(I took the header picture of a Common Loon resting on a pond in Utah on its way north in June of 2015. It was in transition from winter to summer plumage.)

Translate - I dare you. Then make a comment on the funny errors the translator made.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Quest cooking: calabacitas

About a year ago I started a Wordpress blog called Quest for the Flame, wherein I started writing about my experiments with efficient wood stoves, among other things.  It's been months since I posted there, and lately on reflection I've found it redundant and too much effort to keep up so many blogs with so much else demanding my time.  So I've more or less abandoned that blog.  Today I'm going to post here about my most recent experience cooking with one of my homemade stoves.

This stove is a rocket stove, made with a #10 can and some smaller food cans.  You can read instructions on making your own here, if you're a cheapskate like me and don't want to pay for one of the really nice ones from SilverFire or Ecozoom; and/or you like to make things yourself.  I've experimented with woodgas stoves too, which I love the idea of, but I've found this rocket stove the easiest to use for cooking.  (BTW, those instructions show a dremel and fiberglass insulation; I used tin snips and perlite.)

After having cooked several pots of rice over this, I scored a big stainless steel wok at the local DI, and since a traditional wok stove is very much like a rocket stove, I thought that using the wok for stir-frying would be a perfect way to use mine.  Yesterday I did my second stir-fry using this, and it turned out beautifully.  The setting was Nunn's Park, close to the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon, a favorite picnic and walking spot.  It was crowded, but we were lucky enough to find a table with a grill, where I set up.

The stove is so efficient that I cooked the dish with only these three sticks - and didn't even burn them all up!
This was a simple dish, more or less a version of calabacitas, using some of the plentiful summer produce we're swimming in.  First, zucchini and yellow crookneck squash, with some garlic:

- next, tomatoes with salt and Turkish Seasoning from Penzeys:

- and after that had simmered a bit, scallions and cilantro:

When it was all done, I doused the stove quickly (park regulations forbid open fires during this dry summer) and we enjoyed a nice compliment to our other picnic fare.

Almost no smoke, a good consistent hot flame making for a quick cooking time, and a tasty result.  I hope this gives some useful ideas, and thanks to my beautiful and talented sweetie for taking pictures!

If you want to see more food you can cook on a rocket stove, watch the youtube channel Solid Fuel Cooking, from the Netherlands.

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