My neighbour, who is a biologist told me that squirrels have had a hard time the last winters here in urban southern germany and that she doesn’t think the situation will improve much this year. Seems the little critters are so excited about the long and hot summer that they simply forget to collect their nuts as supply for the winter. So I made a “squirrel-nut-depot-all-you-can-eat-bar”.
We made this wood store this morning. It won’t win any beauty contest and it looks… umm… a little patchy, but it’s made based on the simplest possible late night sketch and also exclusively from material we had at hand. We didn’t buy a single screw. Hey, no extra euros and more space in the shop!
This is what I always have packed in a convenient pouch in case “I just want to get out of this shit”. Just grab this, money, a jacket and a toothbrush and get the hell out of here.
Well, I was a boyscout when I was young and, yes, I did learn some useful things back then. So when we set up our new awning lately, I recalled the simple line-tensioners we made back in the days when we went camping with the boyscout group. They’re easy to make, simple to set up and cost next to nothing. Here’s how they work:
The result after 4 days of letting them grow. Cool, I hope they taste good.
So they sell what they call a “Sprouting Glass” for growing e.g. mung bean sprouts etc. in my local garden market. Basically, that gadget is not much more than a glass jar with a slotted lid and an attached stand. I think you could easily make one yourself, but it was only 5 bucks and I liked the idea, so I really didn’t care.
We made a simple pergola from an old garden tent to sit under and drink some beer 🙂 – we wanted to give it some “beach bar look”. We used the frame of an old party garden tent and attached several 2 x 5 cm bars as a roof construction.
A friend made me a steel divider sheet for the barrel grill (if you like: See here, here, here and here) so I can use it as a simple smoker. Basically it works like those Weber-fireboxes you can buy at the hardware store: The idea is to put the coals into the left half of the firepit, setting the divider and thus having a zone of indirect heat and smoke on the right side. Simple, effective and it works (somehow) 🙂
Some images from my windowsill these days. I’m trying to grow some herbs for the kitchen from seeds. Most of it works out rather well. It’s only the Rosemary that is is a little peaky and doesn’t really seem to like growing very much. The Tomatoes were planted (from plain supermarket-tomato-slices) only about a week ago and I’m pretty satisfied with the progress. Those Chilies grow like hell and I’ll have to germinate the blossoms with a soft brush these days when I have the time and ease to do it.
So, over the last few weeks I bolted and welded together some kind of a chuckwagon-kitchen-appliance for my garden firebowl. As usual I tried to use mainly scrap from the shop, recycling what I had but in this case I had to buy some steel rods and small parts.
Another interesting info image with the english terms for a german DIY-er. Taken from here.
The trick seems to be to “feed” it day by day, until it bubbles. The naturally occuring wild yeasts and lactobacilli in the flour need some time to wake up, reproduce and populate the mixture thoroughly. When this proliferation has reached a certain level, the developing carbon dioxide makes the dough bubble up and the ongoing fermentation produces a wide variety of aromatics – that finally also end up in your bread.
Looking forward to tomorrow evening and on how it is going on.
Let me present to you: Hauke (a somewhat unusual boy’s name in germany), my first homemade sourdough starter – at least my first try. Since I’ve read that they’re living organisms and thus you’re obliged to give them names, I’ll simply call him – well – Hauke. I started him off today with 50g wheat flour (Type 1050) and 50 ml water @ 27 °C (lukewarm). Recipe taken from here.
Part two and more information on how to make a sourdough starter tomorrow, when I’ll have to fill it up.
Since I was an absolute beginner when it came to using a pressure cooker (and I somehow lost the manual…), I looked for instructions on the internet lately. Some were plain BS, some just dramatically told elementary stuff and left out the real instructions and, finally, some (especially the relevant forums!) were very informative. I threw everything together and tried it out (BTW – here’s a good article on what a pressure cooker actually does – I won’t describe the principles of pressure cooking here).
So, here’s my personal “Pressure Cooker How To for Dummies” (tested, illustrated and in full color!):
I welded together a rotisserie mostly from scraps in the shop! I wanted it to fit into the grate slots of my stone barbecue grill so I had to design it exactly to size. I also had to grind up an idea on where to put the electric motor since, in my case, there are walls in exactly the spot where all the store bought ones have their drive.
This is a steamer rack that I made today, the pictures explain what it is good for. Honestly, I was just bored today so I took one of those Ikea-cutlery-holders that I had already misused earlier anyway and just cut 4 cm off. Man, a simple empty tuna can would do the same job, but at least this one is stainless steel and it looks at least a little better…
You can officially call me the great Recycler! I had this leftover piece of beechwood lying around (and constantly in the way) and I saw an inspiring video on japanese cuisine.
As much of a little weakling my first cold smoker was, as much of a fu**ing hellraiser is this one. I even have the feeling it might do a little too much…
…for the Shop Vacuum. I ordered this piece from Amazon for a few bucks and glued/screwed it to a wall-paint mixing bucket.
It’s desigend to separate larger grains of dust/debris from the airstream in order to keep the actual vacuum cleaner from clogging up. I hope my SO will notice. See the image for the principle.
As always when I do something, I realized AFTERWARDS that my vacuum’s hose it too small to fit on the connectors… 🙂 Let’s see if I can grab one for small money…
I used smaller wood chips this time and an additional hole for added draft. It really glows like hell now and I’m looking forward to smoking some bacon tomorrow.
I know that not all folks out there like those cold smoke generators for smoking meat. Many rather rely on the good old openly glowing wood chips in a bowl at the bottom of their smoke house. But for my small batches in my small smoker, these generators come in really handy. Since, unfortunately, the last cold smoke generator wasn’t so much the bringer of happiness, I tried a new approach:
I like Lleatherwork. So i made a cover for the most used notepad in Germany: Size A7 (which is approximately 2.9 x 4.1″ in the english system). I’ll carry it with me in the front pocket of my favourite jacket.
Yes, I know it’s not too nice… But it does what I want. Here are the Dimensions that I made it after.
It’s an old trick but it works perfectly. Fire starters made from egg cartons, dryer lint and sawdust, covered in wax.
My SO is is nicely collecting dryer lint and candle remnants over the year, so I can make some when “winter is coming”. It is the hell of a mess to make them but it’s also easy, they cost nothing and burn for half an eternity. Always remember to put in the dryer lint as the last layer, so they keep together well.
These are the labels I made for my kitchen supplies – my god, that man must be bored… No, at least not sooo much, actually 🙂 But I’m cooking a lot and I wanted them to look halfway decent.
For anybody interested in using them: Here’s the .psd-file.
I made this small chuck box for my Lada Niva about a year ago, when I thought it would come in handy some day.
My SO wanted a hedgehog box in the garden for the little fellows to have a secure and cozy hideout during winter. I liked the Idea but due to my job situation lately, I neither had the time nor the nerves to make one myself. So we bought this one instead:
It is roughly 28,5 x 48 x 38 cm (H x W x D) and it’s a simple construction – you can put it together in minutes. We gave it a good coat of linseed oil for weather protection and as soon as the oil had dried we placed it outside. We hope it becomes our personal “Hedgehog Hilton” this winter.
This is another approach on grinding bevels to my self made knives. It consists of an angle grinder connected to an adjustable arm with a ball joint at the end to allow it to move freely. It can be set to multiple grinding angles and it’s swinging radius is also big enough for large blades.
The shed mounted planting table is also finally done. It has three layers of paint now – eventually we didn’t use oil but a white outdoor wood paint that matches the rest of the shed.
I made a planting table for my SO today. The old one finally gave up due to weather, wear and tear. It’s going to be mounted on the garden shed’s wall with hinges so it’s “foldable” to save some space when it’s not in use and also to protected from the elements a little better.
Forgot to mention that I made a cutting board from scrap wood this weekend.
I still had a piece of pretty enough and sufficiently heavy kitchen countertop wood lying around that was left over from building my shop workbench. I didn’t really know what to do with it, so last weekend I converted it into a new cutting board.
O.K. Call me mad… nuts… crazy… I want to try an Axe-makover. I had this hatchet lying around in my garage, cheap, blunt, neglected and dirty. Aaaand I want to turn it into some object resembling a viking battle-axe (something looking roughly like this).
I had Takoyaki some days ago, and I absolutely loved them. Naturally, I want to try to make them by myself, but unfortunately there are virtually no takoyaki pans available for induction stoves 🙁 .
So the Barrel-garden-table is finally done. It looks nice enough and I’m looking forward to trying it out.
Planting tomatoes the not-so-traditional way. Just buy some meaty, juicy tomatoes with many seeds in the supermarket and slice them up, about 1/2 an inch thick. We had some cocktail tomatoes left over here, but any will work as long as they’re halfway fresh and juicy. Lay the slices into a pot with good potting soil, giving them some space (or using seperate pots) and cover with about 1/2 an inch of dirt. Water lightly and… wait.
I can’t think of a better description for this.
Yep. We tried it again and this time we took photos. The new mould (”Oshibako”) has better dimensions and makes more handy pieces. Also, we tried more nori and wasabi mayonnaise. We were so stuffed and happy yesterday evening.
This is a so called “Oshibako“ – a kind of mold used for making “pressed sushi”. I made it today – as usual from the finest scrap-wood that I had lying around… 🙂
The smaller Midori-Style Notebook that I wanted to create for myself. It’s already in heavy use and I really like it.
As one can see, I really sort of like my SO…
So I made another wax burner for my SO from an old or antique sort of… thingy… that she found in the attic. I don’t even know what that thing was good for before… 🙂
Finally got my cold smoke box ready, including a cold smoke generator (idea taken from here). Luckily, it’s all made of scrap that was lying around, so nothing is really lost if it doesn’t work. Can’t wait to try it out.
3rd day of making the new UDS: Added a small, removable shelf (for thermometers) with hooks and a moveable lid for the main Air intake. I also finished the firehole door and a drain-hole for when it might get flooded (again). It’s also got it’s first layer of fire-proof laquer. After that, it got de-oiled with a felt litre of Acetone.
Made my SO a wax burner from some copper tubes and a flower pot these days.
The next attempt in sous vide cooking.
Believe it or not: This heap of scrap is my new self made sous-vide cooker! Cost me exactly € 10.99 for the immersion heater, everything else was lying around in the shop. I was not very convinced of the concept of sous vide cooking in the beginning so it was merely a side-project just for fun, but the steak turned out SO delicious I will definitely do this more often!
Had 3 days off because I called in sick with the flu (or at least as much as I could, since I’m the Boss…)
I made a sundial from Forex ™ according to this Instructable. Nice. Waiting for a sunny day now to try it out.
This is my Grilling Table that I want to place beside my Barbecue-Grill and Smoker. It is made solely from the Wood of two Euro-Pallets, and it was fairly easy to plan and build until now. Now comes the really difficult part of somehow heaving it out of my basement shop up to the garden… Update will follow shortly – hopefully.
It`s an acteone-lamp. Got it from here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Beautiful-acetone-lamp-from-reused-materials/
Brilliant Idea and fun to make.