Failure to Launch
Ever shown up to work feeling you weren’t really needed? The staff of this Bolivian airline has been doing so for years.
A hangi is a traditional Maori method of cooking food in which heated volcanic rocks are buried in a pit along with meat and vegetables, creating a steamy, earthy-tasting feast. And we mean feast. These instructions, care of Newcastle Maori Club vice-president David Horne, will feed 50, but can be adjusted up or down. N.B. Always use volcanic rocks, as non-volcanic ones can explode.
EQUIPMENT: a shovel, firewood, volcanic rocks, a large (clean) bedsheet, 5 hessian sacks, large bucket of water, and chicken wire, folded into a basket a little smaller than your pit (see method for size).
INGREDIENTS: enough meat (chicken, beef, and lamb work well) and vegetables (potatoes, pumpkins, cabbage, etc.) to fill your basket, cut to size for even cooking. Cabbage or banana leaves for coating your basket. You can substitute with tinfoil, though it won’t be as tasty.
Dig a pit in the ground roughly 50cm deep, 50cm wide and 75cm long. The larger the pit, the more foodyou can cook in one sitting.Soak bedsheet and hessian sacks in water. Place bedsheet over food, tucking sides into basket. Place basket on rocksand cover with damp hessian sacks. Lay wood in pit with volcanic rocks on top. Set wood on fire and leave for 2-3 hours. The rocks should be white-hot when fire burns out. Remove embers. Cover hessian sacks with a thick mound of dirt and leave for 3-4 hours. If you see any steam escaping, cover with more dirtto seal in heat and steam. Construct a basket from chicken wire. Lay cabbage/banana leaves on the bottom and sides. Add your meat,then pile vegetables on top. Carefully remove dirt and uncover hessian sacks. Remove basket using oven mitts. Discard bedsheet and place food on chopping boards. Carve and eat.