A couple of years ago I was the president of the “Parents Association” at my daughter’s school. This was a two year position, (that actually slid to two and half), and entailed a lot of work, mainly raising money for the school. However, the “Centro de Padres” was lucky enough to win a grant which we used to learn how to build and use solar and adobe ovens.
With 15 other mothers we spent a year building solar and mud ovens, learning to cook with them, participating in workshops and demonstrations, and getting to know each other better. It was a great experience, if not a bit stressful because it was a government grant with my name on it. These are a few of the pictures I took to document the process.
We all received a solar oven that we could continue to use in our own homes. When you drive through the “pueblo” you can see some of them in use during the summer.
I have used mine for cooking, but also use it for dying wool, especially in the winter when the temperatures are lower. I put hand spun yarn in jars, (or a big pot), with different leaves, flowers or onion skins. The water does not boil and I can leave the wool “stewing” without worrying about over cooking. It brings the water up to temperature very slowly, and then in the evening I leave it to cool slowly through the night.
We are now into autumn here and so last week before the temperatures dropped I cooked a black banana bread. The recipe is from the internet, but it is just like one my mom used to cook when I was little.
It cooks at a low temperature for two and a half hours, but because the sun wasn’t strong it took longer and didn’t go as dark as it should have. It was very sticky, (instead of moist), but still yummy.