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Take one cup of rice and two cups of water (will do three people). 

If you want more or less, just maintain the one to two ratio on volume.

Boil water and simmer for a minute or so while the sun is shining.  

Turn off the ring and wrap a nice fluffy towel around and over the pan. 

Come back in half and hour  of so and give it a stir (most of the water will already have been absorbed, this just mixes the remainder in evenly).  Replace towel. 

Come back some time in the next hour or two and eat nice fluffy rice.  All the water will now be absorbed.

You don't have to watch it.  It never boils over.  You don't have to time it exactly and it makes great rice.
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Cooking with towels is a trick I've tried a couple of times now.

I recommend it to all Hitchhikers fans, cooks, people with busy lives and those who want to save money or reduce CO2 emissions.

It's very handy if you need to cook a casserole or similar and aren't sure exactly when you'll want it and also want to make sure you don't burn it if you go out and abandon it to its own devices for an hour or so.

It's also very cheap, because you don't use any gas or electricity after you've heated it up.

I'd read about hayboxes, which struck me as a good idea, but far too demanding on space and involving bits of hay in your kitchen, so I adapted the concept in the spirit of Douglas Adams

Cook your casserole (or pressure cooker) on the hob until it's boiling and then simmer for a couple of minutes to make sure the heat has penetrated all the ingredients.  Then, turn off the heat, leave your casserole right where it is (you can move it if you want to, but if it's an electric cooker, you might as well use the residual heat in the hob), wrap the top and sides of the casserole in a couple of thick, fluffy towels.  (If you take it off the hob, then you'll want towel underneath as well)

Leave for several hours and eat whenever you want to.  The one we cooked yesterday was still hot four hours later.  The long, slow cook had allowed all the flavours to seep into the liquid and it tasted fabulous (guests asking for spoons to make sure they didn't miss any of the liquid on their plates).  Slow cooking can also give beautifully tender meat.

The bigger the meal, the better it's going to retain the heat.  It can't burn, because you've turned off the external heat.  I went out for  a walk after setting up yesterday's towels.

You can cook pretty much any kind of stew this way.  Yesterday's one was sausages, parsnips and carrots for five people.  

It's cheap, it's great for lazy people who can't plan meals to exact deadlines, and it makes great-tasting food!

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Judith Proctor

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