The Solar Cookout at the Midtown Market was a success! We had been having a week of rain and there was another week of rainy afternoons forecast. BUT, I turned it over to God and for the Saturday Cookout? – a beautiful, bright, sunny day from morning till night -- followed by another five days of rain.
The day started out at my little booth displaying a variety of solar cookers. At left, is an EZ-3 oven, as designed by Sharon Cousins and, even though not facing the sun, the jar inside was hot to the touch after only an hour, or so. Next to that is a sample of my Solar Oven Kit that visitors could make, showing the difference between using heavy-duty foil for a smooth reflector finish or regular foil that has a tendency to crinkle more and is a touch duller than the heavier foil. At the end of the table is the Global(R) Sun Oven with some Solar Poached Beef and Pork Rolls. On the ground are two Copenhagen ovens, designed by Sharon Clausson, one with 17" sides baking a winter squash and one with 22" sides with a two-quart pot of beans.
Solar Poached Beef & Pork Roll
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 medium onion
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp mild curry powder
1/8 tsp ground anise
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. parsley
20 oz. beef stock (1 can plus water to equal 20 oz)
1. Blend all together in plastic bag.
2. Divide mixture in half in bag. Press center of bag together with fingertip to divide portions and cut through both sides of bag.
3. Lay cheesecloth on surface, divided portion again in half and squeeze out onto cheesecloth; add rest of portion alongside first portion.
4. Roll up cheesecloth to form a firm tube. Tie each other with string/rubber band.
5. Pour beef stock into pan. Add beef/pork tubes and adjust to fit pan. Do not overlap. Cover.
6. Bake in solar oven approximately 2.5 hours.
Served with my Boston Baked Beans from Book 2
The winter squash was not shared with the folks. Too much going on for me to start carving, seeding, and cutting. It was mostly for an example of how to cook some vegetables whole for true ease of cooking.
Boston Baked Beans (from Book 2)
1 lb. pre-soaked navy beans
2 medium chopped onions
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses (or, honey*)
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 lb. cubed salt pork (or, bacon pieces)
1 T salt
1-1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp ground horseradish
1/4 tsp black pepper
Hot water to cover 1" above beans in pot
Soak beans overnight, drain, place in pot. Combine rest of ingredients and stir into beans. Cover with hot water and bake in solar oven 6-1/2 hours.
*I didn't have molasses on hand and substituted honey -- and, the folks were crazy about my beans! So, give it a try and see how you like it. For the Cookout, this was a two-day process so that I was able to serve the beans at the same time as the meat rolls. The beans were pre-soaked early on Friday morning and baked in the solar oven for three hours. They spent the night in my Wonder Box Cooker and then put in the Copenhagen oven by 8:30 a.m. They were ready to serve by 1:30 p.m.
The little Poster Board Solar Kits I made were a hit and flew out of my booth. Not everyone stayed to make an oven and cook a mini-pizza (on fish-shaped bread, no less!) or a Snickerdoodle® cupkie but most came back to let me know that they had great fun making different meals, at home. Why didn't I think of them, sooner?
Book 2 of A Month of SUNdays – Solar Cooking at Home made its debut, as well, and is now available for purchase. Click on the book in the right-hand column to purchase. Book 1 is also available in .pdf format for download, now.
And, after a brief presentation of the various solar ovens used during the day, I was proud to present my own Solar Chief™ solar oven for mainstream cooks. It's designed to be used as a table top, floor, or, window unit, and will be officially available for sale in time for Holiday giving! All questions will be answered after I have received my Patent Pending number; but, you do get to have a general peek. There are still a few cosmetic things I want to do; but, for the most part, all is well.
So much went on that, by the end of the day, I was pooped. Yup, this old bag of bones just can't take that much excitement and standing on her feet, like she used to, and thoughts of bedtime began to loom around four p.m. I will be eternally grateful for all the help supplied by family and friends. Journey two has begun.