This era in history may be remembered as the "Peak Age", a brief time when nearly all materials used to power and create our society reach the maximum extraction and production potential. Past this point, all of these resources become increasingly difficult to extract until they are no longer economically viable resources to be using. There are hundreds of examples of resources, currently embedded in our industrial society, which have reached their peak in the 50 years surrounding 2010, but the one which will most impact our society is petroleum.

The goal of living for 100 days without oil is to understand the extent of our dependance on oil in American society today. Specifically, how it will affect my life, as a 25 year-oil living in Minneapolis, MN. By using myself as a metric I can take a close and conscious look at where oil dependance occurs in all aspects of our daily lives : How we transport ourselves from one place to another, what we eat, how much waste we create, how water is cleaned and transported, where oil is used as; an energy resource, in conventional medicine and for hygiene and how oil affects how we entertain ourselves and communicate with others. By demonstrating how someone would be forced to live without using any oil resources, outlining both what the sacrifices will be as well as the benefits, we can can identify the many systems which will have to be re-designed in a world without cheap oil, and explore a new way of living in which we live in an energy balance.

(At the bottom of this page is a link to my version of a flow diagram of 'Where Petroleum Exists in Our Daily Lives' (using information from the Energy Information Administration-Annual Energy Review 2008 fig 5.0 Petroleum flow) click and zoom to enlarge)

Monday, October 25, 2010


22 October 2010

My friend Kevin (who I have thoroughly brainwashed throughout the course of this project) had an all local-food/drink dinner party tonight for his birthday.  Throwing a few 3'x6' plywood boards on some cinder blocks he made a make-shift table to seat 18 people in his 1 bdrm apt. Who says you need a big place or exotic foods to throw a great dinner party?

I helped him cook up some local foods for the party as follows:


All Crusts:
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tsp maple sugar
4 cups flour (3 cups white, 1 cup whole wheat)
4 tsp active bread yeast

1_let rise in a warm place for 30 min
2_push into bread pan (or roll out to 1/4") and rise for another 30 min
3_spread sauce on pizza
4_place ingredients on pizza
5_bake for 20 min on 425

Spicy Tomato Sauce + Goat Cheese Pizza:
 4 Roma tomatoes
2 tbps cream cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 garlic clove
1/2 jalapeno pepper

tomatoes (guts taken out)
goat cheese
sliced garlic
hot peppers

Pear +Gorganzola Pizza
_carmelize onions in a liberal amount of oil
_toss with diced pears in frying pan for last 5 minutes
_spread mixture over pizzas
_top with chopped walnuts and garlic slices

Pesto Pizza
2 cups packed basil
1/2 cup pine nuts (to be substituted with local ingredient)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves crushed garlic
1/4-1/2 cups sunflower oil (depending how creamy you want it)
red peppers
sliced garlic

Maple Cake:
3 3/4 cups self rising flour (for every 1 cup of all-purpose flour mix in 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 1/2 tsps of baking powder)
3/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 cup maple sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
3/4 cups hot water
Butter cream frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 pure maple syrup
2 tbsp maple sugar
2-3 cups powdered sugar

1_Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2_Grease and lightly flour (I use Recipe #78579) two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.

3_ In a large bowl, mix together the flour and the ginger and set aside.

4_In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy.

5_ Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well combined.

6_Beat in the maple syrup gradually.

7_Add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the water, beating after each addition until smooth.

8_Pour the batter into the prepared pans; prepare a hot water bath to be placed on the rack underneath the cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cake tests done (the toothpick test).

9_Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

10_To make the buttercream frosting: mix butter, extract and syrup till smooth. Add powdered sugar (a few tablespoons at a time), beating on high speed (my handmixer has three speeds) till frosting reaches desired consistency.

11_When cake has cooled, ice between the layers. Ice top and sides of cake, sprinkling the top with chopped walnuts.

He asked everyone to bring a local wine or beer.  Many people brought growlers of beer from local breweries which was great, no glass waste!  A few people tried their hand at cooking some local dishes as well which were all excellent:
_fresh mozzerela, tomato and basil
_apple salad
_sage, basil, butter and roasted garlic crostinis
_homemade blueberry ice cream

With 36 homemade soy-wax candles, the whole dinner was by candlight, plenty of light for the whole place!

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