"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Anyone for solar oven sandwiches, tea or dinner?

We're heading for a couple of days of overcast / rainy weather, so I thought  would share with you what I have prepared in my solar oven this week.

Firstly, these are the pots I'm using in my solar oven - the glass lidded (cast iron base) one is nice because it allows me to see the food bubbling away :-)  But, the Bush Baby is solid cast iron (weighs a ton), so that one always gets preheated with the oven prior to any food going into it.

I also have a roasting tray (not in the pic) which is lidless
Firstly - last Saturday I made a savoury bread - absolutely yummy and definitely a keeper!
Raw savoury bread in the loaf tin
Luckily I made double the recipe - one for eating and one for...

...slicing thinly into savoury biscuits which were dried in the solar oven.  They will be delicious with cheese.

The I had a harvest of tomatoes with which I decided to try and make sun dried tomatoes.

Slicing 9 tomatoes into 1/3's

It's working...

Sun-dried tomatoes - done and dusted!  Next time I'll keep
my eye on them so the ones on the edges don't overheat 

I propped open the lid of the solar oven to aid the evapouration of moisture

Sunday morning I made an almond loaf for tea...

I'm baking my first cake in the pot with the see through lid
that way I can see how long it takes and when it's ready

Perfect - yeeha!

Then on Sunday (late morning) I put an apple and pork roast for the menfolk (I don't eat meat) into the oven.  Tender, to the point of falling off the bone, moist and browned - the crackling won't crisp, but does go a lovely shade of brown :-) 

Monday was a roast chicken on a bed of veggies...

Tuesday was chicken cooked in yoghurt curry sauce served with...

...a fresh garden salad from the garden and a freshly baked loaf of bread, for sopping up the gravy.

RMan doesn't like leftovers (but he still gets them disguised as another meal). I have to let a day or two pass before preparing the meal from leftovers.  So, with the weather we are having today and tomorrow, he will get a chicken soup with the left over roast chicken and a pork stew from the roast - both of which I am going to cook in my crock pot / slow cooker.  While they are eating the pork, I will finish the chicken curry.

I LOVE my solar oven!  And I seriously can't understand why everyone doesn't use one!?  I have even found someone in the northern hemisphere who has baked bread on a sunny morning, with snow lying around the solar oven.

Eight prepared "meals" in a week - using no electicity!  I'm very happy. :-)

My solar oven recipe book is coming along in leaps and bounds!


Out Back said...

Thank you for sharing this.

I had mentioned about getting one of these to hubby, now I know I want one. Better start saving the pennies, as there is plenty of hot solar heat here! I even think hubby could make me one! We have solar electricity and hot water already so one of these ovens would save even more.

Dani said...

Tania - Make your own - a very good idea. Just ensure that it is insulated, and that the sides are reflective, with the base of the oven black. If you can get double glazed glass for the lid, you cooking heat will be better.

As I battled to find recipes I am also in the process of writing a solar cooking recipe / method book - if you are interested?

Jane said...

You have inspired me to use mine more. Being winter here we have less sunny days but I must take advantage of the few we do have. I can't wait for that cookbook.

Mr. H. said...

It really is amazing how many ways you have cooked food using the suns energy, I love it. How incredible that you can cook a whole chicken like that...really neat.

Dani said...

Jane - I'm thrilled that you are being inspired :-) The more one knows, the less intimidating an unfamiliar method can become, don't you agree?

Mr H - and you will never eat a tastier nor more tender one - ever :-) as