Eating Without Electricity – Pioneer Life in the 21st Century, Part 3

By Ebony Porter, March 23, 2017, Family, Green

Pioneer times were tough, and we would never suggest life without modern plumbing, refrigeration, or electricity! But with the fast pace of modern life, some folks have decided to learn skills from bygone eras. This includes purchasing local products made closer to home with more care and quality materials, unhooking from technology, and embracing homesteading. In our Pioneer Life in the 21st Century series, we’ll help you embrace a few pioneer-like actions, create mindful moments, and perhaps save a few bucks, whether you live in an apartment in the city or a planned community in the suburbs.

To live the pioneer life in modern times, it goes without saying that we must simplify. In this installment of living in the spirit of the pioneers in our modern times, we explore what it takes to make food that doesn’t require electricity to cook, or to store. Sound crazy? It’s not!

Eating Without Electricity - Pioneer Life in the 21st Century, Part 3 | Bounce Energy Blog

Eating this way reduces your food to the simplest ingredients and ensures a diet full of wholesome foods. No preservatives, limited dairy intake, and vegetables!

Pick one day a month and see if you can survive this pioneer life, food and all. Check out these five electricity-less recipes for inspiration.

Go for the Guacamole

Eating Without Electricity - Pioneer Life in the 21st Century, Part 3 | Bounce Energy Blog

Avocados, limes, tomatoes and onions don’t need to be refrigerated. Nor does guacamole need to be cooked!

I guess for the sake of living in the 21st century, you can pick up a bag of chips for this one, but smash up the avocado, chop up the tomato, add half the onion and a full squeeze of lime juice. Enjoy your simple snack one evening over the light given off by a candle for added pioneer ambiance.

Fire Roasted Veggies

Eating Without Electricity - Pioneer Life in the 21st Century, Part 3 | Bounce Energy Blog

Whether you’re camping, using a fire pit in the backyard, or burning wood in your indoor stove, you can use the coals from a fire to cook food like they did back in the day.

Start with a medium to large sized potato, and take the sharp tip of a knife to prick the skin all over it. Wash with water, then cover with salt and wrap in foil.

We are guessing that in the pioneer days they didn’t have foil, and we imagine their potatoes were crispy and charred once well cooked. Once you have a fire well burning and there is a build up of red hot coals, nestle your potato into the coals and allow it to begin to roast.

Drive a skewer or knife into it after an hour and if it glides through, then it’s done. Dress with butter, salt and pepper, and enjoy. There is something so simple, primitive, and delicious about this method!

Other veggies that cook beautifully on the coals are corn, bell peppers, zucchini, and onions. We recommend brushing them with olive oil before wrapping them in foil, and don’t let them cook as long as potatoes.

Hoe Cakes

Eating Without Electricity - Pioneer Life in the 21st Century, Part 3 | Bounce Energy Blog

With those coals still burning hot, pull out the cast iron skillet and make some hoe cakes. This is the most satisfying pioneer style meal I have ever made. They are corn meal based flat cakes, and the name comes from cooking them originally on the front of a flat iron garden hoe.

Mix together 2 cups of cornmeal, 4 cups of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Lard would work too if you don’t have butter. Pour 1/4 cup sized amounts onto your greased hot iron skillet nestled on the coals, and allow to cook for 4 minutes. Flip over to cook the other side for 4 minutes longer. Serve piping hot with a drizzle of honey. Amazing!

Simple Fruit Salad

Using what is currently in season, chop up an amalgamation of fruits to serve up a fruit salad. It’s a simple, healthy and fresh substitute, for processed sugary treats.

Roasted Apples

Eating Without Electricity - Pioneer Life in the 21st Century, Part 3 | Bounce Energy Blog

Finish out your pioneer feast with a warm roasted apple. Core out the apple, and fill it with cinnamon, dried cranberries or raisins, and brown sugar. Wrap foil around it twice, and leave a ‘handle’ of foil on one end for handling.

Nestle into the hot coals for 5-10 minutes. If a skewer goes in easily then it’s ready. Just like a roasted potato, there is something so simply satisfying about an apple cooked like this!

Did we miss your favorite ways to cook or prepare food without electricity? Be sure and share with our readers below.

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About 

Born in Australia, Ebony has been in Texas long enough to consider herself a Texan-Aussie. Ebony has been writing for magazines, newspapers, and blogs, for more than 10 years. When she's not writing she's building quilts, growing her own food, or camping with her family somewhere far from the sounds of the city.

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