Its 95 degrees outside. The sun is blazing down and your lounge chair beckons you.
With sun tan oil already slathered on your legs and arms, nails and toes drying from the newly applied coat of 'Summer's Here At Last - Pink', you settle back into your chair strategically placing your sun reflector to shine down on your SPF 50 face and breath in the aroma of the pot roast slowly cooking next to you. Ah the sounds and smells of Summer.
"Wait a minute!' 'Did you say, pot roast cooking next to you???' 'I thought we were talking about being outdoors??" you say.
Actually, I AM talking about being outdoors ... so it speak.. In a grid down situation, or in other words - a power outage - or a situation where there is no electricity, you may be forced to have to cook outdoors (this is where the outdoors part comes in).
'But I don't own a grill', you whine. Not to worry, girlie girl! There are ways to cook food that do not require electricity, gas or fire for that matter.
One such way is to use a solar oven using those glorious rays from the sun to make soup, meats and yes even cookies and breads (I knew that would get your attention).
Let me share a little about how a solar oven works and how it can be used to cook in a disaster situation.
Cooking with a solar oven is comparable to using a crock pot or slow cooker. The most basic solar ovens can reach about 300 degrees F.
Oh for those of you not so domesticated crock pots are those big porcelain pots that everyone brings in on Friday's for pot luck lunches??? You just dump whatever you want to cook into the pot and walk way.
The neat thing about a solar oven is, you can actually make one at home. Go to you nearest grocery store and get two cardboard boxes, one about two or three inches bigger than the other. Place the smaller box inside the bigger one. Line the sides of the inside box with aluminum foil and the bottom with black construction paper to absorb heat. Cut a piece of cardboard two inches larger than the outer box so you can make a reflector. Cover the reflector with aluminum foil and stapled it to the outside back of the large box. Go pull one of your black 4 quart pots out from under the cabinet. Then situate the oven so that the box opening and the reflector faces the sun for maximum heat. Place the pot with the food in it and put it in the solar oven to be cooked.
You can find little 'crock pot' recipe booklets at the grocery store checkout line (where all the other compulsive buying products are). Whatever you can cook in a crock pot you can cook in a solar oven,
A solar oven cooks by turning light rays from the sun into heat. The reflectors on the solar oven direct the light towards a dark area where the pot sits absorbing the heat. Oh, as a side note; just so you are aware, there is some effort on your part (besides putting the food in the pot) you will need to periodically move the oven when the sun changes its position to get the most consistent heat.
Oh and another thing, just in case you get the brainy ideal that you will cook the food at night so it will be done in the morning. Scratch that idea. A solar oven will not work at night or on a cloudy day, since it relies on the sunlight to work. Nice try though!!
- Survivor Jane
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