Optimus 45–The Boss of Kerosene Stoves

One Mean Cooking Machine

Being a gear head is better than being an alcoholic, in that the gear is still there after you finish playing with it. This Optimus 45 is technically my Christmas present, but Melanie Jane wanted me to test it out before it got boxed up until December 24 (yes, we are both of German extraction, and Christmas Eve is when the celebration really happens).

All I did to this ancient Swedish made device was lube the pump, and soak the burner in mineral spirits. No repairs necessary. And boom! It was burning in no time. And does it ever burn.

That’s just Priming

The stove is primed using alky-hol, but is powered with inexpensive kerosene. In many places, this was more of a household than a camping item. Elizabeth David, while she worked in Egypt in the 1950’s, had a Greek chef who did all of his cooking on two of the practically identical Primus versions of this stove. A great design is timeless. Strangely enough, this stove is engraved in English, Swedish, and Arabic.

Alas, these are no longer made in Sweden, but ebay has loads of them. This design is also popular throughout Asia, and near identical copies are manufactured in India and Malaysia. I am considering buying one of the silent burners for this made in India, but right now, I just love to hear this thing make noise. They don’t call the burner a roarer burner for no reason.

Mouli Shredder, aka Mouli Julienne

Who is Julie Anne?

Here’s another Mouli French beauty, this one the Shredder, as it was marketed on this side of the pond. I was looking for the larger model, but this was mint, and dirt cheap (I like dirt cheap). We had the larger one when I was a child, and it churned out literally gallons of coleslaw–think seven children, and innumerable cousins, none of whom lived more than a mile away. It wasn’t a safe place to be a cabbage.

Choose your Texture

I also have the full component of five shredder wheels, or plates, or what have you. My food processor now sits in the cabinet, lonely. I can only remember using it to make bread crumbs in about the last three years. The Mouli is just too easy to use.

Yes, I did almost set my cutting block on fire. That’s not an upside down Amazon smile.