Haybox cookery

(just to bring a hint of nostalgia to those of us old enough to remember the Good Ol' Days.....)

First make your haybox : you will need a large strong box that is at least 15cm (6 inches) deeper and wider than the cooking pot that will be used. It can be a wooden tea chest or a large strong cardboard box. You will also need lots of hay, straw or similar for insulation, some aluminium foil and some plastic carrier bags.
Line the box with aluminium foil and place about 8cm (3 inches)of straw, hay etc. on the bottom of the box - more is there is enough space. Place the empty cooking pot on top of the straw, in the middle. Fill the gaps all round around the cooking pot with more straw, packing it in very tightly.
Now make a "cushion" lid to place on the top, by filling one of the carrier bags FULL with straw and placing another carrier bag over the open end of the first one. Wrap this cushion in aluminium foil. (You might want to make two of these cushions if you have enough straw.)

To use your haybox : Remove the pot from its "nest" in the straw and prepare the food in the pot, make sure it is very hot. Slide the pot back into the hay-box, making sure the pot lid is firmly in place, and place the cushion or cushions on top. If using a cardboard box the flaps may be folded over to keep the warmth in.
Leave overnight (excellent for porridge) or throughout the day. Shortly before serving, take the cooking pot out of the hay box and reheat, making sure that the contents are heated properly throughout.

The hay-box may be stored and kept to re-use from year to year, but be sure to check each time you use it as the straw will pack down with age - simply add more straw as and when necessary. Remember to store it away from mice or rats!

I don't think a picture is really necessary, but for those of you who prefer a more visual approach :

Cut-away diagram of a typical hay box :


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