in BC. The Kamut® trademark is exactly for organic khorasan, but I imagine using the brand involves licensing fees. The bag of khorasan I bought at True Grain specifies only “Organic BC Khorasan Kernels.” So it’s the same as Kamut® except for the brand name.

When I cook whole grain kernels, I usually use 1 cup grain to 3 cups water and cook until the water’s absorbed. Today I used 2 cups of grain and 6 cups of water, and after an hour of simmering, it became apparent that the grain was not going to absorb all the water. Update: I see that True Grain specifies a ratio of 1 cup kernels to 2 cups water. I’ll try that next time. /update

Cooked khorasan kernels cooling and drying

So I finally drained the wheat in a sieve and spread it on the towel to dry. It is definitely done. I don’t know why doubling the recipe left so much water unabsorbed. [Perhaps the right ratio is 1:2, not 1:3 – LG]

In this photo of the grain spread out to cool and dry, the area with a lighter color is an artefact of the lighting. 

The bagged batch is now on the rack in the incubator. I’ll update this post as the batch progresses. In 3 or 4 days, I should have a new batch of tempeh ready to go.

I’m trying a 1:1 ratio of beans and grain in this batch because in general I follow Dr. Michael Greger’s diet recommendations — his Daily Dozen. He recommends a whole-food plant-based diet, and that’s why  I eat wheat kernels instead of (say) bread, pasta, and other foods made from flour. Flour is not a whole food. (For the same reason, I eat whole fruit and avoid fruit juice. I don’t eat refined or highly processed food at all.)

He recommends having a serving of beans and a serving of grain at each meal, and by making tempeh that’s equal parts beans and grain, I figure a serving of tempeh will take care of that. 

In another post I describe exactly how I make tempeh, step by step: the lessons I learned from experience.

21 hours later

After 21 hours

After 21 hours the fungus is well established. You can see from the photo that it prefers beans to grain, but it will take over the whole thing. Click photo to enlarge, and the preference will become obvious. 

I’m always very pleased to see such an even distribution of initial activity. It bodes well, IMO. I could possible remove the batch from the incubator at this point, but I’m going to continue incubation for a few more hours just to get it very well along the way before I take it out and put it on a raised rack on the table. 

This will be a good batch.

48 hours from start

After 48 hours

The coverage is pretty good at this point, but I will let it continue to ferment for at least another 24 hours (3 days total from start). My feeling is that the additional time allows the mycelium to better fill out and cover over.

Besides, I still have another day’s worth of the chickpea and black rice tempeh to eat.

But I am looking forward to this one. While pinto beans are not the most nutritious bean, they are good, and I like khorosan wheat (higher in protein than modern wheats).

72 hours and done

The finished batch. On the left, the slab of tempeh removed from the bag. That dark spot on its right side is sporing — harmless and edible but cosmetically unappealing. The ppale white are on the right side of the slab is an artefact of the lighting in my kitchen. IRL the slab is the creamy color of the left side.

The photo on the right shows the batch in cross-section.

Written by Leisureguy

23 May 2022 at 1:52 pm

Kale+cabbage kraut (with carrot, onion, jalapeño, apple, beet, and ginger)

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The finished ferment. I took a portion from the left jar. Photo of the start in this post.

Two weeks ago I started a new ferment that contained:

• 1 bunch green kale, sliced thinly after stems removed
• 1/2 head green cabbage, sliced thinly
• 1 Nantes carrot, grated
• 3 jalapeños, sliced 4mm thick (on Oxo adjustable mandoline)
• 2 spring/BBQ onions, sliced thinly
• 1 Cosmic Crisp apple, grated
• 1 medium beet, grated
• about 1″-2″ ginger, finely grated

Although I fairly quickly saw bubbles, during the ferment I didn’t see many bubbles at all, so I was a little apprehensive — but in fact the batch came out very good indeed and is very satisfying: good crunch, good taste, good look. And, of course, it has a ton of probiotics. 

My thought now is to do a ferment using halved or quartered Brussels sprouts (along with some apple, carrot, onion, ginger, and probably jalapeños). That will be the next batch once I get caught up on the ferments now in the fridge.

See also my general post on fermentation.

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2022 at 5:14 pm

More great Simnett sauces

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I’ve updated the post that has a collection of easy-to-make sauces and dressings from Simnett Nutrition. The newest addition to that post is at the end: “a fresh tasty Green Goddess dressing, a creamy Citrus Mango, and also an asian inspired Ginger Apple Carrot sauce.”

Written by Leisureguy

20 May 2022 at 5:28 pm

Heart rate up for no reason I can determine

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Much the same walk, but at the 1-mile point, when my Amazfit app speaks to me, I heard that my heart rate was up (at that point, 126 bpm). Since a good heart rate increases the PAI haul, I extended the walk a little bit.

I set out a bowl of frozen mixed berries before the walk, so they were ready when I got home. I added a couple of tablespoons of dried barberries, the same amount of roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds, a teaspoon of alma (powdered dried Indian gooseberries), and a little maple syrup. Very satisfying.

Written by Leisureguy

20 May 2022 at 3:58 pm

I make this sauce/dressing a lot

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The recipe below is a doubled version of one the recipes among those in the three Derek Simnett videos in this post (which includes downloadable PDFs of the recipes). This one requires a blender, and I use my immersion blender with a large beaker that came with it.

Here’s the doubled recipe as I make it.

Spicy Avocado Lime Cilantro Sauce/Dressing

• 1 avocado
• juice of 2 limes
• 2 dates, pitted
• 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
• 2 tsp garlic powder
• 2 tsp onion powder
• 4 tsp hot sauce (you can cut back to 3 or even 2, if you want)
• 3/4 (or so) cups of water 

Add 3/4 cup water, blend well, and test consistency. The goal is for it to be thick but pourable.

I didn’t add salt because hot sauce has a substantial amount of salt.

This makes a pint, a handy amount given the ubiquity of pint jars. I keep the sauce in the refrigerator and spoon some on my stir-fry. I generally use a 10″ nonstick Misen skillet.

This Morning’s Stir-Fry

• 6 sprays from Evo filled with olive oil (thus 1.5 teaspoons)
• about 6 oz chickpea and black rice tempeh (which turned out to be very tasty)
• 1 bunch thick scallions, chopped including leaves
• about 2-3 teaspoons grated ginger
• 5 medium domestic white mushrooms, sliced
• 4 stalks thick asparagus, chopped
• 1 jalapeño, sliced (including core and seeds — otherwise, little heat)
• 2 tablespoons walnuts
• 2 tablespoons roasted unsalted pumpkin seed
• 1 splash Red Boat fish sauce

I cooked that over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms started to release their liquid. I then added:

• 1/3 cup cooked greens (broccoli rabe in this case)
• 1 tsp Bragg’s nutritional yeast
• 1 tablespoon freshly ground flaxseed
• 2 tablespoons hemp hears

I stirred to heat it through, then had a bowl topped with Spicy Avocado Lime Cilantro sauce.

This will be enough for lunch and dinner.

BTW, when I made tempeh using 2 cups of chickpeas and 2 cups of black rice (both measured before cooking), and then fermented them in a large Ziploc Fresh Produce bag, the resulting slab was thick enough that when I slice off a section of it, I can slice that into 3 thinner slabs, which turns out to be handy for cooking.

Written by Leisureguy

19 May 2022 at 11:16 am

An exciting possibility: Commercial production of morel mushrooms at the same cost as white button mushrooms

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I can’t wait.

Written by Leisureguy

18 May 2022 at 4:32 pm

Chickpea and black-rice tempeh: 5 days and done (by edict)

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I decided to call it done. On the left you see the slab freed from the bag — the top of the bag was along the right edge of the photo, and as you can see the top edge and the center section never took hold.The cross section shows the section that failed, though parts of it are good. 

At any rate, it has been cut into sections and those are now in glass storage containers in the refrigerator. Later today I will learn how it tastes.

Update: I diced some of the slab small and sautéed the cubes in olive oil for a few minutes and then used them as croutons. Quite good. So batch is only a semi-failure.

Written by Leisureguy

16 May 2022 at 11:35 am

The tempeh that struggled

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I certainly did this guy no favors when I used equal parts chickpeas (nothing wrong with that) and black rice (too sticky and dense). Even so, I see slow progress, with the desolate areas gradually being invaded by the mycelium, with little outposts springing up in what was once a black desert. So I’m going to give it another day, even though the photo above is at the end of day 4. 

I’ve never taken a tempeh batch to the 5-day mark, but also I’ve never used so much black rice in a batch. Because the room is around 70-72ºF, I occasionally return it to the incubator for a while — not using the heat mat, just letting it rest there with the lid on the incubator. It generates enough heat to warm up the interior.

I want to try it, but I also want a complete mycelium coating. 

Written by Leisureguy

15 May 2022 at 11:23 am

Posted in Food, Non-animal diet, Recipes & Cooking

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After 72 hours, my chickpea-black rice tempeh needs another day at least

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After 72 hours

Some progress has been made, but I want the mycelium to cover the slab fully, and that will clearly take at least another day. I updated the main post on this batch to note the lesson learned: in a bean/rice tempeh, use mostly beans. I do wonder whether long-grain brown rice would work better. Black rice is a short-grain rice, and such rices tend to be more sticky. Wild rice would be interesting. I would definitely use Minnesota wild rice, harvested traditionally. Cultivated wild rice (from California, for example) is tough.

Written by Leisureguy

14 May 2022 at 11:52 am

Chickpea and black rice tempeh at 48 hours

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This batch is progressing slower than other batches, and I think it’s because the black rice is so dense. The next time I make it, I will not use a 1-1 mix of beans and rice but use more beans, in a ratio of 2-1 (which has worked before) or even 3-1 (which will be easier in making a batch of 4 cups overall, measured before cooking).

Normally, the mycelium’s covering is pretty much complete after 48 hours, but as you can see, this still has a way to go. I think it will make it okay, and I usually go for 72 hours in any case — though for this batch I might go for 96 hours (4 days). 

Out of curiosity I weighed the slab this morning: 3 lbs 10 oz (just over 1.6 kg).

I’ll be using the last of my batch of green-lentil tempeh today, so I hope this does move along.

Written by Leisureguy

13 May 2022 at 12:06 pm

Green Lunch Delight

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I hadn’t thought of blogging this — it was just more or less regular lunch — but it was so tasty I had to.

I started with the garlic and ginger:

• 4 good-sized cloves Russian red garlic, chopped small
• about 1″ ginger root, sliced thin and then minced

I let that sit while I brought out and prepped the players:

• a small slab of green-lentil tempeh (4-5 ounces), diced moderately small
• 2 BBQ/spring onions, sliced including leaves
• 1 jalapeño, chopped including core and seeds
• a pinch of fine grey sea salt
• 2 good-sized crimini mushrooms, halved then sliced
• 1 bunch broccolini, chopped
• 4 thick stalks asparagus, chopped
• 1/3 cup cooked hulled barley (intact whole grain)
• 1 San Marzano tomato, chopped

Toward the end of the prep, I put my Field Company No. 10 cast-iron skillet on the induction burner at setting 1 and let it slowly load with heat. Once all the prep was done, I turned the burner to 3 and Evo-sprayed the pan with extra-virgin olive oil, and added the onion, tempeh, jalapeño, and salt. From the sizzle when they hit the pan, it was clearly hot enough.

I cooked that a while, stirring with a wooden spatula, until the onions had wilted. Then I added the garlic, ginger, mushrooms, broccolini, and asparagus. I cooked for several minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms started to release their liquid.

I then added the barley and tomato and continued to cook, stirring often. The spatula works better than a spoon because it can scrape up any sticking.

Once it seemed cooked enough, I filled a bowl and put on some of the Spicy Avocado-Lime-Cilantro sauce (recipe shown in this post). I had plenty of the sauce because I doubled to recipe to use the whole avocado.

Written by Leisureguy

12 May 2022 at 12:48 pm

Chickpea and black rice tempeh launched

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The batch is begun. At right, the chickpeas after cooking, drying and cooling on a clean towel. The darker area to the right is my shadow.

Above, the mixed batch — 2 cups of chickpeas and 2 cups of black rice, measured before cooking — cooked, mixed, cooled, Rhizopus oligosporus starter culture mixed in, and bagged in a large Ziploc Fresh Produce bag, which is perfectly perforated for tempeh cultivation.

I’m a little apprehensive about this batch because black rice is considerably stickier than cooked intact whole grain wheat, barley, or rye. Also, this is the largest batch I’ve made. If it works, this will be the regular size from now on: 4 cups, measured before cooking (beans/lentils and often grain). The bag is now on the raised rack in my tempeh incubator, and I’m not going to look at it until 11:00am tomorrow.

My general post on making tempeh is worth reading if you are thinking of growing this delicious and highly nourishing food yourself. Homegrown tempeh costs much less than purchased (and pasteurized) tempeh, and you can also make interesting combinations you cannot buy — this combination, for example.

19 hours later

After 19 hours

Well, I couldn’t wait for 24 hours. The photo at right shows the batch at 19 hours, and as you see, the mold is well established. (Click photo to enlarge.) At 24 hours, this will definitely come out of the incubator and continue on a raised rack on the table, since room temperature will be fine given the heat Rhizopus generates once it’s going.

Notice that the mold is pretty evenly distributed. That’s because I added the culture a little at a time, and after each small addition mixed the batch well. With the culture evenly distributed, so is its growth.

In my early attempts I didn’t mix so well, so early growth was spotty, but the mold will gradually spread, so it’s not a serious problem. But I do like to see even growth, for aesthetic reasons if nothing else.

Update: I brought it out at 24 hours and it’s now resting on a raised rack on the table. 

Progressing slowly at 48 hours

After 48 hours

I think the slow progress is due to the density of the rice. Next time I will reduce the ratio of rice to beans from 1:1 to 1:2 or even 1:3. But it is progressing, so I am confident that after another 24 hours the mycelium will cover the mass. I will then probably give it another day.

I do like using a grain with the beans when making tempeh, but clearly here’s a lesson learned: if the grain is rice, let the beans have the greater share of the batch. I don’t think that is true of less sticky grain — my next batch I will use pinto beans and intact whole-grain khorasan wheat, 2 cups of each (measured before cooking) and see how that does.

I weighed the slab this morning: 3 lb 10 oz, or just over 1.6kg. I’m eager to try this, plus I’m going to use the last of my green-lentil tempeh today, so I’m hoping it moves along briskly.

After 72 hours

After 72 hours

At 72 hours there’s more coverage, but it’s slow going. Still, the progress made offers hope that a longer time will lead to complete coverage. Room temperature this morning was 72ºF so I returned the slab to the incubator box and covered it for an hour or so — no power to the heater. Since the slab is generating a fair amount of heat by itself, I just let the slab warm the interior of the box.

The slab’s out again, and I am going to let the mycelium develop for another 24 hours, which will be four days, and then take stock. 

I have learned a valuable lesson on the use of rice in tempeh. Black rice is a short-grain rice. I wonder whether a long-grain brown rice would work better. I’ll have to try that. I think wild rice would be interesting as well, though that, while a grain, is not really a rice. Minnesota wild rice, harvested by traditional methods, is very good; cultivated wild rice is tough.

After 96 hours

After 96 hours — 4 days — the middle section is still not covered, though somewhat colonized. 

I’ve never gone 5 days, but this batch seems to require it, so I decided to continue for one more day. 

The day saw an ongoing light rain, and the temperature in the apartment hovered around 70-72ºF, so I occasionally returned the slab to the incubator and put the lid on. No power was needed to warm the interior — the tempeh itself at this point is generating a fair amount of heat. I thought perhaps some time in the warmth might encourage the mycelium. 

When the slab felt rewarmed, I returned it (with the raised rack) to the tabletop. 

After 120 hours — 5 days

Above is the slab, freed of the bag, after 5 days. The top of the bag was along the right side of the photo, and as you see, the top and a section in the middle never took hold. I continue to blame the density of the black rice. It would have been better if the ration of black rice to chickpeas had been smaller (less rice, more chickpeas).

Above is the cross-section. I have butchered the block now and put into glass storage containers, and placed those in the refrigerator. Although the batch is — how shall I say? — cosmetically imperfect, I think it will be edible, and it is, of course a valuable lesson learned. 

Written by Leisureguy

11 May 2022 at 11:14 am

An errand walk

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It feels like a bonus to do an errand along with the walk. The errand is the reason for the 5-minute pause — I had to go sign something — and as a result I walked a new route. Mile markers are shown. 

Little free library on Parry Street

Along the way, I passed by this little free library. The fence in front of the yard is not yet finished, but a side fence shows what it will be — yellow pickets. Click photo to enlarge.

It’s a beautiful day, and those are always good, and we’re also far enough from the equinox toward the summer solstice that we have long, light-filled evenings: sunrise 5:39am, sunset 8:40pm (PDT). On the solstice (June 21), sunrise will be at 5:11am and sunset at 9:18pm. 

I’ve been making the Derek Simnett sauces/dressings I blogged earlier, and tonight I’m making this one for my current stir-fry:

Spicy Avocado Lime Cilantro

• 1/2 avocado
• 1/2 -1 lime, juiced
• 1 date
• 1 cup cilantro (loosely packed)
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1-2 tsp hot sauce
• 3/4 (or so) cups water

This one requires a blender, and I’ll use my immersion blender. 

Written by Leisureguy

10 May 2022 at 3:50 pm

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