Cool Stuff – Pioneer Skills
“Fruit Vinegar”

Fruit vinegars are a great way to enhance the flavor in almost anything and a good way to use an over abundance of fruit. You can use them to deglaze the pan of a roasted chicken or pork chop, add them to green salads and fruit salads, or add them to sparkling water for a tangy beverage. You can use almost any variety of fruit that’s in season, simply keep […]

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“Daylilies”

When I was a line cook at a restaurant in the Hudson Valley long ago, I used to pick daylilies right before dinner service. It was my favorite thing to do. Not because I’m a girl and I like picking flowers…but because it was an escape from the brutal kitchen. An excuse to leave and experience a few minutes of fresh air and quiet woods. I especially liked running out […]

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“Homemade Fruit Leather”

Fruit roll-ups were a big thing when I was growing up. There were so many iterations at one point that I was in pure fruit candy bliss. Then there were the healthy versions that we’d always find at the health food store. They were called “fruit leather,” because they were thicker and made out of pure fruit I suppose… not the other nasty bits that were probably in the fruit […]

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“Honey Bee Healthy”

Remember yesterday how I showed you a glimpse of a strange figure in a hazmat suit wandering through the woods? That was my dad. He only comes out of his hiding place to feed the bees. My interactions with him are solely when he’s wearing netted head gear. Just kidding. But we do both have hermit tendencies. But we overcome them when society demands it of us. He enjoys interacting […]

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“Clam Chowder”

Also known as… “how to cook a clam.” Word on the street is that my clam digging pictures are freaking you out. I’m sorry to give you the heebie jeebies. But they taste good, I promise. Besides, don’t you want to know what to do if someone drops you on an island somewhere and tells you to fend for yourself? Here is what I did with the horseneck clams from my […]

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“How to Clean a Clam”

Yes, they made it off the island. The little boat made two more trips and the last ones on the island were the ones who had the tallest boots… they had thigh boots. They took one for the team because they had thigh boots. When preparing your clams for dinner, it is best to let them soak in a bucket of water over night so that they “relax.” This will […]

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“How to Dig a Clam: Part 2”

…also known as “How to dig a clam like a gentleman (or lady).” Alan had discovered that instead of getting yourself covered in mud, a little PCB pipe, and a double sided shovel kept one nice and mud-free. So we were the clean ones on the island. Alan drove his three person boat back and forth until we were all there. Then one of the girls tried her hand at […]

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“Clamming for Horsenecks: Part 1”

Slowly but surely, I’m making friends on the west coast. It’s thrilling. This means that slowly but surely I will no longer be a hermit. I was invited to go clamming at Lawson’s Landing near Tamales Bay last week, and seeing as my life’s possessions are strewn between two coasts, this meant a trip to the hardware store late on a Sunday evening, where I got lost in the aisles […]

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“Chamomile Tea”

Two days ago, I called my grandmother to ask her about her meatloaf. She has this way of making it that I’ve never been able to duplicate. But she didn’t answer. She usually answers, or if she can’t get to the phone fast enough, she always calls back. But she didn’t call back this time. Maybe she didn’t notice she had a message? Maybe she was out with a friend? […]

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“Soft German Pretzels”

I made a friend! It’s a big deal because since I moved to CA for a bit, I don’t have many in this neck of the woods. YOU are my friend. No, don’t look behind you, I’m talking to YOU. I have a very active cyber life. It’s how I cope. But the good news is that a professor of mine from college just sent me a new friend. He […]

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