cooking (42)

Monday Morning Fish Fry

Day at the beach Yesterday I walked a few miles along the coast, carrying my wetsuit, surf mat and fins in a backpack. I’ve had the mat for over a year and never used it. It was sunny, the ocean glassy, surf 3-4 feet, but breaking straight across. Suited up — gotta bite the bullet sometime — and hit the water. Two surfers out, getting creamed each time they got up…When I got out, surf had jumped to 4-6′, breaking kah-wump with big thick lips…Bottom line: surfing a mat ain’t as easy as I thought, or as easy as it looks. I had a hard time getting in the right place at the right time. I did get one ride, but also got pounded a couple of times. But you know, at my age, I ain’t complainin, just getting in the water always generates chi…On the way back, there were these rock sculptures, hadn’t been there a few hours earlier.

   Tiny Homes On The Move is moving, albeit slowly. Rick has been working over a month, doing Photoshop work on the 1,000+ photos, many of which need resuscitation; on some of these he’s performing minor miracles, bringing out lacking color, depth and sharpness…I had a sort of breakthrough Friday when I cancelled a planned kayak adventure to Drake’s Estero and stayed here and got the intro and credits pages done, had been putting off for weeks. Now that everything is laid out, we will spend a month or so making corrections, and coming up with a cover.
Half Acre Homestead: I’m doing a presentation on tools Friday here at Commonweal. Click here.
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SilverFire Clean Cooking

Original alert from Tiny House News.

Every day over 3 billion people in the developing world cook food on open fires or inefficient cook stoves fueled by coal or solid biomass, jeopardize human health, contribute to household & community air pollution, and impact environmental devastation by depleting forests and increasing soil erosion. 4 million premature deaths occur every year due to exposure from toxic smoke emissions. Consequently women and children are disproportionately impacted by household air pollution.

Click here

Mike W

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A Change on This Blog

This blog has been wonderful for me with feedback. There are a bunch of like minded people out there who to turn me on to things I’m into, and give me advice, leads, facts, and criticism. Totally great, especially out here in the boondocks.

   BUT I’m getting so many good tips in the “Comments” section here that I can’t keep up with them all. I need to get this book done!

   What I’ve been doing is going to the link recommended and if I like it, make it into a post — which takes time — downloading images, selecting text, creating a link, then posting.

   I do this because I don’t think many people read comments on old posts, and a bunch of these things are so great. It’s got to the point where I have a backlog of referred URLs to post, and it stresses me out to look at them all in my (Eudora — still) inbox in the morning

   SO! I’m going to start posting the comments (or emails) as they come in, au naturel, so you can check them out from scratch. Big time-saver for me. To wit:

Hey Lloyd,

A filmmaker friend of mine just completed a short film about a boot-maker in Pendleton, Oregon who is searching for someone to carry on his legacy. Thought you might want to help spread the word.




From Lynn Kading:

4-Year-old Girl’s Vegetable Garden Must Go, Says USDA

From Mike W:

“….Have you ever felt trapped in a static life you didn’t choose? Ever considered just walking away from it all and creating your own adventure? When Josh and Jessa Works asked themselves these questions, they answered by loading their son Jack into an Airstream and launching into an exploration and rediscovery of America, not in search of a place to settle, but rather creating a new kind of home out of wandering….”

stumbled onto this on someone’s facebook page..

From: CLL


Thanks for all your good work.  Been a fan for more years than either of us would want to admit <g>.

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Culture Shock: Manhattan to Rural Washington-The Mother Earth News Fair

Boy, what a difference. From the intensity of NYC to a laid-back medium sized town in farmland with wide streets and houses with porches…I got here (Puyallup, Washington) yesterday around noon. About half an hour in my rented Ford Focus south of Seattle. Town of about 35,000, Puyallup is in a fertile farming valley. With about 5 hours sleep in 2 nights (haven’t I said this before?), I checked into hotel and went to The Mother Earth News Fair in the giant (“6th largest in world”) Puyallup Fair Grounds, got sucked in and stayed all afternoon (rather than taking a nap).

   I absolutely love this fair. Totally up my alley. First thing off, I went into the chicken building, where they had some 500 chickens on display. Chicken aficionado’s paradise. I lost track of time looking at all  these beautiful birds. Rest of afternoon: prettiest yurts (for sale, made in Mongolia) I’ve ever seen, a tiny high-tech exquisitely built stainless steel stove, tons of tools, ideas, inspiration for gardeners, builders, homesteaders…

   Writing this on rainy Sunday morning from the Anthem Cafe in downtown Puyallup with a triple shot (very good) latte and heated cinnamon bun, getting ready to go down to the fairgrounds, wander more, shoot more pics, and get ready for my “The Half Acre Homestead” presentation today.

   I’m way backed up on photos to post, will do so when I get time. Experiences too like last night’s fish and chips and 2 pints of Irish Death chocolately dark porter at the TK Irish Pub & Eatery with 6 sports TVs going, good hometown bar ambiance and some pretty drunk Puyallupers cheering on Seattle’s soccer team and singing one song after another…

   I just handed one of the Tiny Homes mini books to a little curly haired lively looking 4-year-or-so-old boy in the cafe here and he’s been thumbing through the pages for several minutes…

Chicken pictured here was listed as: “Classification: Modern Game; Variety: Brown/Red. Elegant little bird.

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Shelter at The Maker Faire

The Maker Faire was just great. I’d never think that something so nerd-oriented would appeal to me, but  there was soul in addition to all the robots and tech wizardry. We had a booth in the “Homegrown Village” section and sold more books than we have at any event ever. The booth, designed by Lew Lewandowski and manned by Lew and my son Evan, was mobbed the entire 2 days, most of the interest being in our Tiny Homes book.


My talks on “The Half-Acre Homestead” went well; maybe 125 kindred spirits in the audience each day.

Read More …

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Lloyd’s “Half Acre Homestead” Talk at Maker Faire This Weekend

Two years ago I did a “1/4 acre homestead” talk at the Maker Faire at the San Mateo County (Calif.) Event Center). This time around, I have a lot more material, plus URLs on all the tools I’m going to show. I’ll be doing a presentation on the Maker Faire Stage, at 2 PM on Saturday, May 18th, and at 2 PM Sunday, May 19th. Information on the Faire:  Reviews of the Faire:

I’ll be showing slides of our homestead, and the various tools we use around here in the kitchen, garden, and shop — from 40+ years’ experience. I’ve picked the tools I think are unique and maybe not so well known, and left off all the ones that I think people may already know about. We’ve posted the URLs on our website here: and I’ll be passing out cards with a QR code so people in the audience so they can check out any of these tools when they get home. I’ll also have copies of our Tiny Homes mini book (2″ x 2″) to give out.

Lew and Evan will be manning a booth (#4925) in the Expo Hall. This is the largest hall, and our booth is at the back. We’ll be showing the process we use in producing books, including the first draft layout pages done with scissors and scotch tape. We’ll also be selling copies of our building books, and giving away mini books.

Photo: draining dish rack in our kitchen built (20 years ago) by Lew Lewandowski

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Cook’s Illustrated

I fell in love with this magazine the first time I laid eyes on it. The layout, the drawings, the consistency. There are no ads! The design is elegant. The front cover and rear cover of each issue are always lovely paintings of food by two different artists: Robert Papp and John Burgoyne.

   Not only does it look good in the graphic arts sense, but the articles and recipes look to be a cook’s delight.

    It’s tied in with the TV and radio shows America’s Test Kitchen.

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Sunday afternoon, am listening to “America’s Back 40,” great Sunday afternoon program on KPFA by Mary Tilson. All my kind of music. A lot of pleasant surprises by Mary, who’s obviously got a great collection.

   Also, our local radio station, KWMR has a unique selection of music.


A few days back, I drove north and took a long beach walk and returned with mussels and seaweed (for garden and food). These days I get the smaller mussels, big ones are pretty tough. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll just steam them in a little water, red wine, and chopped parsley and garlic.This time the broth turned out purple from the wine. Infusion of ocean essence.

  Had a pigeon 2 nights ago. They’ve proved tough, so I hung this one for few days and it was really good. With red wine, rice, garden greens.

   I just read the chapter “Aging Game Birds” in Hunt, Gather, Cook by Hank Shaw, a very good book (Rodale) on obtaining and cooking from the wild. Also was reading about cooking pigeons in Chez Panisse Cooking by Paul Bertolli/Alice Waters. They serve a lot of pigeons at the restaurant, they say. They have a recipe for making broth from the bones, which are baked or grilled, then chopped up with big cleaver and simmered an hour in light beef or chicken broth. I’m going to try it in the next day or two, with the pigeon bones and duck bones. Got to be good.

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Shelter’s Publications

Tiny Homes On the Move Getting photos in from all parts of the world is slow going. Right now we’re trying to get large enough photo files on the Vaka Moana sailing canoes from the South Pacific. Three of these 66′ catamarans sailed into our bay here in 2011, and we’re doing the story of our local fishermen going out to visit them, and of their mission with the Pacific Ocean. They’re navigating by the stars.

   I’m also working on a story on The Moron Brothers, two good-ole-boy Kentucky bluegrass musicians who drift along the Kentucky River in a shantyboat, fishing, eating, telling jokes, and playing some really good bluegrass.

   This morning I just put together two pages on a 54 sq. ft. gypsy vardo with beautiful wooden interior; it’s on a trailer and can be moved at speeds up to 60mph.

   Right now we’ve done rough layout on about 40 nomadic units — on wheels or in the water. Slow moving, but the more days that pass, the better it gets.

The Half Acre Homestead I’m doing presentations on this subject at the Maker Faire in San Mateo this May and at the Mother Earth News Faire in Puyallup, Washington June 2nd. It will cover all the tools we’ve settled on after decades of building and raising and preparing food on a small piece of land. Also photos to give you ideas: kitchen setup, raised garden beds, bantam chickens, foraging, etc.

   You needn’t own a piece of land to utilize some of these tools or techniques. You may live in a city and want to grind your own grain and make your own bread, or carve a wooden spoon, or grow chives in a window box.

   These are tools for people wanting to use their own hands in crafts, or in providing some of their own food and/or shelter. Country, suburban, or urban. There are a lot of things you can do yourself.

   We’re working on URLs for each tool or technique, and we’ll post them on our website. If I really get organized, I’ll pass out cards at my talk with the our website URL and QR code.

  Lately I’ve been thinking of making this into a book. Right now I can’t see what form this one will take, but it should be smaller and cheaper than our color building books. Black & white? I’ve been looking at Sears and Wards catalogs from turn-of-century.

Music de Jour Marian Janes: “I Know a Good Time;” Magic Sam, “I Feel So Good.”

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