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8/27/10

Playing Hooky In Our Zero Energy Off Grid Prefab House Kit

Don't worry, architects. I counted tonight and I have NINE incredibly detailed systems unpublished posts, with manufacturer and product names, for our net zero energy off grid prefab house kit systems posts to share soon. 
But right now I'm playing a bit of hooky before summer ends.
*Sob*


So: If you recall, I was last musing on interior framing and finishing in my own zero energy prefab house kit.
I'm still musing on my "why close up a wall when you can LATCH it and fill that interior space between framing up with stuff" theory.
I further pondered this as I canned this week (fifteen quarts of pasta sauce.... and many more sessions to go....) for the first time this season...

(I'm really into "bright" sauces right now. "Bright" means lots of lemon, fresh herbs, tangy and zangy and fresh. I hope to can quite a bit of that sunshine away to combat the heaviness of winter in the next few weeks, before fall sets in. This time, I made two batches: One half was a basic marinara with bright bits of basil from our garden, and the other half was a tomato lemon lavender sauce from The Frugal Gourmet.)

In a small footprint green home, every inch matters and shouldn't go to waste... Think of all the canned goods you could store in those interior wall spaces!

With SIPs, you don't needn't worry so much about your exterior insulation of the prefab house kit.

But for the interior, my "latch and store" theory we consider for our own prefab house kit depends on Handsome Husband's query:
"What are the sound insulation properties of books and jars and jars of canned and dried goods and rolls of toilet paper within a wall?"

Here's what I think: So far, we have not been bothered by adjoining room sounds as we camp in our own under construction zero energy off grid prefab house kit.  If there's an issue, we could always go back and add insulation to the interior walls, I mean, heck, it's latched... but I really don't see an immediate need.
So far.

In the meantime, I'm doing the usual pack-up-and-make-lots o'-food-and-gather-books-and-clothes-for-the-weekend routine. Here's one thing I'm making:
Lemony Ricotta Pasta with Basil
serves 6
1 lb good-quality pasta, in a short twisted shape or with a hole (such as penne or gemili)
1 15-ounce package (about 2 cups) fresh ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half the lemon
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 loosely packed basil leaves, sliced thin, as in a chiffonade
Set a pot of water to boil. When it boils, add a few teaspoons of salt and the pasta.
In a metal bowl wide enough to fit over the top of the pot, mix together the remaining ingredients, excluding the basil. When there are about 2 minutes remaining in the pasta's cooking time, place the bowl over the pot and slowly stir the ricotta and other ingredients. You should see it loosening as it warms.
When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it, add the basil to the bowl of sauce and toss with the drained pasta.
As usual, I did not follow directions at all
I brought out some of the whole frozen-fresh tomatoes I always keep handy in the freezer, frozen at their peak, sliced 'em into nice thin bits (the skin peels off so easily when you wash the frozen tomato in hot water, accomplishing two jobs at once), sauteed 'em in good olive oil until the water cooked down, & turned off the heat. Over that I shook kosher salt, added glugs and glugs of lemon juice, and stirred.

Then I added the rest of the sauce ingredients: Dollops o' ricotta, shakes & shakes o' parmesean... and finished the sauce with freshly ground pepper before stirring in penne pasta and fresh basil from our garden.
It's a bright and happy sauce. : )

This will be perfect to serve lukewarm within our picnic basket feast at the bluegrass festival Saturday...

In the meantime, I have an itch to create.
Sometimes it's not just about reuse, it's not just about starting from scratch, but, like our own zero energy prefab house kit, I can take parts and make a hybrid.



I am really into lighting right now...
It started with The Cloud (more on that soon), and now I consider lighting again as we install the electric boxes throughout the prefab house kit.
We are repurposing old materials for lighting in our off grid zero energy prefab house kit.
Here is a hint:
Ok here's another:
Ok I'm having too much fun.
...To Be Continued...
But now I must hurry to finish work then pack for another glorious weekend in our still under construction prefab house kit!

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