A couple of days after Christmas, DH approached me and asked if I had received a book from him. I replied that I had not. Oh.
This conversation came about because I mentioned that I wanted to go to Honeyville Grains, this past Saturday. They were doing a food tasting and I was anxious to sample some of their freeze dried items. DH said he too would like to go. That is what triggered the book question and the search to figure out where he had put the book.
I had the book on left on my Christmas list. When I actually came into possession of the book, I was amazed at the simplicity of the idea. It was one of those, why didn't I think of that moments. The book is really a recipe book with several options for a main dish or dessert in a canning jar. You have all your ingredients layered in the jar and then place an oxygen absorber packet on top and seal the jar. By doing this, you are opening your #10 cans and using the ingredients instead of storing just one ingredient. Since this book is from Honeyville Grains, the majority of ingredients used are purchased through them. But if you already have many of the ingredients on hand, you may just need to purchase a few additional items to round out the recipes.
How great is that, that you can have actual meals on hand, that you just add water to and cook? Brilliant. Many of the main dishes are made with freeze dried meats. I ended up purchasing smaller pantry size cans of those items. I was impressed with the flavor of the freeze dried products. I will be trying out some of these recipes in the future and coming up with some of my own. I'll keep you posted on that front.
The other day on my Instagram account, I posted a photo of some muffins I was making. What's so special about making muffins you say? Well, Santa brought me a sun powered oven!
Yes, after talking about it for months, Santa needed to get me something for Christmas. Living in SoCal, we have an abundance of sun all year round. Lucky us. While others were freezing back East, we were enjoying 80 degree plus temps in December.
I was anxious to try out the oven. I unboxed it set it up outside. Temps were running in the 70's with a slight wind. I set it on a portable table and aligned it with the sun. Since the sun is not as hot as summer temps, I wondered if I could preheat it to the 350 degree temperature I needed. After about an hour, it reached the proper temp and I was able to cool and clean the oven as the instructions say. I allowed the oven to reheat to temp and then made the muffins.
I had a boxed cranberry orange muffin mix on hand and just used that. I made the mix according to the directions, except it said it would fill 11 spots and I filled all 12 muffin spots.
My concern was that the muffins might not brown as in a regular oven.
As you can see from the photo on the left, the muffins achieved a very nice golden color. I allowed them to cook for about 2 hours. I went to check on them periodically, and only moved the oven once to track the sun.
DH (dear hubby) and I were both concerned about the muffins being dry. We were pleasantly surprised with the moist consistency and taste. I am anxious to try some other experiments with it in the future.
In case of emergency, the oven can also be used to pasteurize water to make it safe to drink. All this just from the abundance of sun we enjoy here.