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Iron Bloom for History Class

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Depends on the bloom.

Herbs: inside, outside, greenhouse?  Cooking, scent, alternative medicine?

Mint---warning wildly invasive

Lemon balm, same---we had it take over the back yard in Ohio. It was interesting when I mowed the yard...

Rosemary, grows great out here in the hot dry desert



thyme---large number of different types/flavours

Catnip---must be guarded from felines!

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A magnet in a plastic bag will go a LONG way to separating scale from floor dirt.

I'm a big fan of cilantro for cooking. 

Be careful with catnip, it's an effective laxative and can become a purgative with a second cup of tea. 

Wheat grass is very sweet and is much healthier for dogs and cats, it doesn't make them barf on the carpet, couch or your shoe. It's yummy on salads, nice contrast to a savory dressing or compliment for a berry/fruity vinaigrette.  It grows nice in a window box, indoors for winder here.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I have the OR6A2 genetic variation that means I can't stand the taste of cilantro, although oddly I don't mind the smell.

Fresh oregano and thyme are great in any number of sauces and other dishes; a sprinkling of lemon thyme can really perk up a pasta dish.

Fresh basil ditto; also good for caprese salad.

Rosemary is good for roasted meats, especially lamb. 

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I know I'm a mutant; missing some adult teeth so I'm evolutionarily advanced!  That along with being a cyborg should help my employment chances after the takeover(s).

I was at my Mother's place last time she trimmed the rosemary bushes, I dried the trimmings and threshed them to separate the branches and the "needles" and had both to play around with for another year.

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I hope not:  waking up after an insulin crash I always feel like I've been thoroughly kicked all over from the convulsions.

(Just got word about the next pump upgrade where your continuous glucose monitor talks to your pump and your pump can send alerts to your smart phone!   They always sound so dismayed when I tell them I don't have a smart phone...Also my copay for the CGMS supplies was over US$1000 each order so I'll stick with finger sticking.)

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Well that blew up! Thanks for the suggestions! I had most of the spices on my list, but I didn't have catnip or lavender. (I don't think I had sage, either.) I was looking for cooking spices, but medicinal herbs would be great to have around, too. I was planning to grow them in these little rock planters I'll be building outside, but I'm hoping yo make myself a small greenhouse. (I'm zone 4b, by the way.) 

Quick question: other than its beautiful smell, what is lavender good for? Just chrious.

Now back to smithing: I'll ha e to go over the floor with a magnet, then. I'll throw my "ore" into a bucket for now. I do need charcoal first, though, and for that I need my retort... not that you guys can do much to help me... I just need to get a "45 gallon clip top barrel" and some sort of pipe for a vent so the barrel doesn't explode.

Oh, back to cooking: what charcoal would be food for smoking some nice bacon with the herbs and spices mentioned? (As well as homemade paprica, and a substitute for black pepper I've thought up.)  Mesquite? Hickory? Maple? (That would be especial great for this Canadian!) 


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I've had some really great lavender infused chocolate cookies and it can be used for cooking lamb as well.  Lavender is VERY powerful flavour and is best used as the merest hint in many things.

As for wood for smoking, all mentioned are good with maple probably being the lightest in flavour.  Here in NM we use mesquite, back in Arkansas we used hickory---so basically whatever was common to the area!  Don't forget Apple as well!!!!  Note that if it's completely charred charcoal does not flavour the meat with the wood used.  You need partially charred or even just small bits of "raw" wood to produce the flavoured smoke. (A problem with charcoal as forge fuel down here is that you can buy 40 pound bags of mesquite charcoal cheap; but it's not fully charred as it's produced for cooking!  (Lots of sparks and forge fleas!)

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Lavender is one of the traditional ingredients of herbes de Provence, along with basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and savory.

For your retort, consider the "Hookway retort", which recirculates the volatile gasses back through the fire to increase heat and decrease fuel consumption. We have a thread or two about it here on IFI.

1 minute ago, Chris the Chicken Smith said:

what are forge fleas?

The sparks that fly out of charcoal fires.

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And bite!  Mesquite is particularly bad as it tends to contains pockets of resin that explode when heated.  Annoying as it's so cheap and comes in big bags down here! 

Damp charcoal also has forge flea problems due to steam explosions when heating it.  Placing it on the edge of the fire and letting it heat up slowly and dry out helps.

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If you're growing your own garlic, you'll have a good source of garlic scapes, which make an absolutely amazing pesto. Every time I make it, I have a hard struggle keeping myself from eating the whole batch with a spoon, right out of the food processor.

Another good allium for fall planting is shallots. Great flavor, and so much less expensive than buying them in the store.

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