I've been working on the drawings we need for the house. The elevation drawings look so easy in the book, but I didn't realize how much thought had to go into them. Where is the bedroom wall in on the inside of the house so I know just where to put the windows on the outside? What pitch does the roof have to slope? If I put the root cellar right next to the house, how will I do the berm? How thick are the North and South walls so I know how long the roof will be? I spent probably 3 hours yesterday just trying to figure out the best way for the retention wall to go so that the root cellar is totally covered in Earth, but the berm doesn't stick out too far. We have limited space on the hill and still have to find room for a workshop. Every time I thought I had all the answers and started to put pencil to paper, I'd have to stop because there was some other minor detail I hadn't thought about. Plus my drawing skills are pretty lacking, I apparently didn't inherit any of my grandmother's talent.
I did figure out a way to draw two buildings side by side at an angle. I took two tea boxes and set them up as the house and the root cellar. Then I took a picture of them, printed it and traced over it! I couldn't find any paper thin enough to see through and trace, so I just put a piece of graph paper under the printed photo and traced over the building lines with a very heavy hand. Then I took the graph paper and drew over the gouge marks in the paper. All in all, I think they aren't too bad but I won't win any contests with them that's for sure!
Well the old root pit was only half a success. The cabbage was covered with slugs and were turned into nothing but holes. The carrots and other root crops did GREAT and were in perfect condition when I took them out, so that was the successful part. We abandoned the root pit when we had quite a bit of ice and snow covering it. It was very difficult to get the door open. I should have used the method where you bury a trash can and put a wooden door on it at an angle so the snow could be brushed off. My door was laying on the ground with the full weight of the season. It was a good experiment and next year we'll do better. We had so few vegetables to store and we are down to the last of our carrots already. We ran out of onions and garlic long ago.
Speaking of carrots, I found a wonderful recipe. I have never liked carrot salad especially if it had raisins in it. I would only put carrots in soups or if grated finely, I would tolerate them in salads just because they are good for you. I have never been one to seek out or crave a carrot. With this recipe though, I was just devouring them. So here it is...
4 medium carrots grated
2 Tbs lemon juice ( and I have been putting in a little extra)
1 Tbs olive oil (again, I dump in a little extra)
handful of chopped red onion
Salt & pepper
The other day I really wanted to make curry, but had no coconut milk. I really hate buying coconut milk because it's not somethign I could create on the homestead, so I want to start weening us. I found a recipe I think called "water curry" where they just used water.
I sauteed onions and vegetables in olive oil
created a little pocket in the middle and dumped in a tablespoon of curry paste to fry
Then put 1/4 C water and thinned out the fried curry paste
little ground corriander
1/2 tsp tumeric
dash chili pepper
1 tsp garam masala
Mmm it was delicious! I never thought to put water in a stir fry, but it really was fantastic so much so that I cooked it two nights in a row.
I'd better get back to work!
Here's a picture of Little Mama modeling her new sweater I crocheted.