Thursday, November 10, 2011


If you're planning to build a wood-fired oven, then you should really learn a lot about firewood.
A couple of years ago I cut down a white birch tree and sawed it into 16" lengths. I didn't bother to split it, thinking that the birch would simply dry in the woodshed, and I was in no rush. Just last week I started to split it, and I discovered that the wood was rotten inside. The lesson for me was that firewood really needs to be split after its cut so it can dry out properly. This is particularly true of white birch because the bark is highly water-resistant, and if the birch is not split, then the moisture stays inside and damages the firewood. Probably because birch bark forms such a protective coat, the Native Americans used it for canoe construction and vessels to hold water. For great information about firewood go to this website.

Old tire sits on chopping block to prevent firewood from flying helter skelter when split.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bread Pudding

In all fairness I have to admit, there are times when I have too much bread around the house. My wife is an expert at making bread pudding, and it was time to use up all that bread. With her guidance, we both put this together.

3 medium apples, peeled and sliced
¾ cup of raisins
4 cups (237g) of 1” cubed bread
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups milk
2 beaten eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1/4-1/2 cup honey

There are many variations of bread pudding, and there is simply not one recipe. A favorite appears to be a sauce made with brandy or bourbon that's poured over the pudding. hmmm 

 Place cubed bread on bottom of Dutch oven (if you need to buy one, then I highly recommend one from Lodge.) Place apples on top of bread. Add butter to milk and scald on stove top, campfire or in wood-fired oven. Add raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey to the scalded milk. Add hot liquid slowly to beaten eggs (you don’t want them to cook).
Pour liquid on top of the apples and bread.
Cover Dutch oven and place inside a low to medium hot wood-fired oven. You can maintain a small fire in the back or to the side. It will take approximately 30 minutes to bake. Of course, nothing is exact here because of all the variables in baking outdoors, and for this reason, it’s my favorite way to bake. I like to watch the progress every five minutes or so because I don’t want to burn the dessert.
Serve it hot or cold, and I like it with ice cream.