Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My first time

For the last couple years I have read a bit here and there about the practice of cooking with the sun. Since first reading about it I have imagined myself one day giving it a try, only to put it off til later.

Well recently I decided it was finally time and so started looking for the exact method I would start the experiment with. Shortly after having decided on a set of plans, we got word that my father in law was bringing his solar cooker that same weekend on his visit. This meant of course that I could use his first before making my own which was a good thing. It helped me finalize my own plans.

The first thing we made was a roasted chicken with potatoes. We set up his cooker, put a whole, defrosted chicken into a black pot with a clear glass lid, surrounded it with cut up potatoes and onions and placed the whole thing into a large turkey bag. The kind of bag you put into the oven. The idea is the bag allows the suns rays in to heat the pot while holding the built up heat inside the bag allowing it to cook at a higher temperature.

Later that evening, when everyone returned home from a day at the water falls, we had chicken that was falling off the bone, moist and delicious. The potatoes were cooked through and so were the onions. I was really surprised to be honest. I mean, there was no doubt it would work. After all, my father in law had done it before and so had countless others. But seeing it and reading about it are two completely different things.

So of course all I could do the next couple of days was think about what I was going to do once I made my own solar cooker. This blog is one of the results and in it I will try and keep track of my experiences as well as put up recipes that we have tried. This will be my note book and with any luck, maybe even the extra nudge needed to get others to give it a try.

Since my first time one month ago today, I have made another chicken, stew, soup, a couple pots of beans, a couple pots of chili, a large pot of spaghetti sauce, 3 cakes and just today I baked my first loaf of bread. Each of these things will be discussed to a degree based on memory and future items will (hopefully) have a bit more detail.

For the record, I live in Oregon. So if you think you don't get enough sun or maybe not an intense enough sun, keep that in mind. You may just be surprised at what you can do at home.


Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for blogging about your experiences. I gave my 15 year old son the assignment of constructing a solar funnel so we could begin experimenting with solar cooking, which will hopefully start next week. I look forward to reading more of your adventures, good and bad, so that we can learn as well.

Tracy said...

Very cool. I can imagine the fun this would be as a kid or young adult.

Please, let me know how things go for you and your son. I'd like to see his results and hear what he thinks about the whole process.

My son (9) wants one soon, so we may be making one of the box style ovens to see how that works. I'll post about it when we do.

I'm sure you already know, but be sure to wear sunglasses as this is very bright. It'll sneak up on you very quickly.