As I was doing my rounds at my local Checkers today I came across an interesting promotion: buy any three 200g Rajah curry powders (about R50), and get a Wonderbag, valued at R99, absolutely free!
What is a Wonderbag, you ask, dear readers? I asked the same thing. A Wonderbag is an insulation-cooker that retains heat from your stove/oven to slow cook your food. You bring your food to the boil and then pop the pot into the insulated Wonderbag and a few hours later (depending on the foodstuff), your meal is ready.
I’ve heard of these things but was very excited to see one in person (well, you know what I mean). There are several benefits here:
* It’s easy to use. Simply boil your food briefly, then put the sealed pot in the Wonderbag to finish cooking (guidelines are provided, e.g. rice 5 min on stove then 45 min in Wonderbag; root veg like potatoes 15 min on stove then an hour in the Wonderbag; soaked beans 30 min on stove then 2-3 hours in Wonderbag)
* It saves energy, by only consuming electricity/gas/paraffin/etc in the first part of the cooking process. Their pamphlet claims that by using your Wonderbag just 2-3 times per week, you will save up to 13kw of electricity/week, or up to 500kg of carbon per year!
* It saves money, because you use less electricity/gas/paraffin/etc.
* It saves the environment, because you’re limiting CO2 emissions by using less electricity/gas/paraffin/etc (are you beginning to spot a pattern, here?)
* It saves water, because cooking liquids don’t evaporate so you end up using less.
* It makes the kitchen a safer place, as there is less time spent with a naked flame or searing hot-plate burning (of course it should be placed out of reach of small children as they can still get burnt if they tip over the pot inside)
* It creates employment and alleviates poverty. Most of the bags are hand-sewn in a network of co-ops run by Youth for Survival, a registered skills development NGO.
For all these reasons, I thought, a Veggietot Mom’s just got to have one! So off I toddled with my three boxes of curry powder and a free Wonderbag (usually valued at R99, the promotion said). It comes with an instruction/recipe book and I’m very excited to try out some of the recipes, like the sweet potato and spinach curry, the butter bean curry, and the curried butternut stew.
I’ll let you know how it goes!
If you’re interested in this product, click this link and for ordering details. The website also offers a cute little Wonderbag which holds a 1.5 litre pot, perfect for keeping your hot lunch hot until your want it at work!