HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Energy Cafe has been off the virtual radar since June 2010. Find out what’s been going on in the following news updates and stories: Testing Testing – the Hawkwood cookups
The story of The making of Energy Cafe Kitchen
More Solar cooking and the arrival of the sister swirl stove.
Coming soon: Energy Cafe on the move.
The next Open day at Hawkwood Plant Nursery is Sunday 30th January at 12 noon. Check the Organiclea website for further details.
TESTING TESTING…The Hawkwood cookups
Time to start testing the ranger hot plate and oven
and to re ignite our old faithful swirl stove.
and we have a very useful new oven thermometer. Apparently wood such as Ash and blackthorn are the best to cook with, burning slowly at a high temperature. A mix of wood seems to work well. Its quite a job to keep the temp high. On site at Hawkwood Plant Nursery we’ve been cooking up - for the crew, volunteers and visitors. Henry Ranger is being fully tested..baking and roasting in the oven and frying, boiling , simmering and steaming on top.
Tuesday 21st December 2010
The Hawkwood crew say thankyou and
to all their volunteers. This winter solstice coincided with a Lunar Eclipse and full moon.
Energy Cafe joined in the celebration and lit the fire during this shortest day to make hot toddy, roast potatoes and
spicy mulled wine for the occasion.
lit the fire at 10.30am - serving drinks and roast potatoes at 1pm. Max temp 175 degrees
Sunday 28th November
Tea and cakes for Hawkwood Plant Nursery Open Day visitors.
On arrival the trailer was an ice box, it thawed throughout the day, helped by the sun and the ranger fire that took around half an hour to heat up. Physical and practical activity is part of the enjoyment and thrill of Energy Cafe. Simple tasks such as Chopping wood, building fires, filling water butts are a few of the energetic activities that accompanies preparation and cooking food.
The menu: a milky chai, black ceylon or choice of various herbal teas.
With a melt in your mouth bite size Hot Rock Cake.
Baking time: approximately one hour. Oven temp rose to 150 degrees.
Thursday 18th November
just as the chillis ripen in the glass house..
to say thank you and introduce the workings of the kitchen
The Vegetables were supplied by the farm shop stall open every Wednesday and Thursday at Hawkwood Plant Nursery.
The menu: Baked potatoes
and Vegetarian Roots Goulash (seasonal veg including squash, carrots, parsnip and celery).
cooking time: approx two and a half hours.
We made just enough!
If you live locally to Hawkwood Plant Nursery we recommend you check out the farm shop for delicious seasonal vegetables – or even join the weekly box scheme. Its great value and you can really taste the difference!
Sunday 26th September
Students on the Permaculture course at Hawkwood Plant Nursery wanted to cook the Sunday lunch time meal.
So they used Energy Cafe and loved it!
and called the occasion the impromptu ‘inauguration’ of Energy Cafe
It was the first Energy Cafe cook up on the Hawkwood Site – the trailer came to life. As the soup cooked, the salad mixed and plenty of parsley chopped, chatting and laughter filled the hungry atmosphere.
The story of…
The making of Energy Cafe Kitchen.
BEFORE (pictured above May 2010)
AFTER ‘As if it grew there’ (pictured above – with Vince - September 2010)
Handcrafted out of recycled materials by local carpenter Vince, Hawkwood Nursery, Chingford, summer 2010.
with creative tips, advice, inspiration and practical help from the Hawkwood Crew, volunteers; Amanda and Polly and kim
materials donated by FRP (Forest recycling Project )
Energy Cafe kitchen has been collectively designed. The final layout based on designs and ideas gathered from many people during the pilot phase, Gunpowder Park, Waltham Abbey, 2008 – 09.
A gradual transformation
took place over the summer and into the autumn of 2010. Undercover in the Hawkwood Nursery garage, we sketched the design layout and
gathered scrap wood from the street and from skips and anywhere we spied a piece that would fit the job. We stripped the trailer bare, first removing the black rubber side panels and flooring – to let it breathe.
Meanwhile Vince (and his tools) got to work.
First step to remake the the original self supporting ceiling storage unit (designed by Barry at Gunpowder Park).
Then he added storage units for the cups and glasses.
‘as if it grew there’ was his motto. meaning that whatever he made and fitted into the trailer would have to feel naturally part of the kitchen, yes, ‘as if it grew there‘ became our mantra too.
Underneath the rubber flooring we discovered a mature mahogany (we think) hardwood floor – this we sanded and oiled to bring out the natural sheen.
This beautiful and extremely efficient ranger is made by Windy Smithy – the workshop of Jon Snow and Amalia Pes in Devon.
Vince installed the ranger and flue plus designed the quirky flame fire board backing.
Under the paving slab he constructed a very useful bottom drawer for baking tins, tongs and skewers made out of bits of 2 by 2 and oak floorboard. The handle is made out of a part from a fire extinguisher.
Perfectly designed and crafted by Vince.
Made of dowel
and two types of plywood found dumped near Waltham Abbey.
double sink unit - for washing hands and dishes
Handbasin unit (left) orginally made at Gunpowder park by Dave. Sink found in Hackney. Right sink found on a street in Whitechapel, customised and fitted by Vince. Top Unit made of Plywood, Cupboard doors made of scrap palette wood.
Highly polished flexi copper tap
made by Vince out of scrap copper piping that was donated during the pilot phase at Gunpowder park.
foot pumping system
The water system comprises of a foot pump
that draws cold water
from the water hog and pumps it up to the tap. The waste water drains out of the sink through external pipe into bucket.
with wine box drawers and secret compartment by maki. The main unit was made by Man Somerlink during the Pilot phase.
Folding table top addition
made out of oak floorboards found on the streets Hackney
cut to size
and fitted by Vince.
rotating global herb and spice rack
jar storage originally installed by kajsa and Maki, Abake, Thanks to Polly for adding the spinning idea.
This special rotating global herb and spice rack will contain samples of herbs, spices and other delicacies from all around the world – delicacies that have been sourced and carried personally, in hand luggage.
To date Energy cafe stocks nutmeg from Kim, Crayfish Bay, The Carribean and Bay leaves from the tree in Anya’s Garden, Bath.
Made out of scrap plywood from Waltham Abbey Marina. The centre nut and bolt – perfect for hanging a lamp was salvaged from Hawkwood. The Jam Jars were donated.
mobile stationary unit
Prototype designed by Vince.
Made out scrap plywood and lengths of 4 by 4 found in a nearby skip. This unique Mobile Stationary Unit contains Energy Cafe reference books and other material . Can also be used as a seat.
Autumn – the time of year when the rosehips are budding…
The trailer is relocated outside, as a mobile kitchen ready for use.
now at last we can make an Energy Cafe ‘Thank-you’ cuppa
for Vince! whom we discovered also carves the finest spoons.
This one he made for Energy Cafe. It’s made from willow.
Do you need a carpenter? ‘no job is too small’ contact Vince : 07786342783
Hawkwood Plant Nursery Open Days
Sunday 28th July
Solar stewed blackberries at 75 degrees Celsius
A few sunny spells amidst a mainly cloudy grey sky day. Optimistically we opened up the flat pack solar cooker – newly modelled out of thin ply, black tape and aluminium tape.
For the Hawkwood Plant Nursery Open Day visitors we made refreshing seasonal drinks - whilst Lucy demonstrated how to use the new solar cooker. Vince had been foraging and brought his findings – a punnet of blackberries – picked that morning from around Waltham Abbey.
So with blackberries, lime, a little icing sugar and water
we made a solar stewed blackberry and lime juice
in a blackened pot covered in a plastic bag. This solar cooker is lightweight and adaptable – its best angle depends on the sunlight and for further improvements Lucy suggests we place a grate under the pan – reducing shadow impact. Despite little sun when the clouds passed and the sun peeped out- even for a few minutes - the water temperature rose quite fast!
Maximum temperature reached: 75 degrees Celsius – fine for blackberry juice. Warming and refreshing. Getting to boiling point is a challenge – virtually impossible here? but solar cooking is perfect for slow cooking, stews etc – barbeques too.
We’re in the testing phase - everyone came up with some great solar cooking ideas – and so now we wait to catch the next heatwave. The flat pack Solar cooker was made by Lucy Sheldon. Thanks to Amanda for helping out and Lucas too!
Sunday 27th June
Sister Swirl Stove arrives
It was another scorching summers Open Day at the Hawkwood Plant Nursery
Elderflower cordial on tap to quench the thirsts. Great to see a few familiar faces arriving….including a surprise visitor – Andrew Heggy with his new invention Sister Swirl Stove, this one slightly more compact than his first model ( that we use constantly for boiling water) is designed for portability.
Energy Cafe is slowly building a resource of portable handmade stoves. We’d asked Andrew if he could design one – that would be easy to carry and move around.
We’re very happy to meet Sister Swirl, looking forward to testing during future cook ups. Now we have the brother and sister swirl stoves and the flat pack solar cooker…many more possibilities …from storm kettles, rocket stoves to tin can micro cookers and hay boxes. If you would like to add to the energy cafe portable cooker and stove resource do get in touch.
Sister Swirl Stove is made of bits from a luggage rack, a microphone stand and a fire extingusher. The fan is from a computer.
Andrew gave an insightful introduction how it works and explained the concept “it is that it gives you the three things that you need in a fire – you need a high temperature, you need turbulence – for gas mixing and you need time for the flame to burn out and that’s what these things combine.”
Solstice Solar Cooking
Being summer solstice weekend, it felt timely to start some solar-cooking experimentation, thanks to Lucy who has been making simple cookers out of tin foil and cardboard.
Although the weather wasn’t quite up to temperature to cook the noodle dish she managed last week, she set up in the glass house encouraging people to make their own cookers.
We’ll be trying out more DIY solar cooking inventions with Lucy in the sunny future and finding solar solutions for the off-grid kitchen.
Thanks to Windy Smithy, Henry has arrived!
We are looking forward to holding the first Energy Cafe soup kitchen with the help of this beautiful hand-made wood-burning stove. More than just a small-scale oven and hob, it will keep the mobile kitchen cosy in winter and potentially heat up water too.
We’d like to shout “thanks!” to Jon Snow of Windy Smithy, down in Devon for giving Energy Cafe a generous discount on the Henry Ranger model.
Saturday 21st February
Swirl Stove Demonstration by Andrew: Part 2
Andrew is back to set up his hand-made Swirl Stove invention! This time with a new addition…
…a custom made regulator. Comprising of plastic container with circuit board and LED light…
…connecting the battery to the fan and making ignition easier.
Fueled by small pieces of kindling,
sawdust and dry wood chippings,
the flaming devise was a hit with today’s visitors,
and kept Energy Cafe in constant supply of boiling water…
right into the night.
After a hard day’s work, the ‘staff’ of the day gather around the millstones to relax, make a bonfire and cook.
So far we’ve put pans straight onto the flames…but it hasn’t been so easy to regulate the heat for different types of cooking. How to do a stir-fry?
Andrew comes up with a simple but sophisticated solution: planks across the millstones, a grill balanced on top, above the fire – an instant ‘hob’.
Hmmm – oil not quite up to temperature for frying.
Tan solves the problem with a bit of wire mesh. A hanging basket that gets the pan closer to the heat. Brilliant.
The millstone bonfire has evolved into a multi-functional stove: potatoes in the oven, stir fry on the hob and toast on the grill. Who needs gas?!
Oil Drum heater/stove
1. chop wood into kindling
2. Raise the oil drum slightly off the ground using paving slabs or something similar – to allow air flow through the base of the drum
3. light a small fire ( make sure newspaper and kindling bone dry!
4. keep adding kindling
until the flames get going, then add logs or as we did – waste palette wood.
when the fire is roaring at a constant temperature, place a grill on top..
The drum heats fast – good for keeping warm from head to toes. Its also an ideal multi purpose stove
for boiling water, melting snow and
until sunset we harvested the snow…using the water to soak glass jars and wash up in
we’re on the hunt for lots of water containers, tanks, buckets etc…serious water harvesting to do as the thaw sets in.
not only to collect grey water, but to look at ways to filter water naturally. Check out this bike powered water pump and sand filter...this would be ideal on site! anyone out there who would like to build it – or something similar during Energy College ? just by chance we have all the materials here to make it.
Wednesday 28th January
Peter demonstrates how to turn an empty oil drum into an outdoor heater and stove
Tools to hand: Angle grinder and drill with large heavy duty drill bit.
step one: take an empty Oil drum, angle grind off the top lid – as close to the lip as possible
step two: grind the edges – to remove any sharp loose bits of metal.
step three: Turn the drum on its side and starting from the bottom …drill holes through..
approximately one inch apart all the way around the drum.. continue this for about three or four rows ( this allows a good air flow )
Step four: Drilling is quite a monotonous and tough job – so to make it a bit less time consuming we decided to continue the process by making rough slits in the sides with the angle grinder…
so it looks like this!
step four: turn the drum upside down and drill more holes around the edge of the base rim.
approximately one inch apart..(practice makes perfect)
step five: drill a hole in the middle of the base.
Cath gives it a name: “Drilling for Oil “
Great Peter! Thanks! we’ll put it to the test on a cold wintery day!