Tag Archives: DIY

Towns ban cars and trucks from city

York to have the UK’s first car-free city center after the council backed plans to ban private vehicles.

UK – York to end all “non-essential” car journeys inside its historic city walls within three years.

Bristol has announced plans to become the first UK city to ban diesel cars by next year.

London – high-polluting vehicles entering central London already face an extra £10 ($13.25 USD) levy on top of the £11.50 ($15.20 USD) daily congestion charge.

Barcelona’s car-free smart city experiment. There is virtually no traffic and the space where cars would have parked is given over to play areas, trees and even a running track.
Superblocks is a radical plan to reclaim the streets from the noise and pollution of traffic.
There are just six superblocks so far, but Barcelona plans hundreds of others. They are made up of nine existing blocks joined together into an area which bans all but essential vehicles which are limited to 10 kph (6mph). Parking for residents is underground.

This begs to ask, will UK and Spain’s cities soon mandate only electric powered vehicles and electric powered public transportation with in cities?
Will this spur US cities to vote in favor of similar vehicle bans?

2020 Gardening season is here

Happy 2020 Gardening Season

Ramen the noddle with many faces


Ramen Noddle shoes? I always knew Ramen is widely used by college students and those with limited funds or time to cook, but I don’t know how this will work in shoe size 6.

This post started out as a rant about what Sager Creek Foods, Inc laughing calls Popeye spinach. My first can was opened and drained of it’s water. After draining I had about 1/2 can of spinach the remaining content was water. In my opinion not a very good quality spinach. Containing mostly spinach stems only having enough leaf to legally call this product spinach.
However it does work well as an addition to stir-fried vegetables.

** Ramen noddles with stir-fried vegetables.
1 – package noddles
1/2 cup beef or chicken broth per serving (add noddle flavoring packet to broth)
I use Wylie’s beef / chicken cubes because that’s the brand sold by my local supermarket.
Thin slice vegetables to stir-fry (your choice)
1 – teaspoon soy sauce used when stir-frying vegetables
1 – tablespoon pickled pepper vinegar
Cook and drain noddles, add to your bowl of broth.
Top with stir-fried vegetables.
Optional 1/2 cup cold or hot white or brown rice as a side dish.

Serve with a wine or beer that you like to drink.
Optionally serve with hot Green Tea.

Don’t forget to invite a boy or girl that you like spending time with.

Happy New Year

Food Safety – New direct from USDA research and testing laboratories – safe cooking temperatures

USDA – United States Department of Agriculture research and testing has developed a handy chart listing safe cooking temperatures for poultry, beef and pork products.

Unlike grandma’s kitchen modern gadgets like instance read digital meat thermometers are cheap and should be in every kitchen. Meat thermometers can be found starting as low as $4.00 – $7.00 to $10.00 being a good entry point for a good quality thermometer.

USDA has made some important changes in their recommended cooking temperatures for meats. The biggest change is in safe cooking of pork products.
Here’s what you need to know:

Cooking Whole Cuts of Pork: USDA has lowered the recommended safe cooking temperature for whole cuts of pork from 160 ºF to 145 ºF with the addition of a three-minute rest time. Cook pork, roasts, and chops to 145 ºF as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source, with a three minute rest time before carving or consuming. This will result in a product that is both safe and at its best quality juicy and tender.

Cooking Whole Cuts of Other Meats: For beef, veal, and lamb cuts, the safe temperature remains unchanged at 145 ºF, but the USDA has added a three minute rest time as part of its cooking recommendations.

What Is Rest Time you ask.
“Rest time” is the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven or other heat source. During the three minutes after meat is removed the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful bacteria.

USDA testing has determined it’s just as safe to cook cuts of pork to 145 º F with a three-minute rest time as it is to cook them to 160 ºF, the previously recommended temperature, with no rest time.
The new cooking recommendations reflect the same standards that the agency uses for cooked meat products produced in federally inspected meat establishments, which rely on the rest time of three minutes to achieve a safe product.

How Do You Use a Food Thermometer? Good question.

Place the food thermometer in the thickest part of the food. It should not touch bone, fat, or gristle. Start checking the temperature toward the end of cooking, but before you expect it to be done. Be sure to clean your food thermometer with hot soapy water before and after each use.

Your tax dollars at work.
If you have questions about cooking meat, feel free to contact USDA Hotline (1-888-674-6854 toll-free) or online at AskKaren.gov or m.AskKaren.gov (Mobile Ask Karen) on your smartphone.

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Christmas Message

Treat yourself to a Christmas gift that will keep on giving

Tomato Growers Supply is a valuable research resource that you can use to select next years tomato and pepper varieties that you want to grow in your garden. Their website has a picture and a short informational description of each variety they sell.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with this company. I have not been paid nor have I received gifts from this company.
I list them as a ‘Research/Reference site only. As a informational resource. Purchase your seed from a source you trust.

No matter where you purchase your pepper and tomato seed this site is still very helpful in helping you select just the right variety for your growing zone,
and selecting plants sized for the space you have available to grow tomato’s or peppers.

Tomato Growers Supply Company has a free catalog of tomato seeds, pepper seeds, and eggplant seeds. More than 500 varieties of tomatoes and peppers, including huge selections of both hybrid tomato seeds and heirloom tomato seeds, hot chiles, sweet peppers, tomatillos and eggplants.

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Giving Thanks

Judge rules ‘ duck’s have the right to ‘Quack’

Ducks have won: French court rules they may keep on quacking.
Ducks on a small French smallholding may carry on quacking, a French court ruled, rejecting a neighbor’s complaint that the birds’ racket was making their life a misery.

The complaint was brought by Douthe’s neighbor who moved from the city around a year ago into a property about 50 meters (yards) away from the enclosure in the Soustons district where Douthe keeps her flock.

City dwellers that move to the country side should be required to certify in writing that they understand poultry, waterfowl cows and goat bells are common sounds that occur when living in the country and city folk will not be allowed to disturb their neighbors life’s with lawsuits that may relate to life in the country or that may effect farmers lives.

Remember Maurice? A judge ruled a rooster named Maurice was allowed to continue his dawn crowing, despite complaints from neighbors who had also moved in from the city.

Thanksgiving a different prospective


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Abandoned and Orphaned – Give them a second chance

As we approach the holidays think of the many poor abandoned and orphaned Fruitcakes.

If someone forces a fruitcake through your letter box or abandons it on your door step. Sometimes you will find them hidden on dark shelf’s of pantries, lurking behind a jar of juice in the back of your refrigerator. They may be found well concealed in an Amazon, eBay or Walmart box marked ‘Christmas gifts.
While at work you may discover someone has abandoned a poor little Fruitcake and secretly placed it in your bottom right desk drawer, don’t despair.

If you have no place in your heart or home or desire to adopt and care for one of these abandoned or orphaned Fruitcakes post them as soon as possible to me at Town and Country Gardening blog.

I will give them a home, treat them with respect, feed them with a sprinkling of spice rum from time to time while waiting for them to mature. Fruitcakes will get the attention they deserve being displayed on my best silver platter as a special treat for my family, friends and special holiday guest.

About Texas Fruitcake I find serving large quantities of wine, brandy and whiskey before serving Collins street bakery Fruitcake makes my Fruitcake more appealing and it disappears quickly as my guest comment of the luxury taste and texture of my holiday Fruitcake.

FYI: I am in no way affiliated with nor do I receive free gifts or monetary compensation. from this bakery. I just like their fruitcakes.
Happy Holiday season