Foraging for cooking fuel and haybox bean soup
Everywhere I look I see fuel!
I went foraging for fuel for my new EcoZoom rocket stove a couple of days ago. I hauled in a long, skinny maple branch that had fallen a couple years ago in an ice storm. Brought it into the shop and cut it into 1 ft lengths with hubby’s miter saw, then split (as best I could) the thicker end into kindling. Everything’s wet from the recent rain so I hauled my treasure into the house to dry out (there is no part of the house that is off limits to my projects!)
I got the brilliant idea that the rocket stove and the hay box were a match made in heaven. Since I needed something more challenging to cook with both, I decided to make a pot of bean soup.
It took 30 minutes to bring the room temperature ingredients and cold ham hocks to a boil from the time I started the fire in the stove. About 8 quarts. Rushed the pot to the haybox (which was about 40 degrees to start!) and let the soup cook for three hours. It was 165 degrees. At that point I needed to add veggies, so I prepared the food, started the stove again, dumped the veggies in the pot and heated it to boiling again before putting the pot back in the box. It’ll simmer for another hour or two to cook the veggies.
So, except for a flick of the lighter, there was zero energy cost to slow cook a giant pot of bean soup. (don’t remind me about using the miter saw! LOL!) And I barely skimmed the top few sticks off the top of the fuel box.
There are worse things than tending a fire on a cool, cloudy Fall day.
Edit to add: After two more hours in the haybox, the carrots and celery were cooked al dente, the beans were perfect and the ham hock meat was falling off the bone. This is really a delicious recipe and the “alternative” cooking devices did not disappoint!