Week One of living on the land. It has been so wonderful. Truly, just so lovely to fall asleep here each night, listening to the sounds of owls, crickets, frogs, and birds. So nice to stay late after dinner without worrying about rushing back to town to get the kids fed and put to bed. So easy to wake up in the morning and jump right into the tasks at hand.
The biggest task this week has been setting up our outdoor kitchen. Imagine trying to fit the contents of your home kitchen into an outdoor space, in a neat, organized, weather-proof, and critter-proof way. Imagine cooking all your meals almost entirely from scratch without hot running water, refrigeration, or the type of cook stove or oven you’re used to. This is what some of our neighbors have been doing for years, and this is our new reality.
Brian and I love cooking. We love spending time in the kitchen. So creating an outdoor kitchen that is truly functional and also beautiful was a high priority. And let me state from the start that I can claim absolutely no credit for the wonder you are about to see. It is the result of the talent and hard work of my husband Brian, an artist, blacksmith and builder, who loves nothing more than to spend hours creating incredible structures from materials we have at hand.
The Outdoor Kitchen is tucked just to the west of our blue roofed house, and nestled underneath an oak tree.
The most amazing feature: running water! We have four 50 gallon barrels set up to catch rain water from our roof. Brian piped it under the house and up to this sink. Instant cold water! (We filter the drinking water through a Berkey filter.)
Where we do our cooking! To the left is your standard-issue Coleman white gas stove. To the right is a StoveTec rocket stove.
Cooking our breakfast in my monkey pajamas! We usually fire up both stoves to cook a meal. The rocket stove gets pretty sooty, so we have pots designated just for rocket stove use. In the background, you can see that we’ve laid some planks down in the blue house for a covered dining area.
This tent trailer is our temporary home – so cozy and wonderful. But the most important part of this photo is to the right – our Sun Oven. Sun Ovens are absolutely incredible. I have made stews, rice, quinoa, and heated hot water, just by taking advantage of the beautiful sunny days we’ve been having. The only disadvantage: Sun Ovens really don’t work on a cloudy or rainy day like today.
Thanks for joining me on this tour of our new outdoor kitchen. If you have any questions, please ask away!