Food Storage, Not Just For Storing: WONDER BOX COOKER . . . Just In Time For Summer!

Food Storage, Not Just For Storing: WONDER BOX COOKER . . . Just In Time For Summer!.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

WONDER BOX COOKER . . . Just In Time For Summer!

For the step by step pictures click HERE .

I was just talking to my sister-in-law and she told me about this little wonder. Have you heard about them? They would be great in an emergency, but how about now with the summer weather hitting with a vengeance?!? It would be a great propane saver too if you do a lot of cooking out side or while camping. Check it out!



Wonder Boxes work like vacuum flasks. In these days when we are being warned of worldwide shortages of food and fuel, this wonder box and it’s simplicity is designed to keep food at the temperature needed for cooking. Using very little fuel you only use about 15 minutes of energy to bring the food to the required temperature and then put it into the Wonder box. It makes it as though it were a thermos. On the flip side it will also keep ice-cream cold for about 4 hours.

Brief Cooking Instructions:

Boil your food on the stove for 10 – 15 minutes until the food is heated right through. (In practice this is too long.)

Use any cooking pot, provided it does not have a long handle, but do not use a large pot for a small amount of food. The W’box does not work well if there is a large air space. Remember that the more food or liquid that you have in the pot, the longer and better it will cook.

Put the lid on the pot before you remove the pot from the stove so the lid can also get hot. Make sure the nest in the bottom cushion is ready to take the pot and that it is nearby so you do not lose heat carrying the pot around. Place pot into the nest of the W’box, making sure that the sides are snug against the pot, so there are no air pockets. Quickly cover the pot with the top cushion, making sure there are no gaps or air pockets. Make sure that no one peeks inside. If this happens, heat will escape, and the food will not cook properly.

Do not leave the W’box on a metal surface while it is being used. Metal is a good conductor of heat and may draw off some heat through the bottom.

When cooking anything like a roast or a whole chicken, the liquid around it can boil before the meat has reached the same temperature. Make sure the liquid covers the meat and it has come to a boil. Meat must be covered with liquid! The cooking time seems to be 3-4 hours, or all day. It is sure to never burn.

Note: We had a chicken that was put in at 9:30 in the morning before church. This single dad prepared the chicken by placing it into an oven-cooking bag. He added spices to the chicken closed the bag completely (no added moisture was added to the bag) then brought the pot of water with the chicken in, to a boil and put it all in to the W’box. We ate with him at 4:00pm and as he tried to carve the chicken that was well cooked; the steam was ‘rolling’ off the chicken. It was still so hot he worked with forks to carve it. Nb: the opening to the bag was left protruding from under the lid.

The W’box was designed for cooking meals, but it can also be used for keeping food hot, cold or frozen for 3-6 hours depending on what it is For example, frozen meat will stay frozen longer than a tub of ice cream.

The cushions filled with polystyrene can be washed with hot water and soap and hung on the line to dry.

WONDER BOX Sewing Instructions

Click here for a Pattern

Material: 3 Meters (yards are 3″ shorter than a meter) soft cotton or broadcloth so it will conform to the shape of the pot.

(½ can be coordinated …. two colors)

19 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails of Polystyrene beads (it is an insulation that looks like the tiny separate Styrofoam bits that make up the protective packing in electronics, etc.)

“Polystyrene is about the best insulating material and it is also easily washed. If you are only able to get the solid pieces which are used for packing radios etc., you can break it up by grating it.”
the booklet also says “make cushions out of large plastic bags, mutton cloth or other washable material and fill loosely with any of the following:
Polystyrene, Dried corn husks, Woolen materials, Feathers, Waste nylon materials, Flakes of newspaper, sawdust and wood shavings, Hay or other dry grasses “In Canada we have a gray ‘blow in insulation’ in our attic, it would be impossible to wash without opening the wonder box but it may be added to this list as well.

Sewing instructions:

When you sew the wonder box together you sew 2 of the 4 pieces together along the longest sides. You open each of the pairs now and place them right sides together and sew those 2 together all the way around the outside, making an awkward shaped cushion affair. Don’t forget the opening to fill through. You then repeat with the 4 bottom pieces. One pair together, sew along the longest side, then the other pair. Open them up and place them right sides together, remembering to leave openings to fill through. I am adding a loop at this point to hang this by when not in use, or dry after washing.

The narrow part of the bottom pattern is the piece you will tuck into the bigger part of the bottom to make the pouch/nest for the pot to sit into.

Hoping not to confuse the issue. If you start where the bottom pattern says 90 (degrees for the angle) and sew down the right side of the pattern and stop just after the second 11 ½ ” mark, before the pattern starts back up. That will be one of the two pairs. Do the same with the other two, put right sides together again and sew it all the way around the outside edge now, into the box or ball shape. The same goes for the top cushion, start at the 100, sew down the right and stop just after the 11″ mark. The rights sides together and sew again making the shape of the top cushion.

It will not lie flat. It will take the shape of a square cushion when it is filled with the polystyrene beads, and the bottom cushion has a cavity like a nest or pouch.

Top: Fill a little less than ½ full while the bag is hanging. Approximately 7 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails.

A paper funnel works best, as the beads are very static prone. You may want to use an ice cream pail to pour from. Work with two people to fill-one to hold the funnel in and the other to pour. Spread a sheet on floor to catch beads.

Bottom: Cut 4 Fill approximately ½ full with polystyrene beads. Approximately 12 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails

Once this bag is filled, tuck the small end into the center to form the pouch/nest for the pot. Find a good pot that works well in this pouch. No long handles please.

When the pan sits inside the pouch/nest of the bottom, the pan is surrounded on all sides except the top. So… that is where the top/lid comes in. It is very important to keep all of the heat inside this wonder box cooker. One of the pages and the recipes explain that the lid/top of the wonder box must go on immediately with no places for the heat to escape or it will all be for nothing.

Wonder Box Recipes

Yogurt by the Gallon

4 cups dry skim milk powder

4 quarts warm water

Mix well, heat to scald, cool to luke warm

Add

1 cup of starter (plain commercial yogurt) or product saved from this finished recipe may be used to start a new batch. Refresh monthly with commercial starter.

Mix well, put into a gallon glass jar with a lid and place into the Wonder box.

Leave undisturbed for 12-14 hours. It will thicken more after refrigeration.

May be used plain or add your favorite fruits to flavour.

For those that can afford the calories, if the yogurt doesn’t set to your liking, add instant

Vanilla pudding. (substituting yogurt for milk)

Can be reduced for smaller batches.

Porridge

2 cups quick oats

4 cups boiling water

salt to taste

Stir oats into boiling water, put lid on and place quickly between cushions of the W’box for 15 minutes or more. Stir before serving

Rice

2 cups rice

Put into

3 ½ – 4 cups of salted boiling water. NB. Because the water does not evaporate you may need less water than usual.

Place quickly into W’box, and leave for 40 minutes or longer until ready to eat.

Vegetables

Potatoes or root vegetables may be cooked in their skins. Bring them to a boil in a pot full of water and place quickly between cushions of the W’box for about twice as long as you would normally cook them. They may be left all day without overcooking and can be more easily peeled after cooking

Try waterless cooking by using the crisp kind of bags used for cooking roasts, etc. Submerge the bag into the water and bring to a boil. The bag should be left with opening protruding out from under the lid. Place quickly into W’box.

Chicken and other joints of Meat

Place chicken into an Oven cooking bag with desired spices, and close bag

Bring pot of water with chicken in it, to a good boil.

Quickly place into the W’box and place top cushion on.

Leave alone for at least 3-4 hours.

The chicken was put in at 9:30 in the morning before church. This single dad prepared the chicken by placing it into an oven-cooking bag. He added spices to the chicken closed the bag completely (no added moisture was added to the bag) then brought the pot of water with the chicken in, to a boil and put it all in to the W’box. We ate with him at 4:00pm. It was impressive.

Try soups, stews, what ever you can bring to a boil and then give it a try. The worst that would happen is the first time, you may have to bring things back to a boil and replace into the W’box for a second cooking time.

I was given other recipes from a group who called this “The Clever Cooker” but they looked just like any other kind of simmered recipe and the consistent instruction was leave for 3-4 hours,

Never replace a pot of half eaten or luke warm food in the W’box It should be boiled up again to prevent it going bad.

Food Storage, Not Just For Storing: THE WONDER BOX, STEP-BY-STEP PICTURES

Food Storage, Not Just For Storing: THE WONDER BOX, STEP-BY-STEP PICTURES.

THE WONDER BOX, STEP-BY-STEP PICTURES

Well, I finally got around to making the wonder box. When I sat down and really read the directions, they weren’t vague, I was just tired and dense. They are great and I have just added some pictures. I also had to think dimensional and not flat to get it. I suddenly remembered making stuffed toys, many years ago, and realized why I wasn’t getting it.
June 7– I have put a pork roast with mushrooms, potatoes and carrots in the wonder box. Tonight’s post will have the pictures of the process and the results . . . sure hope I don’t embarrass myself putting this one on!
1. This takes about 3 yards of fabric or one old sheet that was on the top, so it has lots of wear left in it. Thanks Bri! 2. Lay it out so that you can cut 4 of each piece. 3. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses . . . OK, maybe just to share the table for the most important things in life. “Fun” with the little ones who are growing up way too fast.

1. I blew up the pictures to try to show the broken lines I put in on the stitching line . . . to make sure that I did it in the right places. I had a four year old “helping” me. I can get sidetracked pretty easily without help . . . and this morning was a k’nex morning besides! Remember that you just need to leave an opening for filling. I almost started filling without closing the second one. That would have been lot of fun!


1. Sew the two long sides starting at the 90 degree mark to the opposite end. I used dark thread so that you can see the stitching. I also used a stretch stitch in case it is pulled. It makes three rows of stitching that have some give and may avoid escaping beans later. They make a horrible mess. At least the bean bag I had in the 70’s and 80’s did! 2. Find the right sides, put them together and stitch all around. 3. Here is the whole thing sewn together. Turn it right side out and it is ready to fill!

1. I lucked out and had a big funnel from a strainer that I use to make apple sauce, tomato sauce and stuff like that. I taped it on to make it easier to fill the bag myself. 2. It worked really well. 3. Sew the opening up with just regular large stitches, in case the amount of styrofoam beans needs to be adjusted.

1. This a six quart pressure cooker that is 10″ in diameter & 6 ” deep. 2. 8 inches wide and 4 deep inches . I was pleased to find that the bottom was versatile. 3. I’m not sure how they got the whole thing to look so symmetrical in the internet article, but I suppose that it would cook just the same looking like it was from a Dr. Seuss book :-)

Wonder Box Instructions (iwillprepare.com)

The people over at www.iwillprepare.com have posted some great instructions on making a wonder box.  Here’s what they have to say:

Wonder Box Instructions  (Printable PDF Format)

A wonder box is a heat retention cooker. After you bring your food to a boil, (so it is heated throughout) using any number of cooking methods, you remove it from the heat source and quickly place the pot inside the wonder box.

The insulation of the wonder box will slow your food’s loss of heat keeping at cooking temperatures for hours. Using a wonder box reduces the amount of fuel needed to cook your meal because the fuel that would normally be used to keep your food at cooking temperatures after it has started boiling is eliminated.

Materials:

  • Soft Cotton or Broadcloth Material
    • (Soft material will conform to the pot reducing air pockets or channels for the air to escape. Cotton works best as it will not melt when touching the hot surface of the pot.) I used a thin denim but will probably use a softer material next time. The fabric was 52” wide.  I used 2¼ yards. Narrower fabric may require up to 3 ¼ yards.
  • 19 Gallons (About 3 Cubic Feet) of Polystyrene Beads
    • (Bean Bag Filler, EPS Beads (Regrind), Shredded foam shipping popcorn)… Wonder Boxes have been also made with the following filler material (Wool, Feathers, Leaves, Shredded Newspaper, Saw Dust, Ground Corn Husks, Etc…)

Instructions:

  1. There are 2 shapes that will need to be made out of the material. The patterns are included below. One shape is needed to make the top of the Wonder Box, the second for constructing the bottom. You will need to cut 4 of each of these shapes.
  2. Once you have cut out the 8 shapes (4 for the top and 4 for the bottom), you can start the sewing process.  Take 2 top pieces and lay them front-to-front, so the exterior of the fabric of each piece is touching each other. Sew the 2 pieces together along the dotted sew-line as displayed on the patterns below. Go ahead and double-stitch it if you wish it to be more durable. Leave a small opening along one of the seams so you can add the filler.
  3. Repeat “Step 2” (Except for the opening) on the other 2 pieces of the top material.
  4. Now you will have 2 pieces (each with 2 pieces of the top sewn on one side). Place these two pairs with the exterior of the fabric facing each other. Sew these 2 pairs together so all seams are sewn together. Pull the material through the opening you left open to insert the filler material so the exterior side of the material is on the outside.  You will end up with an awkward shaped floppy pillow.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 but for the bottom pieces.
  6. Fill the top “pillow” with 7 gallons of filling. Polystyrene beads are prone to static. Use a paper funnel and a gallon pitcher to make this job easier. Sew closed the opening left to insert the filling.
  7. Fill the bottom “pillow” with 12 gallons of filling. Sew closed the opening left to insert the filling.
  8. The narrow tongue of the bottom “pillow” tucks into the larger end to form a depression like a bowl or nest. The pot sits snuggly in this depression. The lid should fit comfortably on top sealing all gaps.
  9. The pot you select, should have a lid that seals well. The pot should also have short handles on both sides as opposed to 1 long handle. The pot could be a 4, 5 or 6 quart pot.  If the pot is too small, add a blanket around it before you set it inside the Wonder Box.

Notes: The major benefit of the Wonder Box is to reduce the fuel you need to cook your meals. By simply bringing your food to boiling temperature for 3 minutes (15 minutes for beans) and then turning off the heat and quickly placing the pot in the Wonder Box. [The important point is to make sure that the food is at boiling temperature throughout, so large pieces of meat may need to be cubed or make sure you give it time to heat thoroughly]. The heat already in your food, combined with the insulation of the Wonder Box, will allow your meal to keep cooking “at safe cooking temperatures” for hours. Remember, the less space there is around the pot, the less heat will be lost

One source stated that you can save up to 80% of your needed fuel by using a Wonder Box because the heat used for simmering is eliminated. What kind of meals can you cook in a Wonder Box? Most meals that you would cook in a Crock Pot. Meals that simmer in liquid. Rice, Chili, Stews, Soups, etc…  Your food should be entirely covered with liquid, so if you are cooking a whole chicken or a roast, make sure the food is completely covered. With a little creativity, even other foods can be cooked in the Wonder Box. For example, a few whole potatoes in an oven cooking bag placed in a pot of water brought to a boil, will cook without being water logged. The Wonder Box is a slow cooker, Rice will take about an hour, a whole chicken in 3-4 hours. Tip: cook your breakfast and lunch at the same time using the same coals. By Lunch time, your meal will be ready. You can’t burn food in a Wonder Box. As long as your food stays over 160º F, Your food can cook all day. One source recommended not using your Wonder Box while it is sitting on metal as it may some of the heat through the bottom.

The Wonder Box can be washed using hot water and soap and dried on a clothes line.

Building a Wonderbox Style Insulated Cooking Box

Adventures in Self Reliance has posted a great pattern and pictures of making a wonderbox:
http://foodstorageandsurvival.com/building-a-wonderbox-style-insulated-cooking-box

Building a Wonderbox Style Insulated Cooking Box
Having enough fuel to keep warm and cook food in an emergency is an often overlooked area of preparedness. One way to preserve fuel is to use an insulated cooker like the Wonderbox. The Wonderbox was developed in the 1960’s by Anna Pearse, a South African philanthropist, for use in third world countries. It has been used for several years through her charity Compassion. In 1977, Women for Peace became the umbrella for the establishment of the Wonderbox project. So there’s your history lesson for today.

The insulated cooking box works kind of like a thermos. You put hot food in it and it continues to cook because of the insulating factor of the box. I’ll do another post on cooking in the box. For today, we’re just building it.

The pattern I have is an adaptation of the original Wonderbox pattern by our local Extension Agent Christine Jensen. Here’s the pattern:

To make an insulated cooker, you’ll need about 3 yards of standard 45″ wide 100% cotton fabric and polystyrene beads like found in a beanbag. For the beads you can check with your craft store to see if they can order them bulk or just buy a beanbag and open it up and use the beads in it. One standard adult bean bag fills two insulated cooking boxes plus a little extra. I found a beanbag at a yardsale that was nice and clean, so picked that up cheap. You would want to be careful buying used as you don’t want smoking or pet odors coming out when you cook your food–ick! You can use any fabric as long as it is 100% cotton. An old sheet, denim, etc. would all work. I got some cute fabric because I’m making mine as a gift for a friend who has a music preschool. I also thought that in a stressful situation, cute fabric might be a little pick-me-up.

I ironed my fabric to make it easier to work with, then laid out my pattern on it. I originally laid it out like this, thinking I would just cut two of each piece on each side and have a strip of fabric left over in the middle, but when I got these two pieces on it and doubled the fabric back over the top to see if I’d have enough, it came out a little short, so my 3 yards wouldn’t quite make the box if I cut it out like this.

So I laid it out differently. I folded the right edge over and placed the large bottom pattern piece on the fold, then flipped it over and repeated it on the left side.

Then I left a space large enough to cut one top piece out of the middle of the fabric and cut two more bottom pieces below that space.

I then left room again to take a top piece out of the center below the second set of bottom pieces. Below that space I cut one top piece from each side of the fabric.

After I got those two top pieces cut out, I went back up and folded the fabric right down the middle and cut the two other top pieces out of the spaces I had left.

Cutting this way, I actually had fabric left over from my 3 yards after all 8 pieces were cut out.

Now we’re ready to assemble the pieces. Get your large bottom pieces and lay two of them out right sides together. You’re going to sew starting at the top point, down the side, ending at the bottom point. It doesn’t matter which side you sew down because the pieces are mirror images of each other. Pin them together before you start sewing. Sew with a 1/2 or 5/8 seam allowance. Just pick one and stick with it for the duration of the project. It’s not like this is a fitted prom dress, it’s a pretty forgiving pattern. Repeat with the second pair of bottom pieces.

Now we’re going to attach the two pieces we just made to each other. Open them up and match the two pieces, right sides together. Match up the raw edges, pin together and sew, leaving an opening near the top to turn and fill it.

Now, as is standard with sewing anything with corners, I trimmed and clipped my corners before turning the whole thing right side out via the opening.

Now set the bottom aside and assemble the top. Lay out two top pieces, right sides together and sew from the top point, down one side to the bottom point. Repeat with the second pair of top pieces.

Then open the two top pieces up and pin them together, matching raw edges, and sew around, leaving an opening at the top to turn and fill through. This is just like the bottom pieces we sewed together, just a little different shape. Trim/clip the corners and turn it right side out. To find the shape the top and bottom are supposed to be, find where the corners all came together to make an X and flatten it out. That is the top or bottom. On the top pieces, it won’t matter which side is up. The bottom piece, you want the big X down. The smaller X will be the part that squishes inside the box to make a pocket for the pot. See the X?

Now we’re going to fill the bags with the polystyrene beads. Get in a place that is easy to clean up. The beads WILL go everywhere. You can use a spray bottle with water in it to cut down on static–it won’t hurt anything. This is easier with a friend. Make a funnel out of an old milk jug or something to help get the beads in. I used a file folder and taped it into a funnel shape. It worked pretty well. Fill the top about half full of beads. That’s plenty. Really.

Fill the bottom about half full also. I put mine in the box I was going to use for it and made sure the largest pot I’d be using fit in it. Then I stopped putting beads in it.

Once your pieces have the beads in them, sew the openings shut. You can hand sew them, but I don’t believe in hand sewing unless it’s entirely necessary, so I turned the edges in toward each other, pinned them together and top stitched them together.

There should be plenty of slack to get these openings sewed shut with your machine. Now stick it in a box–a banana box or one of equivalent size works great–put the top on, and you’re ready to cook! (Yes, it’s supposed to be a little loose and sloppy looking–that’s so it can conform to your pot shape/size easier.)

Cooking instructions here. :)

The Hot Box

http://www.thehotboxco.co.za/

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the HOTBOX work?

The HOTBOX uses the principle of insulated cooking. If you can keep the heat that is used to cook food, no replacement heat is necessary to complete the cooking process.

What type of dishes can you make in the HOTBOX?

Absolutely any food or dish that you would simmer in its liquid once you have brought it to the boil. All beans, legumes, grains and pulses; all soups, stews and casseroles; custard and yoghurt; steamed veggies; basmati, white, brown and sushi rice; mieliepap, samp and even pasta.

What are all the different uses for the HOTBOX?

The HOTBOX has a wide variety of uses. It is used to cook foods, to transport and continue cooking your food, as a warming oven and also used next to the braai keeping meat and all braai foods piping hot, as a plate-warmer keeping plates perfectly hot in the dining room, the garden or on the beach, it is a cooler box which is ideal for keeping drinks ice cold and storing ice, an incubation chamber for the making of foods like yoghurt and breads, a foot cushion or ideal camera rest when doing wildlife photography from your vehicle. (Really!)

Do I need to heat the HOTBOX?

Keep the HOTBOX away from open flame or fire. The heat required to cook the food is generated conventionally with electricity, gas, fire or paraffin. The HOTBOX is never heated in any way.

How long do foods cook for in the HOTBOX?

The cooking time for different foods varies from 20min (whole rolled oats) to 12 hours (oxtail). Foods mostly cook for more or less the same length of time or just slightly longer.

What environmental impact would the regular use of the HOTBOX make?

If you used the HOTBOX only 5 times per week your household would save 119kg of CO2 per year. If 500 000 households did that it amounts to more than 60 000 tons of CO2 per year. At least 70-80% of cooking time is saved and therefore the use of valuable resources such as electricity, gas, wood, paraffin, money and time is drastically reduced.

Does it really cook my food?

Yes! It really cooks your food. To truly benefit from the HOTBOX a subtle shift in thinking is required but once you see the incredible benefits you could never look back. It cooks your food and keeps it piping hot. The more you incorporate it into your daily life, the more you will find you use it.

What if my food isn’t cooked?

A degree of experimentation is necessary to get exact cooking times for different meals. It is important to use pots with tight-fitting lids and check that you’re not opening the lid unnecessarily. Hard and dense foods that have to be soaked such as chickpeas may need to be re-boiled and placed back into the HOTBOX for the last few hours. Alternatively just boil food on the stove for a little longer before transferring to ensure that all the food is at boiling temperature and not just the water.

How long does food stay hot for?

Food stays hot for up to 8 hours and remains warm for a few more hours. After 8 hours, unopened, the temperature of the food in the HOTBOX is approximately 56 degrees Celsius.

What do I use it for when I’m braaing or on holiday?

Keep braai meat and veggies hot as it comes off the fire. Cook and keep meals hot whilst traveling or hiking. Ideal when traveling in confined spaces such as caravans or yachts because you can reduce the amount of cooking gas needed by up to 50% which frees up your space.

Is there any safety measures involved in the use of a HOTBOX?

The HOTBOX must never be heated or held close to open flame or fire due to the flammable nature of the polystyrene balls. For health reasons don’t put a partially-eaten pot of lukewarm food back into the HOTBOX without first heating it, since HOTBOXES are not only excellent cookers but also ideal incubation chambers for yoghurt and other bacteria-rich food.

Why is it a healthier way of cooking?

Once the food has been transferred to the HOTBOX, the heat drops quite rapidly from boiling point to approximately 88 deg Celsius. This heat is then maintained and very gradually drops by an average of 4-5 deg per hour. It is a known fact that high heat destroys the live enzymes in your food and therefore cooking at a lower temperature preserves nutrients. HOTBOX cooking can never over boil or burn your food and food definitely retains more juiciness and flavor.

What type of pot do I use in the HOTBOX?

The pots that you usually use at home. A nice tip is to line the bottom HOTBOX cushion with an old dish cloth to protect the base of the HOTBOX from dirty or stained pots.

How do I wash the HOTBOX?

Hand wash or machine wash on a gentle/delicate spin cycle with cold water. Wash at max 30deg Celsius. Dry thoroughly in the sun – shake during drying to move polystyrene balls and to dry equally.

Do not dry clean or iron. Machine washing is the sole responsibility of the consumer. Fabric has not been pre-washed.

Recipes

Brown and White Rice:

  1. Put 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of cold water in a pot.
  2. Add salt to taste.
  3. Place lid on pot and bring to the boil.
  4. Simmer for 1 minute.
  5. Remove from the heat and place in the HOTBOX for 30 minutes (white rice) or 45-60 minutes (brown rice), or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Rice remains perfect in the HOTBOX for hours as it does not dry out or overcook

Lamb or Beef Stew:

  1. Fry onions, garlic and spices in oil.
  2. Fry your cubes or knuckles of meat until brown.
  3. Add selection of chopped vegetables, tinned tomato and stock.
  4. Ensure that the food is covered by the liquid.
  5. Bring food to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Transfer to the HOTBOX – bigger and tougher pieces of meat require up to 12 hours of cooking in the HOTBOX.
  7. Return to stove and thicken your stew with Bisto or cornflour just before serving (optional)
  8. Serve directly from the HOTBOX with rice or pasta and a green salad.

Creamy Chicken & Corn Soup (a little time consuming but delicious)

  1. Place a whole chicken in a pot and fill with water, barely covering the chicken.
  2. Add celery sticks, whole garlic cloves, stock powder, bay leaves, salt and pepper to the water.
  3. Bring to the boil for a few minutes and transfer to the HOTBOX for approximately 2 hrs.
  4. In a separate pot melt approx 100-150 grams of butter until it sizzles.(the more butter you use the richer your soup will be)
  5. Add a variety of chopped veggies (such as cabbage, carrots, broccoli, leeks, onion, beans and courgettes) to the butter.
  6. Stir it with a wooden spoon to coat the veggies in the butter.
  7. Turn the heat down as low as possible and place the lid on tightly.  “Sweat” the veggies in the pot until soft, stirring every once in a while.  The sweating process takes about 30-40 minutes.
  8. Once the chicken is cooked drain off the water/stock into a jug or suitable container (You will use this lovely chicken stock to make your white sauce)
  9. Make a regular béchamel/white sauce with a small amount of milk and use the chicken stock for the rest of the sauce.
  10. Debone your chicken – the meat will be very soft and tender – and cut chicken into small bits.
  11. Add the chicken, “sweated” veggies and fresh or frozen corn to the white sauce.
  12. Add a dollop of cream or Greek yoghurt to the soup and season according to your taste.
  13. Garnish with ground black pepper and a small bunch of fresh coriander.

Traditional South African Mielie pap:

  1. Bring 2 ½ cups of water to the boil
  2. Stir 1 ½ cups of mielie meel and a pinch of salt into the boiling water.
  3. Stir thoroughly whilst boiling until all the water has been absorbed.
  4. Transfer to the HOTBOX and leave for approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Serve directly from the hotbox.

Samp and Beans

  1. Place I cup of samp & beans in a bowl, cover with water and soak overnight.  Rinse and drain.
  2. Bring samp & beans to the boil in 3 cups of salted water and simmer for approximately 20 minutes on the stove.
  3. Bring it back to a rapid boil and then transfer to the HOTBOX for approximately 4-5 hours or until soft and all the water is absorbed.
  4. Add butter, freshly ground black pepper, seasoned salt and crumbled feta cheese and enjoy as a light meal or accompaniment to a meal.

WONDER BOX RECIPE BOOKLET

WONDER BOX

RECIPE BOOKLET

INDEX

Babies – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 2, 11, 14, 15

Bobotie – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –    1, 6

Boiled egg – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –       4

Bread – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –   8, 12

Carrot jam – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 8

Christmas – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -9

Christmas pudding  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 9

Cooking whole soya beans – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -10

Cultivation – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -2, 11, 15

Curry – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -5, 7, 12

Doughnuts – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -7 – 8

Dried Fruit – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 9

Facts about soya beans – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 11

Fasoulia – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  13

Fish – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 12,14

Fresh soya beans – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -14

Ham – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 6

Jam  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  – – -8

Joints – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -6

Macaroni – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 4

Mieliemeel – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 1,4,12,15

Noodles – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 4

Nutty soya snacks – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 13

Oxtail – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  6

Porridge – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -1, 3, 4

Poultry – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -6

Pulp – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15

Rice – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 4

Soup – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 1, 5, 6

Soya beans – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  1, 2, 6, 8, 16, 20

Soya milk – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -2, 10, 11, 14, 15

Soya vetkoekies – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 12

Spaghetti – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 4

Stew – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -5

Tea – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -7

Tongue – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -6

Turkey – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 12

Vegetables – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  4, 5, 9, 15

Warm drink – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  7, 13

TABLE OF CONTENTS (PAGE)

1.  Introduction                                    10.  Soya Beans

2.  Instructions                                     10.  Soya Milk

3.  Recipes                                          13.  Popular Soya recipes

4.  Basic Foods                                   13.  Soya nuts

5.  Meat Dishes                                   13.  A warm drink

6.  Soups & Curry                               14.  Soya for Babies

7.  Tea Time                                        15.  Soya Bean Cultivation

8.  Festive fare                                    17.  Compassion Wonder Boxes

The recipes in this booklet have been chosen for their simplicity high food value, low cost and popularity.  They are basic and should be adapted to individual requirements.

It can be used with a container or without to keep things hot or cold.

This booklet was published by Compassion of South Africa in 1978, 1979 & 1980.

This information may be freely quoted, acknowledgements being made to Compassion.

INTRODUCTION

Wonder Boxes work like vacuum flasks and are similar to the old-fashioned Hay Box.  Such things are often used only to keep cooked food or liquid hot and this does not improve their flavor.  If food is actually cooked in a Wonder Box it is a different matter.  The slow cooking can produce even better results than normal methods of cooking.

Most people find it hard to believe that food can cook so well without fuel and at temperatures below boiling.  It helps to understand how this can happen if we remember that boiling point is several degrees lower at higher altitudes due to the thinner air.  Wonder cooking is therefore similar to stewing or boiling food at the top of a mountain.

Hay Box cooking was encouraged by governments of several European countries during the last two World Wars in order to save fuel.  Many people remember how their porridge oats, the kind that needed long, slow cooking, used to be left all night in a wooden box lined with hay.  The Wonder Box uses polystyrene, a more efficient insulator than hay, to retain the heat.  This enables it to be more compact and its cushions can be washed when necessary.

We find that many foods take only a little longer than usual to cook in a Wonder Box but it can be a great advantage to be able to leave the food keeping hot until you want it, without its spoiling.

The information about the Wonder Bean, as Soya beans are sometimes called, has been included partly because these beans in their natural or dried state do not seem to be appreciated by people in the Western world.  This is probably because of the long slow cooking they need which the Wonder Box can now provide.

Soya beans, combined with a Wonder Box, provide perhaps the very best way for destitute people not only to survive but also to keep healthy.  And they can be a boon to people with stomach or heart disorders, diabetes or allergies caused by cows’ milk.

In these days when we are being warned of world wide shortages of food and fuel, we wonder how the sheer simplicity of this very old method of cooking and the simple methods of processing the centuries-old Wonder bean’ could be so overlooked.

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Other benefits from Soya beans are being discovered every year as more and more land is given over to them.  But for the poor the knowledge and means to grow the beans themselves and use them in the simple ways described here, may well be the greatest benefit of all.

INSTRUCTIONS

Boil your food on the stove first for a few minutes until the food is heated right through.  Use any cooking pot, provided it has no long handle, but do not use a large pot for a small amount of food as the Wonder Box does not work well if there is a large air space.

Put the lid on the pot before you remove the pot from the stove so the lid can also get hot.  Make sure the nest in the bottom cushion is ready to take the pot and that it is near by so you do not loose heat carrying the pot around.

Quickly cover the pot with the top cushion, making sure there are no gaps.  Leave the top cushion puffed up, (the cardboard box lid is not necessary).

Now make sure that nobody peeps inside to see what’s happening.  If they do, heat will escape.  Tapes across the corners of the top cushion help to prevent this.

Do not leave your Wonder Box on a metal surface while it is being used.  Metal is too good a conductor of heat and may draw off some heat through the bottom.

When cooking with a Wonder Box, remember that the more food or liquid that you have in a pot, the longer and better it will cook.

When cooking anything like a whole chicken, the liquid around it can boil before the chicken has reached the same temperature.  So make sure the liquid covers it and boil it for 15 minutes or more before putting it in the Wonder Box.

The nest in your Wonder Box can be lined with a dish towel, aluminum foil or paper to protect the cushions.

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The cushions filled with polystyrene can be washed with hot water and soap and hung on the line to dry.  If the weather turns damp, do not leave the cushions to get moldy.  Rather continue using the Wonder Box.  The hot pot can help to dry them.

Our recipes have been worked out at sea level.  At higher altitudes, it may be necessary to leave foods boiling a little longer because of the lower boiling temperature, though it is more effective to boil up a second time.  Leaving food in a Wonder Box longer than four hours will not help to cook it more.

A Wonder Box can be used for keeping yeast or yogurt warm for setting, for keeping washing water hot or frozen foods cold.

Never replace a pot of half-eaten or luke-warm food in the Wonder Box.  It should be boiled up again first to prevent it going bad.

RECIPES

The recipes in this section can, if you wish, be cooked without a stove using only a kettle, a plastic or other container and a Wonder Box.

PORRIDGE

2 cups quick oats

4 cups boiling water

salt to taste

Stir the oats into the boiling, salted water.  Put the lid or a plate on the pot and tuck the pot quickly between the cushions of your Wonder Box for 15 minutes or more.  Stir before serving.  It will be just right to eat before rushing off to work or school.

For extra creamy porridge, boil up a full pot before going to bed.  Add extra water.  Leave in the Wonder Box all night.  For small amounts, use a double boiler or a bowl that fits inside a pot containing boiling water.

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RICE

2 cups white or 2 cups of brown rice

3 ½ cups water for white rice or 4 cups water for brown rice

salt to taste (if desired)

Put the rice (brown rice is more nutritious) into cold water in pot.  Use a small pot for a small amount of rice.  Bring water & rice to a good boil.  Transfer pot to Wonder Box.  Leave the rice cooking in the Wonder Box for 40 minutes (more for brown rice) or until you want to eat it.

With rice and other foods, you may need less water than is shown in directions and recipes because the water does not evaporate away.

BOILED EGG

To boil one egg, pour boiling water over it to cover it.  Put it in the Wonder Box for 5 minutes or longer if you like it hard.

To boil two eggs you will need twice as much boiling water and for three eggs, three times as much to get the same results.

MACARONI, SPAGHETTI AND NOODLES

Put them in a pot with plenty of boiling water and a spoonful of salt.  Put the pot in the Wonder Box for 15 minutes, not longer, unless you want to make a milk pudding of them.

BASIC FOODS

MIELIEMEEL

Cook in the same way as porridge oats, (above) but use about 4 cups of water to each cup of Mieliemeel.  (miemiemeel is ground maize)

VEGETABLES

Potatoes, or root vegetables may be cooked in their skins.  Merely bring them to the boil in a pot full of water and transfer them to the Wonder Box for about twice as long as you would normally cook them.  They may be left all day without over cooking and can be more easily peeled after cooking.

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…VEGETABLES CONTINUED…

For waterless cooking of vegetables or fruit, cut them up and put them into ordinary plastic bags (the crisp kind).  Submerge the bags in water in a pot and boil until the fruit or vegetables have also reached boiling point.  The length of time needed will vary with different vegetables, carrots being rather slow.  The bag should be left open protruding out under the lid.

MEAT DISHES

How to cook stew, curry or soup in a Wonder Box.

Fry

Meat (cut in pieces)

Onions

Fat for frying

A little flour

Seasoning (curry powder for curry)

Add

Soaked beans, lentils or peas

Vegetables – any kind, washed and cut up

Water to cover (add more for soup)

Boil

Make a “nest” in your Wonder Box and line it with plastic if you wish.

Place the boiling pot in the nest.

Cover immediately with cushion.

Make sure there are no gaps where heat can escape.

N.B. Food cooks best if the pot is full.

It continues to cook for 2-3 hours in only its own retained heat, so long as you do not remove the top cushion to look at it!

IT COOKS WITHOUT FUEL LIKE MAGIC!

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OXTAIL, TONGUE, HAM, POULTRY, AND JOINTS

When cooking oxtail or meat that needs long slow cooking, the meat should be covered in liquid and boiled for 20-50 minutes, according to the size of the piece(s).  A large full pot that takes a long time to reach boiling point will need less time actually boiling.

Place it in the Wonder Box.  After 2-4 hours add any vegetables and herbs you may wish and bring it once more to a boil.  Check that a second period of cooking in the Wonder Box is necessary as ordinary joints will not need this.

Chicken and joints can be boiled in ordinary plastic bags immersed in water so they cook in their own juices.  The bag should have its open end protruding under the lid of the pot.  The meat can be browned under a grill or over a flame before serving.

Soya pulp (see page 11) or mashed whole Soya Beans (see page 10) make a good base for stuffing for birds or for dumplings for soups and stews.  Mix at least one tablespoon of flour with a cup of Soya and add herbs, onions, salt and pepper to taste.  By using Soya in this way, the protein content of a meal can be greatly increased at very little cost.  Soya takes on the flavor of whatever it is mixed with.

SOUPS AND CURRY

SOUPS

Follow the instructions for meat stews, leaving out the meat and the frying if you wish, and using smaller quantities with more water.  A bouillon cube or tomato puree may be added.

BOBOTIE

3 cups mashed cooked Soya beans

1 cup brown breadcrumbs

1 cup diced onion

1 cup milk with and an egg beaten together

1 spoonful oil

1 spoonful curry powder

1 teaspoon salt and sugar (each)

…Bobotie continued on next page

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Fry the onion and curry powder in the oil.  Add all the other ingredients except half the cup of milk and egg and mix well.  Heat it all up while stirring.  Transfer it to a smaller bowl and pour the remainder of the milk on top.    Put a lid or plate on the bowl and stand it in a larger pot of boiling water until the egg and milk on top sets.

CURRY

4 cups ready-cooked mashed Soya beans and/or meat

3 cups water or stock

2 onions diced                      1 spoonful flour

1 spoonfull oil                                    1 spoonful curry powder

1 beef cube                          salt to taste

Add any of the following:

half an apple, diced

a sliced banana

a tablespoon of sultanas (raisins) or currants

a teaspoon of sugar

a spoonful of chutney or jam

a spoonful of lemon juice or vinegar

Fry the onions in a little oil.  Add flour and curry powder.  Then slowly add water to make a sauce.  Bring to a boil.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil again.  Place in Wonder Box for several hours or until needed.  Serve over rice.

DOUGHNUTS

1 cup Soya pulp (see page 11)

2 cups self raising flour (or brown flour & 1 teaspoon yeast)

1 cup cold water

1 teaspoon salt (and 1 teaspoon vanilla if you like)

1 teaspoon sugar (or a little more if you like)

…continued on next page.

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Mix all ingredients, place in an oiled plastic bag and let rise in the Wonder Box until almost doubled.  Heat about 1 liter of oil and test the heat of the oil by dropping a small piece of the dough in to see if it rises quickly to the surface.  Spoon out rounded dessert spoonfuls of dough into the oil and fry until golden brown on both sides.  Roll in sugar while warm.

BREAD

4 cups whole wheat, brown or white flour, or mixed as you wish

1 teaspoon each yeast and sugar mixed, added to ¼ cup warm water

1 cup warm water with 1 teaspoon salt added

Mix and knead the dough (or add another ¼ cup warm water and merely stir it well).  Roll the dough in dry flour and place it in an ordinary (crisp cereal) plastic bag which has had a little oil rubbed around inside.  To reduce time needed for this it can be left submerged in warm water in the Wonder Box.  When it has doubled its size, it should be brought to boil in the water and boiled for about 10 minutes.  Transfer the bread in the pot of water to a Wonder Box for an hour to finish cooking when it should have a soft “crust”.

JAM

Using a little water as possible, cut up and bring the fruit to the boil in your pot and put the pot in the Wonder Box until it is cooked.  Pour the fruit into a larger pot and add an equal volume of sugar.  Boil them together until the jam is ready to set.  Test for this in the normal way.

CARROT JAM

Carrots can be used instead of fruit to make a mock apricot jam.  They should first be cut up and cooked soft with a little water.  Then mash them.  Add an equal volume of sugar and some lemon juice to taste and cook as above.

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FESTIVE FARE – at very little cost.

CHRISTMAS PUDDING

This is inexpensive, nutritious, quick, easy to make and delicious.

2 cups brown sugar

2 cups mixed dried fruits – washed

2 cups mashed whole cooked Soya beans (se page 10)

Heat the above together in a pot adding them in the order given above.  The sugar should melt before the Soya and bread is added.  Press the mixture into a suitable bowl and leave in the Wonder Box to keep hot and to enable it to be turned out in a pudding shape.  Or it can be eaten immediately.

FRUIT “MINCE-MEAT”

Use the same mixture as for the Christmas pudding, but leave out the breadcrumbs.  Heat as above.  Use for mince pies and tarts.

CHRISTMAS AND WEDDING CAKES

Use the mincemeat mixture as above and add two cups brown flour.  This may be stirred into the hot mixture to reduce the cooking time needed.  The mixture should be spread into a baking tin which has been well greased and floured to prevent sticking.  Bake in a slow oven for an hour or more.

All the above recipes can be varied to taste by adding lemon juice, spices and dates to replace half the sugar or extra dried fruit.

DRIED FRUIT

Using home-made dried fruit in your Christmas cake could make it cost as little as a loaf of bread.

Cut into small cubes a mixture of any of the following:

lemon peel               watermelon rind                  orange peel

prickly pear               pumpkin                                marrow

carrot                         similar fruits or vegetables

Add water, rather less than needed to cover them.  Boil for 10 minutes.  Put into the Wonder Box for them to cook soft.  Add an equal volume of sugar and bring to boiling once more.  Leave in the Wonder Box overnight.  Next day, pour off the syrup and use this for jam or cool drinks.  The remaining peel etc. should be left to dry with fresh sugar sprinkled over it.

Continued… on next page

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N.B. Fruit cakes, etc. can be steamed in tins in ordinary plastic bags standing in boiling water in a pot.  They should be boiled for at least 20 minutes before transferring in the pot to a Wonder Box for further cooking.

Carrot cake or pudding can be made using the same basic recipe as the Christmas cake but substituting grated carrots and 2 teaspoons cinnamon for the dried fruit.  It can be boiled in a plastic bag like the bread above a lighter cake can be made by adding baking powder and using Soya pulp instead of mashed whole Soya beans.

SOYA BEANS

Dried Soya beans are small, hard and normally need hours of cooking to get them soft.  So they are less popular than other beans even though they are cheaper.  In fact their hardness protects them from mice, weevils and even atomic radiation.  They provide us with all that our body needs and can easily be processed and used in making all our basic foods.  There is no vitamin C in the dried bean but even this can be obtained by sprouting them.

We have experimented with information from overseas on soaking and cooking Soya beans and have adapted the methods to the Wonder Box which saves 75 percent of the fuel needed for cooking.  We recommend the following:

COOKING WHOLE SOYA BEANS

Sort, wash the beans vigorously until the water is not sudsy and add them to at least twice their volume of boiling water to which you have added Baking Soda (1 level teaspoonful to a liter of water).  Bring it to boil.  Boil for a minute while you heat the lid for the pot.  Place in the Wonder Box and leave for 48 hours or more.

If you do not use Baking Soda, soak the beans in boiling water which inactivates enzymes which can produce an unpleasant taste if the beans become bruised.  Always throw away the soaking water.  Then boil the beans twice over followed by two or three hours in the Wonder Box after each boiling.

Both the above methods, which should leave the beans soft enough to mash, will inactivate a substance in the bean which works against the protein digesting enzyme trypsin, thus making all the protein in the bean available as food.

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SOYA MILK

It is important for mothers with large families or with children that are allergic to cows’ milk to know how to make Soya milk.  To spread this knowledge ‘Compassion’ is undertaking demonstrations in hospitals, at churches and wherever people are gathered together who want to know more about it.

The method for making the milk, based on the Chinese method, is as follows;

1.         Sort, wash and soak 1 cup of Soya beans in plenty of water overnight.

2.         Mince, or grind the beans one cup at a time in a blender with 4 cups of

water.

3.         Boil 2 cups water in a deep pot and add the minced beans.

Bring back to boiling.  Stir and be careful it does not boil over and put

in the Wonder Box for 30 minutes.

4.         Strain through a clean cloth and squeeze to remove all milk.

Add a little salt and sugar if desired.

KEEP THE PULP FOR ADDING TO OTHER FOODS

To make amasi:  This makes a good medicine and food for babies with running stomachs.  Add a teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar to a cupful of Soya milk and leave to stand.  Yogurt can be made in the same way using a teaspoonful of yogurt instead of lemon, but leave this in a warm place to set – such as a Wonder Box.

FACTS ABOUT SOYA BEANS

From the ‘Wonder Food’ by C.E. Clinkard.  In China there is practically no animal milk.  Whereas only 7 lbs. of beef protein or 39 lbs. of egg protein, can be produced from one acre, 339 lbs of Soya bean protein can be produced from the same area.  Its cultivation has been going on for about 5,000 years.  Two and a half lbs of Soya bean flour is equivalent to 5 ¼ lbs of lean boneless meat or 67 eggs or 13 quarts of cow’s milk.

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POPULAR SOYA RECIPES

SOYA VETKOEKIES

1 cup Soya pulp (or mashed soft-cooked Soya beans)

1 spoonful of flour (or flour and breadcrumbs)

For variations, add any of the following:

tomato           herbs              sugar              grated potatoes

spice              curry               cheese          chopped onion

Mix and drop into hot oil to fry

SOYA AND MIELIEMEEL BREAD

2 cups Soya pulp                 2 (or more) cups miemiemeel

2 teaspoons sugar               1 teaspoon salt

Stir all together to make a mixture like damp sand.  Spoon it into a plastic bag which has had oil rubbed around the inside.  Squeeze it in the plastic into a loaf shape.  Immerse it in a pot of water with the open end of the bag protruding out under the lid.  Boil for at least 10 minutes and leave in the Wonder Box for about an hour.

SOYA “TURKEY”

Mince whole soft-cooked Soya beans and flavor them delicately with chicken or beef cubes, salt and pepper.  Add a spoonful of flour and some oil to each cupful of beans.  Boil the mixture in a plastic bag immersed in water for at least 10 minutes followed by a short period in a “Wonder Box.  It should now carve and taste surprisingly like turkey.

Mix some of the above with a little minced fried liver for a delicious live pate for sandwiches.

FISH CAKES

1 cup Soya pulp                   1 heaped spoon of flour

1 onion                                   2 sprigs parsley

salt and pepper                   oil

Heat the oil in a frying pan.  Chop the onion and parsley and mix with other ingredients.  Shape into fish-cakes with spoons and fry until golden brown on both sides.  These have a delicious taste of fish-cakes although no fish is used.  The taste of onion should not be noticeable.

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FASOULIA

This is a highly recommended Greek Dish (Haricot beans are usually used for this)

3 cups well cooked Soya beans                          1 bay leaf

half a cup of oil                                                        1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 small can tomato paste                                      juice of 1 lemon

a little water or tomato puree                              2 cloves garlic

Heat the oil in a deep pan and add the beans.  Simmer gently for 10 minutes while you add all the ingredients except the onion.  Cover the pan and place in Wonder Box for 4 hours.  Add the onion rings.  Serve hot or cold.

NUTTY SOYA SNACKS

Mix a spoonful of flour with a teaspoon of salt and sprinkle it over some whole-cooked Soya beans until they are well coated.  Remove the excess flour.  Drop the beans a spoonful at a time into hot deep oil.  Fry until they are light biscuit color, or fry half-cooked beans in hot oil until they are golden brown; allow the oil to drain off.  Sprinkle salt over them and store them in an air tight jar to keep crisp.

A WARM DRINK

Bake unsoaked Soya beans slowly in an oven or iron pot for about 6 hours or until they are dark brown but not burnt.

Grind while hot, if possible.  Store in an airtight container.

To make a warm drink, pour boiling water onto a good spoonful of ground baked beans.  Add a pinch of salt.  Allow to stand or simmer for a few minutes.  The grounds will sink to the bottom.  Keep the drink hot in a Wonder Box.

FRESH SOY BEANS

Young Soya beans only need to be cooked for 10 – 15 minutes.  Children must not be allowed to chew raw green Soya beans – or any raw beans or they will get indigestion.

SOYA FOR BABIES

By our Woman Doctor:  Soya beans are the richest source of vegetable protein, their protein being equal in value to that in meat, milk, fish and eggs.

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The milk prepared from Soya beans can be used for feeding under-weight malnourished babies to bring them back to health.  Soya beans also provide a good weaning food which can be made from ground Soya beans or from the residue after making Soya milk.  In some cases Soya milk is even better than cows’ milk.  This is because many malnourished children have a persistent running stomach.  The lining of the bowl in these children has become thin and flat instead of being thick and thrown into folds.  This thin lining does not produce the substance needed to digest the milk sugar, lactose.  Because of this, drinking cows’ milk will make the diarrhea worse.  Soya milk is digested well as it contains no lactose.

Many adults also do not digest cows’ milk well as it causes stomach upsets because of a lack of the substance needed to digest lactose.  Certain races, including Africans, are more prone to this.

Soya beans are used extensively by world health teams in feeding programs for areas where there are many malnourished children.  The milk prepared by the recipe in this book contains a little more protein than cow’s milk and considerable more than breast milk.

Soya milk contains about ¾ of the calcium supplied in breast milk.   (Cows’ milk is very rich in calcium and supplies far more than a baby needs).  Soya milk contains no vitamin D but this vitamin is made in the body by the action of sunlight on the infants’ skin.  Vitamin D is necessary to prevent rickets.  It has a satisfactory content of iron, in fact more than in breast milk; also of the B vitamins (except 12 which is also absent in breast milk).  It is low in vitamin A and vitamin C is absent.

One cannot unreservedly recommend Soya milk for the sole food of infants under 4 months who, in any case, should be on the breast.  But it can be used for emergency or temporary feeding where the alternative is protein deprivation.

Soya can be highly recommended for feeding infants over 4 months especially with regard to its protein content.  These babies can also be given mashed local vegetables and fruit and the occasional egg yolk in addition which supplies the vitamins A and D and also extra calcium.  Mieliemeel mixed with either Soya milk or the pulp which is left after making the milk is an ideal combination as a source of calories and protein.

It is very rare to find a baby allergic to Soya milk but of babies allergic to cows’ milk some authorities have found that ¼ of these will also be allergic to Soya milk.  The other ¾ will thrive on Soya milk.

Commercial dried Soya milk powders are fortified with extra vitamins A and D and a little extra calcium and can be used for infants of all ages.

-14-

SOYA BEAN CULTIVATION

By our Agriculturalist:  Soya beans (Soybeans) can be grown anywhere in Southern Africa where ordinary green beans can be grown and they require roughly the same conditions.

The soil should be well cultivated to prevent weeds from becoming too big a problem to growing beans.  Make your planting rows about 14 centimeters apart.  This is about the distance from a man’s elbow to tip of thumb.  For a small garden you can make the rows a little close together.  For a large field where tractor or ox-drawn implements are used you can make the rows wider apart.

The seed should be planted a little later than the date on which you would normally plant mielies (corn) so as to be sure that the ground is warm enough to encourage the beans to make a quick start.  If you are not able to irrigate the ground, you must wait for good rains to give your soil plenty of moisture before planting.

Put the beans about 5 centimeters, or a thumb’s length deep and 4 – 5 centimeters apart.

Under good conditions the beans will germinate in 4 to 5 days.  If the soil has been hammered hard by heavy rains at this time, it must be loosened a little so that the beans can push through the soil without being damaged.  Keep the young beans free from weeds for the first month at least to give them the best chance in life.  The beans will be ready to harvest when the plant leaves begin to fall and the stems begin to dry out.

Soya beans have the good quality of attracting certain bacteria which extract the plant food nitrogen from the air.  These bacteria are very small organisms which cannot be seen by the naked eye.  While the beans are growing the bacteria will multiply greatly and will remain a long time in the soil after the beans are finished.  A little soil taken from an old Soya bean plot and dusted into the rows of fresh ground where Soya beans are to be planted will therefore provide a more plentiful supply of the helpful bacteria at the outset and get the bean off to a good start.  The nitrogen fixing partnership between beans and bacteria will mean that your ground will be enriched by a crop of Soya beans.

Wonder Boxes, designed by Compassion in 1978, continue to catch on, to excite people and to be a boon for many households.  They are being made in at least 50 centers in southern Africa:  Women for Peace in Johannesburg, Cripple Care in Pietermaritzburg and Pretoria, Centers of “Concern in port Elizabeth and elsewhere and self-help home industries and missions in rural areas.

-15-

Yet still there is a desperate NEED for WONDER BOXES TOGETHER WITH SOYA BEANS.  To meet this need we ask each person who reads this to PROVIDE ONE MORE PERSON WITH A WONDER BOX.

Start a “Wonder-chain”, each person who receives one could buy or make one for someone in need – a pensioner, an unemployed person or an over-burdened working mother.

MAKE YOUR OWN WONER-BOXES

Make cushions out of large plastic bags, mutton cloth or other washable material and fill them loosely with any of the following”

polystyrene beads                           waste nylon materials

dried corn husks                               flakes of newspaper

woolen materials                             sawdust and wood shavings

feathers                                             hay or other dry grasses

Put the cushions into a container such as a cardboard box and make a nest in it for your cooking pot.  Cover the pot with another cushion.

Polystyrene is about the best insulation material and it is also easily washed.  If you are only able to get the solid pieces which are used for packing radios etc…, you can break it up by grating it.

Compassion registered the name WONDER BOX and the logo of the kneeling figure in the hope that our new and simple ways of using the WONDER (SOYA) BEANS will go with it and be a powerful force for peace at this time.

LIVE SIMPLY THAT OTHERS MAY SIMPLY LIVE

Where to get insulation beads:

JoAnn’s Fabric Stores

DOUBLE STITCH ALL SEAMS

Cut bottom out of milk jug (gallon),         Put 5 scoops of beads for top.

Put 9 scoops of beads for bottom.

-16-

Wonder Box Cooker

The Wonder Box Cooker recipes and instructions originated from a booklet published by “Compassion” of South Africa in 1978,1979 and 1980. “Compassion” registered name Wonder Box and the logo of the kneeling figure. This information may be freely quoted, acknowledgments being made to “Compassion”

Wonder Boxes work like vacuum flasks. In these days when we are being warned of worldwide shortages of food and fuel, this wonder box and it’s simplicity is designed to keep food at the temperature needed for cooking.  Using very little fuel you only use about 15 minutes of energy to bring the food to the required temperature and then put it into the Wonder box. It makes it as though it were a thermos.  On the flip side it will also keep ice-cream cold for about 4 hours.

Brief Cooking Instructions:

Boil your food on the stove for 10 – 15 minutes until the food is heated right through. (In practice this is too long.)

Use any cooking pot, provided it does not have a long handle, but do not use a large pot for a small amount of food. The W’box does not work well if there is a large air space. Remember that the more food or liquid that you have in the pot, the longer and better it will cook.

Put the lid on the pot before you remove the pot from the stove so the lid can also get hot. Make sure the nest in the bottom cushion is ready to take the pot and that it is nearby so you do not lose heat carrying the pot around. Place pot into the nest of the W’box, making sure that the sides are snug against the pot, so there are no air pockets. Quickly cover the pot with the top cushion, making sure there are no gaps or air pockets. Make sure that no one peeks inside. If this happens, heat will escape, and the food will not cook properly.

Do not leave the W’box on a metal surface while it is being used. Metal is a good conductor of heat and may draw off some heat through the bottom.

When cooking anything like a roast or a whole chicken, the liquid around it can boil before the meat has reached the same temperature. Make sure the liquid covers the meat and it has come to a boil. Meat must be covered with liquid! The cooking time seems to be 3-4 hours, or all day. It is sure to never burn.

Note: We had a chicken that was put in at 9:30 in the morning before church. This single dad prepared the chicken by placing it into an oven-cooking bag. He added spices to the chicken closed the bag completely (no added moisture was added to the bag) then brought the pot of water with the chicken in, to a boil and put it all in to the W’box. We ate with him at 4:00pm and as he tried to carve the chicken that was well cooked; the steam was ‘rolling’ off the chicken. It was still so hot he worked with forks to carve it. Nb: the opening to the bag was left protruding from under the lid.

The W’box was designed for cooking meals, but it can also be used for keeping food hot, cold or frozen for 3-6 hours depending on what it is For example, frozen meat will stay frozen longer than a tub of ice cream.

The cushions filled with polystyrene can be washed with hot water and soap and hung on the line to dry.

WONDER BOX Sewing Instructions

Click here for a Pattern

Material:  3 Meters (yards are 3″ shorter than a meter) soft cotton or broadcloth so it will conform to the shape of the pot.

(½ can be coordinated  ….   two colors)

19 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails of  Polystyrene beads (it is an insulation that looks like the tiny separate Styrofoam bits that make up the protective packing in electronics, etc.)

“Polystyrene is about the best insulating material and it is also easily washed. If you are only able to get the solid pieces which are used for packing radios etc., you can break it up by grating it.”
the booklet also says “make cushions out of large plastic bags, mutton cloth or other  washable material and fill loosely with any of the following:
Polystyrene, Dried corn husks, Woolen materials, Feathers, Waste nylon materials, Flakes of newspaper, sawdust and wood shavings, Hay or other dry grasses “In Canada we have a gray ‘blow in insulation’ in our attic, it would be impossible to wash without opening the wonder box but it may be added to this list as well.

Sewing instructions:

When you sew the wonder box together you sew 2 of the 4 pieces together along the longest sides. You open each of the pairs now and place them right sides together and sew those 2 together all the way around the outside, making an awkward shaped cushion affair. Don’t forget the opening to fill through. You then repeat with the 4 bottom pieces. One pair together, sew along the longest side, then the other pair. Open them up and place them right sides together, remembering to leave openings to fill through. I am adding a loop at this point to hang this by when not in use, or dry after washing.

The narrow part of the bottom pattern is the piece you will tuck into the bigger part of the bottom to make the pouch/nest for the pot to sit into.

Hoping not to confuse the issue. If you start where the bottom pattern says 90 (degrees for the angle) and sew down the right side of the pattern and stop just after the second 11 ½  ” mark, before the pattern starts back up. That will be one of the two pairs. Do the same with the other two, put right sides together again and sew it all the way around the outside edge now, into the box or ball shape. The same goes for the top cushion, start at the 100, sew down the right and stop just after the 11″ mark. The rights sides together and sew again making the shape of the top cushion.

It will not lie flat. It will take the shape of a square cushion when it is filled with the polystyrene beads, and the bottom cushion has a cavity like a nest or pouch.

Top: Fill a little less than ½ full while the bag is hanging. Approximately 7 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails.

A paper funnel works best, as the beads are very static prone.  You may want to use an ice cream pail to pour from. Work with two people to fill-one to hold the funnel in and the other to pour.  Spread a sheet on floor to catch beads.

Bottom: Cut 4 Fill approximately ½ full with polystyrene beads. Approximately 12 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails

Once this bag is filled, tuck the small end into the center to form the pouch/nest for the pot. Find a good pot that works well in this pouch. No long handles please.

When the pan sits inside the pouch/nest of the bottom, the pan is surrounded on all sides except the top. So… that is where the top/lid comes in. It is very important to keep all of the heat inside this wonder box cooker. One of the pages and the recipes explain that the lid/top of the wonder box must go on immediately with no places for the heat to escape or it will all be for nothing.

Wonder Box Recipes

Yogurt by the Gallon

4 cups dry skim milk powder

4 quarts warm water

Mix well, heat to scald, cool to luke warm

Add

1 cup of starter (plain commercial yogurt) or product saved from this finished recipe may be used to start a new batch. Refresh monthly with commercial starter.

Mix well, put into a gallon glass jar with a lid and place into the Wonder box.

Leave undisturbed for 12-14 hours. It will thicken more after refrigeration.

May be used plain or add your favorite fruits to flavour.

For those that can afford the calories, if the yogurt doesn’t set to your liking, add instant

Vanilla pudding. (substituting yogurt for milk)

Can be reduced for smaller batches.

Porridge

2 cups quick oats

4 cups boiling water

salt to taste

Stir oats into boiling water, put lid on and  place quickly between cushions of the W’box for 15 minutes or more. Stir before serving

Rice

2 cups rice

Put into

3 ½ – 4 cups of salted boiling water. NB. Because the water does not evaporate you may need less water than usual.

Place quickly into W’box, and leave for 40 minutes or longer until ready to eat.

Vegetables

Potatoes or root vegetables may be cooked in their skins. Bring them to a boil in a pot full of water and place quickly between cushions of the W’box for about twice as long as you would normally cook them. They may be left all day without overcooking and can be more easily peeled after cooking

Try waterless cooking by using the crisp kind of bags used for cooking roasts, etc. Submerge the bag into the water and bring to a boil. The bag should be left with opening protruding out from under the lid. Place quickly into W’box.

Chicken and other joints of Meat

Place chicken into an Oven cooking bag with desired spices, and close bag

Bring pot of water with chicken in it, to a good boil.

Quickly place into the W’box and place top cushion on.

Leave alone for at least 3-4 hours.

The chicken was put in at 9:30 in the morning before church. This single dad prepared the chicken by placing it into an oven-cooking bag. He added spices to the chicken closed the bag completely (no added moisture was added to the bag) then  brought the pot of water with the chicken in, to a boil and put it all in to the W’box. We ate with him at 4:00pm. It was impressive.

Try soups, stews, what ever you can bring to a boil and then give it a try. The worst that would happen is the first time, you may have to bring things back to a boil and replace into the W’box for a second cooking time.

I was given other recipes from a group who called this “The Clever Cooker” but they looked just like any other kind of simmered recipe and the consistent instruction was leave for 3-4 hours,

Never replace a pot of half eaten or luke warm food in the W’box It should be boiled up again to prevent it going bad.

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