Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pintesting - Crock Pot Pork Loin

I found this great pulled pork recipe but somehow I forgot that it called for pork shoulder and not pork loin so I guess that will have to be a pintest for another day.

Today's pintest comes via this pin and the information found here.

I started with a hormone and anti-biotic free, 2-pound pork loin.
 Expecting to rub spices into your loins? Don't. The recipe tells you to just go ahead and dump ingredients A - F into the crock pot and turn it on. I can definitely do that!
The recipe tells you to cook this on high for four hours but I opted to just go ahead and cook it on low for eight.
Once the pork is almost done cooking
Remove the pork from the crock pot
 and shred it.
Mix your glaze ingrediants.
Put them in a small pot or pan and boil them.
Pour over your shredded pork.
At this point I only had a little over an hour until the timer was going to go off so I set this to keep warm.

What you do with your pork once it's finished is your call. I chose to add a little Jack Daniels barbeque sauce and make myself a yummy Cuban sandwich.

Yes, I definitely feel this pin is worth making.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pintesting - Chemical-Free Cleaning - Emergency Dishwashing Detergent

There are so many things I can find to love about where I live. But when it comes to all things related to needing to call maintenance or to get whatever your issue is properly taken care of - this place kinda sucks.

My dishwasher broke again. The last time this happened maintenance took 2 1/2 weeks to show up and fix it. I really can't go through that again.
I was on my last couple of drops of my usual cleaner.

And on top of that I was running low on funds until the end of the week and my gas tank will read "E" if I go anywhere.

Today's pintest comes via this pin and the information found here.

Having already used some of my rose castille soap earlier in the day I didn't have enough to make the full 2 c the recipe called for - in fact, I only have 1/2 c.

My recipe ended up being:
1/2 c liquid castille soap

1/4 c water
1/4 c white vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice

After putting all of this in a jar I gave it a shake and got down to work hand scrubbing as many dishes as I could stand.
The original poster mentions there is a lack of suds. This is true. Very true. Just keep on scrubbing. My dishes felt nice and clean when I was finished.
However, after all that cleaning all we were going to have for dinner was hot dogs.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pintesting - Vicks Shower Discs

I'd never heard of Vicks ever making congestion relieving shower disks but that's probably because they've been discontinued. The recipe to make your own has gained a fair amount of popularity on Pintrest.

Recently my little lamb caught a very nasty and persistent cold that came with a lot of concerning congestion. Remembering this pin I went to make it AFAP but didn't have any essential oils.

When I finally went to purchase essential oils I hadn't noticed that the recipe called for more than one. In fact, this is a fact that escaped me until I was ready to make these.

I put the baking soda in the bowl first and then added the water. My sweet little lamb was busy begging me for apples while I was attempting to prepare these so by the time I'd washed and sliced and apple for her I saw that the water and baking soda had really just gone ahead and formed its paste on its own.
I stirred it anyway for good measure and used a regular soup spoon to put the mixture into the cupcake liners.

I noticed some people had crumbling issues so I chose to cook my discs rather than let them sit out overnight.

As you can see mine didn't come out looking as smooth and beautiful as the ones in the picture from Pintrest.

This might be because I made two batched in order to utilize all of the cupcake liners in my pan, so some of them got a double dose.

My Eucalyptus oil didn't come with a dropper so I tried my best not to make a mess and only pour a little onto each disc. A small mess still ensued and my house spent the rest of the day reeking of Eucalyptus.
If your bottle doesn't come with a dropper - GO FIND ONE!!!!

When I went to remove the discs from the paper they were still very crumbly so I opted to put the disks, liner and all into some Mason jars to store under the sink in the bathroom until needed.

One dark and stormy night. Alright, it wasn't at all stormy. One evening after a hard day I felt I could really use a good blast of aromatherapy. You don't have to be sick to enjoy these so why the heck not!? Let me tell you it was just what I needed. Soothing and enjoyable. In fact, I used two discs!

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Worms - Week 2

Every year plenty of us get pumpkins to cut up, paint, carve, or use in whatever your personal chosen method of Halloween or Thanksgiving craft is. As you might remember I had quite a few this year, courtesy of my one of my brother-in-laws who grew over 100 of them.

In mid-January - I still had some. In fact, a few had gotten to the point that if you picked them up, the stem would break off. One or two were mushy. Some of these got thrown onto the lawn by husband to let them fertilize the lawn natural (and just generally get the heck out of our house.) Seriously hating to feed a landfill with more waste, and now the proud owner of a VermiHut I could barely shut up about to anyone who spoke to me - I opted to compost them.

I did my best (with the aid of a hammer) to break up the pumpkins (I think there were three or four) and put them into the composter. I felt the tiniest bit guilty about it all because my worms were still supposed to be acclimating - but I really couldn't let these sit around much longer.

Obviously, the amount of pumpkins I had filled an entire tray.
It took me two or three days later to finally shred some paper waste to add to the composter along with the pumpkin.

Let's stop for a moment. I want to hold you hostage (isn't that what you came to my blog to essentially have happen to you for a short while?) just long enough to give you a little information.

Whenever I talk to mothers that ask me about cloth diapering I eventually get to the point where I warn the ones who have decided they want to go that route that, "No matter how much research you do. No matter how prepared you are. The first time your kid poops in a cloth diaper - there's a good chance you're going to freak out at least a little bit."

My experience with splitting the pumpkin guts from one tray into two, mixed with paper waste - was similar to my first time changing a poopy cloth diaper.

I knew there were worms in there. I even had more on the way. I knew what they were in there to do. I worried for a little while maybe they died but felt pretty good that they were still alive. And I had also spent significant time wondering to me how quickly they reproduce and in what time period.


When I reached in and began removing pumpkin and adding it to the other tray and looked at the worms squirming around in my organic waste - I had a moment where I freaked out. Just. A tiny. Bit. I didn't scream, squeal, or recoil - it was just a moment of, "Oh my god there are WORMS in there! . . . . I'm picking up and handling worms . . .  right now."

So my composter has gone from one tray to three trays.
A response I read online in a forum said I shouldn't be collecting quite so much leachate and that this means my composter is way too moist.
This is over 2 qts of leachate - YIKES! I shredded more paper and added that along with some of that stuff you get out of your vacuum bag.

Related reading about leachate:
Leachate vs Worm Tea
Using Worm Bin Leachate
 Leachate: Use it or Lose, Right or Wrong: You Decide!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Worms - Week 1

This is what the inside of the vermihut looked like after 1 week in the laundry room. The only things added since you last saw it was a little left over green beans and some vegetable soup my daughter didn't finish.

It didn't smell one bit.

Here's how much leachate I drained out of the spigot.
What is leachate? Leachate is something that is misrepresented as worm tea. Leachate, is what seeps out of your composter and collects in your reservoir. Worm tea is the result of steeping aerated worm castings.

Because my composter cannot be considered a mature worm bin, my leachate should be treated with more caution if I wanted to use it as liquid fertilizer than if this were something more than the beginning of my journey.

Impatient and having a lot of saved compost - I wanted more worms. So I bought another 1/2 pound.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Day The Worms Arrived

The day the worms arrived I was 1) really glad I got them off the front porch before they got too cold outside and 2) scared that I wasn't up to what previously didn't feel like a challenge.
I added the food that was in my current compost bag to the VermiHut.
Mixed it in.
I opened the package with the worms.
And then added them.
Now I just had to leave them alone for a few weeks while they acclimate.

Monday, January 21, 2013

VermiHut - Setup

The day my worm composter arrived finally came and my husband couldn't be too much happier since I've been filling up our large freezer with our compostable food waste while I waited to get it.

My mother-in-law called and said it had arrived at her house and we went down to go get it the very next day.

I had my husband haul it out to my car for me. It really wasn't so much a "haul" because it's not huge and it's not heavy.

 Because we found ourselves at a party that same evening I waited until the next morning to set up the composter.
 Here's what you basically see as soon as you open the box. Exciting no?
 Once you remove that first bit you're looking at you will find your "goodies". An owners manual, coconut chior
 The top and the drip pan are to the left and my trays and stand are on the right.
 On the left if your drip pan and the right is the top of your hut.
 This is the stand.
These are the compost trays. Having a family of what would soon be four I decided to just go ahead with the 5-tray.

For now this is all I should have set up. After all that travel I don't need to add more stress and confusion to the worms by throwing them into a massive composter (you know in comparison to the size of worms) and risk them attempting to escape.
Set the remaining trays aside for now.
You will need a gallon of water. I have empty gallon milk jugs laying around so I filled one and used that.

You're also going to need a bucket with a capacity larger than a gallon. Mine is around three to five gallons.

Place your coconut chior into the bucket.
 Pour the gallon of water over the chior, and wait for it to absorb the water.
 As you can see it will "puff up", this is why you need a larger container. Your chior should be moist, not dry, wet, but not dripping wet. If you pick it up and water flows through your fingers you have too much water. If you squeeze and and no water comes out, then you do not have enough. If you follow the directions correctly, all should be fine.
 Place the chior on top of the newspaper.
 I sent the poor hubby out to get me some soil from outside.
 I mixed it in and removed that little piece of plastic.
Now it's time to ass paper shreddings. I've also been saving quite a bit of our compostable "brown" waste in a bag: Ads that are made with newspaper, paper bags, lint from the dryer, receipts that don't have plastic coatings, cardboard, and junk mail.
After shredding up what seemed like enough to add to my mix I threw it on top.
Mix it in.
Now to wait for the worms before I do any more.