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Wendy Dewitt — Food Storage Seminar Part 7 of 9. Oven Cooking using Solar

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Who said they have their food storage?

Have you thought about how you are going to cook it? You are saying (inaudible)? Where I live, thinking about building a fire in the middle of the summer just kills me. With all 120 degrees out there, standing over a fire is not going to happen.

If you have not thought about how you are going to cook your food, this is what you are going to want to think about. Yesterday they asked me “Why didn’t you live in Portland, Oregon or London?” and I said “Well, you have to store a lot of firewood.” This is not going to work if you don’t have sunshine; but if you got sunshine, you can cook. This is called a solar oven.

I am going to put it up higher.

Solar ovens are basically an (inaudible) which uses the sun to cook your food. All over the world they are discovering that solar ovens are clean, they use no fuel, it keeps the heat out of our kitchen. They have actually done tests and solar cooked food tastes better than tradition food. Everybody said “Oh, this tastes better and it’s solar cooked” and the best part is we are using a free source of energy, we are using the sun. There are hundreds of thousands of these being used all over the world and for food storage, it is just a perfect fit because if you have no electricity, this needs no electricity. You can put this out on a sunny day in the morning and within maybe half an hour, this will be up to 350 degrees. You can cook anything in a 350-degree oven. You can bake bread and it browns the bread beautifully, cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies – these are all things in my food storage. I can make rice. I can cook pasta. I can make white sauce and Alfredo sauce, tapioca pudding. The only thing I can’t do in this solar oven is fry foods. I can’t get the oil hot enough to fry foods. So, I had to give up fry foods which is probably better for us anyway.

There are all kinds of solar ovens and I am not going to go into that now but you can get a simple box cooker, you can even make a solar cooker – I did that and I know people who have done that and the only thing we could do with it was warm hotdogs and as soon as I can store hotdogs, I have decided to get one that really would get those temperatures so I can cook all of those foods.

It has a little rocker it’s side and there is an arm back here so that in early morning you can tilt it towards the sun. The whole idea – I met my gentleman who took my class and he called up two days later and he said “I bought a solar oven and it doesn’t work.” I said “Well, not a lot of moving parts – why don’t you bring it over and let’s look at it?” So, we went over to the backyard and I said “Set it up for me” and he went like that and he put it in the backyard and he stood back and he said “See, it doesn’t work.” It’s simple but it’s not that simple. You really do have to tilt it towards the sun. Early morning you are going to get that delayed horizon, you are going to tilt it towards the sun. There is a bit of a leg back here that keeps it in its position and as the day goes on, you need to move the oven and keep with the sun. The receptor panels here will catch that sun and shoot it into the oven but you have to have it at the right angle. If you go out there every 45 minutes to an hour, that should be good enough. What you are trying to do is to keep it towards the sun as it’s going to cross the sky.

If the temperatures go too low, your foods are not going to be safe. There are some safety rules. Germs can grow at 120 degrees, you can pasteurize water at 150, you can cook food in 180 – this easily gets to 180 – and you can boil water at 212. But if you have certain foods in your oven and you left it out there for two to four hours and the sun has moved and you haven’t moved your oven with it, that food can get dangerous, it can grow bacteria and you could get food poisoning. So, there is some effort involved in it. You don’t just set it in the backyard and wait for it to cook. What you are trying to do is when you lean your oven out, you want to get little or no shadows inside the solar oven – that’s the secret – and this gentleman just thought he could stand it out there.

So, that’s the secret. It’s in your book. It will tell you what kind of cookware to get. We can talk about that. If you got a cloudy day – now, it can’t be completely cloudy, you have to have some sun. If you are in Alaska, you could still cook in Alaska. Even though it’s cold, if the sun is shining, you can still cook. If it’s the summer time, you can cook day and night. In fact, one of the sisters here said that she went skiing and they put some solar ovens and it was 18 degrees out and they came back from the ski trip about three hours later and their dinner was all cooked out in their solar ovens. So, it’s the sun that cooks it, not the coolness. If it’s cold outside, it’s not going to make a difference. It might take a little longer for the oven to heat up but it would still work. If you have got an intermittent cloudy day, the sun comes out and it goes back, it comes out, your Dutch oven, the heavy metal cookware is going to take a little longer but it’s going to hold back heat. So, if the sun comes out, it heats it up, goes behind the cloud, this will hold on to the heat and keep your food safe. So, on these cloudy days, you use the heavy metal.

On the other days, you think dark shallow pans with a tight-fitting lid, that’s going to be the best thing; it will cook quickly and the circulation – it’s all in the book. Buy your oven first and then buy your cookware to fit your oven and there are so many kinds of ovens out there, every style you can imagine. This is the kind l like. It has one of the bigger oven areas but there are lots of oven out there. If you have a big family, you might have to have two because it’s difficult to cook large amounts of food in solar oven. You can sometimes put them in two separate pots and that will help it to cook faster or you can cut up the food into small pieces and that will help cook it faster; but this really is, especially in the southwest where we live, this is a really wonderful thing to have in your food storage. It’s going to cost about 200 dollars, but if you buy them in bulk, if everybody goes together and makes a big order, you can get them for less than 200 dollars. This is a great thing to have in your food storage for that worst case scenario.

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