Refurb of Cherry JK Adams Cutting Board

Chop Away

Melanie had a very bad case of cutting board envy, as I tend to hog up our huge Adams maple cutting board. Thus I was dispatched to find her a board of her own. The one we wanted from Thailand turned out to be from the “not available” category. Thus I was instructed to look on fleabay.

This Adams end grain cherry cutting board was available for less the twenty dollars. It did have a small crack on one side, but I have plenty of heavy duty clamps. It also needed to be refinished, as it appeared that it had never been oiled even once.

Some glue and a big Jorgensen bar clamp solved the crack problem, and the hairline crack that remained was filled up with sander dust, which is an old repair person’s trick. Now a positive word about sanders.

I rarely use sanders, but having fallen ill with the dreaded Gearhead Syndrome, I bought three anyway. The two random orbit sanders are a small Ryobi one, and a massive Bosch one. The beast of a belt sander I have is a now legendary Swiss made Bosch one. After two decades of work, it still runs perfectly.

This was a perfect job for the little Ryobi. I started with fine discs, then finished with a 320 grit disc. A few coats of food grade Danish oil, which is polymerized linseed oil, and it’s ready for decades of cutting .

Bellflower, Leatherflower–Two Native Vines

Relocated Texan

A hort cliche is that there are “much neglected” plants, to which I say–good. The native clematis species fit this category perfectly. More than a few are not even available commercially.

This red guy, Clematis texensis, is one pricey unit, if you can even find one available. I swapped for this plant with a nursery owner in Texas, and now have a whole jar of seeds. It’s hardy and a beauty. In return, I sent her–

A Garden City Native

Clematis reticulata isn’t particularly rare, but is rarely sold. We have a few hundred of them, all growing wild. In fact the phenotype, or original sample that the species was described from, came from where we live in Garden City. We have so many I have even stopped collecting seed for these.

In short, if these plants can grow in the sandpile we live on, they will grow in most places. The hardest part is just finding them.

Outdoor Kitchen, Old School, Part One–A Brick Oven, and a Curtain of Green

Ms. Eudora Welty came up with the Curtain Line

No stainless steel grills here, just bricks, camp stoves, and the end of an old propane tank, made into a fire pit. Welcome to old school, part one.

Our primary fuel is wood, mostly dead fall from our 5.5 acres of forest. The brick oven can take a couple of logs at once. It makes one mean pizza, or two. I need to get back into baking big loaves of sourdough bread.

Twenty two years and a few more days later, I am ready to do the trim work on this multi ton beast. Here’s the side view.

Egg Tempera Paint

That’s homemade paint, that came out very well. The siding was made a few miles from here. I have to buy some wood for the trim. Now for the back, which will be the center, or workplace, for the rustic kitchen.

Hobo Kitchen

Four more fuels available here, which I will get into later. The camp stoves burn alcohol, kerosene, and white gas. The blackish paint is flour paint. The wood grill on the right is my riff on a Tuscan style outdoor grill. The whole thing is as rustic as can be. I might even finish it one day.

A Curtain of Green is a great book by Ms. Welty, and the title of an equally great short story. It’s what happens here in this part of the South in the spring–the forest becomes so thick that a person cannot see through it. A great metaphor is forever.

Optimus 45–Rehab and Refurb Time

Over Half Way to the Full Monty

Even a Sherman tank requires the occasional repair, and so does the Optimus 45 kerosene stove. Two legs fell off this stove, and I just started with some super glue, and then did the real work with some solder.

Then I over-pressurized it, and blew out some solder in the seam around the tank, and made a great kerosene geyser. I have that about 90% repaired, but still get to solder some more. Could this be an excuse to buy an actual soldering gun?

Last, my best brain infarction. The cast iron Tilley cooking ring came completely unfinished, and as a cast iron expert wanna-be, I immediately thought–bacon fat. Two trips to the oven and the iron is now bright black.

A few more minutes of soldering, and this dude is ready to cook.

Wood Scrapers, Part Two–Barely Scraping By

Boo on Sandpaper

An entire set of curved scrapers costs the same or less than a box of sandpaper. The difference is that the scraper can last for years, or even decades, and doesn’t fill up your lungs with carcinogenic sander dust. Though the above curved scrapers are identical in appearance, they are of two thicknesses. The .04mm ones are for fine scraping, and the .06 are for more heavy duty work.

At the top right is the famous Bahco/Sandvick scraper. Comes ready to work, and can be used without burnishing. It’s thick for a scraper, at .08mm.

The scraper bring grabbed by the old Stanley #82 is a mystery, as the calipers say it is more than 0.1mm thick. It’s as stiff as a plane bade, and has prepared, aka beveled edges, on two ends, German style. it will make some serious shavings.

A typical burnishing setup includes a vise, and a metal working one is best. An absolute must is a good file, and sharpening stone. A carbide burnisher makes things much easier, and I have a great one that was made by Lee Valley Tools in Canada.

Scrape away. Your lungs will thank you.

May Day Breakfast with New Taters, Homegrown Eggs, and Leftovers

Let’s Eat!

We started off International Worker’s Day the right way, with our once every weekend Farmer’s Omelette. We had to celebrate the needs of workers to conserve every penny, so we made this partly with leftovers, although they were no ordinary leftovers. Having grown up on what we call a “dirt farm,” I know how to use a leftover.

The Base

Heaviest Skillet available

1 slice good Bacon (preferably organic)

New Taters, Precious

Just Enough Time to Wash off the Dirt

First, cook the slice of bacon. The real purpose of this is to render out the fat needed to fry the taters. I like to add some olive oil for extra flavor, if needed. These little gems didn’t need any. The Yukon Golds were so tender I didn’t even peel them. Naturally, I had planted them in composted chicken manure to begin with.

Fry the taters until practically done, and chop the bacon. Turn the oven on to 400 F. Time for the magic leftovers.

Leftovers

Grilled organic Onions

Grilled organic cherry Tomatoes

Chicken kabobs on Friday night, grilled over hardwood charcoal. It was all too good, and had those two left over. The Florida Maters were halved, and the onions diced. They just needed to be warmed, so I threw them in with the chopped bacon. Then came the money shot.

Eggs

Homegrown Eggs

Our chickens are getting fat and happy, and we had nine eggs on two days each last month–and we only have eight hens. Currently we are feeding about five families with our eggs. The birds will without doubt be demanding overtime feed soon.

Cook the eggs over-easy style in the oven, but without turning them over. Watch this like a chicken on lookout for a hawk, and take out while the yolk is still runny. This is more than enough to feed the two of us, plus a snack for our two dogs. They especially like the taters.