Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sensing Energy 101

Blessings, Darlings!

Mostly - sensing energy just takes practice. But setting up an A/B test (or A/B/C test, in this case) helps by setting up a setting where you have clearly different energies.

I'm going to assume that you have a kitchen floor that is not carpeted. If it is - I'll have ideas for you to use to modify this after the main article.*

Sweep your entire floor. Wash half of it in your usual way, with whatever products you usually use. Let it dry (wipe it dry if you're in a hurry!) Compare what you feel, standing on the washed vs unwashed parts. Use all your senses - you might be best as visual energetic cues, audible ones, scents, etc. Touch might work, but might not be the best sense for this, because clean surely feels different that a floor that might be sticky! Still, holding your hand just over each side might have you feel different things on each side - different temperature/pressure/other sensations (this is why a dry floor is best for this, being wet alone would give some false positives) And while you might sense a different taste on both sides, obviously don't go licking the floor.

Feel a difference? Wonderful! THAT is just from a basic cleaning.

Now, wash the rest of the floor, just like before.

That done? Great! Now charge some spiritual/magical cleanser, and add it to a new batch of wash water, along with your usual cleaning products. Salt, hoodoo floor washes, Florida water, a little lemon extract/oil/juice, all are good for this. To charge whatever you're using, put it in a small bowl, hold it in both hands, announce to it what you're charging it for (all these things can be used in several different ways, after all). Then - I'm really being basic here for charging, since I've not covered that in this series yet - do what you can to 'push' that flavor of energy into it. All of the products I named (save for the floor washes, which vary by purpose) easily pick up 'spiritual cleansing' vibes.

Now wash half of your floor with THAT mix, and dry the floor.

Repeat the 'sensing' part. Notice what you feel, in all your senses.

Write all results down in your lab notebook/journal/whatever.

* Carpet modification. Use Vacuum/don't vacuum and spread charged salt on half of it for 15 minutes before vacuuming all of it.

Frondly, Fern

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Basic grounding and centering.

Blessings Darlings!

I don't seem to have posted on grounding and centering - and since I just did it in a group on FB, I'm going to share that post here.  Enjoy!

Grounding and centering is some of the most basic energy work you can do. The surprise is that so few folks seem to consider these things to be energy work!

Grounding is just keeping a clear and active energetic connection with the Earth/Malkuth/the material world - this is the energy of manifestation. There will be plenty of times that you will want to connect with other sources of energy for specific purposes, but for day-to-day magic, this is what you will need - magic to make changes in your life and the lives of those around you.

Much of what I suggested in my post in The Start Menu was aimed at clearing away barriers to being grounded, clearing away things that keep you from having a clear and active connection to Earth Energy. As you can tell from that post - I see most of those barriers as being self-inflicted.

What I do now for grounding is just turn my attention to the always existing connection between me and the earth, or make myself a cup of coffee or tea, invoke Earth with the cup (earth invoking pentagram: top middle of pent to lower left/lower left to upper right/upper right to upper left/upper left to lower right/lower right to top middle/top middle to lower left) and drink it mindfully. But for beginners, taking the time to learn it thru' a guided meditation is a good idea. There are many such guided meds out there - here's a link to one of Patti Wigington's: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/dreamsandmeditation/ht/EarthMeditation.htm

Now - centering.

For me, centering is being clear on where you end and the rest of the energetic world(s) begin. Making sure that you have barriers keeps you from being blown about by random strands of energy that are in play in every day life. It gets even more important when you're out and about playing in the Other Worlds, too.

I LOVE the Emerald Heart meditation for this, published by Ivo Dominguez, Jr. in his book "Spirit Speaks" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001EHE4K0/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 I'm a fan of the entire book, for that matter. But that's not for every day work! For everyday work, I like to just move my awareness to what some call the 'transpersonal chakra' above my head, notice it bringing energy to my auras, and focus on having it pump out a silver sparkle colored (to me, at any rate!) energy to cleanse my auras/chakras/etc of uninvited attachments and strengthen my auras in general. I've also had great results on centering from doing what's like 'chakra tuning' work, just focusing on each chakra in turn, from sacral on up, spinning in it's appropriate color. Again, there are tons of other exercises out there aimed at helping you center, just like there are plenty of them to help you ground.

So - ground.  Center.  Be wonderful.

Frondly, Fern

Friday, October 21, 2016

Them Minor Challenges

Blessings Darlings!

Because the Gods have a huge sense of humor ... just when I decide to start blogging more regularly, we get a computer problem.  Not on MY computer this time, but on the computer we use for development of products/customer support for our business.

So instead of doing anything proactive on, well, anything at all, I'm spending several days this week driving to, and then home from, Washington, DC.  I dropped off the computer on Monday, they MAY have it finished later today, so  I'm not sure when I'll be driving back to pick it up.

And that pick up trip that is causing a problem with Job #2.  Which I'm supposed to be at tonight. And tomorrow night.  And I don't know which of those evenings I'll still be out driving the poor beast home.

So, while I called out of Job #2 for tonight, I might be free to work tonight, but not tomorrow night, which I have NOT called out for.

Our computer repair shop is GREAT, and turns things around quickly, but some things just take time - like back ups of a computer that has this much stuff on it.  I cannot and do not fault them for any of this. 

I'm just whining.  It's my blog, after all, I can do what I want here. 

At least I can do it when I'm not driving to and from DC.

Frowning Fern

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Election Magic

Blessings, Darlings!

I'm blogging this as the 3rd US presidential debate between Clinton and Trump is going on.  I'm not watching it.  I'm reading friends live tweet it, drinking cocoa, and coaching a friend thru' her first spellwork (in PMs, tho' she's just 10 miles from here, because the Spawn has the car).  And I'm writing this blog.

So, yeah, I'm not watching the debate.  I know who I'm going to vote for/against/with/holding my nose/whatever.  And I'm letting the Presidential race take its own course/train wreck/reality show. Me, I'm working magic on the down ticket. 

And doing it at work.

Yes, I could do a honey jar at home.  OTOH, what I'm doing is a sort of sweetening spell at a restaurant, on a major highway.  I can do that woowoo I do there, and more directly reach travelers going all over the country.  Mostly I'm working to swing down ticket voters in NC who pass thru', but as surely as the sun appears to rise in the east and set in the west, I'm not limiting myself to that one state. 

Now I'm sure that I'm not the only person throwing roots at the election.  I'm sure that there are folks out there doing the 109th Psalm against the same folks I'm sweetening customers for, and plenty of other folks doing workings for the same candidates I'm working for.

Time will tell who's harnessed the most energy, worked most efficiently, involved the best set of magic helping spirits, etc.

Buckle your seatbelts, darlings, it's going to be a bumpy and exciting ride.

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tea for the Tillerman

Blessings, Darlings!

Samhain's coming, as most of all y'all know.  So I've been upping my ancestral honoring game - spending more time a their altar, listening more to their voices.  (See?  My life isn't all Morrigan all the time!)

Which is not to say that the ancestors are any more love-and-light than the Morrigan is.  Yes, the recent ancestors love us, and all of them want us to have success in life (and thus keep their line going) ... they now have that 'one step removed, looking it all over' view on life.  And, MY ancestors are into capital T Tea.  100% Truth.  They don't pull punches.  They expect full disclosure from me - yeah, they already know what is going on in my life, but they want to be 100% sure that *I* am aware, awake, and handling my responsibilities.  

Since I'm here being 100% with you - they aren't always happy with me. 

But without that 100% pure Tea, that full-awareness/awake Truth, you can't navigate your life.  You need those set points, those rock-solid landmarks, so you can travel the path you want and know when you're off course.

It doesn't mean that you don't have any UPG (unverified personal gnosis).  It means that you acknowledge what is UPG and what is, well, canon or has verifiable history behind it.  The former you don't tell others to steer by - they are not THEIR landmarks.  The latter, others don't have to steer by, either, of course.  But all you can do is point out known reefs/where the North star is/etc.  What they do with those verifiable facts is up to them.  They CAN throw them out.

Admittedly, I do tend to point and laugh when they do and end up with problems after I rather bluntly told them about the rocks ahead.

But what THEY tell THEIR Tillerman is up to them.  What my ancestors call for me to do, what *I* call for myself and all y'all to do, is for us to give my/your Tillerman as close to 100% Pure Tea as you possibly can.  Fact check. Check yourself. Check your assumptions. And 100% venture out there, keeping that T supply full.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Helicopter Goddess?

Blessings Darlings!

Now, while I call you 'darlings', that just means I see myself typing in Tallulah Bankhead's whiskey and cigarette voice. It doesn't necessarily mean that each and every one of you is my beloved.

You understood that, right? You didn't think that my world actually revolves around you.

Well. Now extend that thought to all them Goddesses and Gods out there.  Even the ones folks insist on pigeon holing as "Mother Goddess".  Who were SO very much not LIMITED to 'Mommy' role.  Their universe does not revolve around you as an individual.  Their universe probably does not revolved around humans as a race, or Earth as a special planet, or anything.

So, when you're dealing with "Great  Mommy in the Sky", you're at best being served a Minion of a Goddess or God, rather than the God/dess him/herself. 

Now - do you think that the appointed roll of said minion is to keep you a mewling, snot nosed infant for ever?  Nah.  The point is for you to grow the hell up.  Learn to tie your own shoelaces.  Learn to handle your own emotions.  Learn to be a functional adult.

A magical adult (see the post a few months back, "You're a Witch, Darling, Act Like It").

Neither the Gods nor their Minions are going to move an etheric muscle to either bless or punish you.  There is a system known as 'natural results' already in place.  They aren't going to shield you from what's out there - they are going to make sure that you have LESSONS (some of the rough) in store for you, and that if YOU put enough effort in, you'll find ways to handle them.

Surrounded by 'negative energies'? Clean your house, clean your mind, clean your spirit - and stop picking that crap up off the street (learn to shield).  It's not the God/dess/es jobs to do that for you.

Frondly, Fern

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Waters of Avalon

Blessings Darlings!

There is a pagan chant, a filk of the hymn "Waters of Babylon" that is based on Psalm 137:1, that has been running thru' my mind this week.

"By the waters, by the waters, by the waters of Avalon,
We lay down and wept, and wept, for this aeon.
We remember, we remember, we remember Avalon"

Rivers.  Weeping. Remembering. 

I grew up in the Chicago area.  Hymns - either Judeo-Christian-Islamic or Pagan - that referred to 'going up on the mountain' were rather at odds with the land we lived on.  And, trust me, you're going to lose a battle with the genius loci every time.

But water and rivers WERE a feature of our land, flat as it is.  My first years were spent living a half block west of Lake Michigan, which I ran to at every opportunity.  The western most border of my 'home area' was the north branch of the Chicago river. 

Other local rivers joined my internal map as the years went on.  The Des Plaines river - as far west as I tended to bike, and on the shores of which I got married.  The Fox River, where my family had owned a tiny bit of land and a barn, and where they spent as much of the un-air-conditioned summers as they could.  Stories were told of that house and land, of my uncles walking the plowed fields near the river searching for arrow heads.  Later I occasionally swam in it.  Still later, my husband and I lived along it, and had our child while living there.

Once in Maryland, while driving over bridges over waterways was pretty standard, we lived along the Patuxent River.

Now, I live in the Rocky Marsh watershed, on the Potomac river, close to the confluence of the relaxed and relatively clear Potomac river and the fast and muddy Shenandoah river.

Living water has always been my go-to for grounding and peace.  Even when visiting Sedona, Arizona - I wasn't hiking to the vortices.  I was staying north of the city along the Oak Creek River, swimming in it, listening to its voice as I slept.  Days were hiking the West Fork trail, along the creek.  I could sit on the bank of the creek for hours, watching it, listening to it.

In this Tower Time, I'm called back to the rivers.  I'm going to sit by the confluence of the rivers and listen for the wisdom.  Let the river wash away the feelings of sorrow and helplessness.  Let the living waters, as old as the hills, shapers of the land, fill me with their endurance, persistence, and power. 

And then I'll return.  And help kick ass, as best I can.

This post inspired by many folks and waters, but mostly by Eridanus Darryl Kummerow's post about how he's going to be looking for peace in his home - which happens to be near the very same Fox River that runs thru' my life.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Blessings Darlings!

How many of you are familiar with Odysseus' trip to the underworld? It was a necessary stop on his way home (he needed the advice of a shade there). But first he had to be told that he had to, uh, go to Hades. He had to buy a goat, to sacrifice once he got to the part of Hades he was traveling to. He had to drag the dang goat along as he traveled.
Ever smell an adult male goat that you are keeping REALLYCLOSE quarters with?
He had to find the entrance to Hades. He had to take the path downward. He had to cross the river Styx (and pay the gatekeeper there). He had to travel thru' different parts of Hades, to find where the shades he wanted to chat with were. Once there, he had to sacrifice the goat, and only let those shades that he wanted to speak drink the blood.
Then he had to get out ... the same way he came in.
This, my darlings, is a pretty typical entrance to Occult Studies. It is a trip that you need to do work on before you even KNOW that you need to take the trip. Once on the trip, there are gates, and gatekeepers. It is fraught with challenges and dangers.
It . Is . Not . 'Inviting' .
The path exists in equal parts to purify and to screen folks out.
To not let you enter the mysteries unless you are worthy, unless you have already started the Great Work.
Yes, the outer court information and rituals of Wicca are out there and available to all. Those are not the Mysteries.
Yes - no one can 'keep you from the Gods'. But that doesn't mean that a group, and certainly an egregore, is going to accept you if you don't make it thru' the screenings/gates/past the gatekeepers.
Here, this link explains why another religion, Judaism, makes it hard to convert, which rather explains why this protects their egregore:


Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Clean Your Damn House, Witchiepoo!

Blessings Darlings! 

Troubled by bad finances? Drama? Chaos? "Negative Energy"?

All spells for changing one's life/luck start with the same thing: you need to totally clean your house. Totally. All rooms, all closets, under all furniture, at least sweep all the walls and ceiling (if you don't wash them), etc. BTW - You'll need to keep the house this clean. 

Organize your finances, too.  Sort them by year, month, etc.
Did you just ask 'why'? 

Because you are getting rid of chaos. You do this mundanely FIRST. Otherwise you're going to have all that mundane crap get in the way.  If you have to spend hours finding your tools, then cleaning your altar - oh, please, tell you you were going to work on a clean altar, right?  - you're going to be taking away from your focus and energy for the workingS.

Did you notice the capital S at the end of 'workings'?

Then you take a white bath - you can get info on that from Houngan Matt's blog post here http://blog.vodouboston.com/2011/10/bath-magic/

THEN you can start more 'overt' magic.

But you have to keep in mind that this type of magic takes a lot of time. What you are aiming to do is akin to changing direction of a huge ship - you are fighting 'momentum', both in your thought process AND still going to have to handle the results of your previous decisions (and none of us have made 100% great decisions).  This type of magic is not a 'do one spell and everything will be wonderful'.  You're overcoming habits YOU put in place, situations YOU let continue to this stage, etc.

You're going to be repeating the rituals for rather a while.

Get to it!

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Fruit costs, Part 2

Blessings, Darlings!

It occurred to me - while shopping - that I left out some fruits yesterday.  They are fruits I rarely buy, and then only at local fruit stands or directly from farmers when in season.  They are peaches and nectarines.

I can't afford them in stores. 

But ... seconds from local farmers, or getting a full bushel at once for canning, I CAN kinda afford.  Huge, if blemished, peaches are about a dollar a pound.  One peach is at least two servings.  So they come to around 50 cents a serving. 

This price lasts about a month.  Which is why I can them.

Frondly, Fern

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fruit Costs

Blessings Darlings!

As I once again start trying to eat better (notice that I don't announce when I'm NOT eating well?), I've been looking at the costs per serving of what I eat.  So I'm going to start posting about it, starting with the fruits.

Oh - at this point I'm just going to talk about price type costs.   Not environmental.  That's a different conversation.

Bananas:  They are some inexpensive fruit!  At the stores I shop at, at 49 cents per pound, that comes to around 21 cents per banana, which is a good serving. 

Apples:  I buy these in three pound bags, because the price per pound is a bit lower, and the apples are smaller.  And you can bet your bippy that I buy bags with smaller, but unblemished, apples.  This way each apple, one serving, is about 45 cents each (less when on sale).  Red ones apparently have more antioxidants than green/yellow ones, but if the green/yellows are on sale, I'll get those, since that usually drives the price down to 33 cents each.

Pineapple: They are usually a bargain in price per serving (define a serving as 6 ounces).  One pineapple, NOT on sale, is about $4.00.  Eight servings (at least) each, so 50 cents a serving.  On sale, at $2 each, or even $1.50 each - bonus!

Strawberries: When they are $2 a pound I buy them a lot, since that's about 50 cents a serving for 6 'fluid' oz, rather than by weight.  At $3 a pound ... sigh.  I buy then more rarely.  This, BTW, is the 'regular' price of whole frozen unsweetened strawberries.  Sigh.

Blackberries: I love them.  I only buy them when they are like $3.50 for 18 oz at Costco.  That's like 70 cents a serving.

Raspberries: I really don't buy them.  Pricier than blackberries. 

Oranges/tangerines:  Love the seedless tangerines.  And they are small.  If they are on sale for a dollar a pound (like 3 lb bag of seedless tangerines for $3) they are very affordable, at about 35 cents each.  More often I get bags of 'juice oranges' that come out to about 50 cents each.  Red grapefruit I get when they are about 35 cents each at Aldi's, and get two servings from each.

Grapes:  On sale at $1.50, I eat a lot of them.  That's about 30 cents per 6 fluid oz serving.  I don't buy them when they are over $2 per pound.

Cherries:  Love them, can't afford them.

Blueberries: I pick my own, and freeze them.  Only way I can afford them.

Kiwi Fruit: on sale, 25 to 50 cents each, I get them.  They are 3 for $1.00 right now!

Melons: I buy them on sale, then they are a bargain.  I wish I could afford the amazing musk melons at road side stands, but I usually can't.  Right now Cantaloupes are $3 each, that's about 40 cent a serving.

Mangos, Papayas, etc: Only if I find them marked down, or ... mangos are likely to be on sale right now for 50 cents each for Cinco de Mayo.  If so, I'm grabbing them.  Each one is two servings.

Pears:  Usually about 40 cents each, if $1.60 a pound and you grab the smaller rather than big ones. 

Of course, I do most of my shopping at Aldi and selected loss leaders at other stores close to home or work.  YMMV.

Frondly, Fern


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Parental Dreams Vs Reality

Blessings Darlings!

When I was a kid, my father wanted me to become a teacher.  He felt that teachers would always have good jobs.

This was odd from the get-go, since not only was he a lawyer, but his oldest sister was, too (and was the first woman to graduate from whatever law school in Chicago she went to, just before the Great Depression hit).  And I have never had any interest in teaching (Yes, that I ended up home schooling is irony that I totally appreciate).  But, yeah, his two other sisters became teachers.

But look at what's happening to teachers today, both in general and in Chicago, and what happened to them during the Great Depression.  Now in Chicago they are being fired and schools are closing, due to 'monetary issues'.  In the Great Depression they didn't close schools ... but the teachers didn't get paid! 

There are all the other issues with teaching, too - having to supply much of one's own supplies, burnout, being asked to do more stuff and less teaching, the high burn out rate - but certainly my father, who was 26 at the time of the stock market crash, should have known how teachers got screwed during the Depression.

I remain confused.

Frondly, Fern

Friday, March 4, 2016

Restaurant scrounging, addenum

Blessings Darlings!

The place I work at has added a new product - bone in broasted chicken.  But Corporate keeps auto-shipping us WAY more than we sell.  Okay, we cook the extra chicken (it's fresh, and has a short use-by date) unseasoned/breaded, then take the meat off the bones to use in pot pies and soup and such. 

I boned 4 pans of chicken yesterday. 

As I looked at the pans of chicken, and the lovely drippings in the pans, I realized that I was set up to throw out the ingredients for a really wonderful chicken stock.  So I didn't throw the stuff out.  I brought the 3 quarts of gelatinous drippings and many of the bones home.  Once home, the bones went into the oven for an hour, then into two stock pots, with the drippings and more water, to simmer over night.

I now have two quarts of 'stock base'. I may choose to reduce the liquid, but I'll worry about that tonight, after it's cooled and I've skimmed it and tasted it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Blessings Darlings!

Sometimes the Gods give us names.  Sometimes, however, they give us nicknames, based on how we come across to them, and it's not always easy to tell the difference. 

So, the Gods say you're "Wolf"?  That could just mean that you are not impressive at all - you attack the sick and the weak, rather than speaking truth to POWER.  Or that you are a 'Lone Wolf" - so much of a psycho asshole that the pack wants nothing to do with you.

Or - "No, when I said you are Skunk, I did NOT mean that as your 'power animal'.  I meant you stink.  Take a shower before you come before me!  What part of 'ritual cleanliness' did you miss?"

Or - "When I called you Priapsis, I didn't mean you're a stud.  I meant you're a dick".

As I said, it's not always easy to tell a 'name from the Gods' from a nickname.

It  pays to ask.

Frondly, Fern

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

You're a Witch, Darling - act like it!

Blessings Darlings!

There has been quite a spate of "OMGs, there are spirits in my new house!  I must banish them all!" posts in Facebook groups recently.

In Witch/pagan/occult Facebook groups. 

Therefore, in groups where folks should fucking EXPECT TO BE INTERACTING WITH FUCKING SPIRITS FUCKING REGULARLY.

Seriously?  You've trained to be able to see/notice spirits, and NOW you're freaking out that ... you see them?  Really?  REALLY?  You want them to all go away?

What, exactly, did you expect your training to lead to? 

Chat with them, like any OTHER roomie that you have/have had.  Set up ground rules, IF they are being a problem.  Do divination if you need some help.

But, really, you've been TRAINING for this.  You've INVITED this type of thing.

Stop whining that you got results.

Frondly (?), Fern

Friday, January 22, 2016

Speaking of restaurant work ...

Blessings, Darlings!

I worry about  my coworkers.  Most of the folks at the restaurant I work at are on the hairy edge of financial ruin.  The industry just doesn't pay much. 

So, on this day where it's 1 pm and the temperature is 19 degrees and the wind chill is 13 degrees - most coworkers don't have 'real' winter coats.  And some don't have cars, so they are walking to work.  NOT a good combo.

At best, many are layering a jacket and a sweatshirt right now.  A combo that works well when the temperature is over 20 and there's no wind, but not right for today.

I'm trying to find any coats-for-adults charities in my area to get some coats to (and direct coworkers to) but so far I've only found that type of thing for kids.  I might have to drop some more 'fun' stuff in my life and start this up myself for next winter. 

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Restaurant scrounging, Part 2

Blessings Darlings!

More ethical ways food is available to those who work in restaurants.

We cut off the heels of whole loaves of bread before slicing the bread for things like French Toast.  Those heels often come home with me - they are great for stuffing, for croutons, for bread pudding.  The heels of the sweet breads (like banana bread) are cut off before we slice it for serving, too - those can be taken home as a sweet, or even made into ice cream sandwiches!

Menus often change in restaurants like the one I work in (a national chain of family restaurants) pull some items from the menu every quarter or so.  Restaurants can find themselves saddled with products in dry stock that they are no longer using.  In the past year, our chain has stopped using a multigrain pancake mix, a dry mix for French toast, a dry cheese sauce mix for a cassarole, etc.  The unused mixes were given to workers who wanted them. 

Have a garden, and need mulch/compost ingredients?  A prep cook has the nasty outer leaves of leaf lettuce, and the stems, to contribute.  I can take home the rinds of melons after I've diced the good stuff.  Maybe the stems of broccoli that was cut and portioned for cooking.  Servers are going to have access to used coffee grounds.  The nitrogen level of those coffee grounds are amazing when added to a compost pile! 

Some of my previous coworkers took home the peels/top/bottom of pineapples.  They'd throw them in a pot with water, add sweet spices like cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg, and some sweetener, and make a tea (if served hot) or pineapple ade if served cold.  Very high in potassium, they found that it was a tonic for legs after having spent an 8 hour shift standing.

We serve pot roast.  Out of a container in a steamer.  When the container is empty of pot roast, it often has a cup or more of a fat/au jus mix left.  I chill that, peel off the heavy layer of fat, and bring the au jus home to use as soup stock, or to cook barley/rice/whatever in, or use as a base for the stew mentioned above. 

All these are ways I get a 'second use' out of good foods that would just get thrown out at work. 

OTOH, the restaurant gives left over rolls/biscuits/some pies/etc to feed those in ... uh ... more need than its workers.  Since those items are NOT being thrown away, not going into the waste stream, those I don't mess with. 

Frondly, Fern


Blessings, Darlings!

I'm too excited to sleep!  So I'm blogging at 4 am.

Oh, the sleeplessness STARTED because we have serious snow predicted for Friday and Saturday, and I'm like a Kid - I can't wait and am too wound up to sleep!

Then, I turned on the TV ... and saw the Dow futures crashing again, and my Adult kicked in.  Our consulting company gets LOTS less business in a bad economy.  In an almost-worst case scenario (that is, if we get NO more business this entire year, and my 2nd job goes under, BUT the banks stay open), can we get thru' the year off of our savings? 

THAT'll keep a person up nights!

(The answer, of course, is that we'd get by because we'd have to.)

Frondly, the Woke As Fuck Fern

Monday, January 18, 2016

Restaurant Scrounging, Part 1

Blessings, Darlings!


Those of us with lower end incomes - in my case, my second job isworking at a dead end restaurant job - don't have the income to get a real 'retreat' where we'll prepare for what will come in a future collapse.  We're too busy living too close to a personal la vida collapse now. 

However, that doesn't mean that we can't glean things from the not-yet collapsed world out there.

My mother in law, who worked as a waitress for years and years, is often quoted as having said that "A hungry waitress is a stupid waitress'.  She wasn't talking about being hungry making you stupid - tho' that can certainly happen.  Nor was she talking about either stealing stuff from work, or about eating what customers left on their plates (yuk!), but about maximizing opportunities.

And restaurant work gives you a lot of opportunities.

Let's start with one of the basic necessities of life - coffee.  I work closing shift at a restaurant, as a prep cook.  I've trained the servers to let me know when they are going to dump the leftover coffee, so I can fill a container and bring some home for my morning coffee.  No, it's not fresh Starbucks coffee, but it will give me my morning caffeine the next day. 

Many days I'm the person who chops scallions to top soup and salads with.  The green onions we use are the same green onions that grow into regular old white bulb onions. I chop off the ends with the roots, and bring those home to plant, using them as onion sets.  Free onions, for very little effort.  You have to plant those ends very shallowly, or they won't form bulbs, just so you know - I had to learn that the hard way.  OTOH, I found a lot of recipes that use green onions as a major ingredient with those first batch of 'failures'.  By the way, onions were vital in England during WWII, both because there weren't many other things to flavor food with and because they add a lot of vitamin C and such to the diet.  They are easy to grow here ... if you have sets. 

Often I'm the person who slices the lemons so folks can use them in their tea/water/add them to their lemonade.  The ends are cut off of the lemon first, so customers get more of the 'good stuff'.  I take those ends home, zest them, and have lemon zest for cooking.  Adding the zest to cakes, some cookies, and even to pancake batter is a wonderful thing.  And, again, free.  Zest might not be useful for bartering after a full collapse, when just getting calories is going to be an issue, but right now it means one less things I have to buy in a store for the home-cooking that we live on.  Work in a bar?  Many of them just use the peels of lemons in their drinks.  A friend's uncle who works in a bar takes the peel-free lemons home.  Lemonade!  Lemon juice!  Marinades!  A good source of vitamin C that you don't have to go out and forage

Sometimes restaurants over order things.  I noted that three gallons of milk were at their 'sell by' date yesterday.  Restaurant policy is that they don't serve things after that date.  I'm going to see if the manager will let me take one of those gallons home tonight, rather than just dumping it.  (Update - she did!)

The cooked carrots on the grill line steam table ... well, at the end of the day they are often nasty.  OTOH, the back up ones I occassional have in the prep hot-box are going to be in  good shape.  But mine, too, will be dumped at the end of the day, unless I bring them home and add them to some leftover beef from a previous roast I made, add some potatoes, and call it stew. 

Or - we start dinner shift with 5 or 6 pot pies made and ready to go.  They can't be saved and served the next day.  That is, they can't be served to paying customers.  OTOH, they are fine leftovers for my family.  Since they will be thrown out anyway, the managers don't mind me bringing ones left at the end of the day home.

More to come ...

Frondly, Fern