Sunday, January 20, 2019

A Recipe For Using Up Leftover Pizza

So the other day Kenny and I were in the city until late.  Mama gave us permission to bring home pizza for supper, and I grabbed two "Hot N Ready" from "Little Seizures."

By the time we arrived home and were able to commence eating, it was revealed that our eyes were much larger than our stomachs, and we ended up with essentially a whole pizza uneaten.

Mama repackaged it neatly and put it in the fridge for future consideration.

I wasn't enthused with the notion of reheating this particular brand - the crust gets rock hard very quickly - moreso than its competitors.  So I came up with this solution.  It's essentially one of those "make-ahead" breakfast bakes.

I cut the pizza into ribbons and squares, and arranged it in a baking dish.  If we had a true casserole dish, I would totally have gone that route.

Just a jumble of Tetris pieces.
I like to make our own alfalfa sprouts, so I threw the last of them on.

Ewww, looks like fuzz!
We had some leftover spinach, so on it went too.  Also the last of the sliced cheese - not as much as I would have liked, but hey, we can't all win the Cooper's Hill Cheese.
Cheese makes everything better.
Then I scrambled nine eggs with nine tablespoons of milk (the perfect ratio for scrambled eggs, I must say.)

I like to put them into a mason jar, pop on the lid, and just a few shakes to scramble.
I poured the mixture on top of everything, and put it in the fridge for the day.

The eggs only fill up about half at this point, but they double in volume when baked.
Lid on, ready to soak for hours in the fridge.
Baked in the oven at - you guessed it: 375 degrees "Frankenstein" for 45 minutes (well, with a woodstove, you just bake stuff until it's done...)

Already gone through the first trench!  Smiles all around! [Dim evening light made photo fuzzy?]
It turned out really well!  I slathered mine with leftover french onion chip dip and barbeque sauce for so, and I was in flavour country!

Chip dip and pizza are a match made in tongue heaven!
Definitely a great way to use it up - especially if it's a bit stale!  The egg mixture rehydrates the bread nicely!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Electrical Shenanigans With The ATV

The last dump of snow was another fairly big one.  I was here though, and ready to get things moved with the ATV.

It was early in the morning when I began, before the sun had come up, so I opted to use a combination of the ATV lights and my headlamp to "get it done".

I managed to plough out the front driveway but it seemed to me that the winch was getting slower and slower as I went along, and the lights were dimming significantly as I utilized it.  Eventually, by the time I got to the cabin, the whole display board of the ATV was lighting up whenever I tried to raise or lower the snow blade.

Annoyingly, I stalled the ATV at this point, and the battery no longer had power to restart it.

I managed to restart the ATV using my battery booster box, but it couldn't raise the blade, so I dragged it back to the garage and let it idle there for ten or more minutes, hoping that the alternator would recharge the battery.  It's annoying - that's a very new battery, as I had replaced it during the summer after burning out the old one while using the winch.  It's an AGM battery, which I still believe is a superior battery technology, although my neighbour J! seems to have a rather poor opinion of them.

When I returned to the ATV, it could raise the blade but struggled mightily to do so.  I parked it, and then hooked it up to the solar batteries in the garage and let it charge up that way.  This isn't how they are suppose to work though!

Charging the battery via my solar power system.
And at the other end of the jumper cables - my "garage" battery.  I really need to get it into a box and looking more professional.  Another project for the summer.
A few days later, J! was gracious enough to look at it with me, and his opinion was that I had simply overwhelmed it with the use of lights AND winch.  I accepted his explanation, although in the back of my head, I did remember in the past using both without any problems, and that was with a very old, stock battery to boot!

One thing we agreed on as a good idea, was a way to monitor the battery situation of the ATV while it was in use, so that if I was beginning to draw it down in a problematic way, I could at least park it before the battery went too flat.  I ordered up a small, digital voltmeter and only had to wait a few days before it arrived.

It was a very easy install - I removed a few bolts and plugs to pull off the plastic cover between my legs, and was able to unscrew and remove the rusted out remains of a 12V cigarette plug.  The wires to it were simply blade type connections that matched the voltmeter exactly, so it was only a second to connect the voltmeter in place, and its barrel tube matched the cigarette plug exactly so it looks like it was meant to be there!

Looks stock!  12.1V is not really that high for a 12V battery though.  12.7V is supposedly resting voltage.
Con: the plug is live at all times, it isn't keyed.  So the LED display is always on, even when the ATV is not in use.  I don't think this is a major issue; that battery should be able to power an LED display for weeks without a bit of worry.  It also means I can see if the ATV is having an issue without having to turn the key - I can just glance at it!

My next project is to install a NEW 12V plug near the rear of the ATV to make it easier to plug it into my solar system to charge up the battery or keep it on a "trickle" charge system.  I've already ordered the parts, so I'll outline that experiment when it warms up enough for me to fiddle with more electrical work there.  It will also mean that I have a plug on the ATV that I can use "in the field" for running 12V accessories.  Not sure what they will be, but the possibilities are interesting...

I did take the ATV for a test plough with the new voltmeter, and can see that the battery is not really charging much between winching - I'm back to suspecting that it isn't getting a charge from the ATV after all.  I've also learned that ATVs don't have alternators, they have voltage regulators - so I've ordered one from Amazon ($35) instead of our local Can-Am dealer ($215) to see if it makes a difference.  Even if that Amazon one is a cheap knockoff and fails within a year, it lets me know where the problem exists, and I can buy an expensive one that is still a fraction of the local price.  And don't get me wrong - I want to support the local guy, but those markups are just punishing.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Expensive Stovetop Thermometer Review (First Impressions)

So last Thursday I got the call from Purolator that a parcel had arrived from Condar Canada - unfortunately it came too late for me to drive to their depot to pick it up.

Condar is the company that imports the thermometer from the U.S., so I knew that's what it was.

Kenny and I had no excuses to return to the city until yesterday when I had to return to the hospital for a set of yearly tests.  We ran many errands, including visiting two of our rental houses, and then picked up not one, but TWO parcels at Purolator!  I'll let the other parcel be the subject of a hopefully near future review.

In any case, we got home last night and I plunked down the new thermometer alongside the old.  I'll let the pictures tell the tale:

"Not Fair!" you say?  Okay, I'll move them closer together...  (Golly, that kettle looks dusty!)

Note that the firebox is actually on the left side of the stove, so that thermometer is closer to the flames.
It's cool that they made one thermometer that works on both the flue, as well as the stovetop, and doesn't shackle us with the strange and demented system that is Fahrenheit.  It's quick and easy to read, and useful in multiple situations.  Kudos so far.  At that temperature, my non-contact gauge was reading just a shade over 350 - so it seems to be accurately calibrated to my mind.  I'd be melting my stovetop trying to get the Chinese thermometer to register as "Overheat".