Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What's in Your Bag? - A Meme for your Tuesday

OK, while the results come in for the end of Kilted to Kick Cancer  fundraiser at midnight tonight, I just thought I'd post something quick and fun.  Please check out the post below this one;  its' not too late to get in a donation  before midnight. 

This was a tough call this year.  Borepatch is new at this, and like me, has lost a parent in the last few years.  Old NFO, another big player in the game, goes a long ways back with me--the man actually survived a flight as a 30-something Naval Officer in the back of a Sherpa that I was Pilot in Command of when he was headed back to base. That's when we first met and we've somehow crossed paths personally or professionally ever since.  And Jay G. is well, Jay G., someone I  have been able to count on for years, both in the blogosphere and in real life.  So many others of  you, old and new friends, part of this fundraiser.  All I can say is thank you for donating to Team Borepatch or YOUR favorite team.  We're all in this together.
Barkley says - this ball just doesn't throw itself you know.

For tonight - since I don't have a kilt to store anything - What's in your tactical purse/man satchel?  Not your range bag, but what you carry to work or to the store:

Mine is as follows as  dumped out on the bed when I got home.

Jameson wallet (from the factory gift store).
Squirrel badge (OK, that's not our logo, but I can't show that)
dog biscuits
tactical lip gloss from Bee Naturals
Tanka buffalo bar
a Scrabble letter with Barkley tooth marks on it (don't ask me WHY that is in there)
generic menthol rub
tinted sunscreen (Kabuka Theater Pale Shade)
ratty picture holder with pictures of my daughter growing up - (all I have of those years)
passport for work travel (if I carry it, they suddenly won't send me to some country with large spiders, that's my hope anyway)
extra digital cards for a camera
little flashlight
lots of pens and a highlighter

Thank you again, for those that have helped Kilted to Kick Cancer, and those of you who have helped a couple families in need this week that we are all still praying for.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Kilted to Kick Cancer - End of Days

It's the final showdown hours for Kilted to Kick Cancer  As you all know, I donated to a number of you, but I officially blog backed Borepatch as this was his first year at this and he lost his Dad to this disease not all that long ago 

I donated a few copies of The Book of Barkley to those who donated $50 or more to Team Borepatch as, like Ted's Dad, my Dad is battling it yet again, but at 94, it's harder on him.   THANK you all of you,  but for the next 24 hours, I'll donate The Book of Barkley, autographed if you request it, to anyone that donates $24 dollars or more to Team Borepatch.

These are ones I get direct from the publisher.  They are far from free and they don't count in my Amazon sales numbers. But I could just get them fast,  and I can get them out in the mail tomorrow with shipping on me.  I have 25 of them. They arrived today.  When they're gone, they're gone.  But I'm doing this for Ted's Dad and for my Dad, whatever it costs.
Send a screen shot of your Paypal receipt for your donation to borepatch at gmail dot com, along with your snail mail address and we will do the rest.

A couple of folks have stated with regards to my Dad's issue "all guys in their 90's have it".  And that's true.  But my Dad was originally diagnosed when he was in his 60's, a newlywed after remarrying a widow he met in Montana after my Mom died fairly young to cancer when Big Bro and I were still just fledglings.  Thanks to the research that Kilted to Kick Cancer is funding, he's still here, fighting that fight again. But the quality of his life during those years, as a man, was impacted and I saw how that effected him.   Let's do what we can to keep improving everyone's options.
I'm backing Team Borepatch and hope you will too, for this means more than you know to him on many levels, with the loss of his Dad still fresh.  But this is about the fight, as he would agree.

Hit Kilted for Cancer's donation page  and hit the drop down menu for your team of choice. If you can, make a donation. Make it to the team of your choice, but if you haven't done so, or can afford to do so again, please consider doing it. If you make the donation to Team Borepatch for $24 or more, you will get a book and a tax deductible donation. However you donate, and to whomever, you have our thanks, and the thanks of those who have battled and gone before.
Because, these fine men, who have worn a kilt for a month, would agree, it's not about which team wins, it's about winning against something much bigger.

Let's make it the end of days for this dreaded disease.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Weird Things you can Can

Not to be confused with the Cancan which was a dance in days gone by involving long skirts, petticoats, French women and likely, alcohol in large quantities

Another aspect of days gone by  was that rarely was anything wasted  Everything but the "oink" was used in a pig, as my Mom would say, and foodstuffs that others would throw out today, found a use somehow. Things such as corn cobs Sure you can feed them to the cows (I seem to be lacking any at the crash pad that aren't residing in the freezer next to the buns)  Dried corn cob makes bedding for the chicken houses, when ground (the closest thing I have here to a small wooden house is in the garage and is my reloading bench).  They are also useful, when crackly dry, as kindling in starting a fire (and the remaining ashes are rich in nitrogen which is good for your garden).
But today, none of those are practical (my landlord here would probably frown on the whole fire thing seeing as I don't have a fireplace. And the corn I had was good eating corn.  The corn kernels I can find plenty of use for this winter from the freezer, but what about the leftover cobs?

So how about  making jelly out of it?  Yes.  Corn Cob Jelly.

I'd not had it in forever but a friend shared his recipes recently and it brought back some memories. When I saw some beautiful corn at the market yesterday while scouting out the fall product with Tam, I just had to share
Corn Cob Jelly - don't turn up your nose at it.  It has a clean, sweet taste remarkably similar to wildflower honey. It's good on pancakes, waffles, biscuits, English muffins.  It's also awesome on a cheese board, on fritters, fried green tomatoes and also on steaks and pork chops and can be made for literally pennies.  It's also a tasty spread for homemade bread.
It's easier than you think. (this is the original recipe from my family, I used Sweet corn)

12 ears of fresh,good quality non GMO field corn
1 and half quarts of spring water
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 package of powdered pectin
A dab ( less than 1 teaspoon) of UNSALTED butter
3 and 1/2 cups sugar
add in's as noted below (if desired)
Blanch the corn for 5 minutes, cool slightly, then cut the kernels from the cob and put in the freezer for another day.  Add the corn cobs to the water in a large pot. Bring to a boil at a brisk but not hard boil, uncovered, for about 30-45 minutes keeping an eye on it.  The liquid will reduce. That is the plan and your goal is to have 3 and a half cups of corn liquid when it's done with this step.

Turn off the heat and remove the cobs (give them to the squirrels or compost). Strain liquid through cheesecloth if you desire (it's also good unstrained, it's just not as smooth in appearance). Again, you want about 3 1/2 cups liquid, reserved. Return liquid to pot (that you have rinsed out) and stir in the lemon juice and pectin as well as the butter so it doesn't foam. Bring it  back to a boil.
Add sugar and any additional flavorings. One batch  was plain.  One had some habanero added, which was good on onion rings.
The last batch had a bit of finely diced pineapple and fresh ginger with (pineapple juice replacing the lemon juice).  All were very yummy.

Once the sugar and anything else is added in, continue to boil for one minute, stirring constantly. with a wooden spoon. This will be slightly more liquidy than some jelly but is done when it sheets off your wooden stirring spoon or congeals as soon as it hits an ice cold plate. If it doesn't appear  to be set at one minute, reduce heat to medium and continue to stir another minute or two

Immediately remove from heat and ladle the hot jelly into clean canning jars. (you can use a drop or two of yellow food coloring if you wish it to be more colorful, adding before sugar and pectin).

Fill the jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace . Make sure you wipe the rims carefully.  Any sticky residue can interfere with the seal. Adjust the lid and seal.  If you want shelf stable jelly for long term storage, process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes for quarter-pints, 7-10 minutes for half-pints, 15-20 minutes for pints.  This recipe makes about 4 half pints.
Remove with tongs and let cool.  While cooling you should hear each jar "pop" as the lid gets sucked down by the vacuum created by the contents cooling and contracting. If it doesn't, or you're not in the room to hear it, there are other ways to see if it's sealed.  When completely cool (12+ hours) remove the screw band only and do one or all of the following

(1) Press the middle of the lid with a finger or thumb. If the lid springs up when you release your finger, the lid is unsealed.

(2) Tap the lid with the bottom of a teaspoon. A properly sealed jar should make a clear, ringing, high-pitched sound.  If it makes a dull sound, the lid is not sealed.

(3) Hold the jar at eye level and look across the lid. The lid should be concave (curved down slightly in the center). If center of the lid is either flat or bulging, it may not be sealed

If you have a jar that's unsealed, put that one in the fridge and use within two weeks. Water processed and "popped"  jars have a shelf life of 1-2 years. Fresh jelly will keep in the freezer a year.
Sorry, Low Carb Diet.  Today you're toast.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Girl's Day Out - Lava Lips

The morning dawned to clear skies and the honking of geese, circling the crash pad and back to the marshy area south of me again and again, in readiness to migrate.   Soon I would be in the truck, on I-65 doing a little honking of my own as I went to pick up Tam.
But first, some mini biscuits and honey from a friend's beehive. (I used a champagne flute as a biscuit cutter)

Then it was time to shower and head out for Girl's Day Out.
New Tunes in the car, the only time in my life I've ever bought something with a parental advisory. But when I heard the acoustic version of one of The 1725's songs from the Bushmills Festival, I had to buy it, even if not SWF. With their thick Manchester UK accents, I don't know why there is a parental advisory. . all I could make out was something about a van and a fork.
I picked up Tam at Roseholme cottage and soon we were on our way to Lava Lips on College Avenue, in Broad Ripple, Indiana a couple of blocks south of Fresh Market on the east side of the street, in a small multi business shopping strip.
 Lava Lips - Indianapolis only hot and spicy tasting bar
It's a store with a Tiki Bar of hot sauce tasting goodness. Pictured is owner Michael Siemer, who with his wife Lisa, started this place for those who love the pursuit of heated perfection. Any sauce they have, you are welcome to sample for free to decide on a purchase, or just educate yourself on what you might like, if you think all hot sauce just tastes like Tabasco.
They are in sections from hot to mild, clearly labeled. Even if you don't think you like hot sauce, you will find some deliciousness you will like. For they also have soup mixes, chocolates. preserves, jerky, wonderful rubs, cooking sauces and marinades, not only hot, but sweet and savory and everything in between. I didn't see any Scoville Brothers from Indiana, which is a truly good hot sauce, but I mentioned it to the owner as one worthy of adding to their fine collection.
With whimsical décor everywhere you turn and owners who are not just knowledgeable, but make you feel like you are a guest in their home for a casual get together with good friends, you will want to linger for a while.
Blairs Ultra death - purchased for a colleague who swears he can eat ANY hot sauce. BWAHAHAHA.
 I think I'll pass.
The place really has the feel of one of the cool tiki bars you find down in the Florida keys.
The sauce on the right of the picture above, the clear one, we have in the Range fridge,  a gift from Midwest Chick and Mr, B.  It adds a subtle killer hot kick to a cocktail.
Host and barkeep Michael entertained us with stories of hot sauce and humor, displaying a knowledge of products that really shows he's the "foodie of hot sauces" not just someone selling a product.  He also makessure he understands what your tolerance level is, and what flavors entice you so he can  guide you through the nuances of flavor in such a way that you thoroughly enjoy it and don't wear your taste buds out. 
Yes, you can bring in your own alcohol, but they also have inexpensive bottled water and Mexican Coke (with real sugar, not corn syrup) to wash down your samples with your packet of chips.  Buy a drink and a some chips (the chips are only $.60 and both help defray the cost of the stuff you're trying for free) and just sit back and enjoy the journey.
We started with lime based sauces, delved into jalapeno, chipotle, and garlic ones (I loved the Mr. Blisters label), Thai, fruit and dessert sauces (I could have eaten the whole bottle of chocolate orange hot sauce, already planning on making little cheesecakes with that stuff)
Clifford the Big Red Watch is ready for the prompt refill of our chips as other sauces are brought out by the Hot Sauce Sommelier.   This one was "Blind Betty" with a Caribbean hint of pineapple heat.
Here's my card of "my favorite sauce and stuff".  ALL OF THEM.
I was busy snapping away and Michael looked at my camera and at Tam and said with a smile "Is she always doing this?"  And I said "I'm often mistaken for a Japanese tourist."
We left, still laughing at the warm humor of our host and the surroundings, with our purchases.  I will definitely be coming back; that is absolutely the most fun I've had at a food establishment in a very long while.
Then it was next door (literally) to "The Sinking Ship" tavern for a light lunch and another cold beverage. Being the designated driver, I passed on the beer, but they had a lot of nice ones.
 This looked like a happening place and I bet it is packed later in the day.
There was original art work around the place which had a bright, modern but slightly funky décor....
 and an eclectic menu that had some really tasty looking burgers, as well as salads, sandwiches, and chicken and waffles, not something you see around Indy, plus a number of inventive vegetarian choices.
I had an appetizer portion of chili mac (spicy beef chili served on a bed of baked smoked cheddar mac and cheese and Tam had some jalapeno poppers (due to the low light, the photo is  blurry but it was SO good.) The place was clean, the service prompt and it was a nice ending to our food outing.
 Then it was off to Mountain of Geese.
I needed a tactical purse, to replace the "never buy a cheap one" bag that fell apart after just two months in the field.
Forget a dinner bell.  I want to put up the steel chicken to call Partner in for dinner with the Mark III!
 Ammo, ammo, everyone but not ONE box of 22 long rifle.  Sigh.
Spell Check?  Para Ordinants?  Is that like "I have OrdinANTS in my PANTS?"
Just so you know, set one of these off in an 80's vintage Z28 and the smell NEVER really does come out.  Don't ask us how we know.
 Only in Broad Ripple.
 The wall of imported beer at Kahn's.
 Very steampunk cool.
A quick stop at Locally Grown Gardens, to peruse the fresh produce and grab a cold water for the drive back to the crash pad, to get ready to go back to work, just a brief day off
 The corn looks good, and this gives me an idea for something to make later.
Their produce varies monthly, isn't overly expensive and is locally grown. Plus they have an assortment of quick breads, pies and some incredibly hot pulled pork sandwiches from the smoker.
I loved the silverware, but the Scot in me wasn't going to be tempted with $8 for one, but they ARE really cool looking and quite well made. 
We said our goodbyes and I headed home to Abby the Lab who was being very gentle with her new plush toy, a squeaky hedgehog I found at Marsh.  It makes this sound that is somewhere between a asthmatic huff and a fart, but it doesn't seem to incite in her the "I have to tear the squeeker from it NOW" that Angry Bird Piggie did.
 My new Mall Ninja purse.
And my purchases-

Blair Ultra Death for J. (not shown here but shown earlier)
and from left to right

Toad Sweat Key Lime Dessert Hot Sauce (hmmm.  Lemon bars but use lime juice and a dab of this.)

Bee Sting ThaiSting Sweet Chili Sauce (hmmm, rice noodles, chicken, mixed veggies and a few sugared cashews)

Lucky Dog - Extra mild smoked pepper sauce.  I know, purchased just because the label looked like Barkley.

Bigfat's 308.  Garlic/Ginger hot sauce.  This had a NICE but not overpowering kick.  This may be paired with some pork tenderloin one night.

Outer Limits Hot Sauce with Jalapeno Lime - for nachos with black beans, smoky cheddar and green onions

and finally -  Toad Sweat Chocolate Orange Dessert Hot Sauce.

I should have bought more, as now I'm thinking of mixing it with a little maple syrup for pancakes.  But if I'm busy, or not in the area, there is a Lava Lips Online Store!

Seriously, go order the Chocolate Orange Dessert Hot Sauce.
Now, time to just to stretch out and chill and let my taste buds take a break.  Thanks Michael, for being such a great host.  Hopefully next time we'll get to meet your lovely bride and try even more wonderful flavors of fun.