I wish all of you the best this holiday season and hope you enjoy a little time taking stock of what is truly important to you and your families. Merry Christmas...
Shaving Horses and Portable Woodworking
For bow makers and other wood crafters...A shaving horse is an invaluable tool if you create or work with odd-shaped objects that are otherwise difficult to clamp or need to constantly move around. I don't know how I would get half my projects done without one. A horse, in combination with a small bench or … Continue reading Shaving Horses and Portable Woodworking
"A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. "The professor then … Continue reading Priorities
The Stonebridge Folding Lantern
The Stonebridge Lantern; a classic, lightweight, packable candle lantern that was very popular once upon a time in the U.S. The Stonebridge is an ingenious piece of design work as it folds almost perfectly flat for travel; like origami in tin. Weighing in at only 11 ounces (.31 kilos) without a candle it's a camp … Continue reading The Stonebridge Folding Lantern
Oscar Wilde says:
This is just about right.
A Fun Little Fashion Project
Here is a little Boho Chic bag made from a beautifully bark-tanned hide by Joe Brandl (#absarokajoe). It's a bit outside my normal style but people have loved these bags over the years. Heading to the Oregon Country Fair, Burning Man, or just the beach? This is an accessory for you. Oh yeah, it makes … Continue reading A Fun Little Fashion Project
Frugal Friday ~1917
Another gem from Erin O’Reilly’s blog.
Happy Friday, all! Made it through another week. I was in the car the other day with The Boy and we heard a public service message about food waste. Did you know:
Consumers are responsible for more wasted food than farmers, grocery stores, restaurants, or any other part of the food supply chain, so changing household behavior is key to reducing the problem of food waste. 21 percent of the food each person buys goes to waste, with the average American family of four spending $1,800 per year on food that they don’t eat and each individual tosses about 20 pounds of food per month, adding up to 238 pounds of wasted food a year.
The Ad Council put together this video on the life and times of a strawberry, a product that’s near and dear to my local heart.
Now, our family is as guilty as the next. Leftovers…
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Ida Tarbell says:
Here is a great and insightful quote from over on Musclehead’s blog by Ida Tarbel.
“Ida Minerva Tarbell was an American writer, investigative journalist, biographer and lecturer. She was one of the leading muckrakers of the progressive era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and pioneered investigative journalism.”
“If it has taught us anything, it is that our present law-makers, as a body, are ignorant, corrupt and unprincipled; that the majority of them are, directly or indirectly, under the control of the very monopolies against whose acts we have been seeking relief.”
A Concise History of Home Distillery
I’m sharing this little introduction to home distilling. If you’ve never thought about this before, it may be worth looking into. Enjoy!
The science of distillation has been around since 3000 BCE. There are four types of distillation: laboratory, industrial, herbal/perfumery, and food processing. These last two, herbal/perfumery and food processing, are the two we concern ourselves with today.
What Is Distillation?
Distillation is a process of purifying liquids through controlled boiling and condensation. A liquid is converted into a gas/vapour through heat, and then recondensed through cooling to return the vapor to a liquid form.
How Do You Distill?
You’ve probably seen an apparatus called a retort, or alembic, a glass container with a long, bent neck sloping downwards. As the substance heats up, the vapor travels down the neck and cools. A separate container catches the vapor as it returns to a liquid state. Figures III and VII below show two vessels that could be used to distill (1727).
Fig. VII shows a distillation setup. 1727
As you can…
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A perfect for a wintry day. I agree that once you make the real stuff you’ll not want to go back to the package junk.
To Make Cocoa.
Who doesn’t love a mug of hot cocoa in mid-winter? This particular recipe, I believe, is missing a key ingredient: sugar.
I was out of instant hot chocolate the other weekend and was scouring the cupboard for a special breakfast treat for the kids. The Hershey’s powdered baking cocoa has a phenomenal recipe on the label. Will never go back to the instant stuff again: 1/4 cup cocoa powder dissolved into 1/2 cup water whisked and heated in a pot. Add 1/2 cup sugar, 4 cups milk, dash of salt, dash of vanilla. Heat until warm. Rich. Delicious. Amazing. Mrs. Beeton’s version is no doubt equally as delicious, assuming you add sugar. Bitter!
From Mrs. Beeton’s recipe collection c. 1861.
To keeping warm in January!
More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks
Jack London says:
Get after it! Great things aren’t coming to you unbidden.
This is an excellent idea, especially for a skilled willow weaver. If you need a bicycle wagon and can get a lightweight frame built, this seems to be a great, eye-catching option. I suggest watching the short videos on their site as well. I find their site somewhat difficult to navigate, but who am I … Continue reading Weaving Wagon
Carrot Soup ~1819
Great little recipe.
Carrot Soup Recipe.
Take a close look at this recipe and you’ll notice a small, but important, detail. A detail which may seem minor, but underscores the scope of genetic engineering, selective breeding, and the industrial food complex in altering our mental image of a carrot.
Source: American domestic cookery, formed on principles of economy, for the use of private families. 1819
More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks
The Appalling Case of the Diligent Scout Master
The dangers of being an outgoing Scoutmaster in the 21st century. Please give me your thoughts on this or better yet, comment on the original article (or both). I am very interested yet very skeptical of the modern professional Scouter.
Joe has no idea who reported him. It’s difficult to imagine anyone in town doing that. More than likely, some well-meaning visitor to the campground saw the empty kayaks floating downstream, and called 911.
As everyone in town knows (who has not been comatose, away all summer, or boycotting Facebook) that incident led the Boy Scouts of America to suspend our long-time Scoutmaster, Joe Brandl. The BSA has now denied his appeal.
It was a routine outing last May, a typical outdoors training exercise for the troop that Joe headed for many years. The Wind River was predictably high with the late-spring runoff of snowmelt, and some of the boys were tipped from their kayaks.
None of the scouts was hurt or even (in the other sense of the word) upset. This had happened before, and was hardly unexpected. Thanks to Joe’s guidance, they already knew what to do. In…
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The Ideal Tool Cabinet
Arranging your workspace and tools is critical, and one of the most difficult things to do. Here is a good post of an excerpt from Charles H. Hayward – The Woodworker. It is pitching a reprint of the book but worthy of a read nonetheless.
FIG. 2. DOORS OPENED SHOWING TOOL ARRANGEMENT When doors are opened back flat the position of every tool can be seen at a glance
FIG. 1. CABINET WITH CLOSED DOORS With lightly rounded corners and a painted or lacquered finish, the cabinet makes a most attractive as well as useful item. The closed size is 2 ft. 9-1/2 ins. wide, 3 ft. 7-1/4 ins. high, and 11 ins. deep. These dimensions can be varied to suit special tools
This is an excerpt from “The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years: Volume IV” published by Lost Art Press.
A sense of orderliness in woodworking is an important factor contributing to good work. For instance, the bench should be clear of tools, excepting those in immediate use, and when a tool is no longer required it should be replaced in the rack or tool chest. By far the most convenient arrangement is to…
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Feast for the eyes
Sad news, but not surprising with massive growth, industry given free reign, and populations far beyond that which our planet has ever seen.
The World Wildlife Fund just released their living planet report for 2018. Up front it seems it seem the report could well be titled the dying planet instead of the living planet report given the summary states “On average, we’ve seen an astonishing 60% declinein the size of populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians in just over 40 years, according to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018. The top threats to species identified in the report link directly to human activities, including habitat loss and degradation and the excessive use of wildlife such as overfishing and overhunting.”
You can read the full report here.
Please pass along the report to all who care and even those that may not.
Photo: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 2018.
I made it out for a brief stay in the eastern Ozarks this week. The rain and cold came back just in time for my outing making it a little less comfortable than it could have been but I still enjoyed the time out. I chose to stay fairly low-tech with the exception of a … Continue reading Cozy Camp
Since my playing time is very limited I've learned to connect with other musicians via the internet. Having a great selection of "Play Along" tunes lined up on YouTube has really helped me out, especially when trying to keep up or understand variations in a tune. There are so many great garage artists out there … Continue reading Swallowtail Jig
What is the Real Price?
Henry David Thoreau once wisely wrote that, “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” Or, in essence, that in the abstract economy in which we live that we pay for any goods or services … Continue reading What is the Real Price?
Albannach – The Scotsmen
I'm a sucker for this music and it brings out a load of primal feelings for me. Presenting Albannach, and I recommend setting your speakers to eleven and letting letting it pour over you. Have a glass of something good and enjoy the upcoming weekend. https://youtu.be/2DF-pIojGME