Despite the discomforts of squinting, profusive sweating, heat exhaustion, and sunburns, the blazing sol de nicaragua has redeemed itself to me by generously cooking, toasting, and baking my food!
Solar Ovens are SUCH a GOOD IDEA! Not that i hadn't heard of them before, but i had not ever observed the simple miracle of cooking with the closest star to our planet. Solar chefs boast of a special sun-infused flavor achieved only through solar cooking and sure, maybe that's true. i haven't noticed yet and i don't really care because i am fascinated and grateful enough that my food is being COOKED just by leaving it out in the sunshine!!!
First try was plain old rice--2 cups agua, 1 cup rice + 2 hrs in the oven--which turned out mostly cooked, the top actually too crunchy and dry.
Next, keepin it fairly simple--baked potatoes.
Here they are raw, awaiting solar oven lovin
The whole contraption is ultra-simple--a box painted black on the inside, a plexi-glass door, and shiny reflective panels all around. Lots of people make their own. Cooking pot and lid should also be black.
i gave the taters about 2.5 hrs.....during which time, being the goddess of contradiction that she is, look where Zaya chose to retreat from the scorching sun:
As peak sunlight hours waned, i gleefully served buttery *star* baked potatoes, my gas tank no less full than before and the kitchen blessedly cool without the oven's suffocating heat.
For my next trick,
Sun Toasted Granola
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup honey
1/4 stick of butter, melted
1 cup chopped nuts--i only have cashews
1/2-1 cup dried fruit--raisins are all i could find around here, though i dream of dried berries
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 pinch sal
Start with the liquids, mix 'em up
Mix it all up
Spread onto a greased cookie sheet, or if your solar oven is a small square, spread onto aluminum foil inside a skillet
Catch some rays, though i think 2 hrs was a tad too long
what more can i say: Sola Granola!