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Off Grid Prefab House Looks In To Cook Stoves, Hot Water, And Horse Yoga. With Alpha Gal Recipes.

Off grid in the passive solar modern prefab house with the cook stove going, you just FORGET how cold it is, outside. 
When you wake and it's almost 70 inside because of the energy efficient SIP of the prefab house kit exterior, it's not hard to get super toasty once you start breakfast...
Breakfast is barely over and he's already taking a nap.

I remember when we got our cook stove.

A city friend was visiting from Germany to vacation with us and instead I put him to WORK! "Fetch me mah cook stove, honeychile! Shouldn't be much trouble..." A long country drive, a dusty old barn extraction, and two straining, red-faced big guys lugging in this hundreds o' pounds hunk o' metal later... I had my cook stove! Fun!
Did I mention I *LOVE*
my cookstove?

So imagine my surprise when Handsome Husband suggested we look to replace my beloved cook stove. What in the world. I am VERY attached to my reclaimed, reused, antique cook stove! We got it for a few hundred dollars ($300?) vs. the thousands one would pay for new.
But I admit taking a peek at all of the glorious sleek cook stove eye candy. Gorgeous! If I didn't already have a perfectly fine cook stove, I might be tempted- these would look GREAT in another off grid modern prefab house!

From, this is the North Hydro Wood Cook Stove With Boiler.
It is very similar to what my Amish friends have, yet would be appropriate for a sleek modern home!
I really love the MBS Royal 900 Wood Cookstove...

By the way, if you are curious about wood stoves and chimneys in a tight envelope zero energy / passive solar house, this post has a lot of information.

Heating water for a shower.
No big deal if you're not in a hurry.
Then we heat via electric.

See, what Handsome Husband wants to do is have our cook stove pipe in heat for our radiant heat and shower. To see our other solutions for off grid hot water in frigid temperatures, click here. We have several, from on demand to heating water on the stove that then goes into an insulated cube that is then piped into the shower, to heating with electric which I don't use often at all because why run down the solar system? Hence leading to a squabble this weekend when Handsome Husband decided to heat the shower via electric vs. the usual "I don't have to be anywhere at a certain time so let's just use the roasting-pan-on-the-cook-stove then pour into the cube method" I expect when we're not jumping into the shower first thing to then rush off to a social event in the morning.

No, I am not going to toss out my perfectly fine, beloved, reused, recycled, reclaimed coolio cookstove just because you want hot water piped over to the shower! Honeychiles, there is a way to jury-rig this. I'll post a solution later.

Here too is a cautionary tale, tho': 
A dear friend and neighbor was at our prefab house as we entertained a few weeks ago, and reminisced about her OWN cook stove she used to have in their historic farm house. Her son was just a few months old and napping on her chest in a rocking chair by the first cook stove fire of the season when... they had forgotten to drain the boiler / pipes, water pressure built up, and
blew that cook stove apart and sky high.
Miraculously no one was hurt nor killed.

BUT. Being married to a (brilliant but) absent-minded professor type, do you think I'm gonna give that guy a new way to explode himself? Naw.

*I* did not wake up this weekend on a freezing frigid day with 30 knot gusts and the wind just howling through the trees and go, "Y'know? This is a GREAT day to ride!"
But the Pips did.

Pip 1 was very nice and "let" his little sister give him a "lesson" even though most of the time she was doing yoga in the round pen instead... 😂💛😂💛
Then this is what I found when I walked up to the shed late afternoon:
He might drive ME crazy, but in HER eyes he does no wrong.

Here he is, later, using her as a couch.
She's all, "Imma gonna just lay still right here while my human-foal needs a place to sit and think. You go sit and think, my little human-foal!"

With all that blustery frigid outdoors, it is always so nice to come back in to the off grid prefab house- so toasty, and I always try to have something hearty and hot cooking on the stove to warm us up!
Back indoors, to the cozy, bright and sunny, passive solar prefab!

Here are a few recipes from this week, which are also safe for our alpha gal / high histamine / mast cell child:
Alpha Gal Recipes:
If you haven't read our Pip's own alpha gal / high histamine / mast cell issues, go here for tons of links and information to help you.

FYI low histamine herbs that fight inflammation while also giving great new/ different taste vs. "Ugh I'm eating the same thing again" include sage, mint, ginger, tumeric and more. Also read more here, and low oxalate foods and herbs here. NOTE that herbs are fresh, not dried.)

Copeland's Alpha Gal PUMPKIN SOUP: Roast a pumpkin. (Salt and bake the seeds until toasty!) Take the flesh, add that and the other to lots of sauteed garlic, onions, and add really good stock (for our high histamine child, I made her own pot without premade stock, it was still delicious as it made its own vegetable stock while simmering just by adding water). BLEND IT ALL, add salt, pepper, a little coconut milk. You want to soup to not be too runny but on the thick side. Pour into a bowl and drizzle coconut milk on top to make cool patterns, then also add your fave safe sausage (sliced and sauteed and always ask about casings as they are often mammal) and minced fresh sage. We have not tried poultry sausages on our high histamine Pip, fyi, as it just seems the more complicated food is, the more she reacts, even if alpha gal safe, due to histamine. So we just gave her some poultry to eat on the side.

Black Bean Soup For Alpha Gal High Histamine Pips
Simmer onions, black beans, shredded into bite-sized collards, and sea salt for hours until soft. (If your high histamine child can tolerate garlic, add that too. I tried a little and it seemed to do okay.) Add in poultry of your choice.  Remove poultry and shred with a fork. Ladle soup into bowls and top with shredded poultry. For non-alpha gal guests I stirred in chili powder into their bowls and topped with a dollop of chili / lime / sour cream I mixed together.

Alpha Gal Chili
Our high histamine Pip has added red peppers to her "I can eat" list! Green peppers and chili powder are high histamine so you can always add that in to other bowls for other people.
Simmer kidney beans, onions, sea salt until soft, add in diced red pepper and top with a turkey or chicken breast, continue to simmer, flip meat, then at the end when ready to serve take two forks and shred the chicken or turkey, and stir in. Non alpha gal people can also top with shredded cheese, stir in cooked tomatoes and hot sauce if they like.

With Pip 2 we have started yoga which is good for her mentally and physically as she struggles with her medical issues of inflammation and autoimmune issues.

She is REALLY into yoga and stretching these days, WHEREVER she happens to be...

I can't thank the equines enough for all the horse therapy they have provided Pip 2 as she struggles.

And actually, Pip 1 as well.
Well done, equines.
We are grateful.

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At 1/7/18, 4:24 AM , Blogger Thomas Venney said...



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