Saturday, March 31, 2012

What time is it? GMT!

GMT stands for Garlic, Mushroom and Tomato.... Pizza. Saturday, at the AD7BP QTH, has become pizza night. We have been making all of our bread for many, many years, but had not made the jump to pizza. I have no clue as to why. So, about a year ago, we went out and bought a pizza stone. A pizza stone is a great thing to have, it ensures that crust is nice and crisp from edge to edge of your pie. I am thinking maybe the reason we never made pizza on a regular basis is because the few pizza's we did make had a soggy, doughy center. Nothing is worse.
The dough is a simple dough. Being health conscious, we are making it with half white flour and half whole wheat flour. I like the extra chewiness and flavor the whole wheat provides, but I do like white flour pizza crust too.
Speaking of healthy, we only do vegetable toppings to cut down on the fat and chemicals associated with cured meats. The recipe that makes enough dough for two people is as follows:

1 ½ cups of flour. Half whole wheat and half unbleached white flour
3/4 tsp dry yeast
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup of water warmed 30 seconds in the microwave on high.

Mix the ingredients and knead for 10 minutes with 1/3 cup extra white flour. Try to keep the dough on the wetter side. Leave in a cooler environment for 4 hours to slowly rise. The slower rise enhances the flavor of the dough.

Pizza Sauce

2 tsp olive oil
8 oz of crushed tomatoes
1 heaping tsp of dried basil
1 head of garlic, Thats right I said head of garlic

The trick to using an entire head of garlic is to treat the garlic gently. Do not smash, or cook on high heat. The rougher you treat garlic, the more pungent and sharp it becomes. Husk the garlic and thinly slice. Heat oil on medium heat and add garlic. When the garlic starts to cook, turn down the heat to warm and cook slowly, stirring until it is translucent. Add crushed tomatoes, (Crushed make a great pizza sauce compared to using regular tomato sauce) Add dried basil and cook on low for 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 450 degrees with pizza stone already in the oven. Spread the dough on parchment paper and top with sauce, tomatoes and mushrooms. Slide the parchment onto the stone and check pizza at 15 minutes, and bake up to 20 depending on your preference as to how brown you like your cheese.

The following two books arrived this last week. Father Dominic's books got my hands back in the dough many years ago with his PBS television show: “Breaking Bread with Father Dominic”

The second book, “Artisan Pizza in Five Minutes a Day” is the third in the series of Artisan Bread in Five minutes a day books that have revolutionized home baking. Take a look at the following video.  How much easier can real bread at home be?

73, Bob

Friday, March 23, 2012

Homebrew Transceiver project

This is my first foray into building a transceiver from scratch. I wanted a simple radio which would cover several bands and not be rockbound. I settled on an interesting radio from the October 1989 QST, “The QRP Three-Bander” by Zack Lau, W1VT (KH6CP). It looked like an interesting project as I have not built a direct conversion receiver, nor a VXO transmitter. To make this project more challenging and fun, I decided to convert as many components as I can to surface mount. Next is to create a printed circuit board and etch it myself. Thus far I have gotten the schematic put into Diptrace, a really nice program. Diptrace is a full featured software package with a free version which has several upgrades to larger schematic capability. Thus far, the project has moved along fairly quickly. Right now, I need to create some new components that are not in the standard library. The components I need to model are toroid based inductors and transformers. I cannot forget to mention the bandpass filters need to be be redesigned to take into account the harmonic suppression requirements have changed since this article was written.

I wish I had some pictures, but the article is a black and white scanned PDF from the ARRL. QRP Tri-Bander You have to be an ARRL member to view this, but I like the design. In an upcoming post, I will provide some more details and pictures also.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

My first post

My friends have been bugging me to start a blog for a while now.  Thanks to John, NG0R and Eldon, WA0UWH, I am posting this.  Eldon and I were chatting on Google Talk and he talked me into starting the blog "real time" as it were.

The blog is going to mainly be about ham radio, I am a QRP guy who likes to tinker with accessories for the ham shack and with antennas.  More on that in future posts.  The eggs portion of the blog is devoted to good food.   I like to cook and work in the kitchen, with the caveat that anything made is not in, how shall I say this?   Not in the fatal food group.  I like that term.  In a later post, will be the origin of the term. The meaning is of course, food that will not make you fat or kill you.