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“It’s so hot you could fry an egg on the pavement."

by Rayetta Bahl

“It’s so hot you could fry an egg on the pavement!”, someone had said to me in the passing trivialities on a very hot day.
That little statement buzzed around in my bonnet all day and stuck in my mind. Who, I wondered, would break an egg and fry it on the pavement? Okay, I would, and I did, and it did…just like the statement said it would. Well, that got me started investigating solar cooking and boy was I going to get inspired. I had no idea how many other solar enthusiasts where out there.

I searched YouTube, my favorite place to learn about things.
There was this guy in the middle of a frigid winter, snow piled feet high around his home in northern Minnesota, videotaping his solar cooker, sizzling away on a pot of venison stew, and the lady with so many varieties of homemade solar cookers sitting out under the sun cooking away on beans, breads and cookies.
There are solar cookers made out of pizza boxes!
I was hooked and I was hungry!

I gathered cardboard, aluminum foil, paste, saran wrap and headed to the garage to work in solitude on my sun project. I emerged from the garage a few days later, partially glued to what I proudly and excitedly introduced to my family as a sun cooker. Never mind I said to their jokes and cynicisms. We would dine on solar stew. Well, no, not quite and no we didn’t and no it didn’t hold up and it didn’t heat up and it looked like something that had fallen off the collections truck.
That night it rained on sun cooker failure one. From the patio window I watched my cardboard sun project slowly fold under the pressure of the rain. Slinking backward away from the window, I retreated into my batty cage, the garage, to work out some of the technical issues, the snickering and giggles were not allowed to follow as I closed the door behind me. I would not be defeated. Sitting in my thinking chair with a cold one on the table next to me I began my meditation on the perfect sun cooker. Granted, I may not be a carpenter or technical person, but I was up to the challenge and more than anything I wanted to eat solar food!
Then the light bulb and mother of all ideas went off in my head, I had found a solution.
I would buy a solar cooker, tried and true.
Once again I searched online and was amazed at all the different sizes, types, and marvelous creations of solar cookers. After some days of searching, I was once again inspired to try to build my own. I got some shinny silver truck visors, some Velcro and a camp style cooking pot, big enough for that delicious chicken stew I was going to make. Into the garage I flew. Out I came with a contraption that flapped in the wind, folded over my stew pot and had me frustrated and peeved. Luckily I was home alone and did not have to contend with “the others”, the “boo hooers” and “nay Sayers”.
Slumping into my thinking chair, I wondered, how are all those people solar cooking day after day on these flimsy looking contraptions I wondered? Looking at the YouTube video’s I see whole villages cooking up stews and breads, laughing and happy, serving up seven course meals for the whole community.
Back to plan B, buy the dang thing, tried and true.
So I did.
That was eight months ago. Just in time to plunge into Spring cooking. I have been joyfully sun cooking up a storm. My confidence in the sun to heat up my store bought sun oven keeps me happily trying a variety of interesting recipes. No longer the butt of family jokes, I gleefully pass around the tray of solar, cupcakes, steaming hot stews and fresh solar baked bread. Snickering to myself, I take a bite of chocolate solar baked cupcake, “Look who’s laughing now!” Tomorrow, we have solar eggs, solar bacon and solar biscuits, yup, it’s going to be another fine solar day!
I may not be good at making my own solar cooker (perhaps that is still in my future) and may not be good at totally understanding the technical ins and outs of the many solar cookers out there, but I can tell you this much, gloating is good on a store bought, tried and true. Pass me another slice of that SOLAR cake please, I mutter. Mmmm…..surveying the happy faces of “the others,” I smile to myself, gloating with a mouth full of chocolate brownie is so satisfying.

Rayetta Bahl

Thank you Rayetta,

Very well written as well as very descriptive...even inspirational, I would add.

As you have discovered,Solar Cooking will definitely grow on you once you try it.

Here's wishing you much more success and enjoyment in your solar cooking endeavors.


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