Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Vegan / Fossil Fuel Free Kitchen

I am starting to work on building counter tops for the kitchen. Now that I have a new culinary adventure to embark on, veganism, and a new alcohol oven/stove, I need some room to work. First place to start: gathering supplies @ the local coffee roaster, Jittery Joe's to glean some clean pallet wood to recycle.
Never underestimate human power and bike power! I really like to use the pallets that their cans ship between, but they only have a few available at a time. After 2 trips to pick up what they had (bringing my hand saw with me to cut them apart) I had enough wood to build the frames.
Next step: some scraps of 1/4" plywood for the bottom, cut to fit and with a layer of Kiltz paint.

I cut pieces of the pallets to frame the outside edges. Working with hand tools may take a bit longer, but I find myself less apt to make mistakes, less apt to possibly hurt myself, and best of all: no electricity required!  I picked up a few sheets of this octagon and diamond tile years ago at the local Habitat ReStore, and have saved a bit of mortar and grout from a tile job, in red, thinking to use it somewhere. Putting tile in a tiny house on wheels, where weight is an issue, seemed crazy, but considering that there will be so little, and a slab of wood would be just as heavy, I am going to inlay the tiles in the frames made from the pallets.

I have been saving these last few Steve Keene paintings for use in the backs of these cabinets. Glad to be nearing the completion of a long planned project.
Speaking of long anticipated project completion: I collected this steel tubing and welded the frame for this pot hanger 4-5 years ago, and finally, a few weeks ago found a small bike wheel in the scrap metal recycling bin at the local CHaRM. The finishing touch: some shower curtain hooks from the ReStore yesterday! It looks like a crown!
My new adventure into veganism is motivated not only by my concern for the environment and desire to alleviate suffering in the world, but also practicality. A plant based diet is healthier for you, costs less, and I find that I eat fresher foods as a result. Not having a big refrigerator means I don't want to be in a position where I am storing large qualities of food that need to be refrigerated, so I decided to learn how to make my own vegan staples as I go. Making your own vegan butter, tofu and other protein substitutes makes a lot of sense also because a lot of typical vegan products contain a lot of gluten or palm oil, they are heavily packages and expensive. I bought a copy of The Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schinner, and so far everything I have made has been awesome, cheap and easy. I bought an old fashioned hand crank meat grinder to use as a food processor. Pictured is the onion garlic tomato spice slurry for italian not sausage- the main filler of which is bulgar wheat. The texture when finished was amazing. More small steps to a fossil fuel free future!

1 comment:

  1. hey Gretchen! We're not vegan, but I had heart surgery a few months ago, and we've gone to a much more plant-based, whole foods (the fruits/veg/grains, not the store) focused diet. I'm finding that you end up with so much less salt, sugar, chemicals, etc. by starting with just the ingredients you want and adding additional flavors (a little olive or avocado oil, herbs/spices, add'l flavors like coconut aminos) as you need. But kudos for trying to keep your footprint as small as possible as well!