This and that No. 3

bio-digester

The Philips microbial kitchen, via The Guardian. Click on the images to read more about it.

I wish I were making this Thanksgiving’s pies in this lovely microbial kitchen. It is the kitchen of the future, says Philips. The heart of it is the bio-digester island, which is basically a poop- and vegetable scrap-repurposing contraption: burning methane powers the stove, and the “residue” (blessedly, magically dehydrated) can be used as fertilizer.

the larder
the larder close up

The larder.

The part of the microbial kitchen that really excites me is the larder, which has “a twin-walled terra cotta evaporative cooler” consisting of “compartments and chambers [that] vary in wall thicknesses and volumes . . . designed to keep different types of food at different optimal temperatures.” I am ready for this now. I am already mentally arranging my mushrooms and cheeses. You know what this reminds me of, this amazing styrofoam kitchen of the future from 1978:

containerization

Styrofoam kitchen by Lino Schenal, from Joan Kron and Suzanne Slesin’s High-Tech(1978).

I got High-Tech after seeing this outdoor hangout room from it over at Wary Meyers. There are loads of good ideas in the book and the styrofoam kitchen has stuck with me. I often bring home new kitchen equipment that I don’t have just the right spot for, and with a kitchen like this I could scoop out a compartment for, say, my new ice cream machine. It isn’t as high-tech as the microbial kitchen, but how great would it be to combine the two, with terra cotta inserts for the scooped-out wall, like the larder? Such that one could open a little door to a personal-size cheese cave? Or a mushroom-growing cabinet. I have been trying to grow mushrooms inside my componibili and this would be an improvement. One could have a mushroom-growing cabinet right next to a pipe carrying cool, clean water and have one’s mushrooms misted automatically. Or via phone.

The more mysterious biological and transformative aspects of the future kitchen remind me of this fallen tree that Mr. Lunar Camel Co. and I recently encountered at Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Sleepy Hollow, NY. Are these the ghosts of insects struck by lightening? Whatever happened here happened to the entire length of the tree.

Alpine-20111105-00699

Alpine-20111105-00698

This and That No. 1 is here.

This and That No. 2 is here.

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