Month: September 2021

Honey Balsamic Marinade


  • 1/4 cup dark balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp salt
  • 1-2 large cloves garlic


  1. Slice garlic into thin slices.
  2. Whisk vinegar and honey into oil.
  3. Add salt and whisk.
  4. Add in garlic slices. Coat meat or vegetables and let sit in fridge to marinade.

This worked really well when grilling — the honey vinegar combination caramelized very nicely.

Coconut Rice Pudding


  • 1 15 oz can coconut milk plus enough water to make 3 cups
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup long-grained white rice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins


  1. Put coconut milk, water, maple syrup, rice, and salt into pressure cooker. Pressure cook on High for 3 minutes. Let set for 10 minutes (natural steam release).
  2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs. A teaspoon at a time, add hot liquid from pressure cooker into eggs to temper. Once hot enough, mix eggs into rice pudding. Heat for about three minutes — it will thicken up.
  3. Add vanilla and raisins. Stir to combine.

Blueberry Maple Muffins


  • 1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoon maple sugar for sprinkling on top


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Combine flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix with a whisk.
  3. Combine the melted coconut oil and maple syrup. Beat together with a whisk.
  4. Add the eggs and beat well, then add the yogurt and vanilla. Mix well.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined (a few lumps are OK).
  6. In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with a teaspoon flour to prevent the blueberries from sinking. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with maple sugar.
  8. Bake the muffins for 16 to 19 minutes, or until the muffins are golden on top and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Scott and Anya had picked blueberries at a local farm — I made muffins and jam using the fresh berries. I made a double batch of these muffins, vacuum sealed some (it’s better if you freeze them first … otherwise the vacuum sealer compresses the muffins) in the freezer. A minute in the microwave, and we’ve got fresh muffins again.

Buttermilk Waffles


  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled


  1. Preheat the waffle iron to medium-high.
  2. In one bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.
  4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Do not overmix — a few lumps are OK.
  5. Pour some batter into waffle iron and cook for about five minutes.

These are great for breakfast, but I’ll make these as a quick sandwich bread when we’re out of bread too. Add savory add-ins like green onion and cheddar cheese.

Diffing two strings

Yes, I know md5sum has a “-c” option for checking the checksum in a file … but, if I was going to screw with a file, I’d have the good sense to edit the checksum file in the archive!


#STRMD5=`md5sum $STRFILE`


STRMD5=`md5sum $STRFILE`

diff -s <( printf '%s\n' "$STRCHECKMD5 $STRFILE" ) <( printf '%s\n' "$STRMD5" )

It’ll either output the file hash and the hash to match (a problem) or indicate the files are identical (a good thing)

Discard the soaking water

Every recipe I’ve ever read for soaking and then boiling dried beans says to discard the soaking water. None ever explained why, and I figured you were kind of cleaning the beans as you soaked them. Throw out the dirty water, get clean water, and boil ’em. Turns out that beans — even fresh from the garden, which you are waaaaay more likely to eat without boiling for a while — contain a toxin. A gastrointestinal purge kind of toxin. Phytohaemagglutinin, or pha … and some of it comes out in the soaking water (so throw that stuff out) and the rest is neutralized by boiling for at least ten minutes. This seems like really important information that’s missing in the whole “discard the soaking water” statement.

That’s a hard “no” on shelling some fresh beans from the garden and eating them as you walk around the yard. Also — cooking kidney beans with chili in a slow cooker? Bit of a risk.

Maple Blueberry Jam

Maple Blueberry Jam

Recipe by LisaCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


  • 5 cups of fresh blueberries

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • zest of one lemon

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 2-4 Tbsp tapioca powder


  • Add blueberries, lemon juice, zest, and maple syrup to pan and heat over medium heat.
  • Add cinnamon and stir. Add tapioca and stir.
  • Heat for about 20 minutes. Transfer into jars and seal.

Switchel (a.k.a. haymaker’s punch)

We made switchel today — it’s a quick drink to cook up, but it takes a while to cool off. A couple of cups of water in a pot, add in a cup of maple syrup and 1/2 cup of grated ginger (we used a large microplane grater). Simmered it for ten minutes, then pulled out the ginger pulp and drained it into the pot. More water was added to make one gallon of water, and a cup of apple cider vinegar was added. This cooled it off enough that it could be transferred into a container and refrigerator. When serving, we add extra water because it’s a little powerful and not well balanced. Next time, I think we’ll use the same ingredients but get close to 2 gallons of water.

Keepin It Rural

There’s a movement in my community to “save” it — save it from developers who see hundreds of rural acres as the perfect place to make a load of money building and selling homes on small lots. And probably save it from people who move into a development surrounded by hundreds of rural acres and want to complain that cow poo smells bad — not something I’ve heard of here yet (which could just be that no one’s said it to me), but a friend of mine lived in a development that overlooked a scenic dairy farm. People bought into what almost amounts to agrotourism in my head — look at that pretty chuck of Americana over there. And you get to live right next to it! Aaaand then some people from the development tried to get local regulations changed to stop dairy farming because, well, animal poo does stink. Luckily Ohio has right-to-farm laws that protect farmers in these types of situations — unless you’re really outside industry practices and have an especially stinky farm, you don’t get shut down just because the development that moved in next door doesn’t want to smell cows.

It’s one thing to buy a couple hundred acres of your own and not develop it. Easy enough — don’t develop it! It’s another think altogether to buy two or three acres and not want any of the surrounding land to be developed. Not impossible if you are lucky enough to pick up property next to a park or something. But a tough ask when surrounded by other residential homeowners. Which is why I think a bigger part of the movement is an attempt to protect rural areas from mass agro. I don’t think many farmers approaching retirement actively want to sell their couple hundred acres to a developer. What they want is to cash out millions of dollars from their land to fund their retirement. An understandable desire. Many farmers I know would love to have kids that are interested in taking over the farm after they retire. But the reality that I see within small-scale farming is having a second job to pay for the farm. Maybe my experience if skewed because I work in IT — it’s a field that’s great for contract work, so people can work a few contracts during less busy farming seasons and focus on the farm in spring and autumn. But I don’t know anyone who literally makes their entire income from farming. Retired people who make extra money farming. IT folks who subsidize the farm. There’s a chap we follow on YouTube who left an architectural firm — they seem to live on their farm proceeds, but I don’t actually know him.

My point being? I think a big part of sustaining rural communities has got to be changing how we shop for food. Changing how restaurants source food. If some mass agriculture company grows corn on ten thousand acres and sells it at four bucks a bushel … we’ve got to value the small rural farmer enough to be willing to pay maybe six or seven bucks a bushel that provides a sustainable income for the farmer. That would also create an environment in which farmers who want to retire would have people who look at purchasing the farm as a viable small business opportunity. Instead of a developer being the only realistic option — seriously, who wants to be destitute in retirement so someone else can enjoy a couple hundred acres of undeveloped property!?