Safer Siphoning

I’m sure safety experts would tell us that there is NO safe way to siphon gasoline from one container to another. This ‘Safer Siphoning’ post will work for most liquids including gasoline, other fuels, oil, water, etc. I’m using siphoning gasoline as most of us, in our younger days, probably got a mouthful of gasoline at one time or another and wished we knew how to avoid said experience. Here is a safer way to siphon if we are still up to our old tricks.

After securing a long, clear hose or tube, place the donor container up off the ground and run one end into a donor container, making sure the end is below the surface. You can blow gently into the other end of the hose and listen for the gurgling sound to make sure it is submerged.

Leaving the submerged end of the hose in the donor container, form a downward loop with the hose (tube) making sure the bottom of the loop touches the ground with the end being higher than the gas in the donating container.

Sucking gently on the end of the hose, watch the gas move to the bottom of the loop and begin to rise. At this point stop sucking and let the gas in the hose come up to the level of the gas in the donating container.

Place the free end of the hose into the recipient container and slowly lower it to the ground. When you have the desired amount in the recipient container, raise it above the level of the gas in the donating container. Remove the hose and straighten it out to allow the remaining gas to drain back into the donating container.

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Squirrel and Gravy

Sitting in my tree stand the other day the silence was broken, and I was jerked back from an unexpected nap, when a young squirrel started barking about 2 feet above my head, giving me holy hell.  For a few minutes I forgot about waiting for a deer to walk under me, but rather thought about how that squirrel would taste in gravy. I even took the time to choose this recipe.

1 squirrel, cut up
2 Tbsp flour
1/8 tsp salt
Dash of pepper

Place squirrel in a 1-1/2 qt pot. Cover with water and cook over low heat for 1-1/2 hours or until tender. Remove squirrel and drain off all but 2 Tbsp of the drippings. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of water or milk; place squirrel in gravy and heat.

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A Trip To The Dentist

A man went to his dentist because he felt something was wrong in his mouth. After examining the man, the dentist said, “That new upper plate that I put in six months ago is eroding. What have you been eating?”

The man replied, “All I can think of is that about four months ago, my wife made asparagus and put some stuff on it that was delicious… hollandaise sauce. I loved it so much I now put it on everything, meat, vegetables, toast, fish, everything.”

“Well,” said the dentist, “That’s probably the problem. Hollandaise sauce is made with lots of lemon juice which is highly corrosive. It’s eating away at your upper plate. I’ll make you a new plate, but this time I’ll make it out of chrome.”

“Why chrome?” asked the patient.

The dentist replied, “It’s simple. Everyone knows that there’s no plate like chrome for the hollandaise!”

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If It Looks Good …

Getting old on in age has many drawbacks as some of you may attest to, one of which is the memory starting to go ‘south’. I can’t recollect if it was Eustis, Mick or Andrew who picked up an evening entrée from the edge of a road, held it up and said, “Looks like supper to me!”.  One of the three men ends their weekly program with, “If it looks good, eat it!”. Perhaps it was in that show.

If you have an inquisitive mind you also may have wondered if ‘looks’ is the only criteria to ingesting road kill. After some research, I’ve happened upon a few guidelines to determine if you’ve scored roasting stick fare or turkey vulture food.

Scoop shovel test – If by chance you are carrying a #12 scoop shovel when you come upon a candidate and would have to use said shovel to scoop the flattened carcas off the road surface, pass on it and leave it for the vultures. Instead, look for a critter that has been clipped by a passing vehicle and spun to the roadside, leaving a mostly intact carcass.

Eye test – After picking it up, look the critter in the eyes. If they are cloudy, it has been dead for a while. The best bet is to keep looking for a clear eyed critter.

Hitch-hiker test –  Check the critter for ‘hitch-hikers’. If you find maggots, treat it like you did the cloudy eyed candidate and pass on it. But, if you find live fleas and/or ticks, you’ve struck gold. This carcass is definitely a candidate depending upon the results of the previous tests.

Hopefully, these few guidelines are helpful in your selection of a critter for a unique dining experience.

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Pickled Eggs

I don’t know why seeing pickled eggs brings back memories of my boyhood days, but it does. Perhaps it’s because as a young lad I had to privilege of accompanying my Dad and Grand-dad into Swede’s, the local pool hall, and seeing the gallon jar of pickled eggs sitting prominently on the bar. I can’t remember seeing either of my two mentors quaffing down those eggs, but other patrons must have really loved them as the jar was always half full or half empty, depending on how one looked at it. I knew that you could go to Red’s, the local grocery store/butcher shop, and get pickled pig’s feet, pickled okra, pickled green beans and pickled asparagus. I knew that old man Keyser had a pickled liver, probably hanging on the back porch, but thought only Swede’s handled pickled eggs. It was many years later that I learned you could pickle your own eggs if you knew how.

There are many recipes for pickled eggs floating around out there, so many people must love (tolerate) these delicate alternatives to beer nuts. The USDA tells us that there is no safe way to pickle eggs for long-term storage, including canning them, but if you are a true pickled egg connoisseur, they won’t last that long anyway.

Here is one method of pickling eggs if you would care to try your hand at it.

Into a larger ‘pickling pot’ place 2 cups of 5% acidity vinegar, 2 tablespoons canning salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon dill seed, 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard, 1 clove garlic sliced thinly and 1 jalapeno pepper sliced thinly. Bring this mixture to a boil and maintain the boil for 3 or 4 minutes before removing it from the heat. After straining the garlic and pepper slices from the brine, drop the slices into quart storage jars, retaining the brine. Peel 12 hard-boiled eggs and put them on top of the garlic and pepper slices in the jars. After stirring the brine to make sure that the salt and spices are suspended in the brine, pour the brine over the eggs, leaving 1/2 inch head space in the jars. Place the flats and rings on the jars, shake well and refrigerate for 1 to 10 days, shaking the jars slightly each day to keep the pickling mix suspended in solution.

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One Fine Dog

One warm, fall day while we were still in Watertown, I was in the front lawn raking leaves when I noticed a hearse driving by. Following the first hearse was a second hearse, which was followed by a man walking solemnly along, followed by a dog, and then by around 200 men walking single file.

Wondering what was up, I went up to the man following the second hearse and asked who was in the first hearse.

“My wife,” replied the man.

“I’m so sorry, ” I replied. “What happened to her?”

“My dog bit her and she died,” the man answered.

“Well, who’s in the second hearse?” I asked him.

The man answered, “My mother-in-law. My dog bit her and she also died.”

After thinking about that for a while,  I finally asked the man, “Can I borrow your dog?”

“Get in line!” the man replied.

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Creamed Soup

Like Ole Mother Hubbard who went to the cupboard – instead of getting a bone – you went there for a can of creamed soup. But when you got there, no soup was to be found. What do you do? You make a base (roux) for what ever kind of soup you need. If you need cream of chicken, use chicken stock or chicken broth for half the liquid and add 1/4 tsp of poultry seasoning or sage. If you need cream of tomato, use tomato juice and add a dash of basil, garlic, onion powder, etc. If you need cream of mushroom, celery or chives, sauté 1/4 cup of needed item in butter before adding the flour. I think you get the idea. Use your imagination!

To make 1 can of soup:

3 Tbsp butter or oil
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
1-1/4 c of liquid, milk or stock

Melt the butter or heat the oil in a skillet and stir in the flour. Add and stir in the salt, pepper and any other desired spices. Cook over medium heat until everything is thoroughly mixed. Stir constantly while slowly adding the liquid to prevent lumps from forming. Bring to a boil and cook until thick.

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