Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Friday, March 05, 2010

our kitchen

starting some posts on the places that we inhabit.

presenting our kitchen.

it is a simple earthen floored and walled 200 sq ft square room.
the roofing is a regular sloping thatched roof. the defining feature of most constructions in point return is the use of stone to prevent ingress of termites. the kitchen walls are mud+hay (called cob) which are laid by hand on stone bases. the roof is supported by stone pillars and there is no contact between the walls (mud) and the roof (wood). so termites will have to find another place for the regular meals.
extending the insect-proofing, the floor is regularly (once a week) swept with cowdung (diluted in water). this keeps the ants and other creepies away (a mini salaam to the cow).

ok, here is the main part of any kitchen; the fireplace.
we are fully firewood based (building a solar oven as you read this blog) and the cornerstone of the kitchen is the rocket stove.
cooking on wood fire coats the pans with soot (and cooking temperatures are far higher than a gas/kerosene stove), which is easy to manage if one uses earthenware, but tough when you try to cook with stainless steel ceramic, etc.
so all our cooking utensils are clay pots of various beautiful sizes and shapes (that's another post).
the rangoli happens every friday morning. (2 almost similar photos)

here is an quick dekko of our water pots..

and finally the larder. all our provisions are stored in this locally built, spacious and totally rat-proof (yes my dear readers, we share pR with many rodents).
am tempted to make a 'rat-race' dig, but shall desist :-)


Vanessa said...

Very basic living. Wow! Its really tough "unlearning" the way you have always done certain things. Learning being the easier part. Would you say so?

Did you guys master the art of lighting up that fireplace? Using a tube to blow air with perfect speed and frequency... suppressing the urge to cough?

csm said...

the rocket stove rarely requires too much blowing through the pipe for maintaining the fire. and smoke is also very limited.
i am now a certified fire starter and maintainer.
through the summer, the wood will be dry and will burn well.
we will have to do some very serious wood management in rains/winter.

if you like something, there is no time spent to unlearn and re-learn. it all becomes a continuous process.

Organic Farmer said...

A neat kitchen with a branched stove. If i remember correct it is termed as in Tamil "Kilai Aduppu " the one on the left meant for slow cooking. Anyway can i visit your farm to see your activity ?

Regards & Thanks

giri kumar

Mr.Ish . . . said...

hi.. can you remember me..... had u build your personal home there....when i came its under cons.

Anonymous said...

How do you avoid / prevent termites from attaching your storage(pulses/rice/etc) and wooden funitures?

Earthern mud house is great, and much cooler than cement based house. but i'm facing a lot of termits problem.