Monday, October 26, 2009

Cooking with the sun!

I just got back from another visit to our companion diocese, Western Tanganyika (I also visited in March). It was a wonderful visit! So wonderful to see my friends in Western Tanganika again, and to make new friends too. Tanzania is a beautiful country, and though they have problems with inadequate healthcare and education as well as poverty, the presence of a stable peace for so long has left it’s mark on the psyche of the nation. It was truly wonderful and encouraging to be there.

Two ladies from my home diocese came too, and they happen to be accomplished solar cooks. I must admit I was a little skeptical about the idea of cooking with the sun, but Peggy and Nancy got me really excited with their stories of all the things they had cooked. Bishop Gerard, and others in Western Tanganika are very interested in solar cooking, because of it’s potential impact on the lives of women (saves time and money), and on the environment (to slow deforestation). So they were excited about the solar cooking workshop which was planned for our visit.

I gave a talk on nutrition, and gardening techniques, to accompany the solar cooking workshop. But it didn’t take long for me to be won over by the idea of solar cooking. We were thwarted by some cloudy days, but we still managed to cook rice, and chicken. You can make bread, and cookies and cake in a solar oven! As well as stews, casseroles, meat, etc, etc.

Here’s what you need to cook with the sun: A thin walled dark colored pot, a heat-resistant plastic bag, and a shiny, bendable surface… that’s it! Oh yeah, and you need the sun!

Peggy and Nancy sent me back to Sudan with one of their training kits. But, since it’s still the rainy season, the clouds this week have slowed me down. But I have plans for several experiments this weekend (a baked apple, and brownies!) I’ll let you know how it goes!