I wish I had thought of taking a picture of the raw grass-fed kidney; but i think you can still tell how it sort of has a brain shape but with larger nodules. Certainly was an unexpected shape when I opened the package, but it sizzled in the cast iron pan just as well as liver.
The kidney was still a touch frozen, which I felt was a good thing as it made it easier to "butterfly", wanting to reduce it's thickness closer to liver so I could hopefully use the same organ recipe and cooking times.
The recipe I use is from The Stone Age Diet book, and basically goes like this (citing from memory now):
I'm sure I over cooked it because I was seeking to have the meat show a consistent colour all the way through, which isn't possible. As you can tell from the cross section on the plate, the kidney is multi-colour inside; almost resembling a cooked mushroom.
I can honestly say that I did enjoy eating the kidney. The texture of the meat reminded me of eating chicken/turkey hearts, and the flavour was very much like liver, but stronger; and I think this is what makes Thyme the perfect spice to accompany it. Next time I will probably try add the spice while it is cooking.
I had decided before Christmas that I wanted to install a water filter that would help reduce/eliminate the heavy chlorine that would often be in my water. The thought process started with a simple shower-head chlorine filter; but it wasn't too hard to think of other water to filter... so the whole-house filter was the cheaper and biggest bang option.
The entire project cost was under $215 (not counting my dads consumables like flux, solder, etc...):
||The After (1 of 2):
||The After (2 of 2):
I certainly won't miss the chlorine smell, and I'm really looking forward too chemical free water for showers/baths, cooking, boiling water for tea, etc...
Special thanks to my dad for supplying the majority of the know-how, tools, training, and labour!
Today, I tried the beef smokies that came with the 1/4 beef order. All I can say is wow! They were absolutely delicious, seasoned perfectly, and zero grease-in-the-pan type of lean. I wish I had alot more of them; definitely something to add more of on the next order.
Also tried the hamburger patties which were incredibly tender; I swear this must speak to the dry-aging process that they use. Their taste was also very mild when compared to your average burger patties, which was a nice surprise.
From the steaks, I have tried only some of the chuck and rib-eye. I overcooked the rib-eye (the first I tried to cook) so it was not as tender as it should have been, but was an excellent and delicious cut. The chuck was cooked perfectly and it was hard to imagine it as a lower "ranking" cut of steak; it definitely went well cubed on-top of my salad at lunch.
Still alot more to try from the order, but the initial verdict is very positive. Definitely grass-fed for life!
It really does put a smile on one's face to look upon a freezer of lovely grass-fed meats!
It took a bit of research (made easier by eatwild.com and manitobagrassfedbeef.ca) to compare and figure out where I was going to order from; and in the end I decided to place our first order with McDonald Farm for the following reasons:
I saved up a bit so that my first order could be large enough to start me off in a good position to not need meat for a while. The hope being that I can place smaller (more cost friendly) orders each month to keep my meat supply up. In this first order there's:
I promised myself that I would not dive into these meats until I had used up my existing supply of store bought beef and last seasons elk; so I can't make any comments yet on the quality or taste... but that is going to be coming very soon!
I found a 4L Costco pickle jar I was saving (with no purpose in mind) and thought I would try using it to make a batch of sauerkraut. I found working with this large jar to be much easier then working with multiple 1L wide-mouth mason jars; I could get my hand into it to press down the kraut instead of relying on "tappers".
The other new idea I tried was half-filling a zip-lock bag with water a as weight. Wasn't quite as heavy as it needed to be, but it definitely helped to keep the kraut submerged in the brine at all times.
Definitely a successful experiment!
I found that being a bigger man in Winnipeg left me with only a few options when looking for a suit off-the-rack. I really didn't like their tendency to arrange two piece suits with the jacket 2 sizes larger then the pants, and buying one piece at a time really made the price jump.
Ultimately, I started researching local tailors in Winnipeg last December, and had shortlisted down to Giovanni Custom Tailor Shop within a couple weeks. Some of the tailors I had called were quite expensive, and I found Giovanni to be quite reasonable; barely 1/3 more than the limited off-the-rack choices. I also found the interview in his Winnipeg Free Press Article to be very good.
Today, I visited Giovanni's shop, and really had a great vibe from him as a person and really valued his opinions as a tailor; quite professional and personable. The hard part was picking out the material to use; simply too many awesome choices. Below I have the initial two I was contemplating on the left, then the ultimate pick on the right.
Once Giovanni knows the fabric is in stock and has it ordered, we'll be able to start the process with taking my measurements. Exciting!
When the recipe I was following mentioned that essential oils was optional, I mostly ignored that figuring "why wouldn't I want to add a scent?" While the recipe mentioned Tea Tree oil as a good option for men, the first extract I grabbed from the cupboard was peppermint, and went with it.
Lesson #1: Peppermint is not a good choice for a deodorant. I never clued into past experiences where peppermint caused a nice heating effect when used as an aches-rub, and never expected that I might be inviting a heat rash which took only 2 days to bloom.
Lesson #2: Sometimes essential oils just need to be eliminated. Trying Tea Tree oil as the recipe had originally suggested next definitely helped reduce the heat rash, but irritation persisted. At this point I wasn't sure if the recipe proportions would need to be played with, or an ingredient eliminated. Thankfully, i found my answer in Divine Ms D's blog where she shared the fact that she had to eliminate essential oils for the same issue I was facing.
While I am finally finding the irritation to be finally subsiding, I may try the recipe she follows (if I'm not happy with the ultimate results) as the proportions are different from mine.
Thank you Divine Ms D for sharing on your Paleo Sistah blog!
I've been using YNAB for a few months, and absolutely love it. Where other financial software is focused on what you've spent, YNAB is all about taking control of your money and planning what you are going to spend, now and into the future.
The other amazing thing about YNAB is that they license the software to the household; so, everyone in the house (parents, children, etc...) can each have a copy of the software running on their own computer. They also have free online courses, a great selection of howto's, and a forum full of helpful information and people.
So $15 USD for financial/budgeting software for the entire family on Steam is really amazing!
The wait is finally over, and here are the first scoops of 2 week old ferments.
In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have used a black plate, but I don't exactly plan my photo's.
Having tasted them all, I can safely say two things.
All-in-all, a very successful batch; filled with learning.