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Making Kefir Water

We have been enjoying homemade kefir water for some time now. Kefir water contains probiotics and has been found to help digestive issues and is a natural alternative to store-bought probotic products. I will share one of my recipes for the process here on My Useful Ideas. My recipe is very simple and it is easy to follow.

First you need a yeast stater to make your kefir water. I obtained my starter from my DIL who has been making kefir water and had extra starter grains. Once you make kefir water you will find that your starters grow and you share them with other people. You can also purchase your starter grains from many different on-line sources.

Make sure you use non-chlorinated water to make your kefir water. I am on a private water well which is not chlorinated and I just use the water from my tap and it works just fine.

Here is a photo of my kefir water after one day of being covered and as you can see a few of the little kefir grains are floating which is a good sign. There are also little bubbles that confirm the grains are active and the process is working. I usually leave the glass jar covered with a paper towel for 2-3 days on my counter. I use a rubberband to keep the jar covered with the paper towel as shown.

I check the kefir grains and if after 2 days they are floating and there are bubbles I then remove the grains. I added a small amount of apple juice to this batch to make apple kefir water.

If your grains are not active and there is little bubbling going on, you may want to “feed” the grains more sugar. Continue Reading →

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Super Large Size Chicken Egg

I buy my eggs at a local feed store that sells local farmer’s eggs. This week I was shown this incredibly large egg in a box of chicken eggs for sale. Check out this amazing egg in this dozen.

I was told this egg was laid by a Barred Rocks chicken which is also known as a Plymouth Rock chicken. According the Wikipedia Barred Rocks chickens do lay large eggs but this one takes the blue ribbon in my opinion. I have never seen a chicken egg this big in my life. I am told it should be at least a double yoke egg and maybe even 3 yolks.

Hope you enjoyed seeing this amazingly large chicken egg. I will update the post Continue Reading →

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Elk Roast in a Dutch Oven

I had a 3 pound Elk shoulder roast given to me and set out to roast it in my cast iron Dutch Oven. I had never done a Elk roast before so I did a little research and got some advice from a few people who had experience in cooking Elk roasts. Because Elk is very lean, it is a good method to slow cook a roast to get tender and moist meat.

I love cooking in cast iron and thought baking my Elk roast in a Dutch Oven would be a good choice. Here are the following ingredients I used. Continue Reading →

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Harvest of Green Tomatoes Ripen

Here is my final harvest of green tomatoes that were picked October 19, 2014. I picked all my green tomatoes and kept them after my garden was pulled before the frost hit. I had a whole bag of green tomatoes that I wrapped in newspaper and stored in a large brown paper bag in my basement. I have used this process in the past and you can read the original storing green tomatoes post which works excellent for storing and ripening all those green tomatoes you have at the end of your gardening season.

Ripened Green Tomatoes

You just keep checking the tomatoes and pull them out as they ripen from the storage brown bag. This is the last of my tomatoes and as you can see, just one is still yellow. Continue Reading →

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Wild Mushrooms in the Yard

Here are a few photos of the wild mushrooms in and about my yard this Fall. These white unusual mushrooms are called Shaggy Ink Cap mushrooms. They are just so unique and I even found a tasty-sounding soup recipe for using them to make some homemade soup. Here is the link to a simple soup recipe for using the wild mushrooms. Do take note of the alcohol warning if eating these mushrooms.

Here are some other mushrooms I found growing in and around my cabin in the woods. The next photo below, I believe is a Coprinopsis atramentaria, commonly known as the common ink cap or inky cap.
Continue Reading →

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Protecting Plants from Grasshoppers

I replanted my Elderberry bush in the back yard recently. I first wrote about growing this Elderberry bush from a small plant start back in April. Well the replanted Elderberry bush had been doing very well in its new location until the grasshoppers discovered it. Grasshoppers started eating the leaves and the bush was suffering terribly. So I set out to find a non-toxic, home recipe for protecting my plants and getting rid of the grasshoppers.

After doing some research I mixed up this grasshopper brew to repel and hopefully kill the grasshoppers around my back yard. So here is my pet friendly, homemade mix for getting rid of grasshoppers using supplies I had in my cupboard.

Materials Needed:

1 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon of grated Fels-Naptha laundry soap
1 gallon container (old juice jugs work well)
1 spray bottle
Water

Dissolve the grated soap flakes in one cup of warm water. Continue Reading →

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