Monday, May 21

Midtown Solar Pate and Kielbasa-Kohlrabi Stew

It was such a glorious morning on May 12th, the day before Mother's Day, that I decided to set up the solar oven at 8:15 a.m. Using the telescoping leg on the back of the oven raised the floor enough to get some wonderful direct sunlight and, by 8:45a.m., the temperature had risen to 225F. There would be samples, today!  Using a blend of both my Solar Indian Rice recipe and the previous Chicken Liver raviolis, the samples were such a hit that even small children would bring friends over for samples! Now, that's an endorsement.

You can't see it in this photo but, just behind the solar oven is my Wonder Pot Cooker with some Kielbasa Stew cooking for my evening meal. Using a two-quart cast-iron Dutch oven, it is filled to within an inch of the top and was bubbling for about five minutes before being placed into the cooker. Again, another meal that wasn't removed until almost seven hours had passed, and it was still hot enough to eat without zapping in the microwave. I am really loving this cooker! 

The stew is from my first garden harvest from this year's garden. Kohlrabi is ka full-feed plant and I used the leaves, stems, and globes, before adding garlic chives and some farmer's market fillers. Kohlrabi gets tender but won't lose its shape as fast as other dense vegetables, so it does create body in a stew. And, it was nice knowing my dinner would be done and I could just relax, once I got home. Just needed some crunchy French bread to sop up the juices.

This is my design for the cooker and I've added loops to run cording through to draw the top edges closer before adding the top. It also helps stabilize the whole thing during transport. Because it was outside, I also did cross ties to prevent anyone from accidentally removing the top and letting all the heat out.

That's all there is to using a Wonder Box Cooker.

Solar Kielbasa-Kohlrabi Stew
1/2 lb. Polish Kielbasa, 1/4-inch slices, quartered'
4 medium kohlrabi globes, diced
Kohlrabi leaves and stems, diced
1/4 small cabbage head, chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk garlic chives, chopped
2 medium red potatoes, pared and diced
1 cup butter peas
2 T lard/olive oil
10 oz chicken stock
6 oz water (or enough to cover)
1 T soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 crushed stevia leaves

Preheat solar oven to 225F     2-quart stock pot with cover

1. Over medium heat, saute onions and garlic chives in lard/olive oil; add kielbasa and cook until it just begins to brown; add balance of chopped vegetables; stir to blend thoroughly.

2. Add chicken stock, water, and rest of ingredients; bring to boil. Stir to blend thoroughly.

3. Cover and bake in solar oven for approximately 2.5 hours. Serve with a crusty bread.

Wonder Box Cooking: Allow mixture to simmer for at least five minutes; then, transfer to cooker and cover. Do not remove cover for at least 3.5 hours.

The stew cooks in the solar oven in 2.5 hours; but, time is very limited at the Market and the cooker has become a great addition to my booth. Thank you, TexAzLady at Adventures in Solar Cooking!


  1. WOW! Sharlene! You are amazing! You know I have been away from my blog and then "on and off" of it and it's been hard to just be consistent! Now... I've been back for a little bit hoping I'll be back for good and consistently! Writing and updating just to be able to contact my old friends back and have something new to offer and in the process I've found that many of them aren't blogging anymore... If anybody understands it that's me... because I've come to realize there are seasons when it just seems impossible to keep up with everything! But... it is very VERY refreshing to find those who have been loyal not only to their blogging but to their personal projects! I love seeing how you keep up with your solar cooking! That is inspiring! I hope you'll be visiting me again now that I am back! It was always great to see you comment and I look forward to having that again! Hugs!

    1. Hello, Paloma! Oh, yes, I have already -- the first time you showed up in my Reader, again! I've noticed the fallout, too. I think it's because most folks refuse to think of blogging as a job -- and, there are just so many hours in a day. If they just wrote a journal, that's one thing; but, by adding pictures and making sure it makes sense, finding new things to discuss, these are the same requirements of a regular writing job, if you were working for someone else. Sure, it's fun; but, it does take up your time and I still don't know how young mothers do it all. I set myself up for posting only every four or five days to make sure I didn't fall into that trap. Remember, I just wanted to let mainstream cooks know about solar cooking and that it wasn't restricted to campers, etc. So, it hasn't been too difficult. Glad you popped by -- big news coming up in the next few days!

  2. Big News? I can't wait to hear all about it! how we young moms do it? Clueless! LOL! I always feel like everyone else has it all figured out but me! LOL! ... I even told hubby how excited I was to see you still blogging and cooking! ;) That is really great!

    1. *blush* Thanks. I think going to the Market and having people (besidees my sister) tasting my food gives me a little more inspiration, too. It's great to have children return for more things -- like liver! etc. Shows I haven't lost my touch. Looking forward to your next flurry of postings!

  3. hi sharlene! this would be a great weekend for solar cooking. we are going to hit 105 degrees! actually, we probably wouldn't even need an oven to cook in this kind of heat!

    1. Yeah, but at least the cover would keep the added protein (bugs) out! I appreciate the comment, more than you can realize, Jaz. I can't even figure out how you manage your cooking etc. with your 'club' hand, much less, visiting and typing. You and Christer need to get better, soon. Good Lord, you've got Halloween cooking and decorating to do! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I haven't even been able to start my vegetable garden yet :-) :-) :-) But the risk of night frost will be over in two weeks now :-)

    Have a great day!

    1. Maybe, if you created a raised bed that was waist high, you could plant, sooner? I know mine can produce cool-weather plants straight through the winter, when the soil drops about 12" below the top edge. That little bit of sun, during the day, seems to keep it warmer and I can throw a plastic sheet over it on really bad nights or snows. Just wondering...

  5. Just had to say hello! So glad you connected with me on the blog. Keep up the great solar cooking! I'm following you with great interest as we are such solar cooking kindred spirits! Xoxo!

    1. And, hello, back to you! I've spent quite a day wandering through your blog. Delightful! I truly believe we're the vanguard of a cutting-edge mainstream movement and all will fall into place. Look forward to future posts of yours, as well as visits!

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