Friday, May 14, 2010

Nutty Crunchy Bread Oven

An outdoor bread oven is my White Whale. I dream of it, I pursue it, but I'm unlikely to ever attain it. Too expensive.

The father of a friend of my daughter got around that by building one. The guy's a plumber and really knew what he was doing. He had a concrete pad laid and then did all the masonry work himself. He even built a form to hold the arced bricks inside the oven in place while the concrete dried. Very, very cool.

So build it yourself, you say. Not. I struggle to put a nail into a board straight. A handyman, I am not.

That said, this so-called "Cob oven" looks intriguing. According to the post, it cost all of $20 to build. Why? Because it's mostly made of mud, straw and empty beer bottles.

I'm tempted to give it a try, but I fear I'd end up like Richard Dreyfus in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

The people who built this are part of The Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, an eco-commune in Missouri. They build most everything out of straw bales and mud. A little nutty, crunchy for me.

But I'm being too harsh. Different strokes for different folks. It occurs to me that such communities are the 21st century equivalent of the Amish or other religious communities that earlier in our history chose to cut themselves off from the world and live purer, more spiritual, less materialistic lives. In that sense, they are part of a great American tradition and I salute them. I salute anyone who chooses even in modest ways to live on their own terms, valuing other things over money and material goods.

Plus, the bread and pizza looks fantastic.

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I was reading some comments on my blog and I hit the "Next Blog" button on the scroll bar and here you came up with your earth oven. I live in Phoenix with my partner, our 3 boys, our roommate and her two children. Seems crowded, but not too bad. Anyway, we are trying to avoid turning on the AC until we just can't stand it anymore. Any way to keep the house cool is welcome. That includes cooking outside. My roomie wants to build an earth oven, she has built them before. She says it is really easy and cheap. I was excited to see that you are entertaining the idea also. Good luck to you. Maybe you could stop by the blog every once in a while and see if we got it done yet. Cheers!