In the 1920s and 1930s, housing and land was expense and out of reach of most working folks. Prior to the modern loan system, real estate was bought with all or most of the capital up-front. Lower expectations about utilities and amenities made shanty boat living an inviting prospect, especially in river towns with decent … Continue reading Another Shanty Boat
Long, cold nights in the Midwest. Limited mobility due to injury. A need to create new things A desire to fund my trips later this year... This is a recipe for high productivity in the workshop. Fortunately, I have a fairly large stockpile of leather and supplies to see me through my projects as I … Continue reading Work from the Leather Shop
"The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get "a good job," but to perform well a certain work; and, even in a pecuniary sense, it would be economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that they would not feel that they were working for low ends, … Continue reading Thoughts on Labor – 1854
This wonderful little piece comes from Slate in the Vault blog. It's a great broadside advertisement from a 1690 coffeehouse entrepreneur claiming the benefits of our now most commonly used drug on Earth, caffeine. Coffee was known in Europe but new as a common drink and still a bit suspect since it came from Arabia … Continue reading The Virtues of Coffee, Chocolate, and Tea
Another gem from Erin O’Reilly’s blog.
Happy Friday, all! Made it through another week. I was in the car the other day with The Boy and we heard a public service message about food waste. Did you know:
Consumers are responsible for more wasted food than farmers, grocery stores, restaurants, or any other part of the food supply chain, so changing household behavior is key to reducing the problem of food waste. 21 percent of the food each person buys goes to waste, with the average American family of four spending $1,800 per year on food that they don’t eat and each individual tosses about 20 pounds of food per month, adding up to 238 pounds of wasted food a year.
The Ad Council put together this video on the life and times of a strawberry, a product that’s near and dear to my local heart.
Now, our family is as guilty as the next. Leftovers…
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Just a quick follow-up from yesterday's post... The sporran is complete and ready to go so, of course, I had to model it to show the size and wearability. Here is the Maker in his workshop sporting the new bag. I didn't bother to "kilt up" but that is the belt I frequently wear when … Continue reading Action Photos
I have been wanting to make a few sporrans based on the classic 18th century style. This type, often referred to as a Rob Roy style, is a fairly simple, single pocket design that can have a number of variations. The one I'm making here is from 6 oz full-grain hide and should outlive it's … Continue reading Sporran in Progress
Here is a great and insightful quote from over on Musclehead’s blog by Ida Tarbel.
“Ida Minerva Tarbell was an American writer, investigative journalist, biographer and lecturer. She was one of the leading muckrakers of the progressive era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and pioneered investigative journalism.”
“If it has taught us anything, it is that our present law-makers, as a body, are ignorant, corrupt and unprincipled; that the majority of them are, directly or indirectly, under the control of the very monopolies against whose acts we have been seeking relief.”
I’m sharing this little introduction to home distilling. If you’ve never thought about this before, it may be worth looking into. Enjoy!
The science of distillation has been around since 3000 BCE. There are four types of distillation: laboratory, industrial, herbal/perfumery, and food processing. These last two, herbal/perfumery and food processing, are the two we concern ourselves with today.
What Is Distillation?
Distillation is a process of purifying liquids through controlled boiling and condensation. A liquid is converted into a gas/vapour through heat, and then recondensed through cooling to return the vapor to a liquid form.
How Do You Distill?
You’ve probably seen an apparatus called a retort, or alembic, a glass container with a long, bent neck sloping downwards. As the substance heats up, the vapor travels down the neck and cools. A separate container catches the vapor as it returns to a liquid state. Figures III and VII below show two vessels that could be used to distill (1727).
Fig. VII shows a distillation setup. 1727
As you can…
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“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life. Awakening from the stupefying effects of the vice of … Continue reading Wilderness Time – Wise Words from John Muir