Monday, October 17, 2011

Heart Warming Stuff

The weather remains glorious, albeit a little cooler in the morning and evening. During the day however its better than summer, not to hot but sunny and warm. On Sunday we took full advantage by cooking and eating outside. We have a great wood fired oven outside which is amazingly efficient. A surprisingly small amount of wood soons brings it up to cooking heat. As I say yesterday we made good use of the fine autumn weather. Rebecca and Joaquin came over with local lamb, wine and local vegetables. Theses were pretty soon cooking away nicely, the lamb in red wine with fresh rosemary and bay from the garden, also in the horno was a pear and apple crumble, again local produce. I also knocked together some ratatouille using the excellent quality aubergines we get here. As we sat around the table we all expressed amazement that here we are in the middle of October enjoying the outdoor life that makes living here such a pleasure. Our brick oven, know here as an Horno ( dont sound the H of course) is built of red brick, as is all of our outdoor kitchen. I actually like the red bricks, reminds me of the most common building materials where i grew up in the midlands of England. The tradition of these type of solid fuel masonry ovens can be found all over the world. Historicly they where used by the Romans and in precolumbian Americas, similar ovens were often made of clay or adobe. In India, tandoors are traditional clay ovens. The open-topped tandoor is a transitional design between the earth oven and the Roman-plan masonry oven. I guess they have lasted so long because they not only work so well, baking in them is a joy, bread turns out so well. They are also not reliant on a fuel supply which a third party has control of, a bit of wood is all you need. As i say great for baking, in fact I popped in a couple of trays of biscuits after the lunch was ready making use of the residue heat. Waste not want not, thats our motto.

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