October Solar Cooking Demonstation

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of demonstrating my solar ovens and solar cooking at the home of a friend.  My friend’s home was on the

2011 Valley of the Sun  Tour of Solar and Sustainable Buildings

She invited me to demonstrate the ovens during her open house event.  I took all of my different ovens and set up early to get things cooking.  By the time the people started arriving, everything was cooking very nicely.  

Solar cooking demonstration October 23, 2011

Solar cooking demonstration October 23, 2011

Since a sample is the best way to entice people to stop and smell the “roses”, I decided to bake and share chocolate chip cookies.  Okay, I bought the cookie dough at the supermarket, but they didn’t care.  Few could resist the sight and smell of fresh baked cookies, almost everyone took a cookie or two.  I baked four pans of mini-cookies in the SOS Sport. Each pan took about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.  Need I tell you that there were no cookies left to bring home?

Chocolate chip cookies baking in the SOS Sport solar oven

Chocolate chip cookies baking in the SOS Sport solar oven

In the GSO,    I intended to bake bread, but the dough still needed to rise.  So I baked a  So Easy Solar Peach Dessert first.  After about 2 hours the dessert was done.  The batter was a deep golden brown and the peaches were hot and bubbly.  By that time, the bread had raised into beautiful loaves.  The sight of the bread baking was quite impressive and the distinct aroma of fresh bread could be smelled as people came up the walk.  The bread cooked quickly, only about an hour.  Then I cut up the bread into samples as well.  Fresh, hot, bread right out of the oven is impossible to resist.

Bread baking in the GSO solar oven

Bread baking in the GSO solar oven

Fresh hot bread baked in a GSO solar oven

Fresh hot bread baked in a GSO solar oven

The CookIt is a much smaller little oven.  Because of it’s open design, I wanted to cook something visually impressive.  I chose a whole pumpkin.  People were not only curious that a pumpkin could be cooked in a solar oven, some people didn’t know you could cook a pumpkin at all — especially a whole pumpkin.  Some wanted to know what I would do with a cooked pumpkin.  When I said “pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin soup”, it was like a light bulb went on and they then smiled and started nodding, “yes, yes”.  One little girl, about 5 years old, starting jumping around saying “Pumpkin Ice Cream!” which we learned was her favorite flavor.

Whole pumpkin baked in a CookIt solar oven

Whole pumpkin baked in a CookIt solar oven

As it turns out, the star of the show was my little homemade oven made from a windshield shade (design and instructions are common on the internet).  These shades are an absolute necessity in Arizona most months of the year, so everyone has one.  I wanted to demonstrate that even this simple homemade solar oven would actually cook.  I chose a pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions.  It was easy for people to look through the glass lid and actually see the roast cooking.  This roast cooked in just under 5 hours.  This we took home for dinner.  But it was a great conversation starter  regarding cooking in emergency situations.   One gentleman stood and looked at it and said ” So, it’s as simple as that?”  “Yes!”

car sunshade solar oven

Pot roast with veggies cooked in a homemade solar oven

We enjoyed talking to a lot of people about solar cooking.  Some had never heard of it.  Others had heard of solar cooking, but had not seen it and were not sure they really believed it until now.  A few people were other solar cookers who were thrilled to see us sharing the wonders and benefits of solar cooking.

My friend’s solar and sustainable home is absolute beautiful.  The many energy saving features and design of the home is incredible.  Everyone really enjoyed getting to see this home.  I think they enjoyed seeing  the solar ovens too.


3 thoughts on “October Solar Cooking Demonstation

  1. Now, THAT’s a demonstration! You go, girl! I try to cook at the Market, but it’s only from 8-Noon, leaving little time for cooking, once the sun crests over the shops. But, breads and cookies do fine. I’m becoming a fixture, there, and folks actually come up for my information after making a special trip — so, the news is definitely out. I love your windshield oven. Yup. It really is simple as that and always surprising to me that so few folks realize it. Kudos!

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