Thursday, August 02, 2012

And I did not lose a single pound

You'll want to keep your distance when you see this.
I was meaning to post a lot sooner, but became busy with work and then got sick. I still don't feel like talking about food, so I'm going to save recent cooking experiences for a subsequent post when I can do them justice.

However, I will happily talk about ovens.

Last weekend, Owen and I chose our oven site. It is the correct distance from the fence as dictated by the county. We put down cement pavers to create a level surface.

You have no idea how hard this was.
It looks like it would be about as complex as setting the table, but took us almost an entire day. Getting cement pavers to sit level on a sloping piece of rocky ground when you have no upper body strength or geometry skillz? Humbling. We ended up using a carpenter's level, which I'd never done before. I assure you, those mothers are now level.

After we were through for the day, Owen and I ended up watching Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ. No comment. I bring it up only because I was preoccupied throughout by all the perfectly flat stone surfaces in the ancient world. Humans are so smart.

2. The next day, we mixed mortar, inhaled mortar powder, and started laying the brick platform for the oven.
That is not the vessel in which you want to mix mortar.
What a mess. What a learning curve

A few times I got my hands coated in mortar. If I rub them together five days later it still feels like they underwent some expensive and brutal dermabrasion. We worked hard for a few hours and I ruined my favorite pair of jeans and then it was time to drive Owen to sleep-away camp.

where we left it
Not exactly tearing through this project, are we? It looks good from a distance, very bad close up. But I have kicked it as hard as I could and the structure is solid, so that's what really matters.

We will resume on Saturday, after Owen returns. Isabel comes home on Monday. We have missed her. I'm ready for us all to be under one roof again.

Look what the chickens have done to our rhubarb.

Supposedly poisonous, but I see no signs of illness among the hens.
 I am trying to decide whether to construct more barriers, or clip wings.

In case you missed it, I wrote a review of ice cream books for Slate that you can read here.

34 comments:

  1. I am totally impressed by your oven- building. and i have about a dozen wine bottles for you when you get to that stage of the project. you can repay me in pizza!

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  2. Ida: Ha! Caught your ice cream story on slate, *and* commented on your previous post - very nice job/well written! :) I love the fact you are building this oven with your son. Congratulations, and keep going - can't wait to read about all the great food you are going to cook in it! :) Best, Ida

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  3. Masonry oven, eh? I've been following you since I read your book.. but now you've *really* got my attention.

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  4. Thank you, Jennifer! I loved the Ice Cream book reviews. I am currently in the process of checking out these books one by one at the local library. I think I mentioned in an earlier post comment that I have discovered avocado palettas this summer, and I am smitten. So, trying to be open-minded, I wanted to try new things. Seems that the avocado is my only new go-to recipe out of all of this so far. You can put vegetables in ice cream, but why?
    Your oven is going to be stupendous! Owen is a champ. I can't wait to see future posts about it.

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  5. Wow! So happy to see this in progress and also can't wait to see the pizzas etc. that will be coming out of it.

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  6. My chickens have eaten all my rhubarb as well. Evidently they enjoy oxalic acid.

    I'm interested to see how your oven turns out, because I really love the idea of a pizza oven in my yard.

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  7. It looks great! And I'm super impressed that you had the balls to kick your masonry as hard as you could. I'm currently building a brick patio, only a few fragments of which require mortaring, thank god, and have erected the (mortared) perimeter of a small stoop, which I've instructed everyone NOT to kick, step on or even look at askance.

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  8. Thanks, Jennifer, for the link to your review of ice cream cookbooks on Slate. I enjoyed reading the article.

    Your oven is looking great ! (There is no way I could have even made it as far as you've gotten.)

    Kelly @ parsleyandpumpkins.wordpress.com

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  9. Georgia Jewel8/4/12, 3:09 PM

    Loved the ice cream story! I knew it was you without even seeing the by-line. Good luck with the oven!

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  10. There's been a lot of discussion in the comments on the past couple posts about husbands and Tipsy's husband and this infernal furnace. I can only say that I feel like just another brick in the wall.

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  11. I really enjoyed the ice-cream books review, although I have no intention of buying either an ice cream maker or, consequently, any of the books. But that celery ice cream sounded pretty fantastic ...

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