ANATOMY OF A COB OVEN
Here's a brief anatomy of the cob-rocket stove to give you an idea how the oven functions.
Q. How long does it take to heat to cooking temp?
A. Thanks for the question. Brad, it takes about 2-3 hours to reach over 350 degrees.
Q. Is it hard to maintain a consistent temperature?
A. No, it's well insulated and can maintain a constant temp for a few hours.
Q. Do you use any kind of bellows to help with this?
A. No. The scrap/salvaged wood is placed in the chamber below the oven. The metal drum (which is located in the "bottom of the oven" surrounded by the outer layer of cob) is where we put the wood in to fire up the oven. The heat/smoke is then drawn up to the top of the oven (cooking chamber) through the air chambers along the perimeter of the oven. The hot air circulates around the oven top and eventually leaves through the top pipe (not shown in photo). Once the fire has died down, the pipe is removed and the oven capped with a terra cotta pot filled with clay so there is no heat escaping.
Q. Be interesting to see a picture of the "firebox," maybe from the back.
A. Here's a picture of the oven (sans the last coat of plaster).
EAT WHAT WE GROW
Q. I would love to see more of the food that you cook for your family because you often mention that you eat what you grow. A regular piece or two would be so nice.
A. Debra, thanks for the comment. Here's a sampling of our daily summer meals.
Sun - Fri / Breakfast: granola (usually homemade), oatmeal or yogurt with our strawberries, apples, peaches or other fruit from the garden
or homemade peach bread with yogurt
Saturday Brunch: pancakes with fruit from garden or duck egg omelets with fresh vegetables.
Sun-Fri / Lunch: vegetable soup with bread/crackers, or steamed vegetables with rice, or seasonable/stir-fried vegetable dish with bread, rice or pasta. Accompanied by a green or Greek salad from the garden
Sun-Fri / Dinner: leftovers with salad or pizza with fresh vegetable toppings or tomato & cucumber sandwich
Sat Dinner: homemade flour tortillas and Spanish rice with peppers, tomatoes and homemade salsa.
Dessert: we Belgians have a weakness for chocolate so a piece after a meal is regular; otherwise, we eat something homemade like a fruit dessert or fruit bowl made with whatever fruit available in the garden.
As for yesterday:
Breakfast: yogurt and peaches topped with granola
Lunch: duck egg omelet with peppers and tomatoes and cheese
Dinner: our first avocados with sliced tomatoes on toast
Dessert: homemade peach bars, piece of chocolate