Elementary Art students pose in front of the hot oven.
The time has come (and passed actually) to fire up the oven at Woods Charter for the first time. On Thursday last week I loaded up the truck with a few essentials (matches), my fiancee, and my trusty road companion CB the dog, and headed on down to Chapel Hill.
Friday morning at the school I spent a few minutes making the rounds and saying hi to all the fantastic teachers at Woods. Then Jim showed me to the wood pile, including a huge pile of sticks and twigs that Mr. Durham’s art class collected for me on Wednesday, and started picking out the driest wood. Next comes the part that more people ask questions about than just about any other thing… starting the fire. It is always amazing to me how many people ask “How do you start a fire in there?” Perhaps it is my rural North Florida upbringing that makes fire building seem instinctual, but when I am asked this question I am still forced to pause before answering to try to decipher what exactly it is that this inquisitive person means. Well, this time I decided to ask ’em right back…
3rd grader: How do you start a fire in there?
Me: Well, what do you think? How would you start a fire in there?
Assorted 3rd grade answers:
- Rub two sticks together.
- Use gasoline and a match!
- With a magnifying glass.
- Hit two stones together. (I assume this one was referring to flint and steel)
And of course you can always tell the students that have some genuine camping or boyscout experience when their answer is right on the money: build a teepee of sticks with some pine straw underneath it and light the pine straw with a match. Though, in this case, I used some paper from the recycle bin rather than pine straw. And voila!
Humble beginnings for a seven hour firing.
A little later... smoke begins to obscure the Woods logo tile.
A hungry oven, almost ready to spit out pizzas for some hungry people.
The day was a huge hit with many of the teachers bringing their classes out for a short break to check out the goings on. Many of the students that came out were concerned that the smoke was “burning” the Woods logo tile above the oven door. I had to assure them several times that it will scrub off with a little Goo Gone or some citrus cleaner. Check back later for some pics of the first pizzas we baked!