In a lot of countries, all cooking is done with charcoal. That's why we've been wiping out forests for thousands of years. We don't need much to build houses and furniture but everybody's daily meals and sterilizing water is costing us trees by the millions. Transporting and buying charcoal is a huge expense for many families. http://youtube.com/watch?v=Yz_a6sCP0Ww
What might help, is if we did a little more cooking using the sun! So, what I'm looking for, is some web pages showing how YOU really uses a real solar cooker. Show everybody that solar cooking is super-easy... super-cheap... super-fun... and super-delicious!
Make a nice web page all about it and you could win three hundred bucks!
THE PRIZES Edit
- Ten Second Prizes: 20 Golden Dragonscales each!
- Two First Prizes: $100 via PayPal (or 100 Golden Dragonscales if you do not have PayPal) to each.
- One Grand Prize-- The Solar Crown: $300 via PayPal. (If you do not have PayPal, the prize will be Gold Dragonscales instead.)
(If you cannot accept PayPal or Dragonscales, Manda will try to find an alternate way to get your prize to you.)
SUBMISSIONS AND DEADLINE Edit
October 20, 2008. Please submit all entries via email to demidespres(at)hotmail.com with Subject line SOLARCOOKING
CONTEST RULES Edit
You have from now until October 20, 2008, to put together your web site.
Get familiar with solar cookers using Wikipedia and YouTube. Ask relatives to help. Learn from our brothers and sisters in Bander Bayla. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edg8KPb6SS4&NR=1
1. Show us photos of your materials, where they came from, and/or how you scrounged up the materials. Impress us with how little you had to get from a store, and how much you re-used, re-purposed, and re-cycled.
2. Show us photos of the making of your cooker. It can be a "box", a "clamshell", etc., just as long as it runs purely on sun power. I'd love it if you used The Eagle but you're welcome to use any solar design you like, as long as YOU made the final item. Things you can order off the net won't count. 8)
3. Show us photos of how you prepared the ingredients. You know, like chopping onions, shredding cheese, opening a can of tomato sauce, squishing meatballs into spheres, that sort of thing.
5. Recipes are GREAT! Include what time you started cooking and what time it was done. What foods need to be eaten right away? What foods might work better because they can sit around for a while longer without harm? Do a wee bit of homework on how long it takes for things to cook. Get familiar with your cooker by making hot water, and things that use hot water, first. How about a nice pot of macaroni and cheese, for instance? Note: the Eagle tends to heat a pot up to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to make a fine pot roast.
6. Show us pictures of how the recipe turned out! Extra credit for being able to cook more challenging foods. How about quiche cups? Pizza? Brown bread? What kind of "ethnic" foods do you and your family enjoy, that could be adapted for solar wizardry?
7. Extra credit for being a little bit scientific. If you have an in-oven high-heat thermometer, tell us how hot it got inside the bag, and/or inside the oven part. What temperature was it outside? Was it cloudy, windy...? Tell us (in general) where you live. What sort of cooker works best for you, and why?
Free Teaching Materials by Manda Edit
- A handout about the Eagle solar cooker, with easy baked beans recipe:
- A bookmark teaching the Law of Reflection, with English measurement
ruler on the back: http://www.thegenieslamp.com/solarcooking/solarbookmark.pdf
Why Americans? Edit
In the United States, we get our cooking heat from natural gas or electricity. The easiest way for Americans to cook something is the microwave oven. Unfortunately, although we get some energy from rivers turning dynamos, most of it comes from burning coal. The fumes contribute significantly to pollution and global warming. The microwave is pretty efficient, but every time you run that microwave, the Earth still gets a little hotter. ...Bleah.
Natural gas is plentiful and burns fairly cleanly-- but if you live in a place where it's necessary to have air-conditioning, cooking indoors creates "heat pollution." The air conditioning has to work harder to counter the heat of cooking, which, again, uses up electricity, which translates mostly into burning coal. This discourages Americans from eating foods like rice and beans, which are extremely healthy and extremely cheap but take more time on the stove to prepare.
We're often preaching about how we need to save energy but most of the ways to do it seem so far off. For instance, people think solar panels are far too expensive, and too difficult to install. Many Americans think saving energy is only appropriate in third-world nations. Well, solar cooking is very appropriate for the U.S. too. The solutions of those other countries is a solution that tangibly benefits us Americans too! :)
This contest is to get everybody more used to the idea of solar cooking as something commonplace, easy, and healthy, not just a novelty or a trendy hobby.
And remember... Edit
"Anybody can cook, but it takes passion to become a great cook." --Chef Auguste Gusteau
Show us what it takes to become a great sun chef! (Solar ratatouille, anybody?)
Thank you for your time and participation! --Manda