Super Week of Solar Cooking
by Nathan Parry
(St. George, Utah)
Cooking Demo for Jeff and Friends
We (I and my assistant, Joyce and my wife) have been very, very busy this week cooking up a solar storm.
We have had four solar cooking demonstrations with two more to come the next week.
On Tuesday, June 4th we were asked to solar cook a full meal for a gentleman (Jeff) and his family and invited guests.
We ended up feeding a total of about 18 people all together.
Jeff and Joyce came up with the menu and we put it all together and cooked it at his home with all of our solar cookers out on his driveway next to the road.
We had quite the array of solar cookers set up with Four Global Sun Ovens, and two All American Sun Ovens, one SOS Sport Solar Oven and Three Hot Pots, one Tulsi Hybrid Solar Oven and two Solar Burner Parabolic Cookers.
The menu was a quite ambitious fare which included two big pots of pot roast with all of the trimmings of potatoes, onions, carrots, squash, cream soups and seasonings.
We had to quickly fix the pot roasts since we were starting a little late in the day, but we were able to have them into the Sun Ovens at 1:00 PM and time to cook until 5:30 PM
After those were in the ovens, we commenced to prep and cook made from scratch whole wheat dinner rolls cooked in the Sun Ovens, candied carrots in the Tulsi, sliced onions and zucchini with seasonings in a Sun Oven, steamed broccoli and cauliflower in the Hot Pot, Butternut squash and seasonings in the SOS Sport Oven.
We also made German mini-pancakes (with fruit and jam topping) in the Sun Ovens and we made up a batch of scones that we deep fried on the parabolic cooker after which we used the same to pop a bowl of olive oil and salt popped corn.
Joyce decided to finish out our menu by baking up a tray of chocolate mint brownies at the very end and so we had some warm brownies to finish off the meal.
Our host, Jeff, who accompanied us throughout, was quite fascinated by all we were able to cook and with the array of solar cookers that we had at our disposal.
The dinner guests arrive towards the end of the cooking, but were still able to see some of the cookers at work with the last of the food that remained in the solar cookers.
At 5:30 we served up a delicious solar cooked meal
The very next day (Wednesday) Joyce had another solar cooking demonstration/party that she catered for some people that were part of a mothers and children’s group and who wanted Joyce to solar cook for their group and so they cooked hotdogs, popcorn and deviled eggs and potatoes for potato salad, cupcakes, cookies, s’mores and a few other items.
Thursday the 6th of June, we were both scheduled to cook for a church ladies group here in St. George and we got set up and started cooking at about 12:00 PM so we would have everything ready for the evening get together and meal at 7:00 PM. This meant that we had to time all of our cooking and our menu so that we would end up with a hot meal at such a late hour. With the long summer days we are having this was not too difficult to accomplish.
We invited the ladies to come earlier, about 5:00 PM, in order to observe much of the solar cooking still going on and to be able to learn more.
Our menu for this demo/class was quite ambitious and varied.
We cooked spaghetti and meatball sauce, Cuban Black Beans and Rice, Broccoli and Cauliflower, sugared carrots, Pineapple Streusel cake, Chocolate Bunt cake with Chocolate mint icing, five loaves of bread and two dozen dinner rolls, mini German Pancakes with fruit topping and solar cooked plum jam and finally; popcorn.
The meal was a big hit and the class on solar cooking was very well received by the ladies, with lots of enthusiasm and interest in being able to do the same.
Two days later, on Saturday the 08th of June, we were four hours to the north at my Sister and her husband’s place in Spanish Fork, Utah (near Provo) to do another big solar cooking demo/class for her church group and neighborhood.
We started cooking at 9:00 AM and cooked lots of foods up until about 3:30 PM.
We had Four Sun Ovens, Three Hot Pots, A SOS Sport Oven, A Tulsi Oven and two Solar Burner parabolic cookers to cook all that we had on the menu.
At about 8:30 AM I had my Solar Burner browning the ground meat for the Taco Soup we were going to make, after which I scrambled a couple of eggs for my breakfast while I had the parabolic at my disposal.
We then got the chicken, onions, sweet potatoes and cabbage and seasonings ready and the taco soup so that we could have them into the Sun Ovens at 9:00 AM, so that they would have a good long time to cook at more moderate temperatures, thus allowing for a more tender chicken.
We then got roll dough out to thaw for our scones and also started baking the first chocolate chip cookies and white chocolate and macadamia cookies, of which we ended up baking about six dozen all together throughout the day.
We baked two trays of peanut butter bars and then topped them with peanut butter and chocolate icing (I liked these a lot)
We also cooked a mixture of onions, green peppers, mushrooms and seasoning and some sugared carrots, cauliflower and broccoli and about a dozen hard boiled (baked) eggs.
Of course we had to pop some popcorn for everyone to try.
About 11:30 the first batch of dough was ready for scones and so we took the Parabolic out to the front of the house, next to the street and commenced to fry up the first three dozen scones for all of the people as they arrived to the demonstration.
Solar Frying Scones is a real attention getter for people who have never seen, much less known about, solar cooking and what is possible with the power of the sun and a solar cooker’s abilities.
After they got their scones they proceeded to the back yard to where all of the other cookers were set up and there they learned about the solar ovens and tried many tasty solar cooked treats.
I fried scones all afternoon and conversed with all of the visitors while my sister, her husband and my wife took care of everything else in the back yard.
The event was very successful and it generated much enthusiasm and interest from the participants.
It was also the first time my sister and her husband were really able to see and experience solar cooking on such a level and it was a great way for them to see how easy it really is to cook this way.
Well, this has been a very busy week of solar cooking, and next week I have another solar cooking demonstration as well as our customary monthly solar cooking class/demo that we do at the store.
Summer sure is a busy time for us, lots of sunshine to take advantage of.