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Owly last won the day on October 11

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  1. I once had a wonderful recipe for bran muffins. light and airy, a delight to eat warm with butter, and drizzled with honey......... I probably still have it somewhere Unfortunately it used allbran or bran flakes, or some such, and I rebel at buying cereals......... I just won't do it. Over priced and full of garbage additives for the most part. So I struck out on my own to create my own personal bran muffin using ordinary oat bran. It went through many iterations, and ultimately ended up with a "meal in a muffin". I don't measure anything.... I learned using the TLAR method (That Looks About Right). The foundation is a batter about like pancake batter made with lots of oat bran, a some sugar and salt, and plenty of soda, and in some cases I add other spices............ but that is just the foundation. I break up walnuts, add buckwheat groats (seeds), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, a chopped apple, crasins and whatever else strikes my fancy. The quantity of this mixture of things without the batter is about enough to fill the cups in a muffin tin, and project up a bit. When mixed together, the chunky things dominate..... Less batter than solids, and when you put it in a prepared muffin tin, it looks like walnuts, crasins, apples, etc...that have been dipped in batter as if you were going to deep fry. During cooking, the batter rises up through this mass of solids binding it all together with a light airy muffin, supported by the solids. When it goes into the oven it looks like you will just end up with a bunch of baked walnuts, apples, crasins, etc with a little cooked batter on the surface, but that's not what happens at all. 10 years ago last spring, my best friend of 30 years was killed in a tragic shop accident. I set my life on hold for a year to lend assistance and moral support to his widow, who now had to run their ranch (which she was very well qualified to do). I brought a tray of these muffins about every other day, and the hired girl virtually lived on them.....they were a staple we all enjoyed, and healthy. It was during this period that I perfected my "recipe"........... though I never put it to paper. This evening I ran off a batch from memory.... I haven't make them for a number of years, but I'm headed out on a road trip, and will be camping in my car along the way. These will be my staple. I varied the "recipe" a bit putting cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in, and threw a bunch of chopped crystal ginger in. I began with two eggs, and some home made kefir, and olive oil, added flour sugar, salt and soda until I was happy with what I had, then began with the nuts, apple, crasins, etc..... My eye knew just how much to make, even though I didn't have a recipe, and hadn't made it for about 5 years. The crystal ginger is a dynamite addition.............. A dozen muffins has to last me 3 days on the road...... it isn't going to be easy ****** The original recipe I mentioned at the top came from a 90 year old lady who I looked after for 5 years. A single man across the street in a tiny rural town of about 8 people at the time.... she needed someone, and it was my lot.......... When the call comes, you answer it. It's called "humanity". We believe in karma here.............but we don't use that term. Instead we say "what goes around comes around". People have stepped up and helped me numerous times, I couldn't do less, and it was very rewarding in the spiritual sense. She lived to 99 years and 3 months before the doctors killed her..... Imagine giving a 99 year old a double mastectomy, chemo, and radiation!!!. She moved away at 95 to live in a rent subsidized apartment near family......... never a day in nursing home or assisted living. A tough and determined old lady. Hip replacement at 92!!! She refused the wheel chair and walked the full length of the hospital on day 4, and with the help of a milk crate and a shove to her butt from me, climbed into my van to go home!!! The nurses were fit to be tied, but NOBODY stood up to Christine!! Probably the most rewarding relationship in my life in many ways and we were 40 years apart! H.W.
  2. Excellent advice........ methinks. It gets back to Sous Vide first........... H.W.
  3. Were these pre-cooked sous vide? H.W.
  4. Chris: I'm sorry to hear that, but do not under rate what you have. There can be rewards (of the real kind.... not financial) in any kind of work and lifestyle. It's really about the people around you.... do you like them? do they like you? Do you support and enhance each other's lives, or drag each other down? Negativity around me was why I stepped out of what you describe many years ago, but I already knew how to get by and get along. There is a price, one most folks are not willing to pay. Lack of security and stability, low income. I've lived most all of my adult life without a "job", quit the last one in 1979. (age 24) I have skills and knowledge that I've cultivated to fit into a very rural life, where folks know they can call me, and rely on me.... It's not especially lucrative, but it is rewarding. I go where I want, when I want, but NOT when my friends and customers need me. I often go many months with no income other than what I make day trading, it is far more lucrative than working, but it's not what I love doing! H.W.
  5. I did up a bunch of 1/3 pound ground beef patties the other day in the sous vide. I froze them for later use. 130F for about 2 hours each in an individual zip lock sandwich bag. My normal method is to simply thaw and warm in hot tap water, then throw them on the grill, or in a skillet with hot bacon grease... smoking hot!! About 30 seconds to the side. I'd like to experiment with putting them in the kamodo right out of the freezer........ the question is how long and how hot. I'd like to keep the medium rare all the way through character, and I'm thinking that very hot, very brief, followed by a "rest" to allow the heat to penetrate through. I have an aversion to pioneering when someone else has already "been there", so I'd like to hear what others have done and how it has worked out. H.W.
  6. I'm about 2-3 years out on the voyaging. I'm working out what I need in a boat, which boils down to something I must either build.... and I really don't want to build another boat..... currently working on a small sailing trimaran built from a canoe and two Hobie 14 hulls for knocking about on local reservoirs for the next couple of years........ Hope to splash that one in the spring. For real voyaging, I'm looking at older catamarans in the range of 30-38 feet, very wide beam, and the bridge deck & cabin set well aft with netting forward... for seaworthiness. The closest commercially made boat is the Fontaine Pajot Maldives 32. The real fly in the ointment is the fact that I must have a junk rig, for numerous reasons, ease of handling, low upkeep, low upkeep cost, minimal hardware, instant reefing, light loadings on virtually everything............. Everything centers on safety first, followed by cost. Richard Woods designs a number of boats that would be well suited (with some conversion), and some of the Simpsons fill the bill. Many of my culinary and brewing projects as well as shop projects, bear directly on this........ I have a very complete shop, and seem to spend my time either in the shop, or in the kitchen, or outdoors. I walk a minimum of 2 miles a day on my own trail through the woods to the post office, hike far back in the mountains (solo usually), hunt, fish, design and build and invent constantly. At the moment I have just finished rebuilding a New Process 435 transmission and installing it in a friend's '78 3/4 ton 4x4 ranch pickup, and spent the last couple of hours installing rivnuts ahead of the rear hatch on my 2010 Outback wagon, and making brackets to support a rack that can carry a real load......... I'll finish tomorrow. Ordered a 10" ceramic Kamado from Titan ($153 including shipping) a few hours ago.... it'll get here while I'm gone, as I'm taking a trip through Southern Idaho and Oregon, dipping into Nevada, to Adel, Lakeview, K-Falls, and Ashland, over to the coast, and up 101 to Newport, then to Portland to see my Mother......... I take the round about route, and camp in remote areas. I'll be gone for 2 weeks. H.W.
  7. I didn't mean to suggest that you had..... I'm just a bit "head shy", having been attacked by others in the past over the supposed foolishness of this undertaking. I entered into it after a great deal of thought, and on the strength of a biology background, and messing about with microbes of various types since I was a child with my first microscope. A big thrill for an 8 year old! I've always brewed and cultured various things, currently kombucha, kefir, a batch of wine, and two kinds of home made vinegar made by pre-fermenting, then culturing with the complex culture from kombucha to get a more interesting and richer / mellower array of acids... primarily acetic (regular acid in vinegar) and gluconic. Currently using my version of apple cider vinegar, and aging a batch of pomegranate / blueberry (2 gallons), and I have a neutral wash fermenting for making gin. My hypothesis I think I explained, was that if I could kill the microbial spores with the hot grease (very brief exposure), and ensure that all living microbes were killed in the sous vide, as well as eliminating oxygen (not to prevent growth of microbes {as KJ implied) but to prevent oxidation), the meat would keep indefinitely in the medium rare state, just as pressure canned meat will in it's grotesquely overcooked state. Again, the 90 day incubation period with 3 periods of 5 days each at a perfect incubation temp of 95F, virtually guarantees that any microbial action will be obvious, and unlike a canning jar with head space, the vacuum sealed clear bag will betray any respiration very quickly. The technology to do this exists in the form of gamma rays, which are widely used, but involve millions of dollars worth of equipment and very dangerous equipment at that. I cannot do that myself realistically. The original purpose was to see if it would be possible to dine on beautiful "fresh" beef steak at medium rare on an extended ocean sailing voyage, (circumnavigation) without having the ability to store in a deep freeze. I think that I've already proven that the process is viable if done properly in advance. H.W.
  8. The Annova chart is found here ............ and there are others: https://anovaculinary.com/anova-sous-vide-time-temperature-guide/
  9. Frank: The proof they say is in the pudding........... Microbes are not visible to the naked eye, but when they are active and growing the signs are visible. I would not store these in a cool place like a cellar, which would retard growth, but rather I am storing them in incubation temperatures for a LONG period of time. Encouraging them to reveal themselves. H.W.
  10. You misunderstand me. The extended pasteurization temp kills all non-spore forming microbes. I'm well aware that Botulinum is anerobic, and that it does respire. That is the reason for the extended time at room temp (90 days), and the 15 days total at 95F. This is to encourage bacterial growth if viable spores or other microbes are present. That growth results in respiration, and in the clear food saver bags, this is instantly visible. Because of the desire to preserve the meat in a medium rare state... cooked at 130F (I use Annova Sous Vide temp chart and get perfect medium rare.... 135 is far too done in my experience), there is a minimum incubation period at suitable temperatures for bacterial growth. This makes bacterial respiration products........ gasses and smell, evident if spoilage is taking place. A lesser time period or lower temperature would likely mask these indicators. As I wrote before, I use three periods of 5 days each at a controlled temp of 95F to enhance this. This is based on lab temp and time when incubating botulinum on agar plates when streaking........ Normally 5 days at 95F. I'm neither blind, nor stupid, nor do I suffer from hyposmia (lack of a sense of smell). I also have a strong biology background, and have played with various microbes since I was a child (age 64 now). I didn't enter into this experiment in ignorance., H.W.
  11. The moisture retention, and the perfect medium rare from one side to the other are the strengths of sous vide. I wouldn't want to be without my Annova, which I have had for about 4 years now. You quickly learn to let the meat "rest" and dry before doing your reverse sear. Personally I love chuck steak above most cuts for it's texture and flavor......... and until recently it's price. (it's been "discovered"). Chuck often is tough, but 24-48 hours at 130 makes it as tender or more than rib eye. I often do a dry rub or marinade to infuse the meat with flavors before sous vide. Conventional reverse sear work great with expensive cuts of meat, but gauging the time is important because you are cooking at higher than final cooked temp. It also dries the meat though in the short interval that is not a real factor. I often use a "vertical grill" that I built from the ceramic guts of a "Buddy Heater" that runs on propane. I use it in the house on the counter top. Light the radiant catalytic ceramic plaque, and let it glow orange, then clamp the steak in a grill, which is modified to allow it to stand vertically on the counter top in front of the heat source. I can then move the steak incredibly close to the heat source for rapid surface browning, flip it around and do the other side..... Usually about 2 minutes total grilling time. The steak starts out with a dry surface of course. There is zero smoke, and little odor, and juices run down onto a wet paper towel underneath, never making contact with the hot surface. it is entirely radiant. An inventor by nature, I've been working on the design of a cooker that will be as closely temp controlled as a sous vide or good dehydrator, but will have a humidifier plate (ultrasonic), and a smoke generator, and recirculation fan. The idea is to cold wet smoke..... By cold, I mean 130F or so. The humidifier is to avoid moisture loss. Smoke cooking for a couple of days without dehydrating.... though very light smoking. The design is a challenge to say the least. Temp control is not a problem with STC 1000 controllers or PIDs. The challenge is smoke temperature. My inclination is to do the smoke in "puffs" like a bee keeper. I want only a light hint of smoke. At the end it will be reverse seared. There is no better way to do burgers than sous vide! 125-130 for an hour or so, dry, and 30 seconds a side in hot grease on a cast iron skillet. No shrink to speak of, moist, delicious, and perfect. Lean ground beef does not end up dry and unpalatable, and full fat ground beef retains it's fat throughout the meat rather than being greasy, or shrinking during cooking. I've done elk burger with zero added fat, something that simply is not done normally. H.W.
  12. This is a truly mad experiment.......... and I'm doing "take 2" The concept is that sous vide temp of 130F which corresponds to medium rare, is sufficient to pasteurize given time.... The charts show that an hour at 130F has the same effect as briefly raising to 160 as is done to pasteurize. These are government charts, and I can find links if you want them. Of course while these temps will kill all actual active bacteria, they will not kill bacterial spores such as the well known botulism and Clostridium. Hence we have pressure canning for meats and low acid veggies and such. These spores killed at the high temps achieved with pressure canning. It is well known that bacteria live on the surface of meats primarily with the exception of a few systemic infectious microbes that actually come from the animal. Salmonella in chicken being the classic example. To kill the spores, I briefly exposed the surface to very high temp, using a large propane torch in the first experiment. The meat was three chuck steaks, which were then dropped into foodsaver bags, and cooked for 48 hours at 130F using Sous Vide. This 130F of course was more than sufficient to kill all active bacteria, and at the same time turns chuck into perfect medium rare "rib eye" from edge to edge. Just brown the surface on a smoking hot grill for about 20 seconds to the side, and it takes a back seat to no cut of meat you can buy. The steaks were left for 90 days at room temperature near a heater, where the temps ranged in the 80's most of the time. This was intended as an incubation period to bring to life any bacterial spores that had survived, and make their growth evident through the gasses they produce. The result of contamination would be inflation, and odor, or evident discoloration, or more likely all three, as turned out to be the case with 2 out of the three test steaks. A shorter or cooler period could not be counted on to expose "culprits". At a 33% success ratio, I considered the experiment an unqualified success. It demonstrated that the microbes would indeed expose themselves over time in a warm dark place. Evidence showed up near the half way point. The surviving steak was perfect in every way. It looked, smelled, and tasted like a fresh cooked piece of beef steak......... The results could not have been better. I knew that my theory was sound..... that absent oxygen and microbes, (and light... as they were stored in a dark place).... spoilage cannot occur. And that given a suitable environment, the microbes would reveal themselves if they existed. .................... In hindsight my misteak (mis spelling intended) was to use a torch on chuck, which tends to be loose and deeply fissured. The heat did not penetrate into the fissures, and microbial spores survived..... I believe Clostridium. For reasons I will not explain. Take II Same test, with two variations. High heat from a brief exposure in a deep fat fryer. Incubation temp of 95F for 5 days .......... 3 times throughout the 90 day test, which is the incubation temp and time used by microbiologists testing for botulinum and Clostridium when using a streak test on agar plates. I'm about half way through the test, (day 43) and have completed 2. 5 day incubation periods, and everything looks perfect so far. H.W.
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