Thermal Cooking

What is thermal cooking? Well it’s like a slow cooker, but it does not use electricity at all. 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 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 crockpot 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

Garden Stuff – Feed Bag Planter

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The area we live in makes it a little difficult to garden. With all the red dirt and clay our garden has always been some type of raised bed or in planters. This year I’m trying something new with the feed bags that I save when ever I buy chicken feed. I cut a small hole in the bottom and hammered in a tomato stake.  The stake goes into the ground about 6 or 8 inches. Then I fill with a garden soil compost mixture. The stake helps support the planter bag and it will also help support the vegetables.   We’ll see how this goes…I have about eight more to put together.


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Let play catch up…or Barbecue in my case

I tend to be a little ADD when it comes to projects and things around the house.  At any one time there may be several projects in different phases of completion.  Oh LOOK!  A chicken!  Just kidding.  One of my hobbies is finding and saving old books.  It used to be any type of book but now my favorites are cookbooks and the older the better.  Well I found this awesome site that for me is even more exciting.  Ok, not more exciting as finding a 1902 Bible and its hand colored illustrations still bright and colorful, but close.  The site I’m talking about is called Feeding America.

Feeding America is a project that has created an online digital collection of American cookbooks from the late 18th to the early 20th century.  So far Michigan State University has digitized 76 cookbooks!  The best part is that they are searchable!  This means that if your looking to find out what your great great grandmother may have cooked for Sunday dinner you’ll probably find something close within one of the cookbooks.

Well my latest adventure is a recipe from the following book:  “A Century Of Good Cooking”.  This cookbook was compiled by the Pinson Memorial United Methodist Church and printed in 1993.  Not a very old book, but thought I’d give one of the many recipes a try.  This week it’s:

Barbecue Sauce

  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 3 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 cup catsup
  • 1/3 cup vinegar or lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Combine margarine and onion in saucepan, simmer slowly for 10 minutes.  Add other ingredients and cook slowly until well blended, approximately 15 minutes.  Good for all types of meats.  Keeps well in refrigerator.

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This one turned into a type of mustard sauce.  The recipe made about a quart of sauce and I decided to use it with chicken.  After I made the sauce I put a couple of boneless chicken breasts in the slow cooker and covered them with half the sauce.  Since I had to work today I set the slow cooker on low temperature and let it go for 8 hours.

Guess what we’re having for dinner!  Barbecue Chicken!  I’ll update later with how it tastes.