Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Home cookin

A few weeks ago, I ran out of gas in my gas bombola. It's kind of an Italian thing t have a gas canister in your kitchen instead of having your stove hooked up to the mains. When you run out, you go down to the farm shop and get a new one, the guy picks up the old one and refills it for the next customer.

But for some reason, I just couldn't be bothered. I've got quite a good microwave and of course, it's Umbria so I have a large old fashioned fireplace with cooking stuff. This is also perfectly normal for Umbria. I've learned how to be very efficient about keeping hot coals going all the time on the big flat stone hearth, and it's kind of fun to do the morning coffee on the fire as you sit and say your morning prayers or think your morning thoughts. Even in summer the early mornings here are cool, and it's been raining and miserable for weeks, so it's doubly nice.

Lately, I've been thinking that for the summer I'll just get a big marquee and move the cooking to the big brick barbeque thing in the garden, and have an outdoor kitchen, like we used to have in the SCA. Why not?

Last night, I was doing up some curry stir fry and risotto on the fire, and reading some stuff on my laptop, and thought, again, "You don't have to live like they tell you."

Here's an article about doing things differently.



Anonymous said...

a personal shrine too?

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Just pictures on the mantel.

jd said...

Love the whole cozy scene, Hilary.

Thank you for the very interesting link too!

Anonymous said...

Of course, if you're hit by a hurricane and the power goes out, you're forced to live differently. It's good to get back to basics.

Louise L

Anonymous said...

Hillary, I dont mind if you dont publish this as not non-anonymous, but do read it. Basic summary - solar ovens!

Dear Hilary,
As an additional, supplemental thing that is cheap and might work about 1/4 of the time, and you have the lifestyle to go outside and check on it, make a solar oven out of a cardboard box, some plastic sheeting that you scavenge on a walk, and some aluminium foil. If you stack a layer of the heaty-est stones you have (slate-like italian dark stone is the best stuff Ive found), it will keep heat in. Its easy to get up to 85deg on a mediocre day, and on a sunny day to get up to 115-125 deg. I think the best Ive done is about 140 deg, and thats without pro equipment.



Good enough for making a korean stew over two hours, getting pasta ready slowly, or preparing rice. You can do most things, you just have to treat it like a slow-cooker, and be prepared to go out and adjust it to track the sun during the day.

Making the box out of wood and planes of glass would be even better....

Anonymous said...

Hey I just heard about the earthquake, I'm praying you're alright.
Dianne & jh