Cooking With Fire

As you will know if you read my post about my new studio flat, I currently have no cooker or microwave or anything where I live. Not thinking anyone was going to take me seriously, I asked me friends/neighbours the other day “tomorrow can we cook outside with fire?!” To my surprise, Richie was very enthusiastic about the idea and he said food tastes really nice when you do it that way, and we have bricks and wood out the back etc. Even though he was enthusiastic, I wasn’t sure if the enthusiasm would still be there the next day because plans change every 5 minutes here and half the things that are supposed to get done don’t get done.

However, when I woke up the next day and saw Richie, he told me he’d already set up the “stove” round the back! I was very impressed and we went to buy the ingredients for vegetable rice. Our friend Ronnie was also with us but we let Richie attempt to start the fire first:


As you can see he only had big pieces of wood, and he was actually using PLASTIC BAGS to try and start it. Me and Hellen were immediately like “RICHIE!! STOP!” because obviously they release toxic chemicals, but he genuinely didn’t even know/believe that. I went to look for some small pieces of wood but when I gave them to the boys they laughed at me and said a sarcastic thank you. When I next looked at what they were doing, surprise surprise they were using my small pieces of wood!


I was happy that I’d shouted at them enough to stop using the plastic bags, and Ronnie started the fire with some newspaper (which was also my idea) and bark from a palm tree. Richie did all the vegetable chopping etc. My main job was to play music through my ipod speakers. We borrowed a banana leaf from the neighbour to use as the lid to the rice pot:


It took forever to cook, I think we were sitting there for 2 hours. Richie also made a drink which has a Panamanian name that I can’t remember, but basically you buy this semi-solid lump of a sugary thing which they described to me as “juice from the sugar cane”, basically the natural thing they make cane sugar out of. You break up that lump and put it in the bottle and then squeeze oranges and lemons into it, I think add some water as well, and mix it all up.

This is Richie, me and Ronnie:


There was loads of food so our other neighbours also ate with us, and I invited my local friend Sol over. We stayed outside with some beers etc for a long time after listening to music and chilling.

I don’t think we’ll be doing this every day because it took forever, but it was quite fun so hopefully we’ll do it again sometime.

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