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28 September 2010 @ 02:52 pm
my first solar-cooked meal, and other successes  

Above is the picture I took Sunday of the CooKit I built, complete with a black 1-1/2 quart pan with glass lid supported on 2 inch high glass votive holders under a glass dome.

I am very pleased with this.

I want to test it on three important foods -lentils, spaghetti noodles, and rice.

I did the lentils yesterday...

I put 1/3 pound (one meal for myself) with about a pint of water in the pan and began cooking about 2:20 PM. It was hot (lower 90s), and about 35% cloudy.

I did other chores for the afternoon, but then a rain shower came at 6:20 PM so I knew this was the end of cooking for yesterday.

The lentils were fully cooked. I do not know exactly when they were done, except that it was before 6:20.

Lentils can be a challenge. On a gas stove, they take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours to fully cook, depending on where I bought them and on how hard the water is.

Also, on Sunday, even though it was very late in the afternoon and thin clouds blocked the sun, the cooker did a good job heating up a can of chili.

It looks too cloudy to test noodles or rice today, but I had another success in the morning. -I attempted to reach the far side of the Spring Garden channel across from Tedders.

Only airboats go there, because the north half of the channel is a lake less than a foot deep, thick with water lilies anchored to the bottom.

I put the Minn-kota motor in speed 4 (150 watts) and held it in a tilted position. It pulled the tent barge across very efficiently, and now I am anchored at the far end -where there is a weed-free area close to the small trees.

Here is a picture I took looking back at the path I pushed through the pads. -Note there are three tracks -two for the pontoons, and the one from the motor in the middle:

And here is a picture of the motor at the front of the boat cleanly moving through the lily pads without any entanglement:

This picture, taken at sunrise on Sunday from Tedders, shows a pretty view of the channel, but the place I crossed to which is where I am now is just to the right and not visible in this shot:

All four of these pictures can be seen in full resolution at this gallery:

end of September, 2010 pictures