Saturday, March 31, 2007


As though I really needed another hobby. Well much to the admirable Flopper's chagrin I have decided to try my hand at making mead. Now you may not know this but I am an absolute fiend when it comes honey. I love the stuff; I'd have a dozen varieties at a time if Flopper would let me. Fortunately for my small pocket book he does not. So in the grand tradition I am going to make mead.
I went to the local hobby store (devoted characteristically for Minnesota to beer by in large) and spent ten dollars on a gallon jug, an air lock, two packages of yeast, and a 4 foot piece of tubing.

Apparently you boil the honey into the water at a ratio of about 2 cups honey to 9 cups water. After adding various and sundry things , ( this is the joy of mead you can toss in whatever ) dried blueberry , raspberries, cinnamon, and nutmeg in my case, you then allow the concoction to simmer for twenty minutes and pull the scum off the top, apparently this is wax from the honey.
Siphon the mixture into your jug and let it cool for a few hours; then add proofed yeast and let it sit for a month or so.
I get to bottle it then and let the bottles sit for another month; I think I'll get maybe ten standard sized bottles out of the gallon. It seems most people make mead in 5 gallon quantities but that would easily be 30 dollars of honey (at least for good honey) and I'm just not there yet. We'll see how this turns out in june. Making alcohol is a long standing tradition in both of our familes so perhaps if his work Christmas presents can be arranged. : )

~ Eikon

Friday, March 30, 2007

My High School is Closing

Cardinal Brennan the High School I went to will be closing at the end of this year. A few words about my school. I graduated in a class of 38 people in an area where academics are a joke. CB had two feeder districts North Schuylkill (where I spent one disastrous semester) and Shenandoah Valley (with standardized test scores so low they are laughable) this coupled with the economic despair of the region has sealed the fate of the school that for the past 60 years has served the Coal Region. There just aren't enough people with money there.

I was one of the three poorest kids (Megan, Isac, Me) in my class and going to school with sons and daughters of lawyers, doctors, and business men coupled with the prodding of Fred was the primary reason I went to college. That and the fact that it was expected by my teachers.

I remember climbing the cherry trees in the front and having lunch out on the lawn in spring.
I was the sacristan in the school chapel and was forever skipping classes to iron altar garments, much to the bemusement of the faculty. Periodically someone would sneak into the bell tower to ring it, a feat accomplished with lock picking or cutting. The loss of this school saddens me immeasurably and is one more knell tolling the death of my home region. Plus it was a beautiful place to go to school for 4 years.

Here is a blog dedicated to the Brennan saga.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Time to start the seeds; we are doing Roma tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, Lady Alice ( a big heritage type, and attempting a heritage variety of eggplant called black beauty. I think we'll probably end up with an abundance of herbs, (Dill for pickles) and some beans (Flopper likes them); I may attempt cabbage for sauerkraut goodness. The community garden we are trying ot get into is run by a Lutheran church in town and we won't know until April first whether or no we have a plot. If not we may have to use the community garden at my university. In any case I intend to learn how to can things so we don't have a horde of wasted tomatos.



Saturday, March 24, 2007

A goose egg for

Nikolaj. It took about five hours and consists of four colors.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What would you do?

Today my pastor asked me to remove my "Help the rich, vote republican" bumper sticker. How would you respond? He's a nice guy and is probably requesting that I do such (he has not right to enforce it, obviously) to appease the people who pay our salaries. I can't help but wonder if, for my own job security, it would make sense for me to remove it.

Che ne pensi?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Pictures of my church

This is our gathering space. It's pretty typical90's church architecture.

Our beautiful sanctuary (hack hack), The choir loft used to be where the curtains are. Now we're down on the floor. A moron must have designed the loft, there are huge beams that cut across the sound.

Here's our strange granite octogan-al altar.

Another view. I took this picture to show how the altar faces to the left so that the bulk of the assembly views the side of the celebrants face the whole time.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cheney Has Clout?


To make the pierogi.

Peel and dice five average sized potatoes. Boil them and then mash them together with about 1/2 a pound of sharp cheddar cheese. Reserve.

Now the dough can be a bit tricky. This is how I do it. Sift 8 cups of flour and add an egg for each cup (so 8) add a 1/4 cup of olive or vegetable oil. Combine in the way you would a pie crust and then slowly add water a tablespoon at a time (cold cold water). When it all sticks your going to have to start adding flour slowly until the dough is moist but handleable with dry hands.

Divide the dough into three parts and roll out the dough as thin as shown above.

Then cut out circles with a 1 C measuring cup or something of similar size.

Stack the circle three high on plates with some flour in between. Any more and they will stick together and this dough only rolls well twice.

Take a little more than a teaspoon of filling and roll it into a ball. Place the ball in the center of your dough circle.

Stretch and fold one side of the circle over the filling ball.

Pinch the edges shut so the seam is water tight. I fold the edge up and over and then pinch just to be safe.

Repeat about 4 dozen times.

Feed the ravenous Elias who is staring longingly at your cheese and potato filling with leftovers.

Boil water and toss pierogi in a dozen at a time. They are done when they float. Remove them with a slotted spoon toss them in a pan and fry them. Also they freeze well after they have cooled down lasting about 6 months.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Where have all the conservative pricks gone?

I'm sure you've all been following the race for the white house. . . between two democrats. . . I've been amused by the lack of coverage of the republican races. I know it's early, but if the democrats have this much steam this early, I can't help but think we're headed for victory.

Obama and Clinton were both in Selma today. Below is a youtube of Obama's speech. What about the republicans? Were they there? They must not be for civil rights or human equality. . . Hmmf.

So lovely

Oh but this is the south


Saturday, March 03, 2007

All Alone. . .

Well, Eikon took off this morning for his spring-break service trip to tennessee and kentucky. I'm sure I'll keep busy with church and school and practicing, but I still miss him. :-(

Thursday, March 01, 2007

dead tree in church. Happy lent.