solar scones

FIRST – if you have a sun oven – they now have a fitted cover for the sun oven, $60 plus shipping.  Less $10 if you use code PROTECT, good until midnight Sunday May 31.

IMG_1789did scones again today.  2hours 15 minutes, door not latched shut, wind gusts and spotted clouds.  cooked perfectly, smell great, taste great!  Oven did not get over 300F due above conditions

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learning crochet

While I know how to knit, it tends to put me to sleep – literally.  and there are things one can do with crochet that you can’t do with knitting, and vice versa. 

Recently One of the Yarn companies had posted a free pattern for a crocheted tote.  Offered as a full kit for $$$ or a free pattern.  Even though I did not have the right weight yarn, or the right size hook, forged ahead anyway.

IMG_1784 instead of being sort of like a market tote, per the pattern, it ended up more as a bucket tote.  Messed up on the handles though as I did the chain too loose for the tightness of the stitch and they ended up a little funky.  Usually I’m too tight on the starting chain, guess I overcompensated!!

IMG_1785 Still a nice size, and with the big handles it can be a sort of back pack when on the Trike.  and it will certainly hold a lot!  All in all, not bad for a first official project!

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BEES???

Where are they?  These bird of paradise should be covered in them.  None here, none on my trumpet vines and there were hardly any on my rosemary earlier in the year.  My hives have failed and the guy down the street moved.  But I know we have wild bees around – or should – and someone keeps a hive less than a mile away that was super active last I saw it.  too few birds also.    Keep thinking about the Canary in the Coal mine?!?!

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not not gardening

it seems I can’t not garden.  So going really small and doing some things totally differently

 

IMG_1768 (716x1024)This area is sort of perennials.  Two bags of last years potatoes had enough little ones left in there to come up on their own.  Walking onions and the comfrey.  re-arranged the shade cloth to give them all a bit of a break from the sun.  This end gets morning sun, the other gets afternoon.  The rest of the garden is pretty well empty.  Some hollyhocks coming back and that’s it.

IMG_1770 (1024x768)nearest bag also potatoes, next is a self-watering container with a bush zucchini, and maybe the turmeric in the next bag over will come back

IMG_1771 (768x1024)two winter squash and some tomatoes all in self watering containers.  The greenhouse gets hot, but sun is filtered by the hanging cloths throughout.  They filter the sunlight and the dead air space helps moderate the temperatures in there.

IMG_1772 (766x1024)When they have a choice, now is when Amaryllis blossom.  have been getting a plant each Christmas.  my first attempts in the garden failed, but they seem to like the greenhouse environment.

 

IMG_1774 (1024x768) A few years ago had bought these containers on legs for strawberries and that was a failure.  now I know, here strawberries need shade.  So am trying some bush beans here this year.  Am afraid the back container may get too warm from the house wall, we’ll see.  If nothing else that will be for early and late warm weather plants.

IMG_1775 (768x1024)Same planters with covers.  some shade and protection from birds and insects and little critters – I hope.

IMG_1776 (768x1024) Trying a tomato here.  only a few hours of direct sun here – maybe 4 at this time of year?  A little longer when the sun is lower in the sky.

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pizza again

Same pizza as last time: frozen gluten free crust with sauce, pepperoni and cheese.  This time I preheated the oven, skipped the cardboard support and put it right on the aluminum ring with some parchment paper.  oven temp about 300F

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IMG_1773 (1024x768)An hour later, oven temp still about 300F, but had dipped down to 250F.  Wind had kicked up and I keep the glass lid unlatched, so heat escaped.  If the lid is latched a lot of condensation builds up on the glass and cuts the sun effectiveness.  Can’t win for losing today.  Stuck it in the oven to brown it up and finish the cooking.

Next time I will try a commercially made GF pizza and if that doesn’t work, the solar oven is out for that purpose!  booooo

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pizza in the solar oven

 

IMG_1731This is a premade, gluten free crust and standard sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese.

IMG_1732 solar oven preheated to about 225

IMG_1733you can see the right side of the oven is still in shade. its 10:30am

IMG_1734my pizza pan is too big to fit in the oven( its 14“ wide), so am using the cardboard from under the pizza crust and a piece of parchment paper

IMG_1736 as it heated up, and defrosted the crust, the cardboard sags and so is the pizza

IMG_1738 Then realized I had the perfect “pizza” pan, this is the aluminum piece that goes into the bottom of my canner so my jars are not sitting on the bottom of the canner.  11,25”,

IMG_1737 an hour and a half later.  a little dried out and the edge on the left (in the sun from the beginning) is a bit over done.  Final temp was about 325F

Not the best pizza I’ve ever made, next time I’ll have to try a commercial frozen pizza and see if its using the solar oven, the nature of the crust I used, or the combination of what I put together.

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solar oven lessons

yes, you can cook a chicken and it won’t come out looking like it was boiled, it can brown.  The “dimples” are because I started this breast side down on the silicone matt.  The back did brown nicely.  You can see the tips of the wings are definitely cooked.  but if you want corn bread too, you will either have to double stack or cook the corn bread the day before

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IMG_1723 and you CAN overcook.  This was supposed to be scones.  Started this before the sun was on the oven.  When I got home the phone was ringing and people wanted lunch and by the time I got to it, definitely overcooked – and browned!!

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