Life Off the Grid

by John Waco Jr July. 02, 2018 225 views

Taking the Alternative Energy Plunge When my wife and I moved to Arizona, we found a comfortable home on several acres with a view of the mountains. There was only one hitch – the house was off the grid. In fact, everyone in the subdivision generated their own power, including the bed and breakfast nearby. That doesn’t mean it was primitive. The house had solar panels, a wind turbine, a battery bank and inverter, a generator, and a full range of appliances including washer and dryer, refrigerator, stove, satellite TV, propane furnace, and even a dishwasher. Since I had operated a cogeneration power plant before coming to Arizona, I wasn’t too concerned about generating my own electric power, so we bought the house. Life Off the Grid.

The previous owner showed me the critical facilities and told me how to operate them. When we moved in we put CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) in every light socket, programmed the thermostat to automatically lower the temperature at night, and made sure to turn off the lights when we left a room. We thought we had everything under control. On our third night in the house, we went to bed as usual to the faint sound of wind outside, a sound we were already beginning to enjoy because it generated most of our power. In the middle of the night, I was awakened by the sound of – nothing. No hum of the refrigerator, no furnace fan, and no wind. The tiny power light on the carbon monoxide detector was out, as was the digital display on the clock radio. We had no power.

Alternative, clean energy options for the home are booming. Homeowners are increasingly presented affordable and alternative energy options to choose from. Traditional solar panels are a great option if you have a piece of land or roof that gets sufficient sun, however if budget permitting, why not explore new technologies such as the Tesla Solar Roof. Elon Musks’ revolutionary Solar Roof is purported to last twice as long as a traditional roof (and maybe much longer) and it will both reduce if not totally eliminate electricity costs and, paired with a Tesla Powerpack battery, provide you with backup energy in the case of blackouts.

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Sourdough Biscuits

Sourdough biscuits were a delicacy whether on the trail or at the ranch. Once a cook got a good sourdough starter he cherished it like a baby. On the trail he would store it in a dark, cool place in his chuck wagon. There are several ways to make sourdough starter: Here is one cook's recipe for a sourdough starter. 2 cups of lukewarm potato water 2 cups flour 1 tablespoon sugar Make potato water by cutting up 2 medium-sized potatoes into cubes, and boil in cups of water until tender. Remove the potatoes and measure out two cups of the remaining liquid. (The potatoes can be used for the evening meal.) Mix the potato water, flour and sugar into a smooth paste.

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food

Bacon and Cheddar Meatloaf

Ingredients For meatloaf  Yellow onion 1 Small , chopped finely  Chopped garlic 1 Tablespoon  Red bell pepper 1 , chopped  Ground chuck 3 Pound  Salt & pepper To Taste  Thyme 1 Teaspoon  Brown mustard 1 Teaspoon  Worcestershire sauce 3/4 Cup (12 tbs)  Eggs 3  Plain bread crumbs 1 Cup (16 tbs)  Jalapeno ketchup 1/2 Cup (8 tbs) (Melinda's)  High temperature cheddar cheese 8 Ounce For loaded potato  Idaho potatoes 6 Pound , peeled and cut into cubes  Water 2 Liter  Salt & pepper To Taste  Butter 4 Tablespoon  Evaporated milk 4 Tablespoon  Sour cream 8 Ounce  Shredded sharp cheddar cheese 3/4 Cup (12 tbs) (Divided)  Crumbled bacon 1/2 Cup (8 tbs) (Divided)  Chopped green onions 6 Tablespoon.

Directions

1. Prepare the grill and bring up the temperature to 250 F for cooking the meat loaf. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

MAKING

2. Mix together ground chuck, onion, bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Throw in dried thyme, brown mustard, worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, egg, jalapeno ketchup and high temperature cheddar cheese cubes. Mix it all well. Bundle up in a loaf shape.

3. Layer bacon strips on an aluminium foil. Fold alternate strips and place a new strip perpendicularly at the end. Open the folds. Fold the other alternate strips and place another strip perpendicularly. Continue to fold and place new strips of bacon as seen in the video. Put the bacon weave in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. When the bacon is hard, place the meat loaf over the bacon weave and roll the weave around meat loaf.

5. Place a probe in the middle of the loaf and put the loaf on the grill. Let it cook under the dome, until it reaches an internal meat temperature of 165 F, approximately 2 hours. Turn in the middle of the cook.

6. Meanwhile, soak potatoes in water and salt and pepper.

7. Drain off the water and place the potatoes in a stand up mixer. Whip the potatoes with butter, evaporated milk and sour cream. Blend it all together. Add 1/4 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and 4 tablespoon crumbled bacon and mix it all well until everything gets well incorporated. Season potatoes, if required.

8. Spread whipped potatoes on a baking dish. Sprinkle remaining sharp cheddar cheese and green onions all over. Throw in the some more crumbled bacon and bake the potatoes at 350 F in a preheated oven until the bacon in cooked. Sprinkle some more bacon and place it back in the oven until everything is hot and bubbly.

SERVING 9. Slice and serve the meat loaf with loaded potates. Enjoy!

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Laurie Madsen 1 year, 2 months ago

Ah, Cabin Life!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
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