Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weekend ramblings

I’ll start off my blog tonight with dinner.  Army daughter made half and I made half.  She made the chili.  It was good.  It was almost as good as mine.  She used 6 cans of beans, each a different variety: pinto beans, Bush’s chili beans, generic chili beans, pink beans, and two other kinds that I can’t remember.  She ground two pounds of ground beef.  She added two packages of McCormick chili seasoning.  She also added garlic salt.  This was all cooked in the slow cooker all day.  As I said it was good.

 If I was making the chili I would have put dried beans in the slow cooker last night, filled the thing with water and set it on low to cook all night.  In the morning I would have drained the water, added more water and cooked it most of the day.  I would have added chili powder, cumin, perhaps a dried chili pepper or two, onions, garlic, and whatever else came into my head.  I would have cut up the leftovers from last night’s meat and put it in the pot. 

I wasn’t asked to make the chili though as she’d much rather have chili from beans in cans rather than using those hard beans and cooking them until they are soft.  (Doesn’t she know the beans in the cans were hard before they were canned?)  I was asked to make the corn bread. 

That’s an easy one.  Corn meal, flour, egg, frozen cream corn –from last year’s garden (yes we have pieces of corn in the corn bread), baking powder, salt, and molasses.  Yes I know it’s usually honey but I felt like making it with molasses this time. 

When it’s time to eat you take a piece of corn bread and put it in your bowl.  Then you pile your chili on the top.  Delicious. 

Bug-out renters asked if they could have my solar oven so I started making another today.  Army daughter thinks this is funny.  Why would I want to do that when I have two ovens in my kitchen?  I also own three different sizes of slow cooker.  Who needs a solar slow cooker.  I tried to reason with her “save the resources” side.  She wasn’t buying that since I’m an advocate for logging.  Son-in-law said that he’s heard of these types of ovens being used in poor countries.  Yes, and in rich countries too.  I didn’t get the oven completed today so it’s a project for next weekend. 

The electrician came over today and we figured out where the fan is going to go, what wiring is available and what he will need to do to get the switch installed.  Fortunately there is a perfect spot where the entry hall and the long hallway come together.  The only issue that I may have is you are supposed to have a large vent from the attic to the outside of the house somewhere near the location of the fan.  The large attic vent on this house is about 40 feet away.  I may have to put additional vents somewhere on the roof.  If so it will be one of those vents that has a fan that automatically rotates when the hot air rises through.  The electrician is going to come back next weekend.  If I have time during the week I can punch out the 30” square in the ceiling.  If I do so, then I’ll have to cover it with plastic so we don’t lose all the cold air from the air conditioner.  (Or perhaps I’ll leave it open so we can lose some of the cold air and this air conditioned house won’t keep me on the verge of being frozen.)  It will be interesting when Army daughter gets this months electric bill.  The first $35 is mine.  The rest hers.  I bet it’s going to be close to $350.  Ouch.   

We had too many grandkids here this weekend to spend any time practicing shooting.  We are starting to get too many rabbits on the property although I've seen very few squirrels this year.  If I don't start shooting almost every day I'm going to have to set out poison or traps or both. 

I would like to spend more time with my 9mm since I’d like to add it to my concealed weapons permit.  I’m also trying to figure out what I’m going to do on my trip to North Carolina next month.  They do not accept a California permit so I’m not going to be able to carry while I’m there.  It’s a pain to go through the airport declaring a weapon but it’s something that can be done if you plan on spending a little extra time getting checked in.  But I won’t have it for the 9 days.  I’ll have a knife and other things in my luggage but will probably need to pick up some other items when I’m there.    


  1. Wow, chili sounds good right about now. I'm with you though, I'd have soaked the beans instead of using canned.

    I would love to find out your solar oven instructions. The store bought ones go for $250 on Amazon but I'd rather not spend that. I found some instructions in the internet, but I would rather go with one that is known to work, and I know yours would since you've made a few. I hope you will post about your solar oven!

  2. Good idea. When it's done I'll post pictures and instructions.