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How to Feed A Bear From Seed to Table Column Announced

The Beartaria Times announces an up and coming column that covers seed to table production of meals that can feed a bear.

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Great news for those that like to eat and want to know where their food comes from.

The Beartaria Times is launching a column written by Amy that covers the process of feeding a bear from seed to table.

One Beartarian stated in a public chat of a private instagram profile,

” 🙂 🙂 🙂 ….. Life is Awesome”

– Beartarian Instagram user

More information will be coming soon, keep a look out for the column!

Lifestyle

The Hunt for Mushrooms is On!

A great introduction to wild mushrooms by Woodworking Gunny Bear.

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Time to Stock Up On Natural Forage For Winter, or Earn Some Extra Babylonian Magic Squares At Your Local Farmer’s Market

Fall is here, and for many Beartarians, that means hunting season and time to finish canning all of those wonderful things that have been growing in our gardens all season long. In our little slice of Beartaria, Fall also means long walks in the woods “hunting” the wide variety of delicious (and bountiful) wild mushrooms. Last year, we bagged over 60 lbs. of Chanterelles alone, not to mention several huge finds of Chicken and Hen of the Woods, and a myriad of other tasty treats. The proven health benefits and sheer amount of freely growing sustenance means that wild mushrooms should be on the Fall menu of all Bears throughout Greater Beartaria.

Whenever entering a conversation on finding, identifying, and eating wild mushrooms, the obligatory disclaimer must be made. I am not a mycologist, just a bear who loves to hunt and eat wild mushrooms.

Some wild mushrooms are absolutely toxic and the utmost care should be taken in order to accurately identify each mushroom prior to eating.

Also, most wild mushrooms should be cooked thoroughly, and eaten in small amounts initially to ensure that allergies are not present. OK, now that I have performed the necessary CYA statements, I will tell you that hunting and eating wild mushrooms is not anywhere near as daunting as a Bear might think. People have been consuming mushrooms since nearly the beginning of (linear) time and with a few hard and fast “rules”, even your bear cubs will be fully capable of collecting wild fungi safely.

Let me gently ladle up some general safety gravy on the “rules”.

I use quotes around the word rules for good reason. As you gain experience, skill, and confidence in your fungi foraging capabilities, many of the rules will fall to the wayside. Sayings such as, “If it stains blue, it’s not for you…” and many others seem ridiculous, once you identify and eat a pan full of indigo milky mushrooms. They are completely blue, literally bleed a deep blue and are delicious and safe, with few/no real lookalikes.

The one mushroom hunting colloquium that I do still keep in my mental rolodex is, “There are old mushroom hunters, and there are bold mushroom hunters, but there are NO old, bold mushroom hunters.” When I was first bitten by the wild mushroom bug, I simply consulted my local field guide from the Missouri Department of Conservation and started hunting. This is an excellent way to start, as it gets you out in the woods without weeks of hand wringing about possible poisoning. The rules that stick with me still are the following:

1) Identify the truly dangerous species, such as destroying angel, deadly gallerina, jack-o-lanterns, little brown mushrooms, etc. and avoid anything you find that even resembles these mushrooms. The ones I named account for over 90% of fatal mushroom poisoning in North America, so avoiding them and their lookalikes starts you off on pretty solid ground. The majority of other non-edible mushrooms will cause vomiting, stomach upset or bowel issues. While not deadly, it is still a solid plan to identify and steer clear of those mushrooms as well.

2) Start off with a handful of easily identifiable mushrooms with no toxic lookalikes. This is why morel hunting is so popular. They are very easy to identify, and their lookalikes are easily found when cut in half vertically.

3) Collect any unidentified specimens in a separate container, to more accurately identify at home.

4) Never throw caution to the wind and eat something that has not been verified. I refer you back to the quote above regarding the lack of old, bold mushroom hunters.

5) Consult field guides, identification websites, instructional videos, and books prior to heading out to the woods, and then again when looking your harvest over, once home.


If your biscuits are still dry and you want to cook up some of your own Fall Mushroom Gravy, read on!
Now, keep in mind that my piece of Beartaria is in central Missouri, so the mushrooms my family and I often find may be different from those popping up this time of year in your neck of the woods. However, unless your local environment is completely devoid of water, decaying wood, or shade, you should be able to rustle up some wild grub.

One of the first wild mushrooms that I properly identified and ate was a Hedgehog Mushroom. They are easily identified by the tiny, icicle-like spines on the underside of their cap (where most shrooms keep their gills) and they have no lookalikes in Missouri. I memorized the traits of several different species and was extremely excited to find these little gems among a handful of what I hoped (and was not disappointed) were Golden Chanterelles. Chanterelles are smooth or ridged under their cap, which these appeared to be. I wasn’t sure until later that day, with a few photo references (never use illustrations) and other identification methods, that they were truly Chanterelles. While looking up additional info, I discovered that they can also fetch up to 20 dollars a pound at local markets – insert hand rubbing here-. Now, my whole Bear Clan confidently pluck up pounds of both Hedgehogs, and Chanterelles throughout the Fall.

Another easily identifiable Fall mushroom is the sulphurous Chicken of the Woods. Chickens are great, and really do resemble chicken in texture. Their great taste is only exceeded by their size! I have found Chicken of the Woods fruitings of up to 20 lbs., and have heard stories of people finding over 80 lbs. in one spot. That is a lot of mushroom. They are blaze orange and yellow, growing in shelves on decaying wood, and have small pores on their underside. Nothing else in our woods resembles them. Their counterpart, the Pale Chicken of the Woods have a few lookalikes such as Berkeley’s and Black Staining Polypore, both of which are edible, so no harm no foul. These things are solid meat and can be fried, grilled, dried, pickled, or prepared just about any way you cook meat or vegetables. We love fried and grilled the best.

While Spring and Summer are key seasons for gardening, Fall is actually the season with the widest abundance of wild mushrooms. With Milk Caps, Chanterelles, Chicken and Hen of the Woods, Hedgehogs, and a wide array of other wild fungi popping up all over the country, it is the perfect time for Bears to hit the woods and grab a bunch of this free, delicious, and nutrition packed chow. Onward!!!

Written By: Woodworking Gunny Bear

-Woodworking Gunny Bear is a 43 year old, 21 Rogan tall, retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant. He and his family settled in Texas County, Missouri after his time in the Corps. They focus their time on homesteading, animal husbandry, and their woodworking business: OrigamiHandmadeGifts on Etsy. They maintain a homestead populated with horses, goats, meat rabbits, a bull (the heifer did not survive the winter), pigs, and a wide array of fowl.-

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Dark Chocolate, Green Tomato & Yogurt Cupcakes

There’s green tomatoes in those? How dare you…

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If you’re anything like us, you’ve got a boatload of green tomatoes to work through this harvest season. Frosts came a bit early this year for a lot of us, so tomatoes were picked before fully ripening, in order to save them from frost damage. A lot of them will ripen on their own indoors, eventually, but there is also PLENTY you can do with the green, unripe ones in the meantime.

You’ve probably heard of fried green tomatoes. Wonderful things. Salsa verde. Muy delicioso. And of course the many many relishes, dips, and pickled recipes like Chow Chow, Piccalilli, Chutney, etc. All fantastic. But have you heard that you can also bake with green tomatoes?

Why yes, yes you can.

Green tomatoes work the same way as zucchini does in baked goods. They provide moisture, and a bit of fibrous heft, while not affecting the taste in an overwhelming way. Even the most finicky, texture-sensitive palates are likely to not even notice the addition. As an added bonus, green tomatoes are packed with Vitamins A, C, and potassium. Look at that, your decadent dessert just became a health(ish) food. You’re welcome.

Ready to try? Grab your muffin tins and let’s go!

Dark Chocolate, Green Tomato & Yogurt Cupcakes

Makes 8 Medium-sized cupcakes
Ingredients:


1 Cup All Purpose flour

1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

1/4 Tsp Pink Himalayan Salt

1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder

1/4 Tsp Cinnamon

3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

2 Eggs

1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt

1/2 Cup Unrefined White Sugar

1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 Cups Grated or Pureed Green Tomato

Butter for greasing tins (optional)

Baking Directions


First step is grating or semi-pureeing your green tomatoes. I’ve done both, but prefer to pulse them in the blender a few times to get a chunky puree, as grating may leave some more visible tiny tomato skin pieces in the final product. Taste is not really affected, though. When you’ve reached 1 1/2 cups of grated/pureed tomato, leave them in a colander or mesh strainer for a few minutes, up to 30, to drain off excess water.

As the tomatoes are draining, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare your muffin tins by either greasing them with butter, or lining with paper cups.

In a small bowl, mix your dry ingredients together, up to and including the chocolate chips.

In a larger bowl, mix the eggs, yogurt, sugars, and vanilla. Then fold in your tomato.

Add your dry ingredients to the wet, and gently mix together until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over-mix. Chunks are fine! You’re not going for a silky smooth batter, rather a semi-rough looking, but moist and airy blend.

Spoon mixture into muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full. Fill any empty tin spaces with water, to ensure even baking.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 mins before removing from the tins. Let cool completely before adding your favorite frosting, if doing so. These moist, delicious treats can be savored with or without.

Enjoy!

Guest Submission by:
-Breanna
@ameliaameliorate on Instagram

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Lifestyle

Blood of the Covenant is Thicker Than The Water of The Womb

Is Blood thicker than Water?

Purely Living Papa Bear

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The well known phrase, “Blood is thicker than water” conveys the belief that blood relations are more important than friendships simply because of genetics. However, is this simply another saying, grabbled?

After writing the article, Marriage, A Covenant of Three, I closed with:
Looking to see how the Bears view family… What is your definition of family? Is blood really thicker than water or is that another spell? I’d love to hear what the Bears think! Lifestyle@BeartariaTimes.com

There were many great responses, but two stood out:

Thank you for the article encouraging growing and establishing families! The quote “blood is thicker than water” has been majorly grabbled. The original quote is, “the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.

This means bonds formed with others by your own choice and will is stronger than that of those you may be related to by the “water of the womb”.

I love the people God’s given me connection to by way of the water from the womb
. I’m very blessed. And, I love those that I have come to know because of our shared faith and beliefs about life. Family is love, security, trust, wealth, power… and being part of God’s family is the best! It means that you will always have those things which others who don’t know God worry and fret about.

Thanks again for the wonderful article 😊
-Chelsea
IG: @chelseajknapp


And…

At the end of the recent article on marriage, there was a question about the term “blood is thicker than water.” I think it is a grabble. The kernel of truth is that family bonds are indeed strong and difficult to replace. However, when people use that term, it is often to excuse poor behavior on the part of family members who are themselves failing to live up to that standard. It’s a way of getting nice people to stand down and not hold people accountable.

Anyway, that’s my quick two-cents. Nice article, by the way.
~Ryan Toll (aka Philosophical Bear)

Both of their positions were that “Blood is thicker than water” had been inverted by the enemy. Could it be?

Family being more important than friendship seemed to be a basic truth; of course, a family that lives together will be closer than friendships that may come and go.
Even with the knowing that most pain, sorrow, and abuse comes from family or “blood”, I still never reached the point to truly consider it a spell.

Ryan and Chelsea posed a great challenge to a common phrase mindlessly repeated. And, if true, it could be a powerful spell breaker that would enable relations of choice to be viewed as more important than ones born out of blood.

After some basic research on the matter,

I found that the earliest form of “Blood is thicker than water” did come from the phrase: “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. ”
They were right! The meaning of this phrase is actually the complete opposite of the way we use it. The real meaning is that bonds consciously chosen, are more important than the ones you were forced into through genetics, or “water of the womb”. They flipped it using inversion on us once again.

Isaiah 29:16
“Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay..”

As all Bears can attest, bonding with those of like “minds” and “spirit” can be so much more meaningful and deeper than those of blood relations. I recently had a Bear over to my house to help on the homestead for the day and have dinner together afterwards. My wife asked me what his and his wife’s names were. I responded, “I don’t know; I only know his Bear name.”

Someone was coming over that we never met, to give hours of free labor and his pregnant wife even came over afterwards to join us for dinner. We didn’t even know each other’s names! They weren’t family, they were Bears. But, that’s exactly what happened, and it happens all the time in Beartaria. Blood is not thicker than water. However, a Blood Covenant is thicker than the water of the womb!

Anyone who’s been in war or a life threatening situation can attest, the bonds created in those moments truly go against the spell “blood is thicker than water”. How can one say their loyalty or bond can be any stronger than with one who is willing to lay down their life for yours? Many family members would not do the same.

Well Bears, this is what “Iron Sharpening Iron” looks like.

Two Bears on the “Right Hand Path” of Truth identified a potential “Grabble” or “Spell”, they took the time to mail me and share this information in hopes it would empower others. Well Bears, your wish is my command!

“The Blood of the Covenant is thicker than the Water of The Womb!”

Amen to that, and Amen to all Bears who already knew this Truth. There is no greater bond than humans living in Logos under the Almighty Lord God by choice. Beartaria is here! Beartaria is in the heart of every Bear, and it is this brotherhood and sisterhood of Truth that binds us greater than the water in the womb!

Spell Broken…

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