Russell Brand has been under attack over his recent article lately “Russell Brand on revolution: “We no longer have the luxury of tradition” But before we change the world, we need to change the way we think.”. The left took to him like vultures tearing up every opportunity we had to exploit this occasion and get real radical ideas discussed on a much larger stage. We can discuss the misogyny of his actions in this and in the past, but we also need to seize this moment to stand up for what was said.
Sadly if you are butt hurt he pissed on voting then you might not be as left or liberal as you would like to think, so maybe you should start questioning why it is you support this oppressive system.
For those of you who are still listening and talking you should understand that our system of electing rulers has failed us. It is time to call for revolution. I am not looking to reform our system this will only clean up the ruling class just enough for it to be slightly tolerable for a little while longer. We need to bring down the system.
I choose to highlight two paragraphs.
Total revolution of consciousness and our entire social, political and economic system is what interests me, but that’s not on the ballot. Is utopian revolution possible? The freethinking social architect Buckminster Fuller said humanity now faces a choice: oblivion or utopia. We’re inertly ambling towards oblivion, is utopia really an option? – Russell Brand
I am not sold on utopian revolution in the reality of a revolutions outcome, but that is the goal. Isn’t that the goal of every revolution? We can say that the outcome of revolution can far exceed the current system of the ruling class which is founded on and supported by murder and exploitation.
Along with the absolute, all-encompassing total corruption of our political agencies by big business, this apathy is the biggest obstacle to change. We can’t alter the former without removing the latter. Can this be achieved? Obviously this is a rhetorical question and without wanting to spunk the surprise ending the answer is yes. – Russell Brand
Not only can it be achieved but it must. It can and one day will be done. The question is always will you wait for it or will it happen when things are worse? I fear that too many are complacent and true change will be later when it seems too late.
What is an answer or a goal? I cannot speak for Russell, but myself, I look to the vision of the anarchists who have lived and are living now offering alternatives. Not to be redundant, but the two biggest actions I feel are needed right now are education and organization.
The vote is a passive complacency. Direct action is the active participation in change. So, no a vote is not what will bring any answers but only through direct action will we change the world.
The clear and concise truth and message both behind what I am writing and what I get from Russell’s article is this: The system and our rulers will not bring us any answers. We must rise up and create the tomorrow we want.
The message is resistance and revolution.
It’s Christmas time again, and it seemed a perfect time to discuss the role of gifting within society. Nearly every child who celebrates Christmas will, at some point in their childhood, say something to the effect that “I wish it could be Christmas all the time!” and without fail, this wish is put down by parents. Obviously the parents wouldn’t be able to afford to buy presents for their children, as well as all their friends, relatives, etc every day, but that’s never the reason given. The reason given is something along the lines of “But then it wouldn’t be special any more.”
Communism is the idea that we should kick that view out of the water. Markets and capitalism are squashed into so much of our lives, but some of the greatest joy that people experience comes from the short times of the year when they reject all that: Christmas, birthdays, celebrations, etc. During this, we abandon notions of exchange and give gifts to each other. And we also gain a genuine sense of ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his need’: the first time a child gives out Christmas presents, they probably haven’t given much, but it means a lot to them, and will inevitably be appreciated. In fact often children are very eager to give out presents; it gives them a sense of pride that they’ve been able to, and perhaps more importantly, a sense that they are just as much a part of the occasion as everyone else. No-one measures and quantifies their Christmas presents. People don’t make charts and check prices so they know the exact balance of how much everyone has spent on each other. In fact we’d laugh at such an idea.
So here is my question: why can’t we live our lives like this? Why can’t we make gifting the basis of everyday life? For what reason can the principles of gifting at Christmas not be applied all year round? Do we really want to keep the rest of our lives shit so that the times when we do feel special by comparison?
For the Christmas-isation of everyday life,
It’s December 20th. You’ve gotten most of your shopping out of the way, but you still have some unfinished holiday business. Whether you’re a procrastinator, broke, found out that your nephew’s girlfriend will be showing up to Christmas dinner after all, haven’t the foggiest clue what to get the receptionist at work, or need to round out a couple gifts, this list will inspire you to make something awesome that will be totally worthy of gifting.
Although you can probably knock out several of these projects with your existing supplies, there are probably a few that will require a special trip. If you want some more ideas and inspiration, check out my Pinterest boards titled “Cheapskate’s Guide to DIY Christmas Gifting 2012” and “Holidays 2012” (which includes general entertaining ideas, as well as holiday specific pins).
With that being said, here’s the list of ideas. If you have any ideas you’d like to add, please drop a comment.
1- Coasters! There are a zillion different tutorials out there. Here are some fun looking ones: etched tile coasters (I think that you could use this tute as a basis for glitter embellished coasters- just glitter the etched parts), beer cap coasters, Scrabble tiles coasters, Perler bead coasters, scrap yarn crocheted flower coasters, and painted cork coasters.
2- Glittered stuff! The holidays are all about glitz, glimmer, and decadence. Glittering is a great, inexpensive way to introduce some shimmer and sparkle into your gift giving. On my glittered tealight holder tutorial, I give you the basics on how to glitter up your life. Glue, glitter, and spray with clear coat. It’s really that easy. The only difficult part is finding more things to glitter!
3- The old crafter’s standby: a scarf. Luckily, knitting looms are popular right now and make a bulky scarf super fast & easy to knit. I knocked this one out in maybe ten hours; it’s a honeycomb scarf knitted with one skein of Woolease Thick n’ Quick.
4- Glittered animal ornaments. I am loving this “spray painted animal figures” trend, and these ornaments are the best.
5- Hot cocoa in a labeled mason jar. The great thing about this one is that it really works for any sort of mix in a jar and any of these gifts are quick and perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.
6- Embroidered felt ornaments. Easy to put together, easy to customize, but note that they are deceptively time consuming (depending on the amount of detail involved).
7- Beaded bracelets; simple bracelets are totally trendy and are pretty easy to make, even if you’re like me and tend to drop beads everywhere. Check out these tutorials for some inspiration: DIY beaded bracelet, sliding knot adjustable bracelet, wrapped leather bracelets, or diy fishtail braided anchor bracelet.
8- Block prints. Block prints are fun and easy to make; however, since carving the blocks can be a little time consuming, I recommend these if you’re planning on either selling the designs or making a lot of prints for a lot of people.
9- Silk screened designs. I scored two jars of Speedball silk screen ink at the thrift store for only $.99 each (I love you, Philly Aids Thrift!), and I can’t wait to try this! (Check out this post on Craftster for silk screening tips and tricks.)
10- Baked goods/candies. One caveat: if you don’t bake often, do at least one test run before giving them out. When your baked goods are amazing, people assume they’re a thousand times more difficult than they really are. When they’re subpar, people think you half assed it. Some recipes/tutorials: chocolate covered pretzel rods, fleur de sel caramels, caramel & chocolate dipped marshmallows, sriracha salt, snickerdoodle blondies, and peanut butter kiss cookies (with a twist! hot pink dough + Hershey’s hugs = a hot pink zebra cookie).
11- Personalized coffee mugs. I haven’t yet tried this project, but it’s on the list of “OMG GOTTA MAKE ‘EM!” (Pair them with #5, #6 or #10 for an extra special themed gift!)
12- Personalized gift box. For this specific one, I was rounding out my baby second cousin’s Christmas gift when I realized I had some gift boxes in my stash. I quickly sketched out her first initial, transferred it onto the lid using carbon paper, painted a base coat for the M (using a Sharpie paint pen), then glittered the blue section. Once the blue dried, I glittered the M, marked the bottom of the lid on the box, and glittered the gold section. I added some complimentary ribbon and some metal charms with hot glue, sprayed the whole thing down with clear coat, and it was ready to be stuffed with little presents. If my five year old cousin’s reaction is any indication, most five year olds will think this gift is baller as shit. When she saw it, she shrieked “IT’S GOT AN ‘M’ ON IT. THAT MEANS IT’S FOR MEEEEEEE!” And, well, any crafter can tell you that type of reaction is about the best thing you can hear.
13- Kitchen (or otherwise) art. Lightweight, paper mache’ letters can be found at any craft or art supply store, but if you have a workshop with the proper saw, you should easily be able to sketch out and cut these letters out of lightweight wood, sand, and paint.
14- Christmas stockings! There are about a bazillion different stocking tutorials, but I’ve gotta point out these upcycled stockings made out of old sweaters. They are adorable!
15- Etched drinking glasses! Yeah, I know, this is the third craft involving glass etching cream, but I love it. It’s an easy and relatively inexpensive way to customize glass or mirrors. This is a fun one to combine with coasters and an alcohol related baked good. (Unfortunately, you need a week for this pepper vodka to fully infuse, so you’re out of luck for Christmas Day, but you’re in luck if you need a New Year’s hostess gift!)
16- Canned goods. Yes, Virginia, you can can foods in the winter! The linked post includes links to a ton of seasonally appropriate foods to can. (Note: YMMV depending on your area. Don’t forget to quickly research which foods are in season before taking on this project.)
Hopefully, these ideas will give you a jumping point for your extremely last minute Christmas crafting. Good luck and happy crafting!
A few weeks ago, I stopped at my favorite local thrift store and spied a brand new pack of IKEA tealights. As soon as I saw them, I knew they were begging to be glittery and shiny! Even if you don’t luck out and score candleholders for $.99 like I did, this project is still much cheaper than what you’d spend if you bought the items pre-glittered in store.
This is a great craft for kids (with parents’ permission and help, of course). Excluding all the drying time, it took me maybe a half hour to complete.
Candle holders; mine were solid colored with a matte finish. (The finish is very important. If they are not matte, the glitter will not adhere to the candle holders.)
Glitter in complimentary colors; the brand doesn’t matter. I used Martha Stewart glitter because it’s what I had on hand.
Sheets of paper (for glittering the candle holders)
Wax paper/a piece of plastic/a baking sheet or cooling rack that is used for crafting only (not baking)
Clear coat; I used Krylon Crystal Clear
Outdoor space or a room with plenty of ventilation
First thing’s first. Using your paintbrush, put a nice, even coating of craft glue on the outside of each candleholder. Don’t forget to get the top edges of the candleholder! Remember, if there’s no glue on a portion of the candleholder, the glitter won’t stick, so make sure that glue is evenly spread!
Time to start glittering! Move the gluey candleholder to a sheet of paper. (Before you do so, make sure to wipe off the bottom of the candleholder. PROTIP: make sure to fold the paper in half and unfold it before starting to glitter everything. It will make your life much easier when you put the rest of the glitter back into the container.)
Don’t be stingy with the sparkle! Remember, you’re going to give everything a nice, healthy shake before allowing the glue to set. Glitter it and shake off the extra glitter onto the paper before moving it off to the wax paper/plastic/baking sheet/cooling rack. (My candleholders came packaged in plastic. I just opened up the box completely flat to have a surface for my candleholders to start drying.) Take the paper and dump the extra glitter into the container.
Repeat each of the above steps for the remaining candleholders.
Told you I snagged them for a buck!
Allow the glue to start setting a bit. Once it is dry to the touch, take them into your ventilated room (or outside) and spray all the glittery parts with a coating of clear coat. Although you can expect to lose some glitter over time, the clear coat will generally keep everything sealed and in place. Allow ample time for the clear coat to dry. (Check manufacturer’s instructions. Mine only took a few minutes.)
Once dry, they are fine to use! Pop in some candles and light away!
By: Mary Anarchaeopteryx | Nov 15, 2012 DIY
The story of mutual aid is a long and compelling one. Examples from archaelogical evidence and personal documents are writ large upon human history. Presently, we are seeing its real potential realized in photographs of Occupy Sandy volunteers feeding FEMA workers in the aftermath of that storm. Government fail; people win. Mutual Aid is getting press, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer human tendency.
As anarchists, we understand the nature and importance of cooperation. Pyotr Kropotkin’s writings give us a myriad look at both human and non-human animals turning to mutual aid as a means to survival: cooperation and mutual aid mechanisms as factors in evolution. Here in the US, mutual aid associations were commonplace and fruitful until the advent of state aid, but that story deserves a fuller treatment at some other time. Today, let’s discuss black beans as mutual aid. Yes, a simple meal preparation transformed into thoughtful action.
First, here is a recipe:
1 lb. dry black beans
1 qt. cold water
6 cloves garlic
2 bell peppers chopped
2 large onions chopped
2/3 cup olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. salt
1 T. vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
1 T. sugar
Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse. Cover with cold water and boil for 1 hour. Add remaining ingredients, except vinegar and sugar. Cook slowly until soft (about 4 hours). Add vinegar and sugar just before they are done.
The amount of vegetables can be varied according to what you have available. This recipe has been a staple on our menu for years; it’s delicious and leftovers freeze well. I use mason jars for freezing, and it is in this lovely quality that mutual aid potential lies: Black beans, along with so many other prepared vegetables, freeze well. If you live alone, preparing large batches of something and freezing it is both cost and labor effective. If you have a friend who enjoys spending time with you, even better! You can pool ingredients and prepare meals together, splitting the end product via storage containers and walking away with several meals for half the cost! I know, it sounds magical: for a handful of garlic cloves, an onion and some salt and pepper (your portion of the ingredient pool) you get delicious black beans that can serve as the centerpiece of several meals! Only, it’s not magic, it’s mutual aid! Enjoy!
I love making soups because as long as all the flavors gel together, you can pretty much toss in whatever you want and all will be right with the world. They freeze great and homemade soup always seems to be super filling. On this one, I purchased some split peas that were being discontinued a few months back, but hadn’t yet made them. After being severely disappointed by some split pea & ham soup I bought at my former workplace, I got the bug to make my own version. Recent unemployment, a freezing house, and boredom combined with everything I had on hand to make a yummy and filling soup.
I’m terming this as a “quickie” because there is some active prep time on this; since it’s a crock pot recipe, it’s obviously not going to be ready to eat in a half hour.
Special equipment needed:
Dutch oven (preferably cast iron)
Crock pot (4+ quart)
1 lb. of dried split peas
2 T diced pancetta or bacon*
2-3 ribs of celery
5-6 cloves of garlic
Salt & pepper
2 quarts of low salt chicken stock
1 cup of “quick barley”
Rinse and check over split peas. Pick out any debris, funky looking peas or other non-tasty matter. Put your picked over peas into a dutch oven and cover with about 4-5 inches of water. Boil split peas for 5 minutes, kill the heat, and allow to sit in the dutch oven (covered with a tight fitting lid) for about 30-45 minutes.
While the peas are hanging out, start prepping your veg. Get your shit together (dice onions, carrots, celery, and smash garlic). If using mushrooms, there’s no need to cut them down any further then slicing them. Drain peas and wipe out any scum from the Dutch oven. Melt a tablespoon of butter and start rendering the delicious, delicious pig fat out of the pancetta over medium heat. Once the pancetta is all nice and crispy and the fat is all deliciously rendered out, pull out the bacon and stick it on a plate. Reserve it for later (or have yourself a bacony snack). Add all of the veg to the (with the exception of the fat) now empty Dutch oven. Sweat the shit out of it.
While the veg are happily sweating down, you have to do two things. First, dump the drained peas into your crock pot with 2 quarts of chicken stock and turn your crock pot onto high for 6 hours; if you like some bay leaf in your soup, this is the time to add it into the peas. Second, get your seasonings together. Since this was such a blank slate type of meal, I decided to go with Indian spices; I used some coriander, cumin, garam masala, mild curry powder, and ginger. You can really roll with whatever you want. (If you’re a cooking n00b, try using a chart like this for some help.) Dump them into the Dutch oven while the veg are softening up but not quite there.
Once the veg are softened all the way, add them into the crock pot. Walk away until the soup is almost done. The soup is almost done when the peas are still intact, but haven’t broken done all the way. I’d say after the soup has cooked for about 5 or 6 hours, you should be all good. At this point, toss in a cup of the quick barley. (You could probably sub parboiled rice if you wanted.) The soup is done once the peas start exploding.
If you don’t have all day free like I do, you could get everything prepped the night before and then just throw it all into your crock pot before work. It goes really well with buttermilk biscuits and is a delish dinner with a biscuit or two. Add a splash of water to it when you heat it up and nom till your heart’s content.
* Omit if you don’t eat teh pig, duh. I like to use it bacon fat anytime I can.
** The shrooms fall under the category of “anything you have laying around that you think would be delicious in split pea soup.” Want to throw in some diced tomatoes, leeks, potatoes, corn, parsnips, kale, or pork chops? Go wild. I had shrooms, and I love shrooms, so shrooms went in.
By: Mary Anarchaeopteryx | Oct 25, 2012 DIY
Ever chance to notice the arrangement of trees around old houses? The encroachment of statist culture has wrought many changes in the landscape of our lives, one of the most profound being a loss of useful and common sensical wisdom.
Before the advent of central air and heating people took advantage of natural barriers against the extremities. Deciduous trees were planted along the western/ northwestern side of a home, providing shade in the summer while allowing full sun exposure in winter once the leaves fell. Evergreens situated to the north or northwest provided a windbreak. My neighbor’s house has a beautiful Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides) guarding that western exposure; its large leaves and white spring blossoms make it quite distinctive. A drive into the countryside will give any observer a chance to see a catalpa. Again and again, you will see them situated along the west side of old homes…old trees, clearly as old as the homes they guard, tall and majestic. It is one of the first to drop its leaves in autumn and one of the first to bud in springtime. Clearly, the wisdom of another time is evident in these trees. And the catalpa is a hardy tree. I live in hurricane country, and I cannot recall ever seeing one downed by a storm. That wisdom is ours to share; it is not lost, but it certainly needs to be salvaged.
Here’s an idea how: selling trees! Yes, starting a gray market nursery of sorts! You can spread awareness and make a little money on the side for your effort. Does your town or city have a farmer’s market? A local swap meet? With a little research and a bit of treasure hunting, you can spread the good word of natural energy efficiency. Find out what kind of fast growing shade trees are native to your area. The Arbor Day Foundation is a quick and excellent resource.
Here, along the gulf coast, Southern Catalpa is an ideal tree…pods can be easily collected and planted after overwintering. Within a few days they will sprout, giving you a good idea of how many trees you will have to sell. The Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) is equally easy to grow and is suited to zones 4-8. Other trees that grow quickly and provide excellent shade are the River Birch (Betula nigra) and the Red Maple (Acer rubrum)…again, a little research should yield results for ideal plantings in your area.
Once you have decided on a tree, the adventure really begins. Sure, you could buy the seeds. That would increase your overhead, but stashing away your loose change may very well cover it. Finding a tree and collecting the seeds yourself is another option, if you should find access. My source is right next door, so seed collection is just steps away. Actually, some seed pods fell into my yard, so I’m good to go. Next, dirt and pots must be lined up. A couple of bags of potting soil should do the trick, but a shovel and the dirt where you’re standing will also work. I am one of those people who pick up discarded ‘junk’, so I have a nice collection of old black plastic nursery planters and such. Ask around; you may find pots for planting readily available.
Every tree has its own seed planting process. Again, do the research; it won’t take long and it will help ensure success in sprouting your saplings. Once your seeds are planted and your trees sprout, you can enjoy watching them grow as you complete the final stage in your enterprise: marketing. Contact your local farmer’s market and find out how to get involved. This may require a small fee, but often these markets are fee-free. Your marketing angle is the real gem because it’s the old wisdom of energy efficiency. You can tell your potential customers all about the benefits of strategic tree plantings, spreading valuable information and trees! It’s a win/win situation. In your research, you may find excellent ‘sells’. For example, maple trees are great in urban areas because they are pollution tolerant. Gray market trees have great potential for self- learning, spreading ideas and planting trees. Getting involved with your local farmer’s market will widen your horizons and your network. It’s a beautiful scheme! So get out there and find some seeds. Plant them and watch them grow. When the time is right, you can sell them for a tidy sum. Plant some herbs or appealing flowers, additionally, and you’ll have a nice variety of offerings for the market. A true portable nursery.
If your trees don’t sell, then you will have an opportunity to practice some guerilla gardening…planting trees combats the urban-heat island effect. So plant them! Whether you make a little extra money on the side or not, you will have experienced the wonder of growing, and that is priceless!
For this my very firstest DIY column, I will show you how to make your own elderberry-apple-pear juice, using a juice cooker. I will attempt to guide you from the picking of elderberries, preparing them (and the apples, pears,
anchovies, orangutans and breakfast cereals) to cooking the juice out of them, and store the final product appropriately (for its intended use).
Elderberry trees are quite common in Denmark, in private gardens as well as growing in the ‘wild’. You meet them almost everywhere – even in urban settings. The specie most common in Denmark is known as European Black Elder (Sambucus nigra) or in Danish: Almindelig Hyld (Common Elder). There is a lot of superstition around elderberry trees. It is the home of Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, gold, war, death etc. in Norse mythology. It also protects against evil spirits, while cutting down an Elder tree will bring bad luck, unless one plants another Elder tree. Considering Elderberries contain a lot of Vitamin C as well as having a number of healing properties (and keeps mosquitoes away), it is indeed bad luck to cut down Elder trees. Not to mention that Elderberry Soup taste really well.
Warning: Unripe Elderberries are poisonous as is the rest of the plant except for flowers and cooked ripe berries. Raw ripe berries are also poisonous! This warning will be repeated a couple of times.
Apples and pears are quite common in most places, so forgive me for not going into detail with those two. Just know that apple and pear are closely related, and that pear spoils easily (as you will see).
The Juice Cooker is a fantastic tool, and something everybody ought to have at home. Only downside is that you may get addicted to cooking your own juice. Anyway, for those who don’t know what it is or looks like or how it works: Here it is…
The Juice Cooker consists of three major parts:
- The base, where your pour water in. This will boil and the steam will travel upwards, drawing out the juice from the berries in the top part,
- the middle, the juice collector, where the condensing juice is collected,
- the top, the part where you put the fruits, berries, whatever you are making juice from.
Apart from the lid, there are two more things here. The tube. And the clip sitting on the tube. This is where the juice will come out. The clip is there to keep the juice in until you tap the juice.
Now, back to those elderberries.
When you pick the elderberries from the tree, you do not pick the individual elderberry. That would be most time consuming. You gently pick the elderberry twigs from the tree, while choosing twigs with many ripe berries (in order to avoid time consuming sorting afterwards). Do not pick the shrunken semi-dried berries (they look like small raisins). Those have zero juice left. And avoid the green unripe berries. Ahh, time for that warning again.
Warning: Unripe Elderberries are poisonous as is the rest of the plant except for flowers and cooked ripe berries. Raw ripe berries are also poisonous!
Also, remember a bag or two to store the berries in. Your hands can only hold that many elderberry twigs.
When you have picked your share, head home. When you get home take a water tub or similar, and pour gently the berry laden twigs in it.
Pour water in the tub, and start rubbing the berries from the twigs. Remember to do so gently. The ripe berries come off easily, but are also easily destroyed. They are quite soft. If you managed to get a few unripe berries among the ripe berries, do not worry. They tend to float on top of the water, with the ripe berries lying in the bottom of the tub. Nature has its ways of fixing things.
When you rub the berries from the twigs, do not forget to put the twigs aside; like putting them in a bag. The twigs are good for fertilizing. Also, it makes for less time consuming labour when you have to get to the rubbed-off berries afterwards.
When you have rubbed off all the berries from the twigs, you can pretty much empty tub for water. Remember to do so gently, in order to keep the berries in the tub. Since I was going to prepare apples and pears, I chose to pour the berries into a glass bowl, so the tub was ready for another go.
Doesn’t look so bad, IMHO.
If a few teeny tiny twigs and one or two unripe berries happens to come along, it is not a disaster. They do not contain juice, so little harm happens from a few. I am just trying to play it safe. And with safety comes this:
Warning: Unripe Elderberries are poisonous as is the rest of the plant except for flowers and cooked ripe berries. Raw ripe berries are also poisonous!
Well, get on with it!
Since the most bestest elderberries were in the top of the trees (and it was cold and windy and cold), I decided to be satisfied with half a bag of berries, and add apples and pears to the mix. Also because I wanted to show that just because fruit has gone partially bad, they can still be used. Just remember to remove the bad parts.
Yes, they are ugly. But still useable. And one does not throw usable food away. You just remove the bad parts. Since the apples and pears had gone bad, and the only goodlooking apple was a Dutch non-organic apple, I chose to peel them all. This is usually not necessary, but in this case I thought it would be a good idea.
Slice the apples and the pears in quarters, remove the core and the seeds, and cut the fruits in small pieces. After having done that I had this:
It looks much better like that, eh? Well, next step.
Take the Juice Cooker, pour water (for my model 3-3½ L of water) in the base, put the other parts on top of it, turn on the stove, add fruit/berries to the upper part and put on the lid. Now be patient.
It takes a while before the water starts boiling, some more before the steam has done its magical work on the fruits and berries. After some time the tube connected to the Juice Collector (middle part) will begin to fill. Then you can start tapping the juice from time to time; it is actually funny – not unlike watching the clothes in the washing machine tumble around.
Yes, the stove could have used a wet cloth. Did it afterwards. but too late for the image though.
At this stage you simply have to keep an eye on the process. Notice that it takes several hours to cook out the juices. Also please, do note the following advice:
Make sure the base part NEVER EVER boils dry. Apart from the first hour you should check up on it every 20-30 minutes. Apply common sense at your own risk.
Pour in extra water until the fruits and berries have been shrunk like in the following image.
The remnants are pure bio-waste and can be returned to nature as fertilizer – or perhaps fermented into butanol or whatever in case you have access to ‘Clostridium acetobutylicum‘.
After having cooked the juice out of the fruits and berries it is time to store it according to intended use. Since I am going to use the juice for brewing mead, I did not add any conservation fluid (like those containing Sodium benzoate). I chose to pour it on a well-cleaned 2 L cola-bottle from the local brewery. And put the bottle in the freezer. Out of 7 L of water, I got 2.1 L of elderberry-apple-pear juice.
There you go.
Oh, btw: If you buy a Juice Cooker, go for those in Stainless Steel. Avoid those in Aluminium. A Juice Cooker typically costs between 50 and 400 $. Mine is a 60 $ model.
How much food had my family wasted over the years? Holy mackerel! It was not a pretty picture!
Leftovers were shuffled into a dingy laboratory somewhere in the deeper reaches of the refrigerator. Fuzzy, chromatic colonies of sci-fi wonder flourished in containers of translucent plastic ware… Oh that plastic ware! Such an easy sell..the convenience, the re-useability! Only, it wasn’t convenient, and the potential for re-use was greatly diminished with every lid that was misplaced. It was more like a hot mess. Wasted food, lost lids, and PLASTIC! The very nature of the thing itself was and is terribly inconvenient. In the kitchen and on the ocean floor. Then one day I noticed the fine glass jars spaghetti sauce came in. Fine and dandy: every one the same basic design, and the lids were interchangeable. Suddenly jars of every size and shape suggested themselves to new purpose! And again, so many with interchangeable lids! I dug an old toy bucket out of the closet and began to keep lids in it. Next, the jars I’d collected were arranged in the cupboard, and I stopped buying plastic containers. Ah, the true ease and clarity of glass! Leftovers were now visible to any eyes that might rove the refrigerator. Soon, it was downright fun to find the right shaped glass jar for the item being stored: half an onion? Salsa jar! (How about some homemade salsa in a salsa jar?) Asparagus spears? Why, an old olive jar fit the bill!
Now the colorful things in the ice box are apples halves and pesto, ready to be served with the twist of a lid. Cleaning has been no more trouble then when I used plastic. In fact, I use a dishwasher and found that plastic never ran through the cycle very well. Often an oily residue clung to it. Shudder! Glass jars easily handle the higher heat on the bottom level; squeaky clean! And canning jars also work well in freezing: beans, fruits, leftovers, all freeze well in the heavier jars. A true convenience indeed!
At this juncture, we are all aware of how craptastic plastic is, no need to review the why-nots; rejecting plastic is an imperative. Choosing alternative methods of food storage is a good start.
- 1 whole pineapple (small dice)
- 1/4 red onion (small dice)
- 1/4 cup red pepper (small dice)
- 1 jalapeno (small dice)
- Juice and zest of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup of mint (packed and minced)
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste. The onion and bell pepper are estimates. I just eyeballed and added more as I needed it. (I already had them prepped from another recipe and wanted to use them up before my pepper died on me.)
Try not to demolish in one sitting. Best with handmade tortilla chips, like Xochitl. Keep in mind that the longer the melds together in the fridge, the spicier it will get! My general manager — a former restaurant owner and a self-professed foodie — thought it was perfectly balanced. Yum!
Originally posted at my blog, drunkenatheist.com.