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testing for length limits

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Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 74
Location: northern Idaho

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:32 am    Post subject: testing for length limits Reply with quote

This is a post that got cut off on Food Processing, which I'm testing here at Tom's suggestion....

A mostly-solar birthday feast!

The Menu

Fruit Platter Appetizer (my son makes gorgeous melon/fruit platters!)

Solar-cued Pork Spareribs in Barbecue Sauce
Sunny Vegetable Medley (mostly from our garden)
Sun-Steamed Corn on the Cob (Farmer's Market)
Pasta Salad (made/brought by my son and DiL)
Fresh Tomato-Herb and Pesto Breads from the Farmer's Market

Sunbaked Buttermilk Pound Cake
Fresh (raw) Strawberry Topping
Spiced Peach Sun Compote
Assorted Sun-toasted Nuts
Ice Cream and Whipped Cream

We had a wonderful solar family feast to celebrate my birthday on Sunday (though my birthday was really on Friday)! I baked the cake... a delicious buttermilk pound cake... in my solarized bundt pan (a peeling yellow thrift-shop find that I painted black on the outside with the barbecue paint, so I can use it in at regular oven temperatures as well), and it came out just beautifully. I sure love my Easy Lid!

My son is a professional cook, so he and my husband conspired on the dinner and I mostly just helped manage all the cookers... at one point we were using almost every cooker I have, and I had to rig a temporary extra out of one of the windshield covers from one of our cars because I'd vandalized my smaller windshield cooker to turn my monster truck windshield cooker into an ultra-monster close-to-full-funnel! My husband put my son's special spice rub on the eight pounds or so of pork spareribs the night before and they went into the fridge on top of some sliced onions and garlic in my big black speckle-ware roaster, which went into a turkey-size oven bag and then back into the fridge until morning.

At 10 am, the big roaster went into my the truck + car windshield covers ultra-monster, to precook the ribs (and remove some fat) before adding the sauce. By noon the driveway and retaining wall held a line-up of cookers going full blast. The plan on the ribs was to cook them in the funnel until they reached safe consumption temperature, then smother them in sauce and move them to the Easy Lid to soak up sauce and tenderize further. Meanwhile, since I had the Easy Lid out to preheat anyway, I decided toasted nuts would be a good addition to dessert. I put pans of pecans, walnuts, and slivered almonds in the Easy Lid and set out the little paper-box cooker to heat in case some of the nuts weren't done when the ribs needed to move to the Easy Lid.

The ROB did a great job of heating/boiling my half-gallon cooking jar full of water to put into the corn steamer when it was time to put the corn on, to give that process a head start. The Bernard worked away on a quart jar full of peaches with some raw sugar, a bit of cinnamon and mace, and a little tapioca (which stands up to long cooking better than cornstarch as a thickener). At some point I realized that preheating the barbecue sauce would be a good idea, so it went into a cooker quickly jury rigged out of a windshield cover that usually lives in one of the cars.

By around 3pm or so, the ribs had reached safe temperature (love my new thermometer with the silicone-covered wire!), so we sucked out the extra fat with a turkey baster, poured on the jazzed up barbecue sauce, and moved them into the Easy Lid. The corn had been husked (experiments on cooking it with the husks on have not been encouraging so far, and this was a lot of corn) and piled up in my big black enamel-ware steamer (which will just fit into a turkey oven bag). We poured the boiling water in, bagged it, and put it in the monster funnel, which let us move the peaches (coming along nicely) to the ROB and put the vegetable medley (assorted summer squash, carrots, sweet peppers, onions, garlic, fresh herbs, butter, seasonings) in the Bernard in my three-quart round roaster. The pecans were done and I moved the walnuts and slivered almonds to the paper-box cooker.

Unfortunately a heavy cloud cover started to move in around 4 or 4:30, and we eventually had to move the ribs to a low ov
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