Jan White

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since Dec 17, 2015
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Recent posts by Jan White

Timothy Norton wrote:

I love to get lost in his works.

This comment reminded me of Pieter breughel the elder and heironymus Bosch. There are all kinds of stories going on in their paintings. One time I found a really high res copy of the garden of earthly delights triptych, and me and my husband used to zoom in on a different section every night before bed and spend fifteen or twenty minutes looking at everything going on.
9 months ago
It makes sense to me that rodents would eat soap. It's mostly fat, so it would be a great, calorically dense food source for them.

If we don't keep our soap contained in our outside shower, mice, packrats, squirrels will all nibble on it or flat out steal it.
9 months ago
I use lots in tabbouleh.

It's good with steamed potatoes.

I recently had some dolamades that were pretty mint heavy. They were good with fried mushrooms and tomato sauce.

A bit julienned through fruit salad or a herby green salad is nice.

Good in smoothies. Pair with appropriate fruit or with cocoa/carob for choc mint.

One of my favourite summer breakfasts starts with a big glass of watermelon juice. A little bit of mint run through the juicer with the watermelon is what makes it.

Dried mint, powdered up, works well in baking. I've done away with peppermint extract since I started growing mint.

My in-laws go nuts over a mint syrup that one of their neighbours makes. I think it's just a really mint simple syrup that they mixed with carbonated water for a summer drink. (Not quite tea.)
9 months ago
Every log home I've been in has felt very dark. My in laws have one that my husband's dad built. He put a lot of effort into making it not feel dark. It's definitely the best one I've been in, but it's not what I'd call a bright home.

It's probably 3,000 ft2 on two storeys, with a full basement. They used to have this huge, home made monstrosity in the basement to heat it and the ground floor, along with water for the hot water tank and for the radiators upstairs. My husband says they'd go through 12-16 cords of wood a year - and his dad was really stingy with heat. My husband wants our house hot now as a reaction to being cold for most of his childhood.  The in-laws got rid of the big heater and have a couple normal wood stoves now. In cold weather (-20C) it's very hard to keep the house warm, even though they keep half the ground  floor closed off and don't actively try to heat the second floor. The square footage they're heating is right on the edge of what the two stoves are capable of, though. I suspect having a big basement makes it harder to heat.
10 months ago
I often use parsley seeds in place of or in addition to celery seed. I find dried parsley has so little flavour it's not worth bothering with. If I want parsley flavour in something when there's no fresh parsley, I'll use seed.

I also use in it place of caraway, which I believe is a punishment upon the earth 🤮
10 months ago
I ended up getting this one


I think it's probably pretty much the same as the Frigidaire one John posted above. It's the same wattage, fits the same glass mug, etc.  

I settled on this gourmet elite one because I found reviews specifically talking about using it with standard jars. A few people complained that it leaked when using a standard jar because the rim of the jar/mug it comes with is deeper than jars you buy. According to one review, it fits otherwise so you can just stick an extra gasket in to get a better seal.

Once I got it home, I checked the seal with the old tomato sauce jar I wanted to use for my smoothies. It fit perfectly without an extra gasket. Then I checked with a 125mL canning jar. It fit perfectly, too. So no problem with jar interchangeability.

It's almost twice the wattage of my Hamilton Beach, so it blends way better than what I've been using. I haven't tried it with kale yet, but I'm sure it'll be fine.

Also like the Frigidaire mentioned in this thread, the one I got has the genius design of having the jar disengage from the blades by turning it in the same direction you need to turn the blade assembly to unlock it from the blender base. The first time I blended something, the jar came loose from the blades when I tried to unlock it from the base. I had to flip the whole blender upside down to avoid dumping smoothie all over everything. From then on, I've pushed down on the top of the jar a little bit when I unlock it from the blender base, and I haven't had the jar come loose since. So that's a non-issue so far.

The blades are attached to the plastic base that locks onto the blender, so you can't take them out to clean like you can with my Oster.  It's a little tight getting to the underside of the blades, but way better than the blenders that don't come apart at all. I've been using a toothbrush to get under the blades and around the shaft and it works well.

The only thing I don't like so far is that the gasket sits quite tightly in kind of a deep groove in the blade assembly. I have to get the tip of a paring knife if there to pry it up and clean it properly.

Now to see what kind of longevity it has. I've never liked my Hamilton Beach, but it cost something like $12 and it's lasted at least fifteen years, so I've got to give it points for that.

10 months ago
We have wild hazels that don't usually fall free from the calyx.

If the calyx is starting to dry, the nuts should be ready. I rarely get to pick any that late, but it's seemed to be a reliable visual cue in the odd year the squirrels leave me any.

I find the nuts don't really have much flavour until they're dried, so yours might not be as lacking in flavour as you think. I love the fresh nuts, though. Same with walnuts.
10 months ago
I get around the icky feeling by having one day a week where I do free work for people with low income. My services require me to have access to people's financial information, so their income level is verified as a matter of course and I don't have to get into weird conversations with clients (not for that reason anyway! 🙄)  Some of the people I do work for will pay a little bit, just whatever they can afford. If they feel bad for not being able to pay, I ask them to leave a google review or give them an extra business card and ask them to recommend me to someone they know.

I've been told my rates are too low, as well. I'm still building up a clientele, but I expect to be making enough to support myself and my husband in another two or three years (maybe not to my husband's standards, but certainly to mine 😁). That's really all that matters, in my opinion. If you're making enough money to pay you for your time, your rates are fine. Because it's my business and I do it on my terms, I'm okay with being paid less for my time than I might be working for someone else.

If you're making money, but attracting a lot of weirdos, then maybe your rates are too low. A friend of mine got in that situation. Every low life in town was using his computer repair services because they were so cheap and he ended up getting taken advantage of a number of times by various scary people - like the scumbag that hid stolen goods at his house. My friend is also very bad at confrontation. Someone with a different personality probably wouldn't have had all the problems he did, but he definitely had a rough demographic looking him up.

My husband's boss did some engineering work for someone and in exchange got to use the place for his daughter's wedding. He's done a bunch of other barter stuff, too. A friend of my parents' is an artist who did a billboard for a dentist and got a bunch of free dental work out of it. I wouldn't want to rely on barter (I can't pay my property taxes that way, so I need some actual currency), but I don't see why I'd turn down a good deal.
10 months ago
I have a maxima mutt I grow (it's not developed to the point I'd call it a landrace yet) and the immature squash are much more flavourful and squashy tasting than zucchini. Much firmer, too. My mutt does have some Hokkaido squash in it (what I call red kuri), but it's mostly kabocha, buttercup, and galeux d'eysines.
10 months ago
Plants grow in dirt, not wood. So I'd keep that in mind, whatever you end up doing. If you put eight inches of soil on top of all that wood, that's all the plants have to work with.

If the logs are fresh they won't be soaking up that much moisture yet. Even when they are nice big sponges, they're only going to release moisture to the soil they're touching. If you only have dirt on top of them, that contact area is the only place that will benefit from the moisture in the logs, and only the top layer of logs.

If it was my wood pile, I'd tear it all apart and layer it properly with soil, so the plants can get roots deep into the pile and take advantage of the moisture in all the layers.  But I already have a few dry, useless hugel beds with way too much wood in them 😁
10 months ago