One of the first questions I hear from people, is how do we cook. From these conversations, I have concluded that most people think that cooking outside of a gourmet kitchen must include walking for miles to gather wood so that we can cook our groul over an open flame.
While we do have the option and skills for cooking over an open flame, we rarely do that. Instead we have multiple options, which we utilize depending on the details of what we're cooking and what will work best for that.
This is the kitchen setup that we most commonly use, which utilizes a gasoline powered generator. While we don't want to depend
on fossil fuels forever, it is a dependable transitional measure that allows us to utilize the small appliances that we already had, until we have all of our off grid systems fully built out.
In order to reduce fuel uses, we heat water to wash dishes, shower, etc. while we are cooking meals and I encourage everyone to think about and plan simple ways like that to make their daily lives more efficient and sustainable.
In addition to the electric appliances, we also have a charcoal grill, a 2 burner propane camp stove, and a couple solar ovens. So, concerns that we don't have a way to feed ourselves are completely unfounded because we really have more options than we need; though I do appreciate the convenience of that.
We have a small refrigerator, which is powered by the solar generator, so we have cold food storage but it is limited. As such, we try to focus on fresh and shelf stable foods. The lack of a microwave also seems to have resulted in the kids eating a great deal more fresh fruits and vegetables, so I'm seriously considering not incorporating one into the build.