June 17, 2018
I have been using the ‘cooker’ for a few weeks and so far I am very pleased with the results. I adjusted the white rice to water ratio of 2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice when making large batches of rice. I add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil per cup of rice. First of all the coconut oil makes better rice, compared to using butter and as an extra bonus my doggie’s breath is starting to smell much better since we have gone to home made dog food. Another adjustment I have made is increasing the protein to carb ratio to 40/60 or 50/50. The dogs are eating food better and act more frisky at the higher ratio. So far the dog seem to have plenty of energy and have not gained or lost weight. I keep a high quality dry kibble on hand just in case the dogs need something extra for food but they hardly eat the kibble since I started the homemade dog food experiment.
I have been doing more research on making dog food and I will be adding in more vitamins and minerals. I have read about adding crushed egg shell as a calcium supplement so I have stared savings my egg shells in a small jar. I rinse out the egg shells and then ‘nuke’ the shells for a minute to kill off any possible contamination then crush the shells up. I want to add some raw bones in addition to the soft food. The bones I can buy in the store are too big or the wrong type for my pekes, so I am working on a solution of for cutting down large raw bones.
I did up a big batch of rice for dog food and then I cooked up three different batches of dog food using browned hamburger, and browned ground turkey for the meat. For veggies I tried out frozen spinach and did a batch with broccoli. The beef and spinach mix was a huge hit and the pups seem to like the rice much better since I started using coconut oil. After making up a batch of dog food I put about three days worth of food in the fridge and the rest in freezer bag or container in the freezer so nothing goes to waste.
One big benefit using the pressure cooker in summer is it does not heat up the kitchen and since it takes less time to cook food I save on electricity! I made up a “Yankee” pot roast recipe that took about an hour and other than browning the roast for a short time on the stove I generated very little heat in the kitchen.
Overall I would recommend a Multi-use electric pressure cooker for any one. Including a prepper/homesteader for making meals quickly and cheaply. Be it using a cheap cut of meat being fall apart tender or the quick cook time saving electric costs/ not heating your kitchen in summer, to making bone broth in an hour compared to using a crock pot that takes 24-48 hours. I can not tell you how nice it is to fill the cooker with stuff for a meal set a timer and then go do other stuff and know the cooker will do it’s job.
Now remember this is a pressure cooker not a pressure canner. A good pressure canner is built for canning lots of jars at high pressure for long term food storage. not making a meal. That being said I think this is a great small cooking appliance for any home.
June 8, 2018
I have about 120 days of growing season before the frost date of October 10th, so I’m sowing seed of plants and herbs in the new beds. This next week I want to add some herbs, onions, chives along with some root veggies in the ‘cole’ crop bed. So far I have added brussel sprout starts, but it looks like some of my celery died. The lettuce looks okay after watering though I may need to adjust the cloth to protect the plants from the afternoon sun.
This year’s garden is not about production, though I want to have fresh veggies. My focus is making an easy to maintain garden for the future. I will be adding a user friendly sit down ledge around all of the raised bed. The new fence is not ‘Tucker the peke’ proof as he is going under the fence. At least Tucker has not dug up any of the new plants! Heck, I may just surround the garden area with 2 layers of cinder blocks to keep the little dog from digging until I can build a proper fence.
Repairing Mom’s little chicken house: I added a little WD-40 to the bolts that are rusted that need to be removed. The manufacture of this little chicken house was poor not because materials though they went cheap. It would have been simple to paint all sides of the wood and seal it against weather and insects. Why use 2 inch long bolt and wing nut in wood framing is less than an 1/2-3/4 inch thick?
While I doubt the manufacturer thought about anyone taking a pattern or learning how to repair or learning how to use a spray paint gun. That is my ‘project’ for this little chicken house. I will learn how to make the house rigid, try and repair flaking wood, fix some bad stuff and give Mom a great little chicken house. I get to practice on something that is basically considered a throw away project.
The front lawn is weed whacked and 1/2 is mowed. I can finish up the rest this weekend and if things work out I’ll get the alley way weeds cut down and the cheat grass bagged.
Over all a good day of work and I’m not ‘toast’. If i’m physically up to it this weekend I’ll add some onions and herbs to the garden beds, finish up cutting the grass and then attack the alley way weeds. At worst I think I can get at least one of those jobs finished.
June 6, 2018
The local Shopko had plants on sale so I checked them out for starter plants and did I score! I found a limited selection but the guy running the green house gave me 50% off the already low sale price because the plants were looking a little sad in the small starting pots. I got a new celery plant called Tango to try out in the beds. The Utah tall celery does very well in my garden/climate. Shopko had some nice little water melon and cantaloupe plants for half price, so I set up a couple of small trellises for the melons to climb on each end of one of the garden beds. My hope is I can get some other ‘cole’ plants going like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and even cauliflower growing and the fabric cover will keep the from getting burnt or ‘bolting’. This is the middle bed so the trellis and cover cloth should block some of the afternoon sun on the root crop bed.
The lettuce kiddie pool bed is growing plants and I added a sun shade fabric I hope will protect the plants from the heat. The big bed for tomatoes, peppers and sun loving plants are ready to plant and I used cages as I did not build the netting for the plants. Sorry, I ran out of money and time for that experiment this season. I bought a lot of the frost protective fabric so I can cover the crops this fall using the cages or PVC pipe as structure to protect the plants from frost in October.
I’m playing catch up with garden as I need to add the trellis netting and the PVC pipe for protecting the garden beds against frost. At this point I want to get as many plants growing , practice succession plantings and finish up the PVC pipe works and watering system. The raised beds are not finished and need more materials but I have dirt and seeds/plants so I will get all the food production I can, while I finish constructing the beds.
At this time all I have to get done is filling in the garden beds. Be it plants on sale or starting seeds for later harvest. Not part of my original plan but I can be flexible and make the new garden beds work.
June 2, 2018
I added a couple of small motion activated solar lights around my back door. It seems that I got the position just about perfect for the lights to activate as a person walks up but the lights don’t go off when my pekes go outside. It took me a long time to install these lights because you should not drill into vinyl siding as it might deform plus you provide water and insects access to the under lying wood. One of the biggest reasons I added new siding was to protect the ‘bones’ of my house and make the upkeep easier for me to manage. If I start making holes in that siding I’m defeating the original purpose of installing the siding.
Since I have been watching so many boat refits and sailing videos I have become more knowledgeable about keeping water from getting to wood. If I can seal against water, the house frame should be safe from insects. I have the solar lights ‘wedged’ along the roof line cap and the metal part of the siding just to make sure I got the placement correct and the lights charge plus light up the back door entrance. After a couple of weeks of testing that the lights are placed correctly. I’ll screw the lights in place and add a sealant to keep out water.
I stocked up a lot last paycheck because there were a lot of great buys on meat and gardening/landscaping items I wanted. I got a pretty great deal on mulch but I could not afford all the mulch I wanted for filling in the garden and the front yard beds. The main garden area is mostly done around the raised beds but there is one section I want to build my green house that is bare ground and morning glory that needs to be dealt with this year. My idea is to layout the greenhouse foundation with concrete piers and build up a layer of small stone for good drainage. For food shopping I got a lot of meat stocked up and frozen. Now that I have the new pressure cooker I want to try out a quick ‘bone broth’ recipe. one of the nice things this cooker can be use as a slow cooker for that recipe.
Arrgh! Tucker the peke is getting under my little garden fence. Actually I may pull down the fence because he is digging into the mulch and not the garden beds. He is a smart little dog and thrives on praise. I have scolded him on digging in the garden beds, but let him go on digging in the mulch. Once I finish the install of the ‘frost cloth’ Tucker should have all his digging areas marked out. Hopefully it won’t be in the garden beds! Tucker is a great little digger. I need to find a a way for him to dig and turn the compost pile!