Solar Cooking – About 6 or 8 years ago….

As I continue to gather current information, etc., on Solar Cooking today – my mind keeps drifting back to an “experiment” I conducted with two of our granddaughters out in the front yard.  It seems I had ran across a design that is still out there today for a “Windshield Shade Solar Cooker” and decided the kids would get a kick out of it, (if it worked).

During the week I asked the wife to pick up some Velcro, then went to AutoZone, (I think it was still called “Chiefs” back then), and snagged a new windshield shade that looked like the one in the pictures. I also swung by WalMart and grabbed a can of flat-black, high-temp spray paint intended for refurbishing a BBQ to paint a small pot and its lid scavenged from our camping gear. A little sewing, a little spray painting, and having come up with good sized bucket, a small wire cooling rack and an oven bag – I was ready for the grandkids to visit. 😉

That weekend, about 10 in the morning, I had two little girls undivided attention.  Having assembled the “solar funnel”, it was obvious we needed a stick the right size to keep it spread open with.  No old sailor ever had a better or more willing pair of volunteers than I had that day, and it wasn’t long until they found one that was “just right” for the task at hand.

Our only goal, at that time, was to boil some water. Sure enough, out in the warm California sun, we soon saw steam forming in the bag around the pot. We didn’t achieve a “rolling boil” or anything close to it, but I knew that water was well pasteurized and explained why that word was important for safe drinking water.  The elder of the two set me up with a cup containing a spoon of instant coffee – and the younger came back with three hotdogs.  Old “Papa” sat out there with them and had a cup of “sun” coffee, while they waited for thier little “lunch” to cook.

Undoubtedly, those were the best hotdogs ever – I just had mine by itself, but the grandkids dressed theirs up with buns and condiments and really bragged about what we had done out in the front yard that day.

I think building good memories with your kids and grandkids is one of the best things a man can do in this life.  Am certainly ready to build some more of them this year. 8)

Image from

Image from

This entry was posted by dave on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 at 5:55 pm and is filed under Random thoughts, Solar Cooking . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.