Thursday, June 6, 2013

How to cook on a charcoal stove

The end of the wet season here (April-ish) we virtually stopped cooking on our charcoal stove because we couldn't get any of the process to be dry enough to light on fire, but aside from then, we do a lot of our village cooking on a charcoal stove.  We've made everything from soup to banana bread on it.  Banana bread and cakes take a bit of babysitting (adding charcoal and taking coals away...) but it's definitely doable.  And the whole process saves us a lot of money on propane, as well as saves heating up an already hot house!  Here's the process in pictures and videos.

Collecting leaves off palm trees. 

 Choosing leaves to start the fire with.  This is our cook house, like all the other local women have for preparing food. 
Coconut husk goes underneath the charcoal to help it get lit.

 Houghton made our last batch of charcoal out in the village with some local guys.  They dug a pit, put a hard wood log in it, lit it on fire, and then doused it with water after it had burned all day.  I guess the charcoal is stronger if you do that over at least 2 days, but we were hard pressed for time.  So our charcoal burns up pretty fast.

 Lighting the coconut leaves that go in the bottom of the stove.

Coconuts lighting and nearly ready to cook something.

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