Posted by: Rachael | February 28, 2008

a satisfying discovery

This post is a year old! It feels like we’ve been using the bag *forever*. It definitely wasn’t a two-minute-wonder. We use it almost every day…….
Many ideas and questions mulling around my mind come together in this post.

If we were ever without electricity for a prolonged period of time, how would we cope?

Is there a way to have rice when camping? (I’m a bit dependent on my rice cooker at home!)

If we go travelling is there a way we could cook without lugging a full kitchen with us? (or at least a crock pot which I use almost every day)

Could we reduce our energy consumption? (if I wannabe self-sufficient one day, relying on wind or solar power, I’d really need to address this one)

How could we travel if we couldn’t cook beans? We a) need to eat beans now to save money for travelling and b) would need to eat beans whilst travelling so that we could afford to go into Buckingham Palace BUT I don’t want to miss out on visiting the Statue of Liberty, because I’m watching our pot of beans simmering for seven hours.

So I’ve been pondering “low-cook” meals. A friend suggested hamburgers, but, to be honest, they don’t rate as an easy meal the way we do them….you see, just like the little red hen, we grind the wheat to make the flour to make the buns…..we grow the lettuce and carrots and radishes and tomatoes….we sprout our own seeds…..we pickle the cabbage and beetroot we’ve already grown…we make the relish and the mayonnaise and sometimes the cheese… is time-consuming to do these things, and how would we travel with our garden? ;-)

I was thinking more along the lines of salads and raw vege platters and stirfries….until Nikki (hi Nikki!!) suggested cooking baskets.

I’m not usually one to sit around for too long simply wondering (one of my weaknesses is definitely jumping in to things with both feet before engaging brain)….so I *made* one. Not as fancy as the ones in Kenya. Not even out of a basket. I used what I had (a large bag I knit and felted a couple of months ago)…

….and it worked! (BTW, do you like my authentic Nepali cooking pot above? Now, just look at that fluffy brown rice below…mmmmmm)

Once I’ve *started* acting, I tend to do a bit of thinking, refining, improving…and so here’s what HaveCookingPotWill Travel2 is going to be like (thanks K9 for even suggesting that I could knit one – you’re a legend!)
There will be one big huge gigantic enormous outer bag.
There will be an inner bag, which fits the pot snugly, and comes up higher than the pot so that the lid is less likely to be accidentally knocked off. This might even have a drawstring cord at the top!
Once you’ve put the pot into the smaller bag, you’d place it in the big one and then stuff all the clothes you’re not wearing at the time (if you’re travelling) in between the two layers. If you were at home you would be more likely to have a dedicated stuffing! This time I used three baby blankets, a beach towel and some leftover woollen quilt batting.

The cool thing about these bags (I think) is that you can use them to carry your beans and rice and veges home from market before you cook. They would be relatively small (well, smaller than taking a pressure cooker to Peru or Korea) and making them would be a much more creative process than going in to any superstore and buying one of seven hundred and sixty four identical items off the shelf!

I can hardly wait to finish my current projects and start on this one…I’ve got a great stash of cream wool just waiting to be dyed and turned into something funky!
I’ll have to start collecting recipes too. Here’s the first one:

1 ½ C brown rice
1 ½ C water
Put in pot and bring to the boil. Boil for five minutes. Put the lid on and tuck up tightly in cooking bag for half an hour.

That’s it!

One final thought – the blog address given above is big on global warming… yet I remain unconvinced that this is anything other than a political agenda. Maybe I’ll discuss that another time! For now, I’m loving the cooking basket concept.



  1. […] is another recipe that is ideal to make in a cooking bag – I add the silverbeet at the same time as the other ingredients and don’t worry about the […]

  2. […] heat and simmer, covered for 1 1/4 hours, and then uncovered for 15 minutes (or transfer it to a cooking bag once all the ingredients are heated […]

  3. […] period) or bring them to the boil and simmer for twenty minutes and then transfer the pot to a cooking bag (you could try wrapping a feather duvet round the pot – that’s what they do in Russia, […]

  4. […] – ordinarilly, simmer until cooked. Alternatively, bring to the boil and then transfer to your cooking bag and forget about dinner for the rest of the […]

  5. […] if necessary add to the flavour. I like to bring it all to the boil and then throw the pot in my cooking bag…….you could just as easily use a crockpot or even just simmer it on the stove, taking […]

  6. […] splash of soy sauce A pot full of chicken stock Add and bring to the boil Put in cooking bag for the afternoon – or just simmer gently on the stove. At some point whizz the mixture so […]

  7. […] adding water as necessary (or in my version, boil for five minutes and then hide the pot in the cooking bag for a few […]

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