This is a Test and Only a Test……….

Whenever I’ve gone backpacking or canoe camping I’ve always used the already dehydrated meals. These are expensive and not always on the healthy side either. So back in January I purchased a small dehydrator for this sole purpose. Today I’m making my first attempt at dehydrating my own.

Today’s test meal is something I call “Sausage vegetable stew”. I put this concoction together yesterday in my crockpot and let it cook all day. Once cooled I put it into the refrigerator over night so all the flavors had a chance to meld. This morning removing the stew from the fridge I scooped it into a colander in the sink. I did this so any excess water can drain off. I then spread the stew onto my dehydration trays and now I sit and wait.

0715: The dehydration begins

1505: The Dehydration stops

I made three 6 ounce servings from this batch. Looking at one of my similar single serve pre-made meals they are 3.5 ounces. After a long day on the trail or canoeing I find that the 3.5 ounce serving doesn’t satisfy.

Stew:

1- pkg Gianelli Italian turkey sausage (6 links)

2- 28oz cans crushed tomatoes

1- 10oz can petite diced tomatoes with green chiles (Mild)

1- 15.5 can Goya black eyed peas

1- 15.5oz Goya small red beans (I rinsed and drained  both cans of beans)

1- 15oz can mixed vegetables

1- 15oz can cut green beans

1- pepper chopped

Half of an onion chopped

2- tbsp minced garlic

Salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste….

Combine all ingredients into crockpot except the sausage. Next fill a pot with water and bring to a boil, removing the sausage from the casings while you wait. Once the water is at a boil breakup the sausage as you put it into the water and cook for a few minutes. After sausage is cooked drain it in a colander. Next boil another pot or kettle of water and pour it over the sausage to rinse any residual fat (This is important). Once rinsed you can combine the meat into your crockpot.

I love the Gianelli sausage as it has half the fat and calories (90 calories per link) as pork sausage and it tastes amazing. This meal has a total of 1,875 calories according to all packaging. However caloric value does change during the dehydration process according to what I’ve read.

This recipe is endless with what you can do for your own personal taste. And a special thank you to my buddy Gary who claims he will be the guinea pig.

Cheers!

Putting the stew onto the dehydration trays.
The dehydration begins
The dehydration has ended and the weighing process starts.
Three 6 ounces meals bagged

 

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A Whiteface Revisit

July 15th 2015 Michael and I summited Whiteface Mountain in New York’s Adirondack Park. To date it is our only high peak, however we hope to change that this year conquering another.

Our day started out rainy but like they say wait 10 minutes and it will change. We were treated with a glorious day for hiking and once reaching the summit we decided to change things up a bit. Choosing the road more traveled Michael and I hiked down the auto road instead, continuing to drink in those stunning views.

Cheers!

The Journey Begins

Jenneken’s Junction on the East Service Road in Hillcrest, NY (Former Nelson Ellis Furniture Store) will become “Your Needful Things” today.

Your Needful Things is a 5,000+ square foot multi-vendor shop with wares of all sorts. There is even a fabric reupholstery business located there as well. Last month I took a chance at what I believe will be a successful venue as it evolves and grows.  I currently lease wall space in the hallway leading to Phil’s Gift Shop a Binghamton institution.

There will be a grand re-opening celebration come April and I will post updates as the specifics become available. However in the meantime take a ride and see for yourself.

Current store hours:

Wednesdays 10:00am to 5:00pm, Thursdays 10:00am to 6:00pm, Fridays 10:00am to 5:00pm, Saturdays 10:00am to 5:00pm & Sundays 11:00am to 4:00pm

The Winter Blues

On Christmas morning my running world came to a screeching halt. I went out early with my friend Ken to do a 5 miler while our families were still asleep. The pain in my right knee was so bad by the time I got home I could barely walk. I couldn’t climb the stairs in our house for several hours until some of the pain subsided. On New Year’s Eve I finally got into see the doctor and he was concerned about my pain and its location so he ordered an MRI. My MRI lit up like a Christmas tree showing I had what the doctor called a severe bone bruise (Almost a fracture) and a torn meniscus. He was perplexed more about the severity of the bruise than my meniscus. As I sat in his office with my wife you could see I wanted to cry. It was immediately clear to me that I would not be able to run the Parade Day Mile with my son nor with my team in this years Seneca 7 race, I was devastated!

I could not imagine where the bruise had come from as I had not fallen or anything recently. Flipping through the pages in my mind I did recall falling back in early October and banging my knee pretty hard. It hurt for a few days and then went away. I continued my running routine and sometime in late November I would get twinges in my knee while running, kind of like it wanted to give out. In typical fashion of me being me and my high tolerance for pain I kept running on it thinking it would just go away. I was wrong and it gradually got worse, with some days better than others.

I have not run or done anything too strenuous since the holidays. The doctor wanted to wait at least 4-6 weeks to see if my bone healed before doing meniscus surgery otherwise I would need two surgeries. The good news is my bone has healed and I will be having surgery on March 1st. Recovery in theory will be another 4-6 weeks before I can think about running again.

As I mentioned earlier I won’t be able to run with my team this year at the annual Seneca 7 relay race. However I will be there that weekend in April with my friends cheering and celebrating.

Cheers!!

The Winter Blues…..

New Adventures

This coming April will mark 27 years at my job and I’m hoping to retire once I hit 30 years. A long time ago I went to school for Advertising Art & Design and received a 2 year certificate. I was all convinced this was the career path I wanted. I worked in small ad agencies long before computers did the work and I began attending a SUNY college here in New York taking business classes.

Things changed rather abruptly when suddenly I had the opportunity to hire on the railroad. I dropped the arts like a hot potato. My passion for art in its many forms lay dormant like a bear in winter hibernation waiting for the right time to leave its slumber.

Back in the mid 2000’s I was laying i my hotel room watching TV when I saw an interview with a woman named Diana Walker. She had just written a book called “Public & Private” 20 years of photographing the Presidency. When I got back home I went to my local bookstore and purchased her book and immediately I was hooked. Then I got this crazy notion I wanted to be a photojournalist, and in 2007 that dream became a reality when I was hired by our local newspaper (A Gannett Rag) as a part time staff photographer working four days a week. To be honest I couldn’t believe they hired me. I spent about a year there when I saw the writing on the wall with layoffs. I despise being fired for something I did not do, so I resigned. Almost immediately I was handed a freelance contract and now I was working for the paper on my own terms.

I would spend the next few years shooting for the paper and small assignments for the Associated Press. On a whim I threw out an email to the PBA (Professional Bowlers Assoction) and sure enough they began having me shoot several events in the northeast for a few years. One of my favorites was an outdoor match at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. I also landed a few years of work with NYSUT (New York State United Teachers) union. I was having fun! All while working my job on the railroad.

I haven’t been doing much freelance work these days. Over the past three years I have been shooting running race photos here in New York and Vermont. I like it and it fits well into my schedule.

Recently a friend of mine purchased a multi vendor store and talked me into leasing wall space to sell some of my work. I also just opened and Etsy shop as well. I hope to slowly build both into a small business to keep me occupied after I retire.

With that said I encourage you to visit my Etsy shop, like and share it with friends and family. It is definitely a work in progress as I try to navigate the ins and outs.

Cheers,

Joe