I used to try to save the world now I just try not to injure her. I have been on a quest for natural materials and am learning a lot. Thank goodness for the internet! I also learn a lot from TV; especially the home improvement channels. The new in-word is ‘repurposing.’ We used to call it scavenging!
I know how to be poor and happy and now people around the world are learning how to be poor. I wish them happiness.
Before I start the informative part of this post let me put out a plea: anyone who is considering demolishing or even just removing any building materials please contact me. I am short on money and long on time. If I can help you by helping myself I am all for that. Just PM me – or call – or stop by.
I have covered three very different mediums
BAMBOO FABRIC. . . INDUCTION COOKING. . . ON DEMAND HOT WATER
I hope you get something out of at least one of them. Now for what I’ve learned
Bamboo is the hottest new environmentally sound material imaginable. Can you believe they are making fabric from it? I have just purchased a LOT of sheets, pillow cases, towels and rugs; all made from bamboo. These are the softest towels you will ever feel. They are very absorbent yet dry quickly. They do not mold or mildew. The colors are wonderful
When I opened my first set of sheets I just wrapped myself in one. Back when I made good money and thought I was very important I wore nothing but silk blouses with my business suits. These sheets are just like that; thin, light weight and like down you do not overheat but do stay warm. And again the colors are wonderful!
Before I order anything online I read the buyers reviews. The only complaints I have read make me believe the person did not believe the instructions to not use fabric softener. I realize that many folks do not understand that fabric softener can actually be used to make a garment water resistant.
Fabric softener will undo all the goodness associated with bamboo fabric. I followed directions and washed these before using. When I took the first set out of the washer I was horrified. They were as stiff as cardboard. However, I put them right into the dryer (I was in California) and they came out deliciously soft.
The other complaints were they were too thin. YES – compared to 200 thread count percale. (I’m being factious) Yes, you can almost see through the ivory colored one but I will see how it wears. Some are 400 thread count the others are 600.
My next great discovery is induction cooking. I had purchased a small single burner one to test out and had only one pan that would cook on it (they must be magnetic). Even at that I got rid on my two burner electric hot plate.
Last month I ordered the two burner, glass top, ready to be built into a counter top – top of the line cook top. I have used it daily since September 24th. It does everything it is billed to do and this one is much more sophisticated. I can set the temperature in increments from 180 to 450 degrees. I can also set the timer and I have not tested its range.
To cook rice I bring the water to a boil, add the rice, wait a minute for it to once again boil, stir it and put the lid on. Then i turn it down to 180 and set the timer for 20 minutes. Perfect rice and if I walk away and forget about it when I come to my senses it is done and turned off. What could be easier?
For all you chef’s out there who like to lift and shake your pan; I tested it and if you do not dally when you set it back the burner continues where it left off.
I took a magnet and went around the stores testing pans. Some makers are now actually stamping the bottom “Induction Ready.” Most of these are pretty heaving and I had to get them back here. Wal Mart has a line of nice looking light weight magnetic units so I bought a 3 quart sauce pan, a large and an extra large skillet. I tested them on the cooktop before I packed them. My bonus is that these are easy for me to handle and clean easier than Teflon. I like to keep the outsides of my pans as new looking as the insides and with this cook top that is easy to do.
The only difficulty I had was cooking spaghetti. I have now done it three times and realized that I needed to have a higher temp than I was using. Since to boil water I use 210 degrees I figured that was good enough for the pasta. Not so.
The really ‘cool’ part of this is that it is cool. Yes there is some heat in the glass top for about 2 minutes after turning off the burner. But it is not so hot that it could burn you. I have tested this by putting my hand on it. I did burn myself on the pot the first time I used it. I touched it to see if it was hot – and it was.
I keep a cloth cover over the unit just so it won’t accidently get scratched (my living quarters are very cramped now and visited often by a 9 year old boy). While cooking on one unit I was wiping off the rest of the unit and accidently turned on the other burner. Now, one of the safety features is that the burner will not stay on unless there is a suitable cooking pan on it. I did have my big skillet on top of the cloth so the burner did come on. BTW they always come on at 270 and you then select the temp you want. When I discovered this about 5 minutes later I lifted the skillet which was hot and found that the cloth not only did not burn it was not even hot. WOW
If all goes well I will buy a second one and place them a foot or more apart and make two cooking areas. I will take the single burner for my coffee making area as it heats water in the amount of time it takes me to clean the French Press coffee maker and grind the beans. What a great life.
ON DEMAND HOT WATER
Last but not least are the on-demand hot water heaters. Over 15 years ago I installed a very expensive one in my California house as, in order to create a bathroom, I had to remove the 40 gallon hot water tank. I never regretted one cent of the cost.
Now they have come so far down in cost I bought two for my new house. They can run on a small propane tank or butane (which I don’t like). One is made to mount on the outside so I will put it where the existing hot water tank (that we keep turned off in warm weather) is now located. This will feed the two small (existing) downstairs units.
The other is to be placed inside and also can run on propane or butane. This will feed the top of the house.
I am committed to be as ecologically responsible as possible and am open for more information. If this has helped anyone I would love to hear from you.