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Category: How Tos & Tutorials

My Chicken Care Routine

Here’s my chicken care and maintenance schedule as for now. Thought it might be interesting for other beginner chicken-scarers like me out there 🙂

Download it if you’re interested.


How To: Setting Eyelets

The raised beds in the garden dearly needed some protective layer for the still cold nights here in northern germany, thus, we bought some bed liners. They’re sold by the meter, so we had to attach some eyelets for fastening them to ground with tent pegs ourselves. Here’s how:

So how do you insert a grommet into fabric, or in my case, plastic sheets? Well, common eyelet sets come with a number of eyelet parts and some special tools, they’re cheap and convenient and available in every hardware store. Left is an overview of what’s in the kit.

 

 


Mushroom Growing 2021

I officially declare the mushroom season open! And to honor this appropriately, I’ve started new king oyster mushroom cultures that I hope will thrive and grow. This time, I used store-bought grain spawn (this shop is cool, give these guys a try!) – the last propagating attempt with the used up mycelium didn’t work out sooo well.

The whole action doesn’t take much time and effort (and it’s perfectly doable, sitting, with a broken knee…). But it is absolutely vital that you work as cleanly as possible, so to give your spawn an edge over any possible competing contaminats. I’ve got two versions:


Homemade Butter: How To

I read about this in my doctor’s waiting room in – I shit you not – a women’s magazine. Mediterranean/French style easy homemade butter! They adressed several different seasonings and further uses in the article, but the basic procedure is always the same. All you need is a food processor and half a liter of heavy cream (get the real enchilada: 30% fat). After having my TBE shot, I knew what I had to do…


How to: Prepare Sauerkraut…

… the traditional german way – or not?

Sauerkraut is so german it even gave us our name 🙂 , it’s very widespread in the nation, very regionally diverse and versatile. It is part of the traditional german cuisine, mostly eaten as a side dish but also as a full meal when made with the appropriate ingredients. It’ very healthy – for example for it’s contents of vitamin C which even increases when cooked.

There’s what feels like a gazillion ways of preparing sauerkraut in germany alone (and I bet there are even more recipes all over the world). To condense these down to some kind of a standard formula that everything else can be built upon, here’s my way. BTW: We’re talking fresh and unprocessed Sauerkraut here, not the pre-cooked, canned version from the supermarket.


Home Made Sauerkraut Tutorial

Update october 2020: New sauerkraut, substantially more information added 🙂

Sauerkraut

Since I happen to be a “Kraut” by birth, I decided to home-make my own Sauerkraut. Fermentation using wild lactobacillus is an ages-old and easy way of preserving almost every reasonably hard/crunchy vegetable you like. It’s easy and for our grandparent’s generation it was a perfectly common thing to do.

So what is this “fermentation thing” all about? Fermentation is latin and means the decomposing of carbohydrates in foods by various bacteria or yeasts with no oxygen around. Besides improving digestability, this produces a wide variety of distinct aromatics and other substances, the most important one being acid (lactic acid in this case). Harmful bacteria cannot thrive in an oxygen-free, acidic environment, thus, our food becomes preserved.

 


How To: Use a Charcoal Chimney

I have an acquaintance who has never used a charcoal chimney. He’s not particularly a BBQ-type of person anyway, but he wanted to know how it works. So I dug out my trusty old chimney, fired it up and used it right away to try out my recently made indoor grill.


How To: Make a Roux

Roux - Stolen Image (allrecipes.com)

Roux – Stolen Image (allrecipes.com)

I was asked by a member of the extended family circle about a recipe requiring a roux.

So let’s make a “Roux“… Ahh… yeah, right. Sure. Of course. This is french. It’s pronounced ( /ˈr/ ) and this sounds sooo much better than the german Mehlschwitze, which – honestly – sounds more like a sore throat 🙂 .

A roux is used as a basis for things like heavy sauces, soups or stews. It thickens them up and makes them creamy and rich. Since it’s a base-ingredient, it is very versatile and can be used for a wide variety of cooking tasks from the standard french cuisine mother sauce Béchamel up to New Orleans Gumbo. Google “roux usage” and you’ll see what I mean.

Some people find making a roux a little intimidating because, yes, you can absolutely screw it up, but if you follow these simple steps here, I promise you’ll nail it every time. It’s no magic.


Tutorial: Knife Care with a Sharpening System

I had a friend of mine over these days with two well-used and now dull knives – this inspired me to write this article. At a certain point of knife usage, just honing a blade’s edge won’t do the job anymore and you will have to re-sharpen your knife and give it a nice clean edge again.

This is how I do this with all my knives, kitchen or outdoor, in this case using a Lansky knife-sharpening-system (which I know is discussed controversially on the internet). With a little training and devotion you can achieve excellent results with it – and in a much easier way than with a traditional whetstone. This is my way to do it and it works absolutely satisfying for me.


Homemade Hand Sanitizer

In times of the Corona-Virus outbreaks all over the world, everybody is recommended to pay close attention to hand hygiene. Up to now, hand disinfectant solutions are still available without any problems here where I live, but I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to pick up how to make some on my own in case of a shortage. Doing some research, I stumbled upon the WHO’s official formulation, which you can also download here. There are two versions published, but I’ll concentrate on one of them exemplary. Here’s the recipe:

 


 

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