In 2010 a family of four sold their charming little condo in the increasingly fashionable neighborhood of University Heights. With the money they bought a stripped out house in East San Diego previously owned by human smugglers. Their goal was a radical change in lifestyle that would allow DIY Makerism, self reliance, alternative technology, permaculture, and urban homesteading into their lives in ways their HOA would have never allowed. The ideas that lead them to take this plunge came from the steampunk movement as it was during a brief shining period when art and philosophy seemed at least as important as brass, and great essays, speeches, and letters were written. These days they don't worry so much about what people call "steampunk." They call what they're doing the Greyshade Estate.

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

My Climate / My Cooking



A couple days ago, when it was especially hot and humid, I did all my cooking for the day in the morning, in the shade of a tree over a charcoal fire pit. The thought of heating up my house by cooking in the indoor kitchen was just revolting. This way, even though the coals were hot, there was a breeze at my back.

If you visit Old Town San Diego you will note that the Spanish settlers did most of their cooking outdoors. Historically the Kumeyaay people did everything but sleeping under a sunshade at most. Then silly white people came along and insisted that kitchens belonged indoors because that's the way they did things in Boston and New York.

In a Mediterranean climate cooking indoors only makes sense a few months out of the year. This is why I really want to build a wood fired outdoor kitchen. For now the technology to cook outdoors is still accessible because its basically prehistoric. Its like this homo sapiens: when its hot build your fire outside your cave. When its cold build your fire inside your cave.

Of course you can always build a fire inside your cave in hot weather, turn on the air conditioning, and stare with dull horror at your power bill. Plenty of people do this, but I'm not sure they qualify as homo "sapiens."

1 comment:

  1. I agree, living in a home that only has window air conditioner units where we avoid the oven at all costs during the summer has made me think twice about turning on an indoor oven during the summer even at some future point when we might have the luxury of central air. We too dream of an outdoor cooking space! Wood-fired!

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