G Freden

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since Jul 27, 2012
West Yorkshire, UK
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Recent posts by G Freden

I've successfully grown those red kuri squashes, but gave them up for a bigger green/white type (still pretty red on the inside).  Both have a great flavour and keep very well.  We cooked our last 2019 green kuri squash at Easter of this year, a full six months after harvest, and it still tasted wonderful.  

They weren't so big this year though--today my son and I picked our little harvest from the allotment.  They probably won't last till Easter!  Last year's weighed several kgs each and were the size of flattened footballs, but I'll be lucky if the biggest one weighs even 1 kg:  cricket ball, if that.

My pumpkins had a bit of a better showing, but I don't know the variety--too bad really, because they are really dense and tasty.  

Anita Martin wrote:
next best tool after a sewing machine is my seam ripper!

I always use my seam ripper when I use my sewing machine, but have mislaid it so have only been doing hand sewing and mending lately;  hopefully I find it soon.  I have sewn so many things over the years and for almost every one of them I had to use the seam ripper!

Great fix, and on the jeans too.  
6 days ago
To save myself the bother of stripping tiny leaves, when cooking with it I cut what we call a thyme bundle (properly called a bouquet garni).  The traditional way is to combine with parsely and wrap into a leek leaf, but I generally cut a long chive strand, wrap it around a small handful of thyme stems several times and tie gently.  A small piece of string is also fine.  Goes in whole, gets taken out just before serving.  It's a lot easier to fish those stems out of dinner when they are tied together.

Thyme bundles can also be dried and then used in cooking the same way.  
One of the surprising benefits my husband and I experienced when we started eating low carb (high fat) was a big reduction in our asthma.  Mine's environmentally induced, and I'm at the point where I can just avoid my triggers, so I didn't notice this until a few months later when we visited my inlaws's cat-, dog-, and smoke-infested house.  No asthma for me at all, whereas previously I was always miserable at their house, having to stay outside in the back or hide in the kitchen, the only room without carpet.  What a wonderful change to sit in the living room with the whole family, and not have any symptoms!

My husband, on the other hand, went from using his inhaler multiple times a day to just a few times a month--his asthma has always been much worse than mine, and now ten years on he still uses it just as infrequently.  

The main change in our diet was to cut out sugar and grains, and we added in more animal fats such as butter, cream, and lard.  (We had some other unrelated improvements to our general health too, besides losing weight;  for instance, my husband's migraines became far fewer and much less severe.  We originally made the change in order to control my diabetic husband's blood sugar.)  I don't know if it will work for everyone, but it worked for us.
2 weeks ago
Those persimmons look gorgeous.  What are you doing with them?  
3 weeks ago
Sounds like the perfect conditions for potted orchids.  Ferns too!
3 weeks ago
There's going to be a trade off between quality and quantity, And by quantity I mean, will we actually get any ripe tomatoes this year?  For us in our climate, I think quantity is more important--many years I've grown tomatoes and not harvested any red ones.  I have a couple of great green tomato recipes, so this is ok for me--but obviously everyone's goal.  

This year I've grown Garden Pearl, a pinkish cherry tomato which has a good flavour.  It's small and sweet, much better than store bought.  Not a huge yield for me this year, and most of my plants haven't actually produced, but I've grown it several years now and usually get a decent amount.  

I've also tried Latah for the first time this year, sold as an early variety (from the Real Seed Catalogue).  And for me, for here, yes it was early:  grown outdoors at the allotment I started harvesting them at the beginning of August (the cherry toms began at the end of August and still aren't doing much).  Again, not a lot of fruit, and not much bigger than a cherry tom.  Good tomato flavour;  better than store bought again, though perhaps not outstanding.  I'll grow it again though, to get the harvest earlier--it's still producing lightly even now in October.
I should add that if you want to buy handmade quilts, they are pretty darned expensive!  I was looking a few years ago, and $500-$1000 is a pretty standard price range, and it has to do with the time it takes to make them.  I make them because I enjoy it :)
3 weeks ago
I make quilts cheaply using second hand materials, including our old worn out clothing and bedding.  I will buy secondhand blankets from charity shops which I save up to use as quilt batting/wadding.  A quilt can be as simple as a woven blanket sandwiched between two flat sheets.  They can be made with a sewing machine or entirely by hand (I have done both).

Eleanor Burns has a youtube channel called Quilt in a Day which has a lot of her old PBS episodes of the same name.

Here's a fancy one I did almost completely by hand.  The white background fabric came from an old stained tablecloth, cut strategically--and the flowers and leaves were just odds and ends of old clothes from my rag bag.  My other quilts are much plainer than this!

3 weeks ago
I agree that having at least one other person involved will make your life a lot easier.  My husband and son pitch in when it's time to kill our cockerels, though we have never done more than 4 at once.  However, here's our method:

1. Collect all birds the day before and keep them caged with a drink, no food
2. Kill first bird (we favor the broomstick method) and bleed out
3. Give bird to first helper to scald and pluck; meanwhile kill and bleed out second bird
4. Repeat with another bird/another helper so that all three people now have a bird to pluck
5. When someone finishes plucking, the quickest at butchery takes the plucked bird and starts gutting while the other two continue plucking the remaining birds; once two birds have been plucked, kill another bird, etc.

If I had a plucker, I would kill as many at once as I could fit in the plucker, and can reasonably clean/gut within the span of ten or so minutes (for me this would be around four--some people are a lot faster).

Good luck!
1 month ago