Saturday, February 25, 2017

Conservatory Brick Oven: Part Nine

Nearing the finish of the brick oven in my conservatory.  Just in time as the season will be starting for the ovens I'll be building around the country.

The face is done and the side walls are scratch coated awaiting the final stucco blend.

The square spaces on either side of the oven are for both later inspection and will be covered in metal grills to allow the little heat that escapes the enclosure to warm the conservatory in winter.

This last week, with outdoor temps in the 40's, the conservatory was in the mid-50's, a pleasant Springtime in the middle of February.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Explaining Brick Ovens

For two days, at the recent Portland Home, Remodeling and Garden Show in Portland, Maine, I attempted to explain the workings and advantages of brick ovens.  Granted, as a builder and baker myself, I am partial to the device.  Yet, in the history of cooking, there has never been a device that has outperformed or been more durable than a brick oven.

Time and again, people told of memories from earlier in the their lives or of houses from the past where these ovens played a big role in making food.

Some points that came up often:

  • It takes a laundry basket of hardwood to fire a 36" diameter oven to 700 degrees and without additional wood, the oven will be hot enough to cook many other meals for 3-4 days afterwards.
  • The cost of a true brick oven is less than most cars we buy yet it will last a life time (or five) without repair costs.
  • They can be built outdoors, indoors, or in moderated spaces such as three-season porches.
  • True Brick Ovens travels to most places in the country to build these.  We have a process and method that makes sense to do this.
  • And lastly, brick ovens are social magnets.  Owning and using one will change your social life as well as the quality of food you eat.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Conservatory Brick Oven: Part Seven

Despite the inclement weather of the past two weeks, the brick oven I am building in the conservatory space at my own home is progressing.

Pictured here is the 4" block surround wall and  will contain the insulation.  The front of the oven will be faced with brick and the sides will be stuccoed.

Monday, February 13, 2017

While Nature Sleeps...

More than 50 years ago my father bought me a gardening book that he found at the Newtown, Connecticut public library book sale.  The book, "How to Make a Vegetable Garden'. by Edith Loring Fullerton was published in 1905 and the accumulated photos and information gathered before the turn of the century.

I have thumbed through this book hundreds of times since as it evokes what gardening was like, both the plant culture and the size and importance of gardens in those times.

On the other hand, winter in norther New England is long and sometime about now, we begin to dream of what we will plant when the ground appears again.  The nearly two feet of snow that fell this week is not necessarily an indication of a late Spring.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Portland Home, Remodeling & Garden Show

On February 18th and 19th, True Brick Ovens will be on site at the Portland Home, Remodeling, and Garden Show in Portland, Maine at the Cross Insurance Arena (Formerly the Civic Center).\

Year-round cooking
You can meet me, David Neufeld and see first hand the styles and construction of the true brick ovens I build.  I will be available to talk with you, discuss your interest and perhaps future project, or just shoot the breeze about brick ovens.
How-to advice

Getting into the project