Living in the deep south, we welcome spring but we know hurricane season is right around the corner. In our home we try to prepare ahead of time as much as possible.
We make sure all our flashlights and camping lights have fresh batteries. We stock up on canned goods and bottled water. We make sure we have wood to cover our back windows and that the shutters are in good working order on the remaining windows. We try to be prepared.
After Katrina we learned that you get tired of peanut butter sandwiches really quickly. We had a very small sterno stove that was good for making instant coffee and heating up beans but that was it. Even when FEMA came to town with MREs we got tired of them very quickly. So last year we bought 2 things to add some variety to our meals during these emergencies.
We bought a Volcano Stove and a Solar Oven. A Volcano Stove is a small portable stove that could be used with propane, wood or charcoal. It works great with cast iron cookware. A Solar Oven uses the heat of the sun to cook. We got our Solar oven in the winter and this year the winter was too cold and wet to use it. So we anxiously awaited the warming sun of spring.
Saturday was a beautiful day so we decided to spend the day working in the yard and using both of our new cooking items. We cooked chili in the Volcano Stove and biscuits in the Solar Oven.
We set up the Solar Oven first so it could be preheating. It took awhile to heat up but once the sun got high enough it heated up quickly. So while this oven was heating we started the chili. In the summertime preheating and cooking in the solar oven will be much quicker. I anticipate the big problem will be not burning the food because of the intense heat of the sun down here.
The Volcano Stove works great with a dutch oven. When the grill on the oven is removed the dutch oven fits into the top of the Volcano Stove. We placed it this way to brown the ground beef and onions. Then we put the grill in place and put the Dutch Oven on top to simmer the chili. In a short time the chili was ready to eat!
Meanwhile I mixed up some biscuits and put them in the solar oven. The biscuits were ready in about 30 minutes. They even browned in the solar oven. Wow! we were impressed.
We sat down to lunch with fresh hot chili and biscuits all cooked outside with no electricity. Everything was delicious!