I enjoy good food and I enjoy good wine, preferrably both together. Give me a glass of a good red and a piece of medium rare beef and I am a happy man. I enjoy cooking and like trying different methods of cooking. I'm not too adventurous though. No -150 degree celcius frozen desserts come out of my kitchen.

My oven. Recently I was clearing scrub and elm suckers from my property and decided to have a bit of a burn off. After a hard day of sawing down saplings, suckers and removing overhanging branches from the street frontage before the local council do the job, there is nothing I like more than standing around a large fire with a couple of beers.

The beauty of this is that I can also indulge in one of the few outdoor pastimes I actually enjoy in winter, and that is to cook a meal on an open fire. On this day I decided to do the entire meal in a camp oven. Usually I would bake root vegetables (potatoes and kumera mainly) in the ashes but this was a day for a one-pot meal. To the right you can see my fire a couple of minutes after I lit it. Obviously this isn't going to be a good thing to cook on at this stage.

My oven. This second photo shows the fire at a more reasonable state for cooking and, in fact, you can see the camp oven sitting to the left. I have scraped out a bed of coals for it to sit on and placed another heap of coals on the top to provide top down heat. Inside the camp oven is a leg of lamb, potatoes, kumera, parsnip and carrots all sitting on a bed of thickly sliced onions. Large sprigs of rosemary are laid on the onions and a small branch of bayleaves is lying on the top of the meat. It has been salted and peppered liberally.

The rest of the fire is just the right size for standing/sitting around on a cold winter evening.

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