Our homestead is located in the hot & humid south. Here in NE Texas I do all I can to keep that heat outside where it belongs when the temps (and the humidity) start to go up. I have many ways of doing this.
For instance, our tea is brewed in a repurposed hourglass-shaped jar on the picnic table, courtesy of the sun. And our clean laundry is almost always dried outside on our *Retractable Clothesline, even in the colder winter months.
But one of my favorite ways to keep heat outside is by using my *Solar Oven to cook our food. My solar oven came with an enameled cooking set so I typically use those items when I’m cooking with the sun.
One of the included vessels is a double-stack black enamelware covered pan. That will be perfect for today’s dish: Southwest Chicken served on a bed of seasoned brown rice. Quick & easy, mix it & forget it. The whole meal cooks at the same time!
I can’t believe another year has come & gone. This year has certainly been good for RancherMan and me as we got back to business of running our ranch after my health fiasco of last year – we are so blessed! But now as the year draws to a close I thought if would be fun to share with you, my beloved readers, the top ten most popular posts of 2014. Grab a cup of coffee, settle in and join me!
Last week I shared a two-part segment on how RancherMan & I make ends meetwhile living and working here on our homestead without the comfort of a regularly-scheduled corporate salary infusion.
Those posts were wildly popular! There are lots of you hungrily looking for ways to cut back! Whether planning to make the leap to self employment or just looking for ways to stretch your dollars.
Now last week I pointed out that researching for the lowest cost on anything you buy is important. But it’s doubly important to research & reduce your month-to-month obligations. Those bills are going to come around not just once, but Every. Single. Month.
Think about your recurring monthly bills for a moment. Have you just been paying them when the bill arrives without giving them another thought?
This year I planted heirloom sugar pumpkins in my garden. And when it was time to harvest them I knew I’d first be able to enjoy them for a bit as decoration. I love the way those little pumpkins looked propped on our antique cast-iron Franklin stove.
But several days later I was in the kitchen enjoying the last of my favorite pumpkin granola. I knew that since I planted those delicious pumpkins for use in my granola it was time to cook those babies down into pumpkin puree.
Well it looks like a sunshiny day and the wind will not be high, can’t think of a better reason to use my * Solar Oven. It’s only going to get up to the upper 50’s today but outside temps don’t really matter. As long as the sun is shining and the wind isn’t high enough to mess with the reflectors, solar oven cooking is a GO! Today I think I’ll try my hand at baked pork chops…
I’ve been on a dehydrating kick this year & I love it. Recently I acquired a large quantity of potatoes and went on a mission to figure out how to preserve them all.
In the past I have preserved potatoes by cooking, mashing and freezing them. So this time I think I’ll try dehydrating them.
I know that potatoes will turn black if they are not cooked before they’re dehydrated. So I washed the potatoes and then pricked the skin in several places on each potato, then stacked them tightly in my black enameled covered pan.
It seems utility bills are going nowhere but up. We’re all trying to watch those dollars carefully.
But there are easy ways to cut that utility bill other than just trying to keep unused lights turned off. One of the most energy-intensive acts in a home is producing heat.
Heat for cooking, heat for melting, heat for dehydrating – it’s all digging into your wallet! But there’s an option that often we don’t even think of that can save us some real cash. That’s absolutely free solar energy!
Here are a few ways I enjoy using this amazing free resource to not only fill a need but also save a few bucks.
I came across a great deal on potatoes recently and thought I’d use my solar oven to cook up baked potatoes. In this case I was ultimately going to dehydrate most of the potatoes for future consumption. But I read that you have to cook them before you can dehydrate them.
So I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone today. Well folks it’s still hot in Texas . And that’s not exactly the best time to throw on your heat-producing oven and bake potatoes.
Enter my handy-dandy solar oven. MAN I love this thing! I got the accessory kit when I bought it. So my solar oven’s been going almost every day for the past two weeks either cooking or dehydrating garden produce. Aaaaaanyway, here’s how I baked my potatotes.