Day: November 11, 2015

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

08:33 – We’re almost finished watching the BBC Historical Farm series. We watched them in chronological order rather than broadcast order, starting with Secrets of the Castle and Tudor Monastery Farm and working our way through Tales from the Green Valley, Victorian Farm, Victorian Pharmacy, Edwardian Farm, and finally Wartime Farm, which we should finish this evening or tomorrow.

All of them feature historian Ruth Goodman, usually with archaeologists Peter Ginn and Alex Langlands, living and working in an historical dwelling as ordinary people of the time would have done. They’re all well worth watching, but they aren’t available streaming or on DVD. If you want to watch them, you’ll have to grab torrents of the episodes and burn them to DVD or watch them on your computer.

One of the Wartime Farm episodes we watched last night showed one means of dealing with the fuel shortages during WWII. Ruth made a hay box, which is simply an insulated wooden box that can hold a hot pot of food, allowing it to continue cooking for hours without using fuel to keep the food simmering the whole time. The modern equivalent is vacuum bottle cooking, where you bring the pot to a boil and transfer the hot food to a pre-warmed vacuum bottle and allow it to keep cooking over a period of several hours without using any more fuel.

I plan to do some testing with that soon, using a wide-mouth 2 liter Thermos bottle. We’ll start with something simple like cooking noodles or pasta. But before I do that, I plan to test heat retention by preheating the bottle, emptying it and refilling it with boiling water, and recording the temperature initially and then after it’s sat for 6, 8, 10, and 12 hours. Thermos claims it keeps the contents hot or cold for 24 hours. We’ll see.

And I see that Amazon has fixed their Silk browser. Incredibly, an earlier “upgrade” removed the “Find in Page” function, which made Silk almost unusable for serious browsing. The latest update puts the Find function back where it belongs.

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