Saturday, June 18, 2016

New Project Started Today-Kathy's Cast Iron-Dutch Oven Outdoor Kitchen

   Sometimes if we really want something we just need to take charge and do it-lol  Ever since we retired I always wanted kitchen cupboards in my kitchen-that is just not going to happen any more and an outdoor kitchen area.
     We had kinda planned on making a patio outside the french doors that are in the dining room area and really close to the kitchen. With the economy crashing, and now Larry's age and declining health just not going to happen either.
    However, I really want to set up an area to use my big vintage cast iron collection to use-cook and bake in.  I love that and really enjoy it. Hubby's new thing is at our age especially we need to do the little things that makes us the happiest.
    When we retired and moved here we had brought down a large and very heavy grate which measures 52"x 36" so wow lots of cooking and baking room on this. It's been sitting out in the area where it was intended to get used, and I do keep the grass and weeds out of it so the person with the mower can see this.
    Well, since my Yellowstone trip got busted and had made me sooo sad I asked Larry how can I set this up to finally cook on??  It kinda came about too cause just out the front door area and which is fenced in we have our smoker, grill, and a little weber I used for baking-and he said just too much fire going on too close to the house-lol
   He suggested in front of my little garden area and at first I wasn't so sure about it-but now I am into this area. It is partially shaded not that far from the house really, close by to the wisteria arch area-just around the corner-and that corner is really shady with a big oak tree-so a nice place to sit while tending to fires.
   So with the steamy temperatures taking a break this morning I worked about 6 hours today.
    I had allot of wheel barrels to fill up with the compost that was in that area and move it to a garden area. then I pulled all the tall weeds close by, and then I started hauling sand-gravel mix from a pile we have with a wheel barrel. So my wheel barrel got a work out today and me too lol
   On Monday,  I am going to pick up concrete blocks to hold up the grate-and that will give me the space needed to  build a fire underneath. I am going to pick up concrete 12" tiles to make up a hearth in front of my fire-that will be perfect to rake out coals on to and use my dutch ovens with legs, maybe some hoe cakes, and the grate will hold my other cast iron pieces with no problem or I can grill on there too. So I am excited now for this new adventure in cooking and baking.
    This is going to sound wierd I am sure but I want Larry to teach me how to start a fire with flint-always wanted to do that

   Here are a few photos of this morning's work. photos will enlarge just click on them.
                               
  First photo is the cleared area and bringing in the gravel



 This second photo if  you look way in the background and to the right you will see a little mound of brown: that is the gravel pile So quite the project for me-but our skid steer is down right now and don't to wait on it.

 
 This is the arch I made for the wisteria and has really filled in allot already-do to our steamy hot weather and rain. This is just around the corner from my "kitchen" area, and there is a big oak tree that will be perfect to sit under for shade and tend the fire maybe read a book.




This is my grate that will work out just perfect for my cast iron pieces with no legs and grilling.


This is what I accomplished so far today with the gravel-I need to make it a little longer in the front and then go back and make it all deeper.

                                   


I was careful to not overdo and throw my back out-again-so far so good lol

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