I suppose to a certain degree, knowledge really is one thing you really can't have TOO much of.
Preppers, survivalists, nut-jobs, call us what you will...there really is much to be said on the topic of knowledge, skills, tips and tricks and so forth. However, this all having been said, and having spent too many hours surfing around here and there looking for unique ideas on what to write about it all comes down to one thing. Can you DO it? This in turn brought me to the notion of "oh hell, I have no clue".
I was reading through an article this morning on cob ovens. Wow, I thought, what a cool idea! Then I glanced out the window at our rapidly settling (and world famous) Saskatchewan winter and thought - wow! That would really SUCK! I would really hate to try baking bread outdoors at -40.
Some of the cob ovens that I looked at were simply amazing works of art! Some were sculpted into fantastical creatures, others were simple bake ovens. This particular one caught my attention! Untold hours of tile setting went into this one. It's quite beautiful.
Items such as these would only really be applicable if your SHTF plans happen to include bugging out to a predetermined location with supplies and shelter waiting. To my mind, having the "location B" in place is simply logical. Having an oven such as this on-site would be a really good idea, for at least three seasons anyway.
Back to the original problem of winter. Winter survival is rather an issue in climates such as ours. Temperatures can hit -40 in the blink of an eye and the Girl Guides will still go door to door selling cookies. If one had to get by in a slightly more remote (or rural) location, then combining the notion of cooking as well as central heat may just be a REALLY good idea.
So, alternatives, anyone?
I surfed and dug and could NOT find anything that looked even remotely suitable. I found a few photos of cob-style ovens installed in houses, but for the most part they were small and yuppie-like devices.
Does anyone know where we could find a more practical option??
Ideally, the device would have a cooking grill or flat iron surface on which to use pots and other standard cooking items as well as the oven itself.
I found a number of large "outdoor kitchen" type of installations. Wildwood Ovens http://www.wildwoodovens.com has a nifty selection of kit-like ovens. But they appear to be more of an outdoor installation or a smaller novelty type of oven. I doubt they would really suffice for a heating/cooking option during the LONG winters around here.
I would be VERY interested to see if anyone out there: 1) actually reads some of my silly ramblings or 2) knows of, or knows who, uses a cob style of oven for heat AND cooking.
I think it would be a really good idea to add a little of this type of building to my skillz portfolio!
Rational, positive, creative - pizza is no exception!