Eskom has suspended load shedding…again. We all know it’s coming back. Here are some tips so you don’t starve in the dark over the weekend.
When extended powerless periods become the norm, we have to adapt how we prepare our food, hot drinks, and cold ones. If that means camping in the kitchen, we’re game.
Earthfire Pizza Oven

It looks like you don’t have to stock up on bricks if you’re a pizza fundi with a craving for woodfired pizzas in your humble abode. These days, almost every archaic cooking method has a new high-tech replacement (case in point: the air fryer). It looks like the same is true for the traditional pizza oven. You’ll still need some combustible matter this time, however. But it sure makes for a cool party trick. The Earthfire pizza oven looks like a tiny, legless Weber – so it’s portable, versatile and kinda adorable. Chuck in some wood or charcoal and this baby heats up to 350 degrees Celsius for long enough to crispify your homemade dough. It can even be used as a small smoker or braai if you add the lid. 
Build a proper fire, and you should reach optimal cooking heat in only 30 minutes – then you can cook a pizza in around 3 to 4 minutes. Not bad for a tiny portable pizza oven. This is thanks to its sturdy build – it’s crafted from a porous ceramic pizza plate that can take the heat. The kit comes complete with all the tools needed to transfer and place your circular creation of happiness. We know you experimented with sourdough during the hard lockdown in 2020 – don’t try and hide it now that pizza oven tech has caught up with our powerless needs. The Earthfire pizza oven is quite possibly the easiest method to flex your newfound cooking skills when the lights are out. 

Sometimes the best solution to low-tech cooking is exactly that. While it looks like something straight out of a Verimark ad, the Wonderbag is an insulated jacket that is placed around a warm (boiling, to be exact) pot of food which will retain heat long enough to allow the food to cook. It saves energy and half-cooked meals that come with unexpected power loss. 
Meater Plus Wireless  Meat Thermometer 

While the old wired thermometers haven’t been in use for as long as we can remember, this meat thermometer sports a wireless range of 50 meters and also has the distinction of being ‘smart’. It seamlessly connects to a mobile app which gives you a detailed insight into your meat. The range, though, has us asking what this gizmo is really for… 
Zero Appliances 4 Burner Glass Top Gas Hob

Growing up planning your schedule around load shedding would have any adolescent wishing for a gas stove when they’re all grown up. Sometimes, all you need is a few gas-powered stovetop plates – which is where this useful option comes in. Top your plain ol’ electric oven with a gas stove top and never have cold food in the dark again.
Gas it up

You’ll have a hard time finding a South African household without a Cadac or Alva gas bottle – whether it’s used for heat or eats, it’s a useful camping device to own in general. Pair it with a good old skottel or potjie fitting and you’re set to make a family meal without much worry about electricity. These fittings differ in size, complexity and price greatly but any will keep the fam fed.
Dig up the flash

Load shedding at night tends to be the greatest nuisance. It’s cold, dark, and we’re hungry. It may be time to break out more camping gear than just gas bottles. Battery-powered flashlights and standing lights are perfect during unexpected blackout bouts. Position one in each room for increased visibility and we totally guarantee less toe and knee contact with your furniture. We make no promises about Lego.
Ouma’s method

If you’re prone to revisiting recipes on the web that you know you’ve enjoyed, why not follow your trusted grandmother’s method and opt to write them down? The Rocketbook is a Scifi-esque piece of high-low tech that lets you write notes and erase them by simply wiping the pages. Keep one of these, filled with recipes, close at hand and you’re set for load-shedding snack prep.
Good ole braai

There isn’t much that’ll keep locals away from the braai – unless it’s snowing or pouring in a typical midwinter storm in Cape Town. It’s also the perfect backup plan when the substation’s experiencing issues again, and you can’t keep up with the load-shedding schedule. Make sure to have a bag of charcoal and some firelighters handy – a blackout can land at any point in time. 
Remember the brew
Don’t opt for take-out coffee in the dark. Invest in a nifty AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Maker and you’ll be the life of the load-shedding (socially-distanced) party. It makes just one cup at a time, so the party will have to wait. The many upsides are hot short espresso-style shots, hot long filter-style brews or cold brew coffees from an easy-to-operate battery-powered brewer. 

And a cold one
A beer can be purchased and kept in a cooler, but you can’t beat a fresh smoothie or juice – even a milkshake if your ice cream is still frozen. The Philips ProMix Hand Blender is not merely useful during quick mixing bouts on the stove. Seeing as it’s battery-powered, it’s a useful tool to make juicy drinks (even alcoholic ones, if the liquor stores are open) during load shedding.  

Clean freaks unite
If the Robovac’s too boring for your taste, you can up the ante with the Philips Speedpro Max Aqua Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner and Mop. It offers various head attachments and will reach deep corners the Roomba can only dream about. It also doubles as a mop and will last a good few hours on a charge. You may as well turn load shedding into a cleaning spree.

If solar’s in the scope
Not everyone can afford to convert to solar right now. We’re in a pandemic. It’s hard keeping the lights on and savings may be running low. But if you have a solar installation, Defy’s latest range of solar-ready kit may be the best investment you can make. This includes a range of high-end and more affordable fridges. 
The post Kitchen camping during load shedding – Don’t starve in the dark appeared first on StuffSA.