Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Solar Baked Salt Dough Ornaments

My oven has been "broken" for about six months. Yes, I know....There are so many things I miss making, but for now this family remains ovenless. Since the oven is "broken" and I wanted to make salt dough ornaments with my son, I decided to build a solar oven out of three boxes, masking tape, an oven bag, and foil.

I do not have any pictures of the actual construction, as I didn't know if the oven would actually work. It was just an idea, so after my son went to sleep on Saturday night, the construction began. It didn't take very long, and was made with items I had in the house, so it virtually cost me what I used in tape and foil, as I got the boxes for free.

So the next morning we made the ornaments. My son loved this!

We have never made salt dough ornaments before, so this was a new experience for both of us. He enjoyed the process of mixing and rolling out the dough.

As you can see, it got very messy, but we both had fun.

Once the ornaments were cut out and laid on the cookie sheet, I placed them inside a large oven bag and sealed it shut. Then I placed the pan on a cooling rack inside the bottom of the oven. The experiment commenced when we placed the solar oven outside at about nine o'clock in the morning. The temperature outside was about fifty degrees. Since most of the yard was in the shade at this time, Daddy decided that it would do better on the roof. So with careful precision, on the roof they went. I'm not quite sure what the neighbors thought, but at least our ornaments were being baked by the Arizona sun!

We checked the the temperature about and an hour later, and the inside of the oven was at 125 degrees! I couldn't believe it, the oven was working! As the sun moved through the sky, the solar oven and ornaments eventually ended up in the backyard, where they cooked for the rest of the day.

After dark, I brought them in, and couldn't believe that they were cooked! They are now sitting on the counter waiting to be painted. Once we paint them, I promise to share a few pictures. This project was so easy, and so much fun! (I seriously can't belive that we made this happen!)

Even though my son is only three, he may not remember that we made these ornaments and cooked them  with the Arizona sun, but I will never forget.

On the book front, we just finished Magic Tree House #29 Christmas in Camelot, by Mary Pope Osborne at eleven o'clock last night. (It's a good thing you can't see the bags under my eyes, as I was awake at four this morning reading A Christmas Carol before I had to go the work.) I read this to my son out of the series sequential order, but he enjoyed it, even though it had a few "scary" parts, and was a longer chapter book. We read this book in two nights, and I am sure we will read it again before returning it to the library.

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