How to make a Garden Grill – The Video

In the summer frustrated by once again needing to replace my barbecue, I set out to make one, and if I am going to make one lets see if I can improve on the design and efficiency.

Inspired by an academic article I had read about the differences between aluminium and cast iron cookware, and the different ways they transfer heat. The theory is that aluminium dissipates the heat, where as cast iron creates hot spots in the metal which then radiates the heat upwards. What this means in practical terms when applied to barbecues is that aluminium cooks the outside of a piece of meat whereas cast iron radiates heat into the meat, cooking the inside as well, and the most common complaint with barbecue cooking is the meat is burnt outside and raw in the centre.

So my design uses closely spaced solid steel rods rather than the usual thin widely spaced steel which your sausages fall between. Having tried this for a summer I can say the theory works, and there is a part 2 video and a book yet to come which turns the garden grill into a Portable Pizza oven so remember to press the subscribe button to keep in touch.

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Middle Aged Romance – The Video

Part two of the Grand Romantic Gesture Video is now available to view, just follow the link.

Part two shows step by step instructions on how to take a Food Safe silicon mould  from the wood carving or anything else you have available, which can then be used to make a very personalised cake for your dearly beloved. If you don’t like cake, and whilst I find it hard to believe apparently not everyone does, then you could do a Jelly or Ice Cream, or if your from the smart side of town, Pate. The choice is yours. I am just providing the tools its up to you how you use them.

I used the finished mould to made a cake, of which I was ridiculously proud, which is apparent from the end of the video. I cant pretend it was the greatest cake I have ever made, but in all my years of baking cakes, and its been a few, I think it was the one that gave me the greatest sense of achievement, even better than the red and green stripy fruitcake I made when I was 14, a cake my father never forgot.

Oh well on too the next project, I feel the need to do some upholstery next. Enjoy the video and don’t forget to press subscribe if you liked it.

 

Tom

 

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The Grand Romantic Video

The first part of “The Grand Romantic Gesture” is now available to view, just click on the link above. This sets out the reasoning and takes you through to the finish of a wood carving which is the basis of the Grand Romantic Gesture. Part 2 which is available in a few days time demonstrates how to take a silicon mould of the carving which can then be used to make all manner of things, giving you years of presents from a single piece of work.

Originally I had intended to make this a two part series, but the more sleepless nights I have the more ideas I come up with for additional things I can make with the mould, so I am there is a possibility of a third. Those who have seen the first are very complementary but I become very conscious that it becomes a bit of a monologue, so I am tempted to make the third one a Mime. What do you think?

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How to make a Silicone Cake Tin

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If you have come across my work before you will know that I like to video my projects and post them on my you tube channel “heritagecraft”.

My latest project is entitled AGrand Romantic Gesture. I take as my starting point that one of the most romantic sections of society is middle aged men, we are just misunderstood by middle aged women. Therefore in order to restore the Status Quo every now and again you need to make a Grand Romantic Gesture. Now if you lucky you have inspiration, but its more likely that having been in a relationship for many years you have run out of inspiration – sound familiar? Its a good think that heritagecraft is here to help.

The video starts off by showing you to carve a Lilly in a frame out of wood, which just happens to be a favourite of my own beloved, and you could stop at that point you would have a very successful present. However you could take it a couple of steps further and get at least four more presents out of this and solve your present problems for at least a year.

The first step is too make a mould of our artwork for which you need Food Safe Silicone. You can buy this from Special effects suppliers. I brought mine from http://www.backstageshop.co.uk who are good customers of mine so its good to give them an opportunity to get some money back. imageYou will find there are several too chose from however I choose Bluesil RTV which is the food safe version, along with a silicon colour. You will also need some accurate scales, a disposable pot to mix it all together in and a stirrer. Best not use the stuff from the kitchen if your trying to improve marital harmony.

First of all I mounted the carving on a backing board, and made a wooden frame to go round it. If your going for a more free flowing shape you could use modelling clay to create the barrier.image

Before screwing it down give everything a good spray with mould release spray.

The silicon comes in two parts, the silicon and the hardener, which you have to mix together in accurate proportions. For this product You need to mix 10 parts of silicon with one part of hardener, by weight, hence the scales, then add some colour. The proportions do vary so check the manufacturers data sheets. If you do this commercially you would then put the mix into a vacuum chamber to suck out the air bubbles, however as I don’t have one, then the technique is to add the materials together gently, and stir it together gently, that way avoiding air bubbles to start with. Once mixed you have to move quickly so get everything ready first.imagePour into the mould and leave overnight to set. The next day your ready to take the mould apart and see if it worked.

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Once you have given the mould a wash its ready for use.imageAs mentioned earlier there is a video and that will be posted on the Heritagecraft you tube channel in the near future, so press the follow button to keep up to date and you will get the link as soon as it happens, you will also find out how I get at least two more presents of this. Where will it end I hear you cry.

So now we have done relationship advice who knows where we can go next. thanks for reading

Tom

 

 

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A New Superfood

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Recently I was demonstrating #enfieldfoodfestival and as part of my demonstration I was demonstrating how to make your own bacon. I maintain if you did a cost benefit analysis, balancing the amount of effort required ( very little) against the end result, home made bacon wins against any other home produced food. Certainly if you look at my recent videos on the subject, the link for which is below you will see just how easy it is.

However @enfield food festival I was really demonstrating my new Food Dehydrator / smoker drying some tomatoes, which I then turned into smoked tomato powder. This was really a stop gap whilst I waited  for the Hungarian Peppers I have been growing to ripen so I can make paprika. Having discovered smoked tomato powder I have to say it has transformed our cooking at home, and its set us off trying to powder all sorts of fruit and veg. Anyway working on the theory that Bacon and Tomato are a classic combination I decided to add smoked tomato powder into the bacon cure. In the excitement of the moment I was perhaps slightly heavy handed, and rather a lot went in  but who cares.

A week has passed, the Bacon has now cured, then it was smoked for 14 hours over apple wood, and finally it was ready. Smoked Tomato infused bacon. The picture doesn’t do it justice, we ended up with beautifully pink bacon, succulent, with a hint of the acidic tomato cutting through. truly something to savour.  I think we have discovered a new Super Food. When I was slicing it up I was thinking to myself all the people I could give some too, but having tasted it, what they have never had they wont miss. Its too good to share. Don’t you love it when an experiment works

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Have I lost the Plot?

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I have reached a cross roads and I need some help. I have just finished my last video project, and so its what to do next.

I have become known for a diverse range of projects, although there are linking threads if you dig deep enough. I tend to work with the same group of materials and techniques, which can all be traced back to wheelwrighting and carriages, I work in timber and metal well that’s obvious that’s wheels, leather, comes from harness making, Traditional Upholstery = carriage seats. So you can see there are links.

In recent times I have gone slightly sideways into making food creation structures, Wood Fired Ovens, Smokers, and most recently dehydrators. These are all things I wanted in my garden, I would have built them anyway, The video is just a by product and judging by the numbers there popular.

Now some of my videos can be made fairly quickly and some take slightly longer, partly because life just gets in the way. At the moment I have two I am working on. There is a portable barbeque which can be converted into a pizza oven, which has hit a technical challenge. I think I have the solution but until we get the “bit” I don’t know. The second one is a Horse powered Ice Cream machine, which can also work off a bicycle. Construction has started, but again there is a vital bit, a stirrer which I need to make, for which I will need to create the furnace necessary to melt and then sand cast aluminium. When you see it written down it sounds bizarre, but I think I can make it work.

The issue is what to do in the short term. I have a couple of projects in mind. When I make the videos I always assume that my audience is someone like me, a middle aged man who likes pottering away in a shed somewhere, so I make the videos I would like to watch. Therefore I have the plan for a video which I am styling as “The Grand Romantic Gesture”. Its a well known fact (certainly in my shed) that the most romantic section of the population is middle aged men, unfortunately this is a fact often misunderstood by middle aged women.

My starting point is having been married for many years its hard to think of presents because after so many years of Christmases and Birthdays you have probably already brought it. Therefore a Grand Romantic gesture is called for and so instead of standing outside a shop trying to purchase something you really don’t understand, you make something in your workshop instead which can then used as the basis of presents for the next few years. This solves the perpetual present problem, delights the lady in your life who gets something very personal made just for her, whilst at the same time bestowing  upon your beloved great bragging rights with her friends none of whom have husbands who could manage such a magnificent gesture ( because they didn’t watch the video)  Clever I hear you cry.

My problem is I fear I have I lost the plot, am I leaving my comfortable world of wood and metal to far behind, and digging a big hole for myself, or is this a logic extension of what I do?  Help me out an independent opinion would be appreciated. What do you think?

 

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Tom Green Live on Stage

Finally after many years I leave the comfort of my workshop, and for the first time enter the world of Live Events with an appearance at the Enfield Food Festival, where on stage I demonstrated my new Food smoker and dehydrator, make tomato powder and cure bacon in under 25 minutes. Which is pretty fast work.

For marketing purposes I have of course to say it was magnificent, and I held the audience spell bound in the palm of my hand, but you make your own mind up I am too close to it to be objective. What I can say is afterwards I had several very good discussions about points raised with a wide variety of people, and a number of people were going home to do some of what I suggested, so on that basis alone we will consider it a success. I would certainly do it again.

Now its time to leave tomatoes alone for a while and move on. I have had an inspiration for a video designed for middle aged men looking to put the romantic spark back into their relationship. It involves a cake, some silicon, and a block of wood. Am I going to far from my roots or are you interested? My dearly beloved is not allowed to comment

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