I’ve recently seen pictures sent by a friend via fb that shows where he is staying in Katmandu. There is a community well there that has been there for perhaps centuries. Beautifully sculpted stone lions serve as spouts with water flowing from their mouths. The colorfully dressed people were lined up waiting with the equally colorful plastic jugs neatly in rows beside them. It looked like maybe 75-100 people at the well. I think some were washing babies and rinsing out clothes. It sent my mind wondering about what that would be like to live with no running water. Be careful what you think, it may come true.
I broke the well. The dishwasher was going, the babies were watering the flowers for me, pots and pans being washed in the sink, and the sprinkler was sprinkling. Little did I know I was a toilet flush away from disaster. The Hubster replaced some do hickies, tested other do hickies with a yellow plug-in thing with a gauge of some sort, and here we are with brand new parts for everything, and 80 hrs later he’s figured out it’s the breaker that switches on the pump. YIKES! So, it could be worse but not much. Off to Medford to get a new one and then I’ll have water again. Meanwhile, I used my emergency water and rainwater to get the plants the babies missed, and in the toilet tank. The hubby is refilling the jugs for me at the farmhouse. I can now shower with only 2 gallons of water! The worst part is we are having much warmer weather and my garden really needs extra today. I’ll have to make up for it all after the pump is back on. C’mon Hubster, you can do it. ( I really don’t know how he does these miracle repairs without prior experience or knowledge, must be some kind of savant) (It’s cool tho’)
It has been a wonderful lesson for me. Out here in the mountains my water is free. I only pay for the electricity to power the pump. So, I haven’t really been conserving it like I know I should for the sake of the planet. I do catch some rainwater and I am great at conserving everything else, but I need a lot of water. Large garden in the high desert, and I’m a woman that loves her bubbles, ’nuff said. I considered it my daily “hydrotherapy”. Good place for meditation, planning the day ahead, making mental notes. I learned much in the past 80 horas. I don’t need so many bubbles. You can do all the same in a lawn chair, or at the dining table.
I also had to harvest a bunch of kale to make into chips and sort of got carried away. Coming back instead with a wheelbarrow full of not only kale, but about 25 lbs of cabbage, close to 30 lbs of broccoli, loads of chard and some snow peas. Then after lugging it all back up to the house, I remembered I didn’t have water.
So this is me with no running water. Now I have true empathy for the people at the community well. Being as how I’m almost exactly like the villagers. Well, my jugs aren’t as colorful. There are a few other differences. I don’t have a very long walk to the village square. The big jugs are already in the garden, and the gallons are lined up on the kitchen counter. My toilets flush. (I have toilets.) And I know it’s only a temporary situation. Sort of like we are camping, but at the house.
All that being said, I wonder how they do it day in and day out? I did get my kale chips in the dehydrator and my cabbages chopped and crocked for kraut despite being thrown back a bit by having no running water. I used what I had in my pantry, feel free to adapt the recipe to suit your taste. It was a bit “Little House on the Prairie” but all in all things turned out and it sure didn’t slow me down.
Pizza flavored Kale Chips
Approx. 20 large kale leaves washed and ripped into chip size pieces.
1 C. almonds, cashews or hazelnuts
1 Tbls. organic Italian Seasoning
15-20 sun-dried tomatoes
1 Tbls nutritional yeast
pinch of kosher salt
dash of cayenne
dash of vinegar (red wine is best, use what you have)
Put everything but the kale in a blender, and turn into a paste. Wash kale, shake and pat dry, then tear into pieces. Scoop up a handful of paste and massage into the leaves. Make sure all leaves are covered evenly, cover and refrigerate any remaining paste. Place leaves in the dehydrator on 115 for 8-10 hrs. rotate racks every 2 hours and check for crispness after 6 hours. Turn leaves over on racks periodically. In oven bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hrs at 200 degrees F. When kale chips are done they should be crispy through and through with no soft areas.
(you may layer the chips carefully in the racks or pile them in randomly, either way is fine. Of course if you pile you could have 2 or 3 stick together when you go to snack on them, not such a bad thing)
High Dessert Sauerkraut
Finely chop cabbage, layer in crock, wide mouth jar or food grade plastic container, alternating with kosher salt. I do about a 2″ layer, then a fine sprinkle of salt, another 2″ of cabbage and a sprinkle of salt. When you are done layering, place a sheet of plastic over the top and place a plate or saucer on top of the plastic. It has to fit inside of the container, rather than perch on top. Place a heavy weight on the plate like a gallon of water, or clean (boiled) stone. Then cover the whole thing with a cloth or plastic cover to keep out pests. Make sure there are no gaps for ants, flies, or others to get into and ruin your batch. Uncover and check after 24 hours if brine hasn’t naturally occurred and covered cabbage, add to it with cup of good water and a tablespoon of salt. Stir to dissolve and then pour on top of kraut. You can add caraway seed and juniper berries as I did or you may leave it as is. For 4 large heads of cabbage I added 1/2 Tbls. of caraway and 8 fresh picked juniper berries. If you would like a stronger flavor by all means add more. You can also add other veggies like carrots, beets, purple cabbage, onion, turnips, or any winter veg really. I hope you enjoy making your own and eating it too!
(Happy to report that our water is back on and pump is working better than ever!)