Wonderbag

 

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Christmas came early in our house with some relatives going away, and we were given a Wonderbag.  I have long cherished my Mum’s slow-cooked food on her Aga and here is a much smaller, much cheaper way to achieve the same process!  Heat-retention cooking is not a new idea, it is an age-old technique, in a hay box, or a hole in the ground.  Wonderbag just makes it easy to do in your kitchen!

The Wonderbag is a “a non-electric, heat-retention cooker that allows food that has been brought to a boil, to continue cooking after it has been removed from the fuel source.”  It is effectively a super thick sleeping bag (filled with recycled foam or  polystyrene granules) for your pan.  Once you have given the pot a kick start with a conventional cooker, you can pop the pot in the bag and it keeps cooking without burning any more fuel, wherever you are, indoors, outdoors, or in the bush.

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We had a go the next day, the Sunday roast of lamb shoulder became a pot roast.  I cooked it on the hob to brown the meat and then simmer it in a small amount of stock until the pot and meat were both hot.  The pot nestled into the Wonderbag, I tucked on the lid, and out we went for the morning, without any worry of pots boiling over or untended ovens.  The meat was delicious, so tender from the slow-cooking.  The bag also doubled as a popular toy……

The bag comes with a recipe book, and the variety of recipes online is fantastic with lots of nutritious and economical suggestions.  Moroccan vegetable soup will be the next recipe on my list, though the rest of the household has its eyes on sticky syrup pudding.

It is cost-saving and time-saving in my kitchen, but the ambition of Wonderbag’s founder Sarah Collins is much greater.  After years working in social development, and a spell of cold dinners caused by power cuts  drove her to experiment with cushions, Sarah conceived the Wonderbag.  For families in developing countries cooking on  kerosene, paraffin or wood, the stoves and fires don’t just cause smoky homes, they   are expensive, time-consuming and dangerous.  The positive impact of Wonderbag is compelling, clear and far-reaching.  Less deforestation and more time for family and other work are just the immediate and most obvious benefits.   For every Wonderbag sold in the UK or US, a Wonderbag is placed in a family in Africa.  To date 600,000 are in South Africa, each one cutting the average family’s fuel usage by around 30%.

What a wonderful recipe!  Last date for Christmas delivery is to order by midday on 18th December and the Wonderbag starts at £30.  The perfect gift for the difficult to buy for.