Saturday, November 12, 2011

Biscuits, The Better Half of the South

I finally perfected what I think is the best biscuit recipe that not even Paula Deen could top.

So here's where you start, "git yarself......"

2 Cups of all purpose flour, although you can use bread, whole wheat, or whatever the hell you find suitable

2 and 1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 a teaspoon of salt

6 tablespoons of butter (hell yes) and don't forget to melt it.

3/4 a cup of milk, (you can use almond or soy I found it doesn't matter, I don't use real whole milk because I don't know who would use cow juice in biscuits)

1/4 a cup of water

Now some people can use little fancy cookie cutters, but I prefer to use a cup that way it's about the size of a biscuit which is 2 and 1/2 by 2 and 1/2 inches.

If you want a Bojangles type biscuit roll the dough out to about 3/4 an inch or so (those of you who don't know Bojangles don't know life)

Whatever you do, don't roll the dough too thin, or else you'll end up with crackers and disappointed people.

Turn on that damn oven to 425 degrees and throw in the biscuits, leave them for about 14-15 minutes or at least until they look firm then take them out, let them cool, and enjoy. This batter only makes about 10 biscuits, reason being is because they don't last long, meaning they go stale after about a day.

                                                   "Well I'll be!!"

Kale A Time Reversing Vegtable?

Kale is a different species from Chinese kale and from collards, but the plants have several features in common. All have rather coarse and strongly flavoured leaves, and the stems are usually thick requiring more cooking time. Kale and cabbage are varieties of the same species and descended from the same wild ancestor, but kale is the more primitive of the two, like cabbage without a head.

Kale should be wrapped in a damp paper towel, placed in a plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator crisper. It should not be washed before storing since this may cause it to become limp. Kale can be kept in the refrigerator for several days, although it is best when eaten within one or two days after you receive it, since the longer it is stored, the more bitter its flavor becomes.
The Kailyard school of Scottish writers, which included J. M. Barrie (author of Peter Pan), consisted of authors who wrote about traditional rural Scottish life (kailyard = kale field) in the nineteenth century. Prior to that, such is the humble, but ubiquitous, origin of kale in human history that this hearty plant, referred to by one name or another, turns up in the recorded history of nearly every country of Europe and Asia.

As it turns out, our modern word 'kale' is a Scottish word derived from "coles" or 'caulis,' terms used by the Greeks and Romans in referring to the whole cabbage-like group of plants. For this family group the English language has no generic name. The French include them all under the term Chou and the Germans under Kohl.

Like broccoli, cauliflower and collards, kale is a descendent of the wild cabbage, a plant thought to have originated in Asia Minor and to have been brought to Europe around 600 B.C. by groups of Celtic wanderers. Curly kale played an important role in early European food culture, having been a significant crop during ancient Roman times and a popular vegetable eaten by peasants in the Middle Ages. Kale was brought to North America by English settlers in the 17th century.

One cup of kale contains 5 grams of fibre, 134 milligrams of calcium, and the full daily recommended allowance of vitamins A and C. Kale also contains beta-carotene, lateen, chlorophyll, indoles, sulforaphane and other powerful cancer fighters. Nutrients in kale are said to boost the immune system, reduce the risk of heart disease, and some research suggests that kale may help delay the onset of aging.

Unlike other greens that reduce in size up to eight times during cooking, kale only shrinks by half or a quarter. The older the leaf, the longer it will require cooking. Kale can be chopped and used raw in salads, cooked and added to rice or barley dishes, or served on its own as a side dish. The stalk and the leaf should be separated as each varies in its cooking times, with the stalks taking much longer than the leaf.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Weekend At The Wildlife Rescue Coalition of North East Florida

This weekend I was bored so I figured I would volunteer at the local wildlife rehabilitation center. I really didn't know what to expect when I decided to volunteer, nor did I know what types of wildlife I would be encountering. But I set my qualms aside, put on my working jeans, and headed myself over to the clinic. Upon my arrival at eight in the morning I was greeted by a lady who goes by the name Miss Kim. She's one of those characters who obviously is selfless in every aspect, she's constantly answering the phone and always seems to be nursing an animal in her hand while walking directing the clinic with the other. She offered a tour of the facility but I was rather hesitant to ask her to stop what she was doing just so I could see what the place looked like. I replied "I'll see it when I'm cleaning it." Then I asked what needed to be done. The clinic itself consists of two mobiles, one with the main office and a nursery room for the more delicate animals, and the other for the more mature and obnoxious animals, they certainly wouldn't make good office company.

My first task was to clean the terrarium of a gopher tortise who was the victim of a dog attack, his shell was near healed but you could still see the injuries and stitch marks. So I cleaned his housing and supplied him with some vegetables, (mind you all of the food at the clinic is donated)

Then my second task was to feed and clean the opossums. They're rather comical seeing as how they're just a step above a rat. In a way, they are pretty, with their masked faces and outlandish looking jawline. They certainly are something you don't see everyday.

I believe my last task for the day was to feed the baby squirrels, now for me this is like helping the enemy. Now I know that no life is worth more, or greater than another but i really have a dislike for squirrels, but no prejudice should ever be exerted towards any animals, no matter how destructive they can be in the garden. When you think of a squirrel you think of an animals that's either on a battery or doing some sort of performance enhancement drug, and let me say this, you're exactly right. The squirrels are housed in separate bins with mesh lids, of course they being squirrels, all run out at once. They go for the door, your head, your arms, or elsewhere where they feel needed. After two hours my daunting task of feeding about thirty or so infant squirrels was over.

After my day at the clinic which was a positive, albeit messy one, I gained a certain respect for the people who dedicate their lives to this work. They're the most selfless and most colorful people I have ever met in my life. Each of them have their own ambitions but they put them aside at the door for the sake of the animals. I know that as long as the clinic is open Ill always be a volunteer.

Because the Wildlife Rescue Coalition of North East Florida is a non for profit organization it relies entirely on donations from the public. I urge you to help by either volunteering or donating to this wonderful rescue center that rehabilitates injured or orphaned wildlife to release back into the wild.. The people at the clinic truly are some of the kindest people I have ever met. My time there was well spent.

Here is a link to their Website please consider donating.