Sunday, September 28, 2014

A-Frame Chicken Tractor

There are lots of ways to raise chickens in one's backyard: free ranging, rotational pasturing, tractoring, etc.  Meat breeds tend to eat a lot of feed and gain weight quickly, and those traits have come at the expense of foraging behavior (cornish cross, we're looking at you).  One way to get those meat birds out in the fresh air a bit while forcing the little butterballs to eat some greenery (and poop around the yard instead of two feet from the feeder) is to put them on a bit of a diet and move them around in a chicken tractor.

So it was with our spring batch of chickens this year, and, as is our modus operandi, we wanted to put together a functional chicken tractor for the lowest cost possible.  We got all the wood for free from Craigslist, which saved us the majority of the price of constructing a tractor from all new materials (woo hoo!) We managed to construct a pretty robust mobile chicken fortress, although it is somewhat more of a workout to move around the yard than we were hoping for.  But here are our design details, judge and improve upon them as you see fit. (And leave suggestions in the comments section!)

Here's the general framing.  The base is made from 2 x 6s cut halfway through where the perpendicular pieces come across, leaving a 12" overhang to support a 'weasel skirt,' described below.  (Kind of like Lincoln Logs.) The base boards are 10' and 7' for the long and short sides, respectively, giving an internal dimension of 8' x'5', or 40 ft2.  The A-frame part is 2 x 4s, cut at about a 60° angle.  We tried to design it such that we'd be able to lift it ergonomically (i.e., by shrugging our shoulders), for which we calculated that at a height of 27.5", the handles, which would be situated at the outside of the triangle frame, would be 28" apart (similar to a wheel barrow).  For this application, 28" was probably 4" too wide, but we ended up needing more than a shoulder-shrug worth of height anyway (see below).

A close-up of the top edge.  The hardware cloth is one big piece from side-to-peak-to-side and a triangle piece across the end, with a few of the trimmings from the triangle used to fill in the gaps at the bottom of the triangle.

The handles went on the back, cut into the A-frame boards.  See five pictures down for a peek at how they're secured on the inside side.  The roof part and the back wall are cedar fence pickets.  The hardware cloth around the base (the weasel skirt) keeps digging predators out.  Neighborhood dogs and foxes, good luck!  May your claws be ground down to useless nubs before you eat our chickens.

On the front end is a go-kart (or dunebarrow) tire, with the wood supported by a piece of angle iron.  Cutting the bottom corner off the board makes it a lot easier to move around, although we could have helped ourselves out even more by putting the axle lower than we did.

The weasel skirt is held in place by some more old fence pickets.  Otherwise the inside edges tend to catch on the grass and get ripped off the boards.  The downside to supporting them this way is that the tires on the front end are now elevated, which means the back end needs to be raised even higher for the tractor to roll (like, at least two feet).  Lifting it too high lets the birds wander out as the tractor is being moved, but for cornish cross, that's ok.  They're not hard to catch.

On one side is a kind of Dutch door...

...that opens to allow access to birds or food and water buckets.  Opening the door panels also reveals exquisitely-calculated brace pieces!

Birds-eye-view (heh) through the top door.  A couple extra 2 x 4s provide a place to hang food and water buckets.  It works well for meat birds that don't really roost, but for lighter breeds, they'll roost on the center board and poop on the bucket lids.

Here's the view from the front...

...and other side for completeness.

Lastly, a word on wasting feed. The cornish cross are motivated by one thing: hunger.  In this picture, the general outline of the 'feeder end' of the tractor can be seen, with a big pile of wasted feed in the lower right corner.  The birds should be moved every day, even if there's good food available on the ground (the rest of the outline is their mess!). But they'll waste a lot if given free choice food all day long.  Yes, it will break down and end up feeding the pasture, but that's some expensive fertilizer!

In contrast, giving them a little less than they want will make for a lot less wastage.  You'll have to figure out where the magic amount of daily ration is for your flock.  For us, about 4 lbs per day for 10 birds was about right.  There's definitely still some visible in this picture, but if they're hungry, they'll spend their time eating the stuff off the ground instead of sitting around pooping on themselves.  (They'll probably still do that, too, but to a lesser extent.)  We even saw one eat a dandelion leaf once!

What does your chicken tractor look like?  How do you keep it light enough to move around the yard easily?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cheeseburger Strata

Ok, kids, gather 'round.  We've got a pretty good strata recipe for you this month.  It's partly inspired by end-of-summer hamburger cravings and partly by a staple dish at Katie's family's Thanksgiving-time celebration called, appropriately, 'beef and pickles.'  We don't have much beef around here, but we do have some ground venison and a big jar of pickles, so let's get to it!

We'll pick up this story near the end of the first set of layers, where we've got bread on the bottom, then a layer of about 2/3 lb. browned ground venny, then half a sliced onion and some pickle slices.  We're ashamed to admit they're not our own pickles, but our cukes this year petered out before peter piper could pick and pickle them.  So we got a 32 oz. jar of the bread and butter pickles from the grocery store; dills would probably work, too.  It worked out nicely to have half a jar per layer, with a few leftover for snacking.  Don't forget!  A layer of cheese goes on top of the pickles.

Repeat the bread-meat-onions-pickles-cheese layers, then pour on a mix of six eggs, three cups milk, a teaspoon each of salt and pepper, a tablespoon each of onion and garlic powders and rosemary, and five or six squirts of Worcestershire sauce, if you enjoy that sort of thing on a hamburger.

Set it in the fridge for a few hours...

Then bake at 350 °F for 50-55 min until the onion rings make tiny delicious crop circles on the upper cheese layer.

That would probably taste pretty good with some fruit salad and a glass of crab apple-ade!  The strata can be topped with the desired hamburger toppings: ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, sour cream, bacon, more cheese, etc.  Katie says, "pretty tasty!"

What are your favorite hamburger seasonings, toppings, and side dishes?  Let us know in the comments section below!

The recipe:
~1.5 lbs. ground venison
1 large onion, sliced
32 oz. jar of sliced pickles
1 tablespoon each garlic powder, onion powder,
1 teaspoon each salt, pepper,
10 slices of bread (at least)
1 lb shredded cheese (we used colby-jack and cheddar)

6 eggs
3 cups milk
1 tablespoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and dried rosemary
1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
5-6 squirts of Worcestershire sauce

Brown the ground venison in a frying pan over medium heat, seasoning with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste (suggestions above).  The amount of ground meat can be adjusted, too--1 lb gives a two scant layers in the strata, two lbs. makes a very meaty strata.  Layer the bread, browned meat, onion slices, pickles (drained), and cheese in a 9" x 13" pan, starting with bread and ending with cheese, aiming for two layers each. Beat together eggs, milk, and remaining seasonings. Pour over layers and set in fridge for several hours or overnight. Bake at 350 °F for 50-55 min, until senses of sight and smell register 'awesome.' Allow to cool and top with favorite hamburger accoutrements.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fall Rhubarb and Crabapple Pectin

Rhubarb is one of the first plants up in the spring, with it's beefy red stalks ready to eat by the time the first strawberries are coming in.  One of the hallmarks of late spring-early summer for us has always been making rhubarb jam, rhubarb crisp, rhubarb cake, and so on.  But does it have to be just a spring treat?  Established plants can produce good 'barb all summer long, and if it's picked at the end of the summer, or even (gasp!) in the early fall (thanks, Mom!), delectable new combination jams and pies can be had for the effort.  One such jam we were keen to try, which may have been related to our present bounty of crab apples, was a rhubarb-crab apple jam.  Plus, we wanted to try our hand at making some pectin from the crab apples, and another batch of jam seemed like a good excuse.

First things first...let's make some pectin!  Start by putting about 12 cups of crab apples in a pot and just covering them with water.  No need to core or de-stem them, just check for bugs if they make you queasy.  Boil the heck out of them (make holy apples?), until they're real soft.  It took about an hour on our stove.

Then we hit 'em hard with the stick blender to make a crab apple sauce, which we filtered with the ol' t-shirt inside a strainer inside a bowl trick.  They say not to squeeze the filter because it can make the pectin solution cloudy, which can make the resulting jelly cloudy.  But we always make jam, which is cloudy anyway.  Guess who's getting a bear hug!

The resulting liquid is pink (and a little cloudy), and kind of sweet-tart, like a crab apple-flavored lemonade.

We tested it's strength by putting a teaspoon of it in a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, as described here.  The pectin isn't soluble in alcohols, so it precipitates out to make a gel that can be picked up with a fork if the pectin is concentrated enough (like in the picture).  Don't eat it!

Timeout for some food chemistry!  (See here for more info.)  The pectin we're making will be high-methoxyl pectin (as is pretty much all pectin when it's first made, regardless of whether it comes from apples or citrus peels).  The pectin structure is a long chain of galactose molecules (G), which each have a carboxylic acid group (C) off to one side (galactouronic acid).  Most of those acid groups are actually in the methyl ester form, which some food scientist back in the day decided to call methoxyls (M). (Never mind that a methoxyl is a different kind of functional group to every other type of chemist.)  The chains of galactose molecules (and the "C" groups, to some extent) can form a three-dimensional hydrogen bonding (H-bond) network, provided there's not too much water (W) around.  That's what makes the 'gel' part of jelly.  Water interferes with that H-bond network, so a ton of sugar (S) is added as sort of a 'pectin body guard.'  The sugar also interacts with the pectin and the water, but keeps the water from interfering too much with pectin's H-bonding.  The gelling reaction is also pH-dependent, because below a certain pH, the "C" groups become protonated and don't repel each other.  But if the pH is too low, the G-units start to fall apart.  Talk about a finicky reaction!

If high-methoxyl pectin is treated with acid under specific conditions, some of those methoxyl groups are converted to carboxylic acid groups, which have quite an affinity for cations like calcium (Ca2+).  With enough calcium around, the pectin chains agglomerate mainly because of calcium's ability to attract two chains apiece.  Pomona's pectin is low-methoxyl, which is why you can get away with lower and multiple types of sugars, and also why it comes with a packet of CaCl2.  Taking high-methoxy pectin to low-methoxy pectin could probably be done at home, but it's a tricky process because the same acid that can break off the methoxyls can break apart the bonds holding the galactose molecules together.

Now, on to the jam!  We had a little less than 4 cups rhubarb pulp (shown in the pot), which we combined with enough crab apple sauce (from another set of crab apples that we removed the seeds and stems from!) to total 5 cups of fruit pulp.  This site says to generally use 4-6 tablespoons pectin per 1 cup fruit juice, then combine those volumes and use that volume of sugar.  So 5 cups fruit pulp times 4 tablespoons equals 20 Tablespoons = 1.25 cups pectin solution, which means 5 + 1.25 = 6.25 cups sugar.  Remember: low-sugar pectin, this is not.  Then we made the jam just like with a package of sure-jell: combine the fruit pulp and pectin, bring to full rolling boil.  Add sugar, return to full rolling boil.  Boil one minute, pour into jars...

...and pour any extra into a bowl for sampling as soon as it's cool enough to not burn your tongue.  Hey, look!  It kind of worked!  It's a little runnier than it looks in the picture because a skin formed on the top, but it's plenty thick enough for our purposes. 

The rest of the pectin goes in jars in the fridge for another batch of jam or just as a crab apple-ade drink.  Or maybe a pink Metamucil.  Not bad on it's own, especially considering all the health benefits of pectin, which a form of soluble dietary fiber.  We're going to be *so* regular!  The chickens are currently enjoying the filtered pulp, and hopefully getting some health benefits, too.

Do you eat rhubarb in the fall, too?  Have you ever made your own pectin?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Good Bugs in the Fall Garden

Last Thursday we had the first frost warning of the year, and at slightly higher elevations, there was snow!  In September!  Fortunately, we escaped such a dreary fate, and actually didn't even get frost.  That was nice, because it gave us time to notice a few things while we were out in the yard this weekend (other than the jungle of tomatoes racing to produce some red color before the next cold snap comes).

The first is that the bees were more active than they have been for a while, in part due to the warmer weather, no doubt.  But we've also got a second bloom of dandelions going on, and they're busy collecting the pollen and nectar.  Also, a lot of our broccoli was kind of doomed from the start because we didn't get it in the ground before it got leggy.  As a result, it made a bunch of loose heads, parts of which started blooming before the other parts were even there.  But a silver lining is that the bees seem to love the flowers.  Brassicas have highly nutritious pollen for bees (and here), so we don't mind sacrificing some of our crop for their sake!  It's good to see them out foraging in droves again since August was kind of a lean month.

We also went ladybug hunting to get some pictures for the Lost Ladybug Project.  The populations of ladybugs have been undergoing dramatic changes lately, with some native species on a steep decline.  The picture on the left is a seven-spot lady bug, which is relatively common and is a European import.  It was guarding the potatoes and tomatoes.  The one on the right is a two-spot ladybug, a rare native!  It was hiding in the crab apple tree.  Man, how lucky are we! (Follow the link above to submit your photos of ladybugs, too, whether they seem lost or not!)

Finally, a little bird told us that the sunflower seeds are getting ripe.  If we wanted to feed any to the chickens, we better act quick!

What's going on in your garden this time of year?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Chard Tea

For the most part, the garden we planted this summer (keep in mind it's our first full summer here) has produced just enough to feed the squirrels, with one exception: the swiss chard.  We've eaten some fresh, and some sauteed, but there's been as much as we wanted all summer long.  But with the threat of frost last Thursday, we wanted to make sure we didn't lose the rest of the crop. (Frost can be even more destructive than squirrels, on a short time scale.)  So we decided to freeze it.  Most freezing instructions call for a quick blanching period, and then to put it in freezer bags and, well, freeze it.  But what about the leftover blanching water?  Certainly it's packed with vitamins and minerals and other good stuff.  Sort of like a chard-flavored herbal tea.

Blanched and frozen chard.  We did it in five batches: one for each of the bags of greens, and one for the chopped stems (which are the top two bags).

Blanching that much chard makes some dark green-colored water, almost a gallon in total. That there, Clark? That's a chard tea.

Seasoned up with a little salt and lemon juice and heated to a balmy 120 °F, it makes a fine beverage.  Sort of like a green virgin Mary (although you could add booze if you wanted).  "Now wait a minute!" we can hear you exclaiming.  "Swiss chard has a high oxalate content, that's why it's recommended (by some) to blanch it even if you're not freezing it!  Those oxalates are definitely in the blanching water, and will decrease your ability to absorb calcium, and probably lead to kidney stones!"  ...To which we respond, "Yes, there are oxalates in the blanching water.  But there are also a lot of water-soluble nutrients, minus the most heat-sensitive ones.  And, if you're not already sensitive to oxalate-related disorders, there's probably no need to restrict dietary intake of oxalate-rich vegetables, since dietary intake only accounts for 10-15% of oxalates in the body."  That is, the benefits you definitely gain from consuming the leached nutrients likely outweigh the potential detriment from consuming the leached oxalate.

Or, to put it in a numerical perspective, we can find some data, make some simplifications, and do some math!  The oxalate content of swiss chard is around 645 mg/100 g chard.  Blanching greens removes about 65% of the oxalate, which subsequently ends up in the blanching water.  We blanched about 2.2 kg of chard, which contains about 14.3 grams oxalate.  That means our blanching water contains about 9.4 g oxalate.  We used about a gallon of water (about 3780 grams), meaning that our chard tea contains 250 mg oxalate per 100 g of tea, or about 590 mg oxalate in an 8-oz cup of tea.  That is, drinking one cup of this tea works out to a slightly lower oxalate intake than one 100-gram serving of chard.  Nothing to be afraid of!  (That being said, we're not medical doctors or dieticians, so use your own judgement, or that of your doctor.  In any case, don't try to sue us if you drink some chard tea and get a kidney stone.  We promise you, there's not much to win from us!)

 What do you do with your blanching water?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fruit "Ice Cream" with ≤ 2 ingredients

A few weeks back, Katie found a recipe for two-ingredient peanut butter-banana ice cream, with which we are currently infatuated (although there's no sign of this being 'just a phase').  This recipe is itself an adaption of the one-ingredient banana ice cream, which apparently has been known among strict herbivores for many years. (Can you guess what the one ingredient is?)  While both of these recipes would more appropriately be labeled 'sorbet' (although they don't quite fit that label, either), they produce a frozen dessert that really does have the consistency and mouthfeel of ice cream.  So, what is it about bananas that makes them so special?  And more importantly, can we do something similar with the last of the incoming apples and plums from the yard, now that our jam coffers are full for the year?

The general recipe calls for cutting bananas of the appropriate ripeness into small pieces, freezing them, then mashing them (e.g., in a food processor or blender).  When the mash warms up a little, the 'grains' coalesce, producing the 'ice cream.'  How does it work?  The 'one-ingredient' recipe linked above mentions that bananas work well because they are high in pectin.  But many other fruits are also high in pectin--would it work just as easily with them?  This article explains that it's a little more nuanced than that--it's not just pectin, but pectin, fiber, and sugar that work together to give the creamy texture. (From a physical chemistry perspective, the smaller the ice crystals in the product, the creamier it will feel.  The sugar and polysaccharides decrease water's ability to form and grow ice crystals by messing with water's hydrogen-bonding network.)

So, fruits that are high in pectin, fiber, and simple sugars should be able to make a nice creamy sorbet/ice cream (sorbeam?), too.  Time to compare some data!

Fruits with a lot of sugars, fiber, and pectin give a creamier texture in one-ingredient 'sorbeams.'  Data sources are here, here, and the paper linked here.  A qualitative list of pectin levels in fruit can be found here (and many other places online).  Bananas are unique in their high content of available sugars, nearly twice as high as the other kinds of fruit for which we could find numbers.  So, in theory, it should work a lot better with bananas than almost any other fruit.  But hey, we're experimentalists!  Why don't we try it with our apples and plums anyway, and see if we like it!  (After all, if if it's not all that good, Jake will eat it anyway.)

At first, the frozen fruit (apples, here) makes sort of isolated granules.

As it starts to warm up, the granules start to stick together, but it stays kind of icy.  It's vaguely reminiscent frozen applesauce--not bad, but not what we're shooting for.

But add bananas, and bam!  Creamy ice-cream-like texture.

Same thing for the plum as for the apple. (If you leave the peels on, they stay in the sorbeam as fun confetti sprinkles!)

You can scoop it into bowls and top it with dried apple slices and cinnamon, or whatever normal people put on ice cream.

The sorbeams made from either just apples or just plums were good, but not quite as creamy as we've grown accustomed to with the bananas.  So we wondered, what if we mixed these with banana sorbeam to improve the texture?  And it worked!  The table shows Katie's response to each experiment.  Moreover, since the banana is a fairly subtle flavor, especially if the bananas aren't overly ripe, the mixtures really tastes more like apple or plum with just a hint of banana. Also, mixing in some sugar with the solo apple sorbeam made it taste less like frozen applesauce and a little more creamy, consistent with our hypothesis that it's the relatively low sugar content preventing the just-apple sorbet from being awesome. (We didn't try adding sugar to the plum.)

The amount of banana flavor depends on the ripeness of the bananas. (The creaminess of the texture, to some extent, too.)  While visiting family in July, we were introduced to a new term for bananas with brown spots: giraffey (adj.: having the appearance of giraffe).  We've expanded the concept to develop an entire animal-themed scale of banana ripeness.  Further to the right gives more banana-ey flavor; too far to the left makes the sorbeam taste starchy and astringent.  We like somewhere between giraffe and black bear; those less fond of banana flavor could edge toward puffer fish, but definitely don't go all the way to hummingbird.  Photo credits for hummingbird, puffer fish, giraffe, black bear: Wikipedia.  Other sources for the green, yellow, spotty, and black bananas.

How do you prepare frozen fruit desserts?  Let us know in the comments section below!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Outdoor Jam Session

This spring season was our first spring at the new homestead, and we were ecstatic to see the yard filled with blooming fruit trees.  There are three full-size apples, planted 50-60 years ago by some foresightful soul, one sour cherry tree that is sending forth its offspring like small alien cherry bush satellites around the mother ship, and a perimeter of wild plums, probably originally started by accident when a plum-eating squirrel got nabbed by a hawk and dropped his fruit (squirrels are only useful when they die, some would say).  There are also a number of crab apples in the neighborhood, the harvest of which the neighbors are more than happy to donate to anyone willing to spend the time picking the darn things.

Fast forward to August, and we've got piles of apples, crab apples, and plums practically begging to be put into jams, crisps, and the like.  And we were only too happy to oblige.  The only problem is that Colorado Augusts are typically high-temperature affairs, rendering indoor canning an enjoyable event only for sadistic, nonparticipating observers.  Thus, we built some infrastructure to move the operation outdoors, where steam can escape, the kitchen can spread out, and we're surrounded by the sweet melodies of avian soloists (including our own rooster, who has been perfecting his crowing technique all day long for several weeks now).  And, with the help of our garden kitchen and Dakota rocket silo, we're happy to report that these jam sessions were a resounding success!

Look at all those plums!  Tasty little buggers, too.

Conjoined plums.  These two are kind of like trophy bucks with locked antlers.  Fortunately, we were able to come along and rescue them both.

One more example of the bounty--plums and a few of the neighbors' crab apples.  Katie says, "Yay! we finally found a use for those awkward baskets, and they even made the blog!"

Here's a panorama of all our essentials for the outdoor jam session: garden kitchen, Dakota rocket silo, wheelbarrow full of wood, pile full of the same wood split into sticks, and lawn chairs in the shade.  This kitchen is approximately 500 times larger than our indoor one.  Note that the chimney is now four cinder blocks tall instead of the original two.  We added on to give a better draft and more comfortable working height.

With outdoor jamming, it's especially important to make like the French and 'mise en place.'  That is, make sure all the jars, lemon juice, pectin, sweetener, jar lids, magic magnetic wand for the jar lids, jar bands, and extra-clean jar wiping rag are in place before you start.  Otherwise you'll be running gassers back and forth to the house.  For more tips, check out this post.  She pretty much nails it.

Once everything is in place and the fire is roaring, our first step is to simmer the canning jar lids in a pot of water.

Then we switch to the fruit.  Our order of operations is to clean and pit/core the fruit inside, then bring outside and cook until soft, then bring inside and puree with the stick blender, then bring back out and turn into jam.  It sounds like a lot of running, but it wasn't too bad.  Better than having a hot, steamy house!  We could have saved some running with a long extension cord (so we could do the pureeing outside).  Also, don't forget to smear the pot with dish soap so the soot comes off!

One thing worth noting is that the fire needs frequent stoking.  Either that, or Katie is trying to open a portal to the underworld.  Also, don't forget to make cave drawings on your chimney with some of the charcoal you produce.  Here we have a caveman on a horse, chasing a chicken.  If the longest-lasting outcome of this project is a confused anthropologist 500 years from now, it will still be a success!

Later in the day we switched from plums to apples.  Even later, we mixed them.  We found out that any ratio of plums and apples turns out pretty good.

A successful batch of apple-plum jam (or plumple, if you will).  The jars will get flipped back over in a few minutes.  Make sure to count out the right number of lids!

Have you done any outdoor canning?    What was your setup?  What did you can?  Let us know in the comments section below! 

NOTE: It's now easier to leave comments on the blog--for some reason we had a setting checked that only allowed folks with Google IDs to leave a comment.  Why the default setting is so elitist we have no idea, but rest assured it should be fixed now.

A Recipe (using Pomona pectin): Spiced Plumple Jam

4 cups apple and/or plum puree in any ratio.  Multiple types of apples gives a more varied apple flavor.
2 teaspoons calcium water
0.25 cups lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
0.5 teaspoon each allspice, cloves, and nutmeg
2 teaspoons pectin powder
1 cup sugar

Cook cored/pitted apples and/or plums until soft, then puree.  Measure out 4 cups of puree and add calcium water, lemon juice, and spices.  (Lemon juice and spices are optional--the jam is great without them, too.)  Bring to boil, stirring frequently. (Frequent stirring is especially important on the Dakota rocket silo.)  Meanwhile, mix the pectin powder and sugar and stir well.  When the puree mixture comes to a boil that does not stop when slowly stirred, add sugar-pectin mix and stir vigorously to dissolve.  Return to boil and remove from heat.  Pour into hot jars, wipe rim with clean damp cloth, and seal.  Process by hot water bath according to directions for your elevation.  (We usually go with the inversion method because we've had good luck with it and it's easier.  Food safety experts will tell you it's not as reliable as the water bath method.  So do what you like, but be warned: your mileage may vary.  If you find a jar in the pantry that has come unsealed, don't eat it, even if Katie's not around.)