Yak Attack

A place to unwind and spend some time yakking.

Friday, September 23, 2005

1 shot, 2 shots, 3 shots, 4

My shot glasses have been getting a work out. No, I haven’t been honing my Quarters skills. I’ve been making Americanos. For those not hooked up with Latte Land Lingo, an Americano is espresso and hot water; think of it as one hell of a cup of coffee.

Our coffee maker went on to more pleasant, heavenly digs; the heating element is toast. We can use it, if we boil water first, and then pour the boiling water into the coffee maker. What a bitch. Instead of doing that, I’ve been using my stovetop espresso pot. Lew and I picked it up a couple of years ago, and it brews a mean espresso. To make a cup of joe, I pour two shots of already brewed espresso into my mug, fill to the top with water and then nuke it for a minute. Voila’, I have yummy, rich coffee.

I know-- “Just get off your lazy hiney and go buy a coffee maker.” The thought has occurred to me. Lew and I have looked at some, too, but a) we are notorious for not making up our minds and b) dang, but they’re expensive. I have better things to do than plunk $50 on any appliance that only does one thing. Okay, it does brew the nectar of the Seattleites, but still. The other factor that’s made me inclined to stick with my little espresso maker is I view it kind of like practice. Can I live on a daily basis without my coffee maker? As a matter of fact, yes I can.

It is kind of a sissy test, I admit. I am using my electric (although on it’s last blade) grinder, electric range and microwave to make the coffee. The thing is, I could use a hand grinder along with a propane stove, bbq or open fire to do the same thing. By letting go of every day “necessities” like coffee makers, electric can openers and juicers, it’s preparation for emergency living or taking the step to live off the grid.

I’m in the market for a hand grinder. At the TCF Self Sufficiency/Gulching forum, I posted my coffee troubles. Thunder turned me on to Zassenhaus hand grinders. Yeah, they are expensive, but they’re a steady workhorse and are not prone to breakage. I’ve been watching Ebay, too, but haven’t won one yet.

As you work on your own emergency preparedness skills, consider paring down your electric appliances. Or at least see what you can live without, like the electric can opener. They’re nasty anyway, because you can’t clean them well. I hand wash my manual can opener all the time. You’ll need a manual open in a SHTF scenario anyway; this is a good electric appliance to ashcan.

Even sissy tests like my coffee social experiment are baby steps toward emergency preparedness. Take one small step toward being ready for self-sufficiency and try a sissy test of your own.


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