Lentils in the Sun
(St. Louis, MO)
Wow! Today was a great day for solar cooking! Bright, hot, and sunny—not a cloud in the sky! I threw some lentils (dry and unsoaked) in a pot with some chicken broth, carrots, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, and seasoning and put it in my solar cooker around 3:15. Around 6:45, I took it out, as it was in the shade and the temperature within was dropping rapidly. The oven did manage to reach a high temperature today of around 325 degrees, which I believe is probably the highest I’ve yet seen on my oven.
The results: After about 3 ½ hours in the cooker, the carrots and potatoes were perfectly cooked, in my opinion. They were soft, but not so soft that they were falling apart. The lentils, however, needed more cooking time—maybe another hour, but at the higher temperature, so that the broth could be absorbed. It wasn’t bad, it just could have been a bit more stew-like rather than soupy. I thought it was good! Predictably, the kids were distrustful. (“Mom, what IS a lentil?!” “What are these white chunks?” “Do I have to eat the tomatoes? The onions? EACH and EVERY lentil?!?”)
I think tomorrow promises to be the last clear day this week, so I plan on making maybe a chicken-chickpea curry dish. I will probably be putting it out about an hour earlier so as to make the best use of my light and keep the higher temperatures for a longer amount of time!