December 13, 2010

Ghetto furnace

I have fired up the stove in an effort to bring some warmth into the house. It's going to get a degree or so below 50 degrees Fahrenheit tonight.
When I was a reporter, I covered too many tragic deaths - by carbon monoxide poisoning or fires caused by people whose heat had been shut off trying to keep warm . In the case of public housing projects, heating systems all too often are in shambles and not repaired.
And people in that situation tried to use stove tops and ovens to keep warm. Hence the term, ghetto furnace, for trying to get warm in a cold spell.
Since we don't have heating systems in paradise, this nor'easter is a long term job. So I can't just cook a little something and expect to get the place truly warm. No, this is a job for DOG FOOD!
In a dutch oven, cook black beans to start. They take a long time and in cold weather, soaking isn't needed. Just cook them in a lot of water to start. Put in several cloves of garlic. Dogs like garlic and it is a natural tick repellent. If this were mosquito season, I might make some human food with a lot of garlic!
I also cut up a six ounce pack of hot dogs, aka vienna sausages, sliced thin. Boy, it's really starting to smell good. I figure they can cook forever and maybe therefore will fall apart.
At this point, I add some more water and start looking for veggies. A vacuum box of mixed veggies is good.
And it cooks some more, providing some warmth and making Punta go antsy in anticipation. She knows one of her food batches when she smells it.
I had been a little preoccupied, so I hadn't make this in a couple weeks. There was the half can of pork dog food in pork and rice gravy from this morning. So I threw that in.
And now, when it looks about a half hour from done, add rice and water. Hmm, there's five-day old potato/chicken salad, too! Toward the end, a couple whole eggs, crushed in their shells. A protein rich stew!
What more? Oh, with all that flavor going on, a little sweet nutrition never hurts:
There's left over sweet potatoes from November still...Punta's gonna love this. And the air is warmer and more humid for creating a ghetto furnace with an actual supervised cooking pot on top of it.

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