Come on in!

Now that we have been living in our little place for almost 5 months, a report on our progress finishing the building and settling in seems appropriate. Our home is far from finished, but if I wait to document this place until all the trim is up, I’ll never share it here! We have natural gas for cooking and heating, but very limited electricity and no running water. Strider and I have found a few gadgets and tricks that make our lives easier- I‘ll share them as I go. I plan to cover a different room or area every Friday. Today, the kitchen:

The kitchen is 8 feet long. The counter between the sink and the stove is 3 feet long, and surprisingly, it is plenty big. I’ve cooked all of our everyday meals here, made Christmas cookies, and hosted a few dinner parties…Just out of sight to the left of the window is the glass back door. Even on dreary winter days we have plenty of natural light streaming in. The shelves are industrial brackets and local rough cut lumber. I found our little stove on Craigslist for $60, and I love it. We lived here for a couple of weeks before finding it and getting it installed, and as soon as it was in place things got so much easier and more civilized. Not only do we cook on it we use a 2 gallon pot on it to heat water for bathing and washing dishes. This brings me to another favorite tool-a lovely bucket:

I recently bought 2 of these for something like $6 each at Tractor Supply. Prior to that we were using ugly, demoralizing plastic buckets. We haul in water a couple of times a day (I’ll cover water catchment when I do outside systems.) and our buckets are always visible-pretty buckets matter.
See that blue cylinder by the sink in the first photo? That is a Berkey filter that magically turns rain water we catch off our metal roof into good drinking water. We got our filter from Lehmans, but they are cheaper from the company here.

Not as pressing as drinking water, but we eat toast for breakfast almost daily and figuring out an easy way to toast bread without an electric toaster seemed unlikely-until I discovered a camp toaster. $4 for perfectly toasted toast with no electricity used?! Ours hangs on the wall behind the stove.

Our refrigeration is just outside the back door-3 coolers. We keep them half full of ice and after a couple of months figuring out how to keep stuff dry Strider made little cedar shelves to elevate the food out of the melty ice.

We have had an unusually warm winter, and so have had to buy ice every other week or so. If we have a night below freezing we chop ice out of the rain barrel and use free ice instead! This cooler system works great for everything but salad greens, they get frozen and slimy-when I buy greens we store them un-refrigerated and eat them up in a day or two. I know summer will be a challenge, we don’t want to buy ice every day…any suggestions?

Hope you enjoyed seeing our kitchen, I’m excited to continue the tour of our little place in the weeks to come!