Solar Cooking – Why?

A better question would be “Why not?”

While there are many far more altruistic reasons and justifications for getting into Solar Cooking, mine really boils down to “just for the fun of it”.

Certainly my more practical side always involves “preparedness” and all which that should mean to any father, grandfather, and/or head of a household – but at this stage of life, I rarely look to justify my activities and prefer to focus on fun.  For example, we maintain an “emergency fund” as part of our financial planning – but also look at a good portion of it as “fun” money.  Yes, it should and will be used practically – but we will also focus on enjoyment.

We enjoy camping and outdoor cooking, (primarily RV camping now that we are a bit older) – as a very positive side-effect, we are far more ready, in terms of disaster preparedness, than we otherwise would be.  That side-effect is a very good justification for getting into family camping for those who need to justify what they do. For us, it remains a very positive side-effect and I’m not going to try fooling anybody. 🙂

Just the same, it would be silly not to recognize the advantages of having a means to cook and create safe drinking water after the propane, coals and firewood ran out… Personally, I like the idea of cooking without the presence of smoke. 8)

Resources:

In these days of “The Internet”, one can find information on just about any subject or topic – and there is a tremendous amount of information on Solar *anything* available. Focus groups, books, YouTube videos, you name it.  What a truly wonderful world we live in.

I should admit that I already own a few books, both Kindle eBooks and hard copies, either related to or specifically on the subject of Solar Cooking and Solar Dehydration – but the Internet itself is an amazing resource:

Solar Cookers International is an amazing on-line resource by itself, and that organization sponsors the Solar Cookers World Network – both of which make for enjoyable browsing with in-depth information. There are a huge number of different designs available for both commercial purchase or do-it-yourself projects.

Not surprisingly, I soon located a San Diego Solar Cooking Club, which schedules its meetings on the San Diego Cooking Club Meetup Group at meeting.com – as I type this, their next meet up for a Solar Cooking Demonstration is scheduled for Saturday morning, March 5th, over in Santee, CA and I very much hope to be able to attend that one to observe various designs in action and discus some questions I have with knowledgeable folks who have already “been there – done that”. I particularly look forward to meeting Mr. Jim La Joie, who is the designer of the All Season Solar Cooker (ASSC) which will be my next attempt at a “do-it-yourself” Solar Cooker. Jim plans to hold ASSC Workshops and Demonstration sessions later in 2011 and I most certainly will attend at least one of them.

Goals:

First and foremost, to have fun and I will be involving two of our teenage granddaughters in the do-it-yourself construction project, then later on in the cooking with them. Long-range, I would like to be able to use the ASSC to bake, steam, boil and stew various recipes. Later on, I will be looking for a Solar Cooker design which will lend itself to actually frying, (that will probably involve a parabolic design or the use of a Fresnel Lens to capture/focus sunlight for higher temperatures). The ability to fry/brown meat is pretty essential to recipes like chili. 8)

This entry was posted by dave on Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 at 2:34 pm and is filed under Solar Cooking . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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