Kim Goodwin

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since Jan 27, 2014
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Native of Oregon, misses the forests, but now staying warm and dry in the desert.
In view of the Chiricahua Mountains, AZ
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Recent posts by Kim Goodwin

So is pie now cowpies?  I hope this joke hasn't been made a hundred times already...
You might check out the South African style of making "jerky" that isn't exactly like jerky, biltong.  It doesn't require nitrates.

I haven't made it yet, but am going to this week to free up some freezer space.  There are lots of recipes, differing amounts of salt and coriander, some different ways of using the vinegar.

Have fun!
1 week ago
Hi Scott!

Here is a nice primer on the topic:  The Fresh Loaf - Baker's Math

The Fresh Loaf is a wonderful artisan baking site. It's a community sort of like Permies, with lots of authors.  "JMonkey" is my favorite recipe poster.  Every recipe I've tried of hers/his is fantastic.  J lists both weights and approximate volumetric conversions for the recipes.  I only use the volumetrics and everything still turns out great.

Here are a few of my go-to sourdoughs from JMonkey:

JMonkey's San Fransico Style Sourdough on The Fresh Loaf

JMonkey's 40% Rye with Caraway - great for reubens...

And this is probably the most genius recipe, in my opinion.  It uses leftover starter - old, no-longer-activated starter.  Which you end up with a ton of if you are baking artisan sourdoughs.  It's really good to have a reliable recipe like this one.  I used to make these with emmer flour, and freeze a bunch for later.  We use them for sadwiches, hamburger buns, and of course the normal ways you might use an English muffin.

JMonkey's Whole Wheat English Muffins made with old sourdough starter

Have fun!  Happy baking!
1 week ago
Elderberries are a great idea, as they like damp ground.  That was a really good suggestion above.  Elderberries make great jam and wine, of course.

Part of my garden in Oregon was a bog. An actual bog - water all year-round.  Somehow, a plum tree had grown in the middle of it.  It flowered -but never fruited - and after 30 years it was leaning heavily to one side.

That tree inspired me to pay attention to rootstocks, and I learned that the Marriana rootstock (which Burnt Ridge Nursery sells ans uses for their plums) can handle wetter ground than some others.  Marriana rootstock for plums, apricots, and almonds at Burnt Ridge Nursery  So plums might work.

In the end, though, we planted persimmons right next to the pond area - a spot where they were sitting in water.  Digging the hole for them, it filled with water - THAT wet.  They did well and seem to have quite a tolerance for wet feet.

We also grew strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in that boggy garden.  The strawberries really loved it there.

1 week ago
As far as masks (and the material to make them from) go, here are some thoughts.

This was a good article about the advantages of everyone wearing masks: Simple DIY masks could help flatten the curve - Washington Post March 28, 2020

I already had a re-useable mask for myself pre-COVID outbreak because I am very prone to catching the flu.  I have an itchy nose, and if I'm not wearing the mask, I end up scratching it.  :-)  I suspect  that is a big part of the value of the masks, rather than keeping out viral sized particles.  But keeping out particles with household fabrics has been studied, it turns out.

Here's a little graph showing the effectiveness of different materials for masks for preventing infection:  

That's from this website:

Here's a quote about those findings above:

On average, the homemade masks captured 7% fewer virus particles than the larger bacteria particles. However, all of the homemade materials managed to capture 50% of virus particles or more (with the exception of the scarf at 49%).

Then they report on double-layering - they found it wasn't much more effective.

And now it gets interesting - breathability:

And said this:

Although the tea towel and the vacuum bag captured the most particles, they were also the hardest to breath through. With two layers, the tea towel was over twice as hard to breathe through as the surgical mask. In contrast, the pillow case, t-shirt, scarf, and linen were all easier to breathe through than the surgical mask.

Based on particle capture and breathability, the researchers concluded that cotton t-shirts and pillow cases are the best choices for DIY masks....

Bottom line: Test data shows that the best choices for DIY masks are cotton t-shirts, pillowcases, or other cotton materials. These materials filter out approximately 50% of 0.2 micron particles, similar in size to the coronavirus. They are also as easy to breathe through as surgical masks, which makes them more comfortable enough to wear for several hours.

Doubling the layers of material for your DIY mask gives a very small increase in filtration effectiveness, but makes the mask much more difficult to breathe through.

Interesting that someone thought of vacuum cleaner bags..  I don't think I would have thought of that, as I associate them with dirt!  Clever.  Now I'm going to be looking around the house to make some more.
1 week ago
This such a regional thing.  Where I'm from in western Oregon, people often killed sunchokes.  People warned me that they would become weeds - and then they just couldn't deal with the clay and wet and buttercup on my prop.  I gave up on them.  

But leeks, green onions and Portugese kale became most wonderful perennialized staple crops.  Also blackberries and pigweed amaranth, but that's Oregon for you.  The pigweed amaranth is really good though, we would harvest and freeze it, along with wild nettles.  Tomatillos came back for years, too, wherever the soil was disturbed, and fingerling potatoes became perennial... though I lost the taste for the latter.

Now I'm in the desert SW and hoping to find out what the "bulletproof" crops will be here.  Prickly pear and mesquite grow wild. And are yummy.
1 week ago
A few ideas -
Do you like Asian food? You could make Ponzu sauce, you may want to mix it with other citrus if the fruit you have is very bitter.  But I imagine there could be a similarity to yuzu.  Here are two recipes, I've used the first one, and it's very tasty:

NY Times recipe of the day - Ponzu Sauce

Ponzu Sauce form Justonecookbook

They are similar, but the slight difference might be important when using a more bitter fruit.  Ponzu is a dipping sauce for Japanese food, but it works great on a lot of things.  My husband and I do a lot of "bowls" and that sort of thing, and use different sauces to mix things up.

Also, the peel might be tasty.  It's worth tasting.  It also may be very fragrant.  I like to keep a jar of dried orange or lemon peel around for recipes, tea, etc.  I don't eat sugar anymore, but I used to LOVE candied citrus peel.  It's insanely good.  Just about any citrus works for it.

Another thing you could do is make homemade cleaners.  Like for cleaning dishes, the oven, whatever.  I have a mason jar full of the cleaner, which I made from vinegar, salt and leftover lemon peel.  I used this recipe, and it does not smell like vinegar:

Lemons for Life's recipe for lemon dishwashing gel

This is a different cleaner with lemon peel, I think this one works as glass cleaner:

Lemon vinegar spray cleaner

I'll mention again, the gel above does not smell like vinegar.  I can't stand having a vinegar smell after cleaning something.  I don't know about the second link, though on the net people say it doesn't smell strongly of vinegar.

Here are a bunch of other ways to use citrus for cleaning:

10 Ways to clean with lemons

The gel stuff smells wonderful and works well for cleaning fat off things.  Like animal fat after cooking broth, or rendering fat, or roasting.  The sort of stuff that's very hard to get out of the pan.

1 week ago
Your issue may be with the strain of the starter - in my experience, they all have different characteristics.  I've used 4 types of sourdough starters over the years.  Three came from Cultures for Health, one was a wild one.  I didn't keep the wild one going because I didn't like the flavor.

In the Cultures for Health literature, they say that different strains replicate at different rates.  Some are naturally faster than others.  The rye sourdough starter I had was very slow and I eventually let it go.  It also was intensely sour when used with wheat - too sour.  I love sour but this made people's teeth hurt!  So it was slow to develop, and had a crazy sour result - which I think means that the organisms in that batch had a very high tolerance for their waste products (sour).

You couldn't use that starter faster than it was ready or it hadn't developed properly and your bread wouldn't rise properly - does that make sense?  The cultures had their own timing, and a very high tolerance for their sour by-products.

After a couple years of babysitting multiple sourdough starters I realized I wanted an all-purpose sourdough starter.... one that would work for pizza, a nice crusty sourdough bread, English muffins, and a really good rye bread for sandwiches.

In the end, I stuck with Camaldoli Sourdough starter, which is fast rising/replicating (about 4 hours) and can create a wide range of sourness.  So at 4 hours, the starter has totally risen and is only very mildly sour.  Great for pizza - people don't even realize it's soured dough if I am attentive to the rising process.  We like it sour, but this way I can serve it to an assortment of people. When I use it the Camaldoli for bread, I leave it longer and it makes a nice, tart, well-developed sourdough or soured rye bread.  I have it separated into a batch I feed with wheat flour, and a batch I feed with rye flour for this purpose.  The rye bread recipe I like requires the rye portion of the dough to be all starter.

I'm not an expert on how these cultures work, by any means, but this was both my experience and what I've read up on.  So if you want a faster starter, you might need to introduce new organisms to your mix.  I believe that would be easiest to do from someone who already has a fast starter.  But I love experiments!  Please do let us know what your results are in the end.

1 week ago
Like Denise above,  I just received the plotskateer email today, and when I went to it it was at $20.  I didn't go any further though.  Did the email go out to some people sooner than others?  Like 2 days sooner?
That looks like a blister beetle to me.  I tried to search for European blister beetles, and this type looks similar to your picture.  There are many types of blister beetles, and they eat all sorts of things.  But the ones that looked most like your picture above -to me - are the Meloe genus.  It's a total guess, but there is a similarity. It's hard not being able to see the abdomen in your picture. But you know what it looked like, so check this out:

Meloe genus blister beetles on Wiki

One type of blister beetle:

2 weeks ago