More alternative cooking…

Hello, hello!  Welcome back!  Did you all have a great memorial day weekend?  I guess we can say it’s officially the summer now!  Woohoo!  Anyone doing anything fun?  I’ll explain a bit more in this post about my absence the last 2 weeks but other than that trip, I have a few more work trips scheduled for this summer and then it’ll be over.  I feel like summer always fly by anyways and have a feeling this one is going to as well.  Gotta enjoy it while I can, right?

Anyways, I’m now back to the regular schedule of posting (3 times a week – it is summer after all =)).  I had the amazing opportunity to teach a 2 week class in Taos, New Mexico.  Hence my absence lately.  I have a lot of information about that area as it related to tiny houses and alternative dwelling situations so be sure to stop back in periodically as I’ll be sharing those with you all throughout the summer.  =)

Let me just start by saying that if you haven’t had a chance to check out northern New Mexico – do it!  It’s a stunning part of the United States with a deep cultural and artistic feel.  One of the cultures that is quite prevalent is the Pueblo culture.  On the north side of Taos is a native working Pueblo community that is open for tours.  Only part is open for the tours as the other half is off limits to public as it’s their community.

Pueblo community

During our tour, we were introduced to a wood fired adobe oven.  I forget the name of this oven but to this day the community uses it.  The Pueblo community does not have electric, water, or sewer so it is completely off grid. Currently 5 – 10 families live within the walls of the Pueblo community in hand built adobe houses.  The families come together to cook using the adobe ovens shown below.

Pueblo adobe oven

These ovens – the above picture is of 2 – is made out of adobe.  The boarded up area is the opening when the food or fire would go into the oven.  It’s currently not in use so the boards cover the holes to keep dogs out.  These ovens are shared by a few families within the community.  They would build a wood fire in the oven which would heat the adobe walls.  When it is hot enough, they take out the fire and place in their baked goods.  The adobe walls of the oven retains the heat and cooks the food.  Our tour guide said a loaf of bread would take 40 mins or so…which is about what it would take in our conventional gas or electric oven.   I bought a loaf of break and some cookies which were cooked earlier that morning in this very oven and can say they were quite tasty.

I wanted to share this as it’s another way in which some communities cook meals without the use of any utilities.

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