Tidied up my garage

Before tidying up.

Before tidying up.

I’ve never been particularly good at keeping my things organized. I’ve always wanted to, but it never would really happen. As a kid my room was always a disaster. My shop was reflecting this quality recently. I kept coming across references to Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I gave it a read and tried to follow her methods as best I could while tackling the mess in the garage.

Categorize things.

Categorize things.

I think one of the most powerful pieces of advice in her book was to take everything off the shelves and group things by types. So power tools go into one area, extension cords in another, tools in another, etc. This helped to prevent me from shuffling things around the garage from one pile of things to another. When you can see everything laid out in this way it helps you realize how much room you need to make in order to store it and helps you find and eliminate duplicates.

After tidying up.

After tidying up.

Another great piece of advice from the book is to make things easy to put away instead of making them easy to take out. This feels backwards until you realize how much time and energy it saves to clean up after a project. For me this is exactly how things would become scattered all over the place. Instead of being too tired to think about where everything goes its almost like things naturally fall back into the places they’re supposed to live.

I highly recommend you give the book a read and see if you can apply some of these simple ideas to help organize your life.



How to enjoy scrambled eggs in the great outdoors

If you love scrambled eggs while out in the mountains but can’t stand choking down the dehydrated stuff here’s a delicious and easy way to make real scrambled eggs while backpacking or overlanding. This was a test I ran in my kitchen but should be reproducible off the grid with your trusty camp stove, a pot, and some water.

I’m a big fan of cooking sous vide and find all kinds of uses for my Foodsaver vacuum sealer. The challenge was how to go about getting raw eggs sealed into the bag. I cracked two eggs into a glass food container, mixed in some diced onion and shredded mozzarella cheese, and placed it in the freezer overnight.

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I pried this out of the container, cutting it in half in the process, and vacuum sealed it.

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Once the eggbrick thawed I had an airtight bag of raw eggs. Grabbing one end I dumped the contents down to one side. I then set the bulk of the eggs into the pot of boiling water and set the lid on the end of the bag to keep it upright.

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I left the eggs for about 10 minutes at a light boil. If you’re planning on making coffee for breakfast wait until your eggs are done. If you’ve kept the outside of your bag clean you’ll have a perfectly clean pot of hot water with which to make your coffee.

I cut the bag open and dumped out a nice egg pillow.

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This resulted in a very fluffy scrambled egg mass and was perfectly cooked all the way through.

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With just a little prep work you can eat natural, whole foods while adventuring outdoors without resorting to preservative packed backpacking food full of chemicals and mystery ingredients. If you’d like help planning your next remote adventure or just how to get away from everyday junk/processed foods please send me an email.

Pepperoni Breakfast Skillet

Pepperoni Breakfast Skillet

Pepperoni Breakfast Skillet

Tonight I wanted something hearty and simple for dinner. In my copy of The Primal Kitchen Cookbook I found the Pepperoni Breakfast Skillet. I used that recipe for inspiration, but here’s what I ended up throwing together.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of potatoes
  • 5 local duck eggs (I got mine from Catalpa Heart here in Mount Vernon, WA.)
  • 3 large crimini mushrooms
  • Pepperoni to taste
  • Mozarella cheese

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Using a cheese grater shred about 2 cups of potatoes.
  • Rinse the potatoes in a large bowl of water a couple of times the way you would do if you’re making hash browns.
  • Coat a cast iron pan with EVOO.
  • Cook the shredded potatoes in the cast iron on the stovetop at med-high heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Whip eggs.
  • Once the oven has heated pour the whipped eggs on top of the potatoes.
  • Cover with cheese, mushrooms, and pepperoni.
  • Place into oven and bake for about 12 minutes.

The Primal Kitchen Cookbook

Last fall I watched a live chat featuring ancestral health advocate Mark Sisson and creator of the fitness program P90X Tony Horton. At the end of their conversation they held a giveaway for some attendees to receive autographed copies of both authors’ books. I was one of the chosen few. As it turned out Tony Horton, author of The Big Picture, ended up signing both books so I think I may have the only copy of Mark Sisson’s The Primal Kitchen Cookbook signed by Tony Horton. Cool!

The Primal Kitchen Cookbook signed by Mark Sisson and Tony Horton.

The Primal Kitchen Cookbook signed by Mark Sisson and Tony Horton.

What's in your rig?

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Yesterday I went through my truck and wrote down all of the things that I'm carrying around in it. This isn't a list of what I need, or a suggestion of what you should carry. This is just accumulated stuff from several months of camping, overlanding, truck maintenance, and general life.

- Lucas fuel additive
- air hose
- lava soap
- roll of paper towels
- roll of blue shop rags
- Clorox disinfectant wipes
- 50 feet of paracord
- clear eye protection glasses
- foldable army shovel
- 60" High Lift jack
- 2 digital multimeters
- flashlight
- business cards
- trail maps for the ACFL
- USB extension cable
- roll of toilet paper
- tools
  - screwdrivers
  - 2 socket sets
  - allen wrenches
  - ratcheting wrenches
- Hummer jack
- electrical tape
- duct tape
- jumper cables
- leather gloves
- tie downs
- bunjee cords
- Hummer service manual
- MRE (Menu 3 Chicken noodle stew with vegetables)
- thermos of water
- 2 tow straps
- funnel
- foil emergency blanket
- SOL escape bivvy
- 2 Duraflame firestarter logs
- box of matches
- oil filter wrench
- spare fuel pump
- oil filter
- Amsoil fluids
  - 75W-90 gear lube
  - 2 bottles of ATF
  - 15W-40 motor oil
- rubber shop gloves
- coolant
- tire iron
- ice scraper
- spare serpentine belt
- garbage bags
- shop overalls
- Sriracha lunchbox first aid kit
- hand broom and dustpan
- Caterpillar LED work light
- assorted paper maps
- Camelbak water bottle
- wire stripper
- Discover Pass
- fire extinguisher
- IR thermometer
- Gorilla glue

Fast food: The Omelette

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While popular in restaurants I think the omelette is an overlooked dish when people cook at home. While scrambled eggs is arguably the most foolproof egg dish I'd place the omelette as a close second. You can make an epic omelette like the one above in about 10 minutes.
  I like to use 3 eggs when I make an omelette because that number just coats my entire cast iron pan. Get your pan extremely hot. I like to use cast iron because it distributes the heat evenly across the whole pan and is perfectly flat. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. While the oil heats add your 3 eggs and a bit of salt to a mixing bowl and beat. Chop up whatever vegetables or meat you'd like to add to the omelette. If you're adding meat make sure its already cooked as your omelette isn't going to sit on the burner long enough to cook meat. When the oil is nice and hot, and just before it starts to smoke, dump your eggs into the pan. They should immediately begin to cook. Tilt and rotate the pan to make sure the eggs are spread evenly. The eggs should cook through in about a minute. Add the omelette contents to the pan by putting them on one half of the eggs. Turn off the burner and using a metal or wooden spatula fold the omelette in half, covering its contents.
  You'll have just made yourself a nutritious meal in about 10 minutes without any of the junk you'd find in fast food. Now you're learning to eat.

A Primal Kitchen recipe: Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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I just made these delicious chocolate cookies based on a recipe in The Primal Kitchen Cookbook, by Mark Sisson, and thought I'd share.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups blanched almond flour
3 scoops Orgain protein powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup Kerrygold butter melted
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp whole milk
1/3 cup chopped 100% cacao Ghirardelli chocolate
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

1) Preheat oven to 350F.
2) Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3) In a medium bowl, mix the almond flour, protein powder, and baking soda.
4) In a small bowl, mix the ghee, honey, and almond milk.
5) Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until dough forms.
6) Stir in chocolate chunks.
7) Scoop cookie dough onto the baking sheet in large balls and press them down with the palm of your hand. Leave 1 1/2 inches of space between cookies as they'll widen as they cook.
8) Sprinkle the cookies with the sea salt.
9) Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, then let them cool for 5 minutes.
10) Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.