What about eggs?

Eggs in the U.S. are available at practically every store that sells food. Farmers markets will almost always have eggs, and many farmers will sell their eggs roadside. At the store there are a number of different types of eggs. Organic, Non Organic, Pastured, Free Range, Cage Free, Omega 3 enhanced, soy free, vegetarian fed. Do any of these things make a difference? If you buy the least expensive eggs, there is a chance that they are the same as the organic eggs. Some egg farms, will sell organic eggs labeled as non organic. This is simply because if they run low on non organic eggs, it’s better to sell them for less than to not have enough for their contract. Organic eggs, come from chickens are fed organic food. Organic chickens also don’t recieve medications. However chickens are rarely vaccinated or medicated anyway. Chickens usually only recieve medication when sick, which removes their organic status. Both Organic and non-organic chickens on egg farms live their lives in very small cages. This allows the eggs to be clean when layed, and makes it easy to gather them. Chickens are very easy to keep. Food, water, and light is all that’s needed to get eggs. When light levels get low, many hens well not lay. All commercial egg farms have artifical lighting to supplement natural lighting. A hen lays one egg a day. For maximum egg production, 18 hours of light is used.
Chickens are not picky. This is why commercial battery farms work. Chickens will stand in one spot and lay eggs, just as easily as if they had moving room. A dog crate would be a perfect chicken house for someone starting out with 2 or 3 hens. Chickens will tend to stay close to food and water. At night they will usually return to their nest boxes. But during the day they will wander far in search of bugs. Which in the city means accross roads into neighbors yards, and in country into the woods into some animal’s mouth. So some fencing is crucial to chicken survival. Remember the chicken has a pea sized brain, making it often forget to look both ways before crossing the road. Cage free, means that a chicken lives in a large cage, but probably at least gets to stand on firm ground. Free range means it has some minimal access to outside. Chickens create vitamin D, by exposure to sunlight just like we do. So the more sunlight a chicken recieves, the more vitamin D will be in the egg. I’ll continue next week with more info on eggs.

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Superman OTR

If you’ve read earlier posts, you are probably aware that I’ve started listening to old radio programs. A number of them are quite good. I’m now onto the adventures of superman. It’s interesting listening to these. Superman was a little different. In the beginning there are no super powered enemies. One of his biggest adversaries is the yellow mask, whom I don’t think even made it to the comics. This guy was a thief, smuggler and murderer, but was an ordinary man. He also wasn’t as much of a boy scout. He allowed people to die, and showed little remorse for villains that perished. He kept superman secret from everyone. He ridiculed people for believing in a flying man, a super man. Eventually he admitted that superman was real, when aboard a clipper ship.
He was also smarter. Not as smart as batman perhaps. These stories are all detective stories. He tried not to use his superman abilities unless absolutely necessary. He was a capable detective, finding the evil doers. He never used his complete abilities. This maybe because his only powers then were strength, speed, enhanced eyesight, durability, and flight. He didn’t have x-ray vision, because he complained he couldn’t see through things. He didn’t seem to use super breath to put out fires.
In some ways I prefer the older less powerful superman, but you can make your own mind up.
Here is a link to superman otr on archive.org superman otr

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Sour Dough

Sour Dough is the oldest type of leavened bread. It’s been made since at least 1500bc. The earliest record of yeast breads is by the Egyptians. When a loaf of bread was made, a small piece was saved. The next day when they made their bread, they added the previous day’s piece to the dough. And they continued this everyday. This was their starter, it contained a combination of yeast, and bacteria. The yeast and bacteria grew when introduced to the dough. The yeast in the bread provides the lifting power, by creating bubbles of carbon dioxide, while the bacteria provides the sourness, and increased the acidity which slows yeast growth. The Sour Dough recipe below is a san francisco style sour dough. Technically any bread made with a starter is a sour dough, and will have a slight tanginess to it. This type of breadmaking was popular up until about the last 100 years. In the wild west, the cook always had started and guarded it carefully. If something happened to it, they would be unable to make bread for almost a week. Sour Dough breads were very popular with the miners in California, when prospecting for gold. When prospectors went to the Yukon, they brought sour dough starter with them. A starter is pretty easy to keep alive. If feed at least once a week, and not kept too hot. Even if it becomes frozen, once thawed will be just fine. Starters can live indefinitly, some bakers say their starters are over a 150 years old.

Starter Recipe
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1 tsp yogurt with live culture
a pinch of yeast

This recipe is cheating, but always works. The traditional way is listed below. Mix the ingredients in a jar. This should be kept warm. Each day add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water. When the jar gets too full, throw away half of it. Do this for about 4 days. Then you can feed the starter every 3 days. The jar can now be sealed with a lid with holes.

Starter Recipe B
1 cup water
1 cup flour

Mix the flour and water in a jar, and set by a slightly open window. This should be kept warm. Each day add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water. When the jar gets too full, throw away half of it. Do this for about 4 days. Then you can feed the starter every 3 days. The jar can now be moved away from the window, and a lid with holes can be placed on it.

Sour Dough Recipe
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup starter at room temp
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp barley malt

Mix all ingredients together.
Then in a mixer using a dough hook, mix at low to med for 8 minutes.
When the dough sticks to the hook and starts climbing turn up the the speed to knock it back down, then turn the speed back down.
Place dough in a greased bowl with a wet cloth covering it, for 8 hours. Then remove dough and kneed a few times to get rid of larger air bubbles. Return to bowl with damp towel, and let rise another 2 hours.
Place dough into large dutch oven for another 2 hours, covered again with the cloth. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the top of the bread a few times with a sharp knife, this allows the bread to rise more, because the crust is a little drier and won’t allow as much expansion. Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with water. Put the dutch oven lid back on. Place into oven.
After 15 minutes remove the lid. Turn off the oven, the bread will bake the rest of the way without additional heat. The bread should be done in about 20 more minutes. Don’t open the oven door, look through the glass to see if done. If the oven door is opened too much heat will escape, and you may need to turn the oven back on. After top is golden brown remove from oven. Let sit 30 minutes, before cutting. You have to wait 30 minutes or your bread won’t have time to make a proper crumb. Crumb is what the inside of the bread is called.

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Early Bread

Bread is a staple of man’s diet in most of the world, and has been since its invention. People have been making bread for 30,000 years at least. This is a long time before the first ovens were made. These breads were made on heated stones. This was the only way to make bread for the first 25,000 years of bread making. Grains and grain sprouts were mashed together with water to make a thick paste. This paste was placed on the hot stone and cooked. You would have something like a tortilla, or a johnny cake. The importance of bread can’t be understated. It’s used for gifts to god. Breaking of bread together is a sign of friendship. A euphemism for money, in English speaking parts of the world. A food that can last for several days, from stores of grains, that can be kept all winter long. These breads or cakes as they are sometimes called, are very simple. Only a few ingredients and they are almost always stone fried. They were also all unleavened.

When the settlers first arrived in the Americas this is one of the first foods they were introduced to. Journey Cakes could be stored for several days, and could easily be packed to go with you.

Recipe Johnny Cake

1 cup white cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
Bacon drippings (some type of grease for frying)

Stir the salt, water with the cornmeal vigorously, until combined. Let this sit for 10 minutes.
Grease a hot skillet.
Place 1/4 cup onto skillet, press down until about 3/4 inch thick.
After about 5 minutes, when golden brown flip, and brown the other side.
Serve as you would pancakes, or as a side by placing meat and gravy over them.

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OTR X Minus 1

I’ve only recently realized the amount of stuff that’s public domain. On archive.org you can find all sorts of music, radio shows, comics, books, and even movies. From the 50’s there was X minus 1, it was a great radio show. I downloaded and listened to every episode. One thing that you notice while listening, is the style of science fiction. The first season, has very dark science fiction, aliens are bad, the world is on the brink of destruction. But after the first season there is a very noticible shift in style. The world is suddenly a bright happy place, the stories have a twing of silliness. Researching the show I found out the cause of this shift. The first season was a remake of an older show called Dimension X. Then the later episodes were the more modern 60’s style sci-fi. I prefered the first season, it seemed a little too silly later. But the show is great and highly recommended. I’m going to continue looking through the archive for more old radio shows. I’ll keep you all posted. Thanks for reading. Below is the first episode of the show, enjoy.
Moon be Still and Bright

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Bought an Atari 7800

I’ve played videogames, since I was little. I’ve always been fascinated with them. I played my 2600 until about 94. Then put it away for about 10 years. When I was a kid I remember when my 2600 broke, and my dad took me to the game store. They had both the 7800 and 2600. The 7800 was 100, and the 2600 was 50. So I got the 2600, and wireless controllers. Looking back, I should have gotten the 7800. We ended up returning the wireless joysticks, they were terrible, and got mario bros instead. For a while I had been thinking of picking up a 7800. Months ago, me and my wife were at walmart on black friday. We plan bf every year and camp out, at the stores. We went to walmart in the morning, after a couple other stores. I was walking to the toys section. When I overheard someone on another aisle, say they had a 7800 they wanted to sell. I ran around the corner, and asked the two employees, they said another person had said it who just walked away. So I ran around the corner and found her. She told me she had a 7800, that she got as a child. It had about 50 games, and a couple controllers. I gave her my number, and she put it in her phone memory. I didn’t take hers. I found my wife in a little bit, and told her I gave a girl my number. Which of course, elicited a not very friendly look on her face. I told her about the girl selling the atari. We went home, I expected a call the next day or so, she had she needed to unpack it. After about a week, I gave up, and began kicking myself for not taking down her info. I never expected to hear from her again. I kept thinking about the atari. Even in December I was annoyed with myself, for not getting her number, I went to the walmart a few times, but never ran across her. I looked on ebay a few times, almost buying one. Then about 3 weeks ago in April, I got a text that asked if I was still interested. I said sure how much did she want. She replied back 50, but I was busy and didn’t get back to her for about an hour. She texting me again, saying am I still interested, and she’d take 40. I said, when can I pick it up. The next day I drove to her place, and picked it up. There were about 40 2600 games, and a dozen 7800, with about 4 controllers.

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Hello world!

Welcome to Practical Anachronism. This is a website about programming, cooking, and anything else that sounds fun at the time.

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