Saturday, November 21, 2009

Home Fires

This has been a project in the making for almost as long as I have owned this house.
Starting with buying a chimney cleaning brush on clearance in August of 2000. Then there was the bellows bought @ a tag sale four or five years ago. Last year was the class B double walled pipe, thru the wall kit, brackets, and braces.
Then in early October on our way to buy seconds @ an Apple farm in Leroy we stopped into a stove & fireplace dealership. LSS bought a floor model - Jotul F 602 CB. Heats 500 square feet so ruffly half of my home.
After ordering the rear heat shield I think I wrote a check for $800 something. I'll get back on the exact cost after all is said & done since, yeah you guessed it I'll be running a cost comparison. Wood heat vs. furnace.
Furnace hasn't been on since the stove got the heads up from the code man on Tuesday. Granted it has been slightly warmer than norm this month and I also keep that house on the cool side when it's just me during the day.
My brother did the tile work. He's a professional. As you can see it was worth every penny he does beautiful work. Between DH, myself (gofer), my brother, and nephew who actually climbed up on my 12 12 pitched roof the job got done.
As you can see I'm already utilizing the stove for cooking as well as proofing a few loaves of bread (extra large bowl). Far left is a two bed warmers made of soap stone that DH collected years ago. Cast iron tea pot back from China Lake N.A.S. when we had quarters with a fireplace.
Large trivets are actually plant stands from Martha.
Sad irons hmm gotta be from a steam show flea market.
Poker was a gift from a lady who was surprised that I knew what it was. She said it was in the cellar of her 1880's home.
So in honor of our new stove there is a new category - Hearth
~~ pelenaka ~~

Carpe diem

Seizing the day or rather opportunity is a vital part of homesteading be it urban or rural.
Not so much having the skill which enables you to take advantage of whatever opps comes your way, but rather having a means to acquire the knowledge along with the desire a.k.a elbow grease.
Could I make vinegar before this opp came ?
Did I have the desire ?
Not so much but this was an easy do. No special equipment and I already had the supplies.
Now what am I going to do with one and half gallons of Apple Cider Vinegar ?
Earlier this month as a member of PW I helped out with K.P. duty for November's monthly 20/30 club dinner for my church . While there the head cook & bottle washer was pouring out one of the jugs of cider left by the Kiwanis a week earlier from a pancake fundraising breakfast. Seams that the abandoned 14 gallons of cider was starting to turn hard.
What can I say. It physically pains me to see a resource go to waste. At the very least I could water my raised beds with it. Instead I decided to add to our pantry and perhaps use as possible gift giving. More the latter since I had forgotten to come up with this years Christmas gift back in June.
The jugs were bought @ a tag sale years ago by DH for future wine making adventures. He spent a dollar each for these half gallon clear ones. I used a discard sheer curtain that is 100% cotton instead of cheese cloth and rubber bands scavenged from pharmacy deliveries @ my old job to fashion debris barriers.
These will rest in the cellar under the stairs away from light for 8 weeks. Then I'll strain out whatever scum there is & re bottled in quart mason jars.
Of course this new windfall now means I have to find ways to use my homemade Apple Cider Vinegar. Not to mention learning how to tritrate (test for acidity) the vinegar.
Well, I have a 3 more weeks to gather the knowledge ... and the desire.
~~ pelenaka ~~
P.S. anyone out there asking what happened to the other gallons of cider that weren't poured down the drain or fashioned into vinegar ?
Yeah, say it with me ... Hard Cider.
Funny thing is that making hard cider wasn't even on mind until the rest of the kitchen crew all began recounting tales of fathers & grandfathers all brewing hard cider.