Thursday, January 30, 2014

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - New Cooking Bag: EXCITING NEWS! January 30, 2014

So, I have been keeping this a secret for a while 3 months or so. I can't contain it anymore!! I have to share it!

Just about everyone knows I LOVE my Wonder Oven. I love it so much I made a video on Youtube to share with others how to make one. For anyone interested -that video can be found here:

I want to tell you about this AMAZING lady in Ghana West Africa named Ellen. She is originally from the Netherlands. She is working with poverty stricken communities in and around the area of Tamale. She found my video and wanted to try it. If she could make it work, she could teach the women there how to use it and help them in several ways. 

Sometimes it is hard for us to understand what it would be like to live there. They wash their clothes by hand, cook with briquettes or right over a fire, they easily contract malaria...kind of what we would consider emergency living. Crazy huh? She is doing an important work! If you want to find out what she does to help these beautiful people, go to (the website is in Dutch, so you will probably need Google to translate it).

So I sent her a pattern, she made one and they experimented with it and with another version called a "Wonder Bag", which is the same concept, but a different shape. The Wonder Bag worked the best for their pot shape and size. 

At first the people were skeptical, they didn't think it would work. 

She said, "But what was really exciting is that the most traditional food, T-Z was also well cooked in the New Cooking bag... It is a cornflour meal that you have to cook and stir normally for about 30 to 45 minutes and it is a special way. Nobody wanted to believe that it would work but stubborn as I am I pushed everybody to try it and on the picture you can see everybody standing around it and screaming and applauding... That was a wonderful moment and the taste.... Delicious!"

Something we might not understand, is that if you cook over direct fire (I am talking real fire...not over a gas stove :) ), before food is done most of the time, it begins to burn. Most of their food has a burnt taste to it, so for their traditional food to not have that slight off flavor of "yeah, that is slightly burned" was so exciting to them! It think we can learn so much from their experience!

How does the New Cooking Bag help them? 
  • It makes cooking safer for them (less time near open flame)
  • It makes the food taste better
  • It saves money
  • It conserves their fuel
  • It makes the food healthier for them

I am going to attach some pictures and the handout she has made to help them help themselves with this new way of cooking. SHAZAAM! This is so exciting!

Have you made a Wonder Oven? Are you skeptical that it will work for you? Give it a try, you too might end up screaming and applauding!
Isn't she BEAUTIFUL???

Using a hand crank sewing machine to make New Cooking Bags

Cooking with briquettes

All the ways the New Cooking Bag helps them!

They put a towel inside to keep the oven clean

Screaming and Applauding - They love the taste!

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