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More on Water

Have you just realized that you need to drink more water?  Are you one of those walking around with a bottle of water to keep hydrated?  Sorry to inform you, but you are behind the times, and are now part of the problem and not the solution you may have believed.

Our Body

Our bodies are 2/3 water.  Water is critical to the function of all our organs, yet we don’t seem to care where our water comes from.  According to Women’s Health magazine  the Natural Resources Defense Council recently tested 1000 bottles of water and discovered that 1/5 or around 22% of the brands tested contained contaminates above the legal, state of California, public health levels. Arsenic was in all of them.

The plastic that most of the water is stored in can break down under temperatures that can be found in water stored in warehouses or even your own garage and then leach chemicals into your water.  You don’t warm your food in the microwave in plastic or plastic wrap any more, so why drink from the stuff?  Picture chemicals dripping into your food and water.

Both, Dasani, bottled by Coke and Pepsi’s Aquafina are just filtered tap water with added minerals for flavor.  Considering their water is then bottled in plastic, you’d be much better off drinking straight tap water, and much, much better off  drinking filtered tap water.

plastic bottle beach 1

Plastic Bottles

The plastic our water bottles are made from is called polyethylene terepthalate or PET for short.  First of all, PET is produced from crude oil, and it takes a bunch of oil to make it.  Roughly 17 million barrels to produce just water bottles, last year alone.  Now you now why water is more expensive than gasoline.  Secondly, over 90 percent of those 30 Billion water bottles end up in the land fill.  YES, ninety percent!

This next statement isn’t radical, or even liberal, tree hugging maybe a little, but certainly logical.  

STOP USING AND BUYING PLASTIC – NOW!!!  IF YOU CAN’T FIND AN ALTERNATIVE AT LEAST RECYCLE – PLEASE -jughandle

Oli and Ve – Premium Olive Oil & Vinegars

While driving through old town Roswell, Ga, the other day we stopped at a completely unique and totally fun, shop called Oli+Ve Premium Oils & Vinegars.  Jughandle has only recommended a handful of places to our readers.  This is one to pay close attention to.

As the name suggests, the owners are proprietors of fine Olive Oils and Vinegar.  We here on the Farm have been searching high and low for a good consistent  reasonably priced source for olive oil for a long time.  The bonus with Oli + Ve is the amazing collection of  quality balsamic vinegars.

If you click on the link above you will be taken to the shop’s online store where you can purchase and have shipped to your home, their products.  Obviously, you will realize a saving of at least the shipping cost by visiting either of their two stores.  They also have cooking classes and recipes available.

olive oil pics

Olive Oils

The available oils vary by season and range from mild to full intensity flavors.  This being the winter season in the US, the available oils are from Sicily, Australia, Portugal and Chile.  You can sample as many of the oils as you would like to, try that at Kroger, with the recommendation of the owners to go from mild to medium to Robust flavors and then to the flavored oil and finally the vinegars. Prices for the oils are $9.95 for a 200 ml bottle, $17.95 for a 375 ml bottle and $29.95 for the large 750 ml bottle.

All of the offered oils are of the Extra Virgin or EVOO type, which is the highest quality oil available.  While the “single” variety EVOO had 9 different oils to chose from at our visit, there are also a number of Flavored or infused oils ranging in flavor from Basil to Blood Orange, Butter, Cilantro & Roasted Onion, garlic and Eureka Lemon.  To be honest we were a touch overwhelmed by all our options, so we chose to sample just the single variety and a handful of the vinegars on this trip.

Also offered are 4 specialty oils which we chose not to sample this time, but I look forward to on our next visit.  Those are Almond oil, Sesame, Walnut and White Truffle oil.  The first three sell for $18.95 and the White Truffle for $38.95 in a 375 ml bottle, which seem very reasonable to me.

Vinegars

While we were drawn to the shop for it’s olive oil, be became extremely excited about their vinegars.  Where to start?  Well, first of all balsamic vinegar MUST be made in Modena, Italy to be true, balsamic vinegar, just as Champagne is just sparkling wine if it doesn’t come from Champagne France.

Oli+Ve offer dark balsamic vinegars in around 25 different flavors.  I tried, Fig, Dark Chocolate, Blackberry Ginger, and Peach.  There were too many for one visit, but their website will list all of them.  Oh, ALL of the ones I tasted were KILLER.  Some flavors would make great desert sauces, some would be great BBQ sauces.  I tried the Cinnamon Pear on an ice cream sample I was offered. WOW!

Specialty vinegars include, premium white vinegar and red wine vinegar.

Keep in mind that you aren’t buying cheap boiled down vinegar with added sugar.  You are getting barrel aged balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy.

 

Our Purchases

We bought, a 750 ml bottle of the Robust, Organic Mission from California, which had just arrived, for every day use.  I got a 200 ml bottle of Eureka Lemon EVOO for dressings, and a 200 ml bottle of Fig Balsamic vinegar.  My wife, Darlene bought Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar for desert use.  We can’t wait to go back.  As another bonus, we received 6 check offs against our frequent shopper card that will get us a free bottle after 10 checks.  That won’t be hard at all. Oh, oh, oh, you can also bring back your clean bottle to be refilled and receive a $1 off.

I want everyone to frequent this shop, because quality products like these are hard to find and I’d like them to stay in business for a long time.  And make sure you tell them Jughandle’s Fat Farm sent you.  – jughandle

 

 

MVC-050X

 

With all of the insane news we have been bombarded with lately and just the fact that everything in life doesn’t reflect the fairy-tail existence some of us thought we might have while growing up, I thought I’d share my Proof of God with you.

Life is a constant string of, at best, disappointments.  As the old saying goes, “Life is hard and then you die”.  I believe that sums it up nicely.  I can only speak for myself, so don’t harbor the delusion that I might be trying to teach you something here, I’m not, I’m just telling you my story.  Life is hard for many reasons, foremost with me is the fact that people and pets grow old, suffer and die.  The most tragic of all are the people and pets whose life’s are shortened by an accident or senseless act.  Because of the aforementioned facts of life, I have experienced different levels of belief in the creator, from “not sure” to “no frigging way a real god could let that happen” to “that was so beautiful and loving that it has to be an act of a loving God”.

Today is the 56th birthday of my “Proof of God”.  Nancy Darlene Myer, my partner and so many other things, is resting comfortably in bed with our old dog Quag a couple of hours before sunrise on this, the 56th anniversary of her birth.

It hasn’t been easy for Darlene.  Oh, sure, we’ve had some amazing times and travels together.  We even had money early on and enjoyed all the fine things in life.  Time has taken it’s toll on me physically, and unfortunately, my game plan was all physical.  Darlene has learned everything I know and has improved on it.  She is incredibly smart (except for spouse choices) and works her self until she drops.  She looks after my Mother and even physically built my parents house with me in 1995.  She can roof, tile, frame, plumb, do HVAC, electrical, paint, plaster, run trim and build cabinets on a professional level.  Oh yeah, she cuts wine bottles and pours candles for one of our clients and has done over 4,000 of those in the last year and a half.

Darlene, as most know her, is my proof that God does exist.  How else could I have ended up with some one who has known me completely for over 30 years and is still by my side 24/7/365?  Other strong individuals, have departed long ago for greener pastures, with far less time at the helm.  I have know many wonderful women that I was very compatible with, but Darlene was the only one that signed on for the long haul.  It’s not that I haven’t given her a couple of chances to leave.  She turned me down both times, saying that “I didn’t ever think I would get married, then I found you and I changed my mind.  You are stuck with me for at least this life time.”  Now that is dedication.

Nancy Darlene Myer, IS the reason I believe there is a God.  Did I mention we are together 24/7?  Have you met me?  And I love her with all my heart.

Happy Birthday Dar

Consumer ALERT – Product Recall

This is a public service announcement from the Fat Farm because I know some of you believe in “supplements”.  To clarify, Jughandle’s Fat Farm does not believe that we need to supplement our diets when we eat a balanced meal.  That said be warned of the following recall:

The Protica Inc. company of Whitehall, PA has “voluntarily” recalled the following products:

Body Choice – Protein Shots

Nutritional Resources – Protein Wave

ProBalance – Protein to Go French Vanilla Latte

Protein to Go Milk Chocolate Shake

These products may contain Clostridium Botulinum which is a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death. -DO NOT EAT THESE SUPPLIMENTS – RETURN THEM NOW!

Please people eat naturally, buy organic healthy foods and prepare them yourself. – jughandle

For additional information click here.

I’m 60 – it’s a gift

This is being published at 12:01 August 21, 2012.  If I’m still alive, I made it!

Some would say “so what” lots of people turn 60 and I would agree since most of my high school friends are 60 this year.  I almost waved this milestone off with a shrug but I need to vent a little and say thanks to a lot of people and God.

No fewer than 5 times in the last 60 years has my life looked like it was finished.  At 24 my doctor gave me only 5% chance of seeing 30. Once I was caught in an avalanche high in the rock mountains, with the only person who could save me sliding down next to me.  Another notable time, I fell asleep while driving home late at night down Lake Forest.  My car left the road on one of the only places that there were no trees.  I jerked the wheel to the left and stomped on the brake but got the gas instead.  I recovered in time to slide to a stop sideways 5 feet from the Arlington Cemetery gate.  Thank you God.

I have been able to meet statesmen and important people and have had great partners in business and in marriage.  I have been blessed to be mentored by amazing coaches who’ve pushed me beyond what I thought was possible, giving of their time and life to improve mine, unselfishly.  I’ve had a family who has given their love and help to me and would do anything for me only to have me pray that I’ll never be more of a burden to them than I am right now.

I’ve worked with some of the smartest most talented people in the world and I know what it is like to have my legs propel me into the air and fly, if only for a brief moment. I’ve loved and been loved deeply.  I’ve been hurt and seen what I thought was the bottom, only to be surprised and to find a greater happiness than before.

I have had a great life, but… there it is, the “but”.  I only “but”, because deep down inside I wonder why I was saved to reach the ripe old age of 60, while others I’ve known to be great people were not.  I need to know.  I need to make a difference.  Is it unfinished work? I’ve always had a feeling that I was supposed to do something lasting.  It has been important to me to give back, to thank those who have had faith in me, who helped me learn and survive.  I want to show the world I’m worthy, a chosen one not a waste of time and talent.  Not a story of wasted “potential”.

Ah, but there he is, the little man over in the corner whispering to come closer.  He looks like my father who taught me to respect others and to study life and religion so that I  could make up my own mind what to do with my life, who believed that when he died he would go to the great void.  A man who hated his job, but gave up his love of music to raise a family and to be able to give them what they needed in life.  Lesson learned, don’t work for a large corporation.  No, wait.  It now looks like my mother who at 83 believes we are already in hell, or hell’s waiting room, purgatory.  That could explain a lot.  Turns out the man in the corner is me.  As I get closer, his whispers turn into shouts. “Hey, dumb-ass, ever think that you aren’t so damn special, maybe God doesn’t work that way, hell, maybe there isn’t a God and this all is just a huge cosmic joke on you.”

NOT

There are too many beautiful unexplained things to have life be just a random event, right?  My immediate problem is that I never thought I’d make it to 60.  I’m a self employed cabinet maker with two bad hips, my only kidney full of stones, a right hand that shakes so much I can’t write my own name and no balls, with no health insurance or retirement plan other than to not make it to 60.  All of that in a society that worships the instant kitchen cabinet from Ikea and has no desire for craftsmanship or durability and equates someone’s ability to make a beautiful piece of furniture to the wage of a McDonald’s worker at the second window.  Great planning fool.

In other words, I’ve got no plan for tomorrow, or the next day for that matter.  Guess I’d better get busy.  Thanks for letting me vent – jughandle

 

 

Basic White Bread By James Beard Recipe

James Beard is a legend in the food world.  The yearly “James Beard Awards” are the Oscars of the culinary business.  I haven’t yet tried Mr. Beard’s white bread recipe but I though some of you might be interested. – jughandle

Basic White Bread

By James Beard

Recipe

James Beard’s Basic White Bread Makes 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves

 

Step 1

  • In a small bowl mix the yeast and the 1/4 cup warm water; add the sugar, stir well, and set aside until proofed. It is proofed when fermentation is apparent: the mixture will swell and small bubbles appear on the surface. (If it doesn’t proof at all, it means the yeast is not fresh or it is dead.)
  • Step 2
  • In a small saucepan heat the milk with the salt and stir in the butter until it melts. Set aside to cool until it is no warmer than the yeast mixture.
  • Step 3
  • Put 2 cups of the flour in a large mixing bowl and stir in the milk mixture. Beat well with a wooden spatula, add the yeast mixture, and continue beating the dough until it is smooth, adding an additional cup of flour to make a firm dough.
  • Step 4
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and begin the kneading process, which evenly distributes the fermenting yeast cells through the dough.
  • Step 5
  • There are several kneading methods, but the basic one is to flour the dough and your hand lightly, then push the heel of your hand down into the dough and away from you. Fold the dough over, give it a quarter turn, and push down again. Repeat pushing, folding and turning until the motion becomes rhythmic.
  • Step 6
  • Knead for about 10 minutes, kneading in additional flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky, and blisters form on the surface.
  • Step 7
  • To test whether the dough has been kneaded enough make an indention in it with your fingers; it should spring back. If blisters form on the surface of the dough and break, this is another sign that the kneading is sufficient.
  • * Note: If you have a heavy-duty electric mixer with a dough-hook attachment, knead the dough with the hook and finish it off on the board.
  • Step 8
  • Butter a large bowl, transfer the dough to it, and turn the bowl until the dough is well coated with butter on all sides. Cover the dough with a dish towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until it is doubled in bulk. A good, warm, draft-free place is inside your room temperature oven.
  • Step 9
  • To test further if the dough has risen properly, make an indentation in it with two fingers: if the dough does not spring back, then it is ready.
  • Step 10
  • Butter a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan, or two pans that are about 8x4x2 inches. Punch the dough down with your fist to deflate it; transfer it to a floured board and knead it well for about 3 minutes. Pat it into a smooth round or oval shape and let it rest for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Step 11
  • Then form into 1 large or two small loaves, by shaping the dough into an oval the length of your bread pan, then gently stretching, rounding, and plumping it in the palms of your hands, tucking the edges underneath and pinching them together.
  • Step 12
  • Lift carefully; drop the dough into the pan or pans and smooth out. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise again in a warm draft-free place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it is double in bulk.
  • Step 13
  • Preheat the oven to 400 deg F. Brush the egg wash over the top of the dough.
  • Step 14
  • Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes; reduce the heat to 350 dF and bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer, until the crust is well browned and the bread sounds hollow when removed from the pan and tapped on the bottom with the knuckles.
  • Step 15
  • If you like a crusty loaf, remove it from the pan about 5 to 10 minutes before the end of the baking time and let it finish baking on the oven rack. It will get brown and crusty all over.
  • Step 16
  • Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool on a rack before slicing.
  • The bread may be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator after it has cooled. If you seal it in a bag before it is completely cooled, the crust will become soft. Stored bread will keep about 1 week. It also freezes well if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and sealed in a plastic bag and can be kept for up to 3 months.

 

Things You’ll Need

1pk Yeast; active, dry

1/4c Water; warm (110-115 degs)

2ts Sugar

1c Milk

3ts Salt

3tb Butter

3 3/4c Flour; All-purpose

————–EGG WASH——————

1md Egg White; beaten slightly

-in 1 tbspn warm water.

via Basic White Bread By James Beard Recipe | Garden Guides.

I’m Back

Dear Friends and followers,

I have taken a self imposed hiatus for the last couple of months due to mental and physical health.  My mental health problems are most assuredly because of my physical health.  I am roughly 2 weeks away from my 60th birthday and during the last month or two I wasn’t complete sure that I would be around for that milestone event.

Because I am completely aware that I am not the only human with problems and that my problems aren’t as bad as some other people’s, I won’t dwell on them.  Instead I’m going to talk about how to get through the mental end of the thing which, of course, is really the hard part anyway.

You can have a hang nail and if you mentally let it get you down you can get to a dark place that makes everything bad.  Conversely, you could have stage 4 bone cancer and have the mental out look of an Olympian and be in a better place than the hang nail victim.

Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying: “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another while maintaining a good attitude.”

The Navy Seals who have to endure the most grueling training program known to exist say that the key to getting through any problem is to not to look too far into the future, seeing all the pain you have left to receive, it is to focus on the moment and survive each minute, because “the only easy day was yesterday”.

I believe those two statement pretty much sum it up.  “Life”,as I paraphrase Yogi Berra,” is 90% mental and the other half is physical”  We all know what Yogi means and he is complete correct.  We have to find a way, to reach down and summon up from the deepest reaches of our psyche the effort to go on, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.  If we can do that, we can find a way to contribute to society and make our time on earth worthwhile.

By the way, you can’t get this crap from a book, or by watching TV, you have to find it within yourself.

 

Thanks for following my blog,

Jerry Jughandle Wooden, jr.

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