Floral Friday – 4

These colorful petunia flowers were photographed while we were visiting the city of Cobh in Cork County Ireland. I’m not sure if this was taken before or after I fell into the street. Yes, I stepped off the curb, tripped and fell face first into the street. (Disclaimer: Guinness was not a factor during this incident.) Landing on my knee first was very painful, but I survived the embarrassment. Several people ran to my assistance, one even stopped his car and came over to help me up and to make sure I was OK. A waitress from the pub across the street came over to see if she could do anything. I’ve not experienced that much concern from strangers since. In Ireland the people were so friendly! If this fall had happened here in the states I would have been on my own. Anyways…. I’ve loved this photo ever since.

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Thermal Cooking aka Hay Box Cooking

What is thermal cooking? Well it’s like a slow cooker, but it does not use electricity at all and all the magic happens inside the insulated pot. The short and sweet of it is that food is heated to boiling for a period of time 5, 10, 15 minutes and then put into an insulated structure. The interior covered pot will retain all the heat and the food will slowly continue cooking for several hours.This cooking concept is not new. While doing some research I found a newspaper article from the late 1890’s describing the same method. I also found a drawing in the book Experiment Station Work, XLI from 1907. If interested in reading the article it can be found over on the Internet Archive.

Well my cooker is not made from wood but the concept is the same. I was able to duplicate the method using a lidded pot and a cooler. Considering the cooler took up so much counter space and the hot pot warped the plastic on the inside of the cooler I finally decided to purchase a small crock pot sized thermal cooker.

It’s very simple to use and there is no worry from leaving an electric appliance plugged in all day. Continue reading