My daughter and I stand in the clear, winter air, examining our long shadows.
‘Not yet,’ she says.
We are waiting for the day in early spring when, at the Sun’s highest point, our shadows are exactly the same height as us. That will mean New Zealand is at a 45 degree angle from the Sun, and it will soon be possible to solar cook again.
Last summer we bought a cheap cardboard panel cooker from Solar Cookers International, a non-profit organization that also sends these cookers to regions of the world where electricity is non-existent and firewood increasingly scarce.
For us solar cooking is an indulgence by comparison, but who can argue with saving electricity? And there’s something empowering – almost magical – about using little more than sunlight to cook a meal.
Our first few solar cooking attempts were disastrous (under-cooked rice, over-cooked rice, then under-cooked rice with a layer of over-cooked rice on top). But we kept our ambitions modest, and persevered. Finally, just before the weather packed up for the season, we got it right. You never saw a family so thrilled with a meal of boiled eggs.
- Extract from 'The Art of Eating'- today's cover story in Sunday Magazine (by me).