Saturday, December 29, 2012

How The Sun Oven Saved Christmas Dinner!

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I hosted my first Christmas dinner for my family this year.  It wasn't hard to come up with recipes but getting it all cooked at the same time had me worried.  

My sister brought over a ham for our dinner and I was also making a turkey.  I only have one oven and I still had the sweet potato casserole to bake. I didn't know how I was going to get it all cooked in my oven and it was on my mind all morning. After the Christmas morning festivities we were getting ready to head over to my in-laws when I had a light bulb moment.  Why don't I put the ham in the sun oven to warm while we are gone and then it would be ready for dinner later, and then I could use the oven for the turkey.  I was so excited.  My husband thought I was looney.  It was about 24° outside with quite a bit of snow on the ground from the storm the night before.  But I knew it didn't matter what the temperature was, just as long as there was sun, and we had a lot of sun on Christmas day.

I had to dig out my sun oven from all of the boxes we have for moving, and then I had my husband shovel off the deck so I could get to where the sun was.  I am totally kicking myself for not taking a photo but we were so late in getting to my in-laws that I totally forgot to take a picture. So here is a picture of some corn cooking in the sun oven, just to give you an idea of what I did. Just picture a lot more snow and a ham ;)

 I put the ham in an oven bag and tied it closed.  The ham didn't fit on the leveling tray inside the oven, so I took the tray out and placed one of the sun oven baking racks inside the bottom of the oven.  These are sold wherever Sun Ovens are sold.  They are for cookies, pizza, etc. and now ham.  To cook food properly in the sun oven you have to have air flow around the food.  The rack kept the ham of the bottom of the oven so it cooked evenly.
The sun in winter is so low in the horizon that I needed to lift my sun oven with the back leg all the out.  I had the leg on the last possible notch.  I turned it a little to the south so the sun would still be on it when I got home and we left for grandma's house.

When we returned home 3 hours later the ham was still cooking at 250 degrees.  My only problem was the loss of the sun so early in winter.  After about 4:30 I had to keep the ham warm in my oven inside until dinner was ready.  I forgot that I had a roaster oven for the turkey, so I only had the casserole to bake in the oven and then dinner was done.  I was so excited that I figured this all out and my emergency preps had saved my day.  I don't know why I think so literally and don't go outside of the box when it comes to cooking, but I was so excited that I thought to use my sun oven.  (humor me, I have a lot going on right now ;)    

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