Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lint Recovery and Pine Nuts

Since I am such a terrible blogger I am going to try some trivial things that I am more comfortable with rather than the more weighty, serious matters or our mission. The first one I will tackle is the broom. I have not figured out how to make one work.
Let me first explain a little of my feelings for dirt, and more specifically, lint. If there was a world market for lint, Brazil would be the world leader in production and distribution if they could figure out the collection part of it, and that is where the broom comes in. When we first got here I actually tried to use a broom and was and am still completely incompetent. Brooms here in Brazil, at least all brooms I have seen, are manufactured much like any broom, with one difference. The ends of the bristles are frayed. When using the broom you will notice that the dirt that you can see on the floor disappears as the broom passes over much like we are used to, but rather than a pile of dirt when you pick up the broom you will find that the dirt is collected in those frayed bristles. Oh ho you say what a wonderful invention, but you quickly realize that they also have dust pans here and wonder why you need a dust pan if the broom does all the work. Well obviously the dust pan is for the more weighty objects that are not sucked up by the frayed bristles. So now you use the dust pan to collect those objects and this is where you realize the problem. While trying to move those objects into the dust pan the lighter objects are dislodged from the fray and relocated, not into the dust pan, but back on the floor. I am sure it is my lack of experience in the cleaning department but after eight months the best way I have found to finish the job of sweeping is to pick the lint from the broom with my fingers and deposit it in the trash and then use the broom to push the other items in to the dust pan.

Lint collection system. We need a way to remove lint from the  collector.

The other thing I wanted to talk about is Pine Nuts but not just any pine nut, the nut I want to show you is the nut of the Araucária tree, which is the tree on previous blogs that I like so much.  Our first experience came when one of the youth in the branch went to work on a farm in the interior. Hmmm let me explain interior. The municipality of Prudentópolis has a defined area much like our counties and the entire state of Paraná is divided into these counties. The county has one main city that has the same name as the county and many small towns within the county. So we live in Prudentopolis the city and anyone that lives outside of the boundaries of the city are said to be from the interior. So in other words anyone from the exterior of the city is from the interior, and that is where our member went to work and he brought back some pine nuts for us and you see a picture of one below.
This is a pine nut in the husk

We were told to simply boil the nuts but not how long to boil so we went for 20 minutes and they were ok but they could have use some salt. Our next experience was with a street vender that offered 2 lbs of nuts for a dollar so I purchased them and tried boiling them in salt water you could not taste much salt, but when a member of the branch found out how much I had paid he was disgusted and so when we went to visit him at his home in the interior he treated us to a pine roast. The roasting was done by spreading the nuts over dried evergreen boughs and if you have ever started a fire with dried  fire had died down a bit he picked up the lid, poured the nuts and ashes into a screen and began tossing everything into the air to sift out the ash from the nuts and then we carried it into the house and began feasting. The husks, unlike our boiled version, broke away from the seed a little easier but since it was char broiled it was quite messy. He demonstrated an easier way to get at the seed which included biting away the husk but I was not ready to blacken my teeth and mouth in mixed company just to eat seeds.
Thyago Mehl went with us to make sure we
 returned the family car we borrowed.

Dario dos Santos, our host.

The brown ones are the seeds which had
popped out of the husk in roasting

Graca our hostess.

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