Outdoor Kitchen, Part Catastrophe–Destruction and Reconstruction


On 2/23, Melanie Jane’s birthday, we were hit by a small tornado. Our house had negligible damage, but the outdoor kitchen got whacked by a 60+ year old pine. Notice that the brick oven was strong enough to break said pine in two. Alas, the pine took down the roof and about one half of the oven. All this means is I get the chance to rebuild it even fancier than it already was.

Three weeks later, the scene is different. No pine, except for firewood, and no debris. I have over a thousand new bricks, and literally a ton of sand to make mortar with. I have an unlimited amount of yellow pine to cut into lumber, and the new roof is going to be made of pine shingles, split out by yours truly. I even pulled out my old broad axe to make pieces parts with.

Cross Section of a Brick Oven

I re-laid the fire bricks, and even found a spare one. So this was only a part catastrophe. I’m going to be such a busy man that I should probably make a list–rebuilt oven, new enclosure with pine shingles, and then world culinary domination. Maybe I should relax and read some Walden instead, like the magnificent conclusion to the chapter “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For:”

Time is but the stream I go afishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away but eternity remains. I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars. I cannot count one. I know not the first let- ter of the alphabet. I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born. The intellect is a cleaver; it discerns and rifts its way into the secret of things. I do not wish to be any more busy with my hands than is necessary. My head is hands and feet. I feel all my best faculties concentrated in it. My instinct tells me that my head is an organ for burrowing, as some creatures use their snout and fore paws, and with it I would mine and burrow my way through these hills. I think that the richest vein is somewhere hereabouts; so by the divining-rod and thin rising vapors, I judge; and here I will begin to mine.

HD Thoreau

Like HD, my head is hands and feet. It’s time to put them all to work.

Author: southernfusionfood

Writer, Woodworker, and Happy Eater

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