Friday, June 20, 2008

June 20th Accomplishment finished the past two weeks

These categories are from Sharon Astyk's Independence Days challenge, link to her signt is on the right hand column. The goal is to try and do some tasks in each of these categories every week.

1. Plant something. No food garden. But I have several pots of aloes that have been thriving all by themselves in a portion of the patio. Now with new gates, woodwork on house painted, dead bushes cut down but not cleared away it’s time to do something with these feral (!) aloes.
I don’t think you should just pick pieces of aloes and eat them but I know that aloes like these are very good for rubbing the inside of a piece on a cut or insect bite or a small sunburn.

I’ve got lots of pots of various sizes and I have the right kind of potting soil I’ve had for several months. As soon as I repot these aloes, they’ll be growing like anything. Probably anything else I’d like to plant will never make it in these summer temps, so that will have to wait until mid-September at least.

2. Harvest something. Um, no.

3. Preserve something. No.

4. Prep something. One small bag of clothes to give to St. Vincent de Paul or Salvation Army or Good will.

Also, I cleaned out the shed completely and rearranged everything inside. With the new wall and door, it is more secure than it used to be. I don’t want to put too much inside as everything gets so dirty but all the outside tools can go in there now instead of being under the bed.
Patio is also a much more appealing place and has possibilities to be a very pleasant place with some decent landscaping and the wind bells hung up again.

Best of all, I got my new solar oven. Checked it over and read instructions thoroughly. Also, read instructions that I found online from a solar oven site. Both instructions have several recipes listed. Also made a copy of the instructions from oven manufacturer on my hard drive—the instructions come on a CD. They are written in Hindi English which sometimes sounds funny to my American English native ears—but the instructions are clear enough to follow quite well.

5. Cook something.

Did rice in one pot, and veggies in another pot the night I got the solar oven. I followed instructions I got with the oven and kept checking it every 10 minutes. Of course, to get the best results I’ll have to leave the oven alone once I put something in there, I knew that but it was fun to keep checking it and see how it looked on the patio.

Veggies taste better than if they are steamed. No more mushy steamed broccoli for me! It is also better to cook earlier in the day than at 4-6 in the afternoon here; that is the hottest time of the day in Phoenix.

Also, I can’t burn things in the solar oven easily. Over the years, I have ruined perfectly good pots that way on the stove. I put it on and walk away and don’t come back soon enough.
Corn bread from scratch and it fit in one of the oven pans and it cooked very well in an hour!
A recipe for this was in the oven instructions but I just used another one I already had and figured it would take about twice the time of the oven baked corn bread. I watched it and it was very good at just over an hour in the solar oven.

6. Manage your reserves. listed new items needed for next weeks food shopping trip; coffee, cornmeal, food fresh or dried, and always cat food.

7. Work on local food systems. No.

8. Reduced Waste: No.

9. Learned a skill. Yup, cooked some things successfully with the solar oven.

cheers, shamba

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