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Kat and Kevin Yares

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A New Firepit

While we had the man here doing the backhoe work for the Sawmill Project, we had him level out a space near the house for a new summer kitchen.  I am so looking forward to being able to do all the canning outside this summer where the heat from the stove won't strain the air conditioner inside.  It will also allow me to cook 'oven' favorites during the hot months also without heating up the house.

In doing the pad for the kitchen, we lost our outside firepit.  So, a couple of weekends ago, we built a new one.  For me, not having a firepit is just not conducive to country life.

Instead of digging down in the hard clay and rock this time, we used the stone from the old pit and other rocks we had collected from the property over the years and built from the ground up.  Our only real criteria were that the rocks be flat and decent sized.  (When you look at the pictures below, you'll see what our ground grows best.)

Kevin laid out flags that we would build the pit around.  One by one, we laid in the rocks; using the largest and heaviest on the bottom for a foundation.  From there, it was just finding the best fit for the rest.

Four hours later and the new pit was done.  It stands about 2 feet high and is about 4 feet long and 3 feet across.  Kevin took three pine poles (that had been de-barked years ago) and with chains positioned a tripod to the outside that would hold anything from Dutch Ovens to our large 22 gallon cauldron.

The next day, we were ready to try it out.  Into a Dutch oven went chopped bacon, onion and garlic.  Once that was browned, we added pork loin steak (cubed into 1 inch pieces), kielbasa (also cut into 1 inch pieces) and let that brown over the fire.

To the meat, we added a cup of dehydrated veggies, lots of spices and water to cover.  We let that cook for well over an hour, and then added more water and a cup of brown rice.

We let that mix simmer for the rest of the afternoon.  It cooked over the open fire for probably two hours before we brought it inside.

Lifting the lid from the Dutch oven gave forth a wonderful aroma in the kitchen.  We quickly filled bowls with the stew.  Was it good?  You bet, both of us went back for seconds.

Actually, it was so good; we did it again the next weekend.  Only this time, adding a can of diced tomatoes and a pound of shrimp to the mix.

Who knows what we'll do this weekend; the possibilities are endless.

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