ecolectrictoasterNot electricity-free, but apparently 34% less electricity than other toasters – not a bad start!

Made by Morphy Richards, it seems to be available almost everywhere for around £34-35. You can get one from the Good Energy shop, which would seem to be an ethical way to buy.

Steadily firming up the shopping list for our new house – here’s the latest list, with links. 


Dining Room

  • Expandable table


  • Instant-heat to stand in front of (Gas?)


  • Wood-fired stove
  • Central Pendant light in diffusing shade – 12v CFL?
  • Two Standard/Reading Lamps – 12v CFL?


  • Kitchen Scraps Compost: Black Soldier Fly Composter / Worm Farm 
  • Firewood store, and at least 12m³ of wood
  • Greenhouse with Aquaponics system

Heating & Hot Water

Power & Light



An interesting one this – a slow cooker based on a thermos. Basically you heat up the pot of food and then pop it into the insulated flask. It’ll keep cooking for eight hours. Think of the energy you save – it only needs to be on the stove for about 20 minutes to cook a whole dinner.

thermos-shuttle-chefHere’s what one actually looks like – the 4.5 litre “Thermos Shuttle Chef” – and you can get them from Amazon for under £80.

passataJust been reading some great descriptions of how to make Passata, and Pasta Sauces. I’ve long thought that this could be a good way to make the most of our Aquaponic bounty through the long winter months – delicious home-grown-and-made pasta sauces, flavoured with our aquaponic-grown herbs. I think the Mouli that is already on my shopping list would be good at turning our tomatoes into passata while removing all the skins and seeds, but there are also specific Passata Machines – they look sort of like a mincer. The only ones I’ve been able to find in the UK are these red plastic models, sold by Seeds of Italy for £27.50, or Ascott for £25. Apparently you can process over 50kg of tomatoes in them in an hour! They both also sell the preserving jars we’ll need – Ascott seem to have the best range of jars at the best prices – 12 500ml jars for £17.

Not sure whether this makes it onto my list of must-have post-peak-oil kitchen gadgets, or whether I’ll stick with a nice strong metal mouli. Maybe if I can find a more traditional metal Passata machine like the one Contadino uses then I’d be converted . . . I’ll have to look next time I’m on the continent!

OK, time for another light-hearted one 🙂 . We’ve been baking bread as part of our after-peak-oil preparations, and it turns out that all our standard two-litre pyrex bowls are way too small for serious home self-sufficiency. So it’s time to go for the classic – one of those huge cream-and-white mixing bowls that everybody’s grandmother has somewhere!

Apparently they’re made by Mason Cash, and you can buy them at John Lewis – up to 5.8 litres for only twelve quid, which is a decent amount of bread!

Of course it won’t all be soup-soup-soup in my peak oil future – when I’m having a baking day it’d be great to throw a Vegetable Gratin into the wood-fired oven – but how to make the breadcrumbs? It might be that the mouli is up to this, but if not then one of these might the best option – a hand-powered Vortex blender. Plus I could use it to make smoothies!

OK, so I’ve accepted that we’ll be eating a lot of soup in my peak-oil future. Thats fine, I love a good vegetable soup. But it occurs to me that I do use an electric blender to make it. Here’s a blast of nostalgia though – a Mouli – the original 1940s-designed classic food processor. Vegetables go in, a little bit of elbow grease required, and then puree comes out! We had one of these when I was a kid, and it always seemed kind-of cool. So this makes it onto my Peak-Oil Christmas list – you can get a range of them here – and my favourite is the 2-litre stainless steel model – guaranteed to make soup through any global catastrophe.