Our Experience With Plantain

A couple of summers ago, I was bitten by a brown recluse spider.  I research on the internet frequently, and that was my natural instinct in this situation.  Most of the information I initially found pretty much told me that I was out of luck – that unless I had made it to the doctor almost immediately, I would just have to suffer the effects of the poision.  And from the way my body was responding to this bite, I was guessing that I was going to lose a good-sized chunk of my thigh. Continue reading

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Identifying Plantain

Yes, plantain is a kind of super-banana that grows in South America.  I have no explanation why a common yard plant in North America is given the same name, but there it is.  There are two types of plantain common in North America, and someday I shall find their proper names and put them in here.  For now, I have pictures! Continue reading

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Breakfast Cobbler

This was inspired by Flying Fruit Cobbler from www.flylady.net, but I made enough changes that I’m going to post the recipe here as my own.

Melt 1/2 stick of butter in cast iron skillet while preheating oven to 350′

Dump fruit on top of melted butter.  This morning I used 1 can of crushed pineapple and a smallish can of tropical fruit salad, tomorrow I shall try several apples and some cinnamon… Continue reading

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Pancakes for 10

This recipe is what I am currently using for the 10 of us:

Stir together the dry ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour (usually half-and-half)
  • 4T sugar
  • 8 t baking powder (2T + 2t)
  • 1 tsp salt

Blend wet ingredients, then add to dry all at once:

  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 5 1/2 c milk
  • 1/2 c oil

I use a wisk to combine the wet and dry ingredients and get the chunks worked out.

I usually use a 1/4 c measure to place the pancakes on a 350′ skillet.


contributed by Laurel Smith

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Self-Rising Flour

To make your own self-rising flour (I find it handy to have these proportions around since I don’t buy SR flour and some recipes call for it):

  • 4c Flour
  • 2T Baking Powder
  • 2t Salt


contributed by Laurel Smith

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Wheat/Oatmeal Bread

always seem to put off making “Beka Bread” (aka Honey/Wheat/Oatmeal Bread) because we don’t have enough honey in the house.  So today I got brave and decide to adapt it to use with turbinado (raw) sugar.  This is what I came up with, and it yielded some beautiful loaves!

Wheat/Oatmeal Bread

Combine and cool to lukewarm:

  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups oatmeal (Beka uses old fashioned; I’ve been using my steel cut oats with good success as well.  That’s what we have on hand, and it gives a nice texture.)


  • 1 1/4 c warm water
  • 2 T yeast

Add to the oats:

  • 1 c turbinado sugar
  • 2 T oil
  • 3 eggs (Beka uses 4 egg whites, but I always find those good yolks going to waste)

Combine all and add 4 cups flour (half white/half wheat)

Sponge for 15 minutes (aka “let it sit”)

Add 1 cup of flour at a time – about 5-6 cups (again, half and half)

IMPORTANT – add 1 1/2 t salt with the flour after sponging.  This gives additional time at the beginning for the yeast to do its thing.  I will get a cup measure of flour, dump half in the bowl, then stir the salt into the remaining half before adding it to the bowl.

Knead about 5-8 minutes

Let rise in buttered or oiled bowl for 1 hour

Make loaves (coat those bread pans too!) and let rise again.  If you have full-sized loaf pans, this will make 3 loaves.  If you have smaller ones, you could probably do  4. 

Bake at 350′ for 25-30 minutes.

contributed by Laurel Smith

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An Explanation Of The Setting For The Last Pic

Well, the last pic, in which the new van is displayed, showed a cemetery visible. I thought it warranted a little explanation (plus I wanted to test using pictures some more).  Here’s the same place from a different angle.

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The chapel in the background is Hicks Chapel.  Laurel’s ggpa and ggma used to attend church there.  Laure’s ggma was buried here when she died, and they had purchased a double memorial stone with her ggpa’s name on it also, but without the birthdate and deathdate inscribed.

We had the opportunity to stop by and see their memorial stone, as well as other ones more distantly related.  We also visited another cemetery nearby which had her great uncle and several additional relatives and friends of the family.

Anyway, while we were there, I finally thought of getting a pic of the van!  I’m a little slow sometimes….

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Really, this time there are pictures

Here’s the old van, after the wreck…  you can see the damage to the frame and the radiator (which prevented us from driving it far).

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And here’s the new Van, which we still owe a couple thousand on, and have to get tagged (which means a basic tune-up to pass emissions).

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Quite a difference!  Praise God for His provision.  He is worthy of our trust, not only b/c He has always proven faithful, but also because He is the Almighty God.  We can trust Him.


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Pictures Of The Vans

Gonna have to do this in a different browser… brb 😉

Editor’s Note: brb = “be right back”

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Upgrading websites…

Well… it was time to upgrade our websites….  we’ve got 6 that I manage, and they were all at least one version behind (dotnetnuke is an opensource web content management system, and periodically there are significant official changes).

So… I decide to upgrade them, starting with our personal site first (this one!)  I shut it down (so visitors don’t mess it up) and start updating files.  After enabling it again, I browse to it and get “Server Application Error”.  A few small changes, finding out that some files didn’t upload correctly, and everything works.  Not Bad.

Second site…   www.smdcomputerservices.com.  Our test site.  Upgrade fails completely…. it seems a module I was testing was done incorrectly, and now the site won’t upgrade.  Bummer.  Fortunately it’s a test site, so wiping it and starting over is no big deal.  Well… it’s now redone.  All good there.

Third, smdservicesllc.com.  Business site… very little use at this point, but it’s upgrade went perfect.

Three down, three to go…

And then I need to spend some time on skins, general content updates on this site (finish the Gospel pages), and maybe eventually learn to write my own modules.

For now, though, I think it’s time to go watch some more Doctor Who, and then do some getting ready for our Thanksgiving Feast.

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