Saturday, March 2

Solarcooking Presentation In Fancy Dress

Chicken and Chickpea Solar Soup
With my first solar presentation for 2013 coming up this week, I wanted to do something a little different to show that you don't have to wait until you can afford a commercially-built solar oven to enjoy the benefits of FREE energy and savings. I try to have several examples of items that can be used for solar cooking so folks can see just how far we've come from our Scouting days of wrapping a hamburger in a piece of tin foil. I've been using a commercially-built Global(R) Sun Oven but, today, I want to talk about a quick-and-easy one you can build yourself, that will last you quite a while with a little care.

I'm not going to show every oven that I've made in this post, but will probably show them in the next few weeks. Instead, I'm going to focus on my own 22-inch model of Sharon Clausson's Copenhagen oven design and my newest favorite way of creating an oven "chamber." I don't think everyone will go to all this trouble -- well, maybe, the home crafters who want to make theirs more personalized will give it a whirl -- but, it solved my problem.

I needed a way to duplicate Sharon's dual-glass bowl oven chamber -- one that would take a lot of hard use and not break. Voila! Here are two stainless steel 2-quart mixing bowls that I was able to buy for just under $8.00 each at Wal-Mart. They caught my eye because of the quarter-inch lip that is perfect for binder clips. And, it turned out that the height of the inside chamber was within an eighth of an inch of the half-gallon sized canning jar, meaning that I could cook in larger portions.




The shape of the bowls made it almost impossible to get a grip and keep them vertical when placing them down into the deep solar oven, so I decided to do something about it. Using a size K crochet hook and some black Peaches & Cream 100% crochet cotton, I made a carrier specifically designed for the bowls, extending the upper edge portion two inches to allow room for a drawcord to tighten it around the top's inverted smaller dimension. The end result, as you see, holds the top in position and makes it almost immovable. This way, based on contents, binder clips are not always necessary. (For the Chicken and Chickpea Soup cooked directly in the bowl, I used the clips.)



I still hadn't solved the problem of raising and lowering the bowls into the oven. Crocheting two cords to crisscross over the top was the solution to keeping the bowls balanced and lifting easier. I made sure that there was enough give to raise the handles about two inches to prevent the hot metal from touching my skin at the end of the cooking time.



Stainless steel is a very reflective surface and, since we don't want those solar rays reflected away from the cooking chamber, this large draping crocheted square was the answer.



As you can see, it's still pretty far down into this large-sized Copenhagen.



You can take the time to fit the draping cover beneath the crossed cords, but I found it was just more work than I was willing to do and just as easy to lift it off at the end of cooking and use the handles. The cover makes a nice "potholder" during removal.



 Soup went into the solar oven at 10:45am and removed at 2:00pm, hot and delicious. All in all, I think I've created a very portable unbreakable accessory; don't you?

20 comments:

  1. what a wonderful passion you have for this!

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    Replies
    1. Who knew one could have passion in old age?! And, things will get more exciting. I'm filling up on workshops, this year, and that's a good thing! Will be hopping over to your blog, soon, and catching up on those great posts of yours! I miss Teddy!

      Delete
  2. I agree. The best way to live is with passion about things. This reminds me a bit of what I went thru recently to figure out how to get an audio video of me singing up onto my blog. Stubbornness and ingenuity will always win.....well allmost always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I shot over there to hear you warble and it was great. Hope you're continuing and will share even more. Then, I'll do a guitar one and totally embarrass my daughter!

      Delete
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