This year, just to keep things lively around here, we decided to set up a winter camp. Greg finished insulating the bread oven in the fall, and that makes it a lot more efficient for cold-weather use. We have a large canvas tent, so in December, our friend Ron came over to help put it up.
To insulate the floor, they spread a layer of straw, and then rolled out a piece of carpeting. Next, they retrieved our little woodstove, a Jotul 602 with a glass door. Nice to have a little ambiance and see the fire while warming up the tent. They got everything in place, and lit the fire. Within about a half-hour, it was toasty in there. In the photo, you can see our lack of snow at the time. Fortunately, we've seen a big improvement in that, and now even have snow to bank the lower sides of the tent.
We've been heating up the tent and the bread oven on Saturdays this month. From one to three in the afternoon, we are serving hot soup and warm, fresh bread to our guests, and anyone else who happens to ski on by. It's been a lot of fun, prompting some great conversation about the use of the tent, and imagining how it might be to go winter camping with one of these. I'm impressed by how comfortable it is, even when the wind is howling outside and the temperature is in the teens. I'm not much of a winter camper, because I don't like to be cold in the morning. With this, it would make it a lot easier.
Before Addie returned to school, we had dinner in the tent. I had acquired a Mongolian Firepot a couple of years ago, but hadn't tried it out. We prepared all of the meat and vegetables for it, and then set it up in the tent. The firepot dinner is a lot like fondue, except the food is cooked in a boiling broth rather than oil or cheese. We took turns throwing the food into the pot, and once cooked, we heaped it into our bowls. We finished the meal with noodles cooked in the broth. It was quite a tasty event.
The tent will be up for the rest of the winter, so if you are in our neck of the woods on Saturday afternoon, stop in to see what's in the soup pot and what has come out of the oven!