Cooking With No cost!
Lately I have been working through systems and trying to make back up plans and think through the “what ifs”. With the world and weather, the way it is, and all the uncertainty, being prepared is the only way to secure and be less dependent on systems that might not be there in the future. Finding alternatives and back up plans doesn't mean that you have to use this system as your main way of life, it means that if something happens, and you no longer can accomplish your main daily living activities “normally”, then you're not reliant on only one way.
So where do you start? Start with the systems that are used most frequently for survival and then work out from there. Water, Food, cooking, heat or cooling, toiletries and laundry should be top on your list. Working through my list I have covered loss of electricity which entails laundry, toileting, growing food and now I have been looking at cooking.
It truly depends on where you are that your options will vary and that is something that you will need to address. Sometimes it is thinking through these systems of “what if's” that we realize we need to do something else in order to gain independence.
I have never really been too worried about cooking because we have a gas stove. I can cook on the stove top, but during a power outage my oven doesn't work. Not too big of a deal because during the winter we have a wood stove so with just a little adjustment I can fairly easily bake on it. Recently though, knowing all that is going on I started to really think about how vulnerable this system is. I have always taken for granted that I would have propane to operate my stove, not really thinking about the idea that maybe that would not always be there. The price of everything is skyrocketing, including wood, propane and natural gas and their uses also being discussed of being regulated and made obsolete in certain political discussions. I soon realized that this plan may not be a reliable course of action. I started looking at camp stoves, but again if fuel wasn't available, I have gained nothing. I even looked into hiking stoves that burn collected twigs and wood, but that would be really hard to cook a meal for a family and time consuming. This option also would require more work collecting and feeding a little fire and constant watching to make sure it all cooks properly.
I went to work researching and sorting thru all of the options and then found one that was rather intriguing to me... a sun oven. This is basically an insulated box that reflects the suns heat back into the sealed box to utilize the free heat energy around us. There are a lot of DIY's on how to make one, but most who made them were never really very happy with the results for a long-term daily solution, but the worked great in a pinch or emergency. I decided to look into buying one because I knew that it would be lighter and more portable. I also started to think that this would be a good addition into our daily life because during the summer we are so busy most days outside working. I often say it would be nice to have someone to make the meals so I could just keep working on my projects. As it is we work all day until nightfall then we come in and I have to start with dinner usually resulting in a late quick dinner. I always say I will come in and start dinner earlier, but in reality, once I leave the house after morning housework.... I don't usually come back in until dark. With this oven I can put something out in the morning and dinner will be waiting and done for us after a long day of working on projects.
Sun ovens cook by the heat of the sun and locks in a heat that will not dry out the food or burn it. You can leave it out all day and it will just get better, not dry and burnt like normal ovens. It needs no attention in stirring or turning, just random checks to make sure that it is still turned towards the sun. In it you can boil, pasteurize water, bake and steam foods. You can even cook a 21 pound turkey in a baking bag inside! It reaches temperatures 360- & 400-degrees Fahrenheit.
It gets even better! Not only can you cook in them, but you also can dehydrate! You can cook most anything in it, hard “boiled” eggs, bread, pies, roasts, meatloaf... anything. The best part...... no cost to run and a complete freedom from a system.
My main concern with this was if it would work in the winter and the subzero temperatures. Also, because there are many days that the sun doesn't “shine” here. I have researched and talked to people, and they say that yes it will, as long as you can cast a shadow... It will cook. I wanted to write this as a whole blog with also the result and how I like to use it, but with all that is going on its delivery is delayed and I am just hoping that I get it before shipping stops. I at least will present you with this information so maybe it will inspire you to think about your systems and help you be proactive.
I have decided that I would become an affiliate for the sun ovens because I feel that they will be a wise investment. This is my link and by using it you will get a free oven cover and I can get a small kick back for sharing. https://www.sunoven.com/promotions/ref/Kplanty. If you would like to watch a webinar and learn more to make a more educated decision you can go here and sign up! Each participant will be emailed a link to a special offers page where they will be able to purchase an All American Sun Oven with $118 worth of free product! This includes a free oven cover and our latest free cookbook! https://www.sunoven.com/brighter-way-webinar/ref/Kplanty.
In my research I compared a few different companies and this one by far exceeded them and I decided on the All-American Sun Oven. It is a small family business that is in America and quality is their focus. It is compact and moves easily with extra features and equipment to help you get the best overall experience. I plan on doing a more in-depth post when I get this, and I will show you how it works and what my thoughts are on it. In the meantime.... Close your systems, get what you need and don't wait.