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If you'd like to support this site and all the free things I post- please check out my Don't Eat the Paste Mandala collection coloring book for 9.99 at Amazon.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Brontosaurus Coloring Page

Brontosaurus coloring page- blank available

I've never even tried drawing a dinosaur before, but Spoonflower has a contest going on and the them inspired me to try. I'd really appreciate a vote on my design, but there are a lot of great designs in the contest and you can vote for more than one. I'll put that information at the end of this post.

When I was a child studying dinosaurs in school, my teacher told the class when we were coloring them "Dinosaurs lived long before people, and all we have now is fossils. Nobody knows what colors they were, if they were patterned or not. They might  have had fur or feathers. There is no wrong way to color a dinosaur!"

I loved that. All my dinosaurs were polka dotted or striped and in the brightest colors possible.

Here are the blank pages. Click on the image for a larger version, print and color!

Small jpg dinosaur coloring page:

Cute brontosaurus printable coloring page. Available in jpg and transparent png.

Large transparent png dinosaur coloring page:
Cute brontosaurus printable coloring page. Available in jpg and transparent png.

If you'd like to vote on the Spoonflower contest before July 9, 2019- this is my design in that contest-

Click here---> Spoonflower Boy Wonder fabric design contest

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Arctic Valley- photo post

As we are getting closer to berry picking season (yay!), we are checking out some of our favorite spots for berries. Some of them I won't show pictures of because they are secret places my family goes to, but others, like Arctic Valley, are well-known enough that I'm happy to show pictures.

Arctic Valley has a lot of kinds of berries available, but what we plan to go there specifically for is crowberries. In a lot of the books I have, it says that aren't choice berries. Well, that's what the books say.  The Elders I've spoken to love them and my family will eat them out of hand as well as using them for jam and pies. Not that we will turn down other berries! Of course we will pick what's available. Obligatory warning: NEVER EVER EAT A BERRY OR MUSHROOM YOU AREN'T CERTAIN OF IN YOUR IDENTIFICATION.

So we were checking out how it looks this year. It's still early, but we decided we would have 2 days of specifically picking for Elders. One of those days will be crowberries.

The drive up is one of those typically Alaskan gorgeous drives. There's a lot of it that is dirt roads, with a few pull outs to take in the scenery. In one of those pull outs, Michael spotted a rabbit.

William and The Amazing Turnip Girl love it up there.

A lot of the photos I took are for a project I'm working on to help my family identify berries in all stages of growth. I will be putting that together in e-book form as well, with recipes. Today I also took photos of some flowers. I hope you enjoy them. 

alpine forget-me-nots

 Lots of robins up there singing, it was a very nice time.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Printable frame with a leadership quote

Outstanding leaders quote by Sam Walton

It's been a while since I did a printable frame quote. I hope you enjoy this one. I like printing out these quotes on Astrobrights paper, but for people who like intricate coloring, they could certainly be colored in by hand.
"Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves it's amazing what they can accomplish."
-Sam Walton

Click the images below for large versions to print.

Small jpg version outstanding leader quote:
"Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves it's amazing what they can accomplish." - printable quote

Large transparent png version:
"Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves it's amazing what they can accomplish." - printable quote

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Eating Weeds: Dandelions

Bee on a dandelion

I was just asked on Facebook about eating dandelions.

The answer deserves it's own blog post, not just a reply to a comment.

Dandelions are one of those superfoods in every way. Every part of a dandelion is edible. My family doesn't eat the stems, because they take some preparation and can cause stomach upset. But the rest of it we do. Fortunately, when my children were little they blew lots of dandelions and my lawn is not chemically treated.

First thing: Make sure your dandelions come from places that are not treated with chemicals or close to busier roads with exhaust particulates that will fall on the dandelion. You don't want to eat those things.

Okay, have a safe place to harvest?

In the spring, young green leaf rosettes can be pulled up or cut off at the base. Rinse them, pat them dry, and fry them in a tempura batter for a nice treat.

Later in spring, start looking for buds close to the ground, the buds should be tightly closed and sort of squared off at the top. A tapering bud like formation is after blooming but before going to seed. A new bud tapers down to a rounded end at the stem and has a flat wide top in comparison to the base. (I'll post a picture here later). The buds can fermented like pickles to use as a substitute for capers. I have some fermenting now! You'll use a basic salt brine, plus seasonings you like. Mine have garlic, red pepper, onions and peppercorns in them. A basic salt brine is 2 Tablespoons of salt to 1 qt of water. Clean all your ingredients, chop your onions if you're using them, and put them in the brine. Weight it down using either specially made weights, a smaller jar full of brine or a small zip bag full of brine. Make sure all your vegetables are completely submerged. Put the top on the jar finger tip tight and put it in a warm but not too warm part of your house. Check every day to make sure that it's not building up too much pressure. You'll see bubbles forming, that's normal. If the button on the top of the jar won't press down, relieve the pressure by carefully opening it just a little. After two weeks, check the tartness and if it's where you want it, put it in the fridge to slow (not stop) the fermenting. Eat within a couple months. If you want it more sour, let it ferment longer. Watch for mold, but as long as everything is properly submerged, there shouldn't be any.

Also in spring, young leaves can be used in salads. They are delicious, and considered a bitter.

Dandelion blossoms can also be fried, made into jelly or made into wine. A quick internet search will turn up a lot of recipes for dandelion wine.
My Dandelion Jelly Recipe
My Fried Dandelion Recipe 

You can rinse and freeze dandelion blossoms for later use in wines or jellies. Rinse, use a salad spinner to extract excess water or even squeeze it dry, freeze in single layers, then put in a labelled bag in your freezer to make the jelly when you have time.

For fried dandelion blossoms, any basic tempura batter works just fine though.

Older but not huge leaves can be boiled as any other vegetable, then used in soup. Discard the boiling water. Boiling helps get rid of some of the oxalates.

The bigger they get, the more bitter they get, so there is a point where you won't want to eat them.

The seeds can be collected, and threshing them lightly in a paper bag then using a fan to blow away the fluffs makes for a free seed that you can use to grow microgreens in the winter. Just sow as you would any other seed. They can also be sprouted, but I find microgreens a more effective use of time, plus if you miss some fluff, it won't matter with microgreens which you are cropping.

Dandelions are high in vitamins A, C, K and a good source of dietary fiber.

In the late fall, you can dig up the roots, cut them up and let them dry to hard, roast them either in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or toast them in a cast iron skillet. Store in an airtight jar. A decoction made by simmering the root in water makes a tasty non-caffeine coffee substitute.

More dandelions on this site include:

Dandelion Printable Recipe page

Dandelion and Bee coloring page

Dandelion Lined Paper Printable