Our new patio is the perfect spot for our solar oven. At our old house, we had to move the oven from the back yard to the front yard as the day went by (sometimes in the middle of cooking something) because the yard was so small and the house next door was so close that we didn’t get constant sun in any one spot for long. But our new backyard is like a gigantic sun deck. It gets sun all day long, and the patio extends far enough back from the house that it doesn’t get shaded by the house until evening. Not only is this good news for our garden, but it’s also great for the sun oven.
Yesterday, I picked a bell pepper from the potted pepper plants we brought with us from the old house (they were in our hydroponic garden, and now live in pots in the back yard). Then I stuck it in the sun oven for half an hour or so, and ended up with a perfectly roasted pepper. I wanted to make veggie sandwiches, and figured a roasted bell pepper would be perfect. It was. We had great sandwiches, and I loved the fact that the pepper grew on our patio, and was then moved all of about three feet to the sun oven where it roasted. About as local and energy-efficient as possible.
Today I decided to try making a loaf of bread in the sun oven. My husband has done this before, but I hadn’t. For some reason, I’m always hesitant to tackle any baking project that uses yeast. I’ll make baking powder biscuits, and all sorts of fantastic raw desserts that I find over at Kristen’s site, but not things like bread. I think I’ve used dead yeast in the past, and had loaves of bread turn out flat, and that’s what was discouraging me. But no more. This morning I decided that a loaf of bread was not going to outsmart me. I found a recipe online, sort of followed the instructions, and this is what I just pulled out of the sun oven:
I can’t wait for lunchtime so that we can break into it. It smells amazing, looks great, rose up just like it’s supposed to, and in general boosted my confidence when it comes to baking bread. All without heating up my kitchen or using any electricity.