French Hillbilly Heater and Chicken Soup

French Hillbilly Heater and Chicken Soup

After trying the Hillbilly Air Conditioner and not being particularly successful, I was a bit skeptical of this heater find on Pinterest.  I saw a video tutorial with some French artist living in the eaves of a gothic loft heating his studio with only three tea light candles per day.  Could that be possible? Just like Snopes, I’m here to say “Oui, it’s true!”

I was surprised at the amount of heat these little pots put out.  While it certainly wouldn’t heat a house or even a large room, I could see where It would heat a little closed room while I ate my baguette and drank wine and dreamed of Monet.


The heater was easy to make.  You need 3 tea candles, a small loaf pan, a small clay pot, and a larger clay pot.  I can’t really give you the sizes of the pots because it depends upon the size of your loaf pan.  I took my loaf pan to Michael’s Craft Store and quickly tried the pots out before buying.

Find a spot on your counter away from flammables, children, and pets. Place the three tea candles in the loaf pan and light them.



Put the smaller pot inverted on the loaf pan. Seal the hole in the bottom of the smaller pot. I didn’t get crafty.  I just used the price tag.


Next, invert the larger pot and place it over the smaller pot.  That’s it.  The air is drawn in under the pots, surrounds the warmer small pot and rises out of the hole in the larger pot.


If you are still cold, I have another way to warm up. Chicken Soup!  This recipe is from my friend Gina and it is delicious.  We all love it.  In fact, Davis had friends over and as typical with teens they didn’t wake up till noon.  I had made the soup for my lunch but at the same time I was making pancakes for the gentlemen guests.  Davis tasted the soup and ended up eating that for breakfast instead of the the pancakes.



Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

6 cups chicken broth

2 chicken breast halves (cooked, boneless and cubed)

1   6-ounce package long grain and wild rice blend, quick cooking version (You will use the seasoning packet.  I used Uncle Ben’s quick cook variety)

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup butter

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced onion

3 cups light cream

Open rice, pull out seasoning packet and set aside.  In a small bowl combine pepper and flour, set aside.In a large pot bring broth and chicken to a boil.  Add rice, cover pot and remove from heat. In a medium sauce pan add butter, carrots, celery, and onions.  Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in contents of seasoning packet and continue cooking until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes more.  Add seasoned flour mixture to butter mixture.  Stir to form a roux (paste). Saute roux for 3-5 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Whisk in cream a little a time until fully incorporated.  Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir creamed mixture into broth and rice.  Cook until heated through and  rice is done, about 15-20 minutes.

Here are a couple of tips to make the soup faster.  Cut all of the vegetables ahead of time. and place in a bowl.  Sharpen your knife first!!!! It goes quicker.



Use the Fast Cook Uncle Ben’s.  Can you tell I’m all about speed today?



Here’s a bonus photo which has no specific tip.  It just shows the sauteed vegetables with the spice packet added.  Almost done!




I hope you are keeping warm this winter.  We haven’t really had much of a winter in south Atlanta just enough to make some good soup and relax by a fire….or loaf pan.

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