First show of the year the Southwest Caravan and Motorhome Show at the Westpoint Centre, Exeter and I have promised myself that I will be more organised this year by getting the van ready and packed with plenty of time to spare.
Well as Robert Burns’ wrote in his poem To a Mouse, “even the best laid plans of mice and men go array”. Time just gets the better of me and I end up packing everything that I can find just in case at the very last minute.
Once the van is stacked to the roof with everything including the dog I hitch on the caravan, connect the electrics and turn the key … nothing. At times like this your heart just drops. It’s 3 pm, you have a drive of at least three hours through drizzle and heavy mist, then at least 2 hours of unpacking and setting up … and you have no idea why your vehicle will not start.
“Why oh why did I not pack yesterday and leave this morning? I would at least have had time to sort out the problem.” I think as I search for a meter to check the battery. Maybe it is a fuse Jen suggests so after 10 minutes trying to find where the fuse box is and then how to open the bonnet we find these like the battery seem OK.
Time is marching on so all we can do is call the breakdown people.
“We can get someone to you in about an hour sir” the man on the other end explains “but in the meantime have you checked the battery?”
“Yes I have and it is fine but I will check again” I reply “but in the meantime please don’t cancel the call”.
By now it is around 4:30 and the chance of getting to Exeter in time to set up is now not an option so Jen decides to let the organisers know we will not be there today while I check the battery again. Much to my amazement this time the meter reads exactly zero volts which in a way is a relief as this is an easy thing to remedy although at a cost of nearly £100.00 for a replacement battery.
Friday 8th March eventually we set off to the Motorhome show.
The following morning we set of a little later than we intend (those mice and men again) but make a good journey time. By 11 o’clock we are pulling into the the Southwest Caravan and Motorhome show and by midday our stall is set up enough to start selling.
“Thermal cooking can save up to 80% on fuel which is a real saving when a 6 kg refill of gas costs around £22.00″ I explain “for example if you take a 1.6 kg chicken, some small potatoes, carrots and stock and put them in the inner pot of the Mr D’s Thermal Cooker all you have to do is bring to the boil … then turn down to a simmer for 5 minutes before placing the inner pot into the outer energy saving insulated container where it can be left for up to 8 hours to cook without power.”
Saturday 9th March a good day selling thermal cookers.
After a good nights sleep in the caravan and a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs (from our chickens) we head over to our stall.
By 9:30 we are set up and waiting for the customers to arrive and it isn’t long before the first energy saving thermal cooker of the day is sold.
As usual there was a lot of interest also in our Indian Paramapara spice mixes which work so well in a thermal cooker. These sell steadily throughout the day but the main sales are for the Mr D’s Thermal Cooker.
By the end of the day we have had reasonable sales and go off for supper in our caravan, pleased.
Last day of the motorhome show and sales of energy saving thermal cookers are not too good:
We awake Sunday morning with the rain dripping on the caravan roof. I check my emails during breakfast to find a really nice one from someone who had bought a Mr D’s energy saving Thermal Cooker from us at the motorhome show the previous day.
“Hi there, we purchased your Thermal Cooker show offer at the Westpoint show yesterday & just wanted to say how pleased we are with our purchase. My wife, Linda, used it last night to cook our chicken curry tea in order to try it out & it worked perfectly, so many thanks.”
What a nice way to start the day I think as I walk over to the exhibition hall. Unfortunately the day starts very slowly as there are hardly any people coming through the show and by lunchtime we realised this is the way Sunday is going to be. Maybe it is not helped by being Mothers Day but who knows.
By 4 o’clock we have sold only one Mr D’s energy saving Thermal Egg cooker and one Mr D’s Thermal Cooker so we are keen to pack up and head for home.
Our next show the Bath Caravan and Motorhome Show is this coming weekend 15th, 16th and 17th at Bath Racecourse let’s hope that is better.
|Mr D’s 4.5L
Thermal Cooker Sets
Mr D’s 4.5L
|Thermal Cooker Traveller|
|Thermal Cooker Traveller
plus Cook Book
plus Cook Book
|Twin Pot Thermal Cooker|
|Twin Pot Thermal Cooker Traveller|
|Twin Pot Thermal Cooker Traveller plus Cook Book|
|Twin Pot Thermal Cooker
plus Cook Book
|Thermal Cooker Camper|
|Thermal Cooker Camper
plus Cook book
|Twin Pot Thermal Cooker Camper|
|Twin Pot Thermal Cooker Camper plus Cook Book
This week we received this slide show along with this email below from one of our customers Barbara Lawton about her Mr D’s Thermal Cooker.
Hi David and Jenny,
I love it, it is brilliant! Wonderful foods.
Barbara bought her 4.5L Mr D’s Thermal Cooker in November 2011 and then added a Mr D’s Top Pot the following January. Attached to her email was the selection of images showing many of the healthy nutritious meals (all made from fresh ingredients) she has made in her Mr D’s Thermal Cooker.
Some of the nutritious meals Barbara has made:
- curry and couscous cooked together using the top pot
- soups – leak & potato and carrot & celery
- curries – Thai green and chickpea
- beans – chilli beans and barbecue beans
- beef casserole with a frozen pea starter
- spaghetti bolognese served with a lovely green salad
Chili tastes so much better if left to slowly cook in a thermal cooker so please don’t rush this recipe.
Chili con carne (chili with meat) or more commonly known as simply “chili” is a spicy stew containing chili peppers, meat, tomatoes, often beans with seasoning’s that may include garlic, onions, coriander, cumin and paprika. To get a really good tasting chili it is important not too skimp on the amounts of these spices.
My venison chili con carne recipe, cooked without power in an energy saving thermal cooker is easy and quick to prepare and can be made for supper any day of the week. The recipe can also be cooked in a slow cooker or crock pot but it with both of these methods, unlike the energy saving thermal cooker, it will need a power source for the slow cooking process.
If you don’t want to use venison you could use beef, chicken or pork. For a vegetarian version you could substitute the venison for a selection of different beans and use a vegetable stock cube or my favourite a vegetable Knorr Stock Pot. I however put venison the top of my favourite chili list and it is certainly worth trying.
You should be able to get venison mince on line or from your butcher but if you have problems you can purchase it on line. In the recipe I have used tinned kidney beans but if you would prefer to use dried remember to soak the kidney beans overnight (a minimum of 5 hours) before boiling for a minimum of 10 minutes to make sure you remove any toxins which can make you ill.
Serve the venison chili cooked in your energy saving thermal cooker, slow cooker or crock pot on a bed of rice and topped with sour cream or grated cheddar cheese and you will have the ultimate comfort food.
Happy thermal cooking,
Other Venison Recipes