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Easy Sit-Down Ride Meal

One easy way to cook soups & stews for rides instead of minding the stove
for hours is to use a homemade slow-cooker box.  You just assemble and heat
up the ingredients and box it up for the ride way ahead of the meal.

Get yourself a sturdy *airtight* cooler (ie, Coleman, and at least 13x13x18
inches) that can fit your biggest soup pot into with its lid on, with room
for newspapers stuffed in all around it to add insulation and prevent
spillage.  The soup pot should have a lid that fits very tightly.  Assemble
all the fresh or dried soup ingredients (if dried beans, rinse and pre-soak
o/n) and simmer, stirring, for 20 minutes (bubbling hot), then turn off
heat, cover, and *immediately* dry and tape the hot lid shut all around.
Clamp it with bungees if you can somehow, and pack it with the pot lid
clamped, down into the cooler lined with wadded newspaper on bottom and
stuffed in tightly all around.  Add a ladle on a saucer or spoon rest and
then the final layer of wadded newspaper (this layer can be in a bag/bags to
make it tidy when you open the box to remove it, but pack more insulation
around it, corner to corner in the box).  Close the cooler and do NOT open
until ready to serve soup.  Tape box shut, write the "variety of soup" on
top and your name, because thirsty people might think there is beer in

The more food/bigger full pot, and the more airtight the box, the better the
heat retention.  It will stay steaming hot and cooking for several hours if
the box stays shut!  It's an old-fashioned 'Hay Box' method from log cabin
and Prairie days and WWI when firewood was precious.  We tried this and it
really worked, even when the day was frosty!  No messing with refrigeration
or re-heating, and no spoilage!  It sure makes Ride food easy to just open
the box and dish the steaming food out.  Close the lid and it keeps hot
between servings.  This was adapted for Rides from "Cooking Without Fuel", a
book by Julia Older.      Bridget Brickson

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