Sunday, 4 December 2016

Little Balls of Woodshavings Bound Together With Wax

Every good fire needs good tinder, and these bad boys do a proper job.

Back to basics, there are three elements to any good fire; tinder (small bits to get it going), kindling (bigger bits) and then finally the 'fuel'... the really big bits that will burn long and slow.

The outdoor cooking season is over so no outdoor fires for a while... but only just a couple of weeks ago we commissioned our indoor open fireplace in the old house we moved into in the spring. So what a perfect time to test these little things out. Not much to be said really, the pictures say it all.

Create an enclosure of 'fuel', place an 'Ignite' natural firelighter in the enclosure, put a match to it, and then build up a pile of kindling above it before laying down a few pieces of fuel over the now nicely developed flames.

What's not to like? No petro-chemicals, no weird smells, and they simply work.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Cheese Toasties Over a Real Fire

Keep it simple I say. It was one of those late August evenings, nice enough to be outside, but cool enough to need a fire. I just felt like a cheese toastie. Then I mentioned it and not surprisingly there were no objections.

Making toast over an open fire is a bit of an art in itself, too hot and it will be a disaster, and not hot enough and you will just waste your time. It had to be embers, and in the later stage of their life.

From my arsenal of open fire cooking accessories, it then had to be the braai tool; risk management at its best. If the embers are too hot, just hold the tool higher and you can easily flip it to check the toastie's progress. The way the tool clamps together is also perfect.

For me, the fundamental ingredients are cheese and chilli. Ham and or tomato comes next on the list, but there is no point in overloading the poor things.

This was easy and fun, but it did cool down a bit waiting for the embers to die down enough. The moment the toasties were on our plates, a pile of wood went in the brazier so we could enjoy our toasties in the warmth of the fire.

Warming the plates

Friday, 23 September 2016

Simply Cooking Outdoors

A fairly dramatic lifestyle change has taken place, we have moved, after 15 years, and into what began as a 400 year old rural cottage in Oxfordshire. Call us brave, but then we knew what we were getting ourselves into. The house will be worked on eternally but for now, it's livable, we have a garden and I even have my own woodpile and a new chainsaw that I bought for myself for my birthday.

The transition was not far off hell, but the the saving grace was that is was summer and mostly we cooked and ate outside out of necessity. Firefoodie heaven as compensation.

In the past four months I've cut down three trees, cooked countless meals on an open fire, entertained plenty and spent hours and hours on the tools. It won't end, but it sure is fun.

Originally named Stone Place, we renamed the house Ammonite Cottage, after some delightful fossils that were built into the first walls all those years ago. Found locally, treasured, and now there for all to enjoy. There is even a well in the kitchen.

So a few photos of food, house and garden, just to keep this poor little blog alive.

The remnants of a conifer, seasoning for the winter fires

Breakfast with Sue and Geoff Wier

Our first garden party for neighbours and friends

Our Welsh pony neighbours, loving the apples we collect from the ground

Cheese toasties in the braai tool

Snoopy keeping warm under the fire

Lolly nesting in the drop sheets
and the ammonite fossil, two halves split from one stone

Related Posts with Thumbnails