Cook fast, cook slow, cook new style now

Everybody in Europe is seriously economizing the energy bill. Some refuse to turn on the heater.
Funny thing is, that on the other hand we keep on cooking ‘old style’, so abundantly using energy like it is still as cheap as the last decades. That way your energy flies away through the kitchens vent pipe.

Just try out the next tips now, and you cook your Christmas meal just as easy in the new style. You will use at least half the energy and the taste of your food is better.

Cook fast …

If you cook in the pressure cooker, you can cook in a tiny bit of water. Simply because (close to) nothing of the just heated water evaporates. So, with that little water it cooks in the wink of an eye.

And, because cooking is just like politics, when things are under pressure, they are faster done. Good. Compared to the old style heating in a pan, it saves you half the energy. And all vegetable juice and taste, did not get the chance to evaporate and leave the kitchen through the vent. It is still in the food you eat, so that is what you want for Christmas.

OK, that’s the first 50% of energy save. Later more.

a pressure cooker has a one years pay back time these days

…or cook slow…

Remember the Slow Cooker? In the seventies it became trendy, and again in the nineties. Originally it is used for stews and old fashioned soups..The latter cookers were equipped with pretty good insulation. This works great.

Indeed, stews and many soups, and many  ‘forgotten vegetables’ just need time. Not heat, nevertheless we try it.

So why not cooking that way!  With lower temperatures you don’t lose much heat if your slow cooker is well insulated.

Newer slow cook models are great in the ways you can programme it. Your meal is ready when you arrive at home.  Still, the insulation could improve, but that will grow when the energy prices go up.

..or cook fast and slow.

Why not take best of both worlds? So, the fast (high pressure) and slow (insulated) cooking. Just put  your rice, potatoes, whatever, in a pressure cooker, with the tiny bit of water. It will cook quickly. Normally it has to cook on low fire for another 10 or 15 minutes, depending on the food. That would cost you another 30%. Don’t do that, but take the pressure cooker from the fire and put it in a well insulated box.

Our grandmothers (or grand-grandmothers) called that a ‘hay box’. An enormous box, and only one pan could fit in it.  Nowadays the insulation is 3 times better than hay, so the box is the size of a drawer.

The temperature in the pressure cooker will lower slowly. So it will be ready in a longer time, mostly 2 or 3 times longer. But, this saves you energy time, as well as a place on your furnace. And on board of a ship, it saves you a risk of a hot mess, because one pan is secured in the safe place of the hay box.

The modern version of the hay box, on board ‘Ya’

Cooking historically

The ‘old style cooking’ is historically grown, The stove was a central place to heat the room for the big household of 6 or 10, or sometimes 15 members. A water kettle was on it, in case you wanted to make tea or coffee. The stove was extra fueled for the evening meal and the evening.

Then later, the families became smaller. Meanwhile we got bigger houses, with a separate heating, and a dedicated gas stove for the meals. In that time, many housewifes started working. So these meals should be made quickly. And the energy did not cost much then. So, the best gas stove was the fastest. Some vegetables could be cooked ready in a fast way, and the other not. The latter ones we started calling them ‘forgotten vegetables.

When you cook new style, you can also enrich your kitchen with these reborn vegetables.