"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

Friday, 23 November 2012

Solar assistant

Firstly, Happy Thanksgiving for yesterday to all my American followers - I hope that it was a wonderful day for you all.  I think it is a very important tradition, and one which the rest of the world should follow - giving one day a year to recognize, and count, your blessings and taking the time to express heartfelt thanks for.  However, turkey is, in my book, a strictly Christmas meal, so I don't know if I could cook one for Thanksgiving and then another on Christmas day... LOL

Talking of Christmas, we have finally had some days which were suitable for baking in my solar oven.  I need really sunny days, as I don't want clouds drifting over and dropping the temperature inside by even 10 degrees.  Other food - it's not so critical, but baking...
Mandy - standing guard over the box which
teases her with smells and (eventually)
tidbits :)
My helper, Mandy, MKids dog, which we are looking after for him, has been carefully guarding my oven, just waiting each time for me to use it.  She does love the scraps that come out of it... :)
So, with the good weather, I have spent the last couple of days making solar baked Christmas cakes in my solar oven.  Yeah, I know it's a tad late, but I hope the fruit cakes will have enough time to mature before Christmas.  I couldn't have attempted it whilst the builders were here...

I manage to fit three cakes into the oven at a time - in different sized and shaped pots - mostly round, for that is the traditional Christmas cake shape, but I have also made some Christmas cake "logs".  Baking your Christmas cake in the solar oven is really the easiest way of baking a Christmas cake - it won't burn, and, if you get busy in the garden, and forget the cakes for an extra half-an-hour, no damage is caused to the cakes - well, nothing that an extra dose of Brandy wont sort out LOL
One of the six that I have baked so far - Christmas
gifts and one each for the kids.  Still three to go...
Moist and delicious - the smell filled the room
as I left them to cool on the wire rack.
The recipe I use for my solar Christmas cake can be found here, under the Bread, Biscuits and Cakes Recipes.  It's a pity that I wont / can't give Mandy a taste of the Christmas cake - damn, they smell sooooooo good :) 

To all those who follow my blog and who have ordered a solar oven from me - I am still awaiting arrival confirmation from DHL - I promise I will be in touch as soon as I hear something.  Thank you so much for your patience, and again, my sincere apologies for the delay...


  1. Thanks! :) Solar ovens are neat simple contraptions.

    1. TS@HG - Couldn't imagine my life without one :)

  2. That looks awesome. I am embarrassed to say that I have never yet baked a Christmas cake - always leave that up to Mom and Mom-in-law.

    1. GG - My recipe is so simple, and cooked in the solar oven - even simpler! LOL Maybe you should invest in a solar oven - and surprise your mom / mom-in-law next year...? :)

  3. Not all of us eat traditional Thanksgiving meals. Before I moved down here I'd gotten tired of all the leftover turkey and ham and I always fixed most of the t-day dinners. I finally went untraditional and had Mexican food one year, sea food the next and something else on the others. We all still had a good time and enjoyed the day the same as if it would have been traditional. (A lot less scraps left over to)

    1. tffnguy - Good plan that :) Yeah - it's not the contents meal that are important - it's the celebration / thankfulness / gratitude which mark the day as special. :)

  4. That cake looks fantastic Dani. Did I tell you I did the user testing for those solar cookers in SA way back in the early 90's? We tested 7 Germany models and 1 South Africa, and guess what? The South Africa model came out trumps - and now you are baking cakes in one!

    1. EB - Thanks :) No you didn't tell me that you tested solar ovens. Actually, the only oven I could find here is the Sun Cook one - solar oven as opposed to parabolic cooker, that is.


Thank you for taking the time to comment - it makes my day.

I have had to re-activate Word Verification, as the spam has returned.