Cooking with less fuel : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I recently constructed myself a haybox. If anyone was ever in the scouts, or the american equivalent they may remember making one themselves. The basic principle is to insulate the box with hay or straw in net bags, so that they retain the heat much like a slow cooker. I have used a camping fridge (basically a coolbox), and lined it with straw packed quite firm. There is an impression in the middle the size of a saucepan, and then a bag of straw sits on the top with the lid closing on top of that. The basic box could be anything (ie cardboard)just as long as it is well insulated. My husband suggested polystyrene pellets of the kind you find in beanbag seats. It really is useful if you are in a situation where space and ease to fit a stove is limited but a primus would use prohibitive amounts of fuel. I get the stew or soup to boiling then put it in the box overnight. It needs to be well cooked before, at least 10 to 15 minutes, if it is meat but veggies and beans do very well indeed on just one or two minutes. Also porridge for breakfast. This could be a fall back plan that others could take on board and create very easily from household items in an emergency.(So would not have to make the committment of preparing for something that "has been fixed"!) It also reminds me of a previous thread that suggested keeping some jobs for after the new year, so as to give woried hands something constructive to do instead of having to hurry up and wait. We have a water butt to fit but will do it when the time comes. We have other water containers but rainfall here is so reliably high that the butt will fill in two to three days no problem!! Another point I cannot stress enough is to practice!! on new stoves etc. before using precious stores, as different methods can cause embarrassing carbonised offerings until you have used them for a while. I feel it in my bones that burnt dinner is going to be a big nono if mealtimes become less regular, and more to the point smaller!

Got greaseproof paper? Liz

-- liz (, September 11, 1999


Excellent post.

Another consideration a pressure cooker, fast meals, 1/4 the fuel.

I had to rumage in the basement just to find the old cooker and when I did the weight that goes over the hole in the lid was gone!

So trip to the store and the new generation cookers with non-stick interiors and even one with a window! Got one and then went to for some books and I'm cookin' with pressure.

The best part is perfect rice in 7 min. 2 min to pressure and 5 min under pressure....voila! (Warning different kinds of rice cook with different times, some shorter some longer, this was a Basmati)

Beans in 30 min. or so.

Hey that's what I've been storing and wondering how I was going to cook it.

Got dried green chili?

-- LM (, September 11, 1999.

What is a water butt?

-- Linda (, September 11, 1999.

Bush Box (hay box) instructions are in archive

-- Taz (, September 11, 1999.

Gas free beans: Rinse beans, put in pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes WITH LID AJAR for steam to escape. Turn fire off and let the beans sit for about 3 hours. DO NOT DRAIN. Bring beans to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes. You will not get gas using this method.

-- gasless in OR (gasless in, September 11, 1999.

is there a type of pressure cooker that can be used in a fire place with a grate over the fire? the electic ones i've seen at walmart are kind-of expensive, but if i can find one i can use in any circumstances, for under $100, that would be great.

-- sarah (, September 11, 1999.

Epazote for gas-free bean-eating, cheap, easy to grow. Search on word in Food archive or see Preparation Forum, hotlink under "About."

-- Old Git (, September 11, 1999.


No, do not try to use a pressure cooker over an open fire. Best used over a propane or liquid fuel stove.

-- LM (, September 11, 1999.

"water butt" = Brittish Water Barrel

Right, OG??


-- Chuck, a night driver (, September 11, 1999.

Odd as it might seem given the current state of my health, I lived l4 years in Alaska and in a log cabin for 2 years. I used a wide mouth thermos to make my hot cereal by pour boiling water over rolled oats and leaving it overnight - hot cooked cereal in the morning!

-- Leslie (***@***.net), September 11, 1999.

Yup! Also rain butt. Liz, you gave yourself away--you ain't frum here, are ya? At least, that's what the natives say to me.

Flashback. It was 1967 and I had been in this country for a week. Someone (from the country south of New Orleans) asked me where I was from. England. Thank God, he said, I thought you were a Yankee! And he meant it. Took me a while to understand what that was all about.

-- Old Git (, September 11, 1999.

I saw these pots and pans on TV and thought they would make an interesting addition to the prepared kitchen. This cookware is built to drastically reduce cooking time. I love these kinds of inventions.

A bit pricey, (quality always costs more) but likely worth it, as they will pay for themselves through reduced heating costs. And, they claim, no more burning the food!!!

-- OR (, September 12, 1999.

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