From Deb

This is a message from Debra Whitehouse regarding the trolls.


First I want to tell everyone how much I appreciate your patience during this process. Honestly Sally and I were giddy with excitement about receiving 12 orders, then they kept coming and coming, I think 62 was the grand total with a few large donations just because. In my head I was going to be happy if they were all made and out by Halloween (each troll can take 2 hours, sometimes more) but chances are the rest will be going home by Friday of this week. So look for an e-mail from me with a tracking number. And thanks again for supporting the ranch. Don’t forget to check out the Kingpin trolls on E-bay. If you can’t bid, please share, 100% of the profits go to the camp.




She Calls This Cooking

Nicole finally came out and said that this mess is not a rocket stove. Well, duh.  We’ve known that.

Here are some pictures on Pinterest of DIY rocket stoves.

This, of course, doesn’t even slightly resemble those.  This is just Cindy Cinderblock and her siblings piled up haphazardly around a fire with a makeshift grate, with old ash piled up.

Somehow, I think, this is supposed to look all self-sufficienty and homesteady and back-to-naturey.

But what in the hell do they cook on that?

Well, this.

I showed this photo to Dave.  He is probably the easiest-going man on earth when it comes to food.  If it’s edible, he’ll pretty much eat it.  He just doesn’t complain. He’s not picky.

But his comment was this.

That looks like something we’d feed to the pigs but I wouldn’t let them lick the pan.  They have never cleaned that cast-iron pan, ever.

Really?  What am I missing here?  All you gotta do to cook like that is get a few cinderblocks and have a toddler stack them, light a fire and then put an old grate over it. Finding a cast-iron skillet in that condition will, I admit, be pretty hard to do.  Try the local dump.

Then they had a little discussion about sun ovens, which is actually something the Nauglers could use.

Here’s my Sun Oven.  And the pan of brownies in the windowsill came right out of it.  They work beautifully, but the DIY ones pretty much suck. I checked into it before buying mine because they’re sort of pricey. There’s a good reason for that. They have to be made correctly or they simply don’t build up enough heat to do the job.  The homemade ones also weigh a whole lot, while my little Sun Oven is very light.

Most of the people who successfully make solar ovens that actually work end up spending almost as much money as they would have spent if they just bought a Sun Oven. So that’s what I did.  I’ve had mine for 9 years and it doesn’t appear that it will ever wear out.

Factor in living in Kentucky where long blocks of cloudless hours are sometimes hard to find, and it takes a bit of practice to learn to use one. To get it to really heat up, you have to pay attention and go out and turn it to face the sun periodically.

The YouTube videos that show the little cheap ones  are used in Africa not Kentucky.

I have baked in mine, as you can see, including bread.  It’s nice on a hot summer day to not have to heat up the kitchen. It bakes lovely potatoes and of course, stews and soups are similar to what you’d do in a slow cooker.