Monday, November 15, 2010

Salsa Saturday from Oct 09 2010

I kept hearing commercials on the radio for this local Austin salsa so I thought I'd give it a try. It's a fresh salsa
called Ana's Salsa. It's available in the Austin area at HEB, you will find it in the refrigerated produce section.
I first tried the medium hot version and didn't like it at all, too much of a raw onion and garlic flavor. I decided to give the mild version a chance and it was really good. It's made with Serrano peppers instead of Jalapenos, which I really like. The mild version didn't have the harsh raw onion and garlic flavor, very fresh tasting.

Salsa Saturday from May 15, 2010

I started uploading salsa Saturday videos to youtube back in May. Basically to keep track of the ones I liked and the ones I didn't. Here is the first one. Reviewed are three jarred salsas, Absolutely Picante, Hot On The Red, and San Antonio Farms. I'm not sure about the availability of these around the county. My favorite here is the San Antonio Farms, ironically it's made in Ohio.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Coffee Plants

This is one of two coffee plants I bought earlier this year. Originally they were on the front porch in direct sunlight. I had to move them to the back patio with filtered sunlight. They were getting burned up in the direct sun. Since moving they have much more new growth. They get watered every other day and fed with every other week with Medina Hasta Gro. It's a great organic fertilizer, I use it on my tomatoes and peppers as well.  It will be several years before these plants start producing fruit. In the mean time they are very attractive plants and look nice on the patio.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Enjoying this mornings coffee

Enjoying some fresh roasted Ethiopia Organic Yirga Cheffe, Koke Coop this morning. This was roasted to a City+ and it tastes wonderful. I'm drinking this from a vintage 1970's FireKing coffee mug. If you ever see these at garage sales or thrift stores pick them up, they are worth a lot of money.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dylan's AirSpeed shoe commercial

This is a video we shot the other day for Dylan's shoe sponsor AirSpeed. They sent him a newly released style of shoes and wanted him to shoot some pictures and video. He directed and edited it, I was the cameraman. He recently started his dream job, working at a local skateboard shop. Enjoy!

"The Sherwood" Commercial from Dylan Jones on Vimeo.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Latest coffee roast

Lately I have been roasting a "Kenya Nyeri AA Kiamabara" variety and have been enjoying it. This weekend I roasted a "Kenya Kirinyaga Karani Peaberry" and it's really good. Both are a wet processed bean and both were roasted to a full city roast. I'm still using the vintage Poppery hot air popcorn popper. I find that just using 2/3 cup is the best amount to roast, and that I need to let the popper cool down completely before roasting more. I think I have the roasting process down now, for the roast I like, which is the lighter full city. It's kind of a look, listen, smell kind of process. I stop the roast at around 455 degrees, just as it starts smoking a little. Then dump it into the cooler. It's best to let it air-out for 24 hours, but it's best to let it air-out for 2 days.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Latest coffee roast

I've recently been drinking a new variety, Colombia Gaitania "Los Pijaos de Tolima". I roasted it in the popcorn popper to a Full City roast. It took several cups to get my taste buds used to it. I've had other Colombians that I really liked so I figured why not give this one a try. It wasn't bad, the taste was pretty decent but I don't think I'd order it again. I have a Kenya Nyeri AA Kiamabara that I'm going to roast today. The African varieties have been my favorites, I hope this one can be added to my list.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ring Bologna - locally made

I haven't been updating this blog with new coffee info because I can't seem to switch varieties. I really like the Ethiopian and Kenyan varieties that I've already blogged about. Switching from coffee for a bit, I wanted to mention something that I picked up recently. It's a locally made ring bologna from the Taylor Meat Company. I've always wanted to visit them, Taylor is only 15 miles from where I live. They are open until 5:30 during the week, Saturdays they close at 12:30. I could never make it over there on Saturday before they closed. Last week I happened to be running an errand that would take me straight through Taylor, I just had to stop. I've had their hotdogs and loved them, HEB used to carry them but not anymore. I wanted to try the ring bologna and their fresh beef sausage. I picked up 2 pounds of hotdogs, a pound of sausage, and a package of ring bologna. We had the hotdogs for dinner that night. Today I cut into the bologna and had it with the traditional saltine cracker and hot sauce. It was so good, I could have easily eaten half of the ring but didn't.

Dr. Who returns!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Coffee roasting equipment

Someone asked about the equipment I use for roasting coffee. There are two methods that I use, hot air popcorn popper, and a drum. The drum, purchased on ebay for $50, can easily roast 1lb. It simply attaches to a rotisserie that you would use with your gas grill. It has fins inside that stirs the beans. This method works really well but you need to be careful, the drum gets very hot and you need heat proof gloves to handle it. It takes less than 30 minutes to roast a pound of green coffee beans. Sometime I just want to roast a little at a time so I use the popcorn popper. It works very well and you can do it without worrying about the high heat. I was using a Chefmate popcorn popper that I bought at Target. I say "was" because I tried to add a switch to it that would turn off the heating element. While it did turn off the heat, doing so removed needed resistance and caused the fan motor to run at "ludicrous" speed burning it out. The local Target's don't stock this popper anymore, I found a hot air popper at Walmart but it was the wrong type, the hot air came up through a screen in the bottom. You want the hot air to come in through vents in the side that will spin the beans around. I lucked up this weekend an found someone selling a "Westbend Poppery I" on for $10. These are considered the grand-daddies of hot air coffee roasting, they typically go for $60+ on ebay. I did a quick test roast and it worked great. You can find a ton of modifications for this popper on the internet. This popper is from the late 70's and has a cast aluminum heating chamber and is rated at 1500 watts, perfect to roasting coffee. The device I use to measure the temperature is an ExTech multimeter with a thermocouple that I picked up at Fry's for $29. Regardless of which method is used, the beans need to be cooled down fast. Normally I would just pour the beans between two strainers in front of a fan, this cools them down and blows off the chaff. Recently I saw a gadget someone built that will do both, cool and blow off the chaff. It seemed easy enough so I made one for myself. Check out the video.

I've ordered some new coffee varieties and can't wait to roast using these additions.

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