Saturday, 11 July 2009

The old stove

It has been a busy couple of days.  Lots to do and rain and wind and stormy weather.  
Amongst all of this, I have finally got my old stove back into the kitchen, and it is wonderful.  A friend helped us move the old (modern) one into the back verandah.  Then John and I built the brick platform up to the right height... so that the top of the stove could be flush with the sides of the hearth...  The bricks are just laid in place, as we weren't sure of exactly how high they should be, or how to get them level...  in fact it has a few ceramic tiles in there to keep it level... and it works well.  This stove isn't as heavy as the modern one,  so I'll lift it out and concrete it during the summer.  In fact, I don't mind the bricks... there are people in Somalia who would love such a luxurious kitchen!
The man who repaired the stove thinks that it is about a 1900 model.  That is about when the "kitchen extension" was added.  I suppose back then it would have been the "new kitchen."  But these things are all relative.
Then I had to reconnect the flue...  I had modified it to go onto the modern (Nectre) baker's oven,  and now it was necessary to get it back onto this one... it needed a bit of foil to seal the little gap... old flues were in different sizes (inches instead of centimetres) and they never quite match up.  The flue looks pretty grotty,  but in fact is is stainless steel (supposed to last a lifetime) and it is stained by smoke and rain that falls down the chimney.
The cooking space on top of the stove is much bigger... I can't believe how much more space I have.  I suppose it doesn't look so very different unless you've used it,  but it is lovely to cook on.  I am really happy with this.
This picture (below) shows the chimney arrangement.  If you look carefully, you can see the flue going right up there... then the top of the second flue section (there are only two sections) that opens out into the open chimney, and then the square hole at the top, opening to the sky.  Rain does fall straight down to the stove top on occasion.  The hissing sound of raindrops is a familiar winter sound here.
The modern baker's oven had a glass door so that you could see the fire.... now I have to leave the door open for that luxury...  but it's worth it for the better cooking facility.

Outside... my buddhist calendulas... this one shows the maroon colour on the central petals... and there are some misplaced ones amongst the true flowers in the middle... these always so different...
A bee at work...  it's seen here on a broccoli flower a couple of  days ago.  As I have mentioned before... there are two beehives here, and that is probably a part of the reason for good vegetables and viable seeds that I collect.
We are now collecting plenty of eggs and can't keep up, though they are mostly smallish.  John writes the dates on the eggs in marking pen.  I usually use a pencil.  
We are currently filling an egg carton, or two, or more... (until we get ahead again.)    I can sell the extra eggs in the main street.  However, we will be eating eggs, crepes, frittata and potato pancakes this week... to catch up with the chickens!  Life's good.

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