Clear skies from early morning inspired me to see how much food i could cook in the 2 sun-ovens today. 1. Heated 2 qts milk to make yogurt; 2. roasted 3 1/2 lb chicken stuffed with yard-long beans, oregano & lemon grass, resting on bed of lemon verbena & zucchini from garden ; 3. baked rice pudding (rice left-over from Chinese supper); 4. baked zucchini cornmeal “breads” wrapped in banana leaf from jimmy’s tree; 5. roasted taro roots. Between 9:30 – 4 pm.
zucchini batter: flour, cornmeal, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, zucchini, bp, bs, milk, ground flax seeds blended w/ water for egg sub.
This area of the courtyard gets scant sun from end of Nov., so what better time for garden construction? Motivated by recent draught and desire to conserve water, i’m experimenting with sinking the garden beds below the paths. i figure it’s like hair – if i don’t like the haircut, it’ll grow back in.
02. one of the 18″ holes at the “U” end of a bed that has just been “lasagna” composted for 12″, keeping it 6″ below the path, which is built up with some of excavated hard pan.
03. 1st layer of kitchen scraps on top of some reedy plant material – the breathing tubes. within 8 weeks, i expect these kitchen scraps to be converted to composted so
04. lasagna style composting kitchen scraps covered with water, soil & corrugated cardboard; repeat x 12″.
05. ready for next layer of kitchen scraps & a “worm transplant” from another active compost site. note border of nasturium transplants along outside
06. newly composted bed (right) , raised path (left).
most of beds are cover-cropped with clover when they’re finished, but i decided to plant some of the bulk room fava beans adjacent to the transplanted volunteers.
07. volunteer favas, tomato & lettuce rescued from this construction site
08. fingerling potatoe patch
couldn’t resist planting fingerling potatoes from george in one of the trenches. composted soil will be used to hill them up until bed is 6″ below path.
09. site for circular herb bed which will not be connected to drip irrigation. Lavenders, sages & rosemary – low water needs plants are planned.
10. Queen comfrey continues to provide leaves for comfrey fertilizer tea.
We use the recipe for Apple Pan Dowdy from my ancient Fannie Farmer cookbook.
Edy does the math to double the recipe and makes the cottage pudding topping.
Apples, raspberries and concord grapes from our gardens are baked in the solar oven with cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger and placed in the bottom of the pan.
It took about 1 1/2 hours to bake.
Edy carries his creation to the art studio opening
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup water
- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium apples, peeled, if desired, and sliced
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange the sliced apples in a greased pie pan or 9-by-9-inch baking dish. cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar well. Add the egg, and beat until smooth. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and add this to the butter-sugar-egg mix, alternating with the milk. Spoon this batter over the apple slices. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cake is golden brown. Cool slightly before cutting.
people often ask about using the solar oven so today i decided to document roasting a whole chicken.
first, i soaked the whole chicken in a brine for 3-4 hrs (organic- Mary’s Farm, sold at Galleria. i prefer Mary’s whole chicken to her scrawny legs.).
i opened the oven to pre-heat at 10:30 am, leaving a brick in it to absorb the heat so the oven won’t bake itself before i put the food in. It was sunny & 75 degrees outside with no wind.
ingredients: 3.5 lb chicken – rinsed zest 1 lemon 4 lemon sections 1 tsp coarse sea salt 4 garlic cloves rosemary, thyme, oregano from garden 1/4 c plain yogurt.
pound garlic, cut herbs, lemon, & salt
add to yogurt; add zest.
massage the yogurt mixture inside & outside chicken. (really hard to take photos with hands covered in yogurt)
today i had sweet potatoes that needed to be cooked to i cut them in half, lengthwise, placed them in the BLACK, covered roasting pan.
potatoes made a raft for chicken. (Black cookware absorbs the heat best). Total weight of food was 7 lbs, so i knew it would take longer to cook. Could have used two ovens – but why use another pan?
by 11:15, oven was 300 degrees.
i removed the brick, put in the chicken and re-positioned the oven to capture full sun.
An hour later i repositioned the oven.
Everything was thoroughly cooked and delicious by 2:30 pm.
Pacific Electric is a full service electrical and solar contracting firm and a worker owned coop. They are having a kick off party at the L.A. Eco Village on Friday, April 25 at 6pm and you are invited.
Make sure to check out their website to get an idea of the range of services they can provide and some cool pictures of their portfolio: www.pacificelectric.coop
More info on the event:
What: Pacific electric coop kick off party. Enjoy some homemade food, locally brewed beer and cider. Music by DJ Nova Jade. Live music by Pawing at the Ceiling. Featuring locally crafted pendant lights by Melba Thorne.
When: Friday, April 25, 2014. 6pm
where: L.A Eco-Village, 117 Bimini PL, LA 90004. map
LA City Council To Vote Tomorrow, Friday December 14
On Resolution To Oppose Unsafe Restart of San Onofre
This is an issue that is near and dear to the hearts of many of us who have followed the events and on-going disasters at Fukushima.
1. Please call your Los Angeles City Councilmember and tell them you support the Koretz/Rosendahl resolution on San Onofre safety!
2. Please show up at the meeting tomorrow. It is enough to stand up and be counted, when one of the speakers tells everyone in support of the resolution to stand up. If you want to speak, you will have about a minute. The most important message you can give is that you are an LA resident, you are concerned about safety, and you support the resolution. If you are not from LA, it would be most helpful to stand up and be counted, since the Councilmembers will prioritize LA constituents.
WHEN: The council meets tomorrow, Friday, December 14 at 10 a.m. at City Hall, 200 North Spring Street. Please arrive at 9:30 to have time to go through security.
WHERE: ROOM 1010, CITY HALL, 200 NORTH SPRING STREET, LOS ANGELES, CA 90012
Nisha from Local to Global Life Works made this short interview with the folks from New Frontier Family Farm during a visit with the L.A food lobby people (a local food coop/food buyers club). It’s really cool to see and hear the people that raise the things you eat. Please visit Nisha’s original post to see more pictures and get the full scoop on the visit to the farm. Thank you Nisha!