Saturday, 28 May 2016

08:59 – Barbara is due back sometime this afternoon. I’ve told Colin, but he doesn’t seem to understand what I’m telling him. Or perhaps he’s like Duncan. When Barbara was gone overnight or longer, Duncan used to shun her when she returned.

I’ve been thinking about cooking and baking in a grid-down situation. Obviously, if that happens during cold weather, we’d be running our wood stove. The flat top of that is more than hot enough to use for frying, boiling water, etc. and our Coleman Camp Oven would allow us to bake on it as well. Granted, that oven has only a 10-inch (25.4 cm) square rack, so it’d be limited to baking one standard loaf of bread or perhaps two smaller ones at a time, but it would be useful. As long as the wood stove was burning, we could turn out one oven load every hour or so, 24 hours a day if necessary. For that matter, given fuel, we could cook/bake on our propane grill, Coleman propane stove, or Coleman dual-fuel stove. Or we could build a Rocket stove from concrete blocks.

Because the ability to cook and bake is so important, I want to have backups to our backups to our backups. So I’ve been researching solar ovens. I’ve read several books and webpages devoted to them, and I conclude that it’d be more accurate to call them solar crockpots than solar ovens. Short of an finicky parabolic or Fresnel-based focusing oven, which requires constant adjustment to keep the beam focused, standard solar box ovens top out at around 350F (~177C), and that’s only with $250+ commercial models under ideal conditions. Realistically, figure 250F to 275F, if you’re lucky. Still, that’s hot enough to boil water, cook meat, make casseroles, and even to bake (and brown) bread. It’s just that everything takes a lot longer to cook or bake. Instead of popping dinner in the oven an hour before you intend to eat, you pop it into the solar slow-cooker in the morning to have it finished by dinner time. Not that overcooking is an issue at all. At the temperatures reached in a solar box oven, something may be cooked after four or five hours, but it doesn’t hurt to leave it cooking for several more hours.

I’m using this page as a starting point, and more particularly, this model. I’d make a few changes to the design. I don’t want a cardboard solar cooker. A sudden cloudburst could destroy the oven. Instead, I’d make it with 1X12 boards, glued and screwed, for the sides, with masonite or thin plywood for the bottom and reflector(s). I may never have time to actually build one, short of a disaster, but I do want to have everything I need on hand to build several of these if we ever need them. I’d prefer a wooden structure, but I’d use cardboard boxes if necessary. Doing it that way, one can make a usable solar oven with two or three dollars’ worth of materials. A lot of the stuff you’d need can be found around most homes–cardboard boxes, glue, aluminum foil, and so on–but there are a couple items I’d want to keep on hand specifically for these ovens.

First, although I could make field-expedient black paint (or even just rub the inner surfaces of the oven with charcoal), I’d want to have a few cans of flat black high-temperature spray paint. In addition to blackening the inside surface of the oven, this stuff can be used for blackening the exterior surfaces of pots and other vessels so they’ll absorb the heat instead of reflecting it. Cast iron cookware is preferred for use in solar cookers, but ordinary aluminum, stainless steel, or chromed pots work just as well if you blacken the exterior surfaces. In fact, I’d probably spray paint the cast iron stuff as well. I’d run a new solar cooker and freshly-painted empty vessels for a full day in the sun just to drive off any residual chemicals from the paint. Incidentally, this kind of spray paint is also useful for blackening the outside of soft drink bottles to prevent algae growth if you’re using them for container gardening.

The best material for the glazing is double glass panels with an insulating air gap, but ordinary window glass works almost as well, as does heat-resistant plastic. I could probably scrounge enough window glass to make several solar cookers, but turkey-size oven bags are inexpensive, heat-resistant to 400F, a good size for a solar cooker, and reasonably durable. In a pinch, you could probably substitute the clear 4-mil plastic sheeting sold as disposable drop clothes, but it probably wouldn’t be as durable.


27 thoughts on “Saturday, 28 May 2016”

  1. I would think that in many cases when using make-do ovens baking bread in biscuit or muffin fashion would help reduce cooking time. Then there’s pizza. Those rocket stoves look good but an outdoor brick oven is common in much of the world.
    In fact my Italian immigrant grandfather was a mason. The patio at their house was built in the 1930s and had a large grill, tall with a high chimney and open fire grill at the front. On the back side was a 12″ door that opened into an oven with a thin wall between the fire box. By the time I was around in the fifties I was fascinated by it but I never saw the oven used. The grill rarely.

  2. Don’t lose sight of how 90 or more % of the world’s population throughout history made bread– unleaven breads, cooked on a hot plate or stone.

    Tortillas are easy to make, easy to cook, and versatile. Naan bread is less easy but super tasty. Pita bread, papadom, the list goes on and on.

    I understand the desire for familiarity, but there are simpler and less resource intensive alternatives.

    For solar oven materials, (I’ll read the links later) if you can make it out of cardboard, it would be very easy and much more durable, but still super light and cheap, to use coroplast. http://www.coroplast.com/

    It’s a corrugated plastic, looks just like cardboard made from plastic. Widely used in the sign industry, it’s everywhere. Those yard signs are coroplast, as are the bigger political signs you see. You can probably find a local source, or an online shipper.

    For scavenging, there is LOTS of it around as signage.

    You can tape it together, cut it with a knife, it’s waterproof, and stiff. If you want to get fancy, you can use drywall anchors as screws to hold it together. http://www.powers.com/product_02345.php

    I’ve seen some online designs for an umbrella shaped solar cooker that uses the mylar covered bubble wrap windshield shades I’m so fond of. they are cheap and light.

    You could probably sub a mylar space blanket for aluminum foil in most of the designs, and you can make paste glue from rice….

    lots of opportunity for improve…….

    nick

  3. You won’t get a nice brown crust on bread at those low temperatures, not without drying out the loaf. The key part in the King Arthur recipe, which we have been making at home, is the high temperature of the oven and the water you put in the second pan. The water creates high temperature steam to brown the crust.

  4. Back in the 70’s, I ate bread made in a home-made solar oven. The crust was not as brown as oven-baked bread, but it was crusty and tasted like normal home-made bread.

  5. Our back yard has a six foot high fence. Somehow a four foot high hexagonal tent made it into our yard overnight. It is rather beat up with holes in the screens and one large rip. in the back. However, my five year old daughter loves it. So we are capitalizing on this interest. Moral of the story is stake down your tent before it blows away. When our emergency kits are more complete, I may be able to rope my daughter into helping me test our emergency kits in the back yard some time.

  6. I’m seeing entirely way too many (one is too much) stories of War Memorials, Veterans Graves, and U.S. Flags being defaced/desecrated today. It doesn’t help that Obuttwad is on another apology tour.

    I fully understand any Veteran that will snap and start taking out the Socialist and Fascist scum. Too bad we are not yet to the point that a single spark will ignite a firestorm. IMHO, it can’t come soon enough.

    It would be nice if they would start at the top of the shit-pile. Seal Team Six needs to get to work, the secret no-service should be an easy take-out.

  7. I ain’t seen none of dem stories ’cause I don’t watch tee-vee and avoid that kinda stuff for the very reason Mr. DadCooks implies; none of us needs to “snap” just yet but that time is coming. Agreed 100% about starting at the top, but we may be bettah off doing our local rounds first, to wit, meatspace, and first identifying who it is we we gonna snap on. i.e., local judges, prosecutors, political officials, and organizational heads who’ve gone outta their way to be flies in our ointment over the years. YMMV; I have a short list up here in this county.

    And speaking of meatspace, this oughta warm Mr. nick’s haht, as it does mine, though we have probably 1/100th the pop here:

    https://brushbeater.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/why-bother-with-hamfests-and-meatspace/

  8. So far the Memorial Day weekend stuff is fairly quiet around here; there was some noise and activity last evening but it was mainly generated by our local motorhead douchenozzles who apparently get their rocks off making lotsa noise repeatedly with their various shitbox vehicles.

    If nothing else, when the SHTF scenario hits good and hard, I’ll be dynamiting the shore road that leads north and just keeping the other two open with “checkpoints.” You don’t live here or have a valid effin reason for coming into the village you don’t get in.

  9. TeeVee has been off all day, but my RSS Feeds are full.

    Here is a bright spot, remember, never forget:
    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/05/28/army-rangers-deployed-in-afghanistan-release-the-5-minute-video-you-should-watch-this-memorial-day/

    Never have so many been asked to sacrifice so much and have received so little thanks or appreciation. Seems that only those of us that have been there, or who have had family or friends who have been there really appreciate the sacrifice.

    Unfortunately this ideal is disrespected by our commode-door-in-chief and his suck-ass minions. These people are not worthy to…

    Tomorrow I help put flags on graves. I can hardly walk these days, but it is the least I can do.

    Peace. Out.

  10. “I can hardly walk these days, but it is the least I can do.”

    I’m good for about fifteen minutes of walking or standing lately, but thanks for the reminder; I need to tell the guys at the Legion post I can do a bit of this.

    Pax vobiscum, from Firebase OFD.

  11. Never have so many been asked to sacrifice so much and have received so little thanks or appreciation

    I would say that Vietnam troops were probably the most disrepected in modern times. From people at home that despised them to a government that used them as cannon fodder.

    Unfortunately this ideal is disrespected by our commode-door-in-chief and his suck-ass minions

    Nothing new here. Same can be said of Kennedy, Johnson, Bush, and the current obuttwad. I think the current asswipe in the white house may be the worst president of modern times. A record that may be broken in the bitch queen Hillary and her minions gain control.

  12. “I would say that Vietnam troops were probably the most disrepected in modern times. From people at home that despised them to a government that used them as cannon fodder.”

    Speaking only for myself, that disrespect and despising has been and is being returned a thousandfold. I was blowing away the wrong people totally. Simple minions like myself, pretty much, in their own countries. I should have been blowing people away in Foggy Bottom and the Pentagon.

    “I think the current asswipe in the white house may be the worst president of modern times. A record that may be broken in the bitch queen Hillary and her minions gain control.”

    It would be a close contest between him and LBJ. And if Field Marshal Rodham manages to make it all the way, then things will start cooking off much sooner than otherwise and that could be either a good thing or a bad thing. Time will tell.

  13. If you don’t agree with me in every way, you’re in league with the devil.

    Don’t read while eating. Seriously. That level of deranged hatred is nauseating.

    It’s not a left-right issue, nor conventional religious-nominal atheist. There’s a subset of the species whose members are so certain they are right that anyone opposing them must be evil, and that any means necessary to oppose them are not only moral but mandated. These nominal humans may provide some benefit to the species, but I can’t imagine what it is.

  14. “There’s a subset of the species whose members are so certain they are right that anyone opposing them must be evil, and that any means necessary to oppose them are not only moral but mandated.”

    There is a fine line here. I can’t define it but I know it when I see it. Unfortunately they serve no purpose because they just give the socialist/fascist goobers (not the term of endearment definition) a justification for profiling all of us (us being folks like us on this forum) as hater racist bigots. And they don’t even realize that they are contributing to the problem.

    BTW, read some of the “author’s” responses to comments. He has been “saved”. Sorry idiot you are not qualified to say you are saved and no one will ever know in this mortal life that they are saved. They can only hope that they end up at the Pearly Gates rather than the Gates of Hell. Oh, and just because you were “saved” doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. That “saved” card can be taken back by “the man” at any time. IMHO, that is what makes Evangelical Beliefs very dangerous. The continuous act of a person going around flaunting their “saved card” is a total misinterpretation of Evangelism, again a fine line here.

    Be known by your works. Words alone are vain and vacant. A person with a big mouth soon finds a foot in it, as well as up their ass.

  15. It’s not a left-right issue, nor conventional religious-nominal atheist. There’s a subset of the species whose members are so certain they are right that anyone opposing them must be evil, and that any means necessary to oppose them are not only moral but mandated. These nominal humans may provide some benefit to the species, but I can’t imagine what it is.

    The reason that Western Civilization has triumphed is that we have a sometimes civilized but always vigorous debate. Somehow when my better half and I disagree, we come up with a better solution together than either of us would separately. Sometimes, somehow in Western Civilization we make that work on a scale larger than two people. The largest problem today is there are people who want to shut down this vigorous debate so that they can get their way.

  16. These nominal humans may provide some benefit to the species, but I can’t imagine what it is.

    Compost?

  17. This Walid Shoebat dude is one long-winded mofo; damn. Just goes on and on and on. Let me take a wild-ass guess: with all his talk of Christianity and Christians, I strongly suspect his idea of them does not include Roman Catholics. Also, block type in red suggests some kind of typical fundie Prod mania, per usual, along with all the Bible quotations and references. Hey Wally, sod off.

    “The reason that Western Civilization has triumphed…”

    Reasons:

    1.) Christianity

    2.) Capitalism

    3.) Science and Technology

    4.) Military superiority

    5.) Geography (continued survival on island nations/continents)

    But we’re very busy gutting it and committing civilizational suicide as we are continuously attacked by communists and musloids and betrayed by our “leaders.”

    If you don’t agree with me, you are doing the work of the Devil, of course.

  18. The reason western civilization triumphed (in no particular order, and mixing europe with the US):

    1. Belief in Free Will
    — protestant work ethic, self made man

    2. Capitalism
    — man is rewarded in THIS life for his actions and work

    3. Protestant Reformation
    –this allowed breakdown of rigid social controls and uniformity
    –normalized questioning beliefs
    –led to humanism, deism, belief that we are more than the playthings of the gods

    4. Black Death
    — led to the rise of the craftsman/merchant/farmer class, in other words the middle class
    — broke the bond of serfdom

    The military superiority comes from the science and tech with comes from the others. With questioning established doctrine and establishing new fighting methods thrown in.

    5. Geography
    — helped in europe to have vast forests, then to have coal and iron ore deposits
    –helped in the US thru the “frontier” and expansion west
    –helped in the US thru being isolated by oceans, but only relatively recently

    nick

  19. Thanks, MrAtoz, but even though Son#2 takes every opportunity to call me Old Man, I’m not anywhere near that old. Western civilization was well on its way to dominance well before I was born.

    The decline of Western civilization, alas, became undeniable shortly after I was born. You have my apologies.

  20. Walid Shoebat was born on the West Bank to a mother who converted from Islam to Christianity. So he’s one of those paranoid Christians who think everyone is out to get him. Because in his homeland, they are all out to get him.

  21. holy shit, active shooter 2 miles from me, 2 down, possible one in custody. That’s from the scanner

    nick

  22. Once again @OFD and @nick have greatly added to the discussion, just the thing that @Dave mentioned. Well maybe some would call what goes on here something other than a vigorous debate. This is a forum of folks who practice discernment, not to be confused with judgement.

  23. Damn, I gotta move getting the scanner programming updated further up the list. I’m missing a ton.

    Still, the scanner came thru with timely info vs the news.

    n

  24. anyone interested, the online scanner for houston pd has the occasional related update, along with some other things they’re working, like a domestic-man with a gun/shots fired…..

    Updated, transported known victims- plural, one DOA onsite, swat was only pd that fired, shooter was shooting into passing traffic, http://www.khou.com for interview with one guy.
    nick

  25. “Western civilization was well on its way to dominance well before I was born.”

    Indeed. I put dominance at circa the 1571 Battle of Lepanto. If one does not include the Roman Republic and Empire and of course the intervening so-called Dark Ages.

    “The decline of Western civilization, alas, became undeniable shortly after I was born.”

    This I would put around the time of the Bolsheviks taking over in 1918 Russia, at the end of the so-called Great War, followed by worldwide depression, the communist genocides, the rise and murders of the Nazis, the Second World War, etc., etc., and now we face the no-shots-fired victory of the communists and the coming Greater Caliphate and sharia.

    So Western Civ lasted about 350 years, give or take a decade or two. Much of it in the form of empires, which do not last, as we will soon enough see for ourselves, up close and personal. Despite the brilliant analysis and decisions just recently by the gorgeous and brilliant Janet Yellen.

    “So he’s one of those paranoid Christians who think everyone is out to get him. Because in his homeland, they are all out to get him.”

    Well, he needs a RUTHLESS editor and to come home to Rome!

    “Still, the scanner came thru with timely info vs the news.”

    Y’all lead exciting lives down there in the Texas Megalopolis. We don’t get much of that sorta thang up here. It’s like Jeff Danziger’s cartoon of typical VT newspaper headlines long ago: “Clothesline Snaps” and “Cat Runs Away.”

    If there was an “active shooter” up here it might be ME.

  26. Zombie patriot, my good fellow. If I’m not killed beforehand, I have no intention of dying of decrepitude.

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