Umm… You Don’t Want to Look in There

My family has come to learn the hard way that I essentially view my home and garden as one big science lab.  They are likely to stumble across experiments either already in progress, or getting ready for one, in a variety of locations inside and outside the house.  What did you expect from a science teacher?

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This delightful mess makes tasty blueberries!  See the links below!
(All links open a new page, so you won’t lose your spot when you look around!  Get information on gardening and cultural traditions, recipes, stories, and more!)

Conversations may start like this:

  • Old Man: “What’s in those bottles?”
  • Me: “Sulfuric Acid.”
  • Old Man: “???”
  • Me: “To make fertilizer with the ashes from the fireplace.  But I also might make soap.”
  • Old Man: “With the acid?”
  • Me: “No, the ashes.  That’s why I have glops of chicken fat in the freezer.”
  • Old Man: “You know, most people just buy fertilizer and soap.”
  • Me: “Clearly, I’m not most people.”
  • Old Man: “Clearly.”
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This is one of several bags of ashes waiting to get used.  I swear I’m getting to it soon!

This is a pretty common one:

  • Family member: “What’s that smell?”
  • Me: “Which one?”
  • Family member: “The one that smells kind of bad.”
  • Me: “Still not helping me here.  Which room is it strongest in?”
  • Family member: “I think the kitchen.  Yeah, look, the tub of old coffee has green blobs floating in it.”
  • Me: “Oooops, time to feed the blueberries, I guess.”
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Looks are deceiving, this fermented cabbage will make the best cabbage rolls!

More recently the smell was coming from another experiment I’ll be posting about soon.  Don’t let smells fool you, sometimes the best foods have a stinky past! (Update: here’s the tasty experiment!)

  • Medium Boy: “Something smells.”
  • Me: “We’ve established that.”
  • Medium Boy: “No, this one is different.  Smells rotten.  I think it’s coming from that tub.”
  • Me: “Don’t open that.”
  • Medium Boy: “Why?  What’s in it?”
  • Me: “Cabbages.  I’m fermenting them.”
  • Medium Boy: “Why?”
  • Me: “Remember those cabbage rolls the Romanian family brought to church?”
  • Medium Boy: “Yeah!  Those were awesome!”
  • Me: “That’s why.”
  • Medium Boy: “Should they smell like that?”
  • Me: “I think so.  Maybe.  We’ll find out one way or another.”
  • Medium Boy: “Mom, that’s not comforting.”
  • Me: Shrugs and walks away.

Hey, I haven’t poisoned or killed them.  Yet.

 

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