Baking potatoes in the driveway in Minnesota on 12/21/12
As I've mentioned in previous entries, I am a solar cook. I have 4 different types of solar cookers. 3 different types of ovens plus a parabola. The parabola looks like a TV satellite dish, and works on the same principle as a magnifying glass in the sun burning from concentrated light. It is truly amazing. I can boil 2 cups of water in about 15 minutes in the sun using it. I place a dutch oven on the parabola and bake potatoes and other vegetables. Yesterday was December 21, the day of the year when the sun is the lowest in the sky. Now the sun will start to make its way higher in the sky a little more each day. It was a beautiful solar cooking day- no clouds in the sky. It was cold- about 9 degrees above zero when I placed the spuds in the dutch oven on the parabola in the driveway. It took about 1 and 1/2 hours for 2 very large red potatoes to be cooked perfectly. My wife Bev and I had them as part of our lunch. Solar cooked food is cooked by infrared heat from the sun. It usually cooks at about 250 degrees, sometimes as high as 325 degrees, sometimes lower than 250. For food to cook, the temperature has to be at least 180 degrees. Because of being cooked at a lower temperature as compared to a conventional oven in the house, there is less nutrient loss/better flavor. Solar food tastes great, and is better for you. You should taste solar cooked sweet corn!