At the end of our verandah now stands a wood oven and an open fireplace. The natural stone looks as if it has stood proudly in place forever and smoky smell has already seeped into our surrounds.
Earlier this year we deliberated over a family holiday to
or an outdoor wood oven and the wood oven was the eventual winner. King Island
We were fortunate enough to cross paths with a man who calls himself Ossie. He is almost 70 and has been bricklaying since he was 15. Ossie is the quintessential Aussie character, full of stories and knowledge collected over a colourful lifetime of manual work, fishing, family and mateship. Put simply he was the perfect man for the job.
The construction took longer than we expected but what we now have is a structure that has been built by hand from the ground up. The stone, which was collected from a ruin on our property will be a constant reminder of the history that surrounds us.
On the night the job was finished we lit a small fire in the oven and cooked a simple meal of grilled homemade sausages and beef ribs served with salad and sourdough. In amongst the concrete dust and rubble Annabelle spontaneously picked a bunch of roses for the table. We had a few drinks with Ossie and reflected on bricklaying, beautiful stone, life and the tenderness of the beef ribs.
We have copper pipes within the roof of the oven to heat water. We also have plans for a smoke box within the chimney to smoke food with. Already our new infrastructure is proving to be very versatile.
There is something special about cooking with fire isn't there?
It is really about getting back to basics with cooking.