It is truly interesting how Bequia can change overnight from green to parched brown, from too much grass to loose, straying animals devouring what their owners did not plant.

I woke up this morning to the sound of my hedge being attacked.  The same goat, I had spoken to the owner about, only two days earlier, accompanied by its tag-along friend!  I could have chosen to start my day on an angry note but the world is too full of wars where those in the wrong believe they are right, while those in the right, well, respond by doing or saying something wrong–and two wrongs “don’t make one right”–pun intended.

The sunshine overtook the semblance of a cloud, and that was it!  It was somehow saying to me, “Smile–don’t frown!” And that’s what I did.  I had some leftover macaroni sitting in the fridge for a day or two.  Rather than waste good food I whipped up a recipe that, when finished baking, had me playing the role of Judge, Presenter, and Audience in my mental “Chopped” episode.  The taste was unbelievable.  Even my husband, who is not a fan of macaroni, agreed that my Sunbaked Macaroni Veggie Pie was fantastic.

As usual, I will only tell you the ingredients I used, and not the measurements. It is your dish so you measure to your taste and should feel free to add or subtract ingredients for your trial run.

Leftover macaroni, frozen mixed vegetables, coconut oil, Worcestershire Sauce, salt, black pepper, garlic, onions, eggs, corn starch, grated ginger, evaporated milk.  I am finishing this article I hand-drafted last week so I’m hoping I haven’t left out anything.  Although I did not use any wine in the recipe it reminded me of one of those dishes where you put in some wine to “up” the taste; or like Emeril who likes to “kick it up a notch–Bam!”

I put this baby out in the Global Sun Oven and the rest is history.  I plated and ate but neglected to take pictures of that, but the leftovers in the pot are pictured below.

With still so much sunshine wasting out on the deck I tried a completely new desert.  Sunbaked Cupcakes.  The ingredients:  molasses, sugar, grated coconut, butter, lime peel, baking powder, eggs, flour, Angostura Bitters. (Talking about lime peel, a few months ago when my tree had an abundance of limes I grated the skins from quite a number of them while I sat watching television, and froze them in a ziplock bag.  So now that comes in quite handy).

I only have one baking tray for cupcakes.  I can’t imagine where my old set disappeared to.  So into the sun oven I popped them, and forgot about them.  The nice thing about baking in a sun oven is that there’s no danger of burning food or smoking equipment.  Things might dry out but they won’t burn like in a conventional oven.  They were edible; not ruined, but had I removed them a bit earlier they would have been moist as cupcakes should be. 

I put in a second batch to bake and I leave you today with pictures of my day’s cooking adventure.







The Storm

“The person you called is not available!”  How annoying.  Try again.

“You have reached the mailbox of…”  Oh, shut up!

It was the long Carnival weekend in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.  The safest refuge from noise and the constant interruptions from callers, who perhaps believe that holidays are theirs alone, was to load up the tent, provisions and fishing gear and flee to an uninhabited island, where the birds, turtles and wild animals quickly spread the news of their newly arrived visitors. Four crazy fishing enthusiasts, later joined by a couple more seasoned ones, settled into their primitive escapade from civilization.  It wasn’t the total digital detox experience since it was necessary for them to have at least two cell phones for safety’s sake and to ease the minds of those of us left behind at home.  But of how much use was a phone that would not transmit or receive unless they went to the very top of the hill where just a slight turn to the left or right could cause the call to be dropped, and text messages remained undelivered?

By the evening of the second day the men did manage to receive notification of the impending Tropical Storm Chantal, so my hopes of having corned fish to last the balance of the year were condensed to the reality of a Greaves-sized plastic bag of a still-soggy, salted dolphin and some smaller bottom species.

Arriving back in the bay, the boat was quickly unpacked and hauled on to higher ground with the help of nearby fishermen.  Up the hill we trudged with the load in wet shoes that made it more challenging than the initial descent.  I had a good laugh at little Antoine who came to help and was given the task of carrying a rolled up sponge pillow.  He exclaimed, “Phew! That is load!” and you would have believed he was carrying the world on his shoulder.

There wasn’t sufficient sunshine for drying the fish as the day rolled on, while the next day was even less encouraging. It rained.  We stuck the partially dried fish into the freezer and it looked like we would have to use it like the Alaska Salted Pollock you normally find in the cooler at Greaves Supermarket in Kingstown.

We shuttered only two windows, just in case.  Chantal went looking for trouble elsewhere.  It was a relief.  With the sun back in all its glory, my husband had the bright idea of drying the fish in the Sun Oven.  I protested a bit, because every cornfish connoisseur knows that all-too-familiar smell.  I did not relish the thought of every subsequent dish embracing the leftover scent.  He insisted.  So side by side they sat.  Two Global Sun Ovens with wings outstretched, inanimately mirroring the passionate heat of a chef for his ingredients; inside, moisture escaping like a hot breath from a mouth in need of freshening.

The sun-dried fish experiment was successful.  It took a storm to introduce us to one more thing that can be done with this wonderful invention.  And here, ladies and gentlemen, I leave you today with a photograph or two of salted fish dried in the Global Sun Oven.



You’ve heard it before. Actually, let me say it aloud for you–you’ve done it yourself.  “I’m not into any gift buying this year.  Well…only one or two for the neighbour’s kid and my friend’s kids who come to the office.”

But just before Christmas eve you start to feel guilty and begin the mad scramble to find a suitable gift for this person who had been so helpful to you earlier this year.  And then another face pops into your head, then another, and another.  By now your giftless Christmas has become a frenzied search among the store leftovers of stuff you would never buy on a normal day.  Overpriced baskets of bubble bath and scrub pads. Giant scented candles.  Ill-scented perfumes that sit on the dresser like paperweights.  Clothes you have no clue whether they will fit or suit their taste.

I came across this blog on funny and useful Christmas gifts under $20 and found the mug that said “I dreamed my whole house was clean”.   If someone gave me such a gift I would treasure it and give it a prominent place in my living room.

But seriously now, since it can be quite a headache trying to figure out what to give individually to mutual friends, one helpful suggestion would be to consider an unusual yet useful gift that can be owned and shared by all.  Tada!  A Global Sun Oven is uncommon in these parts. The GSO is owned by only a discerning few in St. Vincent and the Grenadines since its introduction in 2010.  It never ceases to amaze those who see it in operation, and further impress all who eat whatever is prepared in it.

How many friends lime at the beach together at a church event or an outdoor birthday bash?  How many times can Mom wish for a day away from the kitchen before you realize that cooking on pure sunshine is not fantasy?  If you never thought of it I think it makes a lot of sense to pool finances and make a group purchase.  The price of one of these ovens has not changed from the bargain of EC$850.  which includes 2 non-stick baking pans and one enamel cooking pot.  Solar products have an initial higher than usual cost but in the long run pay for themselves because the sun is free.  Take a look at the older blog entries below to see some of the finger-licking stuff you can cook with a GSO.

Also go to the Caribbean Neighbours website to learn a lot more about renewable energy:

Here are a few videos with Paul Munsen from Sun Ovens International:

Solar Cooking Essentials:


Television Interview:


Emergency Preparedness:


Dehydrating and drying food in GSO:


Hope you are convinced by now.  Do have an enjoyable Christmas.

September 2012 brought some hot, still days to the island.  The sea was so calm.  The tranquil blue gave an appearance of oil on the water.  It was the kind of  month that antiperspirant manufacturers could be glad they got into business.  I didn’t have to do anything to work out a sweat.  Just keep breathing and it poured down my forehead.

The sun took advantage of the cloudless sky.  And I took advantage of the sunshine.  That’s only fair.  Sun goes with the word “oven”.  They just work well together.  So tossing a few ingredients together I baked two lovely pumpkin puddings on my sun deck using pure sunshine and two Global Sun Ovens.

Here’s what I used, but you can add many more ingredients to make a more interesting and tasty pudding:

Grated pumpkin (from my own garden)

Grated coconut (done in blender )


Unsalted butter

Grated nutmeg

Ground cinnamon

Angostura Bitters

Baking Powder



It was truly a September to remember.  I captured the memories to share with you.

Blue water like Oil


Sunbaked Pumpkin Pudding

How many Bequians remember the good old days of grinding corn on that old corn mill.  Grind, sift, adjust, grind, sift, adjust.  Sweat from the time you sowed the seeds into the ground to the time you finished preparing the meal. Hours of bubbling and stirring.  Remember Cousin Ina and Uncle Hugh?  They lived to a ripe old age on a diet of coo-coo and fish.

Today I took a different approach to produce an equally satisfying meal.  I used one pound of cornmeal, a medium-sized onion, coconut oil (instead of butter), some salt to taste.  To provide added flavour and crunch I threw in one large can of whole-kernel sweet corn, including the liquid from the can.  I mixed  all the ingredients in water sufficient to cover the mixture and put it out in the sun oven at 250-300 degrees.

This was served liberally with cucumber and (stove-top) fried fish to a family of five. I was not ashamed to go for second helpings after some time at the beach.

Somehow I believe that adding diced pineapple should make this coo-coo dish more flavourful. I won’t know for sure until I try.  So until then, enjoy the pictures.  Maybe one day you’ll be convinced that you need a Global Sun Oven too.





It started out with an attraction– raw undeniable fascination.  The warmth, the brilliance, the uniqueness, the scents,  the style.

Then it grew into a longing that raised the inevitable question– to have, or just to behold?

It was a bold step. A conscious “I will”.  But when the knot was tied, after much acclamation, the not-so-obvious began to show up, casting a little doubt about the soundness of that major decision.  Would those challenges sour the relationship or would the irritations and disappointments lead to a greater commitment and determination to make it work?  That’s love and marriage.

An affair with your solar oven can be just like that.  After taking the plunge to join the increasing number of people signing on to solar cooking, you will run into the occasional unanticipated “mannerism” that can cause you to question your investment.  What are the not-so-obvious situations or attributes you will run into once you commit to this new lifestyle of solar dependence?

Into our third year of entrusting much of our cooking to the sun, we can honestly share our experiences with other users and potential buyers, and offer practical advice for handling the most common irritations.

The Global Sun Oven is yours and you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment.  You will discover its likes and dislikes.   You will soon notice that it lives up to the expectation of its firstname, so do not hide it in the shadow of a tree, building or other object, and keep in mind that areas not currently shadowed may be affected later by trees or buildings as the sun moves across the sky.

If you purchased a brand new Sun Oven, before initial use you should remove the protective film that was applied to the reflectors to protect them during assembly and shipping.  Otherwise you will be blaming the oven while you are the one at fault.

That little word, “focus“, is a powerful one.  Aim the front of the oven towards the sun.  Let the oven embrace the sun inside its chamber.  You can tell if it is properly focussed by ensuring that the shadows are even on both sides.  Tilt the oven enough to eliminate the shadows in the front and back portions of the oven chamber.  Don’t forget there’s an adjustable leg at the rear of the oven.  Depress the button so you can slide it into the appropriate hole for the height you are raising or lowering the oven.

Depending on what you’re cooking you might need to refocus the appliance. Some things like rice and cake on a very sunny day would normally take less than an hour to cook. For beef and baked chicken , pigeon peas, channa and other longer cooking items it necessary to adjust the focus to ensure that the temperature does not decrease as the sun changes position.  Know your environment and figure out the strongest cooking time so you can make the best of it.

I used to wonder why the glass door would get foggy at times and the temperature would decrease, until I discovered that most dishes needed to be covered. I have a brown glass dish with a cover in which I bake my cornish hens.  It so convenient because I don’t have to open the oven to see how things are progressing.  So one little secret is to use glass casserole dishes with their covers and cut down on the need to open and uncover.  Every time you open the door you are allowing heat to escape so the less in and out you practice the better.

I hate it when people leave specks of toothpaste on my bathroom mirror.  Although it is still possible to see, the reflection is not the best.  If a Sun Oven could have a pet peeve I guess this would be it–speckled reflectors.  Its reflectors are meant to shine and direct the sunlight into the chamber,  so when rain falls and the raindrops leave their specks on the reflectors a simple solution is to use some glass cleaner ( I use a plant-based biodegradable one).  A bottle lasts well over a year.  If the reflectors and glass are not kept clean the oven will not react its maximum temperature.

It only happened once in my three-year Sun Oven affair, and it wasn’t an issue addressed by the manufacturers.  Yet I don’t see it as a cause for rejection.  The area where I live can be very windy at times.  A strong breeze comes across the ocean. That day in question the Sun Oven sat like an angel with outstretched wings, basking in the glorious sunlight.  A mischievious wind suddenly decided to show off and toppled the oven onto the sundeck.  There was no loss or damage, but it provided me with an opportunity to be innovative.  I believe this bit of advice would be helpful to others wishing to avoid a similar occurance.  To provide stability in cases of high wind, a creative idea is to fill a tall bucket with heavy stones or bits of broken concrete.  Snuggle the oven over to the bucket and weave two bungee cords through the bucket handle.  Then stretch them around the bucket, right around the sides and front of the Sun Oven, and then hook them at the ends.  In case you are cooking on the beach I guess you can walk with the empty bucket, then fill it with wet sand as the stabilizer.  Another option would be to tie a cord around the oven and four lengths of string which you will stake down into the sand using tent stakes or wooden ones you can make from cut branches.

Creativity in marriage and in solar cooking helps to prolong a good thing and preserve one’s environment.  So tie some knots with no regrets.

Being Creative

Aha!  Gotcha!  Sunbaked breasts?  Visions of bikini-clad females on a treeless beach?

Wrong.  Chicken breasts sitting in tomato sauce with chopped onions, garlic, cucumber, oregano, thyme. Now you got it right!

Some curry, salt, black pepper, a little Braggs raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of sugar, a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil, and just a tiny piece of fresh rosemary helped to smother the white skinned flesh like heavy sunblock.

Lastly, a green flavour pepper picked right out of my kitchen “garden” was placed right on top like an out-of-place button.

It baked in a glass dish in one sun oven, while by its side in another oven some cut green plantains in their skins sat in a little bit of water, salt and a sprinkle of coconut oil.

The taste was incredible.  I enjoyed my own cooking.  I had to take some pics.