Experiments Brought to you by the Interwebs. Part I.

This week I’m visiting my parents in the Grand Valley, so I’m writing a different sort of post.

I tried a couple of things this week, one of which is a life hack, the other a recipe. The recipe is for a homemade stain remover. I’ve been using it for more than a week now, actually, more like two months or so. I have to say, I’m super impressed. I found this recipe on Mommypotamus‘ blog.

This stain remover takes out baby poop, ya’ll. Just spray and wash, no scrubbing necessary. If you have a set stain (a onesie that has been previously washed but still has that orange-yellow spot on it) just keep spraying and washing and eventually the set stain will fade – about 3 or 4 more washes. We had a paper diaper breach the other day and I happened to be doing laundry anyway, so I just sprayed the poop spot and tossed the onesie into the machine. It came completely out!

20160811_213942Unfortunately I don’t have a before and after picture for you, but I do have a picture of my skirt. You can see the lighter spots on it. Those are where I sprayed the stain remover. My skirt was so dirty that I’ve been having to spray a little more each time I wash it to get all the residual dirt off of it. I would never have noticed except I got oil on the skirt so I sprayed the oil spots. This stain remover took out the oil spots and the residual dirt. At first I thought that the color of the skirt had been slightly bleached, but I compared the lighter section to the yoke of the skirt and they were the same color; my skirt was just that dirty.

I have been putting this stain remover all over our clothes and I have not had any problems with colorfastness, but do always test. Just in case.

The second thing I tried this week was ripening avocados in the oven. I had read that if you need to ripen avocados quickly you can do so by wrapping them in tin foil and popping them in a 200° oven for about 10 minutes.

This does not work.

The avocados stayed in the oven for at least 20 minutes and they are still rock hard. Three days later. I’m a bit bummed with this one; I was really hoping it would work. I guess I’ll have to stick with the old paper bag and bananas trick…

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Spring is in the Air.

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Spring is here! And with it, lots and lots of mud. Having a puppy is pretty great…

My in-laws and I started our seedlings a few weeks ago in preparation for this year’s garden. We started a ton of tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, purple cauliflower, tomatillos, moon and star watermelons. I think that’s it. There are several other seed packets waiting for the last frost to happen, and some carrots, beets and parsnips to plant before the last frost.

We’ve been getting lots of moisture, which is fantastic! Because it’s been so wet I’ve got some volunteer spinach, an onion I tried overwintering, and garlic already growing. And lots of bindweed. Lots and lots of bindweed. I don’t mind telling you that I hate bindweed, with a passion. Bindweed is the honey-badger of weeds. It will not stop.

My cover crop I started failed pretty spectacularly last year, even though I started it pretty early. I forgot to water it enough, I think. Live and learn.

What are you planning on planting this year?

Can You Soak Something too Long?

Well, I had a post all lined up for today about making sprouted almond butter. What I had forgotten is that almonds sourced from the U.S. are not raw regardless of what the packaging says. They linked a salmonella case back to raw almonds -which is something that happens far far less than salmonella being linked back to contaminated meat- and they said, “thou shalt pasteurize your almonds!” And almond farmers complied. You can still source truly raw almonds directly from the farmers, or overseas, but anything on your store shelf is treated in some way and cannot sprout. Not to mention the ridiculous price difference. I can’t afford to buy truly raw almonds.

Ho hum.

So I spent a bunch of effort trying to sprout the almonds before I remembered this. I sat there, staring at my almonds (which had started smelling a bit like weed) wondering what I was doing wrong. It wasn’t until I googled it to see if I had messed it up somehow that I realized what had gone wrong.

I had effectively ruined two pounds of almonds. Almonds are not cheap, so I was determined to see if I could salvage them. I washed them all very thoroughly and popped them in my dehydrator. They dehydrated for a little more than 24 hours. Then I roasted them. They still taste weird, so I don’t think I’ll be using them for almond butter. I might just bury them in the garden.

I did this to quinoa two days prior as well. I made the mistake of leaving the successfully sprouted quinoa in a bowl on the counter overnight. When I dumped it out on the tray for drying I noticed that the bottom of the bowl was bubbly and some of the sprouts were really long. Not only that, but it smelled like I had just lit up a joint. I’m totally serious. I have no idea why, but soaking things too long makes them smell like weed. If I had to guess at it, I would say that there’s some kind of mold or something to blame. However, you can’t wash it off.

So if you find that your nuts or seeds smell like cannabis, you’ll have to toss them. I haven’t found a way to successfully salvage them. I tried drying the quinoa but my house just smelled like I was a pothead.