We're having a party tomorrow (mainly to celebrate Christmas, but for our theme we jumped on that Mayan "end of the world," bandwagon); Emmi will be here with a friend or two, and Ben and Jaime, and some other friends and their families. We've already got two batches of beer brewed -- one brown ale in bottles, and a keg of imperial porter -- and we have plans to cook a turducken for the party, and of course there will also be bread, and pizza, and all sorts of other things cooked in both the inside and outside ovens.
Anne plans to bake bread today too, and we want to have ribs tomorrow as well, so we had to fire up the oven this morning for the party's first day of baking (and overnight slow cooking of the ribs). Since she has to meet a deadline with some work, and I'm on vacation, the fire job fell to me.
So it not quite first thing in the morning, but not long after my breakfast and shower, that I went out and split a bunch of (already cut, split and somewhat seasoned) wood into not-quite-kindling pieces, maybe an inch or so on a side. I then put two bigger logs inside the oven as sort of side walls, piled my sticks crosswise on top, then another layer crosswise on top of that. In the little cubby hole below the crosswise sticks I build a pyramid of twigs on top of newspaper, then I hit the pyramid with the blowtorch. The result, after a minute or so, was this:
|The Start of the Burn|
The fire is still a bit cold in this picture, still smoky and dirty. In a few minutes it had warmed up enough that the smoke mostly disappeared; now it's hot enough that I've got the bigger logs on, and it's burning clear. (I'm on stoker duty, and I'm watching it from my blogging perch in the dining room.) The wood is a mix of miscellaneous hardwoods, I have no idea what but it smells awesome.