Everyone loved it!

by BC
(St. Louis, MO)

I had to return Cooking with Sunshine to my local library, but I recently purchased it because it had really good information regarding everything solar cooker. I like to have paper copy references! Digital is good, but holding something tangible in my hands is better!

Anyway, today I decided to make the Hearty Chicken ‘n Bean Stew on page 70. I let my solar cooker pre-warm while I gathered ingredients. It’s a sunny day with high cirrus clouds, and the temperature is in the low 60’s. I placed the stew in the cooker around 3:25 PM, and the oven temperature registered around 275 degrees F at that time. About half an hour later it was up to 325 degrees. I’m not sure I’m going to have a full four hours to cook this dish (what the recipe calls for), which will be a shame because I know from previous experience that the baby carrots will still be crunchy! I’m hoping it will still be good, and that we will have leftovers!

Our flowering dogwood bush has gotten too tall for the oven to be in the sun the whole time, so I had to move it to another location when I saw it in the shade. The temperature had fallen to 150 degrees. I stationed it in the backyard, and after a little while, it reached 225 degrees, but this was not sustained. I finally took the stew out around 3 hours after placing it out, but the temperature was only around 200 degrees. I was concerned the carrots would not be done, but they are okay. Not super-tender, but good enough for me! I even added a few sprigs of thyme from the yard. This is a tasty, flavorful stew. It is thick, tomato-ey, and filled with good things! The kids even agreed! I cannot stress how rare it is in my home that EVERYONE agrees on a dish! There are very few leftovers, so it’s looking like I’m cooking again tomorrow night, which was not my original plan! This one definitely passed muster, and I will be making it again.

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