Here's The Latest

Living Well Off-Grid

Steel Ash Carrier – Keeping Valuable Wood Ashes Safe Until You Use Them

Steel Ash Carrier On Wooden Porch

Steel Ash Carrier On Wooden Porch

Pictured above is a steel ash carrier sitting on my front porch.
The ash carrier is full of fly ash and cinders from the daily morning clean out of my cook stove and parlor stove. Believe it or not, seemly cold ash, cinders, embers and stove coals can sometimes keep heat and reignite for up to a week or longer.

Steel Ash Carrier & Hitzer Stove

Steel Ash Carrier & Hitzer Stove

Many an accidental house fire has been the result of the improper disposal of ash. The tragic 2011 Stamford, Connecticut Christmas fire in which a woman lost her 3 children and parents, is a grim example of how ashes can seem to be dead but aren’t.

In my own life I’ve had a couple of close calls with ash and cinders sitting forgotten in a coal hod (scuttle) in the living room and on the front porch. There’s an indescribable horror to walking into a room filled with papers, books and cloth, and seeing a coal hod radiant and cherry red next to a wooden bookcase. Hot embers glowing brightly on a wooden porch, that have been fanned back to life by wind on a blustery day, is only a little less shocking.

Steel ash carriers keep coals and ash contained and safe. Steel ash carriers can literally be life savers.

Ash carriers with feet keep the heat of the ash and live coals off the floor and carpet so there’s less chance of burning a wooden floor or carpet.
Some stove manufactures sell ash carriers as a stove accessory, and prices range from about $45 – $75 the last time I checked.
My parlor stove is a Hitzer, and the ash carrier fits the stove ash pan perfectly so that less fly ash blows into the room.

Ash Pan Being Emptied Into Steel Carrier

Ash Pan Being Emptied Into Steel Carrier

Hardwood ashes are a valued commodity on this farm.
They can be used to make soap, clean wooden floors, shine silver, melt ice and in the garden.
Without a doubt, the garden is my favorite place to use wood ashes. They are most often used in the garden to top dress the rows of asparagus . Hardwood ash is rich in potassium and calcium and other minerals.

Asparagus Fed Wood Ashes

Asparagus Fed Wood Ashes

Asparagus thrive when hardwood ashes are applied to the soil and tomatoes love it when they are put directly into to the hole at planting time. Hardwood ash should never be applied to a potato patch as it may contribute to the development of potato scab.

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Electric Drip Coffee Maker

I got an email yesterday and a question the day before about the coffee pot that’s sitting on the cook stove in the Hot Spot post from a couple of days ago.


Maybe other readers are interested in that coffee pot too. So what follows below is some old-fashioned show and tell.

Non-Electric Drip Coffee Pot

Non-Electric Drip Coffee Pot

We have hard water on our farm. And hard water has killed every electric drip coffee maker that we’ve ever owned. So years ago we gave up on electric coffee makers and switched to either range top perked coffee or the Melitta pour over system for coffee.
Both methods make good coffee. But both methods have drawbacks for our particular household.
Stove top perked coffee is wonderful but takes too long on most mornings.
The Melitta system uses expensive paper filters and I’m not wild about buying disposable anything.

So a few years ago while on a Lehman’s Hardware trip we found a Lindys stainless steel drip coffee maker in their “Lehman’s Outlet” store for $40.
(Lehman’s Outlet is really the scratch and dent section from the old store that was moved out of the store into another building after their big expansion)
The coffee maker consists of 4 pieces: a lid, basket, basket top and pot that all fit together.

4 Parts Of The Non-Electric Drip Coffee Maker

4 Parts Of The Non-Electric Drip Coffee Maker

Here’s how to make a really good cup of coffee with one.
Set a kettle of water on to boil.
Place the basket on top of the pot.
Measure ground coffee into the basket well

Coffee Goes In Basket

Coffee Goes In Basket

and then place the basket top over the coffee.

Basket Top Covers Coffee In Basket

Basket Top Covers Coffee In Basket

We use 1 tablespoon of regular ground grocery store coffee to 1 cup of water.

Measuring Out Regular Grind Grocery Store Coffee

Measuring Out Regular Grind Grocery Store Coffee

After the water begins to boil remove it from the heat.
Allow the water to just cease boiling and quickly pour the water over top of the basket assembly.

Pouring Hot Water Into Coffee Pot

Pouring Hot Water Into Coffee Pot

Allow the hot water to drip through.

Coffee Dripping Through Basket Into Pot

Coffee Dripping Through Basket Into Pot

After the coffee has finished dripping, remove the entire basket assembly from the pot and set aside.
We usually set it on top of bowl because sometimes it will still drip a little coffee.
The lid is put on top of the pot and the coffee pot can then be set on the stove to keep it warm.
The manufacture suggests the use of paper coffee filters but we have found that with paper coffee filters much more coffee needs to be used. Without the paper filters sometimes grounds will get into the bottom of the coffee pot but it’s not bad. I’d rather put up with some grounds than have to keep buying paper filters and extra coffee.

Coffee Grounds In Coffee Pot

Coffee Grounds In Coffee Pot

The non-electric stainless steel coffee pots are expensive. But they pay for themselves over time. We have used our coffee pot every day for well over 3 or 4 years without a problem.

Chickens