Jules, Justin work on “the bulge,” Lelach, Elijah & Ray place cob “pancakes”
Ray, David ( and, later, Lelach & her 3yr son, Elijah) came by for an afternoon of cobbing. The last few feet of the smoke funnel around the dome was completed, along with a “bulge” for the last shelf. The anticipated lady bug shape is no longer; instead, it has morphed into a snail like-form due to Ray’s addition of a smoke funnel around the top dome.
After a few hours of hard work, it was then time to fire her up again. This time, Ray and Justin (and Elijah!) put in more wood to see how the oven would handle it. For the first 15 minutes, the oven smoked quite a bit, bellowing out of the “chimney.” (The excessive smoke was because the metal drum was cold and the clay damp).
While the oven was warming up, all 8 of us pulled up a chair (or strawbale) and sat around, fascinated watching the smoke dance with the breeze (that was our entertainment for the night, no commercial interruptions). Not wanting to waste all that fuel, it was decided to do a test run of cooking something in the oven. So, we gals whipped up some quick baking powder biscuits. Of course, we figured the biscuits would come out steamed instead of baked because the oven wasn’t completely dry. We placed the biscuits inside on top marble slab and waited a few minutes. We were right in predicting we’d have “steamed biscuits” instead of lightly brown ones. The good news is that the oven cooked the biscuits (they certainly had a unique sort of earthen flavor) and we all agreed the first cooking experiment was a success!
Postscript 4:00pm: This evening we enjoyed a salad made from tomatoes and cucumbers with a side dish of beans that were steamed in the cob oven (an almost free meal — food & energy!)