Saturday, October 08, 2005

Cooking The Old Fashioned Way - AKA Disaster Preparedness

Hosted by 18thC Cuisine.

I remember some sort of olden ways to cook using anything that is at hand. Maybe it won't be useful, but I will share it anyway. By the way, we use fire because it could be easily stored in traditional bamboo container. Once I get the proper name I will post it on, I have forgotten it since I hardly use it now.

Cooking rice.
I was taught 3 ways to do so, but I could only remember 2 ways. One is using the bamboo and the other one using tikar (or tatami).

Bamboo style.
1. Make a big fire, I mean a proper campfire.
2. Cut one section of bamboo tube, or use the bamboo water bottle. If we use bamboo tube we have to use banana leaf as well. However if we use the bamboo water bottle it won't need anything else.
3a. Put the banana leaf the bottom part up (non-shiny side), put the rice in the middle of it. Fold it into a sort of tube and fold the side so the rice won't fall off. Place the whole thing into the bamboo tube. Flood the bamboo tube with water.
3b. Put the rice into the bamboo water bottle and fill it with water to the brim and closed it.
4. Place the bamboo tube in a near the fire (around half length of your arm) or nearer, but don't let it touch the fire at all.
5. Wait till there is no more water evaporation and even then left it be some more to allow the rice to be properly steamed.

I know mere description is not enough and I found a website that explains this is great details. It's in Primitive Ways website.

The Tikar style (tatami)
1. Take a piece of the tikar out of the tikar in your house, the softer it is the better.
2. Wrap the rice inside the tikar, fold the end also, more like the banana wrap as above.
3. Soak the whole thing inside water, the more water it retains the better.
4. Put it on the ground and cover it with leaves.
5. Start fire on the top of the leaves mound. Just a small one and hold that it will not turn into a campfire size, just a small flicker is enough.
6. Wait till it reaches the tikar and then put it out. By then the rice will be cooked enough.

There is also a way to boil egg. Basically the same methods as the tikar style of cooking rice. However, instead of rice and tikar we use an egg wrapped in papers (newspapers or anything that absorb a lot of water).

Baking fish without the burnt smell.
1. Wrapped a fish in clay till it covered the entire fish.
2. Chucked the whole wrapped fish into a campfire size fire. Allow it to burnt.
3. Remove the clay and eat.
You don't need to scale the fish as when we remove the clay the scale will be removed together with the clay. This method could also be used in baking whole poultry without pulling its feathers off. In fact cooking poultry this way had made a restaurant in HangZhou (China) famous.

Stewing or making soup.
1. Dig a hole in the ground.
2. Place an animal skin over the ground (furry side down facing the ground) and pin the edge of the skin on the brink of the hole.
3. In a campfire, burnt 3-4 smooth, fist-size stones.
4. Fill the skin with water.
5. Put in the hot stones into the water.
6. Put in the soup or stew ingredients.
7. You could always replace the stoned to keep the stew/soup going. But usually it's enough to boil the whole stuff.

Frying egg. (Kind of a no-brainer)
1. Place 3 round stones of roughly the same size in a small-triangle position.
2. Built small fire in the middle of the 3 stones.
3. Place a flat stone which could cover the triangle and had been washed over the fire. Let the flat stone burnt.
4. Cooked the egg on it. I had used twigs to flip it over, messy but edible.

I can't remember much of those things anymore. My survival skill had deteriorated now that I have not done any practice for a long time (Making a campfire in here will definitely get me arrested as budding arsonist.) Hopefully this will be useful.

It's up in the round up as well.


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3:43 AM  

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