Category Archives: Family

Horseradish – Hate It Or Love It – It’s A Must Have Plant For Every Herb Garden

blooming horseradish Horseradish – Hot and Pungent. Grow it anywhere. Asia, Australia, Canada, USA, UK and Europe, South Africa, grow it anywhere. Horseradish does best in cool damp, not wet soils.

More than almost anyone wants to know about horseradish. It is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family (which also includes mustard, broccoli, and cabbage). The plant Origin is unknown but is probably native to southeastern Europe and western Asia. It is now popular around the world. It grows up to 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) tall, and is cultivated primarily for its large, white, hot and pungent tasting root.

Intact (whole)horseradish root has hardly any aroma. When cut or grated, however, enzymes from the plant cells break down to produce allyl isothiocyanate (mustard oil), which irritates the mucous membranes of the sinuses and eyes. Grated or mashed it should be used immediately or preserved in vinegar for best flavor. Once exposed to air or heat it will begin to lose its pungency, darken in color, and become unpleasantly bitter tasting over time. (Thank you wikipeda.)

Horseradish can grow up to 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) tall, and is cultivated primarily for its large, white root. Horse Radish with a little vinegar is commonly used among the Germans for sauce to eat with fish and meats as we do mustard.

Horseradish is a perennial and is hardy zones 2–9. And can be grown as an annual in other zones, although not as successfully as in zones with both a long growing season and winter temperatures cold enough to ensure plant dormancy. After the first frost in the autumn kills the leaves, dig and divided it’s roots. The main root is harvested and one or more large offshoots of the main root are replanted to produce next year’s crop.

Horseradish sauce is commonly served along side beef or pork dishes, lamb and egg dishes and with cheese and sausage (worst). A common horseradish sauce is made using graded horseradish and mustard or mayo. Sometimes the sauce is as simple as a bit of vinegar or lemon juice. Sometime horseradish is mixed with grated beet root.

Not from the U.S.A. Leave a comment telling me about your home town and country

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)

Yellow And Red Paper Wasp

paper wasp Twenty-two species of paper wasps have been identified in North America. (wikipedia)
The best that I can tell I have been blessed or cursed with 4 different species of paper nest building wasp. I hear people calling them Yellow wasp, Yellow jackets, Red wasp and a few names that I can’t use on a PG rated blog!

I find nest of the common Yellow jacket wasp, European yellow wasp, and 2 different types of Red paper wasp. The Red paper nest building wasp are my enemy! Simply put have a really crappy attitude and will attack you or your pets for no known reason.
:-( Unlike bees, that can only sting you once, wasp can sting you many times.
When I discover nesting sites containing red wasp I go into chemical warfare mode and spray the nest with wasp killing chemicals.

red paper wasp Killing the little bastards. Killing the wasp and nest removal is fairly simple and safe if you follow a few safety precautions.

Once you have located their nest, wait until night fall after all the wasp have returned to the nest for the night. Carefully approach the nest. Using Hornet/Wasp killing spray, spray the wasp and nest. While wearing heavy rubber gloves, remove the nest. Burn the nest or squash their nest under foot to kill any larva contained in the nest cells.
The same procedure is also effective early in the morning before the wasp have warmed up and leave the nest for the day feeding and being a real pest to animals and people.

All Wasp are not the bad guys. Most wasps are beneficial and are critically important in natural biocontrol. Paper wasps feed on nectar and other insects, including caterpillars, flies, and beetle larvae. Because they are a known pollinator and feed on known garden pests, paper wasps should be considered beneficial to a healthy garden.
Wasp feed on a wide variety of caterpillars including corn earworms, armyworms, loopers, and hornworms that are used as food to feed paper wasp young.

Caution Paper wasps will sting if they are disturbed or their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are painful and can cause an allergic reaction as can other insect (bee) stings.

I have found paper wasp nest under lawn mowers, on the bottom wire of barbwire fences, under house eaves, in the rafters of little used out buildings, under porch decks. You can never be sure that wasp have not build a nest near you, your house or your garden.

Not from the U.S.A. Leave a comment telling us about your home town and country

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)

August Vegetable, Berry And Fruit Gardens

August and September are pay back months. That’s when you get paid back for all the time, water and effort you have invested in your summer garden.
Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other Southern Hemisphere Gardner’s will just have to bear with me on this. I do know it’s still winter in your gardens. But Spring is on it’s way.

You may find your harvest basket running over with summer squash, okra, onions, garlic, eggplant, tomato’s and cucumbers. Apples, berries, grapes, plums and early pears are waiting to be picked, for eating raw fresh off the tree and vines or processed for your freezer, canned or made into jelly and Jam.
Their is so much needing done that it’s hard to find time to just set and enjoy your garden, fruit and berry orchards.

My tiny garden was truly tiny this year. What few plants that survived our long running drought, the tomato worms, squash bugs, cucumber bugs, vine bores and grasshoppers eat.

I mounted my tiny spring tooth harrow our John Deer tractor today and harrowed my tiny garden plot. It’s (the garden plot) dry as old buffalo bones. A lot drier than I thought it was. I’m jerking up dirt clods larger than my fist. It will take a lot of rain to bust up dirt clods that large and that dry.

The chemical war I conducted on my tiny garden plot this past Spring has worked out well. I put down a heavy dose of preeminence and sprayed all my weeds, mostly bind weeds with a combo of 2-4-D and glyphosate herbicide. It accomplished a very effective kill of weeds and prevented other weed seeds from germinating all Spring and Summer.
I will repeat this treatment next spring (around mid February) before tilling my garden plot and installing my drip irrigation system.

Maybe I can post a few pictures of my tiny very dry, garden plot and some of my home/handmade farm helper implements I have made (as needed) over past few years.

Not from the U.S.A. Leave a comment telling us about your home town and country

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)

Lazy Summer Dogs (I Do Mean – Hot Dogs)

1905 street vendor selling hotdogs. 3 cents each or two for 5 cents.
First things first. What makes the best hotdog bun?
* Off the supermarket shelf hotdog buns. Serve at room temperature, warmed or toasted on your BBQ grill or on a cast iron grill pan.

* Baguette, French or Italian stick bread.
– Hoagie bun.
– Sourdough buns. (see Hoagie bun)
– Subway bun. (See Hoagie bun)
– Croissant bun or Bavarian Croissant or Pretzel Croissant bun.(Not moon shaped)
– Cuban bun (bread) similar to French and Italian baguette bun. (bread)
– Split top roll(bun) A hot dog style roll.
— Cut bun(roll) in half if to long for 1 serving. Slice length wise to lay open like butterfly wings.
– Tortilla – use small flour tortillas, fold in half serve like a flour taco with your favored toppings.

No matter what name you use. Frankfurters, franks, wieners, weenies, tube steak, worst(there are many types and styles), (hot) links, Polish or Italian sausage. They all go well served on a warm or toasted bun with topping of your choice.

Spread (unsalted) butter on your buns, grill to a golden brown.
Hint Before spreading room temperature, soft butter on your bun, add a little mustard and or garlic paste to your soft butter, mix well. :-( I know it sounds bad, but, :-) it really taste good. Wow what a delightful surprise.

Ketchup, mayo, mustard, diced onion, relish, chili (I use canned Wolf brand) and grated cheddar cheese are all American common hotdog toppings.

Now lets try thinking out of the bun.
* Shredded cabbage or cold slaw.
* De-seeded sliced, diced or grilled chili pepper.
* Crispy bacon slices or bacon bits.
* Grilled red onions.
* Slice, dice or grate any cheese that you like not just American cheddar cheese.
* Sliced or diced avocado or avocado dip.
* A dollop of sour cream dip.
* Sweet, dill or sour pickles finely diced. Drain away excess pickle juice.
* Tomato’s or maybe cucumbers finely diced and drained.

All American Hotdog Is one of those dishes that it’s really hard to screw up.

Not from the U.S.A. Leave a comment telling us about your home town and country

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)

Cactus Apple Jelly and Jam – Frugal Living In America

A updated re-post from 2012

Making Cactus apple jelly and jam is not a project for wimps or sissies. However cactus jelly is worth the time and effort you will invest in making homemade cactus apple jelly and jam.

Source: aneyefortexas Prickly Pears
It’s the time of the year for picking cactus apples and for making cactus apple jelly and jam.

Making do with what you have. The West and Southwestern parts of the United States is not blessed with ample rain fall to have berry and assorted fruit tree crops. So we make do with what we have, prickly pear cactus fruit.

Prickly pear cactus apple fruits are much like a lovely woman, a wonderful sight to behold, but, dangerous if carelessly handled!

Caution: Prickly pear fruit is aptly named. The tiny prickles are pernicious and once they get into your skin you’ll be feeling them for days. Here’s how to collect prickly pear fruit without getting the painful prickles. I find that metal salad tongs and a good pair of heavy leather gloves work well in picking the cactus fruit off of the prickly pear pads.

Use tongs to remove a prickly pear from your collection container. Use the same tongs to hold it over the cactus apple fruit over a flame of a gas stove burner. Some people use a gas camp stove or even a small portable propane torch. Turn the fruit so that the flame touches it on all sides including the ends. Drop into a bowl and repeat with the next fruit until you’ve done all of the prickly pear fruits. If you don’t have a gas stove, you can use hot coals in your BBQ grill or a gas grill.

Cut the ends off of the prickly pear fruits. Use a small sharp knife to peel them. Chop the seedy pulp into small chunks.
Put the chopped prickly pear pulp into a large heavy pot. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring often, until the chunks fall apart and you have a soupy, seedy stew.

Run the simmered prickly pear pulp through a food mill. If you don’t have a food mill, pour the cooked pulp a little at a time into a sieve or fine-holed colander. Press the liquid and pulp through with the back of a wooden spoon. Measure the strained prickly pear liquid and any pulp. Return to the large pot you originally cooked the chunks of prickly pears in.

For every cup of prickly pear liquid, add 3/4 cup granulated pure cane sugar and 1 teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Also add the peel (including the white, pithy part) of half a lemon for every 2 cups of prickly pear liquid. The lemon peel provides pectin so your jelly will properly gel. You can omit using lemon peels if you use a product like ‘sure gel’.

Return to a boil, quickly fill hot sterilize jars with the prickly pear jelly. Fasten lids and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Alternatively, pour the hot jelly into hot sterilized jars and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. The advantage of this method is that the jelly can be stored in a dark cool pantry shelf until it is ready to be opened for use.

Helpful Hints For Processing Jelly and jam

Not from the USA. Please leave me comment about your home town and country.

Why is Common Sense so Uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your Comment(s)

Russia Bans American And European Food Imports

Russian President Putin has no intention of bowing to Western (sanctions imposed on Russia) over the crisis in Ukraine. Russia will instead strike back at the West.

Russia announced that it had banned imports of meat, fish, and milk products and fruit and vegetables from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway.

Russia is considering banning Western commercial planes from flying over Russia on flights to and from Asia. A move that would significantly swell costs and increase flight times.

Russia said “it will move quickly to replace Western imports by importing more food from Latin America, Turkey and ex-Soviet nations to avoid empty shelves and price hikes.

Food and agricultural imports from the U.S. amounted to $1.3 billion last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and in 2013 the EU’s agricultural exports to Russia totaled $15.8 billion dollars.

Russia may also introduce restrictions regarding imports of planes, navy vessels and cars.

Will Russia’s actions push US, UK and Europe back into recession ?

Not from the U.S.A. Leave a comment telling us about your home town and country

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)

Russian Hackers Steal 1.2 Billion Passwords!

hack your password Source Russian hackers steal 1.2 Billion passwords
Russian hackers steal 1.2 Billion passwords from more than 420,000 websites.

It seems that it is a full time job staying 1 step ahead of hackers looking for your password(s), ID information, credit card and banking information.

I still say that your best protection is to change passwords often. Use a totally random password generator and make your passwords no less than 15 characters in length. Free Random Password Generator

Not from the U.S.A. Leave a comment telling us about your home town and country

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)

Cash Is King Of Frugal

Frugal people and Cheapskates live below their means, simply put living below your means is spending less than your take home paycheck and saving the rest.

Banking If you bank is charging you a monthly fee when your balance goes below a certain amount, is charging you a check or debit card processing fee. You need a new bank. Many banks have totally free checking and savings accounts. Do your homework and open a fee free account.

Credit cards by design are money making cards for your bank and are not designed to be a true benefit to credit card users.
Cash is king. You will never pay bank fees using cash. You will never have a overdraft fee or incur credit card interest fees when using cash.

How do you know if you are frugal? That’s easy, you no longer worry or even care if your television set is bigger or that you have more TV channels or that your car in newer and bigger that your friends and neighbors. You don’t have a $400.00 or $500.00 dollar monthly car payment. * At the end of the month you still have cash in your pocket!
* You use ‘real’ money not checks or credit cards to pay for everyday living expenses.
* Your dog and cat are eating bulk, dry food. Not gourmet pet food.
* You don’t care if your lawn mower is 10 years old as long as it still runs and cuts grass.
* Your designer clothes come from one of those bigbox stores like Target, Walmart, Kmart or better yet you found them on sale at your local thrift store.
* You would rather eat a $15.00 steak cooked at home on your backyard $19.00 BBQ grill than to eat a $50.00 Steak meal at the Texas roadhouse or Outback steakhouse.
* You like your pasta better than the over priced pasta served a places like Olive Garden.
* Ordering home delivered Pizza is a treat not a staple of your diet.

Simple small life style changes can save a lot.
Wash dishes, pots and pans as you finish using them. Don’t pile them up for a major dish washing event later.
Don’t use a dish washer. Wash by hand, you will use less soap, less water and have cleaner dishes. This only takes a few minutes ‘If you don’t allow them to pile up in the sink’.

Buy bulk generic brand dish soap, washing detergent and disinfectant cleansers by the gallon at your local bigbox store. The 1 gallon bottle of disinfectant I buy, when properly mixed makes 32 gallons of disinfectant cleanser.

Relearn how to use a real broom and mop, don’t have one, buy one and make it a good quality broom and mop. They will last a very ‘long’ time if properly taken care of.

Buy jelly and jam in those cute little jars with a handle that look like root beer mugs. There great for casual dining, and BBQ’s. Best of all they are cheap. They are filled with something you are going to buy anyway.

Buy mayo, mustard and pickles in glass jars that can be reused when canning fruits and vegetables and making fresh from your garden pickles.
Buy bulk or better yet fresh vegetables from your local farmers market or picked fresh from your garden vegetables to make salsa, relish and dips. Refrigerate for later use in that recycled mustard jar.

Impress your friends.
* Keep and refill gourmet coffee and tea containers with your much cheaper in store brands.
* Buy nuts in bulk in the shell. Shell as needed and eat healthier. No added oils, salt or perseveres.

Bulk buying is cheaper. Beans, rice and the like is cheaper in bulk.
* Save plastic shopping bags for your bulk purchases.
Store your bulk foods in air tight reusable jars, {I like 1/2 – 1 gallon pickle jars} or plastic containers. If you have the space, store bulk dried products in your deep freeze. Keeps them fresh and keeps insects out.
Never buy another small trash bag. Use your excess shopping bags for small free trash bags. I open them put one hand in and pickup things that I do not want to touch with my hands as well.

Not from the U.S.A. Leave a comment telling us about your home town and country

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)

Secret Desires – I Love Root Vegetables

sunflowers I’m out of the closet! Yes I ready admit I love root vegetables. All, well almost most all of them. Beets, radishes, turnips, carrots. Potato’s in all of it’s colors, shapes, sizes and colors. Whether that potato be Irish, Yukon, Russian, Polish or if it’s a sweet potato or even a Yam.
Don’t pass up or ignore the ugly looking lesser known and eaten, Jerusalem Artichoke (a member of the sunflower family).

Who could go through life without Garlic, Onions in all it’s different varieties. White, yellow, and red ones. Scallions, small green onions and chives. No salad or pasta sauce is complete without the addition of one or more of these onion family members.

Spinach gets all the good press, but, young tender beet and turnip greens are colorful, tasty as well as being a healthy food. Every part of these root vegetables are eatable, tops and roots. Raw, pickled or cooked they taste great.

Radishes have a undeserved bad reputation. Pulled and served, young radishes are tender and tasteful. Harvest radishes while still young, small and tender. “before’ they become tough, woody, or developing a hot flavor. In a salad radishes are tasty, colorful and if you are a calorie counter, radishes :-) Grin have almost no calories or other real food value. So eat all you want and no need to watch your waste line.

Eat radishes fresh from your garden. Radishes do not store well and should never be stored by canning or freezing.

Healthy good tasting foods fresh from your garden to your table.

Not from the U.S.A. Leave a comment telling us about your home town and country

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)

Broccoli The Vegetable We Love To Hate

You have got to love this solution to getting rid of Fruit Fly’s.
Sent to me by WindShift69 on Vancouver Island, BC.

I like to leave a banana peel in the oven, leave the door open a little bit so they can get in. After a few hours I slam the door shut and roast the little bastards.

broccoli President GHW Bush once said ” I’m president of the United States and I don’t have to eat Broccoli if I don’t want to!

Broccoli is one of those vegetables that will benefit from the cooler weather of Fall and early Winter. Broccoli likes full sun and moist, fertile soil that’s slightly acidic.

If you live in Climate zones 5 thru 9 you surly will be able to grow and harvest a Fall / Winter crop of cold hardy Broccoli.
Broccoli Fall plantings, plant seed 85 to 100 days before your average first fall frost. Enter your ZIP code to find your First Frost date.
If you live in a warm climate, a fall planting is best, as broccoli thrives in cool weather. Plant seeds in mid to late-summer in most plant hardness zones.

Plant seeds 1/2 inch deep, or set transplants slightly deeper than they were grown originally. Within a row, space your plants 12 to 24 inches apart with 36 inches between each row. Space plants 12 to 24 inches apart, depending on the side heads you want to harvest.
If you overseed(plant seeds to close together) you will need to thin seedlings to 12 to 24 inches apart to give room for the broccoli to grow.

Fertilize three weeks after transplanting. Provide consistent soil moisture with regular watering, especially in drought conditions. Some varieties of broccoli are heat tolerant, but all need moisture.
Caution Do not get developing heads wet when watering. Roots are very shallow, do not deep cultivate near your Broccoli plants.
Suffocate weeds with mulch or pull weeds by hand. Mulch will also help regulate soil temperatures.

Cabbage loopers leave small holes on the leaves between the veins mean small green caterpillars are present. Look at the undersides of the leaves. Hand pick if the problem is small or control with Bacillus thuringiensis. Use a floating row cover just after planting through harvest to prevent caterpillars.
Cabbageworms and other worm pests. Treat all worm pest the same as treating cabbage loopers.

Signs of Aphids, curling leaves may mean that the plant’s sap is being sucked by insects. To control aphids apply soapy water to all sides of leaves whenever you see aphids. Repeat treatment as needed.

Broccoli is a heavy nitrogen feeder. If the bottom leaves turn yellow and the problem continues toward the top of the plant, the plants need a high nitrogen (but low phosphorus) fertilizer or bloodmeal. Blood meal is a quick Nitrogen fix for yellowing leaves.

Harvest your broccoli crop when the buds of the head are firm and tight before the heads flower. If you do see yellow petals, harvest immediately.
For best taste, harvest in the morning before the soil heats up.
Cut heads from the plant. taking at least 6 inches of stem. Cut the stalk of the main head at a slant, about 5 to 8 inches below the head.
Many varieties have side-shoots that will continue to develop after the main head is harvested. You can harvest from one plant for many weeks, in some cases, from Fall well into Winter if you’re Winter isn’t too cold.
You can store broccoli in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you wash before storing, make sure to dry it thoroughly.

Blanch Broccoli before bagging for freezer storage. Frozen Broccoli can be stored for up to one year.

Not from the U.S.A. Leave a comment telling us about your home town and country

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)