Regular followers of the Woodlore blog may well be familiar with the name John van Zanen thanks to his fantastic hammock-making guide, which we posted on these pages last year. Well, John has been busy once again, this time sharing his enthusiasm and bushcraft skills with a group of scout leaders in his homeland of the Netherlands. Here he shares with us photos and videos of the group working together to create a hangi – a traditional Maori method of cooking food outdoors in a heated pit oven:
Hello Ray and Woodlore Team,
I attended the Woodlore Camp Craft course in 2011 and was challenged by your team to spread the knowledge of bushcraft. Not long after, I spent a few days with a group of scout leaders to teach them some of the skills I have learnt in the past years attending courses with Woodlore.
Each year, scout leaders come together to open the new season and to get new energy and inspiration for the year to come. This year I was invited to join them and teach some bushcraft skills. We talked about quite a few topics, but the highlight of the weekend was surely eating the food from a hangi. Instead of rocks, we used bricks and covered the pit with wet towels, branches and soil. The result was really great and the food tasted fantastic. During the four hours that the food was cooking underground, we all carved a spoon to eat our dinner with.
During the process a number of videos were made, which you can view via the following links:
Here is a list of all the stuff we used to make the hangi:
- Stones (or bricks)
- Steel baskets (to put the food in)
- Six or seven big towels (to cover the pit)
- A lot of sticks (to cover the pit)
- Sheets or duvet covers (to cover the baskets in the pit)
- A garden hose or other source of water
- Three spades
- Two steel rakes (to reposition the bricks in the pit)
- Two buckets of water (to soak the towels and the sheet)
- Aluminum foil (we used this to cover the baskets in the pit because we had no sheet)
- Oven bags (to put the chicken in)
- Newspapers (for starting the fire)
- Firewood (enough to make a fire that will last for two hours)
John van Zanen
It was great to have John in our midst, his enthusiastic and positif way of learning us some bush craft skills are already legendaric! Thank you John for your energy and spirit to teach us these things as described here above.
Preparing, building and eating from the hangi was a great treat!
couldn’t you have just built an actual oven with all those bricks?