Whats for Dinner Tonight?

If you can do welding!! You can make as many stoves/water heaters/ prob. houses too, as you like. Have you got a photo?
I’ve been using an old alu. pot, from a defunct rice cooker for ages. it was OK, but all kinds of faults, eg, if it rains…no food. Lots of flames, sparks, in the middle of woodland, when everything is dry, …probably somebody fried The Amazon Rainforest, by using one similar, so I went off it gradually.
Often semi-made a rocket stove, before, but decided THIS TIME, to get it right.
The truth is…the basic component, most vital, is a bit of chimney flu pipe. And some insulation material. Rock wool, I will use, this eve. Snitch a bit from the attic.
Propped up by 4 tallish concrete blocks, bingo. Done.
Standing on wire mesh over a brick cavity for some of the fuel.
I thought it wasn’t working. Went to get my cup. And the fire seemed dead when I came back. Nope. It burned so fast, so hot, the water was hot/boiled, and all the fuel gone.
Its controllable of course. Shut off air supply.

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Hi Jeanette :wave:t3:
Were you perchance a science teacher / engineer in your past life or are you self taught?
I admire your ingenuity, you are so much braver than me.
I would be scared of my handmade contraptions exploding in my face. :scream:
:grin:

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Nope, Tracey! I have been “employed” from time to time, but I’ve been able to survive selling art stuff of different kinds most of my life, so anything with a schedule/timetable/salary/clocking in/out…I couldn’t cope. I wouldn’t mind …one day…attempting to do some art therapy things here… Just interested… Its such a quiet place,…

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Hope you are feeling better today?

Peppered steak from Lidl (3,50E for two) cooked on the barbie, chips (left at a gite), mushrooms, salad from the garden and all washed down with a box of Rose again left at a gite. Total cost about 4 euros.:grinning:

Yes I can imagine the level of ire and not easy to deal with…:heart:

I’ve seen those rocket stoves on permaculture sites and yes they certainly could provide heating to a home so lots to ponder…:grinning:

This will be my fourth winter here and every year the temperature starts to drop I often research methods of “keeping warm in winter with no electricity” and end up on all sorts of survival sites…I watched a video the other day of a chap who had spent 3 years in a home built structure on an embankment…there was lots of discarded concrete blocks and debris all around him but he had managed to make himself a shelter on a flat space of about 12ft square…everywhere was covered in snow but inside he had built a cosy space with shelves and a cooking space and had lights and power powered by an “inverter” I think he said…??? (It lasted a month before he needed to recharge whatever it was)…

I do have electricity and several wall mounted heaters but I didn’t like how the meter was whizzing when they were switched on so invested in 3 paraffin heaters…two with electric ignition and fan and one stand alone so if electric fails that one still works…They maybe don’t work out much cheaper than electric heaters but at least I know that I’ve prepaid my heating and no nasty surprises from EDF…!

My electric is about the same as yours…€37 per month…

Edited to add that my electricity usage is higher in summer which I think must be because my family visit in summer and I have an electric strimmer which I use weekly during summer to keep down les mauvais herbes so I don’t inadvertantly upset my lovely next door neighbours…:slightly_smiling_face:

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I got no help with a recipe for my pathetic sliced rognons de porc, so I sealed them in the frypan with a handful of sliced mushrooms, sprinkled them with piment d’esplette, put them in a shallow dish with some tinned haricots blancs, added a home-made pepper sauce to cover them, and popped it in the oven for 30 minutes covered with foil. Sliced and cooked a courgette as accompaniment while the dish was bubbling up.

The resultant dish was nice and enough for two meals so I saved half for another day. My wife is still in UK.

Quite pleased with myself, as must be obvious from the showy-offy message. :hugs:

Sorry for any possible distress caused to vegans/vegetarians. I do eat lots of vegetables that I grow myself, but need a bit of meat for my muscley bits which aren’t what they were twenty years ago.

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How is Berlina…???

Really don’t apologise to vegetarians…we’re as diverse as any social grouping and in my experience much more likely to say “hey…please don’t feel you have to adjust your plans just for me…”

And as I raw feed my Border Collies then I welcome any and all baby steps towards any and all animal welfare improvements…

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@Helen6 “how’s Berlina,…?”

Berlina’s fine, Thank you Helen. :grinning::hugs:. She went to UK to arrange a private cataract operation as she didn’t have confidence in the ophthalmic surgeon who proposed she have both eyes operated. The British professor told her only one eye needs surgery.

When the French surgeon examined her his breath and comportment was that of someone who had taken a lot of wine with his lunch. Not something to inspire confidence if they are going to slice your eyeball.

She’s back here on Monday awaiting an operation date in October. Local people have told us that the private eye clinic in Vire that has the cataract franchise is not reliable, and it would be advisable to go to Rennes, but it’s too late now, and as she speaks very little French she feels safer in Essex.

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@Helen6 re “…steps towards any and all animal welfare improvements…”

I met a local man in town at a street exhibition on the history of agricultural transformation in the bocage, and he told me that the life of the bovins d’élevage is a mere three years from birth to slaughter, whereas the natural life expectancy of a cow is 15 years, and some live for over 20.

Also that many maize-fed cattle develop liver-disease but their milk is still marketed for human consumption despite possible contamination by toxins. It may not be true, but is worth further investigation IMO. :thinking::roll_eyes::frowning:

I think you will find that Dairy Farmers have their animals tested on a regular basis.

I know that Raw Milk collected from the Dairy Farmer is thoroughly tested before it is accepted into the Milk/Dairy Factory process and Contaminated Milk is refused.

During processing the Milk undergoes further testing.

Every care is taken to ensure that the Milk we drink is NOT contaminated.

Milk is consumed in Hospitals and at home, by all levels of folk, the young, the old, the infirm and the healthy etc - which is why such care is taken at every stage. The chill-chain is also very important to ensure the Milk remains fresh and safe to drink.

:relaxed::relaxed::relaxed:

I haven’t any reason to doubt the statement you set out above, Stella, though it does read rather like PR published by Filière Laitières by way of reassurance :thinking::hugs:…and I consume a good amount of French dairy produce which is very much to my taste :yum:

And I thought the local gossip was
interesting especially as local agriculture centres on dairy, and is a common topic when people meet to “chew the cud” :smiley:

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:relaxed::upside_down_face: You raised a concern and I answered it - calling on my own experience/knowledge of Dairy Processing. :roll_eyes::wink::relaxed::relaxed::relaxed: (which is why I said “I know”)

Over the years, a few Milk Processors have experienced problems/detected problems and have recalled their product. This is the exception though. In the main, the milk available for Joe Public is safe. :relaxed::relaxed::relaxed:

Local gossip is often interesting but, one needs to remember, it might bear little resemblance to reality. :thinking::zipper_mouth_face::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::kissing::kissing:

Of course the issue is things that we can’t as yet test for. As demonstrated by the bCJD problem with meat as the infective agent was, and still is I believe, undetectable.

Our local cows have a happy’ish three years, wandering up the hillside every morning under their own steam, and being able to roam freely until their need to be milked brings them back down again. They are only indoors in depth of winter. However, their life is only about 3 years and they way that have been bred for milk production does cause problems with over-large udders. No so intensive dairy herds. So big difference in animal welfare standards.

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Unfortunately not.
I really want to be better a week today as it is a big get together here.
We had a huge party a couple of weeks ago to celebrate ten years of being in France.
36 guests and assorted children.
It was super.

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It makes me wonder what happened the first time “man” domesticated the cow
Did he worry that he would be later infected or ill as a result of drinking cow-juice?
My own view is that too much processing & making food “safe”…antibiotics & the like…has made us more susceptible (sp) to other things…but that’s a whole other thread.

Yes, I am confident that standards of animal welfare here in France is high.

The small steep fields of the bocage near here are home to small herds of good-looking cattle, and I read recently that the average size of a dairy herd is around 50 cows.

And @smw (note your user ‘handle’ has recently shrunk considerably, are you taking your vitamins :thinking::hugs:?) I do bring appropriate scepticism to gossip everywhere. I suppose I was bored and just needed to pass it on. It’s an age and loneliness thing.

I spent ten minutes in a supermarket yesterday listening to a man whose father was Algerian whom he has never seen and whose mother, he said, was putain. He asked me if I could give him un Euro which he often does. I must look a soft touch: a lad of about 12 on a velo greeted me very politely in the car park as I was putting groceries in the car and asked if I could give him un Euro.

I told him I hoped it wasn’t for drogues and he blushed furiously and said “Ah non!” so I gave him my loose change and he thanked me and cycled off. :hugs::upside_down_face:

Very glad you wrote about inverters/generators, Helen!
Excellent…I needed to look up as much info as can be crammed into an
odd hour or two.
The best resource for me, is almost always YouTube vids, made by people who may have only basic info, to begin, but discover all necessary details in the process of installing/ making errors, of their own. They come in every level, from disastrous/hopeless to pro.
Inverter generators are the later breed of e- power producers …after those colossal stinky noisy machines every serious DIY person used to own.
I thought I might get one of the giants, one day, as no one is near enough to be disturbed, but they all need fuel, essence or gas, or maybe SOLAR power, and because most things I own get paint or turps, all over them, nothing inflammable, is a good idea. I need know a bit more about solar power before doing anything with that… But I’ve downloaded a good e-book now, and will begin basic tests, quite soon. Inverters are better for the kind of power you need for electronics.
Charging phones/bikes/e-kit of all kinds etc.

I know a pop view of motor homing and camping, in Japan, is “paying an enormous amount of money, to live like a homeless person”, but in America, necessary total comfort, that includes every kind of home gadget from tellies to air conditioners and toasters, makes a USA family with a big motorhome, a likely source of useful info. Without being very entertaining, they can still teach beginners a lot.
Two vids I thought informative, were these two people… https://youtu.be/VqReiF8i7h4. … (easy level)

And this guy,


who should quit whatever his day job, is, and become a teacher for dummies, of everything about
" power resources for motor homes (and any “tiny house” in my opinion)…

He uses big Solar Power and bottled gas with an inverter generator, plus all bits.

Meanwhile, my own, very best ways to reduce coldest weather heating costs is

  1. Occupy only small, very well insulated spaces, using small oil filled, radiator.
    2…All work I do at an easel/sitting anywhere, I use an electric blanket, very cheap to run with masses of heat.
  1. Cover all doorways with insulating blanket. (Cat).

Very interesting (for me!)

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Yes and no. Look at infant mortality rates and average life expectancy over the past 3 or 4 thousand years…