Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rocket Stove / Pizza Oven...Part 2

We are in the process of building a wood fired pizza oven for our deck.  That damn Deck seems to be getting all the attention.  Deck wanted stairs, Deck got stairs.  Deck wanted chairs, you guessed it, Deck got them.  I had to run all the way over to the fire pit to drag these chairs to the Deck.   I think Deck is a little bit too needy!

  This won't be the traditional, build your fire in the oven kind, it will be heated from a rocket stove. 
The minute I heard of a rocket stove, I had grand ideas of heating the house, the garage, the barn,  the outbuildings, the sidewalks and the driveway with this baby!  I would never have to shovel again, just light a fire.  Unfortunately, our sidewalk is too long, and the driveway is even longer, and really, after eating all that pizza, a little shoveling would probably do me good!

Off to the scrap yard we went!

   We found enough material to get us started, and headed to the scale for a good wallet beating!!!!

 I use the term "We" loosely throughout this post.  He (Mr FT) is the we , I'm just the helper, but I was busy cutting some  stainless steel tubing for the grate.  I figured  I earned at least two years worth of pizza for that!  

   We used two Sanke kegs to build the burn chamber,
I think someone "busted a cap" in the keg to the right.  It was at the wrong party!

When working with kegs, always make sure they are depressurized before attempting any of this or you might end up at the same party as keg on the the junkyard,
 or like my first episode with a keg, swimming in a beer bath.
Hmmmmm that probably sounds kinda fun to the right person.

 Stainless steel tubing was cut perfectly  to build the grate. 
 (had to add that for pizza points)

   We  also scrounged some stainless steel that was already bent into a U at the scrap yard.  The piece was cut in half, a center platform was added, and the U was welded together to form a box.   This created the wood feeder and the combustion air intake..

Two supports were attached to the inside of the bottom keg for the *perfectly* (more pizza points) fitted grate to sit on.

The top of one keg, and the top and bottom of another, were cut out.
  The two kegs were stacked and welded together.

Mr. FT fitted the box to the burn chamber, and cut and welded it altogether.

And now for the moment Mr FT has been waiting for...

  Oh come a little.  
 It's not one of those 5 minute videos. 
 It's under a minute!  Not even half a minute. 
 In fact it probably took you longer to read this than
 if you would have just watched the video!

I'd say Christmas came a little early for Deck getting all this bling.
You are probably saying to yourself, "That girl is nuts if she thinks those stacked kegs are bling-like." 
I can give you one spoiler: this contraption will be hidden very soon! 
And by very soon, I mean a few weeks later cuz that's how long it took to get to part three, which by the magic of Blogdom, will happen next week.....stay tuned!

Click here for part one.


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Friday, September 12, 2014

Building The Framework for a Rocket Stove/Pizza Oven...A New Deck

Deck building 101 will not be taught at this blog, but checkout these abs from our latest construction escapade!

Yep that's me and Mr. FT looking fit!
I'm too sexy for my shirt.....

Okay this never happened.

But this happened....
Of course I forgot to take the before pics which would have consisted of two flower planters, flanking each side of three small steps.

Our son in-law came out to give us a hand!  Thanks Tickle!

Guess I should have pulled the tan in a can out.....
Mr.FT and myself, enjoying a cold glass of H2O.
  32.5 degrees celsius on this day (in the shade)....I think that's like 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
  Hot as hell! 

All done the boards

A quick picture just after we put the tools away...

Then this...and it really did happen!
Too bad I wasn't outside for this hail storm.  I think those nuggets could have put some color into those little white legs!

Stay tuned for the Rocket Stove addition to our deck.
   Comes complete with a hand built pizza oven and a pizza chef....Mr FT   hehe.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Dandruff Shampoo Bars.

It's time for a new batch of  shampoo soap bars! 
  I decided to make this batch for those people infected with the Zombie Dandruff! 
 It's similar to the Zombie Virus but  Zombie Dandruff  affects only the scalp.
  Now don't get me wrong, many people just have dry scalps and normally we shed this biggie, but for the undead with a nasty dandruff disposition, we're keeping our fingers crossed!

  I researched which oils would be best and came up with this recipe.

  I have no scientific proof that it will work, but if you give people a certain
 look while you are telling
 them how good it is, they'll believe you.  

Try it!  Plus, I am a natural "BS"er... What can I say, it's a gift!
But this is no BS!  I always encourage safe soap making practices.  Wear your safety gear people!

 Feral Turtle Dandruff Shampoo Bars

1 oz. Almond Oil
1 oz Cocoa Butter
1 oz. Shea Butter
3 oz. Castor Oil
9 oz. Coconut oil
2 oz. Hemp Oil
8 oz Olive Oil
7 oz Palm Oil
2 oz. Beeswax
1 oz Lavender Essential Oil
1/2 oz Cedarwood Essential Oil
1/2 oz Lemon Essential Oil
!/2 oz. Tea Tree Essential Oil
7 oz Thyme Tea Water
4 oz. Coconut Milk
4.5 oz Lye

The thyme tea water is made by steeping a handful of fresh thyme in about 8 ounces of boiling water.  Let cool in the refrigerator.
Using a large stainless steel pot, melt all the oils, butters and waxes.  Cool to 110 degrees.
Meanwhile mix your thyme water with the coconut milk in a 1 litre glass canning jar.   Place your jar in a sink and pour in the lye.   Put cold water in the sink surrounding the glass jar.    This helps cool the mixture more quickly.   I use a wooden skewer to mix the lye water wearing my rubber gloves.  Cool to 110 degrees.  When both are at 110 degrees, pour lye mixture into oil mixture.   Stir oil and liquid together with a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon.  Now use your stick mixer and blend until the soap reaches trace.  Poor in your essential oils and blend until thoroughly mixed.  Pour your mixture into soap molds and wrap in a blanket.  This needs to sit for a few days to a week, until it is fairly hard.  Cut into bars and let air dry for a week on wire racks.  This helps the air get to all the surfaces.

That's the recipe but if you need instructions on the cold soap making process,
 you can Google it and do some research,
 or you can go to these past recipes and see my method!

I do this in a glass canning jar in my sink in case of any spills or accidents.  Always wear rubber gloves, long sleeves, and eye protection.

Some cutting and drying of the bars

An old cheese cutter modified to cut soap quickly and evenly.  Also it makes your cheese taste clean, or it makes your soap smell cheesy.

And here they are...the finished soap bars!  Ta Da!!!!

A quick PH test tells me they are safe to use.  I aim for my soap to be a seven which is neutral.  You can add lemon juice to your conditioning rinse which helps soften your hair.  

Look who popped by for a visit....and you thought I was over this obsession. 

I will let you know how my guinea pigs fair!
Actually this won't be tested on any guinea pigs!
I only test on family and friends!
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Canned Mango Salsa

  I cooked breakfast for Mr. FT's birthday yesterday,
  which is why
 he sent me to town for Big Mac Meals last night!

But three days ago, 
  I made mango salsa and I canned it.
I felt like a queen or at least I will feel like a queen when we eat it.

Mango Salsa
3 Red Mangoes
3 Red Pepper
2 large Oranges peeled
1 Sweet onion
2-3 Jalapenos
2 green onions
1/3 to 1/2 cup lime juice
1 TBSP Amchur (Green Mango Powder)
1 TBSP grated ginger (optional)
salt to taste

Dice all ingredients and mix.  Add lime juice.
I found it to be very liquid, but no worries as it thickened in the canning process.

I sterilized 5 pint jars and lids but I didn't get five.
  Each jar was filled to 1/2 below the top, except the fifth jar. It was only 3/4 full.
I felt a little cheated until we ate it.  
Then I felt like that guy that saw a double rainbow on YouTube a few years ago.
Crazy guy.

  I  fitted each jar with a shiny new lid.
Because they were shiny, I stared at them for a bit.

Dropped them in the water bath and processed them for thirty minutes.
Hopefully this prevents any botulism from happening, 

 I will let the family do a taste
 test before I dare dip my chip in there.
  Kinda the way royalty had tasters
 before they ate, and that's why,
 I feel like a queen!

How I love my tasters!

I was on a cooking roll and made my friend's yummy dessert recipe for the third time!
You can find her recipe here at  Silo Hill Farm 

This is definitely worthy of a mention cuz it was sooooo good.
Mr. FT gave it three thumbs up.  Thanks Danni!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Hollow Core Door Hangers

A hanger for a hollow door can be a real challenge.  You can buy the "hang over the door" models that scratch the bejeebers out of your finish, or you can risk a cup hook screwed into a thin veneer, and store your flyswatter on it.
And that's exactly where my flyswatter is...on a cup hook secured to a hollow core door. 
 But not this door.  When I figure out which door that swatter got to, I will have another project on my hands.  Watch for that blog post "How to Swat Flies with a Fly Swatter"

  In my master bedroom makeover, I have two doors in this room.  A new door and an old door.  Not wanting to rip the old door out and replace it with a new one, I decided to put moldings on it to mimic the new one.

After two more coats of paint,
 I was still left with a flimsy hollow core door. 
 Note the two holes drilled in the door in the above picture.
They go right through to the other side of the door.
I went to my old stash of wood and after a few slivers, I came out with these pieces

 I drilled some clearance holes in the barn board for nuts and washers so the heads would be below the surface.  Some white molding was added to the top and bottom of the barn board to mimic my door and window trims.

  Hooks were attached to the barn board.  I used a scrap piece of molding to set the hooks at the same height from the top.

 I placed a barnboard hook assembly on each side of the door.  A bolt with a washer was put through both and secured with a washer and nut on the other side of the door.  The above door picture is the bolt side and the below door picture is the nut side Note only one side of the door has molding on it.  The other side is my closet/ laundry room.   I snugged up the nuts and voila, one door hook assembly on each side of the door.

Now to cover the unsightly bolt heads and nuts....
 I scrounged some old wooden door knobs and cut off the necks,
 put them in a box to spray them
silver!  A few coats were needed.

 Pulled out my trusty glue gun and hot glued those babies right over the fasteners.
Believe me when I tell you that they hold a lot more than a little purse.  Instead of day old clothes all over the floor, they go on the hooks, but I was pretty sure you didn't want to see my designer clothes hanging all over my door....that might make you jealous!  On the other hand, a little green is good for the soul!

 Eat your heart out Coco Chanel!