Thursday, May 20, 2010

Solar Soup

With another warm sunny day before me, I got motivated to make a solar oven. Armed with a sharp butcher knife and duct tape I set out on my mission - to construct an oven made out of materials found in the junk heap behind the shed:

2" thick hard styrofoam panels - check
glass panel from a window - check
black rubber tarp - check

Within short order I had a solar oven assembled with an approximately 30 degree slant (per one of the web sites I visited beforehand). I discovered that duct tape doesn't stick very well to dirty pink styrofoam, propping the sides up with some old boards works for now. I then lined the inside with the black rubber tarp, and threw in a solar windshield shade for some additional power.

Next to go in was the food:

Bernis' Home Grown Soup recipe:
dehydrated onions, carrots, tomatoes, tomatillo
chopped up potatoe
chicken bullion cube

Wheat Montana Cookie Recipe:
3 eggs, beaten well
1 t vanilla
1 c raisins soaked for one hour in egg mixture

1 c butter, beaten with:
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar   (how about honey next time)

2 1/2 c white flour (I'd like to try whole wheat pastry flour next time)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 c 7 grain Wheat Montana oatmeal mixture (oats, hard and soft wheat, spelt, triticale, rye, flax)

Are we getting hungry yet?!

Within 15 minutes, at 11:00 a.m. and with an outside temp of 73 degrees, the solar oven had heated to 155F. An hour later the air temp inside the oven was 170F and the cookies were almost done. The temp dropped quickly when I opened the lid to check the cookies, so I left them in another hour, and OH OH OH were they ever good. I don't know if it was the anticipation, the fresh air, or if solar cooking truly does bring out the flavour, but they truly were much tastier than the oven baked ones I prepared earlier in the morning.

With such good success, I set some rice into the cooker along with a cast iron fry pan containing a couple of fillets of fish. I think I'm hooked on solar cooking.

There is lots of good info on the web, such as at and there are organizations that are promoting solar cooking internationally such as the Minnesota based

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