Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Enclosed Soffits

   One of the requirements for 'fire resistive construction' was the soffits had to be enclosed.  In the CalFire Chasing Your Tail exercise, they always look at the point of origin for fires in houses near forests.  Once you mitigate that, all you do is change the point of origin.  At one point in time the fires were starting up in the eaves, so now we enclose them (Interesting note---the CalFire station being built a block away isn't in compliance with any of the fire resistive codes)
   I really, really didn't want to enclose the soffits.  I like how rafter tails look on the underside.  Installing the cementitious boards is difficult--they are 12' long and brittle.  If you try to pick them up from the middle holding them flat to the ground they will snap into two pieces.

  Now that they are in, though, I have to admit I like them.  It looks neat and tidy.  They were a whole lot easier to paint, and it will really decrease the spider habitat.
   I had a concern about how the roof forms a funnel that would channel runoff right over the siding against the kick-out on the upstairs portion.  Also the big picture window is offset and not centered with the roof peak (otherwise the interior chimney would block the view out the window).  I cut some natural slate to look like shingles and used that.  It helps balance the window, and water clan flow over it without any damage.  I like how it looks, too, so I'm going to cover the chimney the same way.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Making Coconut Cream

  Food here is pretty pricey.  We'd all prefer to eat in than out.  There's free food all over the place---papaya, guava, coconuts, mangoes....Pineapples aren't too expensive so we've been buying those.  We've been loving fresh coconut---just the meat, coconut water, and coconut milk and coconut cream for peanut sauce, pina coladas, ice cream.
  This is the beach we're on.  There are always coconuts lying around and the kids have learned to find the good ones without rotten tops, and are full of liquid when you shake them.
   There's a hefty screw hook in this tree on our deck, perfect for helping tear the tough husk off the coconuts.  My job.
  It's in there somewhere.
  There's a hefty cleaver here that you can rap the coconut with the backside of until you hear the soft spot, then you whack it hard and it splits.  The liquid inside is coconut water---very 'in' right now.  We used it to cook the rice---gives it a nutty flavor.  It's not coconut milk.  I cut the meat while it's in the shell so it chips out in nice chunks.

   Maybe about a third of a coconut worth.   Don't worry about the brown part where the meat comes off the shell.  All this goes in the blender with a cup of boiling water.

    There happened to be a coffee press here so I dumped the puree in it.  Then in the fridge to chill for awhile.
  Pressed it all down.  That got poured into a glass and back in the fridge---we get about a cup of coconut cream from each coconut.  The liquid on the bottom is coconut milk, and you can add another cup of boiling water to the puree for a second extraction of milk.
  If you're ever planning on being stranded on a tropical island make sure you have a blender and a coffee press