The yearly springtime curtain of green is descending in our woodland, and it’s time to get the outdoor kitchen rebuilt and ready for action. Our new smokehouse survived the tornado of exactly two months ago, and as my favorite food writer AD Livingston noted, they usually turn into storage sheds when not in use. It’s time to get the masonry tools out of there and get to work.
The all new left side and repaired back wall (above) is made of reclaimed bricks from the old oven. The left side itself is a “soldier row” of bricks that are stood on end–19 in total–that curve on the front and back ends. We were very fortunate that none of the fire bricks on the cooking surface were damaged, and I only had to re-set two rows, and these beauties are dry laid. No black mortar stains under the fingernails. Yet.
The dome is almost complete, and the black mortar is everywhere. The front is to be a flat slope that rests on the angle iron, which also has to be joined to the arched top. I have the masonry blade on my circular saw, so the dust mask will get a workout. If I were as fast a mason as the villain Montressor in Poe’s masterpiece “The Cask of Amontillado,” who walls up his friend not so Fortunato in the cellar beneath his house, I would celebrate with some pizza in a few days. Give me a couple of more weeks, and check to see if anyone has gone missing.