I longed for the solar oven I'd left behind in Maine, starkly homeless, cold in a tent, living rough and often not well-fed.
My old solar oven went to a good home, organic farmer friends, and anyhow, no way it could have been shoe-horned into the already stuffed car.
After months of trying to put a bright face on splash-bathing from a lobster pot, and a nutritionist subsisting on a lot of canned beans, I finally came under roof and onto a real bed.
First order of business: plant a wee garden. Item #2: begin replacing infrastructure left in Maine, starting with the solar oven.
My old one, the Global Sun Oven, was heavy and didn't work all that well under winter conditions. I started researching, and was gaga to find a high-five, human-friendly company I had read about in Maine.
A couple had done well and retired early, wanting to give back somehow in a global manner. They partnered with a retired engineer, and came up with a light weight, affordable oven which could passive-solar-cook food without Third World need of deforestation or burning farm-valuable dung for fuel.
The oven also pasteurizes water, making it safe to give to children in areas where water-borne parasites otherwise weaken and kill the vulnerable.
I ordered the Solavore Sport Solar Oven* and made good use of it my first winter in the Rocky Mountains. It cooked hearty meals even resting on the snow and soon paid for itself.
It proved its astonishing worth when the temperature dropped to minus 20-25 degrees F., and natural gas pipelines failed. Using the reflectors, the oven still roasted veggies. When it snowed, I had to shift to my mountaineer's stove to heat water for tea.
Attention omnivores: the solar oven will roast a chicken to perfection, and slow-roast inexpensive cuts of meat to fork-tender.
Three jolly years later, I am still doing solar cooking; it's sitting on the picnic table. Here's what's on offer this evening: Hullo, I'm Wayfarer, and I'll be your server tonight!
Rosemary Purple Potatoes
The potatoes are purple-skinned and purple-fleshed and utterly delicious. Veggies and fruits of bright color are superfoods, be aware.
We all probably grew up on white- or cream-fleshed potatoes, still a nutrient-packed food, but wimpy compared to the heirloom varieties.
How did that happen?
Write it off to kow-towing to Royalty. Conquistadores brought potatoes to the Iberian courts. Royalty fancied white foods as more elegant: white bread, white sugar, foods of enfeeblement, which only became apparent through generations.
Peasants ate unrefined foods, were more robust, and became wet nurses to the aristocracy, perhaps extending that paradigm.
Now, heirloom and higher nutrient foods have become the clarion call of a healthier global people, if we can fend off the GMO insanity.
Here's the simple potato prep, which is also yum with any organic potato. You'll need enough potatoes to about half fill one of the black enamel pans which come with the oven.
Set the oven outdoors facing the sun to preheat. Examples of oven habitat and derring-do:
Wash and dry the spuds:
Pour 1-2 Tbs organic olive oil into a medium-sized bowl. Add salt to taste, freshly ground black pepper, dried rosemary rubbed between the palms, ~2 tsp. Stir and let meld while you:
Chop 1 organic onion (optional)
Press 4-5 cloves organic garlic
Add to olive oil mixture. Chop potatoes into bite-sized chunks, and coat with the savory olive oil mixture.
Dump into pan without any added water. If it's winter or overcast, use the reflectors. Set pan in solar oven; clamp down the clear lid. Point toward sun and then another 30 degrees toward the sun's path. Ignore for a couple of hours.
Things will be begin smelling dee-lish. The spuds will not burn. Serve to several people, or save extra to serve cold on a future salad.
To enhance raw food enzyme intake with the cooked potatoes, you might enjoy them with raw milk kefir or a glass of kombucha, or lactic-fermented veggies: sauerkraut, kimchi, or beets.
Simple, savory and high-nutrient, prepared sans
utility bills or having to stir the pot!
To leftover solar-roasted Rosemary Potatoes, 2-3 c., add:
cucumber pickles, chopped
Fresh parsley, small bunch, minced
Fresh thyme, several sprigs, strip leaves from stems
Balsamic vinegar, couple of good splashes
~1/4 tsp each powdered dulse, sea lettuce & kelp
Let meld. Serve on red-leafed lettuce or endive. (Sea veggies are included for taste but also for Fukushima, the under-reported global disaster. Please protect your family.) For reality check and recommendations see: www.feastandfamine.blogspot.com
*This solar oven is the best I've used, so I mention it. I have no financial association with the company. They don't know me.