Plugless appliances

Answers From the Urban Homestead – Unplugged Kitchen
Promised you! I didn’t forget. It may take me like a hundred years, but I will (hopefully) answer everyone’s questions. And if I haven’t, don’t take it personally because it could have gotten lost in all my computer files.

Q. I liked reading about your unplugged kitchen. I know that you have both sun and cob ovens for outdoor cooking. What do you use if neither of those will do the trick? Do you have a stove that you can plug in when needed.? Like for canning? Hopefully I will be adding a sun oven to our appliance list soon! – mia

Q. I would like to know more about the unplugged appliances. What do you use and what do you use it for? I’m finally learning how to cook in general and how to cook a wider variety of local veg in particular and would love tips on how to use the appliances. – Angie

Q. “Every day is lost in which we do not learn something useful. Man has no nobler or valuable possession than time.” Ludwig van Beethoven Are the powered down appliances you have antiques that were made before there was electricity, or are they new models? I have some that I have collected from family and garage sales/op shops but want to get more (and a sun oven of course) – Hannah

Q. Where did you get the nice, solid-looking coffee grinder? We’re powering down our own kitchen. For a year now, we’ve been using a cutesy-antiquey grinder that’s always on the verge of falling apart. Just yesterday I found one designed for camping that we’re trying out, but it’s a little frustrating, too. I haven’t been able to find solid-looking ones even at Lehmans.Your website is a real inspiration to those of us who aren’t in a position to move to a country homestead. – joyce

Readers, thanks for your comments and questions. Congrats on walking the path! You’ve joined hundreds of fellow travelers who have exited the freeway of modern life and have chosen the path less traveled towards a simpler, more fulfilling life.

As for our unplugged kitchen, the only thing electric is the energy efficient, energy star rated fridge. For cooking we have right now a gas stove. But we do have sun and an earthen oven here on the urban homestead, so we don’t have to rely always on such a polluted energy source for cooking our meals.

Our gas stove is nearly 20 years old, and since it’s starting to act a bit unreliable these last few years, we have been debating whether since we have solar panels should we purchase an electric stove when our gas one gives us the ghost. All these plug less appliances are new…

Here’s a list of hand appliances in the urban homestead’s kitchen:

1. hand cranked food processor*

2. hand cranked blender*

3. hand cranked coffee grinder*

4. mortar and pestle

5. good old fashion wooden spoon and muscles

6. hand juicer

7. hand/stove top popcorn popper* * items listed above are now featured on PTF’s own online store 

:: Field Hand Appreciation :: SG $10 donation. Thank you for your generous support, we miss you and hugs to all.

No Comments

  1. mike c says:

    “Where did you get the nice, solid- looking coffee grinder? … I haven’t been able to find solid-looking ones…”

    Google ‘Zassenhaus’. Not cheap but very high quality – made in Germany since forever.

  2. wildside says:

    Found this post on your unplugged kitchen interesting… I’ve never owned a food processor and wonder — after all these years — do I need one? And am always tempted by a handcrank coffee grinder!

    100′ update since the last post: http://wildsidehome.blogspot.com/2008/02/garden-yesterday.html

  3. Val says:

    I ordered a coffee mill from your store today. I look forward to using it. The last one I had broke the second time I used it!

  4. Anais says:

    Hello Val

    Thanks for ordering from the Peddler’s Wagon. We hope you enjoy and are satisfied with your coffee mill. Keep us posted on how well it performs.

    See you along the path,
    UrbanHomestead Gal

  5. Val says:

    I will be sure to let you know how it does. I rated the garden hats we bought from your website last summer. We love them!

  6. Angela says:

    Reading through your list of hand cranked kitchen appliances reminded me of the items we used at home, like our hand-held hand-cranked mixer or the french fry cutter and so on. We were fairly poor – though I don’t think we kids really knew that we were – anyway, as a result, we just naturally did many things in a way that didn’t use lots of grid power. My mom washed clothes in two cement sinks that were installed on our back porch (I think our house was built back in the 1920’s…). She would let the clothes sit a while, then put me and my sister in the wash side to stomp on the clothes to “agitate” them. Then she’d wring them out and drop them into the other cement sink full of cold water to rinse them, wring them out, and drop them into a clothes basket to hang out on our clothes line. At some point, she got an old wringer washer. That was fun, because we got to watch the clothes go through the wringer automatically – we had to watch out that our fingers didn’t get caught as we fed the pieces of clothing through. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that we got a modern washer and dryer along with a few other upgraded electrical items – and, lol, that’s when I started hearing my parents complain about the electricity bill. We went back to hanging clothes outdoors on the clothesline and scaling back on electricity usage in general.

    I was born in the mid-1960’s and then many people, especially country folk, still grew gardens. It was just what you did, and my parents being from a small country farming area of California weren’t any different. My dad grew a garden that we picked and ate from almost every summer. We also had about five plum trees, blackberry bushes, a persimmon tree, a black walnut tree, and a fig tree and my mom put us to work picking from the trees and the blackberry bushes. She froze most of the blackberries and made syrup and pies (man, my mom makes THE best blackberry pie!). We usually just ate the figs, but my Mom made puddings, nut breads, and cookies from the persimmons, and made lots of canned preserves from the plums. With five plum trees, there were plenty of plums to eat fresh from the trees, even while picking them for my mom to can. We were like little monkeys in the trees, eating plums when we got hungry during the summer afternoons *chuckle,* Those were really fun days.

    Anyway, sorry to go on for so long, but watching your YouTube videos and looking through your website had me remembering how we did so many ‘homestead-like’ things when I was a kid and has me so stoked about starting my own off-the-grid self-sufficient lifestyle! I’ve been researching different aspects of self-sufficiency for quite a few years now (ie, straw bale homes, cob fencing, solar panels, washing by hand, “greening” the consumables I use, rain water harvesting, grey-water systems, you name it). However, seeing you all doing your thing on a little plot in the middle of the city of Pasadena, was it for me. I just thought “This is so cool! I can do this!”

    So thank you for having the spirit and courage to just do it, and then to share your journey with us so that we can see that it can be done!

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