Beat loadshedding with the Wonderbag

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Beat loadshedding with the Wonderbag

The Wonderbag is a perfect way to ensure that you have a warm home-cooked meal on days when loadshedding strikes. Abigail Donnelly gives us the lowdown on cooking with it.

I started cooking on my own at the beginning of high school, not as a chore, but because I loved it. I enjoyed making the plates look pretty and if my brothers’ friends stayed over, I would arrange the breakfast table before going to bed so it looked as fancy as it could.

One day my mom brought home a slow-cooker and we started experimenting with all sorts of things so that our casseroles and soups would be ready when we got home from work and school. I haven’t used one for ages. But now there’s a new concept, which has been around for a while, but it’s been in the spotlight lately because of loadshedding. It’s the Wonderbag! And it’s wonderful when the electricity goes off. The bag is insulated and cooks and keeps food warm for hours. It looks great too, made up in colourful shweshwe fabric.

My first experience with it was at my kids’ school food fair where I am responsible for the curry at our class stand. I have 200 portions of breyani made and it comes in a gigantic Wonderbag, which keeps it piping hot for the whole night.

On a recent trip to Durban I was given my own Wonderbag, not as big thank goodness, otherwise I would have gotten even stranger looks on the plane coming home than I did! I tried it as soon as I got home with something simple, a beef soup with loads of veggies.

After bringing the chopped carrots, leeks, celery, stock, bay leaves and diced beef to the boil on the stove, I placed the pot and its lid in the Wonderbag and left it on the kitchen counter before going to work. I got home about nine hours later and the beef and veggies were meltingly tender. The Wonderbag is perfect for loadshedding days, or just when you want dinner to be ready when you get home. I can’t wait to try a curry or a roast chicken.

If you have tried the Wonderbag, please share your ideas with me.

For more information on Wonderbag and a list of its stockists visit their website here.

Find more loadshedding meal ideas here. 

Abigail Donnelly Article by: Abigail Donnelly

Nothing excites Woolworths TASTE's Food Director quite as much as the challenge of dreaming up recipes with innovative new foods – or the thrill of creating deliciousness on a plate with the humblest of ingredients. With Abi by your side, you’ll be a cooking expert in no time at all.

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    Marlene Harris
    August 25, 2015

    I think the Wonderbag is amazing, certainly the answer to load shedding. I hope to be the lucky one.

  • Nirvana Jaganath
    June 9, 2015

    I’ve used mine to cook rice, lamb curry, breyani and to finish cooking some lamb shanks after the power went out (load shedding!). Just remember to get your food good and hot before putting into the bag. Also because there’s little to none evaporation of liquid from the food you will have to reduce the amount of liquid that you start off with in your food.