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Despite my earlier protestations, and with much appreciated assistance, I not only planted what turned out to be an overfilled garden, I har...

October 1, 2012

Solar Cooking at the Como Cookout

Last month I jumped at an opportunity to assist with a Solar Cooking demonstration; a skill share that I would be assisting Amy Gooder from Rumble In The Kitchen with. This particular skill share was part of the Como Cookout. Which combined a potluck, tomato tasting, classes on seed saving, herb preservation, fermentation, canning, and a host of other events and activities sponsored by the NE/SE Local Food Resource Hubs. If you have visited my blog a time or two you can see that cooking and baking are my “it things” besides gardening.

Before I went to the Como Cookout I had close to no knowledge about cooking outdoors using the sun. Last winter break after a particularly heated discussion with my son regarding wasted opportunities to “fry an egg” on the concrete (my fault of course); we made up by a unanimous decision to peruse Youtube on the subject. We found several videos to fuel our new passion for extreme outdoor cooking. Including videos showing how-to use a car to bake chocolate-chip cookies and even flash cooking an egg using some contraption containing a small slab of concrete, a pan, and a
Fresnal Lense. If we’d dug deeper, had been a little more motivated, and even a little toastier last January I’m sure we’d have come up with some way to transform our newly found online passion into actual sun-baked goods.

Luckily for us I responded to a post on the
Local Food Resource Hubs face book page to help Amy who is friends with a master events planner Stephanie Hankerson. Stephanie helped calm my nerves regarding the details of this demo. However, the words “oven” and “outdoors” reverberated through my mind and all I could think was there had to be cinder blocks or bricks involved. Yet after I showed up with my muscle [Hubby and son] to embark on this solar powered adventure; I realized after we began to set up that the actual oven was very easy to lift and assemble.

The spot previously picked out for us was just perfect for the demo and the delicious options Amy chose to show all the passersby. Initially there was one small table that just showed what the actual cooker looked like. We then moved to a larger table that you’ll see pictured below that held 3 ovens fully of tasty goodness. I have to say again that I was surprised by how light the actual cooker was, and how easy they are to get going and adjust as you go. The menu for the day consisted of: Apricot glazed chicken, kale chips, steamed mixed-vegetables, and cornbread.

Before the winter chill really sets in I plan on building my own cooker and achieving at least one of Amy’s delicious solar cooked cobblers. I’d be so bold to attempt the full week of everything solar cooked if I had more time this fall. Who knows? Maybe I’ll give a shot anyway. It’s just so amazing, the fact that the oven heats up from 0 degrees to 250 degrees in ten minutes. This shocked me and other newbie’s. The proof that it worked was not only in the thermometers that you can see measuring higher and higher right through the clear glass cover; but the end result most assuredly was delicious food. I hope that you investigate the art of solar cooking for yourself as a power/gas saving alternative for your family. I know I will!

Happy Cooking with the power of the sun!