How To Dye Easter Eggs

Easter time!

While I don’t consider myself religious, I come from a traditionally and culturally rich heritage that has religious holidays and rituals so I like to celebrate them with my family.

This year was the first that I didn’t do the egg preparation with my grandma as she has passed. So this time I was going solo and trying to also show off to my partner of a different background.

This is one of the most entertaining activities though. You can dye all different types of eggs or paint them yourself.

nest-843231_1920

The background

 

Growing up in a Serbian Orthodox community I was told that Easter eggs were a symbol of Jesus being resurrected and we dyed eggs to symbolise his blood.

Sounds morbid.

To me, it’s always being a part of the traditions of my heritage and spending time with my family while being creative.

The egg has also been a long standing symbol of new life, particularly in pagan spring symbolism.

The oldest example of egg decoration was found by archaeologists to be over 60,000 years ago with the discovery of a decorated ostrich egg.

This was still a time that human artistry boomed and we went from the first humans to the first creative creatures.

Growing up we could draw whatever we wanted and used whatever colours.

Some places in the world keep it more traditional with the images of the cross as well as using the colour red.

In our tradition, we use the eggs to compete for bragging rights to see whose egg is the strongest by cracking them in an egg crack showdown.

How I did it

 

Here’s the fun part.

First of all, you want to use some really good eggs. Like proper farm eggs that had chickens having the time of their life.

Fun fact, there are so many chickens on earth in this point in our history that aeons from now when they describe our time on earth, the remains of all those chickens will make us seem like they rivalled us in population.

Anyway, you want a good set of eggs because they last longer without smelling and have a great taste afterwards. Quality!

Also, you should try and support your local farms.

You’re going to need the following:

Stockings

Food dye (I chose blue)

Some garden trimmings and/ or some candle wax.

First, you hard boil the egg.

Put your eggs in cold water that covers them.

Put them on the stove or fire and leave on med-high heat until it comes to a rolling boil.

Turn the heat to med-low and leave for a good 15 minutes on this lower heat for the eggs to boil through.

57427416_415669515897110_4093676068760715264_n

Once boiled put them in some icy or very cold water to cool them down.

Dying the eggs

While your eggs are cooling, set up some warm water with a tablespoon of vinegar.

I reused the water I boiled the eggs in.

Then try and put a few drops of colouring in. this can be hard if you don’t have a dropper mechanism.

If you are using the garden pieces and stocking, you want to put your pieces on the dab dry egg and pull the stocking over it to hold it in place and tie the stocking off like a balloon.

58419306_817818648585198_874487296022282240_n.jpg

Obviously, don’t squeeze hard.

If you’re using wax, take a piece of candle wax and draw your won invisible design on the egg.

Once you’ve done your design work, you carefully place your eggs in the mixture.

It doesn’t really matter if they’re touching in the pot just make sure they aren’t crowded.

59163271_647307719016386_4123559184190930944_n.jpg

The dying process can take anywhere from 10-25 minutes depending on how dark you want the colour on your egg.

Once they’re the colour you like, take them out, dry them off and leave to cool and dry.

59229909_2863472630359791_2554737051211661312_n.jpg

The goods

So my egg was the second strongest.

My sister won by default.

But I clearly won.

Conclusion

The tradition of eggs stems from the pagan traditions from the beginning of humanity.

We use the egg religiously because it symbolises new life and Jesus’ resurrection.

We also do it because it’s a fun bonding activity for the community.

You can include many different designs with garden pieces or drawing on your eggs with wax.

While I didn’t do it this time, you can use natural dyes instead of food colouring, and you can also get some very elaborate eggs happening for Easter.

Stay tuned for next year to see what we come up with.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you and learn some new designs.

Leave a comment or a photo and show of what other techniques are out there.

Or if you’d like to be apart of Jaskulic contact us or become a patron.

Become a Patron!

Cuban Street Food

Ahh, Cuba.

This is one of those places on earth that one you’ve been, you’re so moved that a piece of you remains behind.

1000028_10156690008990651_4780063652373324901_n copy

The music, the people, the terrain, the Internet (I’m Australian), the climate and of course their food!

I spent a good two and a half weeks in this beautiful island country and I cannot recommend it higher.

Firstly we’re talking about purchases so I need to clarify the currency disparity. Due to trade sanctions Cuba has two currencies. One is the CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) that was a replacement for the American dollar and the other is CUP (Cuban Peso). Most people use both throughout the country but the local Peso is more regularly accepted.

A Brief History

Firstly I think it’s best I give a little background to the country and why their food blended with their culture is so unique.

Cuba was originally an island populated by three main indigenous tribes of whose descendants still inhabit the island.

The islands like many others in the Caribbean were transformed into plantations, mainly for sugar cane.

Untitled.png

This is still a major source of economic growth in the country and slaves that were sent to labour the plantations also contribute to the population of descendants.

After Spanish colonial rule, the country was engaged in a treaty that declared Cuba as part of the US’ protectorate between 1898 and 1902 when the country became independent.

fedora.png

(yes I wore a fedora, I accept your judgement)

In 1952 Bautista, a previous president staged a coup when he lost re-election and overthrew the country. His coup was funded and supported by the US, a trend that can be seen throughout Latin America. Cuba at the time was a safe haven for America’s gangsters with the majority of funding provided by and for the rich elite and the criminals.

In 1958 a revolution led by infamous Fidel and his brother Raul Castro ensued leading the country to become independent and form its current socialist democracy.

During it’s time as a communist entity during the cold war years led to Cuba being a perceived threat of the USA and the subsequent actions that led to long-standing sanctions against its trade.

For this reason, the money the country does have is funnelled back into the support of its people with education, healthcare, employment and this is one of the reasons behind it’s lacking in infrastructure and run down appearance. This is also contributed to the many hurricanes it faces throughout the year.

What this does mean is they subsidise a lot of things.

Subsidised Ice Creams

Thanks to the Bautista years of capitalism, Castro set up a chain of state-run subsidised ice cream parlours around the country with a home base in Havana called Coppelia. However on the street, as you, as it gets hot enough any day of the year you’ll find state-run ice cream vendors pop up all over the towns with subsidised ice cream.

I paid for this chocolate heaven (half is already missing) for only 1 CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso), which equals out to today’s rate of $1.40 AUD.

Creamy but not sickening made with real sugar cane sugar right off the island.

10649453_10156690009025651_8057840911600353612_n copy

Ice cream in Cuba is a bit of a big deal, make sure you indulge in the Heladerias.

Street Pizza

Ok, these seem to be the locals favourite and they are EVERYWHERE!

Most places you’re going to get these are holes in the wall. Literally. It’ll be from either a small shop window or the window to someone’s kitchen.

They come in cheese, meat lovers style, supreme and Hawaiian. Personally n9ot a fan of pineapples on pizza but the Cuban people definitely know how to do it right.

These yummers go for about 5 to 10 CUP (Cuban Peso) so that’s about 40 cents AUD.

12795499_10156690009695651_4829306102929421536_n copy

 

Coconut Shell Gelato

 

Another favourite among locals and tourists alike are the gelatos sold in coconut shells. They’re a great mix between sweet ice and gelato. They come in so many different flavours and the mobile store you buy them at always seems to have new flavours.

Every one of them that I bought was homemade with natural ingredients.

Definitely, need to have these when walking around town in the heat but maybe byo a spoon to save having to use the plastic one.

12790903_10156689994465651_5789326457236594656_n copy

These go for about 20 CUP so around 80 cents to $1 AUD.

Hamburguesa de Cerdo

 

This one I see a lot of in other posts but in my time I only came across it a few times and only when there were a lot of people around, particularly street festivals or hot evenings.

They come to around $1.50 AUD and are unbelievable.

12743670_10156690013775651_2921850949782231311_n copy

You have the option of adding pineapple or onions to them but with the chilli, they are perfection on a bun.

One Peso Coffee

This one is self-explanatory. You buy it at the food stall around the city. They are one peso. They are freshly roasted beans. Just buy them!

RON

 

According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/cub/) $387 million of Cuba’s $1.4 Billion exports was raw sugar. Knowing this and the fact that Havana Club is a national drink then Rum is the way to go!

Light, Dark and old there are many types of rum to moisten your palate with.

rum.png

Whether you’re having a roadside mojito on the way to Ayala cave club or just having a break from walking the sea wall, rum is your friend. Drink Responsibly!

 

Conclusion

 

All in all when you travel to Cuba (I say when because the beauty is irresistible) you cannot shy away from the street food.

Most things will cost you less than $2 AUD per item and the flavour is never disappointing.

Each morsel has a history behind it that stretches before communism and sometimes even before the Spanish era which only adds to it’s wholesome and rounded flavours.

Do you think I missed any?

Be sure to comment with any ideas or experiences of your own.

Or if you’d like to be apart of Jaskulic contact us or become a patron.

Become a Patron!

The Best Workout For The Perfect Body!

So you want to look incredible huh?

You want to be toned and fit looking. Maybe a golden tan and be able to wear whatever you want whenever you want?

Have fun.

Ever heard of vanity sizing?

This phenomenon has been broadly documented in regards to ready-to-where clothing, particularly for women.

Thought you were a size 4 or 6 or 10?

Too bad, now you’re a 22. Guess you’re too fat for that store.

You’re not going insane.

Yes, the mirrors in the change room are distorted.

Yes, the lighting in the store is overly bright so you feel shit about how you look.

Yes, the sizes are different in every single store and no matter how much weight you lose, creams you apply or diets you go on, you will never look like the photoshopped image on the ad.

Doesn’t take much thought to figure out where the increase in childhood eating disorders is stemming from.

120316112539-eating-disorders-interactive-story-top.jpg

Sourced from CNN

But we still want it!

Even now I think about why I can’t look like I think I’m supposed to.

Why am I so fat, un-toned, unhealthy looking, pale?!

It’s because the shitter you feel, the more you’ll buy.

Conspiracy of fashion.

 

There are a few methods the beauty and fashion industry employ to make you feel like shit to make you buy more.

The first one that comes to people’s minds is photoshopping.

Yes every brand uses it and the brands that say they don’t are also not rectifying the perfect lighting, background, makeup, clothing, model etc.

Just because there’s no apparent photoshopping doesn’t mean the picture is natural.

You all know how easy it is to filter your Instagram pics.

Secondly we need to consider fast fashion.

In the 90’s Zara opened in New York with the idea that clothing would take less than 15 days to go from design to showroom floor.

It’s mostly shit quality so even if you aren’t buying the $120 t-shirt, you’ll spend that by the end of the year buying pieces that won’t last.

Before this we bought clothes seldomly, maybe for special occasions or because there was one style we liked and it became a piece.

These days you buy clothes at least every fortnight and if you don’t you’ll miss out on the piece you wanted.

In marketing this is called the last chance effect. We buy things we think we might never have the chance to again.

Keeping up with the jones’ is another tactic. Making sure everyone around you is being fashionable every 15 minutes means you have to keep up. It’s out of your control.

In the meantime all your clothes that you donate, go mouldy and rip apart, thrown into landfill where they form a compost heap, emitting carbon emissions and fucking up our planet.

It also means that every item bought is going to be replaced with another. More water for cotton growth, more plastic production for synthetic materials and labelling and packaging, more run off of chemicals, more sweatshops and child labour, more unethical practices.

FRD_web_header_151

It’s our fault this happens.

Vitamins and supplements.

While the production and sale of vitamins and supplements in Australia is regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration under our department of health, the companies making them are not going to go out of their way to make sure your health comes before profit.

In any chemist or pharmacy and even health food stores you can find all sorts of pills and powders that claim to heal your every ailment.

snake_oil

We’ve done all this before.

If the supplements you take truly do assist your health, wouldn’t we be healthy now?

Wouldn’t it be the thing the doctor (you know, the guy who studied for over a decade to provide you with the most informed and experienced advice for your health) would prescribe you?

If you do the research you will find an alarming amount of products that have been pulled from shelves because of the harm they cause and companies that have class action suits for the mass effect of their drugs.

If you can’t be bothered, watch Vitamania to get some basic facts. And then fact-check it.

Your body is capable of protecting itself but if something isn’t right, you see a medical professional, you source your supplemented vitamins and needs from actual natural sources, like the sun, salt water etc.

Please don’t fill your bodies with chemicals you don’t need.

The real workout you need to get into shape and look perfect.

So here’s the goods.

You have so many ways of getting fit.

Once you are fit, you will look and feel better.

Once this happens you’ll realise you are fucking perfect!

Your body is your body. You aren’t made to look like anyone else or we wouldn’t procreate.

There is, however, the best version of you.

Not everyone is going to like it or think it’s perfect. But it doesn’t actually matter because there are twice as many who do think it’s perfect.

To gain this perfect body you need to work on more than your physicals, you need to be wholly worked on.

Make sure that as you train you to keep your mental health at the forefront of every workout.

Play music you are inspired by, workout with encouraging people who compete in a healthy manner. Workout in ways that you are comfortable, whether that’s at the gym, going for a bike ride, a sweaty bedroom workout or whatever.

The four main physical things to work on are as follows according to science and medicine.

Cardio.

This is anything that requires endurance.

The point of this is to raise the heart rate and training the body to cope with everyday activities.

The body needs to be kept in check.

We have gone from nomadic and agricultural cultures who ate and lived sustainably to working 30 hours + a week, mostly sitting or standing in one spot or manual labour.

These activities are not natural for the human body.

They just aren’t.

So cardio will keep you’re endurance high.

Try new things; yoga, walking, swimming, tennis, football, softball, jump rope, rowing, stairs, dancing, aerobics, bike riding and the list can go forever. Even playing with the dog or cat counts as cardio.

1379553_10154880995090651_2209804770736502502_n

Still counts as exercise.

Body composition.

This is the reason two people of the same sex and weight are different is because of body composition.

This is the measure of bone, tissue, water and fat percentage in the body.

Every person is different because we are made differently. It’s as simple as that.

Typical exercise to improve body composition would be burpees, interval training, squats, lunges etc.

This is the way you increase overall strength.

That doesn’t mean you’ll bulk up, that’s a weights routine.

Once your body is balanced in its composition your overall strength increases.

1743750_10154880994160651_5606529921615090004_n

Yep, still exercise.

Muscular strength.

Building muscular strength isn’t just lifting weights.

Yeah, you can lift weights but you can mix it up with other high energy consuming and strengthening activities.

Examples can be dancing like salsa or ballet that require good muscular strength, hiking, intense gardening, cycling and even yoga cos that shit is hard.

In training the muscles you will be tearing muscle fibres as they contract and release.

To form real muscular strength you must give your muscles rest!

If you don’t rest the muscles after tearing them in training you will have an injury and the work you do is redundant.

Always listen to your body. This is so important. Once you mess you back up you may never recover. Ligament repair surgery is expensive and takes ages to heal.

Only push your limits not the limits of others.

Lastly, muscular endurance.

You want your muscles to be strong all the time. Not just because you’ve done some training.

Once you have the endurance your ligaments, joints, bones and other necessary tissues will allow you to achieve anything.

The improvement of mental health due to fitness is also a major plus.

With muscular endurance training, you want to focus on strengthening exercise like core strength. Planks, lunges and squats are a great starting point.

Yoga and Pilates work wonders for giving your muscles practice with endurance and stretches the muscles too.

Long walks and hiking are good as are surfing, skating, golfing, martial arts, rock climbing and basketball.

1798152_10154934320885651_6370206996176357835_n

Still going

All these activities are capable of training your body to hold its strength for extended periods of time.

Conclusion

All in all, you must take care of your health. Always discuss your exercise plans and diet with your doctor, that’s why they are there.

Once you reach a certain age, if you have been fortunate enough to reach it, you will become incapacitated.

Either your family or medical staff will be feeding you, walking you, cleaning you up after the bathroom and showering you.

If you maintain your fitness through working your cardio, muscular strength, muscular endurance and body composition as well as focusing on mental health, you will be guaranteed to postpone your decline.

While it has a lot to do with genetics, lifestyle can make the ultimate difference.

Poisoning your body with alternative treatments like supplements and vitamins will deteriorate your body’s ability to function in the long term with almost no short term benefits.

Lastly, remember you are not what you buy or what you wear.

You are created to live your experiences for the time you are on earth and in 10 years you won’t remember what outfit you wanted to fit into.

Don’t let the ads tell you how to be perfect.

You tell you how to be perfect, and the first way is to be healthy in all aspects.

Guaranteed the toned, sexy summer fit body comes along with it without you even trying!

Last but not least, you must have fun. Be silly with it. Rest. Eat sustainable junk food. Be grateful that you have a body that works for you because you never know when you won’t

12144691_10156690010465651_8410825439708728935_n

If you’d like to be apart of Jaskulic contact us or become a patron.

Become a Patron!

 

Here’s some further reading and most of my sources:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1057740811001148

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1016/j.jcps.2013.07.003

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969698916302557

https://content.sakai.rutgers.edu/access/content/user/hollye/Vanity%20Sizing.pdf

https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jep.28.3.217

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10551-010-0581-3

https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/466564?journalCode=jle

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2561299/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1424733/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2648.1996.tb00017.x

https://docplayer.net/23885317-Redefining-fitness-for-health-and-fitness-professionals.html

https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/doi/10.7916/D8CR5T2R

https://shapeamerica.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00336297.1988.10483898#.XNdBvWQza2w

My Garden (round 2)

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 7.32.26 am.png

I killed off most of the first plants. I had a whole tonne of different plants and was determined to be all natural with no pesticide.

I also forgot how important drainage was to potted plants.

So I lost most of them to aphids, White Flies and growth stunting.

ROUND 2!

This time around I made sure I gave each plant it’s space, drainage, enough water and a new pesticide help.

What I’m Growing Now

At the moment we have

  • blueberries (not currently in season)
  • Tahitian Limes
  • Strawberries
  • Parsley
  • Mini capsicums
  • French carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Spring onions
  • Endives
  • Bulb zucchinis
  • Potatoes

So it’s definitely a full house but it’s lots of fun learning about each plant and being overly excited when a new flower or fruit shows up.

What pesticide I Use

After a couple of weeks of research, I landed on eco neem.

Neem targets sucking and chewing insects specifically like aphids, whiteflies and caterpillars.

7ec4ead0-95e2-47be-b372-8f84bd84c205

Another name for the tree that produces neem is the Indian Lilac.

This tree is used in many medicinal properties and is part of the mahogany family.

Do not use eco neem for medicinal purposes. Leave that for doctors, chemists and specialists. They know what they’re doing.

The oil is extracted from the bark of the tree and when you buy the bottle from your hardware store, a small amount 5mL to a Litre of water and spray on the plant while avoiding any flowers or fruit.

Neem_trees1_cropped_grande

While it has rid us of most other pests that were eating our plants it seems to have freed up our garden with these guys who I still haven’t been properly introduced to.

Leave me a comment with the answer if you know it, please.

The main thing I like about eco neem is that it’s a natural property with a small number of chemicals unlike more damaging pesticides on the market.

It is also a safe chemical to have run off into the drainage and further down the track, into our rivers and oceans.

Australia has a very damaging problem when it comes to chemicals in our water supply.

Particularly our mining industry who uses the major water supply from the Great Artesian Basin that is our country’s only source of fresh water. But that’s another story. Our politicians are really corrupt.

Anyway, the last thing I want to note about neem as a pesticide is that it DOES NOT AFFECT BEES!

Bees are absolutely integral to your garden and the ecosystem.

Without them, nothing gets pollinated and the health of your garden diminishes.

This season has been particular barren.

We all know there is a major problem with how we manipulate and destroy the world’s bee populations but never has it been more apparent than now.

To increase bees to our garden we got some viola flowers that bloom most of the year, and I can use them in food if I’m being fancy, and sage.

The most common way to attract bees is to grow lavender but I have allergic family members so sage and viola were the next best things.

So far we’ve had one bee in the last month.

That’s depressing.

Disclaimer

One thing that must be brought up is the importance of land and sustainable living and eating. This point is that of oppression. The withholding or inaccessibility to land and food resources has for centuries been used to disenfranchise people. Having the ability to sustain yourself releases you from that control and your dependence.

Keep this in mind when you grow and think on the people all over the world who are food insecure due to war, man-made famine (Yemen) and greed.

Many areas in major western cities have been put there into ghetto-like situations where food insecurity becomes a major issue and getting fast food is the only option. This diminishes health and keeps people impoverished.

Maybe look into starting a community garden if you are in these areas, or just share your extra harvest with soup kitchens and food banks.

Donate extra plants so people with children can also learn how to feed themselves like we as a species once knew to do.

So what next?

 

At this point, the zucchini’s will have to be pollinated manually but everything else is growing really well.

By giving them the boost with lots of water nutrients, a helpful and constructive pesticide as well as the right amount of sun and drainage, your plants will grow in no time.

We have a big fat tomato that’s almost ready to turn red and every little fruit is like having a new puppy born.

The ultimate goal is to provide enough ongoing harvest so we have no reason to go to major supermarkets to get our food.

Being self sustainable is a feat that most don’t venture. This is sad and worrying for our species.

While technologies are amazing, we have gotten to the point where we have overdone technologies in agriculture.

While we have more food than we need, we dump 40% of it into landfills and people we don’t see across the world have absolutely no food.

Food security is a serious issue. If you are financially struggling, having food can be the be all and end all of your health, making it harder for you to get money.

The pride you get knowing you rely solely on your knowledge and your own resources frees you from being dependant on exorbitant prices (looking at you Coles with your $2.50 capsicum) and poor quality food.

Having a garden can be hard if you don’t have space. Luckily I live in subtropical weather so my plants have a real fighting chance as well as a large area to house them.

In the next article, I’ll be going through how we make our hydroponic lettuce using the Kratky method which will hopefully provide tips for the space challenged.

If you’re looking for new inspiration check out these Instagram accounts. I would love to have a garden area just to be able to do these.

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 8.01.35 amScreen Shot 2019-05-11 at 8.04.53 am

If you have any tips or advice for me to improve my garden or what to try next, leave a comment and I’d be happy to try some of them out.

Or if you’d like to be apart of Jaskulic contact us or become a patron.

Become a Patron!

Here are my sources for further reading:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15777222

http://articles.x10.mx/neem_mother_earth_news.pdf

http://www.madr.ro/docs/ind-alimentara/risipa_alimentara/presentation_food_waste.pdf

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rstb.2010.0126

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652614003680

https://www.pnas.org/content/104/50/19703.short

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/327/5967/812

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/319/5863/607