Saturday, August 15, 2015

Forest Path

The Trail

Worn old boots crunching
the dirty, dusty, brown trail.
Nature's symphony!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Review of Crocs Men's Modi Flip Flops

Review of Crocs Men's Modi Flip Flops

As a result of an injury and suffering from Plantar Fasciitis and a heel spur, I needed some comfortable flip flops that offered support and heel comfort.  I previously had some Croc knock-off, slip on shoes and they felt comfortable, so I did some online research, reading reviews about various Croc shoes, and determined that the Croc Modi Flip was highly regarded.

I went to my local sports store and tried on half a dozen flip flops to see which were the most comfortable, comparing them to the Modi Flip, and determined I like the Modi the best as they seemed to provide the best comfort for my heel. As an added bonus they have nice foot massage bumps.

I first bought size 11 thinking it fit the best, but once at home, sitting and walking in the house, I decided they were a little snug across the top of my foot, so I exchanged them for size 12. They fit perfect, not too tight when sitting in a chair, yet snug enough when walking.

I have had these flip flops for six month and they are GREAT! The comfort is awesome. I put them on when I first wake up and wear them whenever I'm not wearing other shoes. My heel spur pain has finally gone away too. I feel these flip flops have been a major aid in my healing.

As far as durablity, they are holding up well and have not suffered a blow out, plus the tread grip is good. I will be buying again when the time comes.

I suggest you check them out.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Collection of Bannock Recipes- Campfire Cooking

Collection of Bannock Recipes

Bannock is a very old and simple bread that is easily made and simple to cook. It's great for outdoor campfire cooking, either in a pan or wrapped on a stick. Wrapped around a stick is how I cooked it.

Cooking Bannock over a campfire

Cooking Bannock over a campfire

If cooking on a stick, be sure not to make it too thick as it will take longer to cook or tend to cook too much on the outside, leaving the inside a bit doughy.

Below, I have gathered together a collection of bannock recipes from the internet. Pick one and give it a try!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries or whatever you'd like - raisins, cranberries, dried fruits
  • Water
  • Oil, for frying or grilling


Mix the dry ingredients and berries, then slowly mix in enough water to make a stiff dough. Roll it out (unrugged) or form it with your hands (rugged) and then either fry it in a bit of oil, bake it or you can even "GRILL IT!". Brush the grill with oil. Grill it over medium heat, lid down for about 5 minutes per side, tops.


4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 cup water
Optional: brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, honey, ...
Mix ingredients and add water until you have a doughy consistency - don't just dump all the water in.
Knead approximately 10 minutes.
Add sugar, honey, or raisins if you want it sweeter.
Grease and heat a frying pan. Form and press the dough into cakes.
Lay the bannock in the frying pan.
As the bannock cooks, move the cakes around so they don't stick.
When the bottom crust has formed and is browned, flip the cakes over.
Cooking takes about 12 minutes.
Sprinkle with honey or brown sugar and eat.
You can mix all the dry ingredients into one bag at home.

Instead of cooking in a frypan, you form a footlong roll of dough about an inch in diameter and wrap it around a stick. Cook this over an open fire.


Bannock Recipe

2 1/2 cups flour
6 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar (optional)
1/3 cup lard
2 eggs, optional
1 cup water or more

Combine first four ingredients. Add lard, rubbing it in to form fine crumbs. Combine egg with water (is using an egg), and add to the flour mixture. Stir to form a soft dough, and knead briefly.
If using a frying pan, grease the pan then dust with flour. Place about a quarter of the dough in the pan and heat. Bake until the bottom is lightly brown, then flip. Bake about 10 minutes on the opposite side. Bake remaining dough in similar fashion.
If baking in oven, pat down into greased pie plate. Bake in 400 degree oven for about twenty minutes, or until cooked in the middle.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  1. Measure flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir to mix. Pour melted butter and water over flour mixture. Stir with fork to make a ball.
  2. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead gently about 10 times. Pat into a flat circle 3/4 to 1 inch thick.
  3. Cook in a greased frying pan over medium heat, allowing about 15 minutes for each side. Use two lifters for easy turning. May also be baked on a greased baking sheet at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes.


Bannock Recipe

4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons oil
About 1 1/2 cups water

Mix ingredients and add water. Knead approximately 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes in a mixer. You can add cinnamon and brown sugar to the dough or sprinkle it on after it's cooked. Pat the dough into very flat pancakes, less than a 1/4 inch thick. Add about a 1/4 inch of oil into a frying pan. Heat up and place dough into frying pan. Let bottom get golden brown and air bubbles form on top. Flip over and cooked the other side. Remove from pan and serve plain or sprinkle on a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon.
Served plain you can eat them with stew, spaghetti, chili, etc.


Survival Topics Bannock on a Green Stick

This is my favorite way to make bannock as it brings forth the image of mountainmen from a bygone era cooking over an open fire.
The following recipe provides enough bannock for one day. Stored in a waterproof bag, it is easy to carry a week or ten day supply.

1-cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk powder

Mix all the ingredients well, making sure the butter is evenly distributed throughout. Sometimes I will melt the butter before adding it to the mixture. Then slowly add water while mixing until a dough ball is formed.
Make the bannock dough into a cigar shape and wrap it around a green stick. Try to keep the thickness of the dough about ½ inch.
Slowly roast the bannock over a hot fire, rotating occasionally until it turns a golden brown. You will hear the butter sizzling and your stomach rumble as the bannock cooks.

Multi-flour Bannock Recipe

This combination of flours, spices, and dried fruit makes the bannock a delicious meal of itself and makes me hungry just thinking about it. It can be cooked over an open fire on a green stick or formed into a loaf and baked and makes a 3-day supply:

1 Cup Barley flour
1 Cup Wheat flour
1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
1 Cup White Sugar
1/2 to 1 Cup Raisins or other dried fruit
1 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tbsp. Coarse Ground Salt
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
1 tbsp. Cloves
1 tbsp. Nutmeg

Fried Bannock

If you like fried foods then you need to try fried Bannock.

4 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup margarine/butter
2 eggs
1/4 tbsp salt
Mix all the ingredients so a dough ball is formed. Break off pieces and flatten into rounds about ½ inch thick. Fry to a golden brown in the oil of your choice.

Try Making Bannock

Bannock is a fulfilling meal that can be used to supplement natural foods foraged from your surroundings. When hiking in the wilderness I like to have enough pre-mixed bannock recipe for at least one meal each day.
Try out various combinations of bannock mixed with fruits, nuts and seeds, cheeses, meats, fish and a variety of spices. Wilderness meals containing bannock can satisfy even the most discriminating palate.
Bannock is easy to cook and is an excellent comfort food that will elevate your mood and fill your stomach. There is nothing quite like the sight and smell of fresh bannock cooking over an open fire at the end of a hard day surviving in the wilderness.
The following is a simplified version of the bannock recipe that you can try at home. It is has been further adapted from the recipe that was used by my grandmother, Lady Ethel of Wales, and myself.

Bannock Recipe

1 Cup Barley flour
1 Cup Wheat flour
1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
1 Cup White Sugar
1/2 to 1 Cup Sultanas or White Raisins
1 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
2 tbsp. Baking Powder
2 tbsp. Baking Soda
1 tbsp. Coarse Ground Salt
1 tbsp. Allspice
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
1 tbsp. Cloves
1 tbsp. Nutmeg

  • Gas Mark 400 Fahrenheit or 200 Celsius for 20-25 minutes.
  • Electric Oven 375 Fahrenheit or 190 Celsius for 40-45 minutes.

In a large bowl, sift both flours fine, add salt, baking powder and soda to sifter. Re-sift the mixture of flours, salt, and baking soda then add the spices and sift. Remove sifter and add the next set of ingredients by tossing in the rolled oats, sugar, and sultanas. Slowly add the buttermilk and mix by hand until mixture forms a ball. Next, turn the dough out onto a well-floured board. Knead, turn about 50 or 60 times, and re-flour as needed.

You will then need to decide the desired size of your loaf. You can turn this into a large loaf, or split it into two medium cakes. Separate the dough into small rounded balls and then flatten it into a small round flat cake about 3/4 inch thick. For medium or large sized loaves, score the top of each cake with a cross. Bake as directed above.

Bannock Recipe
• 4 cups flour
• 4 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 4 tablespoons oil
1. Mix ingredients and add water until you have a doughy consistency. Knead approximately 10 minutes.
2. You can add cinnamon/brown sugar to make it taste a bit differently.
3. Grease and heat a frying pan. Form the dough into cakes (sort of like tortillas or pancakes) about 1/2
inch thick and dust lightly with flour.
4. Lay the bannock in the frying pan.
5. Wiggle the pan every so often to keep the bannock from sticking.
6. Once a bottom crust has formed and the dough has hardened enough to hold together, turn them.
7. Cooking takes 12-15 minutes.

This video contains a clip of me cooking bannock over the campfire on a stick.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Removing Anti-Reflective Coating from glass lenses

 Removing Anti-Reflective Coating

Anti- reflective coatings sometimes will start to flake off your plastic lenses if you have the older type of coating.
As I type this, I'm looking through lens that are now clear as new. My progressive glasses are 3 years old and are polycarbonate, scratch resistant, UV protected with a $65  anti-reflective coating.
About an hour ago I could hardly use them and pricing new lenses were $400. When I asked the Optician about the quick deterioration of the coating ( they now offer a new and improved coating costing $135) he asked if I sweat a lot, as that can cause problems. Lately this has been true, because I have been doing spring yard work and digging a garden pond causing the lenses to deteriorate fast.

This is how I removed the coating from my lens.
  1.  I took standard iodized table salt (figuring if salty sweat was effective, a salt solution might be also), poured it into a bowl of water, heated in microwave to a temp I could touch, making a dissolved salt solution.
  2. I took bounty pick-a-size paper towels and began rubbing with the solution, keeping it nice and wet.
  3. I intermittently washed them off with dish-washing soap to check my progress and it only took about 45 minutes. The rubbing and solution didn't scratch my lenses, but did remove the film coating. Not a bad return on my time!  
  4. The photos show the difference in the removed and remaining  coating. When I did the process of removal, I didn't take my frames off. I have zoomed to the hinge and nose and you can see where I was not able to rub the solution very well and the coating remains.

So, if your lenses have progressed to the point where you will need new ones, give this a try. You have nothing to lose, since you can't see anyway!