Monday, June 29, 2009

Wood-Fired Oven ~ the location!

Before marking the cement pad location, I had to think about the big picture and how I wanted everything to look, once all the components are done, in a few years. Also, after discussing with a few oven experts, I changed the orientation of the oven due to the prevailing winds. So the back of the oven will be what I will see when I step out of my kitchen but it will make the efficiency much better. The long line starting at the bottom left of the picture, is actually the boardwalk to build from my existing deck to the future outdoor kitchen. The large rectangle is the cement pad: 118" X 80". Once the oven is build, the heat is all contained and therefore will not affect the lilac tree just beside it. Unfortunately, the 2 small lilacs at the small furthest end of the pad will have to go.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wood-Fired Oven ~ the beginning!

My project this summer is to build a wood-fired oven. It actually started in the winter time with the thinking process and it has broken ground last month. I first had to remove 2 pine trees that didn't not fit in the future landscape plan. Don't feel too bad; one was already sick and was in worst shape than last year. It was just a question of time.
The local handyman, Randy, is helping me and said the removal only look 15 minutes. When you have the right tools, everything works out faster and better! And he's helping me keeping the costs down by doing my work when he has some spare time, between 2 jobs. So far he's happy with the cold beer I gave him when he was doing landscape work on my neighbour's property, on a hot day!
So here's the photo after the trees were removed and I filled in the ground as best as I could. I think it's ok until I work on the overall landscape plan (maybe in a year or 2...) when I will even out the grounds properly.
I am using many sources for the building: Jim Wills from Mary G Artisan Breads, Alan Scott & Daniel Wing book "The Bread Builders" and Rado Hand with his web site Traditional Ovens. There's also many other sources of inspiration and advice and I will mention them as I go along.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Just impossible

to get ahead.... I received today my electricity bill and my new "budget monthly" amount has been increased by $43.00. I consider myself frugal with the energy: I keep the heat to a minimum all winter long, no air conditioning in the summer, I mostly live in the dark at night, TV is not on unless I'm actually watching it, I cook as much as possible on the propane BBQ grill and half the time, I not even home! How can it be $261.00 per month for a one-person household????
I already looked at my budget 2 week ago to slim it down and I just don't know where this money has to come from. Just depressing.