Why is Fun Food so Damn Bad?

We all have our favourite comfort foods, our go-to-crowd-pleaser meals for gatherings and  special events, our must-have bits and pieces (pickled herring at Christmas, ugh), and our signature, day-to-day dishes. The signature dishes are generally easy to make, nutritious, and don’t take a lot of time to make. The fun meals, the ones that make us stand out in the crowd and bring massive raves from folks who taste them however, are the ones that might just likely be the food that adds to our demise.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not preaching here. I love things slathered in garlic butter, thick sirloin steaks on the bbq, with a good 1/4 inch slab of fat and intense marbling. I love gravy, especially on Yorkshire puddings and mashed potatoes. Pizza. Gyros. Chevapi. Burek. I could go on for hours.

My partner signed up for a bbq challenge at work on Feb 14, and it was her job to create a wicked sampler plate done on the bbq. She chose to make Onion Bombs. These are wicked. TRUST ME!

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Fresh off the BBQ!

 

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Beautiful!

All you do is take a pound of lean ground beef, a pound of ground pork, a whole bunch of spices (salt, pepper, paprika, Slap Ya Mama (available in hot sauce stores in Ottawa and the outlying area. Some stores, such as Pepper Palace no longer carry it due to price confliction with Amazon) basil, rosemary, Vegeta, cayenne, etc…whatever you have in the house). Hand mix the meats and spices, and roll into meatballs. Then, take a large number of onions (we prefer red), cut the tops and bottoms off, and peel them back to make onion shells. Next, put a meatball between 2 shell halves. Once that is done, wrap each shell in 2-3 pieces of raw bacon, hold together with tooth-pics soaked in water, then slather in bbq sauce and bbq, basting with more sauce.

The result is pure heaven.

 

 

 

The expulsion from the onion bombs however, is disheartening.

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Ugh….so much flavour, and yet, so bad.

Fat. Lots and lots of fat. Sure, fat bleeds out as you cook, but how much remains? Yeah, we all need a percentage of fat in our daily diet, but not like this.

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The morning after, congealed fat.

We both had onion bombs after the bbq competition, but it was one each (not a lot of leftovers) for 2 days. We went heavy on whole food/plant based add-ons to go with them, to try and balance out our meat consumption.

We are doing pretty good at maintaining a whole food/plant based diet, but we slip sometimes. Pizza one night, then 2 weeks later, sirloin steaks on the bbq, with lots of fat. It’s not an easy process to follow, when we both are over 40, and have those years of mindless consumption behind us, but we try.

If you are interested in eating better, you can check these websites and videos out. They really do give wicked alternatives to meat. Trust me on this…..I liked veggies before, but wasn’t a fan of the “salad with dinner” bullshit options. Faux tuna salad made with cashews? Wicked!

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Make tuna melts…brilliant!

 

Avocado and tomato on toast for breakfast? Frigging brilliant!

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I slice my tomato thinly, at work. people are curious, and jealous.

Vegan Mac n’ Cheese? Not too shabby (I went too heavy with the sauce). No picture for this one, as the picture and reality do not equate. The taste however, is pretty damn good.

Lentil Bolognese with sweet potato pasta?  Heaven!!! (I also added tofu “spaghetti”. Wow. Yum).

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Even the boy enjoys this. Weird….

 

Vegan/Paleo potato skins? Hell, yes! (i’m becoming a fan of sweet potato, since there is no maple syrup in this).

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Yummly.co…thank you!!

BBQ cauliflower salad with ranch dressing?  Hell, even my partner loved this!

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Really damn good. Seriously.

So, yeah…..feeling sluggish and bloated? Want to do something for your body. Give them a shot.

If you want to learn more, and always take everything with a grain of salt, you can check out these videos, usually found on Netflix or YouTube:

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

Forks over Knives

A couple of websites with wicked and FREE recipes:

http://cleanfooddirtygirl.com/

 

 

http://www.yummly.co/how-it-works/

http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/

Don’t get me wrong, we will continue to bbq meat and make beef jerky in the dehydrator; albeit on a much smaller level, but we are evermore being mindful of what we as humans consume, and the damage it does to the planet as a whole, and ourselves.

Consume wisely.

Categories: Bad Food, Clean Food Dirty Girl, Eat Well, Fat or Fit, Food, Food & Dining Reviews, Food can Kill, Good Food, Joe Cross reboot, Knowledge, Learning, Mindful Consumption, Plant Based, Reboot, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole Food, Whole Food/Plant Based, Yummly.co.uk | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A day at the cabin (part 2) FIRE!!!

After some post-lunch chill time, we got down to completing some challenges: making fire. No, not with a lighter or matches. Old School methods: the Ferro Rod and a Flint and Steel kit.

Every other month, I receive the APOCABOX

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2 of my 3 boxes (so far)!

from Creek Stewart. Creek is a Survival Instructor, Survival Host and author, as well as running the Willow Haven Outdoor center in central Indiana. Just FYI, I’ve never met him and have no affiliation with him, except to receive the box I mentioned earlier.

There are literally hundreds of subscription boxes out there, but  we can’t get a lot of them in Canada. Why not? They include firearms parts and accessories which are mostly restricted here.

Besides, when SHTF, and batteries run out, lighters die and gasoline gets extremely scarce, how do you plan to stay warm, build a shelter and feed your family? Trust me, having the upper receiver for a weapon you can’t legally own, or a thirty round magazine will not help you.

On the other hand, good old fashioned knowledge and know how will get you a lot further along.

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Flint and Steel, Ferro Rod

This month’s APOCABOX (February 2017) is titled IGNIS, and is all about fire making. The December 2016 box was titled TAIGA, and was based on Russian trappers and hunters, and featured the tools and kit they use to hunt and survive (it even included a non-commercial trapping hatchet, based on Russian design). Pretty cool, USABLE gear in every box.

We started out by me finding, then clearing out the fire pit while somebody stayed warm and cozy in the cabin, reading in her Adirondack chair. How did that happen?

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It’s cold out, and there are Eastern Coyotes after me!

Next, we charred the char rope (furniture piping from a craft store) that came in the Flint and Steel kit, in our cook stove.

 

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Charring the char rope

Neither of us had done this before, and I admit, I think I cocked it up a bit by opening the tin to look at it, which made it far more brittle and less likely to catch fire. It was the same colour as depicted in the demonstration video, but not as robust. I now know for next time.

With the Ferro Rod, all we had to do was scrape the black matte covering off before striking. In the early 1900’s, the  Ferro Rod was created by an Austrian inventor, while percussion fire-starting has been around since the dawn of time. From the Iron Age forward, Flint and Steel (until matches and lighters) was the most common method of creating sparks.

I was going to upload videos of this fun, but I’m using the basic (free) package, which does not support videos. Don’t worry; if you want to watch us light fires, you can see them on  my YouTube Channel. It’s brand new, and will deal with things talked about on this blog.

Stay safe, stay tuned, and most of all, get out there! Adventure Awaits!!!!!!

 

Categories: Cabin, Hiking, Knowledge, Learning, Off grid food, Respect the Old Ways, Science, survival | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A day at the cabin (part 1)

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On the way in!

Sometimes, in the dead of winter, you get 2, 3 or 4 really kick-ass days that let you know that the world isn’t freezing you to death. You know the ones; where, after a week or more of relentless snow dumps, rotated with ice storms and more snow dumps, you get a forecast of “Holy Shit, it’s gonna be 7° C (which in real terms is almost 45° F), so we should go to the cabin and chill and stuff”.

It’s like falling in love, or seeing Guided By Voices play live as often as you want, hanging with Bob, Doug and the lads. It’s pretty freaking amazing.

Side-note: Nobody asked me if I wanted to switch from Imperial to Metric, and I’m still traumatized by the whole event. Would you prefer to hear it’s 17° or 64°? I know which I prefer. Metric blows goats. The warmer it is, the higher the numbers should be, FFS!!!!!! Anyhow.

This weekend is one of those wickedly brilliant times. Family Day weekend, 19 Feb 2017.

We had originally thought of taking the dogs with us, spend the night, have a blast. But what we did not know was the condition of the way into the cabin once we got to the end of the cleared road. It’s a 2km hike in, once you stop at the school bus turn-around circle. In lots and lots of snow.

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Riding the snow-shovel down a hill on the way into the cabin.

Sure, it’s sometimes packed down by ski-doos or ATV’s, but ya never know. So we left the amigos behind today, and made a half-day trip of it for us. Just to see the Burrow, tell Her we loved Her, and to attempt a few challenges.

Don’t get me wrong here; the cabin is just that, a cabin. Not a beach house with hydro and running water. It’s completely off-grid, as are the other cabins around us. It’s a brilliant adventure, even when we can drive in via the goat paths that lead to Her. But today, after all the crazy weather of late, we did not know if the dogs could actually walk through whatever snow was there. A Bassador, short and stocky, a Lurcher with long, spindly legs, and a Spanish Galga; same legs as the Lurcher. It might have been a total disaster.

We hit the road, drove for an hour, with a coffee pit stop, arrived at the stopping point for wheeled vehicles, geared up and headed forward.

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That’s a lot of snow for a plastic kid’s shovel!

Another side-note: I’m recovering, still, from a mis-diagnosed broken ankle from over 2 years ago. 2 surgeries later, I’m just recently at 8% Dorsi-flexion….which is at the bottom level of normal human walking range. My PT consists of (trying to) walk like a normal person; without limping. Fun. Not. Snowshoes however, make life a whole shitload easier.

We managed the entry hike in 45 minutes (I think it’s mostly more downhill than on the way out).

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Yeah, that’s the BBQ! Sigh.

Once we actually made it to the cabin proper, we stripped off snowshoes and jackets, and got down to the fun task of shoveling the accumulated snow from the steps and part of the deck, so we could actually get to the door and open it. Trust me, it was a bit of a chore!

Once enough snow had been cleared away, we greeted the Burrow as we usually do, with compliments and expressions of love.

We chatted with a few neighbours who either skied in or walked in, and got the 19th century cook stove going….after I had to dig out the chopping stump to build up our firewood supply for the day, dig out the fire pit for a couple of really cool and uncommon fire-starting challenges (more on that in part 2) and my partner snow shooed a path to the outhouse. Good times!

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Re-hydrated gruel!

We had lunch, a first test of a real dehydrated meal (we have made jerky, dried apples, kale chips, dried peppers, etc; but never anything substantial). It rocked. Dehydrated ground pork, corn, chickpeas (garbonzo beans), rice and separate salsa to add flavour.

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Dried Gruel!!

Yes, the video I watched showed how to make everything together in the dehydrator, but I  didn’t totally trust the presenter on his YouTube channel. No I won’t name him, or others who give shit or dangerous info, in this post. That is a totally different blog post. Just be careful what you learn from YouTube. Lots of dangerously stupid people have computers……

Lunch consisted of 2 home-dehydrated beef jerky (bottom round roast) flavours, spicy and curried, dehydrated Mexican, cheese, dehydrated apples, trail mix, chocolate and water. Nothing spectacular, but frigging amazing.

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The sides.

As it’s February in Canada, water for dish-washing was provided by melting snow in the over-sized kettle. Gotta love simplicity. Dishes were washed in the main room, where the stove is, giving us a bit more warmth. Water was disposed of outside in the snow, away from the cabin, and certainly not down the sink as we do in good weather. No point in messing around with a frozen septic bay, is there?

With the fire dwindling in the stove, we got dressed again, to head out and commence our fire-starting challenges, which will appear in A day at the Cabin (part 2). Prepare to be amazed and amused, folks, because now is when everything gets pretty damned wicked.

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Curious? You should be!

 

 

 

 

Categories: Cabin, Cabin food, Camping food, Jerky, Knowledge, Learning, Off grid food, Respect the Old Ways, survival | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reagan On The Road ( Feasting in Split, 2015)

Boo

I’m Boo

Hello, again! It’s me, Reagan! You know, the handsome-as-hell Bassador, regaling you with tails of food, frolic and adventure whilst travelling (mostly food, to be honest). I left off last time with details of a wonderful meal in Zagreb, Croatia. I pick up the tale, the next day, (21-22 Dec 2015) where we had our first meals in Split. Don’t get me wrong, Lady and I (we left the old man back in Canada, at a lovely kennel) had some munchies here and there, picked up some staples from the grocery store, had a drink or two on the main promenade in Split, but we really needed sleep. So we did. The next day, however, we had sights to see and food to sample! So we did!

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Whole Latte Love!

After sight-seeing, Lattes, and pointing out parts of Split to Lady (I was here on R&R during the latter part of the Balkan war), we needed solid food. Something that Lady could eat, as she has a Gluten intolerance (no wheat, rye, barley, oats or spelt). I also have an egg intolerance. That, and what self-respecting Dog would eat a mushroom? Seriously!!??!?

 

 

 

We found exactly what we needed inside the walls of the Diocletian Palace.

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One of many entrance to the Diocletian Palace in Split.

What’s not to love about Cafe-Bistro NoStress??                                                                             It’s all there in the name!

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Cafe-Bistro NoStress, Split, Croatia.

After explaining the food allergies to the wicked waiter, who let me sit at the big people table instead of on the ground, we ordered wine and a starter. Who doesn’t love red wine and a meat/cheese platter (charcuterie board)? I mean, other than Vegan folk?

While we sipped and nibbled, Lady plotted out our further adventures. I would have helped, but I lack opposable thumbs and to be honest, English isn’t my strong point. Howling and sniffing are where my skills lie.

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A wonderful view of a square in the Palace, from the Bistro NoStress.

That and I kept getting off the chair to piddle and sniff other dogs. Hey, when in Rome, right?

Our lunches came, Cabbage Rolls for me, and Lady had homemade sausage and sauerkraut.

We chatted, Lady plotted, she rubbed my belly a few times, then it was off for more sight-seeing, a nap for us, then out to soak up some night life and have dinner…but that’s another story!

More to follow. just be patient. I can’t use the computer when the old man is around. He gets weird. No idea why.

For more travel details, check out the blog Lady writes, Steph The Wayward Pilgrim.

 

Categories: Balkans, Croatia, Europe, Food, Food & Dining Reviews, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

About Me. And other shit.

I’m a Luddite. Plain and simple things work best, for me. Plain and simple. Yes, I have a penis, but that does not mean I can rebuild a car engine, frame a house, program a computer/design a web page or build a server. I like things, the simpler, the better. Tech has a place, but for me, it’s not the be all / end all. Common television annoys me. I like things that make me think. Books rock.

Having said that however, I have skills, tolerances, abilities (can build an entire second floor of Ikea furniture in under 24 Heineken). I can chop wood without losing a digit or limb. So far. I can for some reason, understand how pallet up-cycling works, and make a deck and other workable items from them.

I will share my partner’s blog with you; why not? If you are reading this you are probably reading hers as well. We love simplifying our lives, and a little slice of land out in the country makes it possible. Visit her blog; it’s quite good. http://www.tinycabinbigdreams.com

I have a penchant for my club, of which I am merely a cog in; Filipino Martial Arts (FMA).

I support Reduce, Reuse, Rescue.

Be polite to everyone you meet, but always have a plan to secure your family and friends in case of of any disaster, either man-made or natural.

I hope that something; anything in this blog helps if it comes to that.

Except the restaurant reviews. Those are the express beliefs and opinions of my dog, Reagan. As he lacks opposable thumbs, he’s probably a bit dodgy. Just saying.

Without People, You’re Nothing.

 – Joe Strummer

Categories: Cabin, Knowledge, Learning | Tags: | 1 Comment

Food! OMG OMG OMG!! I LOVE Food! And sleeping. And protecting my pack from squirrels!

Boo

Your host, squirrel fighter and guide to great eats everywhere. And snoofles. You may call me Boo.

Hello. For those of you who don’t know me (your loss), I’m Reagan. While it’s obvious I am a dog, let me assure you that I am the most handsome 10 year old Bassador out there. I’ve been with my papa for that whole time (he rescued me, and we’ve had grand adventures), and with Lady for 8 years.

My contribution to this wee Blog is simple. I’m going to review places where we eat. Don’t worry, as I am a master of disguise, and no-one ever guesses I shouldn’t be there!  Note: As of the weekend of 4/5 February 2017, all food reviews will be filed under Reagan On The Road. Please enjoy them! First up: Dining in Split, Croatia.

December 21st, 2015: Restoran PLUS ZAGREB. (CROATIA)

Last month, Lady and I left the 40-something (closer to 50 in reality) funny looking kid at the kennel and hopped on a plane to the Balkans. Yup, travel food is even better than local food! We overnighted from Montreal to Zagreb, Croatia and suffered quietly through airplane food (this was better than cardboard, but not by much). We skipped food at the airport (way too similar to gruel), hopped the shuttle from the airport to the main bus terminal to get tickets to Split, and then sought out something decent to nosh on.

Now, don’t forget, Lady has a food allergy; she can’t eat wheat, gluten, rye, barley, etc. That disqualifies her from all the little mom ‘n pop bakery kiosks that are everywhere. Too bad, because Burek is to die for. More on Burek later!

Bus Station Diner

Food; 30 feet from the “Sexy Shop”. Weirdos.

We wandered a bit, and then found a very likely candidate for lunch, a cafeteria-style diner, just up the steps from the “Sexy Shop”. Yes, a porn store at the bus station. Meh.

After checking out the menu, Lady and I chatted with the staff, who wonderfully fiddled with the daily offerings to make sure Lady could have lunch. Viola: 2 chicken breasts (from the grill, never touching the gravy on the steam line), fried cabbage, a regional version of scalloped potatoes and a very simple salad (which included a form of pickled beets). A note; the salads encountered across the region were simple, hearty and served with oil and vinegar dressing. You could actually taste the veggies. Not sure why you would want to. Vegetables are what my food eats, but I digress. Lady raved, so it’s all good.

 

 

Food for Lady

Gluten Free!

For myself, the choice was a no-brainer: Cevapi. Food of the gods. It had been almost 12 years since I had this “belly-rub, snoofle and soup-bone”(hey, all heaven to a pupster like me) treat.

Cevapi!!!

Food of the Gods. Kneel!! Hail!!

Cevapi (or Cevapcici) is simple: mixed ground meat (beef, lamb, sometimes pork), spices, grilled to a very warm and moist (juices) state, served on a very fluffy pita-like flatbread known as Somun, with raw white onions, Ajvar (a medium-spicy vegetable paste – which replaces ketchup), a bit of salt and in some locations, with a soft, house-made cheese similar in taste to Buffalo Mozzarella, but with the consistency of thick sour cream or cottage cheese. Heaven on earth. Better than cat litter-box treats! Not by much, but enough!

All this food, including white wine, Orangina, and a Karlovachko beer for 94 Kuna. Which, in real money is $18.62.

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November 2015: Rockin’ Johnny’s in Kanata.

Last weekend, I took Lady there for a breakfast treat. We were both up early, for some odd reason, oh yeah, I had to piddle, and it’s not cool if I do it in the house. I donned my disguise-of-the-day (looking like a 40-something guy on crutches with nerd glasses and bad hair) and off we went!

Rockin’ Johnny’s is as you can guess, a throwback to a 1950’s diner, with kitch on the walls and great music. A nice mix of young and old, and the fantastic smell of grease (light, not offensive), spuds, coffee and best of all, meat! You know the kind with many names, Sausage, Ham, Bacon, etc…Papa says it all comes from one single animal, but we all know the old man drinks and he was on pain killers for almost 7 months. I’m calling “bunk” on that one!

Our lovely server Gladys came around, provided coffee and took our orders. Lady and I perused the local newspapers (well, I looked at the pictures, as my English skills are not that great) and chatted while our order was being made. And when it arrived, it was everything I could have wished for!!

THREE kinds of MEAT! Homefries! Toast! Best of all, NO EGGS or silly vegetables. Who eats mushrooms anyway??

Lady had the Johhny Breakfast, with Gluten free toast. Both meals were good old fashioned food, and together with 2 endless cups of coffee (which made me have to piddle again) came to just over 20$ with tip.

Out on a weekend morning, and it’s rainy or windy? Try Rockin’ Johnny’s for solid food and great atmosphere. Give a good nod to the older fella near the back, the gent with the wavy dark hair and Blue Suede Shoes. He deserves it.

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The Johnny special!

Categories: Food, Food & Dining Reviews, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The day the Gatineau Line fell (part 1)

(Ported over from a page on this blog in 2015, when I had no clue how to blog properly)

It all starts somewhere. Some event that brings chaos and other big words. Take this as you will, but remember, a metaphor is no replacement for being even remotely prepared. You are the first responder for your family. Keep them safe.

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The Day the Gatineau Line Fell (Part 1)

Shit. It never fails. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did. My cell rang bedside, 0240, 16 October 2015. “Really? WTF”, I thought.  The number was vaguely familiar, but when I heard my supervisors’ voice and her statements, I wished I never answered the call; but if I hadn’t, you would not be reading this:

“Bob”? “Yes, Diane, uh, wait one, ugh, what’s up”? Long pause. “Bob, you know your interest in odd shit; undead, camping, homesteading, prepping, and, um, fuck me, uh, zombies”?  WTF, AGAIN? “Yes, Diane. Why a call now, at this time of night? I have enough problems with the Frat House behind me”.

“Bob, there seems to be a problem just over the river in Gatineau”. “Nobody seems to be able to put a name to it, but it looks like you were right, in some messed up way”.

I had yet to clear cobwebs; trying to maneuver a dog off my one good leg while trying to not wake my partner. “Ma’am, why are you calling me? No-shit answer, please”.

Very long pause. “Bob, from what Higher has shared down to us, there seems to have been some sort of outbreak; I don’t know what, but our channels tell us that people are not dying after being shot by police; worse yet, hospitals are reporting folks who are VSA, yet get up to attack staff”.  Heavy Silence.

“Bob, we are calling a Fan-Out, all pers to report to the office” “Gatineau Police, Ottawa Police and the RCMP have requested Canadian Forces assistance, Aid to Civil Power”.  A very long pause on my end. Very damn long. “Bob”? “Bob”? “This is an order from on High”. My reply was simple; likely even ingrained from the age of 12. “If this is what you describe it as, and if this isn’t some kind of joke, and IF it’s what I think it is, going into the office is the worst thing we could do. Let Higher set up a response team in Petawawa. It’s 2 hours away; it will give them and us a chance”. Pause. “Diane, if you or I go into the office, we’ll be dead in less than 12 hours”. “All it takes is one person who’s been bitten, IF this real, and the entire building is lost. Hell, the office is less than 10 minutes away from Gatineau, we have no way to defend ourselves; it’ll take days for the Chain of Command to issue us our weapons and appropriate ammo. Jeez, we are not a line Unit”.

“Give me an hour to get my shit together, dress, check bus schedules, see what the News has to say and let Stephanie know what’s up, then I’ll get back to you”. A very pregnant pause from Diane, then “Is it possible?” “Is it real”? I told her I didn’t know; I’ll get in touch in an hour.

I never spoke to her again. I tried over the next few hours and days, both cell and work phones. Nothing.

You do the math.

I swung my messed up leg out of bed, checked CBC News, and didn’t like what I saw. Shabby video footage, from reporters, choppers, people-on-the-street. All the same. None of it good. I checked CTV News. Same, but different footage. Footage of people apparently rioting. Footage of people attacking everyone else that wasn’t like them. The last CTV feed I saw showed a woman being bitten, screaming, being attacked by more people who did not appear to be behaving normally. The camera-person rushed in for a closer shot, and the light of the camera or breathing, or noise caught their attention. The very last scene showed teeth, heralded screams from the camera operator, then snow.

I shook Steph, gently, then more so. She looked at me with sleep confusion, blurred and blundered; “wha, ugh, hey, what, why”?

I replied simply: “Check your phone news feeds. Looks like an outbreak of some kind in Gatineau; people are biting one another, dying and getting up again. This is for real”.

Her reply, simple and perfect: “Seriously”? “You serious”? “Your hobby real”? “Shit”.

I kissed her quickly as she got out of bed and stumbled off to the john. Damn well figures. Something I’ve thought about, readied myself for for years, studied via pop culture and fellow fans, discussed over many beers long into the morning actually happens; not far away, not to be watched from a great distance via CNN or CBC or BBC or Al Jazeera, but right literally in my backyard. Less than 45 minutes away, depending on traffic.

I swung back to my side of the bed and reached for my crutches. Of course it has to happen now, when I’m a tripod, waiting another couple of weeks to see if I can start standing again, then the slow process of learning to properly walk, move and eventually run, hopefully. All because the Military medical system missed that I was walking on a broken ankle for a year.

So, despite everything I knew, thought I knew, and the steps I had taken to ensure we had some semblance of a chance in case of a disaster or emergency, I was no longer an asset. I was a liability, something to slow everyone else down.

That’s not even the worst part. My son lives an hour and a half south of Ottawa. I can’t drive right now; drive like I need to, to get him, fight like I need to, to protect him.  I can’t even properly protect my current location, can’t drive, can’t contribute, except for words. I can’t get to family or friends in various areas near Ottawa. Not alone. I just seriously hope folks I know were listening when I shared tidbits of “odd info” and Zombie related lore. Because right now, we are all we have. We are survivors, as long as we can get our shit together.

Echoing Steph and her perfectly simple musing of not even two minutes ago, “Seriously”?

More to come…..if I’m not bitten. Stay safe, Ottawa. God save you, Gatineau.

Categories: wwz, zombies, zombocalypse | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dehydrating Yogurt. Seriously.

So, we had chatted about a dehydrator for a while. Made sense. Went and checked them out at Cabela’s in Ottawa, not knowing much more than we had Googled. We lucked out. The staff member we spoke to in that department owns a dehydrator (either that or she talks a damn good game, but we suspect she actually owns one). Zero-pressure to buy. All questions and weird-Harold queries were answered.

We learned that a very popular thing to dehydrate is yogurt. Yeah, you heard me. That stuff. Sunday morning breakfast, mixed with granola or trail mix. That Stuff. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really cotton to the idea, but smiled and nodded. My partner, on the other hand……she was all over it like a hiker on a mountain in the ADK ’46 range. Which she is. Oh, and she has completed all of them, and is currently working on the Saranac 6. And travelling the world between romps in NY State. You can read more about her here: stephthewaywardpilgrim.com.

Turns out, as common sense would dictate, that taking yogurt out for a walk in the middle of July or late January does not usually work out. It either goes off due to heat or freezes; leaving it as dead weight in your pack. And you don’t want to carry more than you need. You also really don’t want to eat spoiled or frozen dairy due to the result of you having a bad episode of gut rot, or worse, the squirts. While on a mountain. In the high heat of July. Or the other one, the low lows of January. On a mountain. You get the drift, especially if you are a lover of grand trails, the outdoors, survival, homesteading, Military or living off-grid. You can read more about our travels off grid here: tinycabinbigdreams.com. I digress.

20170121_0930321

Before, 2 of 4 trays.

I cracked the tub of yogurt and spread it out over parchment paper, put it on the racks and slapped it in the dehydrator. There are literally thousands of variations on dehydrating yogurt, but I went with the simplest one: Spread it thinly on parchment paper, dehydrate for 4-6 hours (depending on which guide you follow and at which temperature you choose per the guide), and flip it off the parchment paper for the last hour or two.

20170121_1840351

After, bark

I didn’t know what to expect exactly; either fruit leather (like a fruit roll-up), or fruit bark (paper thin, fragile and crumbly). We got the latter, which isn’t a bad thing at all. The only drawback is that you have to put it in a solid plastic container (or something like that) instead of a plastic sandwich bag (to prevent it becoming powder in your pack).

Turns out, it’s pretty good, if a bit sweet for my tastes (I prefer plain, thick yogurt, where I can add what I want and control the extra chemicals and sugars, to a degree, going in). This is another item we will be doing more of in the future.

 

Categories: ADK, Back packing, Dehydrated yogurt, Food, Hiking | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hunting, Sustenance, & Fair Play

My partner and I like meat. Rare Beef, Bison, Duck, Moose, Elk, Boar, Goat, Lamb, Pig, Fish (mostly just Whitefish / Cod, Haddock, Pollock, PC Shrimp,  for me. Think Fish n’ Chips in England. My partner likes other kinds. You know; the fishy kind. Weird).

We know that not everyone is into that. It’s all good. Eat and be well; make the best choices you can.

Neither of us hunt for sport or sustenance. I have experience hunting two-legged animals that are a threat to my Country and my team-mates. Different thing all together.

I believe I could hunt for sustenance; providing for my family. It doesn’t mean I’ll enjoy it. What happens if I only injure the animal? (Yes, I know, I know. I’m just throwing out a “what if” / movement / wind / scent / scare, changes everything at the very last second, as my breathing slows, my finger warms and begins the caressing squeeze, sound ends, and we become one). I know what happens. I follow, and provide peace, with many apologies, learn how not to have this happen again. And then I cry. because they cry, feel pain and loss.

What happens when people become too damn lazy to provide sustenance to their families? When they want to increase the coin in the pocket? To interfere with science and progression of knowledge? To “hunt” without actually hunting?

You get this:

Are scientists unwittingly revealing animal locations to hunters?

Sad. Be one with one another.

Categories: Food, Fucking around with Science, Hunting, Illegal hunting, Murder for Profit, Poaching, Respect the Old Ways, Science, Tracking | Leave a comment

Jerky Lessons/Sad meat

On the 21st of January, 2017, I picked up some lovely roasts from Costco. Eye of Round, to be precise, @ $9.99/lb. Great deal! 2 very decent sized roasts for 25$.

I prepared to make some more jerky, but I thought this time, I’ll follow the box instructions. Mistake. I’m not going to name the company, because it has to be operator (ME!) error. I usually make 2 batches, one a marinade / one a dry rub, and I throw both in the oven for an hour or so to cook them after slicing, before I put them in the dehydrator.

This time, I made two batches, both dry rub; and going with what the box said, I did not cook them first (I know, I know: never put raw meat in the dehydrator to make jerky). But what do you do when the box specifies NO MARINATING REQUIRED, JUST DUST, RUB AND DEHYDRATE?

Well, let me just say that I will never do that again. I got cocky. I thought I knew. I thought the box would be correct. Whatever. It’s on me. Good thing I’m a wee bit fussy when it comes to food safety.

20170123_195415A loss of over 2 pounds of meat looks just like this: Sad. Due to spices, not fit for animals.

 

Categories: Dehydrator, Food, Jerky | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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