Tag Archives: Food

Bad News For Your Pocket Book

Sea ports are closed or operating at 40 – 60 percent capacity, a truck driver shortage of 80,000 drivers. Rising fuel cost, rising labor cost, sky rocking cost of new replacement transportation vehicles. Forced closures of container storage areas and closure of warehouses (Biden, governors and mayors lock-down mandates.) Most experts in the transportation industry do not see conditions improving for months or possibility years.

Ports in Asia and Europe are not fairing any better than American ports. This is compounding the shipping problem by causing a shortage of available ships, trucks, rail cars and shipping containers at manufacturing businesses world wide.

When Donald Trump was president October 2020, the price to ship a 40 foot container from Asia to California was $3,800. That price under Biden’s administration cost spiked to $17,000 per-container in October of 2021, according to supply chain technology company Freightos.
Freightos said that shipping a container to the east coast is more expensive than the west coast, with rates reaching $20,000.

More than 100 ships were reported this week to be anchored off the coast of California waiting their turn to dock and unload full containers. But the seaports are stocked so high that ports are forcing vessels to wait up to 1 month before unloading.

As many as 200,000 40 foot shipping containers are stranded off the coast waiting to dock in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles had nearly 500 thousand 20-foot shipping containers, about 12 million metric tons of goods waiting in drift areas and at anchor for spots to open up along the port to dock and unload, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California’s master queuing list.

The effect of rising fuel costs, a large container vessel used in Trans-Pacific trade, with an actual, maximum container capacity of 3,875 FEUs (forty foot containers.)
With the cost of bunker fuel at $552 per ton, and with fuel consumption of 217 tons per day, a 28-day round trip voyage for this one vessel would produce a fuel bill of $3,353,952. This cost does not include the daily cost of operating/maintaining the ship and it’s crew.

Biden administration, Governors and Mayors forced coronavirus lock-downs has had a tremendous negative impact on the transportation industry nationwide, causing headaches at sea ports, warehouses, railways, and trucking companies.

Will history books record 1816, the year Without A Summer and 2022 the year America Did Without everything?

Flat Bread, Fast and Easy

Flat Bread:

Ingredients:
6 – servings —————————— 2-3 servings

2 cups of flour—————————— 1 cup
3/4 cup water——————————- 1/3 cup
2 tablespoons of oil————————- 1 1/2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon salt—————————- 1/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon of baking powder————- 1/2 tablespoon
For cooking – 2 teaspoons of oil

Preparation:
If you like herb bread add 1 teaspoon of herb(s) fresh or dried that you like.

In a bowl mix all of the dough ingredients into a unified dough. Add a bit more water it your dough is dry.
Knead with your hands for 2-3 minutes and shape into a ball.

Divide the ball into 6 and roll each part into a disc shape.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a nonstick pan on high heat.

Cook each disc of dough, About 1-2 minutes on each side. Take care not to burn your flat bread.

Place the flat bread on a plate or fold in half to be used like a flour toco tortilla, cover with a clean
kitchen towel to keep warm.

** Convert this recipe to make tortilla’s by omitting the baking powder.

Food Inflation and the Supply Chain

This past year my annual food cost have risen around $600 to $1,000 dollars during 2021.

For some this is not a real financial burden. However for me being on a fixed income a 7% or 8% cost of food increase is a burden and must be dealt with the best way(s) I know.
To this end I have been collecting unused canning jars from friends and family members and buying what I can’t find free with the goal of doubling the amount of fruits and vegetables I can to carry me through the cold non-garden months.

My vegetable garden space has doubled from past years and I am adding a few more fruit trees to my tiny orchard. Much to my dismay and sticker shock my normal list of vegetable seeds are 3 and in some cases 4 times the price from last spring. I’ll do much more seed saving this fall.
Planted Hybrid seeds do not come back true to it’s mother plant, they tend to revert back to one of it’s parent plants. Often this is not a good thing.
Heirloom plants are open pollinated and do come back true to it’s mother plant and as such are the best choice if you plan to save seed for next years vegetable garden.

Small bare root fruit trees and many grape vines if you can find them at all have shot up in price from about $25 dollars last spring to $45 to $75 dollars each this spring planting season. Almost every fruit tree variety I have been looking for is simply not available this season.

For the first time in many years I harvested and processed 2 bucks and 4 does to supplement my meat supply this year.
I am in the process of cleaning, repairing, painting my old rabbit hutches. I haven’t raised meat rabbits for about 10 years, however it’s time to get 3 or 4 does and a buck. Properly managed each doe will produce 3 litters a year averaging 6 kits per-litter. Growing to a butcher weight of about 5-6 pounds each in 6-8 weeks. Yearly each doe will produce 25-30 pounds of healthy, low fat, great tasting meat.

Happy Safe 2022.

2,000 Gallons Water Produces 1 Pound of Almonds

California supplies about 80% of the United States almonds, and dedicates 80 million gallons, of water to grow Almond crops.
To grow one almond requires 1.1 gallons of water, and to grow a pound of Almonds takes 1,900 gallons of water. Walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and cashews all use roughly the same amount of water to grow.

Ten percent of California’s water is guzzled up by almonds.

Ebooks and Books in PDF format – Download for Free

I have been meaning to post this Link for a while.
PDF Drive is your search engine for PDF files. As of today we have 79,850,920 eBooks for you to download for free. No annoying ads, no download limits, enjoy it and don’t forget to bookmark and share the love!

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PDF Drive is a free search engine which allows you to search, preview and download millions of PDF files into your devices. Our crawlers are constantly scanning the world wide web to add PDF files to our database. In the case that PDF files are withdrawn from the web, then they are also immediately withdrawn from PDF Drive search results. In this way, our PDF Drive library stays up-to-date, while continuously growing and offering you an enormous database to search. In addition to the traditional search engines, PDF Drive has these extra features:

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Hope you find something that makes your life easier and filled with fun.

Bugs Bugging You? Help is on the way

Cucumber Magic: If grubs and slugs are ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices of cucumber in a small aluminum pie pan, place it in your garden and soon your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
{Disclaimer: I don’t know if this really works, but, it’s worth a try.}

Dalmatian Pyrethrum Chrysan-themum cinerarifolium. This variety of chrysanthemum is the source for many natural insecticides for flying and crawling insects. It is one of the least harmful to mammals or birds, but the dried flowers of the pyrethrum daisy will kill or stun the insects the moment it touches them. It is one of the safest pesticides to use on pests and their bedding to keep fleas and ticks away. The powder is the result of drying and crushing the flowers.

English Pennyroyal Mentha pulegium. A small-leaved herb that has spikes of lavender flowers, pennyroyal is a member of the mint family. Ground pennyroyal is one of the most effective tick deterrents available. Dust powder made from the leaves around areas where the pet sleeps and plays.

Feverfew Chrysanthemum parth-enium. Feverfew blooms midsummer through fall. The flower heads are used to make a pesticide to kill many pest insects.

Lavender Lavandula angustifolia. All of us know lavender as a beautiful aromatic herb that is used to scent food, soaps, cosmetics and many other products. If you dry bunches of lavender and hang them in the closet, they will repel moths and make your clothes smell good at the same time.

Lemon Basil Ocimum basilcum v. citriodorum. An aromatic herb with small pretty flowers and lemony fragrance, lemon basil is a fine culinary herb. When planted in the garden close to tomatoes, it deters white flies.

Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris. Mugwort leaves are used to repel moths. They can be made into sachets or dried and hung in the top of the closet.

Peppermint Mentha piperita. Peppermint helps repel ants, aphids, cabbage lopers, flea beetles, cabbage worms, squash bugs and white flies. Plant it near susceptible plants or make a tea from the crushed leaves and spray it on infested plants.

Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis. Rosemary leaves dried and powdered are used as a flea and tick repellent. Dust the powder around where your pet sleeps.

Sage Salvia officinalis. Sage is helpful planted next to cabbage to improve the taste and repel cabbage worms and moths.

Tansy Tanacetum vulgare. Leaves are used to repel ants and moths in sachets or when strewn around. The small yellow flowers are used in potpourri.

Wormwood Artemisia absinithium. Grows tall with gray silky foliage and spikes of small flowers. Powdered dust made from the leaves and sprinkled on plants and soil will deter many insects. It is not toxic; the bugs just don’t like the fragrance.

Tansy, rue and anise are good at repelling aphids, a perennial garden pest. Chamomile and hyssop will help discourage cabbage moths on your cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Basil and dill planted near your tomato plants will help keep tomato hornworms away. Dill and fennel are also good food plants for butterflies, particularly the swallowtail. They lure the caterpillars from other plants.

Beetles and squash bugs on your squash and cucumbers, plant mint, oregano or tansy nearby. Catnip and savory will discourage flea beetles and bean beetles on your bean plants, parsley and rosemary will keep carrot flies away from your carrots.

You can used dried herbs to make fragrant potpourri or sachets that will repel insects in the closet or storage chests.
Mint, rosemary, rue, tansy, thyme, wormwood, southernwood, lavender, pennyroyal and lemon geranium are all excellent at repelling moths that get into your winter clothes.
Put the dried herbs in a cloth bag {cheese cloth} that is loosely woven enough to let the air circulate and let it hang from a hanger in the closet or tuck it into a drawer or chest for the summer. When it comes time to get out your winter clothes, they’ll smell good and be moth-free.

Herbs make common foods taste special

Most herbs will do well in container gardens and window boxes. If they are conventionally located to you and your kitchen you are more willing and more likely to use them cooking and serving every meal.

Sage does well if properly cared for. It requires a lot of pinching and cutting to keep it from becoming woody too soon. As a rule, sage will need to be replanted after about 3 years since it will become woody stems with little leaves no matter what, so keeping it in a pot makes this change that much easier. Sage dries very well and if you pinch the leaves throughout the growing season, put a rubber band on them and keep them safe after drying you will have that wonderful sage all winter to give your family and guest a special treat.

Rosemary is always a kitchen favorite. It dries perfectly, holds its strong taste all winter, comes indoors and keeps growing in a sunny window and is rarely bothered by insects. Use rosemary for many herb standards or topiaries. The woody stem is perfect for crafting. The stem also seconds as skewers so I feel that each harvest yields two separate things: leaves and stems. Keep the stems in a freezer bag in my freezer and use them for grilling skewers. Since rosemary doesn’t like to sit in water but likes to dry out between watering, I think that being in its own container makes the herb grow that much hardier, since it can receive special care.

Basil is one of the most rewarding herbs to grow in a container. It really lends itself well to the other popular container plants like the tomato. Basil likes to have plenty of water to keep its fleshy stems and tender leaves plump, but is susceptible to mildew. In a container, you can be sure the plant gets plenty of airflow.

Thyme is an often undervalued herb. Many times it gets planted and never used. Thyme deserves a higher standing on our list of culinary herbs! It will thrive in a container environment, needing only minimal watering. Some varieties grow into small shrub-like plants that enhance an entrance, and its tiny purple flowers are lovely. Being such a low maintenance herb, you can see how well thyme will fit in your container garden.

Mint is notorious for getting away from the gardener. You plant one and soon twenty will follow. If you are trying to keep your varieties pure, cross pollination is easy to do if the strains are too close together. Containers can be placed far enough away from one another to keep your pineapple mint from suddenly tasting like catnip-pineapple mint. Planting a bottomless pot into your garden is one way of controlling mint, but keeping it out of the garden completely, by using a separate container, is a better idea. Mint is also so tasty, it can be used more often if it is handy.

Chives Leaves/Flowers
Fresh or Frozen Soups, salads, salad dressings, eggs, dips, vegetables, chicken, soft cheese spreads, butters, white sauces, and fish.

English Thyme Leaves/Flowers
Fresh or Dried Game, beef, soft cheeses, fish, chowders, pâté, vegetables, and tomato sauce.

Tarragon French or Spanish Leaves/Fresh or Dried
Chicken, fish, eggs, tomato juice, butters especially nice on steak, vinegars, salads, mustards, sauces hollandaise, béarnaise and tartar, Soups, chicken, fish, mushroom and tomato and marinades for fish, lamb or pork.

Greek Oregano Leaves/Fresh or Dried
Sauces white and tomato, stews, soups, fish, lamb, pork, vegetables, butters, and vinegars.

Rosemary Leaves/Fresh or Dried
Beef, lamb, fish, poultry, stuffings, soups, stews, fruit cups, soups chicken, pea, and spinach, vegetables, and marinades.

Sage Leaves/Flowers Fresh or Dried
Stuffings for fish, poultry, and meat, pâté, eggs, poultry, pork, beef, lamb, pasta, cheeses cheddar, cream, and cottage, sauces brown and meat, soups cream and chowder, beef stews, and vegetables.

Hint of the Day: Use fresh herbs blended with ‘real’ butter or sour cream for that special taste. Herb’s go well with fresh baked potato’s and fresh garden salads.

Old Hens… Chickens not people

Before you purchase your chick(s) look 2 years in to the future.

For some people chickens only serve two purposes, primarily a source of fresh eggs, second as a source of fresh meat.
But for some they become pets no different from the family dog. This is where looking into the future is important.

Chicken commonly live 5 to 7 years, however it is not uncommon for them to live to the ripe old age of 10 or more years.

Egg production starts at about 24 – 26 weeks of age (6 months) and will decrease sightly every year after that. By 3 years of age it is likely to the point that you will need to replace your laying hens.

What do you do with them at this point in time? Sell them? Give them to an unsuspecting friend or neighbor? Butcher them to be served for Sunday dinner?

If you have become attached to them for what ever reason butchering them is not an option. However you must decide if the pleasure you get from their presents is worth the reduced or no egg production and the daily cost of feed and maintaining a safe and secure living space.

All is not lost. Even with reduced egg production they are still good weeders and eat every insect find and can catch.

Hint: Keep Them As Broody Hens/Mothers
If you own a broody hen (or hens), consider using them to hatch a few eggs. Those old hens will be perfectly happy sitting on some eggs all day, and it would save you the cost of buying an incubator.

Happy Gardening

Town terrorized by strange creature

You can’t make this up. To good not to make you smile.

Animal control group from Poland, received a call that an unidentifiable animal was terrorizing the residents of a street in Krakow.

Krakow Animal Welfare Society posted about the incident on Facebook, confirming that a woman called in to report that a “creature” had been terrorizing her neighbors for two days. According to the post, people were afraid to open their windows because an unidentified animal had been lurking in a tree.

When officials arrived on the scene, however, they discovered that there was no chance that the animal was going to enter anyone’s house or pounce on anyone walking underneath the tree.

That’s because the “creature” was actually just a croissant stuck in a tree.

The croissant was removed from the tree without any incident and the pastry’s reign of terror over the neighborhood ended without incident.

Hummingbird migration sighting map – March 7, 2021

Hummingbirds will soon be arriving all across the USA. It’s time to find and clean feeders and prepare for the birds arrival.
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