Saturday, March 16, 2013

Beef Jerky - experiments and Recipe 2 (Dry Marinade)

Okay, so I had started to get enthused about making jerky and had a go at a modified version of the previous wet marinade - trying for a Moroccan spice styling (I literally referred to the Moroccan spice mix and used a lot of what was listed in rough, "that looks about right" type volumes).  It didn't come out too badly, but again, not enough salt in the mix.

I took these various samples with me to Borderwar and sharing them around at one time, received some good feedback as well as another recipe idea - Dry Marinading (thanks Blethyn).

Returning from Borderwar, I got B to sms his recipe / process and had a go.

"Cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, little bit of chilli flakes, get a fair amount of it and grind in a mortar and pestle.  Sprinkle half on a tray, lay your strips, sprinkle the rest and place a tray on top, weight with a couple of boring, think books for about 20 mins then dehydrate as normal."

So I had a go at this.  I used an old coffee scoop and used equal portions cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder, half a scoop of onion powder and half a scoop of chilli.

For trays I simply used some of the large plastic trays that meat comes in - a stable table on top of this (to distribute weight evenly) and then a whole pile of D&D hard cover books on top of this.

I gave it 30 mins and then dehydrated.

The Jerky came out pretty good - but I found that the spice was very unevenly spread - with some pieces having far too much stuck to them.  For future uses of this recipe I either dipped the pieces into the batter (like a fish & chippery dips into the batter), with a little shake to remove excess spice.  The most recent usage I flipped the pieces of meat around in a bag with the spice - this also worked well but was a little hit & miss initially in the amount of spice to use and the spread of spice on the meat.

This method is quite useful as it removes several hours from the time to dehydrate.  It also allows you to get underway shortly after you decide to make some Jerky - rather than having to wait overnight for a wet marinade.


Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Beef Jerky - Recipe 1 (wet marinade)

Okay - so the first recipe that I was given for Beef Jerky was as follows (from Kerry M):

"My favourite recipe for jerky: slice up 500-800g meat, add 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Mix together 1/3 cup of coriander seeds mostly ground up, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, add to meat, leave in the fridge overnight. In the morning, add 1/2 cup of cider vinegar and a cup of water to the meat, then pull the meat out and put it in the dehydrator, go to work, come home to jerky."
Further clarification regarding the 1/2 cup of cider vinegar and cup of water to the meat provided the following clarification: "It's just a bit of a rinse, so put it in, mix it round, then take the meat out bit by bit and lay it on the racks. I've tried not rinsing it before and you just get too many bits of coriander stuck between your teeth and it's a lot saltier."

So, I tried this recipe (but didn't have cider vinegar, so used a combination of white vinegar and malt vinegar).  Added garlic as well.

I did two lots - half without the wash and half with.  The washed was probably better but needed a little more salt (also the unwashed was my first go and the pieces of meat were not cut small enough).

Recipe works well and I will probably have another go along these lines shortly (adding more salt and possibly some Cumin as well).


Beef Jerky - introduction

Okay, so since 12th Night this year I've been playing with making Beef Jerky.  I had never realised that all that was required was a dehydrator.  Olfuss had acquired one from Aldi a week or 2 before 12th Night and mentioned making jerky with it.  When I realised that this piece of $40 equipment was all that I needed, I went looking at my local Aldi - they didn't stock it, but Olfuss was able to get one for me which I picked up at 12th Night.

I've now utilised a number of recipes from friends and then some of my own recipe modified from the basic ones.  Given my enthusiasm and the interest from others I thought it might be best to start documenting the details here (also helps me to have everything in one place).

I might try and blog each recipe separately with comments accordingly.


Saturday, May 08, 2010

You cannot describe train surfing deaths as tragedy

Noticed in the news today that some son of some old sports star apparently died as a result of train surfing.
And they are calling it a Tragedy?

NO - It's called stupidity, or Natural Selection (Darwinism in action).

Less stupid genes to be passed on to the next generation.

The tragedy is all the various passengers, driver, and emergency services personnel who have to witness and/or clean up the mess afterwards.


Thursday, April 08, 2010

Southern Region thoughts

Well - it hasn't gone away yet - and I suspect it won't, but I also don't think it will go anywhere short-term.

It is a little disconcerting that the powers that be behind this are content to disregard some facts, and then use other facts from a less successful poll to push their concerns.

The number of people that voted, in total, in their recent poll was 79.

Of which a total of 20 were from Stormhold or its groups. We were not told which way those 20 voted.
However, following the meeting when this first came up, we had in Stormhold, the following are the results that I passed along - quite detailed as you can see (in italics below).

Hi guys - busy personal life leading to delays, but here are the numbers.

Question: "Is a SP something that SH needs to pursue and work towards at this time?"

In Favour - 7 members, 0 non-members (made up as follows:)
Members present in favour - 6
Members proxies in favour - 1
Non-Members present in favour - 0
Non-Members proxies in favour - 0

Against - 27 members, 5 non-members (made up as follows:)
Members present against - 15
Members proxies against - 12
Non-Members present against - 2
Non-Members proxies against - 3

members present - 2
non-members present - 1

# of Peers involved 11 (9 against, 1 in favour, 1 abstained)
Members - present - 5 (4 against, 1 in favour)
Members - proxy - 5 (all against)
Non-Members - present - 1 (abstained)

Very clear mandate to me as Baron (official or unofficial as you like it).

In service.


At this stage, I still stick with the mandate I was provided by our populace.

Whilst there is quite a bit of regional identity within the Victorian groups, I don't see much at all within the region, except for the GSG.

I still have yet to see what advantages will be experienced by the Victorian Groups.

I had discussions with various peoples at Rowany Festival this year, both as a Peer of the realm, Baron of Stormhold and a free thinking SCA person - most of these discussions were with people from outside the group, and the general consensus was that the push was from a small frogs, big pond syndrome - make the pond smaller, the frogs see themselves as bigger.
I do see some of this as well.

Not only would the region need to be strong, but the Kingdom as well, if such a move was to occur and be healthy for the Kingdom.

And we are still young. We haven't been a Kingdom for even 10 years yet - so I'm really not sure what the rush is.

Anyhow - for the moment, I will sit to the side and listen to the discussions, supporting my people in their endeavours to discover clear answers to basic questions (which are not forthcoming or clear when they do).

The Lion sleeps - but beware ye who prods it too hard with a stick.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Catching up - The knee and the surgery to come

Sorry for the delay in writing.

Okay - at the fighter auction tournament at Easter 2009, during the first round my right foot slipped during an attack, then caught on caused the final twinge to my right knee that was in fact (but unknown at the time) the final moment of my Anterior Crucial Ligament (ACL).

Initially I felt a short stabbing pain, stopped, tested the knee - felt able to stand and no real pain, so continued the bout.

I then endured a much sharper and lasting pain that dropped me out of the tournament. With assistance my armour was removed, my knee was bound and iced by the St Johns people and I was out of the tournament.

I rested the knee for the remainder of Festival, was assisted in the drive home by Ryan (of Saarlands) who came with me (and almost destroyed my gear box by his complete lack of skill).

I went and consulted a general GP shortly after returning to Melbourne - who referred me to a Physio.

The Physio started me on an exercise regime, slowly healing the knee - he was initially concerned that something serious might be damaged. However, the knee healed well and strengthened with the rest & specific exercises given to me.

After roughly 8 weeks I ceased to see the Physio - he suggested if I did have any problems then I might need to see a specialist.

There were no issues for a month or so - then a single incident with a jolt of pain, that quickly faded. This was not the last - over the coming months they occured more often and eventually too many to disregard any longer.

Having lost the paperwork with the details of the specialist, I tracked down the Physio (who had changed practices in the mean time), got the name of the Specialist he suggested and contact that Dr accordingly.

Saw him in November 2009, where he examined the knee and came away with him certain that the only problem was some torn cartilage - the knee operating normally in all other ways that he could tell. - Unfortunately, he was wrong.

Mid December, had a key-hole knee surgery (Arthroscopic) where he fixed the torn cartilage, and discovered that my muscles were masking a lack of a ACL (Anterior Crucial Ligament) - a very important ligament that controls and allows twisting actions of the knee.

To replace it is a Knee Reconstruction Surgery (the major, invasive kind).


Took out Private Health Insurance the next day, and started counting time, waiting for the 12 month exclusion period for existing conditions to pass.

So - current plan, will be having the operation in mid December 2010, with anticipated return to active combat being November / December 2011 - probably William Marshal Tournament 2011.

Until then, a waiting game, with no running on bad ground, no sports, and lots of caution.
Oh well, thems the breaks.

The good news is as long as I follow all instructions it should be back to good as new.

Then back to fighting, finally get the Knight hood and then win the Kingdom...
(cause you gotta have goals).

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Making spoons from Horn - part 1

So - the next art & craft project I have been meaning to get around to is Horn working. Whilst a drinking horn is nice - I am wanting to make other things out of the horn, and thanks to Sandy of Frojel, I now have a few to play with.

So my first project was to make a spoon - but due to having the 14th Century Mongol persona, I figured it would be good to have a chinese style spoon (deep, almost a mini bowl).

I started with a horn, which I cut in half (with the end piece pictured, which is solid). I used a table drop saw to cut the horn (being very careful not to cut myself).

This is what I ended up with.

You can see the end piece that will probably be cut in thin slices, which can then be used as buttons - with the very end piece split length wise to form several toggles (I will drill required holes using a Dremel).

As you can see - this has a lovely bowl shape in the middle and some of that chinese spoon look in the natural shape.
I'm not really sure if the Chinese & Mongols did make spoons out of cow horn, but I know that the Mongols especially never wasted any parts of the animals - so its seems likely (especially when the Vikings were - and created the country / region of Rusland - which the Mongols successfully invaded and took over.

Here you can see the current progress - the piece that I've been working is on the bottom, with the untouched other half of the horn above.

So - I worked the horn using a bench grinder (initially I started using a sander but was not getting very far in a hurry). The bench grinder worked a treat.

Now its not finished by any part of the imagination, but you can see it is now a visible spoon that just needs some refinement.

You can see from this side on picture the nice bowl shape that has been formed (I heated the front with a heat gun and bent it up to give a front lip.

You can see that when the top is smoothed across the top (flat) you will get a nice, chinese style spoon that will carry a decent mouthful of soup / stew / whatever.

You can see that I have also tapered the handle.

Here you can see the underside of the spoon. After the initial grinding I have worked slower and more carefully - trying to remove the major tool marks.

I will work it a little more with the tools, to get it right - and then use fine sandpaper to finish it off.

It has been suggested to wax it when finished - any thoughts on this or other comments appreciated.

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