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Everything posted by PureCajunSunshine

  1. how are you doing? i have been wondering about you.

  2. Dearest friends, Thank all of you for your helping hands that helped to pay for some of the snakebite related medical expenses. It is enough, so I am asking that the donation button be closed. Mais cher! You have been such good medicine for a bad day! --PureCajunSunshine
  3. Bless all y'all, and thanks so much for your prayers, good thoughts and sweet helping hands! Here's my story (and then some, lol!): http://mrssurvival.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=36784&st=0&start=0
  4. Meow!!!!!!!!!! Congrats on a brand new 'kitten'-to-be!!!! ((((((Big Cat, Little Cat, and Kitten-to-be)))))
  5. Oh boy! ohboyohboy! This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen on the internet! Great idea for this forum!!! But wait! What? No cookwagon? (Back in the old days, did a wagon train have one of those?) If so, maybe I can get over this snakebite in time to rustle one up, if'n someone hasn't already beaten me to it. Y'all wanna hire an authentic Creole/Cajun cook? I can cook beans just as well as a Texan, I guarantee. And mais cher! Lookit the size of that beignet! I do Jambalaya and Gumbo pretty good too. Oh, I can hunt real well too. I might hafta bring my long range rifle, though. Me and this snakebitten leg won't be hauling nowhere far...
  6. To each, her own...and I have the BTDT tee shirt! In a hardship situation, I'd look at the live critters as 'extra protein', but it's the dead critters in the food that's the problem. In the normal course of things, we all eat bits and pieces of dead bugs without knowing (even the FDA allows so many bug parts per quantity of foodstuff)... But an abundance of decomposing and moldering bug bodies isn't good! If I find bugs in my pantry, I will routinely inspect suspect foodstuffs with a magnifying glass to determine that there's not significant evidence of bug die-off going on. If not, then, into the freezer it goes! But, like I said, to each her own, but I'm thinking that if there's frozen-to-death bugs in the food, then it should remain in the freezer or else cooked and consumed quickly. I'm not gonna enjoy thawed out and rotting bug guts in my groceries! yukity yuk yuk If there's no room in the freezer, I do the diatomaceous earth thing I mentioned earlier in this thread... So far, none of my diatomaceous earth treated foodstuffs have ever had a bug problem to begin with. I sometimes see more than a few dead weevils outside the packaging. (I also dust my pantry with the diatomaceous earth powder.) So I know it kills them all eventually...both larvae and adults. (There are some who may argue this point, but I have the dead bugs to prove it! hahahaha!) I also suspect that most bug eggs can lose their viability (hatchability?) if dehydrated by the diatomacous earth. I seldom encounter the hatchlings... If there was evidence of a bug morgue going on in my food, and if times were hard enough, I would consider using the spoiled food as bait, or recycled through chickens, or as wormfood, or composted...but never wasted.
  7. Hi there! Thanks for asking... look at this one, scroll down a bit, under "Forum Topics" and you'll see all the threads that are up for voting. http://mrssurvival.com/forums/index.php?showforum=56 I'm the knucklehead that cooked this forum up then tried to explain it all. lol Sorry 'bout that! As you can see, it still needs a lil' tweaking. Thanks to your questions, I see where I need to make some adjustments! I appreciate your patience. Please let me know if this link clears things up or not...
  8. "When there's a will, there's a way"... I'll be there too! Making coffee now...
  9. AUDIO-BOOKS!!!! Hearing those superfine audio-book voices, and being intellectually entertained at the same time might be just the ticket! Don't push yourself. All that work will still be there when you get better, 'tain't going nowhere, nohow. I have not yet read this whole thread, 'cause I can't sit for long...but just wanna let you know that I hope you can keep in touch best you can! Thinking of you often, with lots of hugs, kisses and misses, Sharon
  10. I read somewhere (don't remember where) that sometimes a haze will appear on the surface of some syrups and that it is harmless. Occasionally this has formed on the surface of my syrups, but eventually it disappears. Does anyone know what causes this haze? On my blog, someone asked me about a 'questionable' film that formed on the surface of her recently made elderberry syrup that was made with a stout concentration of 70% sugar... http://purecajunsunshine.blogspot.com/2009...ed-to-know.html Here's what I told her: It is possible your sister may be seeing what I call a ‘sugar haze’. It’s harmless, but it sure does look weird, floating against the dark background of the darkness of elderberry syrup! Although I have never had it happen, it may be possible to contaminate a newly made 70% sugar solution with molds and bacteria. Molds are common culprits in spoiled medicinal syrups, which is why I favor going with a 70% sugar solution over the standard 65% called for in most recipes to make shelf stable syrups. By shelf stable, I mean it needs no refrigeration ever. Not before or after opening. A couple of times over the years, I mis-measured my sugar/liquid ratio and ended up with a batch of spoiled syrup. The mold started out looking exactly like the typical sugar haze but it continued to progress until it eventually bloomed into full spoilage. Because sugar is the only preserving agent in some old fashioned syrups, and because my elderberry syrup does not contain a myriad of chemical preserving agents found in commercial products, I prefer to bottle it in pint jars and halfpint jars. That way it gets used up in a reasonable amount of time, and so the risk of contamination is reduced. If your syrup was freshly made under sanitary conditions, and the measurements were correct (or pretty close to it), chances are very, very good that the ‘questionable film’ is a sugar haze. If it has been sitting around for more than a couple of weeks before developing a film or haze, and bottling procedures were less than stellar, it *might* be contaminated with growing mold spores. If this is the case, one way to find out for sure: leave it alone for a few more days, and see if it develops further into sure enough mold.
  11. Before you venture into these websites, notify your next of kin, because you may not come out for days...Between these two sites, there's a nice collection of 1,650,328 books written from 1620 to 1999...most of them are from the early 1800s and mid twentieth century. These old books and journals have been rendered into electronic form, and are free to anyone. The first link is agriculturally related, the second one deals with all things related to home and hearth.... http://chla.library.cornell.edu/ The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA) is a core electronic collection of agricultural texts published between the early nineteenth century and the middle to late twentieth century. Full-text materials cover agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, crops and their protection, food science,forestry, human nutrition, rural sociology, and soil science. Scholars have selected the titles in this collection for their historical importance. Their evaluations and 4,500 core titles are detailed in the seven volume series The Literature of the Agricultural Sciences, Wallace C. Olsen, series editor. Current online: Pages: 1,011,930 Books: 2,047 (2,116 Volumes) Journals: 12 (510 Volumes) For a related collection of core texts in the disciplines of home economics, see Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History (HEARTH) at http://hearth.library.cornell.edu/ HEARTH is a core electronic collection of books and journals in Home Economics and related disciplines. Titles published between 1850 and 1950 were selected and ranked by teams of scholars for their great historical importance. The first phase of this project focused on books published between 1850 and 1925 and a small number of journals. Future phases of the project will include books published between 1926 and 1950, as well as additional journals. The full text of these materials, as well as bibliographies and essays on the wide array of subjects relating to Home Economics, are all freely accessible on this site. This is the first time a collection of this scale and scope has been made available. Currently online: Pages: 638,398 Books: 1174 (1236 Volumes) Journals: 13 (401 Volumes)
  12. 'taint 'fraid of no zombies. I have lots of Liquid Crab Boil Seasoning and Tabasco sauce and I know how to use this stuff. Cajun mace! One squirt into their eyes...
  13. There are many edible plants that are used as vegetables in some parts of the world but look like 'weeds' to those who are unfamiliar with them. To mention a few: Orach... Lamb's Quarters (Magentaspreen) Calaloo (vegetable amaranth, Carribean type) ...I'm growing it this year and it is delicious and pretty as an ornamental! All are available from Johnny's Seeds. http://www.johnnyseeds.com
  14. The link nmchick posted contains additional links to similar threads (thanks!). Here's another one! Crop failure, what if… (contains lots of info on kudzu and Jerusalem artichoke) http://mrssurvival.com/forums/index.php?sh...garden&st=0
  15. Hey Christy, I love that spa / canning station / laundry room you got going there in the barn! It might be a good thing that the woodburner is in the corner...that way, if wintertime finds you still having to bathe in the barn, you can string up 'curtains' of sorts to make a smaller triangular 'room' and trap some of that fire's heat to warm yo' cold wet booty! Do you think your house will be renovated enough to do indoor baths by wintertime?
  16. I saw that Emergency Essentials laundry thingy, and I love the design of the thing, and would like to test drive it! It looks like it would probably work a little better than the alternative...(I have a couple of brand new toilet plungers and five gallon buckets stashed away for emergency laundering.) I don't remember if I mentioned this early on in this thread...but if you buy a toilet plunger for emergency laundering purposes, get the red rubber kind, NOT the black one. After a time the blackness will wear off onto your clothes! The red one seems much more durable. ncnewbie, I'm thinking a rock in the bucket will work well, but will be extra hard on the clothes!
  17. When traveling, I sometimes use a 5 gallon bucket with a lid as a clothes washer. I throw in my dirty clothes (one day's worth at a time, per bucket), along with hot soapy water. After snugging the lid on real tight, I then strap it to the inside of my truck's tailgate. Bumpety bump bump... the clothes inside the bucket get a good workout and wash themselves merrily down the road... After a few hours, they are ready to go into the 'rinse cycle'. At day's end, the clothes can wrung out, and hung up in camp/motel/whatever. If it is humid out, or if I need to get a move on, I'll chuck the clothes into a commercial dryer at a laundromat..
  18. I'm working on Part II of my Elderberry article and it will include detailed growing info...until then here's a few good bits about growing / propagating elderberry...see also the second link listed here: http://mrssurvival.com/forums/index.php?s=...st&p=308340 Yes indeedy, the birds are murder on the berries...Try bird netting. Around here the bears and the deer line up cafeteria style for the berries...now if I could only line up the berry ripening time and hunting seasons together, I'd be able to harvest two kinds of crops at once... For the deer and bear depredations, here's what I do...'tis not 'zactly purty, but it works for me. The elderberries are in an out of the way spot, so the ground barrier is not that noticible. http://purecajunsunshine.blogspot.com/2008...s-deer-and.html lacto-fermentation....hmmm... (!!!!!!!!) now that's an idea, Homemaker! Please do try it ASAP (and let us know how well it works for you), while there's still 'ordinary flu' to gamble with. I'd be most interested in your results. I may lose track of this thread, but a PM here or comment on my blog would be most appreciated! Keep in mind, it is believed that elderberry's flu fighting 'active ingredient' lies in resinous compounds, more so than the enzymes.
  19. Looksee: Everything you need to know about alcohol-free elderberry syrup for preventing flu (be sure to read the cautions concerning avian flu, and be aware that this may also apply to the swine flu as well): http://mrssurvival.com/forums/index.php?sh...mp;#entry308335 For another in-depth discussion on another board about making your own elderberry medicinals... (I posted my recipe there as well, and the thread grew into quite a collection of info, including growing your own.) http://thisbluemarble.com/showthread.php?t=13844 Herbally speaking (as some of you know), some herbal medicinal properties can be extracted more completely with water than with alcohol. On the other hand, other components can be extracted more completely with alcohol than water. Since both alcohol /water extracts of elderberry are known to work as a flu preventative, I'm willing to bet that using both kinds of elderberry preparations during the course of a day would provide a broader spectrum of coverage. Although I have had complete success with using only the non-alcohol syrup, I do stock the alcohol tincture as a back-up and for extra insurance... I am not a licensed medical professional, just an old timer with a bit of traditional herbal know-how. This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace the advice of your doctor. That being said... My personal flu arsenal includes 3 big elderberry 'guns': 1) My favorite choice: syrup (for on the road or home use - needs no refrigeration) 2) lightly sweetened juice (for home use - needs refrigeration / freezing) 3) alcohol tincture (for home use - needs no refrigeration) That way I am sure to receive every possible compound that can be extracted via alcohol (which is a dandy resin extractor), as well as what can be extracted via water. BTW, my experiences have only been with the European variety of elderberry, and I have not yet tried the native American varieties for colds and flu (but soon will). Others have, and I'm happy to hear how well our native varieties work. I'm hoping to be able to beat the birds and bears to the local elderberry patches this year. I would like to personally test drive the American elderberries and compare them with the European Sambucus nigra variety under the challenge of ordinary colds and flu before any Big Pandemics get here... There are many varieties of elderberry native to the USA, but be sure to use only the black berries (or blue/black), never the reddish colored varieties. The black or blue/black kinds are safe to use, once they ripen and darken. The red elderberry varieties are poisonous, and none of their berries will ever ripen to the characteristic dark color, no matter how old they are. Also, the strictly ornamental varieties sold in nurseries are not considered to be of medicinal quality. Harvest tip: use a fork to comb the berries off the 'umbrella'. Carefully pick out the unripe lighter colored berries before processing. A few here and there are unavoidable, but a few too many will make you sick. Regardless of which recipe you use (alcohol tincture or syrup), if you are using fresh berries you may follow the same recipe that call for dried berries, but use twice the amount of fresh berries as you would dried. BTW, here is Goatlady's simple foolproof recipe for elderberry tincture. "Use any REALLY clean, preferably sterilized, glass jar - size does not really matter, but quart canning jars seem to be preferred for ease of storing, sterilizing, and filling. In ANY size glass jar, fill the jar 1/3 full of dried black (S. nigra) elderberries, this does NOT have to be exact, eyeball measurement is just fine. One pound of dried elderberries will eyeball-fill 3 quarts with a bit left over or you can just evenly divide a pound of the dried berries between 3 quart jars. More really does NOT make the tincture stronger. Now fill the jar almost to the top with vodka, not less than 80 proof. DO NOT USE any other alcohol you happen to have in your stash no matter the proof, brand or type. VODKA = TINCTURE; Other alcohol = non-medicinal alcohol. Now, cap the jar securely, give a shake or two, and store in a cool, dark area for 7-10 days. That is the universally accepted time period to produce tincture. Longer does not make stronger; phases of the moon MAY have some effect but there is no documentation on that so far. After the 7-10 days you can strain off the liquid and toss the berry residue. DO NOT think to reuse that residue, the resulting liquid will not work as you expect. Your tincture is now ready to use should there be influenza in your area. You do not have to strain off the liquid, but the tincture is not going to get any more medicinal just sitting there soaking the berries. The alcohol molecules fill up to capacity within the 7-10 days and can absorb no more no matter how long it soaks." (Note: some people prefer to tincture for one full month. It certainly wouldn't hurt.) Here's what Goatlady says about dosages: How do you use elderberry tincture? Since elderberries medicinal properties work directly on Influenza A or B virus present in the body it could be taken as a preventative. It would be in the body ready to grab any Influenza virus that enters the system and prevent the virus from taking hold and setting up an infection. When an adult exhibits symptoms of influenza infection i.e. sudden onset of high fever, dry persistent cough, weakness, commercially prepared elderberry preparations suggest taking internally 2 teaspoons of preparation every 4 hours i.e. Sambucol. To use homemade elderberry tincture consensus of opinion seems to be that taking 2 Tablespoons every 6 hours or so for 7-10 days will do the trick. There will be a reduction in symptoms within 2-3 days of taking elderberry tincture as per recommended above, but the virus will still be present so take for the full 7-10 days just like taking an antibiotic for a prescribed treatment course. As a preventative, most suggest using a tablespoon full twice a day - usually take one before going out in public and than another at bedtime. This is just to get the stuff in your system to nab any virus you may pick up while out shopping, going to church, etc.
  20. wonderful!!! This is so good to know! Thank you Violet! BTW, I let the jars sit in the canner for about 20-30 min before taking them out (I got sidetracked/tangled up with other stuff and forgot about them)! The jars had 1/4 inch headspace in them...
  21. The other day I canned (waterbath) 6 pints of very strong but lightly sweetened elderberry juice. I purposely did not strain this batch very finely and it had bits and pieces of elderberry pulp in it. I accidentally went overboard on the processing time by about 5-10 minutes... I noticed that almost all the jars (which were sealed good-n-tight) leaked during the canning process. About a quarter inch was missing from each jar. All the lids appear to be still well sealed. Is this juice ok? What did I do wrong?
  22. grrrr...I feel like you do, MtRider! Speaking for myself, I would have pointed the gun (or 'bear mace'...'tis pretty good stuff!) at the intruder dog and gave the owner the ultimatum: either you gain control of this dog RIGHT NOW, or I will. Trouble is, dogs are faster than people... and if it had gotten to the point of the two dogs fighting, it could have been too late to intervene with a gun because there's that chance of the innocent one being hurt in the line of fire... but the spray is dandy because most of the time, a fight is broken and your dog does not die in the breakup.
  23. This is such a beautiful treasure! If'n you don't mind, I'd like to print this to put in one of my notebook binders, the one I call my Bedside Reader... ((((Stephanie))))
  24. To put it in a nutshell, "...man has dominated man to his injury." (Ecclesiastes 8:9) For a sobering book review, looksee: http://www.curledup.com/900days.htm The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad Book review: © 2003 by Barbara Bamberger Scott for Curled Up With a Good Book (www.curledup.com) Harrison E. Salisbury DaCapo Press Paperback 640 pages Harrison E. Salisbury wrote no fewer than six books about the Soviet Union during his journalistic career. The 900 Days is a reprint of the 1969 edition that was banned in Russia, and no wonder. It implicated Stalin and his regime in the mass starvation and murder of a million and a half of his own people. It was Salisbury's contention that "Stalin seems to have felt that because Leningrad...gave birth to the 1917 revolution, the city might ultimately turn against him," and that "it was in Leningrad that [the purges] were given their characteristic leitmotif of macabre paranoia." The author lays the story bare in exhaustive and often gruesome detail, through the remarkable observations of those who survived, and with reliance on his own research as a Moscow correspondent at the time. War was only a rumor when Stalin began slowly, consciously, to turn his back on the city of Leningrad and, for reasons unknown, to ignore the clear signals that Hitler would invade Russia, with the ancient city of (formerly) St. Petersburg as a likely target. After the attacks began, just before the blockade of the city got underway, Stalin would have known that 3,400,000 people were to be fed with enough supplies on hand to last only about three or four weeks. Those who could survive the savage air bombardment would be doomed to slow starvation. By October 1, 1941, only the army and civilian volunteers were guaranteed sufficient food. "Non-workers and children...received one-third of a loaf of poor quality bread a day...as time went on, bread, such as it was, more and more often was the only food issued." The bread was an ersatz mix of denigrated rye flour, flax seeds and chaff. The siege lasted 900 days, during which time people died by the thousands every day. During the coldest winter on record, corpses were left to lie in the snow, and the spring thaw brought forth the horrors of the stench of death and a lingering putrid flavor to the drinking water that no one who tasted it could ever forget. Caught by the camera's eye, the ones who got through that first winter were mere stick figures. Good people went mad, victims of what is called "hunger psychosis," and murders for a hunk of bread or a ration card were not uncommon. All animals were seen as potential food, and dogs were sought after for that purpose. There were rumors, and the probable reality, of gangs of cannibals who inveigled victims with promises of work, luring them into abandoned buildings where one young man saw human body parts hanging in a makeshift butchery. Many older people let go of life without fuss, relieved to cease to burden younger family members. There were many pitiful scenes recorded of small children, the last to die, abandoned to apartments full of dead parents, grandparents and siblings. As supplies of all kinds dwindled, rooms were as cold inside as the streets outside, and one man recalled that "He was never alone on the bus. There were always other passengers, the same passengers - three corpses." In what seemed a grotesque parody of life before the blockade, children's sleds were drafted into use as hand-drawn hearses. But often the living were too exhausted to haul the bodies to the graveyard, or had no money or the currency of sawdust bread to offer for a burial. It wasn't long before army sappers were blasting out mass graves to deal with the piles of bodies. As one observer wrote, "Daily six to eight thousand die...the city is dying as it has lived for the last half year - clenching its teeth." There was heroism, too - after the water supply was cut off, brigades of half-starved women daily handed water buckets up from holes in the ice to ensure that bakers would still be able to produce the only food left for a desperate populace. But one reason, arguably, why Salisbury's morbid accounting of events was not given parlor space in the Russia of 1969 is that there was less of heroism and more of horror than the official propaganda machine wanted known. Horror that could have been prevented. On January 27, 1944, the siege ended. By then, starvation had begun to turn back on itself in a macabre beneficence - with fewer people left alive to share limited resources, more could hang on, and a kind of febrile vigor was in evidence. Against great odds, as the German offensive weakened, some survivors were able to break through the blockade. Olga Berggolts, a poet who had witnessed the ravages of the siege, wrote, "I firmly believe in miracles. You gave me that belief, my Leningrad." Immediately following the opening of the city it seemed there could be what was referred to as the Renaissance of Leningrad. An astonishing life force took hold. The city would be rebuilt, repudiating the attempts to destroy it. But again Stalin exerted a contravening force, continuing the purges to assure that the Leningrad Party would never rise again. As Salisbury so eloquently put it, "Nothing in the chamber of Stalin's horrors equaled the Leningrad blockade and its aftermath...the blockade may have cost the lives of a million and a half people." Seen against the backdrop of current confusion and chaos in what was once the Soviet Union, one can only wonder how much forgetting a people is capable of -- and how much forgiving.
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