Solar Cooking Demonstration at SanTree Fest

Today was the “SanTree Fest” day over in Santee, CA, which is an “Earth Day Celebration” sponsored by the City of Santee, Waste Management Corporation, and several other sponsors. A ton of young volunteers, (and a few not so young), were there involved in helping to plant trees, river cleaning, and other landscape improvements at the Town Center Community Park East. There were demonstration booths with crafts for kids, discussion on potting soil, and so forth – and a live band set up in the little pavilion off to the edge of that area.  Of course, the San Diego Solar Cooking Club was also set up giving a demonstration of Solar Cooking and that is where my interests were primarily focused this morning. 😉

I remembered to take my Sunglasses, (thank Heavens – one should *always* wear sunglasses around Solar Cookers or plan to get dazzled sooner or later), unfortunately I forgot to take our digital camera. 🙁

Had several good discussions and the opportunity to watch the Global Solar Oven in action, (it is a very good commercial cooker), the ASSC, (in all there were 5 of them set up including two “Jumbo” ASSCs), the Copenhagen Solar Cooker, plus a couple of its early variants, and several others – (about the only thing missing was a fresnel lens).  Just seeing everything in action was well worth going, watching everything from cookies to cornbread, rice, a nice looking casserole dish, to a whole chicken – all being prepared by the power of “Old Sol” – but the best part was the cordiality displayed by everyone. It wasn’t just to me, those doing the demo were equally friendly with everyone who happened by the demonstration and very proud to answer questions and share their knowledge/experience.  I was deeply impressed.

Had the opportunity to discuss the All Season Solar Cooker in depth with Mr. Jim La Joie, how he came up with the design, including flipping it over to capture sunlight when the sun is low in the sky, (particularly useful in more Northern Latitudes). We had a great discussion on slow cooking foods, and about “cooking power”, (think Watts), v/s cooking temperature.

He also introduced me to a device called the “WAPI” or Water Pasteurization Indicator – another ingenious little device used to assure safe drinking water or milk in depressed areas, (including Haiti). Pasteurization destroys all microorganisms that cause diseases from drinking contaminated water and milk. I will be picking up a couple of those myself “just in case”. 😉

One of the neatest little “tips and tricks” I came away with is to use an “economy 1 gallon paint can grid”, (see below), as a very inexpensive trivet to slightly elevate what you are cooking, permitting focused sunlight to get underneath it. What a cool idea! 8)

Aluminum paint can grids make great little trivets

Aluminum paint can grids make great little trivets

They are available in the paint section of Home Depot and other stores.  Apparently that idea was passed along to the other members of the club by Sherry some months before I joined the group.

In all, it was a great morning! 8)

SanTree Fest Solar Cooking Demonstration

SanTree Fest Solar Cooking Demonstration

Those Copenhagen Cookers to the left get plenty hot!

Those Copenhagen Cookers to the left get plenty hot!

Regular and Jumbo size ASSCs

Regular and Jumbo size ASSCs

(I was stepping off to the left to view the Global Sun Oven)…

Global Sun Oven made a great rice dish

Global Sun Oven made a great rice dish

This entry was posted by dave on Saturday, March 5th, 2011 at 11:36 am 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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