Making smoked foods - Tin can smoker - Cold smoke

I thought I'd try to get the food to a place where I had a little more control over the temperature. In my first experiment with my tin can smoker, the device was inside the BBQ, and contributed quite a bit of heat. I suspect the BBQ was at around 50c, which is perfect if you want to breed bacteria.

I'd prefer not to.

I figured I might be able to create smoke by just dry frying some wood chips, and I think it shows some promise.


I put the can on the wok burner and ran it on high for a bit before adding some hickory wood chips.

In this photo I used a flash so as to not distort how much smoker there was. It's a dull day, and if I took it without the flash, I would have captured half a second of smoke instead of 250th of a second or whatever flashes really run at. [Which is why you cant see much of the flame]

Probably much much faster.


Anyway...

It worked a treat.

A total successful test, and only took about 5 minutes to start smoking, and be ready to use. It might even be possible to just move it inside the BBQ now that it's going, and the BBQ heat night keep it going.

That might mean it will be useful as a cold smoke maker, and a hot smoke maker.

I guess I should write some stuff on what smoking is all about instead of jumping right in with a smoker. Sometimes I forget I'm supposed to be writing about this stuff, and just get on with the learning.




120 Things in 20 years' Making cold smoke in a tin can smoker on a wok burner may just be the 2nd success in a row. I'm not sure that's ever happened before.

Making smoked foods - Tin can smoker

As far as I can tell, everything worth eating, is worth smoke curing.


As a result of a gift from my other mother, we have one of these in our yard.

Shiny!

And poorly photographed!

"Poorly photographed", is a new style I'm exploring a bit in this post.





A gas BBQ is all well and good, but as part of the move to gas, we tend to miss out a bit on the flavours that woodsmoke can provide.

Gas = good

Wood = good

Gas AND woodsmoke = amazing!

An extremely important part of this "Thing" is the humble tin can. I say humble, but I'm not really sure if a tin can actually does humble.

I'm guessing a tin can mostly does tin can things.

Lurking springs to mind.

Shinning might also rate a mention if it's a fresh one.

Mine's a fresh one.


Shine can, shine.

Lurk can, lurk.

A tin can can also have holes punched through it with an old mini-screwdriver, but I'll get to that a bit later.

For now, I'll introduce the backbone and or possibly un-necessary briquette.

Backbone, because it provides the heat that drives the smoke.

Un-necessary, because it might not.

I cant really tell what contribution this stuff made, other than it was used, and the result was good.

I also don't know enough to endorse any product you might see in this post, so take everything I say as you always should, with a grain of bacon salt.




Now is probably a good time to say that none of this stuff is my idea or anything (except perhaps using a screwdriver as a drill, and then enlarging those screwdriver holes with a bigger, thicker screwdriver ) but rather, it's a collage of everything I've read over the last few days, and the implementation is based on trial and error in real time, bizarre ritual, and risking tonight's meal.

DO try this at home. (except maybe the bit about ramming a screwdriver through a can of burning coal)

Anyway...

The briquettes look like this up close.

They look like brown coal, but I suspect they are made of more recent trees. Checking...

Ok... well it seems the packaging reads "Not suitable for barbecues. Probably something I should have read before buying it. Perhaps it shouldn't have been displayed in the BBQ section of the hardware I bought them from.

You live and learn.


I hope this isn't what made today's smoking such a success.

I have no idea what's in these things, so please don't use them unless you find out, and then please tell me what they are made off so I can seek whatever medical attention I might need.

I'm sure I'll be walrus.

Anyway...

other things to show and tell, include hickory chips.

I ended up using around two cups for my two chicken thighs, but I'm guessing it would make no difference how much stuff I put in the BBQ. It would still take around two cups.

Two chicken thighs in a BBQ is a total waste of energy, but I didn't want to waste too much food if it all went wrong.


I also bought some fire starter cube things to get the briquettes that are unsuitable for BBQs alight.

I have no idea what these things are made of.









If I ran an unscrupulous country that wanted to get rid of it's toxic waste, I'd just shape it into things and export it as products.

Outdoor furniture and so forth.

So, I smacked a few holes in my tin can with a rusty old mini-screwdriver thing.

I knew it was sharp enough for this task, because every other time I use it for a task it wasn't designed for, I manage to gain a body piercing of a part of my hand that was never designed to receive such a thing.

This time I hurt nothing but the can, because it turns out cans are pretty thin.

Confident stabs make smaller dents in the can, and cleaner holes.

Stab confidently.



I punched two extra holes at the top to thread a loop of wire through to act as a handle.

Probably not required, but I did use it at the end of the day to pick it up and put it under a water tap to make sure any leftover fire was safely out.

So... add a handle if you have a handy coat hanger or length of wire.

Pliers also work as a handle.



It took way too long to get the briquettes going because there was clearly not enough oxygen getting to them.

The flames were there, but they started at the top where they met fresh air rather than at the fuel where a fire should be.







So I "extra safely" punched a few more holes through, then made them bigger with a thicker screwdriver.

It turns out it's probably not a good idea to do this when it's burning, but it worked out fine in the end.







The fire took on a much more healthy glow, and I held back on adding too many holes to the lid, because I figured I might need to damp the fire down a bit because I want smoke not flame.

You cant really see it in the pic, but the flame actually looked like it was coming in through the holes at the bottom. Like an inside out gas burner. Like the fuel was gasing, and the flames did what they did to seek the oxygen.

Interesting. And a pretty handy tin can stove.


To be honest, I don't really understand why this was burning like I wanted it to when I wanted to get it alight, but then settled down to what I wanted it to do when I wanted smoke.

All the photos above include flame from the fire starter things, so perhaps it's just a case of them burning with a bit more gusto than the heat beads and wood chips.

Or it could be the water soaking of the wood chips.

Did I mention that? The wood chips were soaked in water boiling water for a few minutes before being added to the tin can with the glowing briquettes.

I suspect they dry out before they start to smoke, so perhaps it's just to stage the wood chips so they don't all go up in flames at the same time. As far as I can tell, it should be possible to either make them burn in stages by wetting them, creating only a small section at any one time that's dry enough and hot enough to start smoking, OR restrict the airflow and choke them to whatever combustion rate you want.

Perhaps the water soaking has some other reason. I'll let you know if it turns out to be important.

Smoke!

Lots of it.

I didn't push the number of holes, because I didn't want it to go to flame, but I got the feeling I could have made as much smoke as I wanted simply by adding more.






There was quite a bit of slack space between it burning , and it smoking. If I put out the fire, it would take a lot of blowing at the holes around the bottom to get it to flame again. (I only did this to test how forgiving it was) The result was that it seemed to prefer to make smoke rather than fire unless it was really coaxed into flame, and even then it settled back to making smoke.

Clearly it knew it's designated task.

I'll play a bit more later, and there's always the lid to damp it down if needs be.  I might even add a second lid so I can turn it like a tap to adjust it. ie, a big hole in each lid, and overlap them so you can change the size of the hole.

I was concentrating on air in, but controlling air (or exhaust) out does the same thing. It probably doesn't matter which one you control, the result is, if you restrict the airflow over the coals, you restrict the burn, and control the smoke.

After an hour or so of smoke that was sometimes on and sometimes off, depending on what I was trying at the time, the result looked like this.

To be honest, I was a little disappointed.

I thought it would have a lot more smoke colour to it. Some of that colour on the bacon was there in the beginning. And this photo is actually a little flattering as far as colour goes.



But it was getting late so I lit the BBQ and brought the bacon wrapped, blue cheese, and tomato stuffed chicken thigh parcels (my best tying effort to date in my own opinion) up to an internal temperature of 75c.

Apparently I missed a step called brining. I'll let you know if it turns out to have been important. I think it involves marinating your food in a salt water solution before smoking like I had to do with the home made cheese "thing".

But the result was truly amazing!

Totally worthwhile.

My big fear is that this will be one of those beginners luck things, and that I will now spend the rest of my life trying to duplicate it.

Hopefully, and perhaps more likely, is that this is just the beginning of what is possible with smoking.

I hope so.

The result makes for a terrible photo, because for some reason, I went for an autopsy/science  look rather than a food look.

Never take a food cross section photo straight on.

Originally I was a bit suspicious of the pink, thinking it might be under cooked, but my digital meat thermometer said it was cooked, and it turned out the thermometer knows it's stuff.


The chicken looked a bit like good bacon.

The bacon wrapped around the chicken looked like what I now call good chicken.

If anything it was actually a little over-done, but the brining step might add a bit of moisture to the final product that might counteract that.

Who knows. I cant wait to find out.

The only thing to do is learn a bit more, and do it again.

I rate this experiment with a tin can smoker a total success, and if you've ever thought about smoke curing stuff, I thoroughly recommend giving it a go.

Insanely delicious.

I hope the in(common)-laws don't read this and want their BBQ back.




120 Things in 20 years - Smoke cured stuff really rocks, and you can knock up a tin can smoker in only a few minutes.

Epic adventurer - Bread - Every day fresh loaf for one

One of the things I'd like to be able to enjoy on my planned epic River Murray adventure, is fresh bread.

I can make bread due to a previous enjoyed "Thing", but I cant make a small loaf for one on an open fire. Or at least I couldn't until today.

Every couple of years I get to hang out with two of the most interesting people I know, and at some point each time, we try to make bread on a camp fire.

It almost works a bit.

Sometimes.

Almost.

But not quite.

They tend toward atemptedbread made with chocolate, marshmallows, and M&Ms.

I tend toward trying to talk them out of it.

Sadly, and most enjoyably, neither approach seems to work better than the other.

In fact, I think the only loaf to have worked so far was an M&M/marshmallow concoction that tasted a bit like a bee rolled in flour might.

With this in mind I thought I should try a stack of different approaches to try to make a functional camp loaf for one.

I think I succeeded, and found a half decent way to make a reliable mini-loaf that can be easily made over an open fire.

I started with some salt.

Salt is really, really important. You really cant make bread without it. If you try, what you get is glue.

I'm making a small loaf so I'm using a small amount of salt.

Exactly one small amount.




I also added a small amount of sugar. Perhaps a 1/4 of a teaspoon.

I add some flour.

Around a third of a cup.

Next time I do this I will try a half a cup, because the loaf didn't quite fill my container.








And some water.

Also around a third of a cup.











And this much dry yeast.













I mixed it with the spoon handle in a way that I thought looked a bit like an automatic bread maker doing it's thing.

Basically I gripped the spoon in my fist, and forced the dough around a small bowl in a circular manner until it seemed a bit like dough.







I went with a very wet dough that I would only mix with a stick (in this case a spoon handle) rather than needing to knead. Kneading is way too tricky in a world without kitchen benches, and everything made in a camp kitchen, needs to be made in a single bowl to be practical.

Stir it like crazy, and it will work a treat.

I covered it with some plastic wrap, and waited until it doubled in size.

"Doubled in size" is a thing you hear a lot when your'e learning to make bread.









It's a very difficult thing to gauge. In my experence  most people (me included) tend to wait far too long, and end up having their loaf rise way too much. The best way to get the hang of this doubling business, is to leave the dough to rise in a tall thin container. Perhaps something like a spaghetti jar, or a measuring jug.  In a tall thin container, the only way for the dough to go is up, and as a result, it's very easy to see when a loaf has doubled in size.

Trying to determine when a loaf has doubled in size in a normal bowl is very hit and miss.

I quite like hit and miss, but if you want a good loaf, use a tall thin container to check the loaf has risen to double it's volume before you move to the next step.

Anyway...

After the correct amount of wait, the dough has risen what looks like only a tiny bit.

This tiny bit is really double it's original volume.

A cup 1cm wider than a different cup has a MUCH greater volume.

Doubled in volume looks like "a bit wider, and a bit taller"

If you can notice the dough is bigger, it's probably doubled.

Next, I rubbed butter all over the surfaces that the dough would come in contact with.

This cooking ... thing is something that's been in my family since I was a toddler.

I don't know what it's called, but I'm guessing the world knows it as a "waffle iron" or something like that.





It's normal use is to cook stuff between two slices of bread, buttered on the outside to stop sticking and burning.  Filling's include stuff with cheese, cheese, and more cheese.

I added the once risen dough, and searched around for a warm spot to set it for it's final rise.












The best spot is always a place that is wasting heat. In my home that's the wireless router.

It's always just lurking there bleeding heat out into the universe.

There always seem to be a lot of wires in the proximity of wireless things. And there always seems to be a lot of wasted heat as well.

Useful heat.



Bread rising heat.

It looked like this when it had doubled in volume again.

Most of the visual doubling is due to my moving the camera closer, but really, this has risen a lot.

Although It's possible I got the photo's around the wrong way.

Just remember that doubling in volume doesn't look like much has happened.



If it looks like a lot has happened, it's probably too much.

So now it's time to cook the thing.

It looked like this after a few minutes.












And this after a few more.













It sounded hollow when it was tapped, so I figured it was probably cooked.

It looked like this when it was cut in half, and it tasted just like bread.

A totally successful method of creating a mini loaf for one on an open fire.

The openness of my un-open fire is obviously something I'll need to deal with, but with a bit of practice, this system will definitely work in the real world on a real open fire.




I'm calling this a total success, and over the next few months, I'll be perfecting this method to the point where I can rely on my ability to make a perfect(ish) fresh mini-loaf of bread every day with only minimal effort.

Next time we make camp bread, we might actually get to eat some.

Perhaps now, the haunting, ethereal voice I heard at the last camp, wafting over the bread/chocolate/marshmallow smoke filled site, and endlessly in my nightmares, ...

"Dont pay attention to [Bullwinkle]"
"He knows nothing"
"He doesn't care"

Can finally be put to rest.

The next time I share a camp-site with these young bakers will see real M&M, marshmallow, and chocolate bread, baked in the waffle irons they forced their parents to buy.

It will be a truly great day for bee flavoured bread.




120 Things in 20 years - Reinventing ancient technology again and again in spite







Photography - Rock melon time lapse

 thought I might do a time lapse of a rock melon developing.

I'm not sure why, but I like rock melon a lot.

The might be called cantaloupe in your part of the world.

Either way, I have some growing.

The shot looks a bit like this.

 The white splodge at the bottom is the time lapse camera.

It's facing toward the extremity of the rock melon vine centre top.

The plan is to capture a rock melon forming from scratch.

Apparently I have around a month. With that time in mind, I've set the camera to take a frame every so often.

I really dont know how often, but having set it up, I'm loathe to change anything because it would mean the loss of all the pics to date.

That's the big problem with this camera. You don't really know when it's working or not. It even pretends to be working when there is no memory card installed. That means it seems to be working, and it only takes a month before you realise the thing doesn't have a card in place.

One month to take a picture of nothing.

Oh well. It hasn't happened so far, so I guess it isn't really a problem.

This is the topic up close.

Currently it's a hand fertilized flower in the last stages of it's flowery existence.

Hopefully, over the next few weeks, we will see a rock melon grow to harvest.

If not, there is a strawberry runner incoming from stage left that might make for a decent set of time lapse images.



Or not.

Who knows?

A month or so from now, all will be revealed.



120 Things in 20 years - Bringing you time lapse images of rock melons. That's it really. Time lapse images of rock melons.



Aquaponics - Cucumber and baby rockmelon

The title gives it away a bit, but today I thought I found a new wacky variety of cucumber.

It looks like this.

In the background is a regular cucumber. In the foreground  is what I thought was a cucumber.

I picked it and ate a bit. It tasted like the opposite of a cucumber.

Anti-cucumber.

I didn't even realise anti-cucumber was a flavour until today.


But it is.

After I picked it and ate a bit, I figured I should look up my new variety of cucumber, and discovered it's commonly called rock melon. Or perhaps "cantaloupe", dependant upon which oceans your country currently floats.

I probably got the "pick it, and then google it"  bit's back to front. Next time I might look it up first.

So, on the downside, I wasted what looks like may have turned into an excellent fruit.

On the upside, I picked my first rock melon today!

I didn't even know I had them growing.

I remember planting them, but I don't remember seeing them grow.





120 Things in 20 years - Sometimes rocks taste better than rock melon, but cucumber always tastes pretty much like cucumber.
 

Aquaponics - Artificial pollination

I've been artificially pollinating my cucumber plants for a while now.

I do the hand pollination thing with a small artist paintbrush, because my original - whatever you call cotton on a stick in your part of the world (cotton buds, cotton swabs, etc)- fell to bits, and was really only a stick by the end.

But I've been wondering if picking a handful of male flowers, and dropping into a blender of water, might just give me a pollen shake to spray into the female flowers. Obviously it would depend on the survivability of pollen in a blender. It's just an idea, and although a quick search didn't find it, it may well have been tried.

It might be a really quick and easy method to pollinate things that don't do the thing with the bees for whatever reason.

I suspect the reason my cucumbers are not getting pollinated, is because there don't seem to be any bees. I seem to remember something about bees mysteriously dying out or something.

I have no idea if it will work, but given none of my cucumbers set fruit without my intervention, it should be easy enough to test. I think all I'll need to do is separate two of my four cucumber plants, and spray one with the pollen shake, and leave the other untouched. The two remaining plants I'll keep pollinating by hand because I need the cucumbers.

This experiment will have to wait for a while, because I've hand pollinated all the flowers this week. I'll separate the two test plants, and wait until they stop producing fruit before I start the test. I'll use the delay to see if anyone else is doing it, or if it wont work for some reason.



120 Things in 20 years - It's 6am and I haven't slept yet.




Thinking - Driving Hollywood style

For years I would cringe every time I saw a driving scene in a movie.

The driver would look away from the road for ages at a time to talk to their passenger.

I always thought it was just poor realism, in much the same way as people in movies get pushed off their feet when they get shot, but now I'm not so sure.

Perhaps the reason people cut me off sometimes is because they actually drive like that. Perhaps the reason some people just drive into intersections when their light has been red for a few minutes, is because they are trying to get their partner to understand something really important. The kind of important that only fifteen seconds of sincere eye contact can truly establish.

Or perhaps they watched some movies where people looked  away from the road for ages, and instead of being a little disappointed at the lack of realism, they just took it on board as the obvious way to drive.

Either way, I want it to stop. In the movies, and anywhere I'm likely to be.




120 Things in 20 years is sounding like a grumpy old dude when thinking about driving Hollywood style.


Thinking - Six degrees future communication

Those six degrees of separation are really a lot less than six when it comes to communicating with people who are, say, on the same forum as you are, live in the same street, or to people you actually know.

But even when they aren't people you know, six is not so many. From now on, I'm going to just rely on the few degrees of separation for all my communication needs. Booking doctors appointments, airline tickets, ordering pizza, everything.

I've been dealing with the support desk of a net based business trying to find some information, and I think my new method might be substantially more effective than my current approach of filling out thousands of web forms.

It would certainly be more comfortable.

Because there's only a few degrees of separation between me and whoever it is a want to inform,  from now on, I'll  just chat about it casually to someone I meet in the street, and hope the query or order finds itself on the correct desk on the other side of the globe.

As a method of getting a help desk to respond, I cant see it being any worse than my recently tried methods.

I feel better already.




120 Things in 20 years - Going crazy one purchase at a time when thinking about my communication issues.

Aquaponics - Roots in the media

It's quite possible that this is one of those things that everyone does, but it's so obvious that nobody mentions it.

Perhaps everything is one of those things, but I'd rather hear something twice than never know about it, so I'll say it anyway.

For some time, I've been harvesting things like lettuce, then spending valuable seconds of my life getting the media out of the roots and retuning it to the grow beds. Clay balls get loose a bit more readily than scoria, but roots seem determined to hang onto whatever media they find themselves in.

Don't get me wrong, this is no way an issue because it really is only a few seconds, but I'd rather spend those few irreplaceable seconds doing more important things - eating strawberries, looking at fish, that sort of thing.

But I discovered that if you just snap off the roots and leave them in a bucket, the media falls out all by itself.

Bam! Earth shattering tip right there.

I add an extra step for the worms.

When I pull up a lettuce, the root ball always has a few worms in it. Even in the constant flood grow bed there are worms everywhere. And as much as I'm happy to feed my worms to the fish, I like my worms and like it when they live in my growbed rather than die on the ground. So when I snap off the roots, I lay the ball of roots, and media back on the growbed until the next time I wander past. This allows the worms time to get back into the growbed as their root ball home slowly dries.

The next day (or whenever) I drop the root ball into my root ball bucket, where it dries out and leaves the media behind. After the bucket has seen a few root balls added, or when I get around to it, I return the loose media back to the grow bed, and the dried roots and stems to the compost heap. Once in the compost heap, they sit for eternity. We don't use the stuff.



120 Things in 20 years - Wasting compost from the roots caught up in my aquaponics media.

Electronics - Inverter repair

An inverter is a useful thing. It takes a stack of electrons from a 12 volt battery, and makes them look like the stuff that comes out of your wall, in my case at 240 volts.

How it does it is anyone's guess.

In my case it doesn't actually do that. In fact all it does, is take a stack of electrons from a 12 volt battery, and turn them into the smell of melting value.

I couldn't understand why a perfectly interesting looking device should fail.

Here it is pictured after it was repaired, but it also looked pretty much like that when it didn't work, but now I've given away the ending to this tale.

I fixed something - a first.

Note the total absence of left over bits - also a first.


Normally, the plan of attack is to open the device up, then put all the left over bits in the bin next to the now slightly more hollow, and slightly lighter device.

But this time was different.

To begin with I already knew why it was making all that melting plastic smell.

It was over heating.

The thing has a fan that is presumably meant to spin around a lot. At least I hope it's meant to spin around a lot. If it isn't meant to, it does now.

Perhaps I just invented something....

To make an artificial breeze, simply take a normal fan, and make it spin.

So...

The point is the fan wasn't spinning. I have a few fans that I've pulled out of junked computers, so I figured I'd just replace it. I can solder a bit now as well, so I figured it should be easy.

There were even some obvious screws to undo.

I used the electric screwdriver my mum bought me as part of a present.

Thanks mums everywhere. It even has a torch built in and you can never own enough torches, even when you will never use them.

I always thought electric screwdrivers were a bit pointless, but it turns out they are excellent. I've just never actually needed one before.


Unlike this project, my last had a few bits left over, and this was where the electric driver was really useful. It turns out there are a zillion screws inside stuff.

Pictured is all the leftover bits not including all the gears and shafts and all kinds of springs and stuff that might come in handy one day.

"What are the chances of any of it coming in handy?", I hear you ask.



But that's what they said about the 200 short lengths of black poly irrigation pipe I still have in the shed.

This thing used to be one of those fax, copier, printer combo devices that wasn't working any more. A friend was throwing it away, and thought my car was as good a place as any to throw it. It turns out there are some good motors and gears inside. I think there were five motors in there. That's them on the right. Maybe six motors. I'm planning on needing some motors, gears, and some shafts for making my solar tracking heliostat. There are also a stack of salvaged components used for tracking the placement of motors. The motor on the bottom right has a spoked arrangement that passes between a censor that detects light, and a light. The shadows cast by the spokes allow the system to track where the print head is. Or so I've read.

So much to learn. So much time. If you just stop watching TV.

Anyway, I've drifted off what pretends to be this post's topic...

Ok, so the fan wasn't spinning.

None of the fans I had would fit exactly, and would have to be trimmed (hacked and snapped with a pair of pliers) until they could be coaxed into duty.

I looked under that foil label and found the exposed end of the shaft.

I thought I'd drop in some oil before I replaced the fan to see if that's all it needed. It was.




The black, and off white cylinder in the front with the brown stain at the base is a capacitor.

I'm guessing it was also the source of the burnt plastic smell.

So that had to go. Luckily I have stacks of different capacitors from pulling apart some stuff, and had a duplicate.

A big component with large nicely spaced pins that proved easy to solder.

The thing went back together with no left over bits, and no spilt coffee added.

I realise this was a very simple repair, but it is something I would have sent to landfill before learning a bit of electronics over these last few months.

Here is a terrible photo of it charging a phone through it's transformer, and maybe a bit of Bigfoot's leg. Who can tell.



A 12v car battery supplying an inverter outputting 240v, then through the iPhone transformer to bring it back down to 5v.

Ok it's slightly inefficient, but the phone was the smallest thing I could take to the car to test it.

I rate this a total success.

Which is nice.




120 Things in 20 years - Bringing me one step closer each day to being able to take down a Terminator. Or repair an inverter. I need to win a 3D printer.

Thinking - Starbuck

I'm going to try to work the word "**systemically" into more conversations from now on.

Sometimes I marvel at the total awesomeness of the net. As long as I have a net connection, I effectively know everything you humans have ever worked out.

Unless there is a coffee house or a 1978 sifi* TV series, or worse yet, a naughties remake of said 70's TV series with the same name.

Then I'm doomed.

I wanted to know about someone called "Starbuck", and more specifically, I waned to find out what all the fuss was about, and why everyone called everything "Starbuck(s)".

Sometimes it's simply too hard and you have to wade through too much crud.

What I need is either a thing that just adds a few different suffixes to everything, or a special "I want the thing that's probably unpopular" function on google. The suffixes would probably include things like "General", "Sir" or ... well that's all I can think of really.

Just "General", and "Sir".

Perhaps I could just try those two search suffixes on my own without having to change the rest of the world.

I guess it could work.



*120 Things in 20 years - Did you know that if you do a search for sifi, you get a link to "systemically** important financial institution" but scifi gets you something that makes sense? I'm guessing it's actually substantially easier than I report to find the right stuff when thinking about people named "Starbuck" when you can spell.


Aquaponics - Cucumber

Cucumber.

Strange word.

Anyway, I've been getting good results with hand pollination. For some reason the female flowers (the ones with the fruit attached to the back of them, open well, but the males don't.

I thought bees were supposed to do this work. There are no bees anywhere doing anything. Is there a strike or something. Perhaps people are talking about it on TV. Maybe there is a reason to watch TV after all.

I planted my four cucumber plants in the corner of the growbed nearest the door. The door stays open for summer, so I trained the plants to grow outside.

Actually it doesn't really matter if the door was open or closed, they could be made to grow under the door with a little pruning.






I've been using a small, soft artist's paint brush to tickle all the flowers on my plants and do the bees work for them.

Every female flower I've hand pollinated has produced a very tasty fruit, but none of those that I left for the bees have manage to set fruit.

There seems to be a lot of fruit. More than we could use, but they are finding good homes with friends and relatives.

One even went to a friendly relative.





120 Things in 20 years - Cucumber is still a funny word.

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