Monday, February 25, 2013

Squirrel Moments


Squirrel, that is what you are going to experience today. A little bit of this and a little bit of that as Kirk and I are still recovering from a dash to Colorado where we moved our daughter back to Wyoming. During the trip my adrenals crashed as this moving marathon followed right after a trip to the dentist's where he removed the last of the metal fillings. When you remove metal fillings some of the mercury is released into your system. Being the overly sensitive soul that I am, I was feeling a bit rough before the move started. My body is so pathetic that after the deadener shots my hands start to shake and I'm a bit shocky so they have to wait fifteen minutes before beginning. Yes, they have tried different deadeners to pick the best one for me.

They schedule two hours but it always takes three and laughter abounds as small complications always arise. This time we had a flood. My mouth is barely above infant size and the extreme angle required to work in caused the drill to spray the water picks flow into the next room. They had to pile paper towels all over my chest to soak up part of the spray. And that was only part of the fun.

Then after rushing to move our daughter and putting as much away as we could in her new place, we decided at 7:30 Saturday night to make a dash for home. Snow was in the forecast that night. Luckily 2 1/2 hours of our travels we only encountered heavy snowing in a few areas but the roads were good. Then forty miles from home all that changed in a hurry. Kirk had to shift into four wheel drive. It was blizzard conditions. We were straining to see the deliniator poles with there reflective tape in order to guess where the highways was.

Thankfully we were on a major road so there was a wide shoulder and a rumble strip that is rough causing a slight bounce and your tires make a noise when running acrossed it. That is if the snow isn't too deep and covering it up. Yes, it was drifting and so it was here and there that we found the strips but between them and the deliniator poles, we managed to stay on the highway. Thirty-five to forty miles an hour was top speed.

We felt blessed  that we had listened to that still small voice that said, "Go home."  because the next day was no unnecessary travel warnings and the roads were solid ice. No unnecessary travel in our area means bad, bad roads because there are times the roads stay open even though the snow plows won't run because it is too dangerous. It can be a real pain because Kirk is required to go to work if the roads are open. Other times it just means you have to use common sense. Something few people develop now days because they depend on others to make judgement calls for them. It is one of the major faults of US citizens today. It is why we have so many laws and government agencies. We spend too much time trying to protect people against stupidity instead of letting them learn from it. I do every day but people don't want responsibility. Responsibility doesn't leave anyone else but you to blame.

The independent cuss that I am, I'd better get off that sore subject or I'm liable to go on and on and on. Let's talk instead about my experiment in refining of my potato flour. Some of you will recall that I am making potato flour from the small potatoes from last summer's garden that from a lack of a cellar are beginning to sprout. They are still firm and therefore it is in the nick of time to use them. The first step is to boil them and so I washed the dirt off the outside and plopped them into water covering there tops. Then I boiled them to the potato salad stage, not the mashed potato stage that I did the last time. The Internet says boil anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes depending on the site you are reading. Disliking watching the clock, I used a fork to test doneness. Keep in mind hot potatoes continue to cook when the heat is turned off.  

Then when cool, I sliced the potatoes and slipped off the skins and put them into the dehydrator to dry along with two huge sweet potatoes that had baked in the oven. They were mashed as we had had a half of one for supper. I could of boiled them too I guess.

The previous experiment with mashed potatoes I found took what seemed like forever for them to dry and it was very uneven making it hard to tell if they were done or not. The same does not hold true for sweet potatoes for some reason. I'm guessing there is a starch difference.  

Storing the potatoes in the sliced form means I can use them in stews, potatoes augratin, or break them into smaller pieces with the blender and then grind in the wheat grinder for flour. I like the versatility of this method.

The downside is that dried potatoes only store for a year in a cool dry place. I bet if I have freezer room that I can put them into glass jars and they would last a great deal longer. Glass, because moisture passes through plastic. That is why our beef in the freezer from a couple years ago isn't as moist as it was last year. Yup, this little realization, what took me so long I don't know, led me to  study seed storage in greater depths and we'll talk about that later along with rotating crops in the garden for seed storage purposes.

Today, I'm going to begin some wheat sprouts. Think the tannin in my regular wheat will come through if the wheat is first sprouted? Hmm.... we'll find out. But I'm going to grind a few other grains while that wheat does it's growth and try a no knead bread recipe for whole grains. I've got two to try and compare but with just two of us one recipe of one loaf at a time is enough bread to eat.  

Oh, I almost forgot. Daisy, the goat, is doing very nicely. She appears to be back to normal. Waltzing Matilda is well too and had a very long conversation with our daughter as she did chores while we were gone. Unfortuneately she didn't understand a word of it though she tried. Finally she just told her that Mom hadn't given any other instructions so she could take up her complaints with me when I came back.  Knowing a little piglatin I'm sure it was about the fact that our daughter didn't put any food in her shed where I always stash a little goodies to munch on while she snuggles down into her heap of straw.

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