Solar Oven Post Summary

I sometimes forget that there are readers who are new or fairly new. It seems like so many of you have been around for a very long time. It’s great when I think about how many of you have been around through Chad’s high school and college years . . you probably are the reason I made it through those crazy years!  Some of you have been around since we lived in Kentucky, then Missouri, and now Texas. 

Anyway, I mentioned the solar oven yesterday and was surprised at how many readers wrote me wanting to know more about it. 

This is the model I use, but mine is the three years ago model!  Here are some previous blog posts that you can check out if you’re interested.

Alternate Cooking – Solar Oven
Corn on the Cob in the Solar Oven
Solar Oven Roasted Chicken
A Solar Oven (when I first bought it)

Looking back at those old posts, here are a couple of things that caught my eye:

  1. Look at the grass in those older pictures, mostly taken in June and July, and look at the grass in yesterday’s post . . we have green grass for the first time in so many years.
  2. The Solar Oven Chicken post (I think that’s the one) shows my old countertops. Made me smile and love my solid countertops even more.

I’m sure this is included in some of those older posts about the solar oven but if I were looking at buying one, these are the things I would want someone to tell me:

  • Obviously, you need lots of sun and you need an area where there is no shade at the time of day you’re most likely to be cooking. If you’re in an area where there are often clouds, even on sunny days, the solar oven isn’t going to work so well. When a cloud passes in front of the sun, the temp drops like a rock. It comes back up quickly but it does drop and it can make it hard to plan when a meal will be done.
  • If you’re in an area where there’s lots of wind, the “panels” are a bit flimsy in the wind. I think we have a LOT of wind and there are only a few days when I feel like it could be risky to use the oven but be aware that wind could be a problem.
  • You need a safe place to put it. I’ve read about some people who put their oven out in the front yard, filled it with dinner, went out to check on it and the whole thing was gone. They’re very portable.
  • It is recommended that you use dark metal cookware . . graniteware is recommended. 
  • It folds up and can be handled as soon as you’re done cooking. The outside and parts you have to handle do not get hot.
  • Mine reaches temps of 350º to 375º but it can be turned so the sun is hitting it at a different angle if you want to cook at a lower temp. We have quite a bit of sun here . . most all the time.

We’ve had our oven now for three years and I use it oven — summer and winter .  . just so there’s sun. In the summer, I use it mostly when I don’t want to heat up the house with the oven or even the crock pot. It makes me feel good to stick a chicken in there for 2 or 3 hours and know I’m not spending one dime of energy to get dinner ready.

There are no mechanical or computerized parts so I don’t see it ever “going out” but if it did, I’d replace it immediately.  That’show I determine if a gadget was a good investment . . how long it would take me to replace it if I had to do so. I highly recommend the solar oven if you feel it would work for you.

Peach Cobbler

Yesterday I picked most of the peaches off Tree #3. I’ve been lucky that our peaches have ripened at different times and not all at once. The peaches from the first tree were ready in May, the second tree was ready in June and now the peaches from the third tree are ripe and the fourth tree will be ripe probably in a couple of weeks. 

Peaches

Peaches

Both of us were very surprised there were so many peaches on this little tree. So far, they’re the best of our peaches but the first ones kinda got ripe when we weren’t watching and they were too ripe when we picked them. Then we were afraid the second ones were going to get too ripe and we picked them a few days before they were ready to be picked but I think we picked these at just the right time.

Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler

The first thing on the agenda when there are fresh peaches is . . a peach cobbler.

Still doing without Blue Bell but the Tillamook Old Fashioned Vanilla was a great substitute.

Peach Cobbler with Ice Cream

Peach Cobbler with Ice Cream

I made half a recipe but this is the whole recipe:

Peach Cobbler
A moist, delicious, easy to make cobbler
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 stick butter
  2. 1 cup flour
  3. 2 cups sugar, divided
  4. 1 T. cornmeal
  5. 1 T. baking powder
  6. 1/4 tsp. salt
  7. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  8. 1 cup milk
  9. 4 cups sliced fresh peaches
  10. 1 T. lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Melt butter and pour into 9 x 13 baking dish.
  3. Place peaches, 1 cup sugar and lemon juice in a pot and heat to a boil. Cook slowly and stir to prevent scorching. Quite a bit of juice will cook out of the peaches. Once they come to a boil, remove from heat.
  4. Mix together flour, remaining 1 cup sugar, salt, cornmeal, baking powder. Stir in milk and vanilla. Stir by hand and don't overmix.
  5. Pour this mixture over the butter in the pan. Do not stir.
  6. Pour the peaches over this mixture. Do not stir.
  7. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes.
Patchwork Times by Judy Laquidara http://www.patchworktimes.com/

The Sun Is Good For Something

It is so miserably hot. I know . . I complained when it was cold and said I wouldn’t complain about summer but I can’t help myself. It is so . . HOT! I go out to get eggs several times a day so they’re not baking in this heat. I always end up finding something else that needs my attention while outside and then I come in, take a shower, put on dry clothes . . and that happens 3 or 4 times a day.

We’re having fried shrimp for dinner and I wanted baked potatoes but told myself I’m not using the oven when it’s this hot. I’m making a big sacrifice to fry shrimp inside . . I hardly fry anything but bacon but we were able to get some fresh shrimp and I’ve been hungry for homemade fried shrimp for about . . 5 years!  :)

Solar Oven

Solar Oven

I decided I’d stick some potatoes in the solar oven and let the sun do the cooking. Since it seems to be baking everything and everyone around here . . might as well let it bake part of our dinner. Fried shrimp, yellow squash, baked potatoes and sliced tomatoes . . that’s what’s for dinner here.