LOOKING for: Hey Gardenlad!!

bamasueJune 12, 2007

Read your posting regarding trail snacks and how you make your own by grinding up dried fruits. Sounds delicious to me for healthy snacking and I like the idea they can be frozen. So, to DH, I direct the following: "I need about 10, 4" long pcs. of 3/4" PVC". Here was his response: "Is that inside or outside measurement and what schedule?" Can you tell he's a specs type engineer???? So, what can I hit him back with that sounds somewhat intelligent? Can't wait for him to ask what I need it for!! Also, can you give me some idea of how much mixed fruit you buy to make up a batch? Takes a lot, huh?

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First off, why do you want ten? All you need is one, unless you're going to have other people helping out.

Tell him you are building a hand-operated extruding press, and need it so that a 3/4" plunging dowel will fit inside the PVC die. Between thee and me, schedule doesn't matter. But tell him 40, just to show off.

I can't give you figures on the fruit cuz I've never measured. When I'm ready to make a batch, I just browse the store shelf, picking out bags of fruit that appeal. Apples always, peaches, for sure. Sometimes pears. And mango. And apricots. Once I threw in some dates. And dried figs, when I can find them.

All the fruit gets ground together, and I start pressing out the logs. You want to really pack it in by standing the tube upright and pounding away with the dowel as you fill the tube. Then extrude the log out into a plate of any coating you may be using. When you run out of fruit mix, you're done.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 8:03PM
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You're so funny!! PVC on a 40 Schedule! Who knew?? Can't wait to memorize your most excellent retort and wait for the incredulous look I get...after almost 40 yrs of marriage he should know better than to ask me that stuff!! But I'll sure bet he'll enjoy those fruit logs next time he takes that boat out. Ok, so all I really need is one and a dowel plunger. I'll still ask for 10 as I'm sure the grands will all want their own to take home. Thank you so much! I am going to have fun with this one!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 8:41PM
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If you're going to have kids doing this (especially the ones they take home) then I would modify the plungers. You can get wooden balls at craft stores. Have your hubby drill an appropriate sized hole in one of them, and glue the dowel inside it.

Make sure the remaining dowel is still long enough to work as the plunger. In other words, if the dowel gets inserted one inch into the ball, then the total length should be 5 inches.

A handle like that protects little hands and fingers. Sometimes big ones, too.

And don't forget, if you don't use the ball handle, to leave plenty of excess dowel so you have something to grab when plunging and tamping.

BTW, on the PVC, you say it the other way 'round. That is, Schedule 40.

Go get 'em, girl!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 8:36AM
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You're just too much! Very clever and thoughtful to think of mine and other little hands and use a ball on the dowel end. Is this your original idea?? If so, you should market this jig! Anyway, I mortgaged the house and bought a whole bunch of fruit bags today and will tell him what all I need to a "Schedule 40" T tomorrow! I know we have all necessary supplies out in his workshop and I have lots of balls in my craft closet. I'm waiting for Father's Day when all the kids and grands will be here and we can all grind away and stuff tubes together!! Gonna' be fun!!Thank you so much again for sharing a great idea and especially for helping me sound smart(er)!!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 8:06PM
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So, Sue, how'd the 'splanation go when you hit him with it?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 8:27AM
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'Splanation' went great and I didn't miss a beat with one word!! I got the anticipated look I expected followed by that sly grin and the comment that "you're learning some stuff!" I'll never tell!! HA! And in no time I had my 10 extruded presses, dowels and drilled balls! The kids had a great time grinding away on the fruit yesterday...think it was the first time some had ever even seen a grinder and were fascinated by that machine!! The little ones even decided to add in a few rice krispies as they plunged away. All in all it was a great day and great fun, NONE made it to the freezer, but each went home with their own new tools! Will have to make another batch just for us! Thanks again for adding so much fun for me and laughter to this Alabama family's Father's Day!!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 11:46AM
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Great story Sue -- I could just picture the whole thing, with the kids amazed by the grinder and your husband amazed by your technical expertise!


    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 12:21PM
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Good job, Kiddo.

I expect, for my consultation fee, several dozen fruit logs in the near future. ;>)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 5:36PM
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First to EM: Thanks! These posts have been fun, huh? And these, I think, really are family life's small events worth cherishing and remembering....with so much gracious help from the wonderful folks that grace these forums.

Now to Gardenlad!! Yeah, I somehow 'spected a consult fee mention might be forthcoming! You are a kick! But you're just gonna' have to wait till I take out yet another mortgage on the house to buy that much more dried fruit! Meanwhile, just keep reading my above response to Em!! HA!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 5:14PM
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