Cottage Craft Works, LLC

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Off-grid products for the self-sufficient Kitchen

Off-grid products for the sustainable self-sufficient Kitchen

Non-electric self-sufficient products

Little-Dutch-Maid-Hand-Crank-MixerWhether you will depend on human power, wind power, solar or other alternative energy when the lights go out, Cottage Craft Works is your one stop non-electric general store providing alternative grid solutions for those seeking to find the refuge of a simpler self-reliant life style.

With over 5000 back-to-basic products requiring no electricity to operate Cottage, Craft Works carries products for the home, farm and ranch, kitchen, hunting, gun enthusiast, and sustainable builder.

Many of the products are built by the Amish who use them daily in their own off grid applications. Products are built to last as well, none of this planned lifespan to resale a product again. Products are built as they were in the early and mid 1900s with American pride, durability and quality.

The Little Dutch Maid Hand Crank Mixer pictured is just one example the heavy metal powder coated based is thick cast metal and not plastic as applicable are built today. It has a heavy duty gear box with harden metal gears. The hand crank is made from thick chrome plated steel so it is impossible to bend. The hub for the mixer to sit on is also made of thick metal and reminds you of a PTO drive shaft off a large piece of equipment. There is also a hand crank conversion Kitchen Aid mixer.

A large Stainless Steel drain board is a very hot seller for Cottage Craft Works, it allows large cooking pots, utensils, and food processing equipment to air dry, while the excess water runs back into the sink and not out on to the counter and down on the floor.

Cottage Craft Works carries a large selection of heavy duty Stainless pots, pans and cooking utensils. Old fashioned items that are still being made today such as the old time stove top drip and percolator coffee makers. You will also find the old time food choppers, and other food processing and canning equipment.

For those who like to cook outdoors you will find a large selection of cast iron pots, Dutch ovens, cooking tripods, grills and fire rings.

And for those looking for old time recipes for cooking all types of Amish home cooked meals you will find a large selection of cookbooks. Most all the Amish cookbooks also carry tips and recipes to deal with garden pest, make your own cleaning products, and natural care remedies.

You can even purchase Amish organic grain, flour, and cereals, including rolled oats and spelt low gluten products.
You can find these products at Cottage Craft Works .com

Non-Electric Back to Basics Products for living off the grid

Back to Basics | Living off the Grid

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Back to Basics

It is no secret that we, as a society, have become very dependent on the grid, computers, and all the luxuries of restaurant food, quick shopping trips and living the American dream fueled by easy credit.  There was much hype and planning for Y2K, but when the clock struck midnight and then finally clicked over into the year 2000, nothing changed.  Did this give everyone the sense of invulnerable security?  As many have found after the passing of a storm, everything in our daily lives seem to screech to a halt until power is restored.  Sometimes--depending on the amount of widespread damage--days, weeks, and sometimes even months may pass before power is restored and life begins to return to a normal pace.

If it is not natural disasters, then it is the economy that is just as much on everyone's mind.  Increasing jobless rates, higher gas prices, spiraling healthcare costs, and large consumer debt are all of a deep concern. Whether you're a believer in the 2012 countdown to Armageddon, or just worried about the uncomfortable economy and worldwide events, one thing is certain: the world is changing, the natural disasters are increasing.   It seems earthquakes, hurricanes, winter storms, tornadoes, or wild fires are in the news much more frequently than most of us would like. These lead to an absolute freeze on everything we associate with normal day to day activities and personal incomes.

There is a huge "Back to Basics" movement occurring.  Some of it is associated with the uncertain times. Some people are trying to live more "Green", seeking energy savings, or just trying to live a more wholesome, food safe "Organic" environment.   Others are going back to home gardening, food preserving/storage, making homemade items, and are on a quest to find a more self-sufficient, self-sustaining life style. This is the true root of the "Back to Basics" movement.

Having some of the old time non-electric appliances and gardening tools are also an important part of moving toward this life style: many have gone totally off the grid, while others are supplementing solar, wind, and other off grid power resources to save money, and be prepared for both short term and long term power outages, caused by natural and economic disasters.   Kids find that computers and games all go dead when the electricity or batteries go out; parents dig out Grandma's checker board, and find something about a family connection that has been missing for some time.  Neighbors who may not ever even waved to each other as they pass in their expensive ego mobiles, now seem to come together, all in the same situation and start helping one and another. A community bonding occurs, people join together to help share the load of cleanup, cooking, and basic human survival needs.  Much like "The Great Depression" , people find a way through difficult times with very basic tools and gadgets.

The Amish still live a very simple and very basic life style, being non believers of the grid and the use of modern day conveniences such as the automobile, the internet, and other technologies. When Y2K came about, it was definitely not on their minds, and were very interested to see a huge demand for their back to basics, off grid the products.  People stocked up on supplies and goods to prepare for the inevitable predicted crash in the power grids, computers and everything that was associated with keeping the economy going. It was astounding.

Preparing now for another Y2K phenomena really doesn't seem that far fetched considering all the current events.  There are several on-line stores that specialize in Amish non-electric goods and products for off grid living, emergency preparedness or economic survival in a collapsing economy.  Cottage Craft Works, located at is just one source for back to basics, self-sufficient, self sustaining life styles, or emergency off grid living.

They offer a wide variety of products for home goods, farming, gardening, Kitchen & food preparation, hunting, personal protection, and even composting toilets.  If you are seeking self survival or just good old country living products, Cottage Craft Works is a place you will definitely want to check out.  They also carry many reproduction antique items, such as Hoosier style cabinets, sewing machine cabinets, vintage toys, quilts, wine and cider presses, grain mills, leather holsters, hunting calls, shooting supplies, and custom made items, as well as kits to build your own items.

 For More information,  Please visit

Non-Electric Cooking Equipment

Cottage Craft Works offers the following non-electric products for cook offs and other large event cooking where electricity is not readily available, including emergency shelters.

The Little Dutch Maid Hand Crank Mixer for cooking large batches and making dough.

The GrainMaker hand crank grain mill that will mill all types of grains into powder flour, as well as grind coffee beans and make peanut butter.

A commercial grade Stainless Steel Drain Board for the domestic size sink.

Gas fired Stainless Steel cookers designed to cook maple syrup but are excellent for making soups or seafood boils.

Bicycle Trailer | Bike Cart | Bicycle Cargo Trailer

If you are thinking about using a bicycle to beat the cost of gasoline, or currently depend on a bicycle for day to day work functions, or just ride on the weekends for the exercise, adding a cargo trailer option will greatly expand your ability to use a standard bicycle for additional activities and functional trips.  A light weight aluminum bicycle-cargo-trailer can add versatility to your biking outings.  With 26" bicycle tires and light weight construction these carts roll easy and provide little resistance to your ride.  A cargo trailer with a quick release hitch allows it to be quickly connected to any bicycle so the trailer can be switched on and off to other riders going on a cross-country-bike- journey. Imagine being able to pack camping gear and food supplies for overnight stays for weekend outings, with out overloading your bicycle with back packs.

If you live in an area with restricted automobile traffic such as on a small island a bicycle-cargo-trailer makes going to the store for supplies and groceries an easy shopping trip.  No more trying to juggle a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread on the handle bars, with a cargo trailer you can haul a full two weeks of groceries and other supplies home in just one trip.

Beyond leisure a good bicycle cargo trailer can add so much productivity to those who depend on a bicycle for daily job routines.  Police and EMS can hook on one of these handy cargo trailers and bring emergency equipment into crowded events, and or shopping malls where regular vehicle traffic is off limits.  Warehouse workers and factory workers can cover so much more area on a bicycle, add a cargo trailer, and they can have tools, test equipment, and other supplies readily available to them at all times.  The bike and trailer combination makes filling orders much more quickly than walking and pushing a hand cart over a large warehouse building.  Bicycle couriers can add small parcel packages to the route expanding their business.  Street vendors can use the bicycle cargo trailer as a bicycle-vendor-cart to transport products in and out of events or areas with limited vehicle traffic, load up the bicycle cargo trailer with an ice chest and make it a mobile beverage center and vendor-cart for sporting events.

If you enjoy riding a bicycle for exercise, leisure or for work functions adding a light weight cargo trailer can make a real difference.  Add a vinyl cover and the cart becomes protected from surprise downpours and other elements.

Cottage Craft Works located at carries the ideal aluminum bicycle cargo trailer.  It features 26" tires, has a cargo box measuring 32" x 30" x 15" deep and has an optional vinyl cover. The trailer weighs only 32 lbs and is made entirely out of aluminum.  The trailer is industrial quality, and unlike other bicycle trailers which use a combination of fabric stretched over an aluminum tube frame, this trailer has an all aluminum bottom and sides.  This cart is made and used widely in the Amish communities who do depend on it for shopping trips and other chores.  Cottage Craft Works also carries other sizes of bicycle trailers, as well as a full back to basic general store, with all types of outdoor sporting goods.

All Aluminum Bike Cart.

All Aluminum Bike Cart.

Large Bike CartAll Aluminum Bike Cart. Use this heavy built cart to transport supplies in warehouse operations, police emergency response gear, vendor carts, or just going down to the local grocery store. It is prefect for Island living or where normal cars and trucks are restricted. Carts are built from light weight aluminum. The carts have a quick rubber donut hitch that hooks just under the bicycle seat. No additional hitch is needed on the bike, making these carts easily used on any bike. A Kick down stand is standard. Cart weights just 32 lbs and has 26" bike tires. Box measures 32" x 30"x 15" deep and has an optional vinyl cover listed below. Shipping is included in the price. Pictures also show our smaller bike cart.

The Apple Harvest | Processing Equipment

Making the best use of a fall apple harvest using these new recipes and processing gadgets

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Fall is our favorite time of the year, fresh apple cider, baked apples, and apple pie are just a few dishes that mark the official beginning of fall and the start of the Holiday season.

Try some new recipes and processing gadgets.

If you are growing even a small apple orchard, apples can come fast and can become a dilemma, especially as an orchard matures. Reaching the top branches may need an apple picker, and using those fallen apples off the ground makes the best apple cider.

Cider presses are available from a simple table top to a single tub or even a double tub for the large orchard hobby or commercial farm.

More than just a press the complete apple cider press comes with an apple grinder to maximize the juice extraction from the apples as they are being pressed.

The old fashioned apple slicer, peels, cores and slices apples in one pass. It is perfect for producing uniform thin slices for drying apples. Just take the apple after it comes off the slicer and cut in half to make perfect half moon slices ready to go on to the drying racks.

If you enjoy apple sauce, the Victorio Food/Tomato Strainer will make a quick batch from cooked apples for canning. This little gadget will push the seeds and pulp out one end as the sauce pours through the strainer into a side pan.

For those who enjoy fired pies a new Amish counter top pie maker may just be the ticket. It will also make all types of small pocket pies including both fruit and meat pies. This little hand crank pie maker can crank out up to 500 pies per hour! It is perfect for families who enjoy frozen pies all year long to groups who are looking for a new fund raising idea for church, civic clubs at fall festivals.

Recipes and processing products courtesy off Cottage Craft Works .com All the Amish cookbooks referenced and the products can be purchased online from this unique sustainable living general store.

Making Apple Cider

All types of cider presses and apple picking equipment

The Complete Cider Press with GrinderIf you are growing even a small apple orchard, apples can come fast and can become a dilemma, especially as an orchard matures.

Reaching the top branches may need an apple picker, and using those fallen apples off the ground makes the best apple cider.

Cider presses are available from a simple table top to a single tub or even a double tub for the large orchard hobby or commercial farm.

Cider presses can be purchased at Cottage Craft Works .com

Counter Top Hand Crank Pie Machine

Cranks out up to 200 pies per hour!

The Little Pie MakerFor those who enjoy fired pies a new Amish counter top pie maker may just be the ticket. It will also make all types of small pocket pies including both fruit and meat pies.

This little hand crank pie maker can crank out up to 500 pies per hour! It is perfect for families who enjoy frozen pies all year long to groups who are looking for a new fund raising idea for church, civic clubs at fall festivals.

Amish Cake and Pie Recipes

Great old time recipes from Amish cookbooks

Wooden Spoon Wedding Sampler Amish CookbookApple Coffee Cake
2 c. sugar
3c. flour
¼ tsp salt
2tsp. soda
1 c. shortening
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
4 chopped apples
4 tbsp. melted butter
1 c. brown sugar
4 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. chopped nuts
Mix sugar, flour, salt and soda. Add shortening and make crumbs. Add eggs milk, and vanilla, and mix. Add apples. Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter. Bake 350° for 45 minutes. This makes a large cake, use half batch for a small cake pan.

Recipe from Cooking with the Horse & Buggy People II

Magic Apple Pie (No Pie Crust)
1 egg
¾ c. sugar
½ c. flour
1 t. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 medium tart apple, peeled and diced
½ c. raisins
Beat eggs; add sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in apples and raisins. Spread into a greased pie plate. Bake 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Check to see it is done with a toothpick inserted near the center to verify it comes out clean. Serve with whipped topping or ice cream if desired.

Recipe from Wooden Spoon Wedding Sampler Amish Cookbook

Apple Dumplings and Ice Cream Toppings

Two favorite Amish recipes to serve with ice cream

Healthy Choices Keepers at Home cookbookGrilled apple topping (for ice cream)
3 med. Apples, peeled
1/3 c. raisins
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 c. brown sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. cold butter
1/3 c. finely chopped walnuts
Vanilla ice cream

Cut each apple into 16 wedges; place on foil. Sprinkle with raisins; drizzle with lemon juice. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, salt and nutmeg; cut in the butter. Stir in walnuts, sprinkle over apples and raisins. Fold foil around apple mixture and seal tightly. Grill over indirect heat for 18-22 minutes, or until apples are tender. Serve over ice cream. Yield 3 cups.

Recipe from Outdoor Cooking cookbook

Apple Dumplings
2 cups whole wheat flour
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter
½ cup milk

6 apples, peeled, cored, halved
Syrup; 2 cups maple syrup, 2 cups water, 1 tsp. cinnamon.
Mix first three ingredients. Cut in butter. Add milk. Roll out and cut into squares. Place ½ apple on each square, fold pastry together until apple is completely covered. Place in baking dish. Pour syrup over apples bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Serve warm. Good with ice cream!

Recipe from Healthy Choices Cookbook from Keepers at Home magazine readers.

Poultry Feather Pluckers

Mechanical Feather Plucker | Poultry | Game Bird | Scalding and Processing


Plucks off the feathers of poultry and game birds after scalding in just 20 seconds!

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Models for chicken, turkey, and wild game birds are available online from Cottage Craft Works .com

Featherman a small manufacture located in the heart of the Missouri Amish communities have been manufacturing and selling high quality poultry processing equipment around the world since 2000.

They have perfected the design first plucker developed by an Amish gentleman which inspired the plans for the famous Wiz Bang Chicken Plucker.

Since that time they have developed models for turkey and wild game birds, as well as a gas fired hot water scalder and the dipping shackles.

The birds are first slaughtered using a killing cone to allow the carcass to properly bleed out. The birds are then dunked into several times in 145-150 degree scalding water to loosen the skin holding the feathers.

After the scalding the birds are placed in the plucking machine that will clean up to 4-5 birds at a time in 20 seconds.

The birds are then fished by cutting the head, feet and removal of the internals. A good rinse inside and out the birds are ready to be cooled quickly in a ice water bath before being placed in freezer bags.

The Featherman PRO Chicken Feather Plucker

The fastest way to pluck chicken feathers!

Featherman Pro PluckerHook up electric and a water hose and you are good to good. Non-electric model also available.

After scalding chickens drop 4 or 5 birds into the tub. Within 20 seconds the birds will be picked clean, and the feathers will be neatly washed out into a bucket.

No pin feathers, no mess, and no backache!

Available online at Cottage Craft Works .com

Capacity: 3 - 50 pounds of birds, optimum 30 pounds
Tub diameter: 22 inches
Height: 33 inches
Footprint: 25 x 28 inches
Weight: 125 lbs.
Motor: 1 hp 115 Volts

1 hp motor
10:1 speed reducer for more power
tub and housing constructed of high density UV-resistant, food-grade, molded plastic
easy clean-up feather chute
water spray ring
knee-high waterproof switch
119 ultra-soft plucking fingers

The Featherman Turkey Feather Plucker

Perfect for a large family farm to the commercial turkey grower!

Turkey Feather PluckerHooks to electric (220 volt required) and a water hose.

All the same features as the PRO model

The turkey plucker will hold up to 75lbs ( 3-4, 15-20 lbs birds) and clean In 20 seconds.

The tub and housing constructed of high density UV-resistant, food-grade, molded plastic.

Built strong for commercial use or as a rental.

Tub diameter: 32 inches
Height: 33 inches
Width: 35 inches
Length: 28 inches
Motor: 220 Volts

The Featherman Poultry Scalder

The secret to easy feather removal is in the scalding process

The scalding process allows the skin holding in the feathers to become relaxed. If the dunking process is too short the feathers won't remove properly, if the process is too long the poultry will begin to cook.

This portable gas fried scalder is thermostatically controlled to hold a constant temperature. Once the number of dunks and timing under the scalding water is processed to easily pull even the tiny pin feathers, the process becomes routine and ready to move batches on over to the plucking process.

Made of high quality Stainless Steel featuring a 65,000 to 70,000 BTU propane burner.

Will hold four birds at a time (40 gallons) Best when used with the four bird shackle and dunking system.

Unit has a drain valve, protective rim, side-mounted chimney. One year complete warranty.

Cottage Craft Works .com also has wood fired outdoor cookers and canners that can also be used as scalders.

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