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Cook, baker, solar oven maker!

I LOVE to cook. I love to explore new recipes. I love to explore new cuisines. One thing, though, that I am not great at is baking. To be a good cook, precision is not a necessity. "A little of this and a little of that" holds true for many recipes, and a little extra seasoning or altering a main ingredient generally won't hurt anything. Indeed, this gives the cook the ability to make a recipe her own. However, this is NOT the case for baking. Baking requires precision. Baking is chemistry in action, and a small change in the recipe may turn out to have huge consequences. I'm not such a great baker because I like to experiment with a recipe. I guess that makes me a scientist in the kitchen!

Where do you bake? An oven, of course! Did you know that you don't need an indoor oven to do some baking or cooking? The Sun can be your free energy source. Want to make your own solar oven out of a pizza box? Check out the activity in my book, Astronomy Lab for Kids, available from many online booksellers. Just remember: homemade solar ovens don't get as hot as commercial ovens (or even commercial solar ovens). Don't bake anything with raw meat, eggs, or any other food that might harbor harmful bacteria if not cooked at a high-enough temperature. An easy starter recipe? S'mores, of course!

I'd love to know if you are able to make a solar oven yourself! Give it a try! And contact me with questions! My email address is astroeducator {at} aol {dot} com.

Above: The Sun, as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft on May 21, 2017. Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.

Clear skies!


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