Cooking in the dark

Chef Caro ponders the effect of the electricity hike on her cooking.

by: Caro de Waal: Food24 | 23 Oct 2009
Beach picnic

I'm in trouble.

With the imminent onset of massive electricity hikes, the husband is threatening to really make some changes. No, really.

Luckily, I am the owner of a brand new 6 hob gas stove. Ohhh mama, it's beautiful.

It's something I wish I'd had in those maddening days of eskom mid-meal surprises, plunged into darkness and cold food.

I remember the evening of "earth hour" this year. We drove to a dinner party in the strange serenity of the city thrown under darkness and a sky bursting with stars. It was quite beautiful.

We arrived to a candle-lit feast cooked by the flames of a braai and warm happy faces. There was a Mid-Summer Night's Dream feeling in the air and we chose not to turn the lights back on, when long after it was time, we realised we had forgotten.

So it's not all bad; there are ways to eat and enjoy life without flicking a switch...

  • Have a picnic with candles and delicious breads, cheeses and cold meats. It can be as simple as a sandwich, or go all the way with smoked salmon and bubbles.

  • Use the weber, braai or campside fire. Any outdoor flame adds fun and that smoky flavour we all smack our lips and ask for seconds for.

  • Wrap-in-a-box : I watched in wonder as my mum-in-law wrapped the Christmas ham in layered blankets and newspaper after blitzing it on the stove, ok, you need about 15 minutes of electricity here, and left it overnight. It emerged quite freakishly the next day all fall-off-the-bone and gorgeous from it's pass the parcel wrapping on Christmas morning. What a pressie!

  • Think raw. The raw food movement is here and here to stay. Make sashimi and beautiful raw salads that will have you buffed and shiny and all like, shweet man.

  • Gas. Need I say more?

  • Fondues. Dust off the old fondue set. Hey, someone knows someone who has one, and let that teeny flame do all the work. (Just be sure to keep it teeny. 3rd degree hand burns are not fun, folks.)

    Best bit? Candlelight is SEXY. Yay! Share your favourite lights-out meals and stand a chance to win a R250 Kalahari voucher.

    - None


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