Archive | March 4, 2014

Shelling / Beach-combing – A Year Round Hobby

Customize It All

Shelling is a favorite pastime of mine, and the best part is, it can be done year-round.

Storms churn the sea, bringing up many long-hidden ocean treasures up on shore. Yes, the windy Winter months are harsher for shellers, but with several layers to keep warm (a rain poncho helps), you can gather those hard-to-find shells you’ve been waiting for.

Where I live, the Gulf Stream is ever-faithful to bring up surprises from all over. My latest goals are finding dark purple quahog and conch shells. I’m going to make some wampum jewelry with my trusty Dremel tool, and I need some conch shell to experiment making other jewelry beads, or whatever I come up with. Will post pictures when I can get further South…

Shelling Tees

Spring Magnolias – Almost In Bloom

It’s almost time for the magnolias to bloom in the South – and I’m headed there just in time to take more photos!

I took photos of the following pink magnolia blooms at Duke Gardens in Durham, North Carolina. The trees didn’t have many blooms on them at the time, so I’ll make sure to capture as many fully-blossomed specimens as possible this Spring.

How to Cook More than Rice in a Rice Cooker | Howcast

How to Cook More than Rice in a Rice Cooker | Howcast

I consider myself a little unconventional, and quirky at best. That’s one reason why this idea appeals to me – cooking other things in a rice cooker – it’s not just for rice anymore!

Thanks to some inventive cooks, there are instructional videos out there that demonstrate the extraordinarily easy ways to use a rice cooker like a slow cooker. You basically dump all the ingredients in and press the lever. I’ve done this hundreds of times to cook many things, so I can vouch for its ease and convenience! I cook for one, so the size is perfect when a Crock-Pot is too large for the task.

I own a Zojirushi brand rice cooker, and it has a steamer tray that fits inside – imagine the savory dishes you can make. I’ve boiled pasta, sautéed onions (for french onion soup), baked/mashed potatoes, hominy casserole, bacon, hard-boiled and scrambled eggs, ramen, sloppy joes, soup stock from beef bones…the possibilities are endless.