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    • Jun: So I have begun fermenting again after a two-decade break. I just corked 4 bottles of wine that will be ready to try in two years. Wanting something I could enjoy a little sooner I also made some Jun. What is Jun? Well, it is a Kombucha-type drink fermented with both yeast and bacteria. The drink is made by fermenting Green Tea and Honey; my Jun was also infused with Rose Hips for flavor. I bottled it early so that it would become carbonated.

      The result was a pretty refreshing vinegary drink perhaps better suited to summertime thirst quenching than as a winter warmer. If I would do it again I would add ginger to spice it up because the flavor is already pretty similar to ginger ale. I am skeptical about Jun's purported properties as a ‘super food’, but no matter, it tastes good.



      Cheers!
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • odd man out wrote:

      Where do you get the yeast and bacteria?
      I picked up a Kombucha 'Scoby' at my local brewing supply shop. I understand not all Scobys can adapt to the green tea, but was told mine would. It seemed to work fine. The Scoby is back in the fridge now till I try another batch.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Scotty, that’s so cool! I brew kombucha... haven’t heard of Jun.

      Flavor combinations are limitless and it’s fun to get creative. My son was given bulk bags of Teavana flavored tea and I mix it with plain green tea. My latest winter flavor is gingerbread.

      My last batch was very spicy and had an overpowering cinnamon/ginger/allspice smell and flavor. I worried the acidity might damage my scoby and inhibit the microbe environment so after a week, I poured out half and replaced it with plain, green tea and sugar.

      It’s really good mixed with other drinks, like lemonade, sprite...bourbon.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • I've been doing some gluten free baking today. I made chocolate chip cookies from a store bought mix which are really really good. I also made my own waffle honey stingers because I love them and the ones in the store are full of gluten. So I took some GF pancake mix and made waffles and filled the squares with honey and let it soak in. After they cooled I rolled them flat between wax paper and vacuum sealed them.
      My question is: since they have egg in them, do I need to freeze them? I'm wondering how long they will keep not frozen?
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      Scotty, that’s so cool! I brew kombucha... haven’t heard of Jun.

      Flavor combinations are limitless and it’s fun to get creative. My son was given bulk bags of Teavana flavored tea and I mix it with plain green tea. My latest winter flavor is gingerbread.

      My last batch was very spicy and had an overpowering cinnamon/ginger/allspice smell and flavor. I worried the acidity might damage my scoby and inhibit the microbe environment so after a week, I poured out half and replaced it with plain, green tea and sugar.

      It’s really good mixed with other drinks, like lemonade, sprite...bourbon.
      The honey has some sugars that do not get fully fermented, so it finishes slightly sweet. I have some old ceramic top Grolsch beer bottles, so it was easy to bottle the Jun and allow for a little carbonation. Actually, a lot of carbonation :) If I had bottled any sooner I would be worried about exploding bottles.

      Thanks for the mixing ideas.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Have I ever mentioned my hobby of growing voodoo lillies?. My big one is about ready to bloom. The plant grows in the garden all summer. You dig up the bulb in the fall. It's now about as big as a pineapple . This is the first year this one has been big enough to bloom. In January a flower stem grows out if the bulb - no roots or pot, just a bare bulb. It grows fast - 7 inches in the last 24 hrs. In a couple days it will open. It's in the same family as Jack in the Pulpit, so it has a stalk in a cup shaped leaf. The stalk will the get warm to evaporate peutricine and cadaverine. It smells like rotting flesh to attract flies, the polinators. The biology and chemistry is very important interesting. A plant only a biochemist could love. But I've been nurturing this baby for years. This week is the payoff.

      appalachiantrailcafe.net/index…b937ed58159b5ef524c51083f
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    • odd man out wrote:

      My Voodoo Lilly may be big enough to flower this year. It grows on the garden all summer. In the fall you dig them up. When they get big enough (after 4 or 5 years), the bulb will throw out a 5 foot tall flower in January, not planted, just from the naked bulb. The flower is pollinated by flies so it produces putricine and cadaverine to attract flies, which is why it is sometimes called a Corpse Flower. It is in the Arum family so the flower has a Jack in the Pulpit structure.
      After 4 or 5 years of growing in the garden all summer and digging up every winter, this voodoo Lilly bulb is in full bloom for the first time. Not stinking today. But I am keeping it in the fume hood in the lab. Hence the lab Selfi. The stem and flower is 112 cm.

    • Because I don’t have enough to do (?!?), I entered a sock knitting competition, lol. There are 2000+ competitors from all over the world.

      It’s called Sock Madness and is similar to March Madness. There are teams and rounds and only a certain number of spots per team for moving on to the next round.

      We are in the first round which is a qualifying round. If you knit the pair of socks precisely to specifications within a given time frame, you’re placed on a team.

      These socks are so complicated! The techniques are advanced and the instructions aren’t easy to interpret. I’m about to finish the first sock, it’s taken 4 days. For reference, some people finished their pair within 2 days.

      (Currently taking a short break and heading to the gym.)
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      Lost in the right direction.
    • The 4 days... 2 of those days were only a few hours of knitting. A lot of time has been trying to understand the pattern. One day was nearly all day (breaks for meals, a few chores, and fiddle playing). At the end of the day, I discovered a mistake and had to rip out half the sock. That was so stressful! That night, I had palpitations all night which scared me so now I’m trying to not take it seriously...just have fun!
      Lost in the right direction.
    • I finally identified another "weed" in my yard.

      I've never really paid much attention to this plant, because it is only here for a few months during the winter/fall and there's no noticeable flower (extremely small flower) and it's usually seen growing against things. However, I noticed that the Red Admiral butterfly seemed very much attracted to it, so I started searching for its identity.

      It's a Florida Pellitory (Parietaria floridana); it's in the same family as the Stinging Nettle and it's a host plant for the Red Admiral Butterfly. It's also an edible plant and in the raw form has a taste of cucumber, according to the below video -- and I confirmed that, it does taste like cucumber.

    • roadrunner wrote:

      I finally identified another "weed" in my yard.

      I've never really paid much attention to this plant, because it is only here for a few months during the winter/fall and there's no noticeable flower (extremely small flower) and it's usually seen growing against things. However, I noticed that the Red Admiral butterfly seemed very much attracted to it, so I started searching for its identity.

      It's a Florida Pellitory (Parietaria floridana); it's in the same family as the Stinging Nettle and it's a host plant for the Red Admiral Butterfly. It's also an edible plant and in the raw form has a taste of cucumber, according to the below video -- and I confirmed that, it does taste like cucumber.


      Appreciate the warning at the beginning about not eating a wild plant without checking with a local expert first.

      While I don't know if they were "local experts" I never ate wild berries (or whatever) on the AT unless another hiker was first.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Made it to the next (first) round but that’s where it ends for me. I’m planning a BP trip and that takes precedence. I’ll try to knit in the evening but don’t have much hope of finishing. It was fun while it lasted!
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      Lost in the right direction.
    • roadrunner wrote:

      Finally, I got a video of a pileated woodpecker hunting for and then eating a grubfrom one of the logs I put around my yard. Also there was aRed-bellied woodpecker that seemed to dive bomb him -- not sure whatwas up with that. Be sure to turn on your speakers.


      Very cool! Woodpeckers are so beautiful
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • Made it to the next round of my sock knitting competition. My hands took a beating this time and could barely play my violin this week.

      I’m trying to decide if I should continue being competitive or bow out. I still get the patterns and can continue to knit along at a slower pace.

      Knowing me, by the time the next pattern drops, I’ll be recovered and excited for the next challenge.

      Some teams are really slow and will take the full two weeks to fill their slots so I have a week to recover.
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      Lost in the right direction.
    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      Made it to the next round of my sock knitting competition. My hands took a beating this time and could barely play my violin this week.

      I’m trying to decide if I should continue being competitive or bow out. I still get the patterns and can continue to knit along at a slower pace.

      Knowing me, by the time the next pattern drops, I’ll be recovered and excited for the next challenge.

      Some teams are really slow and will take the full two weeks to fill their slots so I have a week to recover.
      Wow! How long did it take to knit those?
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • jimmyjam wrote:

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      Made it to the next round of my sock knitting competition. My hands took a beating this time and could barely play my violin this week.

      I’m trying to decide if I should continue being competitive or bow out. I still get the patterns and can continue to knit along at a slower pace.

      Knowing me, by the time the next pattern drops, I’ll be recovered and excited for the next challenge.

      Some teams are really slow and will take the full two weeks to fill their slots so I have a week to recover.
      Wow! How long did it take to knit those?
      I started them while hiking but only managed 20 rows because looking at the pattern on my phone was hard. I kept having to page between the pattern and the key for the chart symbols.

      So basically, 3 1/2 - 4 days?

      (I didn’t knit while actually hiking but at the end of the day, in the tent)
      Lost in the right direction.
    • New

      Knocked out in round two. :(

      I finished in plenty of time, even though I’m on the second fastest team.

      There is a mistake in my socks. The little triangle near the heel is supposed to be garter stitch and I did stockinette. Ugh, it was a stupid mistake.
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      Lost in the right direction.
    • New

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      Knocked out in round two. :(

      I finished in plenty of time, even though I’m on the second fastest team.

      There is a mistake in my socks. The little triangle near the heel is supposed to be garter stitch and I did stockinette. Ugh, it was a stupid mistake.
      Well hell! I think they're beautiful, they're artwork.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference