Joke of the Day!

Its that time again!  And away we go!

A man walks into a bar…

You’d think he would have seen it…

Lols

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One Lovely Blog Award

one-blog-lovely-award

How is everyone doing today?  Well I hope.  It looks like a bright and sunny day outside, though I cannot testify to that.  I worked all night and have only just gotten out of bed.

I’ve got some amazing news!  I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Ema Jones!  She writes these amazing posts that feature food from all over the world.  I love to eat and find her recipes mouthwatering! Especially the Swabian Maultaschen recipe!  I would recommend her blog as she has an easy style of writing and a plethora of fascinating topics to talk about.

Rules for winning this award are very simple, here they are:-

1. Thank the person who has nominated you. Provide a link to his/her blog.

2. List the rules and display the award pic.

3. Include 7 facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know that they have been nominated.

5. Display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Seven Facts About Me

1. I work in private security for a living.  I currently support my whole family, as my mom is disabled and my dad retired.  I work nights mostly and sleep during the day like a vampire.

2. I love to write science fiction and fantasy, and especially poetry, though I have to “feel it” to write poetry.  I wrote music in high school.

3. I love all animals, especially cats and panda bears.  Snakes creep me out though, and I’m afraid of spiders and sharks.

4. I’ll eat anything except beets.  I dislike beets intensely.  

5. I self-published a book of poetry a couple of years ago.  It is currently my greatest ambition to have a novel published.  

6. I learned quite young not to care about what people think of me.  I make decisions based on what is best for me and my situation and I say what I think.  Tends to make me unpopular, which is basically par for the course. Ha!

7. I was raised a Baptist Christian.  But the more I go through life, the more Christianity doesn’t make any sense to me.  Sometimes, I think I should become a druid or something, honestly.

Enough about me.  Here are some bloggers that I think are amazing!  You should definitely visit their blogs and check them out.  In no particular order:

  1. Art by Angela Pierce  
  2. I’ve Got Cake
  3. Crowded Earth Kitchen
  4. Random Musings of a Hotel Goddess
  5. Parkadilly
  6. Druid Life
  7. Pardon My Garden
  8. DINNER BANK
  9. Cooking With A Wallflower
  10. Garden of Eady
  11. The Girl In The Little Black Dress
  12. Jayna Grace 
  13. https://2foodwithlove.com
  14. World Around Us
  15. The Geek Anthropologist

Thanks again to Ema Jones for nominating my little blog!  And congrats to all of my nominees!

 

Preservation Techniques – Part 1, Drying

Good morning, everyone! It’s a pleasantly bright and sunny day, here in WS, even if it is a bit hot for my tastes. (I am very much a cold weather person.) I hope you are enjoying your weather, wherever you happen to be.

As the title stated, I’m going to discuss methods of preserving food. I’ll cover each method in an individual post. The lucky method of today is drying.

Dehydration is incredibly versatile and very easy. Whether it involves hanging bunches of herbs or slicing fruits and veggies and putting them in the dehydrator, it’s a “fix it and forget it” kind of method. It great if you have a busy schedule.

If you are using the hang-and-dry method, hang bunches of herbs in a warm, dry, well-ventilated area for several weeks. Dried herbs are best if you crumble them just before you add them to the dish you are preparing.

You can also dry herbs(and just about any thing else) in a dehydrator. Food must be sliced thin in most cases.

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The mandolin. Please be wary of the blade.

This little do-hickey is called a mandolin. Yep, just like the instrument. It slices veg and fruit in uniform slices very quickly.  (For the love of God, Allah, rock ‘n’ roll, or whatever deity you follow, PLEASE be careful. The blade of the mandolin is very sharp and you could cut your finger tips off, if you don’t pay attention. Use the guard at ALL times.)

The dehydrator that I have is just about as simple as it gets. Just plug it in. It uses low heat applied over many hours to remove the moisture and preserve the food. It was warm to the touch and could be moved with my bare hands. As with any kitchen endeavor, take nothing for granted and always exercise caution.

For the purposes of this post, I sliced four potatoes and put them in the dehydrator. In a single layer on each tray, barely touching but not overlapping.

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Potato slices arranged on the dehydrator trays.

Different foods call for different drying times.  Bananas, for example, dry in just 9 hours. The potatoes will take twelve. I started them (and this post!) at about 9 this morning.

Food in the dehydrator must be turned a couple of times during the process. Move upper trays to the bottom and turn left or right. The food will stick slightly to the trays as it’s drying. For best results with the food you are drying, do some research about drying times. Also, some foods need to be treated prior to drying. This usually involves dipping in lemon juice, boiling water, or marinade, in the case of meat. Of course, each food has different requirements for pretreatment.

Why pretreat? It’s to help maintain the color, shape, and/or flavor during the drying process. Potatoes don’t require pretreatment. When they are finished, allow to cool completely and store without crushing, in an airtight jar or sealable plastic bag. Check once a month. Fruit should be packed in a non-aluminum, non-plastic container and kept away from moisture.

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These potato slices are nearly finished. They will be dry and brittle when they are finished. Reconstitute by soaking in water.

Drying is an excellent way to preserve a wide variety of foods for later use.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Look forward to more posts about preservation methods and my beginner’s crochet tutorial, coming soon.

Amber, over and out.

Daily Walks…Not Just For Your Health

How’s everyone doing today?  Well I hope you’re well, but just in case you aren’t, I have something here which I hope will help.

The physical benefits of daily exercise are well-known and accepted.  I take a walk almost every day, regardless of weather. (Unless it’s really bad outside, I mean, a hurricane brewing is a great excuse to curl up with some hot cocoa and your favorite author’s latest book).

Walks are incredibly pleasant especially when the weather is as nice as it was today.  I find that beyond the physical benefits of walking, there are emotional and mental benefits as well.

As a writer, I know how difficult it can be, on top of dealing with real life, to find time, motivation, and inspiration, all at the same time.  Whenever I’m stuck, a 20 minute walk works wonders to help me focus.

There are some great green-ways here in WS where I live.  Pedestrians only.  Well, pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders, no motor vehicles.  There is one quite near my street and it’s a short walk over.  It is quite refreshing to just walk and think.  To remember that there is more to life than struggle and worry.  Just breathe fresh air.  Take in the sun, the rain, the wind and remember the simple pleasure of being alive.

Introducing….

Hello, everyone!
My name is Amber. I just wanted to take a few minutes to  introduce myself and explain what this blog is all about.

It will attempt to act as a guide for any 20-somethings just starting out. Or for anyone starting over.  Or for anyone, period. I’ll discuss topics including but not limited to: gardening, crafts, writing, home remedies, my experience in home ownership, and pet care.

Now,  a bit about me. Why would you listen to anything I have to say? Good question! My answer is this… I am a 20-something, still trying to “make it”. I work full time and just barely cover the bills. I know I don’t have everything figured out, but perhaps, by sharing my experiences, I can help others who are also struggling.
And maybe make some friends along the way.

So, I hope to see you here again and that you find something useful in my words.

Amber, Out.