Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Headed up to the retreat

Tomorrow, I'm heading out to check on the cabin and the land. Been a while since I've been up there- just been too dang hot. I bought a new chain saw- picked up a Husqvarna 445 18". Itching to trying it out. It's gonna be hot- but I have a generator and an AC window unit to fight the heat.

Also going to sight in my new-to-me-again .22 cal long rifle. I'm bringing up the stove and oven and gonna put it in the cabin. I won't be able to complete the install cause I need to measure for length of chimney pipe.

Hopefully, I'll have some pictures to post when I get back.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cleaning cast iron with Coke?

Okay so you can see from the pic below that my new-to-me stove has a light amount of rust.  I tried some mineral oil on it earlier today- but that didn't see to do the job.  So, I ran across this article that explains that you can use Coke to clean off the rust from your cast iron.  I've used Coke to remove the corrosion off of battery terminals before with great success- so I'm going to attempt to clean up the stove with Diet Dr. Pepper (my wife drinks it- don't ask.)  I'll post results as soon as I can (I think that's a pun).

Here's the article that is inspiring this post:

Have a Rusty Oven?
Though there are many methods for cleaning rusty ovens, the one that we have found to be the easiest to use is a can of Cola. If the inside is rusty pour the Cola in and let it do its job. Depending on how rusty the oven is will depend on how long you will need to leave the Cola on the rusty spot. If you have an issue with the outside of an oven use a sponge to apply the Cola, or place the cast iron in a large bowl or bucket with enough Cola to dissolve the rust (some rotating may be necessary). After rust is removed be sure to wash and re-season you cast iron.

Update: Diet Dr. Pepper does not work!  I think I'll try a real cola.

Craig's list score! Cast iron stove and oven

Yesterday I picked up a stove and a granny cylinder oven on Craigslist for $75. There is some repair work needed on the oven but I think some high temp metal tape will seal it up good- that way my baked food won't taste all smokey. The oven can take a 8x12" pan, which is plenty for baking a single loaf of bread.  The stove like this one sells new at Northern Tool for $300 and the cylinder ovens like the one I got retail for $275- $300.  I saw this one on Amazon:

So, new these items would have cost me about $600.  I got them for $75- plus about 6 feet of cheap stove pipe.  That's a good deal in my book.

This is my second cast iron wood burning stove.

The first I bought from Northern Tool 2 years ago. I think this one I just bought will be perfect for my retreat. (If the weather ever cools down again.)

Note: I believe that there is supposed to be a 2' section of chimney pipe between the stove and the oven- I just put it on like this for the photograph.  No idea who made it- any ideas?

Also acquired another. 22 CAL. It was the first gun I ever shot. A Springfield savage 187s.  Tube-fed semi auto.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

How to prevent scurvy

A few weeks ago I was on a business trip in Nebraska.  I stopped by the Mormon Winter Quarters visitor center.  If you didn't know, the Mormons blazed a trail (Mormon Trail) from east of the Mississippi all the way out to Utah.  They made camp for the winter near modern day Omaha, before setting out in the spring.  During that winter, many people died of scurvy- mostly children.

After learning this, I wanted to find out more about scurvy- I knew you could prevent it by eating Vitamin C- and that sailors would eat lemons and limes to ward off the disease.  But what did the folks without access to vitamins and citrus fruits eat?  I did a quick search and discovered that tomatoes, potatoes, and many other foods (including meat) contain relatively high levels of C.  But potatoes are pretty much the only plant that is sustainable in most area in the winter.  So, that is just one more reason to plant potatoes in your garden and lay them up over the winter.

If you don't already have a source for potatoes, you can order them at Amazon.