De-Electrifying the Kitchen
- kaleokahu Jul 10, 2014 07:31 AM
I can't manage it completely, but I'm trying to minimize my kitchen's dependence on plug-in and battery-powered stuff. Batteries are expensive, wasteful and environmental cluster bombs; and I hate being leashed to cords and subjected to all the racket my motored small appliances make. I'm not trying to conserve energy or be a disaster prepper, especially, although those're incidental benefits.
I recently got a great manual apple peeler and cherry stoner, and am now looking for a hand-powered coffee mill.
Anyone have any tips or hand-powered tools to share in this vein?
I'm with you Kaleo. I just bought an all electric house that is already pre-plumbed with Natural Gas from the street. The previous owner had a panic attack over "the dangers of natural gas". Considering it is in a rural area, I'm even more perplexed why they did that considering the electrical outages that frequently occur.
I see a wood fired outdoor oven (thinking pizza oven, probably Vesuvius though I like the Napleno better). Add a good smoker or smoke house and I'm pretty well set.
Really, other than the refrigerator, all the other electrical things are pretty easily replaced by something our ancestors used or something at the local camping store.
Looking overseas, things like a Kelly Kettle are easily within reach and much more efficient than the big box store stuff we take for granted. I've got a Tao Charcoal Burner in my future. ;-)
I admit, I once used an electric opener. In my own defense, my right arm was broken and in a cast up to my armpit, bent at the elbow, hand canted down and in, what a mess. I could grip absolutely nothing. Not that I had any grip to speak of, what with the broken bone and all.
Dude saw me trying to wrestle a can open and laughed his ass off. The very next day, he brought me an electric. Worked great, I just pressed down with my cast, and voila! Open sesame.
Some of the hand cranked flour mills will grind coffee beans too. Or you can get separate plates to do so.
Options include the Family Grain Mill which has both electric and hand crank bases. I don't have it, so no endorsement implied. They have a variety of other attachments though including slicer and shredder, meat grinder, grain mill. You can see them all at Pleasant Hill Grains' website.
I think the nicest quality is the Grainmaker, it does flour, beans, nut butters, coffee, flax
You already have a cast iron stove, don't you? You might get some ideas on how to take a step further back in time/technology from a new book, Cooking With Fire
This was featured on a recent Splendid Table episode.
There are several routes to go with coffee mills:
- the kind the chuck wagon refurbishers bolt to the side of their wagons
- vertical shaft ones mounted on a fancy wood box
- compact ones marketed to backpackers. REI has sold some like that for years.
- turkish coffee mills (like tall brass pepper grinders).