Originally published June 17, 2012; Reformatted
Two great ideas for when the lights go out, or when you just want to play like a Redneck.
The first, Cooler Corn, comes via an email from Mr. Big Food’s Dad who I think gets more emails each day than Mr. Big Food (who gets a lot). The second, Cardboard Box Solar Oven, comes from Anita Evangelista’s Backwoods Home Magazine article, “How do you live without electricity?” (issue 73: Jan/Feb 2002).
According to the story, it takes two kettles of boiling water and 30 minutes in a closed cooler to arrive at perfect corn, and it stays perfect for a couple of hours.
The solar oven is a bit more complex, but still pretty simple.
From Evalgelista‘s article:
Solar cooking is another option, if you have plenty of unobstructed sunlight and someone who is willing to adjust the cooker to face the sun every half hour or so. A solar oven need be no more fancy than a set of nested cardboard boxes painted flat black on the inside with tempura colors, a sheet of window glass, and some aluminum foil glued to cardboard panels. Total cost for this, if you can scrounge leftover glass and cardboard, is about $1.
A solar oven design made with cardboard boxes, aluminum foil, and a piece of window glass. Interior of the box is flat black paint. Place your food in a covered lightweight pan inside the box, prop it so the entire interior is exposed to the sunlight (about a 45-degree angle), cover with the sheet of glass (and tape the glass so it won’t slide), then prop the aluminum foil panels so that they reflect more sunlight down into the box. Move the box every 30 minutes so it maintains an even temperature. It will get hot fast, easily up to 325 degrees, and hold the heat as long as it faces the sun. Remember to use potholders when removing your foods! Our first solar oven had a black plastic trash bag as a heat-absorbing inner surface; it worked superbly until the plastic actually melted.
Bon appétit, y’all!