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Things that might be good to know in case we ever needed to start over.

Let’s face it — Preparing food that has not come in a package is messy. Here’s a tip in case you are ever roasting birds that didn’t come in packages.  We somehow thought you might not know how.  Isn’t that amusing!

The thing to do is to remove the inner workings, of course.  Also the head and feet can come off, if you prefer it like that.  All that material goes into the pot for other purposes such as feeding the fields.  Wash the hollow bird carcass well in water; sea water is fine, but be careful where you are doing it.  Then you cover the bird carcass with a nice thick coating of clay and put it right on the fire for about as long as it takes to do a proper brow trimming and head braiding,  Then you just crack the clay with a stone and it will fall off with the bird’s feathers stuck to it.  It’s simple as can be.  If there would be feathers that you wanted to save for the Feather Mistress, you should think of that ahead.

Just in case anyone was wondering about construction techniques for building a megalithic temple . . .

photo: Woodland Ways – Bushcraft & Survival

Many modern societies seem to have lost the skills of mending.

Whether it’s repairing rips and torn seams in garments or suturing a deep slice in the skin, the technique is much the same. You’ll want to have a needle handy. Here’s a place to learn about making a nice one out of bone: https://www.woodland-ways.co.uk/book-online-bone-needle-making-workshop-1693.html
What you thread through it might be a length of gut or a thread of twisted fibers like wool or nettle. It’s up to you. Once your needle is threaded with one end longer than the other, you might want to tie a knot in the back end of your long end so it doesn’t come right back out again as you work. Then you simply pull the two torn sides of skin or fabric together and hold them with thumb and forefinger while you work the needle in and pull it out. You poke it all the way through both of the torn sides and tighten the thread until the torn sides come together as you like. Next, move a short distance from where you pulled the needle out (usually the side that is near you,) and repeat by returning the needle to the same side that you entered for the first stitch (usually the side that is away from you,) and coming back through again. Keep this up until you reach the end of the tear and your mending is complete. Tie the thread off securely and cut the needle away to store for next time. That’s all there is to it! Once you master the technique, you will be able to make entire garments.

fresco from Çatalhöyük

Here is a wonderful thing for the children to do when it is Summer Solstice Moon Day. 

They hunt all the day before for eggs and bring them, hopefully uncracked, to the cookplace.  Then they have to be standing by when the traditional sheep is taken for the sacrifice, and wait for the stomach.  This is always a funny time because the children need to convince us that they need that stomach for a gift to appease the giant who will terrorize us all if he gets hungry.  We all know what is happening, but we give them some trouble and make them work for it.  Then comes the tricky part.  The older children take several pots and crack the eggs one by one, very carefully.  The clear part goes in one pot and the yellow part goes in another.  All the yellows get mixed up together and then poured into a sort of pouch that has been lined with fig leaves.  That pouch gets tied up and lowered into the water in the cookpot and rests there until the yellows cook hard.  That has to cool so it can be unwrapped.  It is so difficult for the children to wait that we tell them stories to get their thinking somewhere else.  

Finally, the stomach, which has been cleaned, gets the hardened yellow ball carefully snugged inside and the stomach sewn up.  Out comes the pot with all the clear gooey parts and all of that that gets emptied into the sheep stomach.   It must be tied off securely before it goes into the boiling pot.  The little ones fall asleep before it finishes so we wait until the moon is very low, then wake them to see the giant’s huge morning egg.   The older children make a fuss about taking it up to the cave and they make the little ones giddy with fear, but they all go.   Oh, it’s hillarious fun!   Of course, there is no giant and in the end, the big “egg” is brought back and sliced up so they all get a portion, when they stop laughing.

Yoghurt is a great way to make milk last longer if you have more than you need.

The favored way to make it is by adding to a bit of yoghurt that is already made, but you might not have that. No worry. You boil up some milk from a cow or a goat – about five or six long drinks worth – and then set it aside to cool. Add about 6 chickpeas. Or if you don’t have chickpeas, you can use an equivalent amount of ant eggs — about as many in volume as 6 chickpeas. Cover the milk and let it sit in a warm place. The common tradition is to use containers made out of animal stomachs. In about 12 hours the yoghurt will be ready. ( Thanks, Jeanyo)


If you would like to write one of these, let’s have it!
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