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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:27 am 
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Well, more of a sandwich course. :wink:

Deb and I have decided that, this year, we will make a Reuben sandwich. From scratch.

Now, that may not sound like much of a 'project', but trust me, it really is. I call this a joint project (another pun, I'm afraid) but, although I came up with the idea of doing it, Deb seems to have taken on making most of the parts - mainly because she really wants to.

Firstly, Deb will need to practice and perfect making the perfect rye bread. She's been thinking of making a sourdough rye bread, but we haven't fixed on that yet.

Then, of course, we'll need to make the corned beef. This takes about a week, but we reckon should be really delicious. It won't be anything like what passes for corned beef here in the UK. It is, as our US readers doubtless know, but UK ones probably won't, essentially a cured joint of brisket (or similar cut). I quite fancy doing this bit, but Deb reckons it should be hers, because "I do the curing in this household". The pictures I've seen make corned beef, done properly, look like the most heavenly food imaginable, to my mind.

Deb is also going to make the sauerkraut. And before anybody tells me that they think we'd be better off making kimchi, the answer is "No!" We're making sauerkraut and that's it. :) Oh, just thought of something ... we'll have to grow the cabbage ...

Then, there's the dressing. I'm going to make a version of a Thousand Island dressing. It will be mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, chillies and lemon juice, with maybe a bit of pepper. So for that I need to learn how to make my own mayonnaise. I have never been successful yet, but I'll keep practicing until I am. I then need to make home-made tomato ketchup. Of course, I'll need to grow the tomatoes. That shouldn't be a problem - I grow them every year - but it does delay the project somewhat. I'll use home-grown chillies, ground up in a pestle and incorporated into the sauce.

It is possible that we will make our own butter. We haven't decided on that part yet. Actually, we've just talked and we probably will make our own butter. We'll have to source a churn ...

The one part of the sandwich which we have decided that we won't make is the cheese. I would have liked to have used a cheesemaker whose farm is just down the road from us - Jo Smart, whose cheeses are used in cheese rolling
. However, she doesn't make Swiss cheese (not being in Switzerland). So we'll have to source the best Swiss cheese we can. I'm thinking of going for an Emmental, but other suggestions would be welcome.

I will be the one who finally puts the sandwich together and cooks it. I intend to cook it in a griddle pan at high temperature. I won't be using any oil (because we can't make that) so will rely on the home-made butter to cook the sandwich.

I think we may wash it down with either some home-grown, home-made elderflower champagne, or some home-grown, home-made nettle wine.

All of this should take us until about October, I reckon.

This is going to be one helluva sandwich! :D :party:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:00 am 
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So, if you're going to grow the tomatoes for the catsup, and grow the cabbage for the sauerkraut, how many hectares/acres are you planting in rye? :P
Just trying to point out that you need to draw the line between production and fabrication before you end up with your own version of Ford's River Rouge plant.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:09 am 
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daveboling wrote:
So, if you're going to grow the tomatoes for the catsup, and grow the cabbage for the sauerkraut, how many hectares/acres are you planting in rye? :P
Just trying to point out that you need to draw the line between production and fabrication before you end up with your own version of Ford's River Rouge plant.

dave boling

You're absolutely right, of course. And we wouldn't want to get too obsessive about this. :wink:

But we can grow the tomatoes, quite easily, and since we've always wanted to make our own ketchup, we're grand there. The cabbage is another matter - I used to be able to grow cabbage, but the butterflies round here nowadays have other ideas. That's if the poor plants survive the early attacks from pigeons, that is. Oh, and rabbits.

We're definitely not going to grow rye. But we definitely will be growing chillies and, to be honest, we already have enough dried, home-grown chillies for ... well, as much as we want them for. The house is groaning with chillies. (The parts that aren't groaning with jars of fruit jellies, that is.)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:38 am 
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Mayonnaise is really easy; I've done that several times, and you can make it to your taste -- it's way better than anything available in the grocery store these days. It does take a little patience if you whisk it by hand. I've known people who shook it in a jar; not sure which would introduce less oxygen. I've also had rye bread turn out very well (my wife can't stand . I've tried ketchup but not been pleased with the consistency.

I haven't tried corned beef or sauerkraut (nor traditional pickles). Let us know how those turn out, and what recipes you used. My wife loves sauerkraut, but doesn't like the grocery-store stuff, so I'd definitely get brownie points for making it. Are you planning on using sulfite in your corned beef (it keeps it red)?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:05 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
The cabbage is another matter - I used to be able to grow cabbage, but the butterflies round here nowadays have other ideas.

Marigolds (of the genus Tagetes, not Calendula) are a great companion plant with pest-repellent properties. Marigolds deter cabbage worms, and they will protect your tomatoes from nematodes too.

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/marigold-v ... 35309.html


benhall.1 wrote:
That's if the poor plants survive the early attacks from pigeons, that is. Oh, and rabbits.

Have you considered a fully covered enclosure of chicken wire? The neighbors have one to deter larcenous critters, and being in a discreet location it looks perfectly acceptable. If people ask, you can always say it's a Faraday cage to keep out the alien transmissions, and they'll never bother you again. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:43 pm 
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chas wrote:
Mayonnaise is really easy; I've done that several times, and you can make it to your taste -- it's way better than anything available in the grocery store these days. It does take a little patience if you whisk it by hand. I've known people who shook it in a jar; not sure which would introduce less oxygen.

I made some this afternoon! For the first time in my life, it actually worked. I think it was because I was determined that it was going to work. :) The one thing I did differently this time is that I actually believed the bit about adding the oil ONE DROP AT A TIME. It makes such a difference.

chas wrote:
I've also had rye bread turn out very well.

I have full confidence in Deb. She makes very good bread so rye bread should be fine.

chas wrote:
I've tried ketchup but not been pleased with the consistency.

That's a way down the track, so I'll let you know on this.

chas wrote:
I haven't tried corned beef or sauerkraut (nor traditional pickles). Let us know how those turn out, and what recipes you used. My wife loves sauerkraut, but doesn't like the grocery-store stuff, so I'd definitely get brownie points for making it. Are you planning on using sulfite in your corned beef (it keeps it red)?

I will let everyone know how they turn out. We're going to have a few practice runs, as it were, with store bought stuff (but home-made corned beef and sauerkraut). So we'll know soon enough if we're heading in the right direction. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:45 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
The cabbage is another matter - I used to be able to grow cabbage, but the butterflies round here nowadays have other ideas.

Marigolds (of the genus Tagetes, not Calendula) are a great companion plant with pest-repellent properties. Marigolds deter cabbage worms, and they will protect your tomatoes from nematodes too.

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/marigold-v ... 35309.html


benhall.1 wrote:
That's if the poor plants survive the early attacks from pigeons, that is. Oh, and rabbits.

Have you considered a fully covered enclosure of chicken wire? The neighbors have one to deter larcenous critters, and being in a discreet location it looks perfectly acceptable. If people ask, you can always say it's a Faraday cage to keep out the alien transmissions, and they'll never bother you again. :)

We've only just started using Tagetes to deter things. It helps a bit, but the caterpillars round here are persistent.

We want to do a cage, but it's hard work, and lots of planning. May do it though ...

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:04 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
We've only just started using Tagetes to deter things. It helps a bit, but the caterpillars round here are persistent.

How thickly do you plant them? It may make a difference. And not all marigolds are equal; French marigolds offer the best range of protection.

benhall.1 wrote:
We want to do a cage, but it's hard work, and lots of planning. May do it though ...

I'd imagined one before, but had never actually seen one until this. Design-wise it's pretty basic - just wood, chicken wire, and hardware for the door - but evidently it's well built, for it has seen at least ten years of service with still no sign of needing replacement soon. I know I'd be glad to have one; where I live, the squirrels lay waste to everything they can.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:22 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
I used to be able to grow cabbage, but the butterflies round here nowadays have other ideas. That's if the poor plants survive the early attacks from pigeons, that is. Oh, and rabbits.

You're lucky you haven't got deer... they eat just about everything, and I don't even grow 'vegetables'!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:41 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
benhall.1 wrote:
I used to be able to grow cabbage, but the butterflies round here nowadays have other ideas. That's if the poor plants survive the early attacks from pigeons, that is. Oh, and rabbits.

You're lucky you haven't got deer... they eat just about everything, and I don't even grow 'vegetables'!

We have got deer. And wild boar. And badgers. And even the bloody foxes round here steal soft fruit.

:moreevil:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:43 pm 
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Boar? Good lord. Mere chicken wire will not do.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:03 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
We have got deer.

So I've got mesh cages round all my larger more vulnerable shrubs and younger trees, mesh pegged out over most of my alpines/rock plants, and upturned hanging baskets of various sizes over smaller shrubs and all bulbs except daffodils. When the deer were eating my saxifrages, a whole stack of websites told me deer don't like saxifrage, but I watched the ******s doing it. And they carve up the grass with terrible footprints (especially if quickly changing direction) and sh*t all over the garden. Even in summer, because their current proliferation's put them way beyond a 'winter' problem off the hill. Never seen quite this many on the road or in my garden, but they're still out of control and we need predators!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:04 pm 
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Deer population here is out of control, too. Are you allowed to cull them?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:13 pm 
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Dunno what you can do in your own garden (I'd assume you'd have some rights if you could do it without endangering the public), but off it? No way. Landowners (thinking bigger and more off the street than my 0.3 acre!) can, but most seem to 'manage' largely through paid stalking when what we need is wholesale reduction. Did you see the video linked from my previous post?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:23 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Did you see the video linked from my previous post?

I did indeed. I believe my jaw dropped.

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