More text

Nothing says "I Love You, Dear" like screaming lower back pain!

Sometimes Wrong but rarely in doubt!

29 June 2009

Cooking, Blacksmithing Hydra Post

Potatoes with Onions and Tomatoes

4 medium red-skinned potatoes
2 medium onions (finely diced)
2 large tomatoes (finely diced
4 tablespoons of Ghee
1 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper or 1 fresh chile pepper (Optional)
1 1/2 tsp of ground cumin
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp paprika (you may subsitiute tandoori powder but I like the paprika best)
1/2 tsp of salt.
chopped fresh cilantro
garam masala
crisp fried onions

Prepare the onions and tomatoes, and measure out the spices into a single bowl.

Cube the potatoes (1/2 inch cubes) and boil until cooked. Set aside. Leave the skins on it's good for you and helps with the dish's presentation.

Fry the onions over medium high heat stirring constantly until golden to golden brown. Reduce to medium heat and add the diced tomatoes. Fry the mixture until it has thickened. Add the spices and stir constantly for about a minute. Add the potatoes and cilantro if you're using it. Reduce to medium low and simmer until the potatoes have heated. Sprinkle some garam masala and crisp fried onions on top and serve.

Now for a bit of commentary, this recipe is quite good if you refrigerate it over night and serve cold as a potato salad. I heartily recommend the cilantro option. If you've enjoyed lamb Madras then the flavour of this recipe is very close.

Anvils and Such
I've decided that my current anvil isn't man portable. The anvil weighs 230 pounds, 40 is on my horizon and I have no desire to get a hernia at my age. The problem is finding an anvil the right size and I've been looking for about five years. My temporary solution is to make an anvil from railroad track.

There are some problems with railroad track. Railroad track is basically an I-beam with a short thick flange and a wide thin flange. I-beams are very strong in one direction but the flanges don't resist turning moments very well. A good deal of blacksmithing work is performed on the edge of the anvil thus the railroad track as anvil presents some problems.

I did a little research and the kind fellows at recommend turning the railroad track vertically and using the end of the track. The problem is that it doesn't provide much of a working surface and you end up with no horn on your anvil. Now I could cut off the top of the railroad track and weld it to the end of a railroad track, but I still don't have a horn on the constructed anvil worth the name.

Hence the Bugbear Bodged Together Railroad Track Anvil (BBTRTA) or post modern metal art take your pick. I don't have the welding skill to build this but a fellow on my nine ball team does. Sometime in august we're going to take a weekend and build it. It consists of two pieces of railroad track oriented vertically with the bearing surface from a railraod track welded on one end with a plate on the other end. I'm also going to have a 1" ID square steel tube welded on the side at an angle so that I can use a mandrel cone as an anvil horn.

Propane Forges
If you're going to build a propane forge I recommend that you obtain and read a copy of Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces and Kilns by Michael Porter (ISBN 1-879535-20-3). The book has it's issues, lots of words and not many diagrams or pictures and it assumes a basic level of competence in working with tools. Nonetheless Porter's book is the best reference for scratch building a gas forge I've seen. Thus far I've managed to source all but one of the necessary components and I've got the basic housing almost constructed. I've also started the assembly of the 3/4" propane burner required for heating the forge.

There's a blacksmith I've corresponded with a number of times from Pennsylvania. He and seven other hobbyist blacksmiths have anticipated some of the ramifications of the proposed cap and trade bill. In order to avoid paying any carbon taxes they've purchased about 2 tons of coal each. Coal is incredibly cheap I think the price was around $150/ton delivered and pre-bagged. At my current rate of consumption 2 tons of coal would last me 15 years. I don't think Mrs. Bugbear would be pleased.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Polite and erudite comments by