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Galadriel Freden

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since Jul 27, 2012
West Yorkshire, UK
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Recent posts by Galadriel Freden

Stacy Witscher wrote:I save onion skins and scraps for the stock pot. Granted they still get thrown away (or composted), but at least they get used.

Yes, me too.  Any veg scraps that the chickens don't/can't eat go into a container in the freezer:  this includes onion and garlic skins, rutabaga/potato/etc peelings, carrot ends--anything too hard or fibrous   These, along with any bones we've collected (including the ones we cooked and chewed the meat off first, like pork chop bones) get saved up until I'm running low on stock.

The stock simmers for 2-3 days in the slow cooker until the bones crumble;  I strain it and give all those solids to the chickens, where it disappears rapidly!  They particularly like the soft bones, but seem to make short work of everything.  I can't say if ducks will be as enthusiastic, but it couldn't hurt to try.

The strained stock goes into the freezer in convenient portion sizes, and is great in soups, stews, gravy, rice, and even just for boiling up some veg.  

If for some reason I don't have any bones but am running low on frozen stock, I'll make a pot of veg stock.  It only needs to cook about overnight (on the stovetop it would probably take an hour or less), and the result won't have the same body and richness, but is an acceptable substitute, particularly for cooking rice or other grains, or to make gravy.
2 weeks ago

r ranson wrote:My real name is most definitely an edge case.

I tried using it for a while, but I felt it was better for the site if I went back to using my initial.  If it really bothered me, I could put my first name in my signature.  

I wonder, is my name too close to the edge too?  I've sometimes wondered;  I would be willing to drop to my first initial if so.
I got happier when I got rid of my tv seven years ago.  I think a big part of that meant I was no longer comparing my life with what I saw on tv--and not just in advertising.  People on tv always look beautiful, young and well dressed.  Their houses are always clean and tidy and beautifully decorated.  They are articulate and funny, have articulate and funny friends, and their problems are solved quite easily in under an hour.  But I digress.

Within the last year I was in the doctor's waiting room, and the "news" was on.  There was a story about refugee children drowning in the Mediterranean;  there was sad music playing during the voice over.  Sad music, to reinforce this was a sad story.  I thought, this isn't news, it's entertainment:  they're manipulating my emotions with words, video and music.  It made me quite angry, actually.  Was it an important story the public needed to know?  Maybe.  But I don't want to be told what I should be thinking about, let alone how I should be feeling.

I consider myself a sensitive person;  I have a lot of empathy.  However, since the death of my son almost two years ago, I've had to reevaluate that empathy;  I no longer have enough emotional energy to spend on other people's problems, but particularly on things I have no control over, like world events.  For my own mental well being, I have chosen to give up listening/watching/reading about it.  Do I need to know about it?  I honestly can't answer that question, but I can say I'm happier without knowing, at least for the time being.
1 month ago

Erica Wisner wrote:
How did you end up solving the door?

Yes, the door.  We would love to have a custom door.  Well, we actually do:  three bricks stacked on top of each other, pretty much flush with the firebox.  There is a small gap at the top where they don't quite meet the firebox, and small imperfections at the side which are not air tight.  The top two bricks come down when lighting/loading, but are quickly replaced and there's a noticeable difference in the amount of roar once they're back on.  

When we load up for lighting the first time, we can't fill it all the way to these bricks, or there will be an initial puff of smoke out the top gap from lighting the paper.  I don't count it as smokeback, but it's not ideal;  it would be better if my primary air came from down low to eliminate this issue.
1 month ago
This probably won't help with book shipping, but I recently ordered some sheepskin slippers from an etsy seller who sent them packed with tiny sheepskin and wool offcuts, though in a regular padded envelope.  Still, a nice touch and I'll be scattering them around the garden later for the birds--great for nestbuilding.
1 month ago

Galadriel Freden wrote:some melon seeds from a particularly tasty storebought one, to try next year--I can dream, right?

I did try, and I got one!  Bitesize, yes, but I harvested a melon, grown outdoors in Yorkshire!  I saved all three seeds from it too

2 months ago
Yeah, I think they need to dry out some more.  I've got some 12 month old tree trimmings of that size which are still not acceptably dry for burning yet.  Even the twigs are still a bit green!  It's a sycamore (also called a sycamore maple).

To be honest, I burn mostly "junk" wood in my rocket:  elder, willow, alder mostly and these are all small diameter wood such as coppice wood or saplings.  I also burn some of my ornamental and fruit tree prunings:  rose, berberis, laurel, apple, etc.  Depending on diameter, these dry out a bit quicker than the tree wood, I think.  Maybe not the berberis or laurel.
2 months ago
Here's a recent blog post about using an old fashioned soap saver/shaker, for washing dishes using bar soap.

She particularly stresses that it needs to be real soap not synthetic, i.e. castile soap or lye soap.  I really enjoy her posts;  the previous one was also about washing dishes, and using a dish scraper.
2 months ago

Panagiotis Panagiotou wrote:Can you show us how you design this stove?I love that i looks small and cosy.
Did you follow Peter Van de Berg's design with the batch box and the bell or you improvise it on your own?

I followed his batch box design, yes.  Here's a photo I took during the original build, showing the two chambers.  The firebox is on the right side, which is kind of awkward for loading, I'll admit.  I decided to use the existing concrete hearth as the base for the stove, and made my bell according to that size;  that's why I chose the 4 inch system rather than a larger one, as I knew it could only be a small bell.  This small footprint also meant the firebox had to go on the side rather than the front, as it was too long to fit on the original hearth otherwise.  

I modified the length of the firebox by about six more inches, as had been suggested in another build (I don't remember whose, it was possibly one at Wheaton Labs).  I also put the secondary air tube perpendicular to the port, coming from the side instead of the front of the firebox;  it's a hollow steel tube, originally from a bed frame.  I was working within a tight budget and am not a welder, and this was the only thing I could come up with.  I encased it in the clay-perlite mix as I was forming the firebox.  It seems to work.  

The bell itself is around 4.5 feet tall.  The second chamber has a cast iron flat top griddle, which doesn't get quite warm enough to cook on, but does throw out immediate heat and can act as a warming plate.  It sits on top of a bed of clay-perlite mix with fiberglass rope for an expansion joint between the two.  The first chamber is topped with old red bricks, with about a 10 inch gap between them and the top of the riser.  Because the bell itself is small, I just lay the top two courses of bricks slightly closer together, rather than straight up and down (I'm sure there's a term for this), so the very top could be bridged by single bricks laid across.
3 months ago
The room that gets the most benefit is the living room where the stove is.  It also helps warm up the kitchen adjacent, but less so.  The upstairs isn't much affected by the stove.  

The bell is divided into two chambers, yes.  The second chamber exits out my existing chimney.
3 months ago