It’s Not All Mary Poppins


Having made our solar-powered oven, it was time to make the food. Once again, I shamelessly steal Valerie’s idea, because… PIZZA!! Simple, decently nutritious, and shouldn’t take days and days to cook. I hoped. I had considered smores, but I had the fixings for pizza on hand, and smores? Not nutritious.

Sun-dried tomato and pesto tortillas to start, because we are nothing if not high-class (and nutritious!!) eaters in this joint, tomato sauce …

a sprinkling of cheese, which Emily had veeeery carefully grated…

pop it into our oven on the bright, sunny porch, and wait. We did this just before naptime, so that when we awoke, we’d have our snack all cooked and ready to eat!!! Brilliant, no?

The children went off to their beds with visions of pizza dancing in their heads, and when they awoke, we all raced out to see…

and discovered that yes, the cheese was indeed starting to melt. The sun had shifted, and I’d forgotten to shift the oven, darnit, otherwise it would have been totally cooked, I’m sure.

The cheese had started to melt, though, and though the pizza wasn’t entirely cooked…

that fly sure was.

Eeewwww… See him? No, not the one on the foil at upper left, though he was indisputably dead. No, I mean the one RIGHT IN THE CHEESE. Fly au gratin. A variation of the nasty-child fly-and-magnifying glass trick. Eeew. I do feel sorta sorry for those poor things, and would feel more, except — who invited you to sample our pizza anyway, rotten verminous insects? And because of your disease-ridden carcasses in there, we don’t get to eat it at all. At least you got a taste before you got your just desserts.

Poor things.

(Yes, I really am conflicted about a few stupid flies. Sad, isn’t it?)

Next time — and there will be a next time! — we will:
1) use a smaller box. I think it might have cooked more quickly if there’d been less space to heat;
2) make sure to check it periodically to ensure it gets full sun all the time;

and, most importantly

3) SEAL that sucker. “A few pieces of tape” were NOT sufficient to withstand the insatiable flies. (In fact, there were more than two dead flies in there. There were two more UNDER the pizza. Ugh.)

But really, if I were hunting for a Life Lesson re: the Importance of Sunscreen … I think I’ve found it.

July 28, 2010 Posted by | crafts, eeewww, food, health and safety | , , , | 4 Comments

Sun Power!

Our theme for the month is Summer. We are currently talking about the sun, and so when I found that Valerie had made a solar-powered oven with her girls, I decided that we would do the very same thing.

(Not only does it fit in with our theme, but how better to demonstrate the need for sunscreen than by watching the sun actually, physically cook something?! No, I don’t plan on scaring the tots… but maybe for a reluctant 8-year-old?)

We found a box in the recycling bin, a nice sturdy one with a removable lid, and we lined it with tin foil.

We found a lid from a plastic container in the adjacent recycling bin (one for plastics and glass, one for paper!), cut a hole in the lid of our study box — on three sides only! you’ll need that flap! — inserted the plastic for our window.

A few pieces of tape at the corners to secure the window in place…

cover your flap with foil so it can reflect sunlight down into the box…

and ta-dah! Your very own solar-powered oven!! Next up: PIZZA!!!

July 27, 2010 Posted by | crafts | , , , | 4 Comments