One of the occupational hazards of solar cooking in Michigan is the weather. We really can’t count on sun every day. Nor can we depend on the brightly shining morning sun to stick around for the afternoon.
The other day, I prepared my so-easy-it-makes-you-blush Salsa Chicken. This dish consists of Salsa and Chicken. First I place the chicken in the round black pan. Then I add enough salsa or a can of tomatoes with green chilies to cover it. Put the lid on. Voila! That’s it. Into the solar cooker with the pan.
A half an hour later, the sun disappeared behind some substantial clouds, where I guessed it planned to spend the rest of the day. Potatoes, onions, garlic– I could have left in the cooker to eek out whatever rays they might capture. Raw chicken, I knew however, would not fair so well. So the chicken went into the refrigerator until closer to dinnertime. I then poached the chicken– not my favorite way to cook chicken, but a pretty good save under the circumstances.
The episode reminded me that, for me, solar cooking is an adventure, not a complete necessity. The almost invisible appliances of our kitchen are easy to take for granted. Having to resort to using the stove didn’t mean less fuel for heating or cooking over a fire because of a power shortage. Solar cooking is one option for us.