Dan’s Garden: Solar Cooking

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MEDFORD, Ore. — In this segment, we’re going to do some sun drying! What you need is an old window screen. You need to make sure it’s plastic not metal because metal will interact with the foods. And you need to scrub it really clean before you use it.

Whatever you’re going to dry just slice it thin and spread it out on the screen. You want to cover it with some cheese cloth so that the creepy crawlies can’t get in it and use table knives just to anchor the cheese cloth so that it doesn’t blow away.

Another thing you can do is you can make fruit leather. One example is take some blended peaches and spread them out on a cookie sheet. Put wax paper underneath and use that same window screen to cover them up. Put them out in the sun, and when they’re done, you can just roll them up. Cut them with scissors and you have fruit leather.

Another thing you can do is you can actually cook in the sun. Take a box, cut the sides off, and then add two sides that are cut at a 45 degree angle. You want a dark pot. Put some water in it or some broth. Cover it. Keep it facing towards the sun and make sure you have a thermometer to test when they’re done.

For more information, consult the OSU Master Gardeners Hotlines:
Jackson County: 541-776-7371
Josephine County: 541-476-6613
Klamath County: 541-883-7131
Curry County: 541-247-6672