The month of February has a tradition of being the month of romance. Based primarily on the legend of Bishop Valentine’s martyrdom, this tradition has morphed over the centuries. The Roman Emperor, Claudius II, believed that marriage inhibited soldier’s focus on defending their nation. So he issued an edict forbidding marriages. Bishop Valentine secretly performed the marriage sacrament for many young lovers. When Claudius learned of this, he had Valentine arrested. During his time in prison, he miraculously restored vision to the jailor’s daughter. Their friendship resulted in a farewell note he wrote prior to his execution, signed “from Your Valentine.” The 14th of February, his execution date, became a day for all lovers to express their commitment and Valentine became its Patron Saint.
There are other versions of the source of this holiday, including it’s connection to the mid-February pagan fertility festival. Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, with written ones appearing in the 1400’s. Fast forward to the 1840’s when Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year.
The overall story is about loving one another and expressing those feelings. How much more can you love someone than to encourage them to be self sufficient? Consider sharing your preparedness information and maybe even a meal prepared off the grid. Sun Ovens work on sunny winter days.
Share the Love
Billie Nicholson 2014
Is a SUN OVEN® on your 2014 Preparedness List? Get together and save. The Group Buy Program is a way for SUN OVEN® users to help family, friends and neighbors obtain a SUN OVEN® at a reduced price. Group Buy discounts are available for as few as 5 ovens.
Check out our Group Buy Program.
For additional information on the Group Buy Program email firstname.lastname@example.org
The most cookies baked in one hour using solar ovens is 1,225, achieved by Miami Country Day School (USA), in Miami, Florida, USA, on 20 April 2012.
The cookies were cooked by students, parents and teachers in an event organized by student Matthew Cohen to honor Earth Day. The cookies were donated to the Feeding South Florida food bank and the ovens were donated to Help Brings Hope to Haiti. Fifty Global Sun Ovens® and two Villager Sun Ovens® were used to bake the cookies. Photos: http://powerfromthesun.us/
is a cookie recipe floating around Facebook that has no wheat or added sugar. I had three really ripe bananas that desperately needed to be used so I thought I’d give the recipe a try. The sun was shining, mostly, with an air temperature of 35º F, so we set up our SunOven®.
3 mashed bananas (ripe)
1/3 cup apple sauce
2 cups oats
1/4 cup coconut (or almond) milk
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
chocolate chips (optional)
Stir together and place on parchment paper on cookie racks that come with the oven
Bake at 350º for 15-20 minutes
The oven temperature dropped while I was stacking the racks, so I cooked them for forty minutes, which allowed time for the oven to get back to temperature. Yummy! Bet you can’t eat just one.
Billie Nicholson 2014
The life of Nelson Mandela is one of the most inspirational stories of recent times. His example offers
valuable lessons on the importance of personal resistance to evil, and the redemptive power of forgiveness.
In 2004 Nelson Mandela took the time to visit a Sun Oven project. He came to participate in the
dedication of the first solar powered bakery in Eastern Cape, South Africa. The project established a
model solar powered Sun-Bakery in the rural community of Willowvale, to bake bread and generate
income for HIV positive women. He expressed a personal interest in the project and heartfelt concern for
the community. His warmth and gentleness won the hearts of everyone he came in contact with. He has
been loved by many.
Paul Munsen explains solar cooking to Nelson Mandela and other participants.
Apple harvest time this year produced lots of fruit. We canned slices, made apple sauce and dried some. The SunOven® works well as a fruit dehydrator. First we set the SunOven® outside, but not focused on the sun. We wanted a slight preheat but to less than 100º. Apples were washed and aligned in a Norpro “Apple Master”, an apple peeler, corer, and slicer. A few turns of the handle made quick work of the first apple. Slide the apple spiral slices off the core and place them on a cutting board.
Slice the spiral in half. Place the apple slices in a solution of water and Fruit Fresh® ascorbic acid (follow directions on bottle) to keep the slices from turning dark.
Cover the drying racks with parchment paper and drain apple slices. Line them up on the racks. Carefully arrange the racks inside the SunOven®. Leave the door latches under the glass door to allow air flow and keep the temperature low inside. We turn the oven so it is behind the sun track. Check at the end of the day. If not completely dry, latch and leave over night. Finish the next day. When slices are dry, remove from racks and pack into a clean glass jar. Add an oxygen absorber and pull a vacuum with a Food Saver® or by hand with a clean brake bleeder. Store cool and dark.
November 2013, Every Needful Thing Billie A. Nicholson, editor
Report from Haiti
Haiti is one of the world’s most deforested countries. In some parts of Haiti, families spend up to half of their household income to buy charcoal. It is not uncommon for women to face the dilemma of choosing between buying enough food to feed their family or the charcoal to cook it. To maximize the charcoal’s value, much of the cooking is done in enclosed kitchens, exposing women and children to the harmful effects of smoke.
Sun Ovens International has been working in Haiti since 1998, and is committed to providing an alternative to cooking with charcoal. Haiti is blessed with an abundance of sunshine; the sun can be harnessed as the fuel source for up to 70% of household cooking.
Help Us Help Haiti
During November and December 2013 donations to the Friends of Haiti Organization (FOHO) SUN OVEN® project will matched dollar for dollar.
The cost of each SUN OVEN® with two pots and WAPIs is $199. Donations of any amount will be greatly appreciated.
Credit card donations can be made through the SUN OVEN® website. Donations will be forwarded to FOHO and FOHO will issue a receipt by mail.
FOHO is a 501C3 nonprofit organization so all donations will be tax deductible. 100% of the donation will go directly to sending SUN OVENS® to Haiti; no administrative expenses will be deducted.
To make a donation on line visit: https://www.sunoven.com/products-page/donation/help-us-help-haiti-donation
To learn more about our work in Haiti visit: https://www.sunoven.com/haiti
November 2013, Every Needful Thing Billie A. Nicholson, editor
Changing Hearts and Minds
Careful research and experience has proven that the challenges of introducing solar cooking in the developing world are far more cultural than they are technical. The GLOBAL SUN OVEN® has been carefully designed to overcome many of the cultural barriers that have limited the success of solar cooking in the past.
While there are a number of cultural challenges that are unique to each people or group, which must be accounted for. The two major obstacles that have limited the success of the wide spread introduction of solar cooking have successfully been over come:
1. In most countries people work while the sun is out and eat their main meal of the day after the sun has set. Food that is cooked in most solar cooking devices must be consumed immediately or it will become cold. The GLOBAL SUN OVEN® is very well insulated, which allows food that is cooked in the afternoon sun to stay warm until it is ready to be consumed later in the evening.
2. In many countries a woman is working from very early in the morning until well after sundown. Many solar cooking devices do not get hot enough requiring the food to be cooked at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. Women are often far too busy to devote additional time to solar cooking. The time required to cook in a GLOBAL SUN OVEN® is comparable to cooking with a wood or charcoal fire, which makes it easier to gain the acceptance of the women who use it.
(NOTE: Each month, one article will highlight the international efforts of Sun Ovens Internation to benefit developing countries around the globe.)
July, 2011 Every Needful Thing
Water Has Healing Properties
Did it ever occur to you that if we make the best use of water, we could reduce the amount of sickness and death in the world? From microbes to soap, contaminated water is a major source of diarrhea. An important part of its prevention is to purify water used for drinking and preparing foods. Boiling and filtering water will help make it safe to use.
If cooking fuel is limited, pasteurization (using the WAPI kit in a Sun Oven®) will make water safe for consumption. Hand washing with soap and water before eating or preparing foods and after defecation is important.
Babies are especially susceptible to diarrhea. A common cause of death in babies and small children, is severe dehydration. By giving the infant or child plenty of water, this can be prevented, even if given a spoonful at a time.
Making a Rehydrating Drink
A rehydration drink made with half a teaspoon of salt and 8 teaspoons of sugar per liter (~32 oz.) combined with half a cup of fruit juice, coconut water, or mashed banana will replenish the electrolytes. This should be given often in small sips, every five minutes, until the person begins to urinate normally.
Additional uses of purified water include bathing skin infections, washing wounds, lowering high fevers, hot water vapors to loosen mucus and using hot and cold compresses. When water is used correctly, often medicines are not needed, and the body will heal itself. (“Where There is No Doctor,” Hesperian Health Guides.)
Don’t Leave Home Without Your SunOven®
Evacuating with you Sun Oven® makes sense. Here’s why. You can pack it full of cold items to eat and drink in the shelter. They will stay cool for some time because of its insulated design. When the storm passes, you will be able to set up outside and make a welcomed hot meal. Don’t forget to take your WAPI kit to be able to pasteurize water, too.
October 2013, Every Needful Thing Billie A. Nicholson, editor